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Sunday, April 27, 2008

PC makers find ways to extend XP's life

Facing a June 30 deadline to stop selling PCs with Windows XP, the world's largest computer makers are getting creative.

Taking advantage of the "downgrade rights" offered as part of the Windows Vista license agreement, Hewlett-Packard and Dell both plan to offer machines loaded with XP well beyond June.

Technically, the computers will be Vista Business or Vista Ultimate machines that have been factory downgraded to XP at the customer's request. In practice, they are more like XP machines that come with an already paid-for upgrade to Vista when and if the customer chooses to do so.

The pre-downgraded PC option is just the latest way that PC makers have responded to stronger-than-expected demand. After shifting largely to Vista after its January 2007 mainstream launch, Dell and others quickly began adding more XP options in response to customer requests.

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