Windows XP Rides Off into the Sunset


Microsoft's Windows XP operating system has had a heck of a run. We've blogged about the Windows Vista downgrade program and the Windows XP End of Life back in 2008. Some of you may have seen some recent blog posts about Microsoft's plan to phase out the Windows XP operating system, and those kinds of posts are raising some of the same questions we're hearing from customers.

Here's my attempt to interpret the details. Thanks to my colleague John Noesser for helping me pull details together for this blog post.

Per Microsoft guidelines regarding Windows XP, system vendors like Dell will no longer be able to ship systems with XP Professional and XP Home after October 22, 2010. This means that we will stop offering XP as an option for customers starting this month in preparation for next month's deadline. One other important thing to note is that Dell plans to continue Windows XP driver support until December 2012.

After the October 22 date, qualified customers will still be able to get systems with Windows XP (more details below) through Dell's Custom Factory Integration service. Otherwise, customers who order new machines with Windows 7 Professional or higher can run XP applications in Windows XP Mode. Click on this link (or the image below) and choose the Windows XP Mode tab like I did in this screen grab for more details. And here's more from Microsoft on Windows XP Mode.

Windows XP Mode 

If you have questions, I recommend that you check with your account representative. For more information you can also take a look at Microsoft's lifecycle policy.

We've been working with a wide range of customers for a long time on this front. If it helps, here's an excerpt from a letter that we've shared with many of our customers:

Per Microsoft, only qualified end users meeting the Custom Image requirements will be able to get a new system with factory-preinstalled Windows XP Professional, XP Home, & XP Tablet products after October 22, 2010. This means that OEMs must stop the shipment of ALL XP orders on this date.

To ensure customers receive their XP orders prior to the October 22, 2010 deadline, Dell will begin removing XP as an option in September. There will be three options for your IT Staff to consider: (1). Complete your migration to Windows 7. Dell offers several services that can assist you with compatibility testing and deployment (2). Use the XP media to Hand Install XP onsite (3). Incorporate CFI services to assist your XP image loads. Please ensure that your organization has selected a strategy and that your account executive is fully aware of how you want to proceed.

As a result of this change, Microsoft has decided to extend end user downgrade rights to Windows XP Professional beyond the previously planned end date and through the end of the Windows 7 lifecycle to maintain consistency of downgrade rights for the duration of Windows 7.

Dell recognizes that many corporate organizations and institutions are standardized on these operating systems and that transitioning to a new operating system is both expensive and time consuming. Our goal is to help drive down the total cost of ownership of our relationship products and provide managed transitions for our customers. Please contact your account team for additional information regarding the Microsoft Windows Downgrade Rights programs and how Dell can help your organization assess your compatibility with Windows 7.

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10 thoughts on “Windows XP Rides Off into the Sunset

  1. "…Dell plans to continue Windows XP driver support until December 2012. "

    – Does this mean I'll be able to buy Dell desktops with XP drivers until this date?

    – With Microsoft's recent announcement that XP downgrade rights will continue until the end-of-life of Windows 7, does that change anything?

    – Ed Bott from ZDNet (…/2270) interprets that to mean that XP will be available until the end of 2014.  Would Dell consider offering XP drivers until then?

  2. Hey Lionel,

    Any progress on getting an answer?

    Maybe a simpler question to answer would be: "Will Dell continue to sell Windows 7 with XP Downgrade Rights as long as Microsoft offers it for sale?" (which, as noted above, MS says will be the full life of Windows 7)

  3. Ah.  I just saw the added text on this page.  It looks like I need to talk to my account rep which is unfortunate, as it was questionable information from our account rep that prompted me to post a question on this page in the first place. (They claimed that uninstalling Windows 7 and replacing it with XP would void our warranty.)

  4. Walt99z: Really sorry for not responding until now. The team had gotten back to me and I just realized I had not published this comment.

    As far as drivers are concerned, we will continue to offer XP drivers on through 2012. Regarding driver availability, Dell works with many independent hardware (IHVs) and software (ISVs)vendors to make certified drivers available. Driver availability beyond 2012 largely depends on IHVs and ISVs.

    The customer right to downgrade from Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate to Windows XP has been extended through the sales life of Windows 7.

    At this point, I'd agree that following up with your account representative is the best path. If you have any other questions related to this  either comment here or feel free to send me a private message.

  5. Thanks for taking the time to post the updated information, Lionel.  

    Sorry if I'm being thick-headed, but just to be clear….I'll be able to buy computer systems from Dell that have XP drivers until the end of 2012?  Is that what you're saying?

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