Windows XP ships no more

New installs cease on the first anniversary of Windows 7
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Microsoft's aging Windows XP operating system now may no longer be installed by OEMs, nine years after the OS was first launched.

Shipments to most manufacturers have already ceased but system builders in "emerging markets" were using hardware which failed to meet the hefty minimum requirements of Windows Vista.

Since then extensions have been granted for low cost PCs but on the first birthday the firm's latest Windows 7, Windows XP will no long be shipping to any manufacturer to be installed on new PCs.

Curiously it's still possible to opt to 'downgrade' by using a key for an existing Windows Vista or Windows 7 to activate an old copy of Windows XP. This requires a call to Microsoft support.

The latest version of Windows XP with service pack 3 is still a perfectly viable operating system and is still under Microsoft support meaning that essential security updates will continue to be delivered via Windows Update.

Microsoft will only withdraw support for XP SP3 in April 2014, meaning any XP systems are good for another 3 years and 6 months, give or take.

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