Amazon halts orders for Windows XP

Amazon halts orders for Windows XP has closed the shutters on its page offering preorders for Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, admitting that it had made a mistake by taking the orders too far in advance.

Amazon began taking advance orders for the operating system over a week ago, and in the process published pricing for the product even though Microsoft had not officially released that information. Amazon priced Windows XP Home Edition at $US199.99 for the full version and $99 for an upgrade, while Windows XP Professional was listed for $299.99.

"We made a mistake by taking preorders too early," Amazon spokeswoman Ling Hong said. Amazon will offer the software again closer to the announcement date, when Microsoft makes final pricing available, Hong said. "Those were preliminary prices," she added.

Those who did preorder Windows XP may actually get a pricing break. If Microsoft's pricing ends up being higher than the Amazon price, customers who preordered the software will be charged the lower price, Hong said. If Microsoft's pricing turns out to be lower, users will pay Microsoft's price, she said.

Hong declined to say how many customers had preordered the software.

The prices touted by Amazon for Windows XP are in line with standard Microsoft pricing, said Rob Enderle, a research fellow with Giga Information Group. "It's pretty much the same price as [Windows] ME," Enderle noted. "The professional version is mapped back to Windows 2000 and NT, which carried the $300 pricepoint."

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