A YEAR AGO Microsoft announced that Windows XP was deader than Elvis Presley and yet for some reason the operating system appears to still be going strong.
But the June 30 kill date came and went. Based upon user complaints, the Vole kept XP going and even found it a new market in the netbook world.
Microsoft even allows PC makers to 'downgrade' new systems to XP, so Dell and Hewlett-Packard continue to offer XP on a selection of models. Reportedly they will not be able to do this from the end of the month, but it is still on offer at the moment.
Then there are also online software sellers who are still flogging old licences that were bought years ago.
Either way, it is impossible for the world to know how many copies of Windows XP are out there.
Analysts like Gartner's Michael Silver say the fact that the Vole allows downgrades for those who buy Vista means that we can't really be sure how much hardware still depends on XP.
With companies not buying software or hardware because of the current recession, it is likely that Windows XP, rather than fading away, will remain in stable use on many PCs, particularly in corporate environments.
Microsoft will have to convince those XP users that Windows 7 is worth the money. Otherwise some of them might decide to jump to some of the more friendly XP-ish flavours of Linux instead.
We should expect to see one of the Vole's most expensive marketing campaigns ever, all the way until Christmas. If that works, then it is likely that the outfit will make more money than it ever has before out of a single product.
But in order to pull that off, Microsoft's marketeers will need to make both Windows XP and Vista users make the move to its shiny new operating system while also seeing off any rivals.
That'll be no mean feat. Windows 7 is not bad, but it will take more than "its better than Vista" before it can manage unseat the dying XP. µ
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