In a move that's sure to prompt more Vista-bashing, Microsoft has said it will keep selling Windows XP longer than it said it would. Now you'll be able to buy machines featuring the old operating system until next June. That's five months longer than Microsoft originally stated.

The move is no doubt motivated by the slow take-up of Windows Vista since its January launch. While box sales have been strong, businesses are still ordering XP-based PCs in droves. And that's a problem for Microsoft, as it needs to keep them happy.

Windows sales

"We were a little ambitious to think that we would need to make Windows XP available for only a year after the release of Windows Vista," Mike Nash, a Microsoft corporate vice president, told Reuters. The corporation thinks XP sales will account for 22 per cent of Windows sales in the year until next June.

Microsoft's cause hasn't been helped by the negative coverage of Windows Vista, which has disappointed both in terms of stability and compatibility with existing applications and hardware. However, Microsoft remains keen to downplay the effect, instead focusing on the fact that it has now sold more than 60 million copies of the new OS.

The corporation also maintains that compatibility is, in fact, strong, with the top 50 consumer applications now having a compatible release and 2.2 million devices being supported by the OS.

The most basic version of XP, the Starter Edition for developing countries, will remain available until 2010.