FAQ: XP deathwatch, T minus 1 week

Dell gives XP a final chance and after June 30, the 'XP tax' kicks in

Can I still buy Windows XP Home?

Yes. All three of the major online technology outlets -- Amazon.com, Buy.com and Newegg.com -- that we started tracking four weeks ago still show XP Home in stock.

Even though the June 30 deadline is just a week away, don't forget that that Microsoft's not drawing a line in the sand on retail sales: Stores, brick-and-mortar as well as online, will be allowed to sell out their existing inventory.

Has there been any change in XP's retail price in the last week?

No, the prices at the e-tailers we track didn't budge. Like last week, the least expensive price, shipping included, for a boxed copy of Windows XP Home OEM was the US$84.99 posted by Newegg.com.

A three-day average of the lowest "Buy It Now" price, shipping included, for a legitimate copy of Windows XP Home OEM on eBay, however, fell ever-so-slightly from last week, down 0.3 per cent to US$90.57.

How tough will it be to get a copy of XP a week from now?

Not hard at all by the evidence on eBay, which showed a 9 per cent jump in the number of auctions that popped up when we ran a search using "Windows XP" and narrowed the results by clicking "Software."

Other "inventory" tallies on eBay that we've tracked for the past five weeks were also up over last week. Results for the same search, narrowed not only for "Software" but also for "Operating Systems" and then "Windows," was up nearly 17 per cent in the same period.

Over the longer haul, it's clear that auction listings have climbed substantially as XP's retirement date has approached. The Windows XP/Software/Operating Systems/Windows search results, for example, are up 24 per cent over the first time we checked eBay on the weekend of May 24 and 25. For Windows XP/Software, the increase was an even larger 61 per cent over the same four weeks.

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Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

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