All the negative comments say nothing but "I'm an ignorant fool"
Ok lets go down the list of ignorant problems with the messages posted to this story.
One person here seems to think that Windows XP activation will force people to move to Vista.
... No, it won't. When the time comes to end support, Microsoft will still allow activation of existing XP licenses so that people reformatting their computers won't be shut out. There simply won't be any new licenses created / sold, and you won't be able to talk to MS about your problems with XP.
They can't stop you from using your existing XP licence after support ends anymore than GM or Ford can stop you from using your car after their legal requirement (in Canada) to support your car ends after 10 years. Your tin foil hat is tied on a bit tight today.
You will be able to go on using your old crappy hardware with your old crappy OS for as long as you want.
Funny how as soon as MS releases a new OS, everyone who hated XP with every fibre of their being suddenly can't pry themselves away from it.
When XP came out, there was the same problems with using old hardware, especially scanners and printers, there was the same lack of drivers for the first year, and the same group of whiners unwilling to let go of their old ways.
A couple years later, XP is like an ailing father on lifesupport, with the smart, eager, and better equiped kids standing around him ready and able to run the family, but you whiners won't put the poor old guy out of his misery. Pull the plug already, stop living in the past, and come into the future already!
In this world of fast dropping prices and perpetual obsolesence of computer hardware, it won't take long at all (hmm say 12 months or less? Funny how its the same 12 months isn't it?) ... for the cost of Vista capable hardware to drop in price more than enough to cover any increased cost associated with buying Vista licenses over XP licenses.
There is nowhere near the IT burden associated with Vista as everyone assumes, IT administration of a Vista machine will require the same or less effort than an XP machine, probably much less since it has so much better security. If you run 64bit Vista you are effectively immune to most of the security threats faced by XP.
IT departments that are on the ball are only waiting a year to allow Vista machines on their networks so that they themselves have time to become more familiar with the OS. IT departments that are claiming they will allow Vista in a few years are simply admitting that they don't have a clue about the new OS and don't want to deal with it.
The supposed DRM infection, has way too many myths associated with it. Vista will not in anyway stop you from playing any media that you could play natively in windows XP.
If you are pirate / hacker scum with a library of stolen (non-HD) media, you will be fully able to carry on playing your old, low resolution, crappy quality, stolen movies and music. If you possess stolen HD content, simply convert it to another format. You can hack can't you? ... good! then you will still have HD quality, just not HD / Blueray format, and you can carry on being a pathetic criminal.
Vista adds the ability to natively play HD content, a new feature that XP did not natively support, it just happens to force you to abide by your legal responsibilities and respect the copyrights of HD media ... don't like being forced into this? You only have hacker and pirate scum of the world to blame. ... There'd be no police issuing speeding tickets if everyone driving followed their legal responsibility not to speed.
The DRM issue is utterly meaningless to IT departments and most companies. It will have no effect on migration to Vista ... you're supposed to be doing your damn job at your computer, not watching HD media content!
Most companies big enough to have an IT department, and especially larger companies are not going to simply throw out all their existing computers and XP licenses, any company that throws money around like this has far bigger problems than the quality of their IT department.
They will replace them slowly over time as the computers become obsolete or as new employees are hired that require new computers. This makes the migration much cheaper and spreads the cost out. It also keeps the number of people using Vista small at first, allowing a good IT department to learn and adapt to any problems. Only a very small percentage of computers will be wiped and reformatted with Vista on their current hardware.
Vista works perfectly well on a network full of XP computers ... in fact with the new network protocol stacks it will work much better, I know mine sure does. Under XP I never saw anywhere near the speed limit of my cable internet ... I always see it now, 3 or 4 times faster downloads using the same hardware.
Why should XP become public domain? MS owns it, they can do whatever the hell they want with it. They have the rights to the software. Dropping support for XP will not in anyway force you to stop using it on your computer, so who cares! If you want to be an ignorant luddite, be one, keep using old technology. Heck go find some really old hardware that can't run anything but DOS if you want. The public domain arguement is the arguement of cry-baby whiners.
MS could suddenly decide to drop their entire business model, drop all their current software, and switch to selling shoes and handbags if they want. It's their IP, their money, their stock capital. They can do what they want with it just like you do what you want with your own assets. No one forced you to use XP in the first place.
The arguement about MS not being allowed to have an end of life cycle on their software is just as stupid. Everyone wants the latest greatest thing with the newest features ... but no one is willing to cut their ties to the old technology that
holds them back.
Do you really think MS should be forced to fully support DOS, Windows 2, Windows 3, Windows 95, Windows 98 ... and a dozen other versions leaving them with no resources to develop new products? Just imagine how expensive a Vista license would be if you had to pay the wages of people supporting those useless old OS's!
Let me answer the new improved corporate IT survey on behalf of everyone:
When do you intend to migrate to Ubuntu (or some other common linux distro)? .... NEVER!
The guy who wanted that question is utterly clueless. His idea of big corporate IT must consist of him and his three buddies writing love letters to each other with Open Office.
Of course he won't hear us screaming because his sound card isn't working. He can't fix his sound card because he's obsessed with trying to get is CD burner to work, and he's hopelessly lost in configuration windows which don't actually have any code behind them to configure his hardware!
Ya, He'll be getting lots of chargeable work done today for his company.