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I Want a New Computer with Windows XP, not Vista

April 9, 2009

in Vista,Windows

by David Hakala

New computers with Windows XP installed instead of Vista are still readily available in retail and online stores. That is supposed to end July 31, 2009, when Microsoft promises to pull PC makers’ license to sell XP and make every manufacturer offer only Vista. But don’t carve XP’s tombstone just yet; its death date may change yet again.

Reportedly, Windows XP will remain available on new Hewlett-Packard (HP) computers through April 30, 2010, according to an article published on the Apple Insider site on April 4, 2009.

Why don’t people want Vista? Simple: change is scary, and Vista is a big change from XP. If you are buying your first home PC then XP vs. Vista doesn’t matter to you; you’re going to be scared by a different kind of change. But if you want to replace an aging yet comfortable XP machine, you really want to keep the “comfortable” part and stick with XP as long as you can. If you are a business buyer you probably have dozens, hundreds, perhaps thousands of people using XP Pro. You don’t want all of them calling you complaining bitterly about how “dumb” Vista is.

What’s hilariously dumb is the gimmick that Microsoft is employing to make it appear that people are buying Vista. You can’t find a new PC with XP installed; they all come with Vista, allowing Microsoft to claim bigger Vista sales numbers. You can’t buy a retail package of XP Pro any more, legally. But most new PCs come with the option to “downgrade” to XP. Really, that means reformatting a brand-new hard drive and installing XP from a “restore” disc. Some dealers will do it for you before you take the PC home; others make you do it yourself. The operating system you want comes with the new PC, it’s just not installed at the factory.

If HP really gets the right to keep selling XP, you can safely bet that other big PC makers will beat the same right out of Microsoft. There is no telling when this miraculous life extension of “the operating system that would not die” will end. Enjoy it while you can!

Note that Microsoft is ending “extended support” of XP on April 14, 2009. That means only critical security fixes will be available for XP after that date. No new features will be added. But who needs any? XP was introduced in 2001 and has been improved about as much as it can be.

David Hakala has perpetrated technology tutorials since 1988 in addition to committing tech journalism, documentation, Web sites, marketing collateral, and profitable prose in general. His complete rap sheet can be seen at