It looks like XP users can breath a (brief) sigh of relief now that Microsoft has decided to extend the life of XP for “Low Cost” Laptops.
Of course, that’s not the full XP Pro that so many would much rather have, it’s XP Home. This means that XP will still be around until June 30, 2010 or one year after “Windows 7”, the next version of the Microsoft OS, is available.
Microsoft denies that this has anything to do with the SaveXP petition. Instead, the company line is that they’re doing this at least in part to keep Linux from taking over the market for “certain types of ultra-low-cost laptops”
This extension of XP’s lifetime *is* helpful. It gives more people a chance to see the horror that is Vista and make the move to Linux before XP is finally pulled for good. Also, if you’re thinking “ok, I’ll just keep XP until Windows 7 comes out and move to THAT”, think again. From what I’ve seen, Windows 7 is going to be modular, where you only install the parts of it that you need. As good as that might sound, it means forking over bundles of ca$h to Micro$oft every time you decide you need another module.
Personally, I prefer the Linux way of doing this. You want it, you download it and install it, with most packages available on a central server with plenty of mirrors. When the time finally comes, I plan on moving to Debian or Ubuntu. No way am I going to allow my machine to be infected with Vista.