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Microsoft Extends Windows XP Downgrade Option to 2020

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Corporations are well known for their continued love of Internet Explorer 6 and their inability to trust any operating system until Microsoft slaps on a Service Pack, so this really shouldn't come as a surprise...

Having discovered that a mind numbing 74 per cent of businesses still run Windows XP as their main OS and that their computers are an average of 4.4 years old, Microsoft has announced it has pretty much abandoned the idea of ever retiring the platform.

Having extended the XP downgrade option for Vista and Windows 7 no less than six times, the ubiquitous Microsoft communications manager Brandon LeBlanc has now confirmed it will exist throughout the entire Windows 7 support cycle meaning you'll be able to utilise it up until 2020!

"Our business customers have told us that the removing end-user downgrade rights to Windows XP Professional could be confusing," he explained on the Windows Blog. "To support our customers’ 'unprecedented move' to migrate their PC environment to Windows 7, we have decided to extend downgrade rights to Windows XP Professional beyond the previously planned end date at Windows 7 SP1. This will help maintain consistency for downgrade rights throughout the Windows 7 lifecycle {my italics}."

Yep it's an odd one - especially given Windows Vista won't even be available in its boxed version after 22 October. Not that it'll be much missed we'd imagine. Still Windows 7 Sales figures continue to be extremely impressive and are driving the 64bit uptake so as long as it is shifting licences I suspect Microsoft won't really care.

Then again, it is somewhat familiar...


Update: ZDNet claims Microsoft small print could mean XP downgrade rights end in 2015, not 2020 but that's still a ludicrously long time for an OS to survive and doesn't take into account the fact a fourth and five service pack may be required on a platform this old.

Link:
XP Stats Via BusinessInsider
Windows Blog

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