I believe XP should die. I blog about it and say death of a operating system is part of software life cycle. Of course, unlike you and I, we don’t really know when XP will die. A lot of factor will decide on when the vendor pull the plug.
First clue, XP Starter Edition seems to have a life of its own. While other editions will be killed soon, XP Starter Edition will live till 2010. My take, it is targeted at low specification computer where Vista is simply cannot run on it. In fact, if you read Microsoft literature, they seems to believe that there is an emerging category of computers known as the “Ultra Low Cost”. To me, they are not “ultra low cost”, but simply computers that do the job. While computer vendor want us all to buy their expensive offering, we consumer should simply buy the one appropriate for the job. If low specs computer fit the bill, do it. “Ultra Low Cost” is simply a way of trying to bias us against computer that are cheap and appropriate for the job. We must resist.
As if confirmation that software’s death can be delayed, Microsoft may extend the life of XP. No surprise here but trust me, it is not for the reason Ballmer says, i.e., “if customers want it”. The reason is Microsoft did not have a successor to XP. Vista may be its intended successor but at present, it is not really a viable successor. To kill XP now will probably means losing market to competitors. To tell the truth, Vista’s penetration was so low that so far, I had only seen one, and I am in an organization where we buy at least 3 computers every month!