Microsoft Steve Ballmer offers hope for Windows XP

Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer offered a glimmer of hope on Thursday to fans of the company's Windows XP operating system, saying the company may reconsider its decision to stop selling it soon. But Ballmer was adamant that most people who buy PCs today buy them with XP's successor, Vista. "That's the statistical truth," he […]

Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer offered a glimmer of hope on Thursday to fans of the company's Windows XP operating system, saying the company may reconsider its decision to stop selling it soon.

But Ballmer was adamant that most people who buy PCs today buy them with XP's successor, Vista.

"That's the statistical truth," he told reporters at a news conference at Louvain-La-Neuve University. "If customer feedback varies, we can always wake up smarter."

Fans of XP — the six-year-old operating system set to be pulled off store shelves by June 30 — have plastered the Internet with blog posts, cartoons and petitions recently. They trumpet its superiority to Vista, whose consumer launch in January was greeted with lukewarm reviews.

Ballmer said the customers buying PCs with XP are corporate information technology departments that are having trouble shifting old machines to newer technology.

Some 160,000 people already have signed an online Save XP Web petition who want Microsoft to keep selling it until the next version of Windows is released, currently targeted for 2010.

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Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, Windows XP, Save XP