InfoWorld amassed 210,000 signatures for a "Save Windows XP" petition, and forwarded it to CEO Steve Ballmer. Today is the date when Microsoft officially ends the availability of its last generation Operating System, and hopes that everybody gravitates to its current OS, Vista. It's unlikely that Microsoft is going to change its corporate mind at this point, but the petition points out a glaring irony: A Microsoft OS is immensely popular, and has the kind of rabid support usually reserved for the little penguin, the shiny apple, and Ron Paul.
We began this campaign because our readers compelled us to do so. Those of us who have been in the industry for a long time have never seen anything like the negative reaction to Windows Vista. Our readers have frequently voiced their frustrations about software incompatibilities, arbitrary UI changes, expanded hardware requirements, and altered security business rules. On the other hand, we've also head from many users who are clearly satisfied with Vista.
Our point from the beginning has been that Microsoft customers should have a choice: For a reasonable period, those who want to license Windows XP should be able to continue to do so just as easily as they can license Windows Vista.
Microsoft's competitors and detractors have done an admirable job of pointing out the flaws in Vista; Apple has a whole series of amusing commercials about what a resource hog it is, for example. But pinch me, I must be dreaming -- the unintended effect of the whole thing has been to achieve the unthinkable for Microsoft: real affection for one of their products; just not the one they want to be selling right now. I wonder, will there be a "Save Vista" movement when Windows 7 ships?