As Ainsley Jones reported, the death knell sounded yesterday for Windows 2000 and Windows XP Service Pack 2, leaving Service Pack 3 the sole survivor. Initially, Microsoft planned to extend the life of XP SP3 to 2011, but its acknowledgement of XP's durability (74 percent of business computers are still running the nearly 10-year-old operating system, after all) has led the company to rethink this strategy.
Now, according to TG Daily, companies who either aren't ready or can't afford to upgrade to Windows 7 can purchase new computers with downgrade rights that extend until 2015 for those who purchase Windows 7 Professional and until 2020 for buyers of the Ultimate version Microsoft's latest OS.
This means several things. For one, it seems that everyone, including Microsoft, expects very few consumers to move from XP to Vista as an intermediate step, although the software giant also provides that option.
The most important take-away for IT managers and professionals is that XP reliance in business will require continued support.
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