"To support our customers' "unprecedented move" to migrate their PC environment to Windows 7, we have decided to extend downgrade rights to Windows XP Professional beyond the previously planned end date at Windows 7 SP1," wrote blogger Brandon LeBlanc.
If that sounds paradoxical, it should. Microsoft is keeping XP around because Windows 7 is super-duper popular? Right. And my pet monkey eats apricots because bananas are so darn delicious.
The deeper explanation, as LeBlanc writes it, is that corporate clients and IT managers aren't enthusiastic about managing a wide range of PCs with "different end-user rights based on date of purchase."
I'm sure there's some truth to this. Hybrid environments are always a challenge, and most IT managers I know prefer not to get bogged down with administrative hoo-ha. In preserving XP downgrade rights, Microsoft could be doing them a favor.
What I'm not buying is the we-need-XP-because-Windows-7-is-soooooo-great party line LeBlanc is pushing. I know too much.
I know that a plurality if not a majority of professional users hated Windows Vista. I know that InfoWorld, a trade publication written for and read by IT managers, lobbied to extend the life of XP because Vista was so bad. I know that Intel
So let's consider another possibility. Maybe Microsoft can't kill Windows XP because, for as great as Windows 7 surely is, IT managers and users alike recognize XP as some of Mr. Softy's best-ever work, and in the wake of the Vista nightmare, they're having trouble letting go. Would that really be so bad, Microsoft?
Now it's your turn to weigh in. What should Microsoft do with Windows XP? Let the debate begin in the comments box below.
Intel and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Motley Fool Options has recommended buying Intel calls and a diagonal call position for Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool has a covered strangle position in Intel and is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy was up before the dawn, as it is most days.