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PC Makers Offer XP Until Mid-2009

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 10 comments

Microsoft has given the green light to custom PC manufacturers, allowing them to offer machines with Windows XP

An article posted over on ZDNet.com Sunday reports that Microsoft is allowing system builders - the smaller "white box" builders other than Dell and HP - to obtain copies of Windows XP to preload on PCs until May 30, 2009. The catch is that all orders for the older OS had to be placed by January 31, 2009 just as Microsoft stated last year. System builders thus take delivery against those orders until May 30, 2009, meaning they don't have to buy the OEM copies in bulk quantities and sit on them, but rather take order of the software more gradually. According to ChannelWeb, distributors and systems builders actually have until December 31 to submit their "XP license demand forecasts" before placing the final order.

This generosity on Microsoft's part seems like a slight nod to the fact that many consumers -and manufacturers in fact- simply don't want Windows Vista. The availability of new PC's with Windows XP should be great news for consumers wanting a new PC without the hassles Windows Vista brings, especially gamers who still boot up older DOS and pre-DirectX 10 games. With gamers having performance issues and software incompatibilities creating havoc with Vista users, many consider Windows XP one of the best operating systems released thus far.

Microsoft officially discontinued Windows XP back in June, cutting off the OS supply to the larger computer manufacturers such as HP, Dell and Alienware. But Microsoft also said that the company would continue to offer XP to the systems builders until July 2009, followed by super-low-cost PC and Laptop manufacturers until 2010. Microsoft will continue to offer support for all the Windows XP platforms (Home, Media Center, and Professional) through 2014.

Is XP favored over Vista? It would seem so, and apparently, the distributors and system builders are really digging the new plan offered by Microsoft. "This should bring relief to the panic buyers and the large online retailers who would have probably bought up inventory in early January," said Ulmen. "I have to commend Microsoft on this channel-friendly strategy."

So what does all this hoopla mean to the end-users? Those looking for a Windows XP computer need not worry, as there will be plenty to hunt down for some time to come. Many distributors trying to avoid Vista hope that this new plan will extend XP availability long enough to expand into Windows 7 when it supposedly ships next year (although its speculated that the new OS could hit the streets as early as mid-2009). As of July 2008, consumers and businesses alike still chose windows XP over Vista.

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  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , December 23, 2008 12:14 PM
    Price is everything. I want to see the $$$.
  • 3 Hide
    mforce2 , December 23, 2008 12:28 PM
    Actually I've never been a Vista fan. However having tried the x64 version I must admit it's OK.
    I'm not really overwhelmed by the features , I don't find it a revolutionary product but after so many patches and updates I would say it's at a level where it's as stable as XP.
    However this is on a decent PC with new hardware , common hardware and used for usual tasks and programs. Others may not be as lucky as me.
    I'm not going to give up Linux with KDE for Windows because I still find Linux to be my kind of thing but still , Vista is OK.
    Only problem with Vista is that it's a resource hog and it doesn't really bring many new features people need. If it weren't for that I think they could have killed XP a long time ago.
  • 0 Hide
    crom , December 23, 2008 1:46 PM
    Well for gaming performance, I have to say that XP is still superior to Vista, even on modern hardware. I think gamers, particularly shooter players, care more about frames per second than they do about slightly better water reflections. Here's hoping that Windows 7 fixes some of those problems.
  • 1 Hide
    MoonMe2 , December 23, 2008 2:11 PM
    This comp is a pre-engineered Gateway, Vista64, SP1. I waited for the service pack because of the gaming compatablilty issues. I'm glad I did. I have nothing to major to compain about except a crappy motherboard battery.(All kinds of wierd problems). Some programs still have to be launched as administrator, but no biggie. But the OS? Rock solid.
  • -1 Hide
    squatchman , December 23, 2008 3:23 PM
    I'm guessing that the people who perceive a performance difference(>5-10 fps) between Vista and XP are either on a pre-2006 computer or running less than four gigs of RAM. At that point, why are they even bothering to install Vista on a dinosaur anyway?

  • -1 Hide
    jeep11 , December 23, 2008 3:53 PM
    You need 4 gigs.
  • 1 Hide
    Maxor127 , December 23, 2008 6:21 PM
    Unless you have a really shitty computer or you run old, incompatible software, then there's really no reason to use XP instead of Vista.
  • -3 Hide
    _____A-L-E-X_____ , December 24, 2008 4:32 PM
    XP is MUCH better than Vista. Vista is ME to XP's 98 SE. And those Mojave commercials were concocted to make MS look good. Many people still resent MS for making DX10 a requirement in Vista and the original intent to discontinue OpenGL compatibility. I would NEVER get Vista, and my computer is only a year old. Windows 7-- maybe. As a general rule, never "upgrade" to the next OS, but always skip a generation. This is good strategy for other electronics as well, such as computer hardware, digital cameras, etc.

    BTW here's my current config: Q6600, 8800GTS 640MB SSC, 2GB DDR2 Im perfectly happy with XP. My rule with OS's is "be seen and not heard." Who the hell cares about all those stupid extra features of Vista, when an OS main job is just to remain stable, not use resources that arent vital, or the extra flash which is totally unnecessary. MS wised up and knows most people dont like and dont want Vista. Anyone saying "people are following the herd" is just plain ignorant-- many of us tried Vista-- and REJECTED it. MS go back to the drawing board and get it right next time and try not to be so greedy and force stuff down people's throats that they dont want or need.

    The Rejection of Vista is a great victory by the people against tyrannical corporate monopolies :)  This is a great moment in history!
  • 0 Hide
    squatchman , December 24, 2008 5:15 PM
    Sounds like someone is drinking his own kool aid.

    Microsoft is going to do the same thing with Vista that they did with Windows NT: Repackage it as a new operating system until people say it is awesome(NT to 2000 to XP).

    Koolaid man... maybe you should get another two gigs of ram. They're giving the stuff away in cereal boxes these days.
  • -1 Hide
    _____A-L-E-X_____ , December 24, 2008 6:12 PM
    Nah-- Vista is full of crap and 2 GB is all you need with XP :)  Clearly, MS messed up with Vista and even the Evil Empire realizes it now.