InfoWorld collects 210,562 signatures on its petition

Today is the last day Windows XP will be available throughretailers. One of our affiliate publications, InfoWorld, says more than210,000 users have signed its petition asking Microsoft to keep WindowsXP available through all channels. Editor Eric Knorr has filed thisreport, along with a letter to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Last Friday, InfoWorld FedEx’d the Save Windows XP petition to SteveBallmer. I have to say that sliding the memory stick into the envelopewas an emotional experience: Over 210,000 users have made their voicesheard to the world’s largest software corporation. I think there’sstill a slim chance that Microsoft will change its mind about making XPavailable after Monday, particularly if we get more major media pickupand another wave of signatures Monday. Meanwhile, here’s the full textof the cover letter I sent along with the petition

Dear Steve,

On January 2, 2008, InfoWorld launched the Save Windows XP campaign.As of June 27 at 2:00 PM Pacific Time, we have gathered 210,562signatures from passionate users who demand the right to purchaseWindows XP after June 30, the deadline beyond which Microsoft has saidit will no longer license Windows XP through most sales channels. TheSave Windows XP petition is enclosed as a CSV file.

We began this campaign because our readers compelled us to do so.Those of us who have been in the industry for a long time have neverseen anything like the negative reaction to Windows Vista. Our readershave frequently voiced their frustrations about softwareincompatibilities, arbitrary UI changes, expanded hardwarerequirements, and altered security business rules. On the other hand,we’ve also head from many users who are clearly satisfied with Vista.

Our point from the beginning has been that Microsoft customersshould have a choice: For a reasonable period, those who want tolicense Windows XP should be able to continue to do so just as easilyas they can license Windows Vista.

The typical interval from the introduction of a new version ofWindows to the end-of-sale date for the previous version is two years.Given the disruptive nature of many Vista upgrades, we feel thatMicrosoft should continue to make Windows XP available for at leastthat long, rather than ending the sale of Windows XP after 18 months.Now that the ship date for Windows 7 has been moved up to January 2010,why not make Windows XP available until then?

We recognize and appreciate that during the past several monthsMicrosoft has decided to allow OEMs to sell “low-power” laptops anddesktops with Windows XP pre-installed until June 2010. We are alsoaware that many hardware vendors, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, andLenovo, are offering “downgrade” options that enable customers toreplace preinstalled copies of Windows Vista with Windows XP. We hopethat Microsoft will continue to enable vendors to present thoseoptions, as well as allow Vista Business or Vista Ultimate customers to“downgrade” Vista installs using site-licensed versions Windows XPProfessional.

Our ultimate aim, however, is for Microsoft to reverse its decisionand keep licensing Windows XP through all normal channels. At work andat home, Windows XP has become a familiar and reliable part of thelives of millions of users. We respectfully ask that you continue tooffer the best operating system Microsoft has ever produced.


Eric Knorr
Editor in Chief

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