We've been here one or two times before (read: six times - see links below) but just like a champion who doesn't know when they are beaten, Windows XP has again had its lifespan extended...
This time Microsoft has announced the option to downgrade from Vista or Windows 7 (the latter is a silly idea) will be made available for either the first 18 months after 7 is released or until we see the first service pack for the impending OS. With either option it seems XP availability up to 2011 is a fairly safe bet.
"Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate customers will have the option to downgrade to Windows XP Professional from PCs that ship within 18 months following the general availability of Windows 7 or until the release of a Windows 7 service pack, whichever is sooner, and if a service pack is developed," confirmed a Microsoft company spokesperson to ComputerWorld.
Personally speaking while I remain a great fan of XP things are getting a little daft now. Given the flabbiness of Vista maintaining XP during its life cycle made sense for budget PCs and netbooks. This changes with Windows 7 however since its superb scalability means beta and RC tests have shown it performs even better than the eight year old platform.
There comes a time to move on Microsoft. We know you're sorry for Vista and Windows 7 clearly demonstrates you've learnt many lessons but this XP loyalty is now beyond a joke.