Bill Veghte, Senior Vice President at Microsoft, explores the plans for Windows XP, progress with Windows Vista, and the view toward Windows 7 in an open letter to Windows customers.

Security and other critical updates continue for Windows XP through 2014. Although the “end of sales” date is June 30, Veghte explains how customers can purchase Windows XP and under what circumstances. That said, there are several compelling reasons for Windows Vista, including security and compatibility.

PCs running Windows Vista were 60 percent less likely to be infected by malware than those running Windows XP Service Pack 2. Windows Vista supports about 77,000 components and devices, which is more than twice as many as we supported at launch.  In addition, quality and performance improvements have been incorporated into Windows Vista with Service Pack 1.

He explains that next version, Windows 7, is built on same core architecture as Windows Vista.  “Our goal is to ensure the migration process from Windows Vista to Windows 7 is straightforward,” Veghte writes. Windows 7 should launch around January 2010.

To read the entire letter, see An Update on the Windows Roadmap. For more information about Windows Vista, see Get the Facts about Windows Vista.  For more information about Windows XP availability and support, see Facts About the Future: Windows XP.

For more a summary of the business reasons, see our blog posting Windows Vista Facts Speak to Many Advantages.