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Windows XP Deathwatch: 1,000 Days to End of Life

Microsoft treated attendees at its 2011 Worldwide Partner Conference to a steady drumbeat of warnings that Windows XP's days are numbered.

"XP end of life is not that far off -- a thousand days to be exact," intoned Tami Reller, corporate vice president and CFO for Windows and Windows Live, during a WPC keynote on Monday.

Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner amplified the theme in his keynote on Wednesday, broadening it to include Office 2003 and Internet Explorer 6 in addition to Windows XP: "We love those products, but you know what? They're dead."

If Turner's remark was full of characteristic hyperbole, Reller's timeline wasn't fudged. The end of extended support falls on April 8, 2014, according to a Microsoft Windows lifecycle fact sheet. That's 1,000 days from Wednesday, according to an online date calculator.

Reller defined what end of life will mean for XP. "Ongoing standard support and software maintenance will not be a part of the Windows XP experience," she said.

While 2014 seems like a long way off, it's not so far off in terms of corporate desktop OS upgrade planning cycles. For the many organizations that skipped Windows Vista, it means they may need to commit to Windows 7 rather than waiting for Windows 8 if they want to stay current on support.

Meanwhile, Reller encouraged partners to urge their customers to migrate to Windows 7, which she said has sold 400 million copies so far. "[The end of extended support] can introduce material risk to a business. Together we must help our customers migrate more than 300 million desktops to a modern experience. You most certainly will play a critical role," Reller said.

In addition to applying the customer stick of fear, Reller held out the partner carrot of service revenues. "Numerically, we believe that well over 40 billion of services will be purchased by customers over the next several years as part of this move," Reller said.

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 13, 2011 at 11:58 AM

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Reader Comments

Thu, Jul 14, 2011 Louisiana

As the IT Director / Technical Sales manager for a Solution Provider, I am concerned, but I am more concerned that Microsoft's workaround for customers who have Windows 7 "in-compatible" software is to virtualize XP as their only solution instead of providing, as they have always done in the past, a compatible solution, such as "run in xx Mode". I see a lot of opportunities for virtual oses and machines, but there are still a LOT of questions about licensing, costs, and compatibility to be resolved for the millions of SMB clients who can't afford to roll over to new hardware, software, and applications just because Microsoft says so. Clients, and their needs, drive our business. And if you don't believe that, take a look around at how many OLD cars and trucks are still on the road today, despite Detroit's best efforts. Wake up, Microsoft, XP IS NOT dead! It will be around a LONG time after you try to bury it.

Wed, Jul 13, 2011

Perhaps I should be worried, but I'm not. How long has my Win98 FE been "unsupported"? It still boots up in a little over a minute and usually shuts down in 4 seconds. And it seems to do this all in 384Mb of memory. Just because MS decides to EOL WinXP doesn't mean that it too will go away. Since there aren't any "real" alternatives from MS for machines with less than 2Gb mem with at least a P4 at 1.5Ghz, my XP machines will probably stay the same or host Linux if needed.

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