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Can Windows XP Be Saved? Should It Be Saved?

Smaller businesses, Microsoft is going to stop sales of XP by the end of this year. Do you care? Should you care?
Smaller businesses, Microsoft is going to stop sales of XP by the end of this year. Do you care? Should you care?InfoWorld has started a "Save XP" campaign and so far nearly 58,000 people have signed the online petition demanding that Microsoft "not stop OEM and shrinkwrapped sales of Windows XP as planned on June 30, 2008, but instead keep it available indefinitely."

A recent survey indicated that smaller businesses are leading the charge to Vista but Galen Grumen makes an impassioned plea on InfoWorld for the preservation of XP: "Millions of us have grown comfortable with XP and don't see a need to change to Vista. It's like having a comfortable apartment that you've enjoyed coming home to for years, only to get an eviction notice. The thought of moving to a new place -- even with the stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and maple cabinets (or is cherry in this year?) -- just doesn't sit right. Maybe it'll be more modern, but it will also cost more and likely not be as good a fit. And you don't have any other reason to move. That's exactly the conclusion people have come to with Vista. For most of us, there's really no reason to move to it -- yet we don't have a choice."

Grumen notes that when it became obvious last spring that many users wanted to stick with XP a number of major computer makers "quietly reintroduced new XP-based systems" for their business customers.

Larger enterprises were able to force Microsoft's hand then, but for smaller businesses with less clout, Grumen is right to emphasize that the real issue here is one of choice. What is Microsoft worried about? Let its users decide. Blogger Daily Pundit notes: "In an ideal world, Microsoft wouldn't exert dictatorial powers over either the home or enterprise desktop, because most people would be using low-cost open source software like Linux. Of course, in an ideal world, Linux would be as easy and uncomplicated to use as Windows XP."

Ay, there's the rub.

But Grumen points out: "So what to do? Let Microsoft decide where your personal and enterprise software "lives"? Or send a loud and clear message that you don't want to move?"

And adds: "Microsoft doesn't have to admit failure; it can just say it will keep XP available indefinitely due to customer demand. It can take that opportunity to try again with a better Vista, or just move on to the next version that maybe this time we'll all actually want."

Perchance to dream....