Microsoft will end OEM and shrink-wrapped sales of Windows XP on June 30, 2008, forcing users to shift to Vista. (System builders, meaning those who do white-box PCs, can sell XP through December 31.) Don't let that happen!
Millions of us have grown comfortable with XP and don't see a need to change to Vista. It's like having a comfortable apartment that you've enjoyed coming home to for years, only to get an eviction notice. The thought of moving to a new place -- even with the stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and maple cabinets (or is cherry in this year?) -- just doesn't sit right. Maybe it'll be more modern, but it will also cost more and likely not be as good a fit. And you don't have any other reason to move.
That's exactly the conclusion people have come to with Vista. For most of us, there's really no reason to move to it -- yet we don't have a choice. When that strong desire to stick with XP became obvious in spring 2007, major computer makers such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard quietly reintroduced new XP-based systems (but just to business customers, so as not to offend Microsoft). Come June 30, however, even that option goes away.
So what to do? Let Microsoft decide where your personal and enterprise software "lives"? Or send a loud and clear message that you don't want to move?
We're going for the loud-and-clear option. Join us, and tell Microsoft that you want to keep XP available indefinitely. Not for another six months or a year but indefinitely.
And ask your friends and colleagues to join in, too. Just point them to SaveXP.com for a quick link to this page. And if you'd like to publish our countdown animation on your Web site to help promote this petition, e-mail Executive Editor Galen Gruman for the code snippet.
Don't think Microsoft will listen? Consider this: Although Microsoft denies that anything is wrong with Vista or that most people don't want it, the company has already postponed XP's demise by six months. That's a start, but it's not good enough.
Microsoft doesn't have to admit failure; it can just say it will keep XP available indefinitely due to customer demand. It can take that opportunity to try again with a better Vista, or just move on to the next version that maybe this time we'll all actually want.
There is a precedent for that, too: In many respects, Vista is like the Windows Millennium Edition that was meant to replace Windows 98 in 2000 but caused more trouble than it was worth. At that time, Windows 2000 was promising but didn't support a lot of hardware, so users were stuck between two bad choices. Without admitting Millennium's failure, Microsoft quietly put Windows 98 back on the market until the fixed version of Windows 2000 (SP1) was available. Microsoft needs to do something like that again today.
Make your voice heard to Microsoft. Sign our petition to save XP today. We will present it to Microsoft.
Infoworld.com January 14, 2008