In a short and slightly poignant posting on his MSDN blog, a Microsoft systems engineer has announced that Windows 3.11 will be officially discontinued four months after XP's unceremonious removal from the consumer market. The secret to 3.11's 15-year lifespan was the embedded space, where it has dutifully provided a platform for countless low-horsepower cash registers and train schedule displays.

To be completely fair, 3.11 has only been "available" in the sense that embedded systems OEMs could buy it through limited channels, just as they will be able to purchase XP Embedded (which is a full-featured Pro version of the OS) into the foreseeable future. At least you can fudge a little and tell your kids that XP has "gone to a better place," but don't even try to pull that crap with 3.11. It's dead, and those spoiled brats have to learn what that means someday. [John Coyne]