More than 200,000 sign InfoWorld petition

InfoWorld,our affiliate in the U.S., has collected more than 200,000 names on itspetition asking Microsoft Corp. to continue supporting Windows XP

The publication posted this report.

Since InfoWorld launched its petition at SaveXP.comfour months ago, more than 200,000 people have added their voices tothe demand that Microsoft keep Windows XP for sale after June 20.

As of May 15, the count was 200,805 signatures, excluding duplicates and fake signups.

And if you look to your right side of this page, you can sign ComputerWorld Canada’s petition.

“We’re pleased and a little bit amazed that so many people fromthroughout the world have felt so passionately about the need to keepXP on the market,” said Executive Editor Galen Gruman. “We had heardgrumblings throughout much of 2007 about dissatisfaction with Vista’shigh hardware requirements, questionable interface changes, slowperformance, and incompatibilities with third-party software, but noone seemed to want to say so in public. That’s changed since thepetition’s launch on Jan. 14.”

The campaign has caused a media frenzy, with stories in most majornewspapers and news Web sites, as well as in blogs and radio programs.Recently, for example, Business Week noted in a recent story onincreasing enterprise adoption of the Macintosh that Windows Vista wasperhaps one of the biggest stumbles in tech history. A separate reportnoted that large companies such as General Motors and Alaska Airlinesare skipping Vista and instead waiting for the next version of Windows,code-named Windows 7.
And a major tech analyst firm has warned that Microsoft’s many mishapswith Vista are putting the Windows franchise in jeopardy.

A few weeks ago, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer seemed to suggest thatthe company might give XP a reprieve — something it had done six monthsago when it extended XP’s end-of-sales date from Dec. 31, 2007 to June30, 2008, due to customer resistance to Vista, But his PR firm,Waggener Edstrom, quickly issued denials that any change was imminent,suggesting that the voices seeking to keep XP were a small minority.

Through its PR firm, Microsoft has declined to meet wit InfoWorld toreceive the petition and discuss the concerns of its customers who havesigned it. Microsoft has repeatedly stated that it is satisfied withits sales of 140 million copies of Vista, which analysts and pressreports repeatedly note include copies of Vista preinstalled onconsumer PCs (for which XP has not been an option since spring 2007 atmost retailers) or copies shipped to enterprises who exercise theirrights to “downgrade” their systems to XP. There is no data on thewilling adoption of Vista.

Microsoft has extended XP’s life for sub-US$400 PCs and for PCsmeant for poor countries — neither type of PC can run the moreresource-intensive Vista. But Dell has gone a step further, announcingit would install XP on select new systems after June 30 using the“downgrade” license option from Microsoft in which a customer pays forVista Business or Vista Ultimate but gets XP installed instead.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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