Windows XP Availability Now Ending In 2011

It has to stop at some point, right? Or does it, really? With Windows 7 just months away from a public release (October 22, if you needed a reminder), Microsoft is yet again showing its soft spot for Windows XP. Right or wrong, the general public view of Windows Vista is that it didn't live up to the hype, and in many respects, WinXP is a superior--if not more stable--operating system. Because of that, the company has already pushed back its cut-off date for WinXP downgrades on a few occasions. Now, it's pushing it back even further.

In a new report published this week, we're told that Microsoft has decided to extend XP availability until 2011. That's 2 years after the operating system's second successor! The date now sits firmly at April 2011, though we wouldn't be surprised if demand for WinXP encouraged the firm to let that slip even further back. According to Microsoft, the decision is being made in order to give netbook makers more time to sell netbooks without "forcing" them into Windows 7. Of course, Microsoft has already detailed a netbook-centric version of Win7, but many still feel WinXP is better suited for the lower power machines.

The move also helps enterprise customers who are trying desperately to avoid Windows Vista. The extension gives them plenty of breathing room to plan their next wave of PC purchases, ensuring that they buy computers with Win7 loaded on. Still, one has to wonder when all this love for WinXP will end. Eventually Microsoft and the world at large has to get over XP and move onto the next big thing. Hopefully Windows 7 will be the OS that makes users forget about XP. If not, prepare to see support extended well into the next decade as Windows 8 gets created.