So what happens the day after Windows Vista is available to consumers? Will you still be able to buy a laptop or desktop with Windows XP, or are you going to be forced to upgrade with a new computer purchase? We polled system vendors, including Gateway, HP, Toshiba, Fujitsu, and Lenovo, and the answer is unanimous across the board.
According to every system builder we talked to, starting with Vista's January 30 launch, systems aimed at consumers will include only the new operating system, with no option for sticking with XP.
On the other hand, business users (or consumers who buy from a vendor's small business or corporate lines) will have a choice between XP and Vista. Most corporate users will want to stick with the older OS for now, at least until they come up with a rollout plan for installing Vista across their networks, which could include hundreds or thousands of PCs. Microsoft will continue to support XP sales to business users, at least through 2008.