We all knew that this day would come - and some hoped that it would come sooner, rather than later - but in approximately six weeks, OEMs will no longer be able to ship computers preinstalled with Windows XP. In anticipation, Dell has announced that it will stop offering the OS to customers before the end of September.
System-builders need to ensure that they don't ship XP-based systems after the October 22 deadline, which is why Dell will be removing the option this month. This way, institutions and businesses placing large orders can be sure to receive their computers before the cut-off date.
For those who aren't quite ready to let the nine-year old OS go, OEMs will be allowed to offer XP to certain qualified-customers for a while longer. However, this will only be available to a very limited number of parties.
Anyone who doesn't qualify will have to settle for downgrading their new computers back to an older operating-system. While it was set to end sooner, Microsoft recently extended the program to last until it stops selling Windows 7. At present, this should be around two years after Windows 8 ships.
Even though Dell won't be selling XP any more, it will at least continue to support it. The company has promised to offer drivers for new devices, though only until the end of 2012.
With the OS finally on the way out, those planning to get a system with Windows XP pre-installed should probably start looking into it now. As we approach the final deadline, other manufacturers are likely to join Dell in finally stopping sales of the antiquated operating-system.