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Microsoft moving XP into reduced-support phase on Tuesday
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| The move out of mainstream and into extended support also comes just days
| after a leaked Microsoft memorandum spelled out a relaxation of the rules for
| computer makers that want to continue selling new PCs with the aging
| operating system.
| OEMs will be allowed to advertise new systems as XP PCs, something that
| hasn't been allowed since June 2008, and can "downgrade" a license for
| Windows 7 -- the operating system that hasn't yet been released -- to XP for
| at least six months after Windows 7's launch.
The suspicious death of XP support
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| As Microsoft slowly kills off Windows XP itself -- over the protest of many
| users -- it's still unclear exactly when Redmond will formally cut off all
| support for its old OS. But one reader's experience in dealing with a series
| of update fiascos over the last few months suggests that XP support may
| actually have expired already, and under suspicious circumstances.
| "I lost my XP system near the middle of May, and it took me until the end of
| June to get it back," the reader wrote. "What happened was that, suddenly,
| all of my hardware disappeared from the Windows device manager as did my
| administrator privileges. I had a lot of licensed apps on my system, and the
| prospect of starting with a fresh install was too daunting, so I decided to
| recover instead. During this time, I spent over eight cumulative hours
| talking to Microsoft's Indian 'support technicians.' I was at least six hours
| into that ordeal before I finally spoke with one that had a small clue what
| he was talking about."
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