Microsoft has told system manufacturers that they will not be able to get hold of OEM copies of Windows XP after the end of the year.
This move comes despite the fact that there is a lot of consumer resistance pointed in Vista’s direction, because of its poor driver support and compatibility amongst other things.
APC Magazine reports
that system builders signing contracts with Microsoft will be required to ship systems pre-loaded with Windows Vista. The report cites Frank Luburic, a senior product manager for Lenovo’s ThinkPad notebooks, who states that "the OEM version of XP Professional goes next January."
Having just bought myself a ThinkPad X60s, I can say that everywhere I looked all the ThinkPads I saw were still selling with Windows XP installed.
In addition to this, Dell is listening to the demands of its small business customers, and has re-introduced the option for Windows XP pre-loading on select Dimension and Inspiron machines. The statement was posted on Dell’s Direct2Dell blog, and it went a long way to reassure its customers that the upgrade to Vista isn’t about to be forced onto them.
Currently, the PC maker plans to offer this option until later this summer. However, based on the fact that Dell has listened this time around, we expect the company to continue listening to consumer demand until Microsoft makes it impossible to offer Windows XP pre-loads.
While Microsoft’s move is bound to upset consumers, it’s good to see large PC makers offering customers a Windows XP pre-load while it’s still in demand. Hopefully, by the time Microsoft puts a curfew on XP pre-loading, the compatibility problems will have been resolved and Service Pack 1 will have been deployed. Together, the two should help to make Windows Vista a more attractive proposition for consumers and small business customers.
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