FAQ: XP deathwatch, T minus zero

Monday marked the beginning of the end of the seven-year-old operating system

Yesterday was the day. That's it for Windows XP.

Monday marked the beginning of the end of the seven-year-old operating system, as Microsoft stops offering licenses to most big name computer makers and halts shipments of boxed copies to retailers. But even as Microsoft pushes XP toward retirement, the venerable OS will remain on the radar. That, in turn, means questions continue even as our series comes to a close.

Any sign that Microsoft will commute XP's death sentence?

Absolutely not. In fact, the only word out of Redmond last week about Windows XP was the open letter to customers from Bill Veghte, the senior vice president who heads the Windows business marketing group, which nailed shut XP's coffin. In that letter, Veghte reiterated earlier promises by Microsoft that it retire XP on June 30.

Rather than grant a reprieve, Veghte trumpeted "downgrades" as a way to get XP on a new PC after Monday. Several of the biggest computer manufacturers, including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Lenovo, will continue to offer the older operating system as a downgrade option from Windows Vista. "This is a great value, because it lets you use Windows XP on new PCs today if you need it and then make the move to...Windows Vista when you are ready, without having to pay for an upgrade," Veghte said in the letter.

Can I still get an XP PC from one of the name-brand makers?

Only if you go the downgrade route. Dell extended sales of a few XP models in its Inspiron consumer line through last Thursday morning, but pulled the deal on schedule. HP, Lenovo, Acer and others also have stopped selling XP-powered machines, except for those downgraded to XP Professional from Windows Vista Business or Vista Ultimate.

A quick check Sunday of the Best Buy, Circuit City and Wal-Mart sites turned up only Vista machines.

No exceptions?

There are always exceptions.

Back in April, Microsoft said makers of sub-sized laptops could install the older OS for another two years, through the end of June 2010. Early this month, it added another hardware category, low-end, low-priced desktops dubbed "net-tops" by some, to that list.

Best Buy's online store, for example, showed limited availability of Asus Computer Inc.'s Eee PC bundled with XP Home.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?