Caveat Emptor – Retail XP PCs are Still Lurking Out There


Windows_XP_LogoA friend of mine asked me to find a Windows 7 laptop for her. I have had success finding laptops at Best Buy in the past. I navigated to their laptop page. Once there, I planned on narrowing my search down to Windows 7 laptops. But I saw something very surprising — a listing for Windows XP laptops.  Support for Windows XP ended on April 8th so I was pretty surprised to see this. There are no more security updates or technical support for XP.

So, instead of selecting Windows 7, I selected Windows XP to see what is still available. There were four refurbished XP laptops ranging in price from $159.99 to $545.60.

xp notebook

While these are being offered by “Marketplace Sellers” as opposed to Best Buy, I still find it pretty alarming that Best Buy would even give the appearance of selling laptops whose operating system is no longer supported. I decided to look at their PC inventory and found three XP-based PCs, ranging in price from $365.80 to $1,104.99. Even more surprising than the laptops is the fact that the most expensive PC is not refurbished and is being offered directly from Best Buy.

desktop xp

While this PC is geared more for a business environment, I still find it disconcerting that there is no qualifier stating that this operating system is no longer supported. A consumer isn’t likely to shell out this kind of money for a desktop but a $159.99 laptop looks pretty tempting.

I looked at Newegg and found XP-based laptops and desktops being offered there as well (although not directly from Newegg), starting at $124.99, heralding that they are “perfect for home, office and school use!” Amazon had used XP-based laptops starting at $80.00.


While I understand that not everyone needs, or even wants, a top-of-the-line desktop or laptop, it is vitally important to have an operating system that is currently supported. Otherwise, it may (and probably will) be the victim of malware and other nefarious attacks. Caveat emptor – Buyer beware.

So, the bottom line is if you are looking for a new laptop or desktop, don’t be mesmerized by a great price. Do your homework and make sure that it has a currently supported operating system. For Windows-based PCs, these are Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

(By the way, I found a laptop from Best Buy for my friend that was within her price range and running Windows 7.)

 

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About the Author

Judy Novotny

Judy is a computer veteran with 30 years of experience. She has owned everything from a TRS-80, Apple IIe and various Windows-based PCs. She is currently living in her Apple ecosystem at home consisting of an iPhone, iPad, iMac, MacBook, Apple TV, iPod nano and two Time Capsules. She is a fan of all things mobile since she got her first Palm Pilot in 1999. Check out her iPad app, Number Wizard, in the App Store. Follow her on Twitter @junovotech or at Junovo.com.

10 Comments

    • True, but I for one would not be looking to buy a retail machine running XP. Why on earth would anyone pay good money for an out-of-date, unsupported operating system?

      • Never would buy a machine running XP but I own 2 retail versions of XP Pro. I have one installed on a computer I use in my shop the other one I use for the internet but it is also running Linux Mint 17. Needless to say I use Linux for the internet. Both machins are still running well. Like the saying goes if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it. Daniel.

        • Yes Daniel, that’s fine, but this article is all about buying a retail machine running XP. It has nothing to do with running an existing XP machine or already owning a copy of XP.

    • The problem isn’t really how you use it but more how the cyber criminals will use it.

      With XP not supported there’s no updates so if you’re going to use XP online your putting your pc at risk. With a security suite (antivirus, spyware, firewall etc.) it will be like having a prison with a fence but a hole somewhere in that fence – there’s always going to be a higher risk so its a lot safer to upgrade to a supported OS

  1. Hello there. Have you every wondered what happens to expired produce? You might think it gets trashed, and some might, but not all. Same with older operating systems. If there is a market (and there is), vendors will try and make a buck, and users will try and save a buck.
    The biggest scare using XP is that it can get you infected (no more updates). As long as you surf safely, you’re at less of a risk since it’s the very latest that gets the most exposure (so I’m told).

    Besides, Microsoft built a very good operating system and named it XP, Mindblower!

  2. Wow! Only $1100 for a single-core Atom AIO! W00t!

    I’m kind of shocked that a retail mob like BB would even bother with it. Not that I have anything against XP, mind you. In fact, it’s running on my little netbook I take around with me on jobs. I also still have plenty of people asking (when they find out their install is pirated) if I can get them XP.

    For me, the customer is always right where it comes to their money. I give them the spiel/options & they decide. If they go XP, I set them up with AV, Malwarebytes, Firefox/with WOT. Many of these folks just don’t want to switch now they finally feel adept at what they use it for (which isn’t much- lol). They usually also have older peripherals which are not supported by newer OS’s.

    I know MS wants everyone off of XP & buying 8- especially since it stole the award for worst-selling OS from Vista- but, like the great Mark Twain, ‘The report of “XP’s” death was an exaggeration’.

  3. I have a machine running XP SP3 – got it in May of 2010, and it still does what I want, in Today’s Internet environment. Yes, Microsoft no longer supports it, but ‘I support it’, with my knowledge of safe computing. And it supports me, in terms of doing what I want.

  4. Jim, if your article IS about buying a machine with XP, I would still do that – today. I got one, donated, re-installed XP on it, sold it, for $50 (New Zealand dollars). Sold it to someone who was a) wanting to learn computers, and b) did not like the “look and feel” of Windows 7/8/Linux Mint.

    • Stu, you’re still missing the point mate. Neither of the scenarios you’ve mentioned involve actually purchasing XP at retail.

      Would you pay over $1000.00 for a machine running XP (as per the example in the article)? I know I certainly would not, nor would I advise anyone else to.