Windows XP really is turning into the operating system that won’t die. The decade-old OS should have gone the way of the dodo a few times already. But while you can’t walk into most computer shops and walk out with a new-in-box Windows XP installation disk today, there are still a few ways to get the operating system.

For a few more months, you can still buy a low power netbook preloaded with Windows XP Home Edition. Or if you want a more powerful computer you can purchase one that normally comes with Windows 7 — and use the Windows XP downgrade option to swap out Windows 7 for Winodws XP Professional.

The Windows XP downgrade option was supposed to be phased out this month too, but CNET reports that Microsoft isn’t ready to pull the trigger just yet.

Basically here’s what happened: Windows Vista stunk and lots of corporate and personal computer users never upgraded to Windows Vista. Windows 7 is actually pretty good, but it takes a long time for business and education customers to make the switch from one version of an operating system to the next. So many of those customers aren’t ready to make the jump to Windows 7 yet — and if Microsoft insisted that new computers could only ship with Windows 7 or Windows XP, a lot of folks might have become very frustrated with Microsoft and/or held off on buying new computers (and Windows licenses).

Update: It looks like technically this means Windows XP could still be around until 2020, although it’s much more likely that you’ll only be able to purchase a Windows 7 PC with Windows XP downgrade rights up until 2014.

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4 replies on “Microsoft gives customers more time to downgrade to Windows XP”

  1. Basically what happened: Microsoft took too long to produce their next must-have OS after XP that XP became too entrenched. The UI for Win7 is even more bloated than it was on Vista. (widgets, borders, shadows, buttons, etc.) take more screen real estate and grab more visual attention. That’s fine if one uses a computer simply for interacting with an operating system. But for people who use applications, especially for CREATING content, those UI elements are distracting.

    Win7 is nice, but XP is still the Windows version to beat. The only way that XP will be killed is when hardware manufacturers produce notebooks/PCs/tablets with components that don’t have XP drivers.

  2. I think Microsoft should have improved WinXP instead of creating a newer more bloated operating system. I have Win Vista on a notebook and it was okay in some ways and a pain in others.

    I am hoping by the time WinXP is no longer available, ReactOS has gotten to the point where I can install it from either an USB drive or from a SD Card. ReactOS does not take up space on the hard drive and it is not a resource hog. IMO; it is an ideal netbook operating system.

    I will also be trying eComStation on a netbook. I have two netbooks. eComStation is an much updated version of IBM’s OS/2 Warp. It is not at version 2.0.

  3. I’ve personally been very resistant to getting a new computer that requires me to pay for windows 7 when I plan on installing XP on it as soon as I get it. Its not about compatibility with other systems, I just like the operating system. For a netbook, a report I saw a while ago on this site showed that the power consumption of a netbook running windows 7 is higher than an identical netbook running XP. Higher power drain is a deal-breaker for me, so I’ll stick with XP as long as I possibly can. If Microsoft wants me to switch to a newer operating system, they can remove all the bells and whistles and give me something simple that sips power.

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