Microsoft is officially reminding everyone via their Windows XP Program page that all sales of Windows XP will stop on 22 October 2010.

We know you love Windows XP, and you’re in good company. Millions of Windows XP users are fans of the operating system, and many depend on Windows XP to run earlier applications and hardware that is not compatible with Windows 7. Windows 7 is designed to be compatible with the most popular hardware and software products you use every day and even though we are ending the sale of Windows XP on October 22, 2010, we still plan to provide support for Windows XP until April 2014. Our Microsoft Support Lifecycle explains it all.

In addition to the above announcement they have posted the top 3 questions they get asked about the end of sales for Windows XP:

Can I downgrade my OEM version of Windows 7 Professional to Windows XP Professional?

Yes. The OEM versions of Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate will continue to include downgrade rights to the similar versions of Windows Vista or Windows XP Professional. Going forward, businesses can continue to purchase new PCs and utilize end user downgrade rights to Windows XP or Windows Vista until they are ready to use Windows 7.

My business relies on Windows XP. What’ll happen if I have technical problems?

We understand some of our customers aren’t ready to upgrade their PCs to Windows 7. Although Windows XP will soon disappear from stores, we’ll continue to offer Extended Support for the operating system until April 2014. For more details, see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

Read more in the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ.

Can I run my earlier Windows XP programs on Windows 7?

Windows 7 is designed to be compatible with the most popular hardware and software products you use every day. Thousands of these will work just fine. The Windows 7 Compatibility Center makes it easy for you to find out if particular programs or hardware work with Windows 7.

It wasn’t until today that I really keyed on the date and its significance.  Anyone else catch this yet?

22 October 2010 is the one year anniversary of Windows 7’s General Availability and release.

Very appropriate considering Windows 7 has surpassed all other versions in sales of licenses already during this first year.  Windows XP, up to this point, was one of the most popular versions of Windows and continues to dominate the desktop PC market.  However, Windows 7 is making steady progress to eventually overtake it.

I think the connection between the two is right on the mark and I am sure it was done on purpose.