On Monday, June 30, Microsoft will stop selling Windows XP software. Say hello to the still dreadful Windows Vista, the software that is reportedly to blame for the death of many relationships between computers and peripherals. More and more consumers will get the joy of spending hours trying to get their computers to recognize printers and PDAs, and the result is often ugly.

One bright spot: Buyers of certain low-end home computers will still be able to get Windows XP pre-installed on their machines through January 31, 2009. Seven more months to put off the inevitable for those lucky consumers. Unfortunately, most new PCs will not offer that option. Something tells me the sellers of those few home computers with XP will make a killing!

Vista is much maligned because users are basically forced to buy new computers, as the system hogs so much memory and is worthless on an older computer. Many drivers were not compatible with Vista, and plenty still aren't, even after more than a year on the market.


Despite the pleas of vocal consumers, Microsoft is officially shutting the door on XP in favor of a "commitment to innovation." If you're like me, you're holding onto your desktop and laptop computers running XP, and praying that they keep running into infinity. Extended support from Microsoft for Windows XP will be available through April 2014, so we've still got plenty of time to keep using the system we love.

Microsoft says it has sold over 140 million copies of Vista. Hooray for them. I've never been a believer that the new operating systems from Microsoft are about advancing innovation. I feel like there are small, unnecessary changes with little benefit for the end user. But the benefit to Microsoft is clear: A new system means a new round of sales.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

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