Microsoft has softened its stance on the 31 January cut-off date for Windows XP by allowing system builders to obtain XP licences through its distributors after the deadline.
According to a report in ChannelWeb, Microsoft has introduced what it calls a "flexible inventory program" which will allow distributors to place their final orders for OEM licences by that date and take delivery of these through to 30 May.
They also won't have to take title to the reserved XP licences until sold to an end user, the report says. They have until 31 December to submit XP forecasts to Microsoft.
ChannelWeb says the move is another indication of the market's resistance to Vista, with many users opting to wait for the release of Windows 7.