Windows XP will stop being sold by computer manufacturers (Dell, HP, and the rest) on June 30, 2008.

Too many people have been writing too much nonsense about Windows Vista, creating the perception that it should be avoided. The approaching deadline will cause a flurry of articles and much handwringing about Microsoft’s evil motives in forcing people to move to the terrible horrible no good very bad Vista. It’s a struggle to maintain perspective.

This article lays out the timeline for Windows XP sales and support, along with some historical background. Take a deep breath and take the time to understand that Microsoft is following a timeline that has been in place for many years; it has already extended the time for Windows XP to remain on the market, but it is following its longstanding practice to stop distributing it. Windows XP will be difficult to obtain after June 30, and effectively impossible to obtain after January 31, 2009. Mainstream support – free and paid live support – is scheduled to end in April 2009.

It’s not impossible that the Windows XP sale date will be extended one more time, but it seems unlikely. The bloggers are going to stir the pot once again with negative Vista stories. It’s not reality, it’s too many commentators trying to generate attention for their web sites so they can earn some ad revenue. Don’t get excited. But if you really, really can’t imagine using anything except Windows XP, you’d better start shopping soon.

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