Microsoft may keep XP alive after all

Ballmer says the company may reconsider its decision to stop selling the Windows XP OS after June 30, based on customer feedback

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Thursday that the company may reconsider its decision to stop selling Windows XP on June 30. At an event in Belgium, Ballmer told reporters, "If customer feedback varies, we can always wake up smarter," according to an Associated Press report.

In January, InfoWorld launched a campaign to convince Microsoft to keep XP available to customers beyond June 30. More than 160,000 people have signed the Save XP petition so far.

[ Dell says it will sell XP-based PCs after June 30 using a Vista license loophole. And Microsoft has backed away from Ballmer's hint of an XP reprieve. Just  what is Microsoft thinking? ]

As have Microsoft execs before him, Ballmer strongly defended Windows Vista, saying most customers wanted it and their purchasing actions demonstrate that fact. Still, Vista's new user interface, its new approach to security, and the need for most users to get new hardware has caused many to avoid Vista in favor of Windows XP or other operating systems.

Previously, Microsoft decided to keep Windows XP available for cheap PCs ($400 and less), as well as for PCs in developing nations, since Vista's hardware requirements were too high for such inexpensive PCs.