It wasn't until Vista was released that users realised how much they suddenly loved Windows XP and such is the reticence to now leave it behind Microsoft has been pushed to extend the platform's support.
In an unprecedented move, the Redmond giant has had to suck it up and pledge assistance until 2014 - a full 13 years after the OS's original release. In a letter to customers this week Microsoft Senior VP Bill Veghte explained: "Our ongoing support for Windows XP is the result of our recognition that people keep their Windows-based PCs for many years."
He failed to mention: because our successor is something of a dog and will take at least two Service Packs to be anywhere near what we should have produced from day one.
Of course this news also follows on from Microsoft's decision to extend the XP sales deadline for ULCPCs ('Ultra-Low-Cost PCs' in their lingo) due to its substantially reduced footprint and performance demands and to try and minimise the potential for mass Linux take-up.
Ultimately the salvation in all this could be the multi-touch Windows 7, Vista's much hurried-up successor which will tell us once and for all whether the company's OSes can recover. ""Our plan is to deliver Windows 7 approximately three years after the January 2007 general availability launch date of Windows Vista," Veghte admitted.
I'm sure Microsoft wishes it could have delivered it instead of Vista 18 months ago. Just five more days to go people...