Big technology corps often phase out their older products to make way for newer ones. They first begin by pulling the plug on sales and then eventually stop support. January 31, 2009 was listed as the last day that anyone could buy XP, but Microsoft has told its system builder partners that they will be allowed to continue to sell XP after cut-off date. In what is being called the flexible inventory programme, distributors can place their last orders for Windows XP OEM licenses by January 31, 2009, and take delivery against those orders up to May 30. Until then, distributors would have to buy as many XP licenses as they could afford before the cutoff date and sell them after the deadline. Apparently distributors are quite happy with the new arrangement as they don’t have to hand over cash for the new licenses until they have already sold them.
Software companies are still softies when it comes to phasing out older products. Take the case of processor manufacturers — Intel does not manufacture its Pentium II and III lines anymore. Even if you were to say “hey I use my comp only as a word processor, I don’t need quad core speed. Can I get a Pentium II for cheap?” Well no you can’t. Not from the manufacturer at least.
About discontinuing support Microsoft says this on its web site, “Microsoft is retiring support for these products because they are outdated and can expose customers to security risks. We recommend that customers who are still running Windows 98 or Windows Me or Windows XP upgrade to a newer, more secure Microsoft operating system, such as Windows 7, as soon as possible.”