End of Windows XP, end of Microsoft?

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Windows XP is dead! Long live Windows XP!

That traditional cheer for beloved kings may well be on the lips of most Windows users as Microsoft goes through with its deadline for Windows XP. Today marks the first day that PC makers are no longer allowed to sell XP-based PC’s.

Despite widespread criticism of Windows Vista, and the “Save Windows XP” movement, Microsoft did not change its deadline for the seven-year old operating system. Microsoft reports that it has already sold 140 million copies of Vista, which is a bit surprising since most consumers actually prefer the older OS, resulting in a ‘downgrade’ option which can be obtained with some new PC’s, and even big companies have decided not to have a Vista deployment at all. Intel’s IT department even said that it “found no compelling case” to switch to Vista.

Microsoft is undoubtedly looking at the future –- albeit a short-term one. Not many developers, after all, will devote its effort to Vista so long as it does not have a dominating user base.

Forcing Vista on consumer’s throats, however, isn’t a very smart move. Industry pundits, after all, see Vista as nothing more than a paint job -– with huge drawbacks to boot. A more strategic move, perhaps, would be to design the next Windows from the ground up.

Due to compatibility concerns, Windows 7, as the next OS from Microsoft is called in development, promises not to introduce major changes from Windows Vista. But this is exactly the opposite of what users are asking for. Right now, Vista just gives too many problems, requires too much computing power, and offers too little in return to be an attractive system. With Linux making inroads in the low-end spectrum and Apple making waves in the high-end part, Microsoft’s decision to dig in and stick to its current guns may well spell problems big enough to force the software giant to take notice.

Read [CNET]

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