In the past two months, I've read more articles on 'the end of XP' than I can count.
Last week, I wrote a piece on the upgraded Windows Media Player roll-up for XP. It drew a 'little' outrage from a few that felt they had been 'forced' to upgrade to Vista.
I knew that, somewhere along the line, I had read the facts and decided earlier today to double check them.
I logged in to a few Microsoft websites including Connect and the Microsoft Partner site. I'm not exactly sure why I still have access to this stuff as I closed my computer company in 1999, and after a very quick stint re-living local broadcast and print journalism, I turned my efforts 100 % to in-house SEO and online marketing.
First of all, XP ended 'sales', NOT support. In fact, there are numerous 'special situations' where you can still purchase XP.
Support for many users that have the service packs installed will continue until 2012. A few could see full support end in April 2009 but that's the exception, not the rule.
Microsoft did a pretty good job on their public sites of persuading you to upgrade before numerous click-thrus to realize that if you want to wait a little while, it's OK. Hey, that's business.
The closest Microsoft page I could find with the facts is here. Be sure and expand all the questions at the bottom. In fact, if you click through a few times, you'll see that SP2 and SP3 customers have yet to be assigned a support termination date.
I have the official PDF if anyone has any questions. It's probably a copyright violation to reproduce it here. The link above tells most of the story.
There's a HUGE embedded base of XP users out there. Obviously, Microsoft didn't need a PR nightmare.
So should you upgrade to Vista? See the previous piece just posted. The answer is, if you have the system resources, at this point, my personal take is YES. Try for at least the Home Premium version. Again, if your hardware is there, it'll run rings around XP. There's A LOT of new stuff 'under the hood'. Make sure there are Vista drivers available for all your hardware first.
There it is. I'm not sure I would have said this until very recently but the drivers are getting better and the hardware is getting cheaper.
For the rest of you with older boxes. Don't sweat it. There's still time :)