No more Windows XP preloads allowed on new PCs

No more Windows XP preloads allowed on new PCs

Summary: As of today, October 22, PC makers are no longer allowed by Microsoft to preload Windows XP on new PCs. That means no more new XP Home netbooks should be hitting the shelves.

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As TechFlash's Todd Bishop reminded us, as of today, October 22, PC makers are no longer allowed by Microsoft to preload Windows XP on new PCs.

Netbooks were the last category of PCs on which Microsoft was still allowing XP preloads at this point. Back in April 2008, Microsoft told OEMs that October 22, 2010, would be the day that no more XP Home would be permitted to be preinstalled on new netbooks.

Update: XP preloads are done, but XP downgrades are not, by the way. Best any of us Microsoft watchers can tell, it looks like XP downgrades will be allowed up until 2015. (Microsoft won't confirm or deny that date.)

Not so coincidentally, today also is the one-year anniversary of the launch of Windows 7, the primary version of Windows which Microsoft is encouraging PC makers to preload on not just PCs, but also the new crop of slates that are coming out. (Hewlett Packard released its long-awaited Windows 7 slate on October 21 -- the one that looked at the start of the year that it might be a real iPad competitor, but ended up as a business tablet.)

Microsoft officials said yesterday that in its first year of availability, the company has sold 240 million licenses of Windows 7.  Company execs are playing up the new versions of Microsoft's Windows Live family of add-on services, a new promotional site for Windows 7 applications and hardware (known as Product Scout) and a new Games for Windows Marketplace portal as their Windows 7 updates for this holiday season.

Speaking of Windows Live, I've gotten notes from a few readers who are not happy that Microsoft has decided to make the new Windows Live Essentials 2011 bundle something that it is delivering via its Windows Update service. Readers said they consider things like Windows Live Movie Maker, Windows Live Mesh, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Photo Gallery and the other elements of the suite as nice-to-have add-ons -- not something that should be pushed to them via Microsoft's service which is used primarily to deliver security-focused updates.

But Microsoft is doing just that. Starting October 19, Windows Vista and Windows 7 users who use Windows Update are being offered the Windows Live Essentials 2011 as a "Recommended Update" if they already have any of the included Windows Live software programs installed. Windows Update users who don't have any of the Windows Live Essentials programs installed on their computers, will also see the update, but it will be marked as "Optional."

Topics: Operating Systems, Hardware, Microsoft, Software, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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192 comments
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  • RE: No more Windows XP preloads allowed on new PCs

    Good, this is all the more incentive to upgrade to Microsoft Windows 7. With its improved compatibility, stability, security, scalability, and reliability I would be surprised if there are any companies out there who haven't started making the plans to upgrade. If you look at the metrics next year you are going to see a huge rise in the number of Microsoft Windows 7 migrations. This is only a good thing.
    Loverock Davidson
    • No it isn't

      @Loverock Davidson

      All my systems with XP run just fine thank you. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is my motto and I certainly do not need to give MS any of my $$ for something I do not need.

      Maybe you have trouble distinguishing "needs" from "wants".
      Economister
      • A 1963 Valiant might not be "broke" either.

        @Economister

        If you want to keep driving one for economic reasons, that's fine. But the world's ability to accommodate such a decision has its limits.
        Lester Young
      • RE: No more Windows XP preloads allowed on new PCs

        @Economister

        Your motto is incongruous with your own reality. You're clearly accepting new technology that is not strictly necessary otherwise you wouldn't be on the internet posting curmudgeony comments on zdnet.

        Maybe XP really is truly encompasses all that we will ever need from an operating system and incremental improvements are pure fluff, but I personally like the interface and feel of windows 7 from a useability standpoint.

        And even if there are only tiny improvements in 7, isn't it still legitimate "progress" to adopt it to further the innovation of those minor steps?

        I mean heck, my miata has a carload of things in common with a model T technologically, but it is way more fun to drive even though the model T "aint broke".
        y8s
      • Did your systems stop working this morning?

        @Economister: [i]All my systems with XP run just fine thank you. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is my motto and I certainly do not need to give MS any of my $$ for something I do not need.[/i]

        If they did not I fail to see what your concern is.
        ye
      • My 65 Chevelle runs great

        Economister, but how is it GM's fault that I can't buy a new one from them anymore?

        I don't want an iPhone 4. I want an iPhone 3, yet Apple is [i]forcing[/i] me to buy iPhone 4 because they don't make the 3 anymore, which worked just great.
        John Zern
      • RE: No more Windows XP preloads allowed on new PCs

        @John Zern, I doubt you even use an iPhone let alone would even consider one, so your analogy is just plain mush...
        LTV10
      • RE: No more Windows XP preloads allowed on new PCs

        @Economister
        Uh, Economister, considering that a LOT of the attacks coming out now ONLY work on Windows XP? It's time to upgrade, your old Beemer is a rusted out pile of junk.
        Lerianis10
      • iPhone3 refurbs available for $100

        @John Zern
        I got one through my corporate plan - funny, I actually wanted an iPhone4 but it was not an option for me lol
        ~doolittle~
      • RE: No more Windows XP preloads allowed on new PCs

        @Economister, I agree, I wouldn't recommend my customers go upgrading their Xp machines to Windows 7. However I have no concern with Windows 7 when new machines are needed. I have customers with XP, Vista and Windows 7 on the same network, the idea that this is untenable is completely wrong. They all play well together.
        pitdroidtech
      • Luddite Alert

        @Economister - Do you regard XP as an 'heirloom' operating system and cherish it with all the fibers of your complacent being? You probably have instances of Win NT Server running too. A motto of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." is the same thing as "I don't want anything to change because it frightens me, and I'll have to learn new things."
        orpkoobcam
      • RE: No more Windows XP preloads allowed on new PCs

        @Economister MS (and Loverock) knows that our wants and needs are separate from what we "can have".

        MS, the Great Provider, is all wise and will serve their needs.
        Papa_Bill
      • RE: No more Windows XP preloads allowed on new PCs

        @Economister

        Sometimes that's the price of "progress". If user still need to run XP they can do it using software such as ThinServer

        http://www.aikotech.com/thinserver.htm
        bojanwojan
    • RE: No more Windows XP preloads allowed on new PCs

      @Loverock Davidson You are indubitably right and it is whe way of moving on.<br><br>I do question, though, why we don't hear the screams of anguish as that egotistical, arrogant, dastardly, evil Microsoft is depriving the poor people of their inherent and god given right to use what ever they want to. <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/happy.gif" alt="happy"><br><br>Hope non-zealot, that paragon of virtue and solid thinking puts that magical mind of his to work on this since he seems to have nothing worthwhile to do, better to do.
      781lc
    • RE: No more Windows XP preloads allowed on new PCs

      @Loverock Davidson Agreed. Now if some, like Economister for example, want to hold on to XP then more power to them but IMHO Windows 7 is a better OS.
      athynz
      • Better for what?

        Every piece of software the companies I work for have runs on XP. Are you telling me that same software will work better on Windows 7? What, will Excel 2003 spreadsheets suddenly start creating themselves? If so then I'll be sure to tell all my clients to fire their staff accountants and just upgrade to Windows 7.
        jasonp@...
      • RE: No more Windows XP preloads allowed on new PCs

        @jasonp

        What are you talking about? What does one have to do with the other. The OS is the Operating System. Not the programs that run on top of it. As he said, if your XP works great, then awesome, but out of the box, Windows 7 is more secure and geared towards maximizing today's technology.
        PlayFair
      • RE: No more Windows XP preloads allowed on new PCs

        [i]As he said, if your XP works great, then awesome, but out of the box, Windows 7 is more secure and geared towards maximizing today's technology.[/i]

        Yeah for about another year or so. Then we'll be right back (security-wise) where XP started.

        Spare us the sales pitch, k?
        LTV10
      • Then he has his reason to upgrade.

        @LTV10: [i]Yeah for about another year or so. Then we'll be right back (security-wise) where XP started.[/i]

        Though XP's security is quite good and will remain so even when security patches are no longer available.
        ye
      • Come on jasonp, that's a lame argument there

        I don't hear you crying at all the other companies that discontinue older products for newer versions, why is MS the lone company that isn't allowed to move on?

        Why is it fine for Apple to quit making the older iPhones and start selling iPhone4?

        Did you complain when Apple switched from PPC to Intel? Dropping OS9 for OS X?

        So your machines run fine with XP, that's great. My new machine runs fine with Windows 7, and it networks even easier, has Windows Media Center in it which is great, and I can run older software in XP mode (Autocad 14) which is even better.

        Why should it bother you that you can't get XP preloaded onto a [b]new[/b] system?

        There's alot of things you can't get anymore.
        John Zern