What if your company has a site licenses for, say, 5,000 copies of XP and have used only 4,500. Can it get the other 500 of XP indefinitely? The answer is yes, if they were ordered before the deadline. "This is a perpetual license," said one of the specialists.
In point of fact, the current XP ordering deadlines are nothing new, according to Rob Horwitz, CEO of Microsoft Directions, an independent company that follows Microsoft technology. OEMs have always been given about two years to transition to the new operating system, said Horwitz. "In the beginning, Microsoft thought they could speed up the time for shifting to the next OS, but certain realities came into play, such as responding to customer demand for more driver availability and bug fixes in Vista," said Horwitz.