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In 18 Days, the Worlds Ends: No New Computers with Windows XP

By Wayan Vota on October 4, 2010

For the last several years, Microsoft has threatened to end the ability of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to install Windows XP on their hardware. Yet the bloat of Windows Vista, the rise of 4P Computing, and the draw of emerging markets has kept XP alive. Now 9 years (!) after it was first introduced, Microsoft has finally ended XP’s life.


After October 22, 2010, you’ll no longer be able to buy new PCs with Windows XP installed.

Microsoft has 10 reasons you should welcome Windows 7, but not everyone is cheering the change. Millions of users in the developing world have only known a Windows XP experience and the national curriculum of several countries (Ghana for one) feature XP screenshots and menu paths. So what has Microsoft done to keep those users happy?

  1. Downgrade to Windows XP
    The OEM versions of Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate will continue to include downgrade rights to the similar versions of Windows Vista or Windows XP Professional. Going forward, you can continue to purchase new computers and utilize end user downgrade rights to Windows XP.
  2. Continue XP Support
    Microsoft will still provide support for Windows XP until April 2014, using their Microsoft Support Lifecycle process.
  3. Ensure Win7 Compatibility with XP Programs
    Windows 7 is designed to be compatible with popular hardware and software products. The Windows 7 Compatibility Center lists the particular programs or hardware that will work with Windows 7.

Opportunity in Change

Yet in change there is always opportunity. With the global move to Windows 7, there is a compelling reason to upgrade existing XP users to a new platform, earning software, training, and support revenue in the process. Also, there are bound to be custom software programs that need updating for Windows 7 compatibility and functionality. Last but not least, its a great excuse to revisit existing customers and show them new technology options.

So what are you waiting for? Embrace change, its the only constant.


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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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One Comment to “In 18 Days, the Worlds Ends: No New Computers with Windows XP”

  1. thadk says:

    In East Africa, at least, the prevailing computer isn’t ready for vista, or 7 or their new driver model. XP is to be around for a good amount of time yet.

    It is tempting to say that it does not matter that Microsoft is closing sales and (to an extent) support on XP–Few legitimately buy it due to the easy availability of copies. It does matter though: system updates often plugged the serious security holes in previous releases–one of the most important updates to a system through my time in East Africa had been Windows XP Service Pack 3. You can’t rely on antivirus software to notice the latest East African endemic computer virus for months even with latest updates. With updates, you wouldn’t get viruses simply by looking at a virus-laden picture, were less likely to contract it by inserting a USB flash drive. Viruses are always expanding tactics and as they do, they frustrate users which likely frustrates general IT progress.

    Some are looking at this as an opportunity for Ubuntu and Linux but even those can fail to function effectively internet-poor environments.