I understand through the grapevine that Windows XP will end in two years (2009). Is this correct? What program in the Vista family would you advise me to purchase in order to use my scanner?
Answer: Microsoft will end “support” for Windows XP in the future. That means they won’t help if you call them about XP and they won’t provide any new fixes that users can download through Windows Update for XP if they are discovered.
It doesn’t mean that your computer will stop working in 2009. Windows XP computers will continue to work just fine after that date.
That said, support is discontinued two years after the release of a new operating system which puts that at the end of 2009.
The problem for Microsoft is that Vista has lots of nasty problems. Like you, people are finding that it doesn’t work with older equipment. So many are not switching to Vista. Instead, they are sticking with XP. So, Microsoft is likely to extend it support of the system beyond 2009 (that’s a prediction not a certainty) until Microsoft can figure out what to do to fix Vista and entice people to switch to it.
In your case, Vista doesn’t work with older equipment. If your printer, scanner, or other device is older than about two years (purchased before 2005), it means it may not have Vista drivers available to make the equipment compatible with Vista.
A driver is programming written for each operating system that makes an add-on such as a scanner work on each version Windows.
So I recommend that you stick with Windows XP until you decide to buy a new scanner. At that point, there will be drivers available so you can move to Windows Vista or some other future operating system.