There’s growing evidence that Microsoft may have, in essence, given up on Windows Vista, and plans to extend the life of Windows XP so people can continue to buy XP until Windows 7 is ready, or very close to that date.
The newest piece of evidence arrived only a few days ago, when Microsoft extended the availability of XP on PCs for another six months. A Microsoft spokesperson said that Microsoft will allow computer makers to “downgrade” machines they sell from Windows Vista Business or Vista Ultimate to Windows XP Professional until the end of July, 2009. Previously, Microsoft said the date would be January 31, 2009.
Microsoft has set no absolutely firm date for the release of Windows 7, but in a recent publicly released email, Bill Veghte, Microsoft Senior Vice President for the Windows Business wrote:
our plan is to deliver Windows 7 approximately 3 years after the January 2007 general availability launch date of Windows Vista.
That would mean there would be only six months between the end of XP’s life, and the beginning of Windows 7’s life. That’s not a ringing endorsement of Vista. And there have been some rumors floating around the Web that Windows 7 might be available as early as July, 2009 — just at the point when XP’s life ends.
If that’s the case, why would Microsoft be spending so much money on a recent ad campaign to push Windows? Because the campaign doesn’t bother to mention Vista — it’s only about Windows in general. That in itself is evidence that Microsoft isn’t pushing Vista hard.