Thu, Jan 25, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Microsoft to extend free support period for Windows XP

AP , TOKYO

Microsoft Corp plans to extend the free support period for its Windows XP Home Edition software at least one year longer than planned, a news report said yesterday.

Darren Huston, president of Microsoft's Japan unit, told Kyodo news agency in an interview that the company would extend the support period on a global basis until sometime after 2010 from its initial plan of January 2009, mainly because of strong requests from Japanese consumers.

"It is going to be significantly extended," Kyodo quoted Huston as saying.

Huston declined to specify exactly how long mainstream support -- which includes such services as providing updated security functions to users -- will be extended, according to Kyodo, but said: "When I say significantly, it's more than one year."

The official announcement of the extension will be made today, he said, according to Kyodo.

Huston said that the Japanese market is "the biggest market outside the United States and it's the market where digital lifestyle is defined."

"So if you are not listening to this market, who are you listening to?" he was quoted as saying.

Microsoft Japan spokesman Kazunori Ishii confirmed the company planned to make an announcement today on extending the support program, but he declined to offer details.

Huston's reported comments come just days ahead of the long-delayed release of Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system, the company's first since Windows XP was released in 2001. The company is planning an enormous marketing campaign to tout the new software.

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