Microsoft to require all Windows preloads to be Vista only in 2008

If you're not a fan of Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows Vista, you've no doubt already noticed the near-total absence of systems that are still offered with Windows XP. While change is a natural part of the computing industry, so is resistance to the unknown. However, as the saying goes, "Resistance is futile."

Microsoft will soon prohibit OEM manufacturers from selling Windows machines carrying anything other than Vista preloaded. "The OEM version of XP Professional goes next January," said Frank Luburic, senior ThinkPad product manager for Lenovo. "At that point, they'll have no choice."

Despite the promotions and hype surrounding Vista, many consumers are still looking for ways to get new systems loaded with the more familiar XP operating system. Some are turning to the "Small Business" sections of their favourite retailer, but even those will not be a safe haven in 2008. Dell has already reaffirmed to business users that it plans to "continue offering Windows XP on select Dimension and Inspiron systems until later this summer."

However, home users are still being left out in the cold. Users wanting to stick with XP for comfort or compatibility reasons will need to pay the extra money for a retail (or third-party OEM) copy of Windows XP, and those will surely get harder to find as the year continues.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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