Windows XP was initially launched at the end of 2001. Three years later, Microsoft introduced the second service pack and a practically different operating system. From 2004 to 2006 all the development efforts in the Windows division focused on building Vista, delivered to businesses in 2006 and to the general consumers at the beginning of 2007. In the fist six months on the market Microsoft shipped over 60 million licenses of Vista. But in the same time the company failed to push the consumer perception that Windows XP is expired. XP SP2 is far
from dead and Vista seems to be no match for an operating system approximately seven years old and theoretically obsolete.
Well, Microsoft alone is guilty for this. The fact of the matter is that XP SP2 will continue to be available via the direct license and original equipment manufacturers until January 31, 2008. After that only system builders will still have access to the operating system for yet another year. But when it comes down to supporting the platform, Microsoft is not failing XP users. Far from it in fact...
On January 24, 2007, just a few days before the commercial availability of Vista, the Redmond company introduced a life extension for Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Media Center Edition. The two editions of XP will be supported until 2009 in the Mainstream phase and then they will be moved to the Extended Support stage until 2014.
Another move that Microsoft is preparing to sabotage Vista is the release of Windows XP SP3. The company currently confirmed the release of a pre-beta version of XP SP3 to a select group of testers simultaneously with the first build for Windows Vista SP1. Currently Microsoft plans to release XP SP3 in the first half of 2007.
And recently Microsoft announced yet another gambit to maintain the XP installed base in the detriment of Vista, the release of Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2c. The service pack's sole purpose is to extend the volume of product keys for 32-bit XP Professional, in a move to support system builders. Vista is constantly compared with XP and always found lacking, but maybe Microsoft has something to do with this perspective.