Dell and other vendors will stop shipping Windows XP computers starting Oct. 22, although a loophole exists for qualified customers who don't want to use Windows 7.
Dell and other PC vendors will stop shipping systems with Windows XP
Professional or Windows XP Home installed, beginning Oct. 22. Dell customers
will no longer have Windows XP as an option starting in late September,
although the manufacturer plans to continue Windows XP driver support through
"After the Oct. 22 date, qualified customers will still be able to get
systems with Windows XP ... through Dell's Custom Factory Integration
service," said a Sept.
7 post on Direct2Dell,
the company's corporate blog. "Otherwise,
customers who order new machines with Windows 7 Professional or higher can run
XP applications in Windows XP mode."
Microsoft had previously announced in April 2008 that OEMs would no longer
be able to preinstall Windows XP Home on new netbook PCs starting Oct. 22. That
follows the company's announcement of the end of Windows XP Service Pack 2
support on July 13. Extended
support for Windows XP SP3 is scheduled to end in April 2014,
with no new
updates or patches after that point.
"For a majority of our customers, they may not notice much
change," Microsoft spokesperson Brandon LeBlanc posted June
9 on The Windows Blog.
"Many PC makers have already been actively
manufacturing and selling a broad set of Windows 7 notebooks since Windows 7
released in October 2009. In fact, according to NPD's Retail Tracking Service,
by April 2010, 81 [percent] of netbook units sold at retail in the U.S.
came with Windows 7 preinstalled."
Windows 7's market share finally passed that of the much-maligned Windows
Vista in July, although it continues to lag behind the nearly decade-old XP.
Microsoft has been issuing a series of discounts and promotional offers for
individual customers and businesses in an attempt to increase adoption of the
newest version of Windows.
Microsoft's discount offers may also be a reflection of slowing PC shipments
due to a soft economy. Gartner recently reduced its forecast for PC sales growth
in the second half of 2010 to 15.3 percent, reflecting wariness on the part of
consumers and businesses about whether the economy will slide back into
Windows' traditional bastion of laptops and desktops
also faces a rising challenge from tablets such as the Apple iPad and Samsung
Galaxy Tab. Although Microsoft executives have indicated that Windows 7-loaded
tablets are indeed in the works, these devices have so far not materialized in
If consumer tablets continue to gain market share, and if
Microsoft delays in porting Windows 7 to the mobile device category, the
company could find itself battling fiercely against Google Android and Apple
iOS for traditional operating system market share in addition to competing in
the area of smartphones.