Windows XP Remains Most Popular OS

Dell found a downgrade clause in Microsoft’s guidelines for OEMs that allow computer makers to install Windows XP Professional on new PCs at the customer request. The clause is when those customers order a PC with Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate.

Microsoft Corp reminded customers that June 30 is the last day it will permit retailers and OEMs to sell Windows XP, despite vendor offerings.
Even though it has had its own problems of late, Windows XP remains the most-used version of Windows. The newest data from Web metrics vendor Net Applications Inc., for instance, pegs XP as driving 731002017563f the personal computers that went online last month, five times the nearest competitor, Microsoft Corp.’s own Windows Vista.

Monday, June 30, is the EOL, or End-Of-Life, a term Dell Inc., not Microsoft, has publicly used, for XP’s retail and OEM availability.

Dell has stated that June 18 is the last promising day for its customers to buy a machine running Windows XP. Other statements from Dell suggest they will offer Windows XP beyond the June 30 deadline. However, that is unlikely to happen.

“To meet Microsoft’s June 30 last-day-to-ship OEM Windows XP deadline, June 18 is the last time to purchase a Dell laptop, desktop, or workstation with an OEM Windows XP license,” Dell says on its Web site.

Other big-name OEMs, such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and Lenovo, have not announced cut-off dates, but must also abide by Microsoft’s rules that no XP-based system ships after June 30.

Recently, Dell found a downgrade clause in Microsoft’s guidelines for OEMs that allow computer makers to install Windows XP Professional on new PCs at the customer request. The clause is when those customers order a PC with Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate.

Dell took advantage of the clause to announce last month that it would use the downgrade rights of Vista Business and Vista Ultimate to install XP Professional free of charge at the factory. Assuming customers want to, they can later use the included Vista installation media to upgrade from XP Professional.

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