Microsoft Extends Windows XP Life By Another Six Months

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In the face of demand for continued access to Windows XP and dissatisfaction with Vista, Microsoft has moved out the time frame for downgrade rights to XP from Jan. 31 2009 to July 31, 2009, The Register reported last week.

"Downgrade rights do not expire," a Microsoft spokesman confirmed Monday. "As more customers make the move to Windows Vista, we want to make sure that they are making that transition with confidence and that it is as smooth as possible. Providing downgrade media for a few more months is part of that commitment."

Microsoft elaborated on its intentions in a statement to Mary Jo Foley's "All about Microsoft" blog, saying: "What's changing is Microsoft is giving six more months where it will provide downgrade media for XP Professional for OEMs and system builders to provide to their customers who purchase Windows Vista Ultimate and Business editions " (which the company figures will be) largely going to be small businesses since that's the audience that would want/use XP Pro. So it's the same old downgrade right thing that was in the EULA (End User License Agreement) before; it's just Microsoft is providing the media to partners a few months more.

"The same caveat with providing the downgrade media as before applies, which is OEMs and system builders don't have to do so if they don't want " it's their business decision to make, Microsoft added.

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Microsoft has extended XP downgrade rights before. In April, Microsoft said OEMs could provide downgrade media for Windows XP with new Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate PCs until January 31, 2009, which was also the cutoff date for system builders.

Now that deadline has been extended once again.