June 30 came and went with all the fan-fair that the End of Financial Year will usually bring.

This EOFY however saw an additional conclusion – the official retirement date for Windows XP.

This means that manufacturers like HP will no longer pre-load Windows XP on computers.

How will this impact you, our customers?

Once Australian distributors’ stock of XP Pro Machines is exhausted, there will be no replenishment of this stock. Thankfully in the short term there is no need for panic.

Manufacturers, including HP will be shipping certain Vista Business models in their range with XP Pro recovery media and therefore XP Professional will be available on certain machines via downgrade rights.

Microsoft has stated the ability to provide the Windows XP recovery media ends on the 31 January 2009. After this PC manufacturers cannot send out Windows XP media.

With this in mind it is time to start making solid plans for the future. If you have been considering trialling a Vista Business PC on your network, now would be a great time to start laying the foundations for 2009. If implemented with enough foresight, the prospect of transitioning to the Vista Platform becomes a manageable one.

It is advisable to start testing Vista Business on the network. As far as compatibility concerns go, there is no test as conclusive as actually trialling a Vista machine with all of the programs, drivers and applications required to run your business.

Just keep in mind Vista Home Premium cannot be installed onto a network, so it is important to purchase the right version.

For more advice on implementing Vista Business test machines, or to discuss this issue further please contact us.