If you want to buy 20 machines today with a Windows OS, the only choice is Windows 8. Even though almost a billion PCs run XP, it is not possible to get a new machine with a legal licensed copy of XP without jumping through numerous hoops and shelling out loads of cash.
Odd, because the very first link I went to on Dell's website for business showed machines with Windows 7. I didn't even have to search.
Microsoft wants us to trust their word that it is not feasible to offer or support XP on new machines. This is not believable. Opening up the source code is the only way to prove or disprove Microsoft's version of the facts.
I haven't heard them say that. It just increases their cost in support for an OS that they get no revenue on, and backporting fixes to it takes considerable resources. Support has been extended multiple times, and even now you can still get support, but you have to buy a support contract from them for it, and yes, it is getting more expensive every year. Feel free to stay on it as long as you want.
Whether you agree or not is not important. Hundreds of legacy code developed for Windows platform using Windows development tools run only on XP and are not supported by 7 or 8. Customers are left with no choice but to rewrite code at great expense, often impossible since the vendors are no longer in business. In my view this represents a lock-in, whereby customers are forced to shell out large sums of money to obtain support for XP legally on new systems by investing in Enterprise Volume License Agreements and associated costs.
So you chose your vendors poorly, who didn't stand behind their poorly written products. I can write code on open source platforms that will likely break in future versions too. I can also pick bad vendors on open source platforms that may go under next week or next year as well. Your argument is irrelevant to your conclusion.