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'We could wake up smarter' - Ballmer hints at Win XP reprieve

Vista-shy customers raise your hands

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Windows XP could yet be reprieved from end-of-life, if enough customers demand it, said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today.

Speaking at a news conference in Belgium Ballmer said: "XP will hit an end-of-life. We have announced one. If customer feedback varies we can always wake up smarter but right now we have a plan for end-of-life for new XP shipments", reports Reuters.

But at the same time he insisted that consumers were switching to Vista in numbers, which is perhaps to be expected, as the majority of new computers available at retail now come loaded with the operating system.

As for the business world, Ballmer noted: "We still have customers who are buying PCs with XP". He explained that many IT departments were still supporting dusty old kit that cannot handle memory-chugging Vista.

Earlier this month Microsoft confirmed it would continue to sell Windows XP Home edition licenses beyond the operating system’s scheduled 30 June kill-date for bargain basement PCs only.

Meanwhile, Microsoft finally got the long-awaited XP SP3 out of the door on Monday.

And, it’s been a bumper service pack week for Microsoft

Yesterday it released Vista SP1 as an automatic update in English, French, German, Spanish, and Japanese. Auto distribution will happen steadily over the next few weeks, apparently.

“We'll be distributing the service pack slowly so that we can help Windows users have a good experience,” the firm said on its Vista blog.

But the rest of the world’s computers won’t “begin experiencing the benefits” of Vista SP1 until mid-May. ®

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