Nash: While we’ve been pleased with the positive response we’ve seen and heard from customers using Windows Vista, there are some customers who need a little more time to make the switch to Windows Vista. As it turns out, our official policy as of 2002 is that versions of Windows are available through our retail and direct OEM partners for four years after they ship. Obviously this policy didn’t work with Windows XP given Windows Vista’s delivery date. As a practical matter, most of our previous operating system releases were available for about two years after the new version shipped, so maybe we were a little ambitious to think that we would need to make Windows XP available for only a year after the release of Windows Vista.
So we’re responding to feedback we have gotten from our OEM partners that some customers will benefit by extending availability of Windows XP to June 30, 2008 instead of the planned date of Jan. 30, 2008. Also, since some of the systems that ship in emerging markets don’t meet the requirements for Windows Vista, we will be extending availability of Windows XP Starter Edition to June 30, 2010. This will allow our OEM partners who sell PCs in emerging markets more opportunity to offer genuine Windows licenses. Windows XP Starter Edition is tailored to local markets, in local languages, and is compatible with a wide range of Windows-based applications and devices.
Microsoft Extends Sales Availability of Windows XP: Responding to feedback from its customers, the company decides to give small businesses and customers in emerging markets more time and flexibility to test and prepare for the operating system upgrade.