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Windows XP, which was expected to disappear from the shelves of stores and on new laptops next January, will now be available to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and retail channels until the end of June, said Redmond.
In addition, the company will continue to offer Windows XP Starter Edition in emerging markets where it is currently available for the rapidly growing class of hardware-constrained ultra-low-cost PCs until 30 June 2010.
Mike Nash, corporate vice-president for Windows Product Management, said, "While we have been pleased with the positive response we have seen and heard from customers using Windows Vista, there are some customers who need a little more time to make the switch to Windows Vista."
He said, "As a practical matter, most of our previous operating system releases were available for about two years after the new version shipped, so maybe we were a little ambitious to think that we would need to make Windows XP available for only a year after the release of Windows Vista."
Nash said, "We are responding to feedback we have gotten from our OEM partners that some customers will benefit by extending availability of Windows XP to 30 June 2008 instead of the planned date of 30 January.
"Also, since some of the systems that ship in emerging markets do not meet the requirements for Windows Vista, we will be extending availability of Windows XP Starter Edition to 30 2010. This will allow our OEM partners who sell PCs in emerging markets more opportunity to offer genuine Windows licences."
Windows XP Starter Edition is tailored to local markets, in local languages, and is compatible with a wide range of Windows-based applications and devices.