Reports are flooding in that it has finally happened, even after a group tried a "Save XP" petition, Microsoft has scheduled a stop in selling the Windows XP operating system today. Many hoped that Microsoft would wait until Windows 7 was released in 2009, so that they could avoid the dreaded switch to Vista. Instead of switching to Vista, they wanted to skip the event entirely and simply upgrade from XP to Windows 7.But, Microsoft stands firm on the ending of the Microsoft XP and claims to only offer support for the operating system through 2009. After that, support is limited and will phase out.
The plan is to take computers that are already loaded with Microsoft XP and sell them out, companies like HP and Dell will do this and gradually replace all systems with Vista run operating systems. The only way you would be able to get Windows XP would be via a "downgrade" from Vista, a time-consuming process nobody will want to hassle with when toying with a new machine. The only exception to the rule seems to be the Asus Eee PC which needs XP on it in order to run with lower processing and RAM.
Microsoft dedicated a page to your questions and this decision here. I feel fortunate that I purchased my laptop last January with XP pre-loaded, but I'm unsure what I will do when I go to upgrade. Will you avoid the Vista OS and downgrade or hold out until Windows 7 arrives?