Windows XP going off market in June - What it means

Windows XP going off market in June: What it means

Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:28PM EDT

It was originally announced over a year ago that Windows XP would be going off the market in January 2008, and that was later given a brief stay of execution, to June 30, 2008. That time is fast approaching, which has led to much panicking from people who aren't quite sure what XP's "going off market" means, exactly.

A year later, people are still as confused as ever. So let's take a stab at clarifying, once again, what's going to happen by answering some frequently asked questions about XP's imminent disappearance.

Will Windows XP really no longer be on sale after June 30? Sorry for the double negative, but no. All this means is that Microsoft will stop selling the OS. Finding a computer with XP preinstalled will likely be very difficult, as well. However, you'll still be able to find copies online for the foreseeable future, and likely the unforeseeable one, too. See for yourself: You can find copies of just about any Microsoft product, including ancient versions of Windows and even MS-DOS, by simply searching for it online. But hang on to your current copy of Windows XP. You may need it down the road if you don't want to move to Vista.

Will I be forced to upgrade to Vista soon? No. It will get harder and harder not to, though, especially since new software and peripherals are likely to slowly stop working with XP. That could take years.

Will my XP machine stop working in June? No, but Microsoft will stop releasing non-security software updates to the masses on April 14, 2009. But let's be clear: XP will continue to "work" even after this point.

Will Microsoft shut off product activation for XP after June? No, that would be crazy. While no one has said if this will happen, it's conceivable that Windows could shut down product activation for XP at some point, but that would only happen after it reaches its end-of-support term (when all support plans expire). The good news for you: That happens on April 8, 2014, plenty of time to get the kinks worked out of Vista... or switch to a Mac, Linux, or anything else. Bottom line: Your copy of XP will work, totally legally, at least for six more years.

Complete posting.