Online Retailers cashing on Windows XP last-minute sales

The various flavours of Windows XP Operating system still rank amongst the best selling software of Amazon and others, clearly showing that there is life in the soon to be retired, venerable OS.

It also underpins Microsoft's curious move to release Windows XP SP3 shortly after Windows Vista SP1 and just before the company's official deadline for ending XP's commercial life.

XP SP3 might be a catalyst to for a last-ditch rush by small and medium entreprises and individuals, who unlike bigger companies, won't be able to downgrade their Vista PC to WIndows XP; to the great satisfaction of e-tailers and Microsoft.

As ITweek rightly points to though, XP SP3 could also cause companies to skip Vista altogether if they think that SP3 is enough for them to hold to until the next Windows.

XP SP3 comes after four years after SP2 and although it does not include Internet Explorer 7, it will be a sure hit amongst systems administrators thanks to the cornucopia of patches and fixes that it brings altogether and extra features like Network Access Protection which is a Vista feature which Microsoft is essentially giving out for free.

XP's third service pack has also yielded some surprising and unexpected speed boosts even on newer machines.