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Microsoft discontinues Windows 3.x out Vista

Just when you thought paintbrush would live forever, Microsoft is pulling the plug on Windows 3.x

Microsoft is no longer selling Windows 3.x licenses as of November 1st. This means that Windows 3.x has been sold for 18 years, whereas Windows 98 barely made it for 8 years and Vista looks like it will be lucky to make it for more than 3 years as Microsoft is already pushing Windows 7.

It's clear that Microsoft has finally recognized that Vista hasn't lived up to Microsoft's own hype. As CNET's Ina Fried wrote earlier today, Microsoft needs to re-establish trust with its customers and vendors

It was all of the things Microsoft didn't ship. In the years leading up to Vista's release in November 2006, Microsoft changed course several times, leading to wasted time and energy for hardware and software makers that had made bets on features or timing that later were changed.

It's interesting to see how Microsoft's ups and downs in the OS versions hasn't negatively affected its financial performace. Consider Windows 98 (bad) versus 2K (decent) or XP (good) versus Vista (bad) and it's clear that marketing and lock-in go a long way to having a fantastic business.