Microsoft in climbdown over XP retirement plans (again)

! Warning: this post hasn't been updated in over three years and so may contain out of date information.

Microsoft’s woes over Vista take-up continue despite the release of Service Pack 1, and this time it is due to the popularity of the likes of the Asus Eee.

XP SP2 is a good quality, stable operating system, that meets most people’s needs and this is what is causing the problems. Whilst XP has made Microsoft lots of money, they obviously want rid of it, so that they can make lots of money from Vista. Microsoft declared to the world that XP will be no more as of the end of January 2008, but the resultant outcry was sufficient to convince Microsoft to change their minds. So the death of XP was put on hold until the summer of 2008.

Recently though, speculation over XP’s future has surfaced once more. The reason is that a growing number of cheap, low spec laptops have begun to appear on the market. These devices tend to ship with Linux installed on them, but due to its popularity, some people are keen to have Windows on such devices too. Such machines are too low powered for Vista though. And so Microsoft has recently found itself between a rock and hard place. If it stuck to its guns over retiring XP, it risked losing out in a growing new sector. If it climbed down, then it risked Vista sales.

So last Friday, Microsoft announced their compromise decision: XP will be retired, except for low-spec devices such as the Asus Eee. This is effectively an admission by Microsoft that Vista is too big and bloated to meet the needs of an emerging market, and that Microsoft cannot do anything about it. This will do Vista’s already poor reputation no good at all.