SEATTLE (AP) -- Microsoft Corp.'s operating systems run most personal
computers around the globe and are a cash cow for the world's largest
software maker. But you'd never confuse a Windows user with the passionate
fans of Mac OS X or even the free Linux operating system.

Unless it's someone running Windows XP, a version Microsoft wants to retire.

Fans of the six-year-old operating system set to be pulled off store shelves
in June have papered the Internet with blog posts, cartoons and petitions
recently. They trumpet its superiority to Windows Vista, Microsoft's latest
PC operating system, whose consumer launch last January was greeted with
lukewarm reviews.

No matter how hard Microsoft works to persuade people to embrace Vista, some
just can't be wowed. They complain about Vista's hefty hardware
requirements, its less-than-peppy performance, occasional incompatibility
with other programs and devices and frequent, irritating security pop-up