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MS to offer support for XP till 2014

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DQW Bureau
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Microsoft has announced its approach to the phasing out of Windows XP and its

future plans for Windows Vista. Though June 30 was the last date for the retail

availability of XP, the company assured that XP customers would continue to

receive support from Microsoft. “We recently released Service Pack 3 for Windows

XP and will continue to provide security updates and other critical updates for

Windows XP until April, 2014. Our ongoing support for Windows XP is the result

of our recognition that people keep their Windows-based PCs for many years and a

reflection of our commitment to provide the highest level of support for all our

customers,” said Prasanna Meduri, Director-Windows Client Business Group,

Microsoft India.

While Windows XP will no longer be available through retail outlets and

Microsoft OEM partners, it will be available to buyers of assembled PCs until

Jan 31, 2009, through the company's system builder partners. The company

recently also introduced a version of Windows XP for the ultra low-cost PC (ULCPC)

category, and this version of Windows XP will be available till June 30, 2010.

In addition, for small to large size businesses, buying Windows Vista Business

or Windows Vista Ultimate, Microsoft provides the option to use Windows XP

Professional through a customer benefit known as 'downgrade rights.' Downgrade

rights are also available to all business customers holding licensed Windows,

such as Windows Vista Enterprise, through Microsoft Volume Licensing programs.

Meduri said, “In addition, some of our OEM partners are planning to offer

services designed to help business customers who buy these versions of Windows

Vista on new PCs to exercise their downgrade rights. This is a great value

because it lets customers use Windows XP on PCs today if they need it and then

make the move to take advantage of the additional capabilities of Windows Vista

when they are ready, without having to pay for an upgrade.”

Talking about the reasons behind the discontinuation of Windows XP, Meduri

added, “Since launch, our investments in Windows Vista have paid back-during

2007, Windows Vista had half the number of critical vulnerabilities compared to

what Windows XP Service Pack 2 had, during the same time period. PCs running

Windows Vista were 60 percent less likely to be infected by malware than those

running Windows XP Service Pack 2. The phishing filter in Internet Explorer

7-which is included with Windows Vista-stops about one million phishing attempts

every week.”

The company is now geared to focus fully on Windows Vista. It has improved

significantly the device compatibility of Windows Vista, which has increased to

include 77,000 components and devices-more than what it supported at the time of

its launch. “A reaffirmation of the successes we've had through the work in this

area is our OEM that reduces system boot times by almost half, and system resume

time from 15 seconds to two seconds. By improving driver quality, we also helped

OEM partners extend battery life by an average of 10 percent, and in one case,

we were able to gain 30 minutes additional battery life with a single driver

change,” said Meduri.

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