Windows XP not dead yet, says system builder

US shop says it can sell stand-alone copies of XP until 2009

Contrary to news reports, Windows XP isn't dead, a US-based systems builder said today.

"Lots of people think that they won't be able to buy XP at all after today," said Jon Bach, the CEO of Puget Custom Computers, a 25-employee system seller. "Some are stockpiling it. 'I better buy it now,' they're saying."

What Bach called misconceptions about Windows XP and the June 30 deadline starts with that, but doesn't end there. "Yes, it's going to be more difficult to get a new PC with XP after today," he said. "But by no means will it be impossible."

Although Microsoft will halt shipments of Windows XP to retailers and stop selling licenses directly to large computer manufacturers after today, the Redmond developer will let companies like Puget continue to acquire XP and install it on PCs through the end of January 2009.

Puget and other system builders will be able to obtain Windows XP Home, XP Professional and XP Media Center from Microsoft's authorized distributors -- one of the largest in the US is Ingram-Micro -- for at least the next seven months.

That seven months, and to a greater degree, the term "OEM," are what have confused potential customers about the availability of Windows XP. "The confusion is over the word 'OEM,' and what that means," said Bach. Microsoft would be able to clear it up, contended Bach, "with one or two words."

OEM, which stands for original equipment manufacturer, has multiple meanings related to Windows XP. Microsoft uses the term to describe the big-name computer makers -- the likes of Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo and so on -- who have largely shut down sales of PCs equipped with XP.

But OEM is also part of the label used for a special kind of Windows license, one that is sold to system builders and individuals alike. An OEM license for Windows XP Home, for example, costs less than either the regular full version or even the upgrade edition; the lower price reflects the more restrictive licensing terms for an OEM copy, which cannot be transferred from one computer to another, and shifts the burden of support from Microsoft to the system builder or individual.

Trouble is, OEM copies of Windows XP are not only sold direct to system builders by Microsoft's software distributors, but also to the public via regular retail channels, including online.

Bach said that, Windows XP's retirement at retail notwithstanding, his company would continue to sell individual OEM licenses of XP at its walk-in retail store. "We'll be selling OEM copies that end users can buy through January 31. We've talked with our distributors and we expect to have XP available until then."

Previously, Microsoft had said it would stop offering all boxed copies of XP, including OEM licenses, after June 30. Microsoft did not respond to a repeat query today to confirm Puget's claim that system builders and others would be able to obtain new stocks of XP between now and early next year.

Newegg.com, one of the online retailers that Computerworld has been tracking for a series of FAQs on Windows XP, said today that it would only sell what copies of Windows XP OEM it had on hand. "That item will be available until our stock runs out," a Newegg sales representative said in an online chat Monday when asked about future availability of XP OEM.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?