You have another few months to acquire XP

By Scott Dunn

In the Mar. 6 issue, I explained how to find a Windows XP system before retail and OEM sales of XP get yanked from the shelves on June 30 of this year.

But system builders who cater to small businesses can still get XP until January 2009, which gives users who want to avoid Vista one more way to get their mitts on a Windows XP system.

System builders can license XP ’til Jan. 2009

Alec Demoise, of Computer Guy LLC, a small-business IT consultancy, comments:

  • “Your story about the XP sales deadline does not consider that ‘white box’ sellers, such as my company, can sell until January 2009. I verified with my supplier (Nor-Tech) that we will be selling new computers with all versions of Windows XP until that date.”
Good point, Alec. Users who buy systems from sellers who qualify as Microsoft “system builders” — and users who themselves fit the definition of system builders — will be able to purchase OEM versions of Windows XP all through 2008. I last wrote about who qualifies as a system builder in a June 7, 2007 column, which links to additional articles.

A Feb. 6, 2008, Computerworld Australia article quotes a Microsoft spokesperson as saying: “OEMs will continue to sell XP through June 30, 2008, and system builders will be able to sell XP through January 2009 as they cater to the small-business markets. In emerging markets where XP Starter Edition is sold, it will still be available through June 30, 2010.”

In a related comment, Richard Chase, technical support representative for Gadget’s Computers & Electronics, has the following suggestion:

  • “You’re probably missing still the absolute biggest and best resource to getting XP systems: small businesses. Any small business out there that does custom-build systems can easily put together any computer of any specification with XP Home or Pro edition.

    “As long as the copies of XP are on the shelf, or available through OEM from suppliers, any small-business computer shop can do it. And there are a million of them out there. I don’t think you can go anywhere in any city down any block without passing at least one small computer shop.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2008-03-20: