Ballmer: Provide Demand, and We’ll Extend XP’s Lifecycle

Right now, the net is abuzz about remarks Steve Ballmer made at a Belgium news conference today. The buzz comes from a Reuters story which quotes Ballmer as saying that Windows XP’s life cycle might be extended if customers demand it. Contrary to what all those reports online might indicate, there really is no change in policy here.The exact quote from the Reuters article goes as follows:

XP will hit an end-of-life. We have announced one. If customer feedback varies we can always wake up smarter but right now we have a plan for end-of-life for new XP shipments.

A week ago, Ballmer had this to say about the possibility of extending Windows XP’s lifecycle:

And we have a lot of customers that are choosing to stay with Windows XP. And as long as those are both important options, we will be sensitive and we will listen and we will hear that. I got a piece of mail from a customer the other day that talked about not being able to get XP anymore. We responded, XP is still available. And I know we’re going to continue to get feedback from people on how long XP should be available. We’ve got some opinions on that, we’ve expressed our views… I’m always interested in hearing from you on these and other issues.

As you can see, little has changed. Microsoft states that it will listen to customer feedback, but that as it stands now, Windows XP will ‘end-of-life’ coming June. There’s little Microsoft can do – flat-out announcing that XP’s lifecycle will be extended yet again would be another admission that Vista hasn’t been received as well as they had hoped, which would only hurt Vista’s sales instead of help it.

And, according to Ballmer, most retailers and consumers are choosing to buy Vista, so it doesn’t seem likely – as of yet – that there will be any change of plans regarding the end-of-life of Windows XP. Don’t worry, there’s always Windows Server 2003.


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