[This is an April Fools' story. It is fiction, not fact, though it may contains fact. --Ed.]
If you can't pull the plug, you might as well fire it up again. That's the flavor of Microsoft's latest response to the staunch refusal of the 30-something percent of PC users sticking with Windows XP. For some users, it's an easy choice, given the unappealing reality of a new Windows 8 machine.
To that end, Microsoft's elected to bring XP back in a grand manner. Later this year -- rumor has it in late autumn, around the same time the original Windows XP was unveiled -- Microsoft will pull back the drapes on Windows XP's "13th Anniversary Edition."
This newly spiffed-up version of Windows XP, or XP 13AE as it's abbreviated in the official literature, will come with a full complement of software fixes and updates, including the never-before-released Windows XP Service Pack 3. Microsoft's policy on keeping XP 13AE updated hasn't been clarified yet, but word from a Microsoft spokesperson is that the company is "working on a bespoke, vendor-supplied solution that will be available at a reasonable monthly cost, in the low two or three figures, to the audience that has taken Windows XP to heart."
Microsoft claims XP 13AE has been created first and foremost to address the needs of XP users and will "retain full backward incompatibility" with newer Windows applications, obviating the need to either run XP as a VM or upgrade to newer versions of applications. A nice side effect: Websites created for only earlier versions of IE will, it is said, render correctly at last.
The OS itself isn't the only striking feature about XP 13AE. Microsoft is also preparing a series of commemorative packages for the product. Aside from the standard CD edition, XP 13AE will also be offered in a special limited-edition USB drive "with a color scheme and design aesthetic that matches the classic Windows XP Luna theme," co-created by a design team at Fisher-Price.
An even more limited edition version, its press run rumored to be in the low single digits, will be the "floppy crate" version. This edition makes the OS available on 451 3.5-inch floppy disks, all packed in a crate measuring approximately one cubic foot in size and emblazoned on all sides with the Microsoft flag logo. Each unit will be signed by Bill Gates and hand-numbered.
"We understand some of our most stalwart, longtime users are still using older hardware," Microsoft has said, "and we wanted to offer a way for those users as well to enjoy the newest edition of a classic operating system."
Pricing hasn't been announced yet.
Please note: This is an April Fools' joke.
This story, "Microsoft plans lucky 13th-anniversary edition of Windows XP," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in April Fools' Day at InfoWorld.com. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.