Windows XP Causing Jump In Used PC Sales

Dennis Faas's picture

Some used PCs are reportedly being purchased not for hardware but because people want to get their hands on a copy of Windows XP instead of newer operating system Vista.  A recent Gartner study found that about 197 million PCs were discarded because Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system created a demand for PCs with greater hardware capabilities. Of those 197 million PCs that were discarded, 44% were put up for sale.

David Daoud, research manager at IDC, said that many consumers and businesses prefer used PCs with Windows XP because they still have older copies of software programs that are incompatible with Windows Vista. Issues with incompatibility comprise one of the main reasons businesses have been slow to adopt Microsoft's latest OS. (Source:

Besides, buying a used PC is less expensive than buying a new business-class PC with Vista and downgrading it to Windows XP.

However, users buying a used PC need to make sure they're buying hardware with a genuine XP license. Many resellers are bundling illegitimate copies of XP so they can sell used PCs at cheaper prices. Loading illegitimate software keeps the prices of used PCs low since it reduces the software overhead for resellers. Buyers should be especially wary when buying a used XP-based PC from sites like or eBay.

It's smarter to buy a popular brand since they most often come loaded with legitimate copies of Windows. Microsoft usually provides certificate of authenticity (COA) stickers on top of branded PC hardware to help users identify a genuine copy of Windows XP.

According to Gartner, used or secondary PCs are systems that were used for more than three months "and then passed on to a secondary fate."

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