IN REACTION to a popular " Save XP" petition started by Infoworld, Microsoft is backpedalling like mad as it tries to salvage some shreds of credibility with thousands of disgruntled Windows XP customers who either cannot or will not migrate to Windows Vista within the foreseeable future.
Infoworld's "Save XP" website has already gathered over 75,000 petitioners. It has a real-time counter, videos and a number of articles explaining why many Windows XP users don't want to be forced into "upgrading" to Windows Vista.
According to a late November 2007 survey of 961 IT workers, 90 per cent were reluctant to move to Vista. Reportedly respondents' varied concerns about Vista ranged from anxieties about Vista's stability through apprehensions about Vista hardware and software compatibility problems to the anticipated hardware and software upgrade costs of migration to Vista.
As reported by Computerworld, 44 per cent of those surveyed said they would consider migrating to non-Windows operating systems instead in order to avoid Vista migration issues. Many of those reportedly said that virtualisation would make it easier to migrate to a non-Windows operating system.
In reaction to this strong showing of support for Windows XP that it obviously hadn't anticipated, Microsoft was forced to spin and backpedal. A spokesvole told Computerworld, "We're aware of it, but are listening first and foremost to feedback we hear from partners and customers about what makes sense based on their needs. That's what informed our decision to extend the availability of XP initially, and what will continue to guide us." That's the spinning right there.
But the spokesvole went on to say that Windows XP won't disappear from the market entirely after the June 30th cutoff date and that Microsoft, "understood that some market segments such as small businesses and emerging market customers require 'a little more time' before they upgrade to Vista."
"Therefore OEMs will continue to sell XP through June 30th 2008 and system builders will be able to sell XP through January 2009 as they cater to the small business markets. In emerging markets where XP Starter Edition is sold, it will still be available through June 30th, 2010."
That's the sound of Microsoft backpedalling away from forcing its customers to "upgrade" to Windows Vista. µ
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