There will be no more pre-installed Windows XP computers by the end of the year as dictated by the Beast of Redmond. I guess this is no suprise since its desperately trying to pimp Vista to the masses and receiving a lot of resistance.
Quoting the linked APC magazine article:
By early 2008, Microsoft’s contracts with computer makers will require companies to only sell Vista-loaded machines. “The OEM version of XP Professional goes next January,” said Frank Luburic, senior ThinkPad product manager for Lenovo. “At that point, they’ll have no choice.”
Despite Microsoft’s relentless promotion of Vista, manufacturers are still seeing plenty of demand from customers for systems preloaded with XP, especially in the finicky SOHO market.
The SOHO market has limited resources and needs to justify software updates beyond the “Because Microsoft said so” one that is enough for the average consumer market. Money put in a potentially needless OS upgrade that might even render their older data unusable and thus causes negative impact to business operations.