Microsoft is planning to definitely terminate the sale of Windows XP by June, 30 and the Mainstream Support Retired by April, 14 2009; the obvious reason is that MS is trying to focus the marketing on Vista, the latest version of Windows for the desktop.
From its start Vista has had difficult times gaining the market because of its huge hardware requirements, its limited performance, several incompatibility with other programs and devices, and the frequent and irritating security pop-up windows (that Microsoft claimed as justified).
Because of the Vista’s sales difficulties, Microsoft already kept selling Windows XP for the longest time in the history of the not-latest-version sales of software; a strange behavior since it is common for the IT market that once a new version of a software is released, the previous version is immediately took of the shelves.
While the Microsoft’s decision may be legitimate from a corporate point of view, from the users’ point of view there are many that definitely do not consider Vista ready; some of them started a petition to persuade Microsoft to still keep XP on track, at least until the next version of Windows (planned to be released on 2010).
Microsoft Windows XP Lifecycle: http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=3223
Microsoft’s Windows support timeline: http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifepolicy
Save XP Petition: http://weblog.infoworld.com/save-xp/