- PC makers are finding ways to keep selling Windows XP despite Microsoft efforts to remove it from sale. Dell, HP and Lenovo are exploiting loopholes in Microsoft's licensing terms to extend the operating system beyond a 30 June end of life date.
XP is being phased out in favor of Windows Vista which has, so far, got a lukewarm welcome from many firms. The news comes as Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer
hints that XP could live longer if enough customers demand it.
Long life: Dell is using a clause in the conditions for Windows Vista which lets it provide XP under the terms of a "downgrade license" for the Business and Ultimate versions of the new operating system.
This means that Dell can install Windows XP Professional for free on its Latitude, OptiPlex, and Precision machines. In the main these deals are meant for business customers.
For consumers and small firms Dell will, for a fee, install XP Pro on Vostro and XPS gaming machines. HP is also using the "downgrade" option to keep selling XP with some models until 30 July 2009.
In all these cases a PC is logged as a Vista sale and, in effect, is being sold with an unused option to upgrade to the newer operating system. With some machines Lenovo is installing Vista but including a XP recovery disk so owners...