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Dell brings XP back for an encore

Dell has granted the XP operating system a reprieve.

Just when you thought it was the end of the line for Windows XP (well, except for netbooks, individual system builders, etc.), mega PC-maker Dell has granted the operating system a reprieve, moving back the deadline ("extended by popular demand") for ordering one of a handful of XP systems until Thursday, June 26. Originally, Dell said the last day to order a system with an OEM copy of XP preinstalled was going to be June 18 but now says:

Per the Microsoft Windows Life-Cycle policy, Direct OEM and Retail License Availability for Windows XP will End-Of-Life (EOL) on June 30, 2008. To meet Microsoft's June 30 last-day-to-ship OEM Windows XP deadline, we are able to offer the opportunity to purchase a Dell desktop with an OEM Windows XP license until June 26 at 5:59 AM CT.

After June 26 you have the option to purchase Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate with a downgrade service to Windows XP Professional.

This option will be available on XPS 630, 720 H2C, and M1730 systems. After June 26th, Windows XP will no longer be offered on currently available Inspiron laptops and desktops.

After that, you'll have to go for the XP downgrade option, which involves paying for both XP and Vista, with Dell installing XP for you and tossing Vista in the box, so you can upgrade when you're ready (i.e., never).