HOT OFF its recovery of second place on the PC sales charts, Dell has announced that it will stop selling boxes loaded with Microsoft's Windows XP.
The move, outlined on Dell's blog, points the finger at Microsoft forcing Dell's decision rather than the firm actively trying to flog the Vole's latest operating system. It says that Microsoft has told OEM system vendors like Dell to stop shipping machines with Windows XP Home or Professional after October 22 2010 and, not surprisingly, Dell has complied.
Although Microsoft managed to do a better job with Windows 7 than it did with Windows Vista, just about every survey that has been carried out shows that Windows XP usage is still extremely high. While the October deadline will help Windows 7 usage grow, it is likely to be some time before Microsoft's latest and greatest PC OS enjoys the same installed base that Windows XP has.
Dell says that in order to meet Microsoft's demand it will stop offering the Windows XP downgrade from September. However the firm also says that "qualified customers" can still receive Windows XP, explaining, "Only qualified end users meeting the Custom Image requirements will be able to get a new system with factory-preinstalled Windows XP Professional, XP Home and XP Tablet products after October 22 2010."
Of course, there's nothing stopping system administrators from loading Windows XP or any other operating system once the machine arrives, but given their overwhelming workloads, making sure that their company qualifies as one of Dell's special customers might be worth the hassle. µ