A couple of days ago Steve Ballmer hinted Microsoft may extend the life of Windows XP:
The latest news comes from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, reacting to criticism at a recent news conference, who said "XP will hit an end-of-life. We have announced one. If customer feedback varies, we can always wake up smarter, but right now, we have a plan for end-of-life for new XP shipments."
As now the June 30 deadline stands, but PC makers may be encouraging Microsoft to get "smarter" by taking the rare step of openly combating Microsoft's direction that vendors move from XP to Vista. HP, Dell, and Lenovo have all said they will downgrade operating systems on new machines from Vista to XP at customer request and will continue to do so until 2009 (specific ending dates vary).
Note that no one's breaking the law here. Legally, anyone with a volume license or an OEM license for Vista can downgrade to XP without having to pay extra for the OS. The only exception is for those who purchased "full packaged product (FPP)" editions, which do not include downgrade rights. Whether XP drivers are available is another issue.