Dell will continue to sell the Windows XP operating system past Microsoft's already extended June deadline, and may not be the only PC maker to do so, reports are claiming.

The computer manufacturer is exercising the "Downgrade Rights" that come with the Business and Ultimate editions of Vista to allow customers to preload Windows XP Professional past 30 June.

The bad news is that Dell will only support factory-installed OSes and this "Downgrade" option is only available with Vista Business or Ultimate. Taken from Dell's FAQs:

"For customers who decide to exercise Downgrade Rights on their own, however, please note that Dell will only support the factory-installed operating system. Windows Vista Home Basic and Windows Vista Home Premium do not have this option, as they are not capable of downgrading to Windows XP."

PC Pro comments that this could be seen as a win-win situation for Microsoft and Dell, as Microsoft can count the new machines as Vista sales, as customers still technically buy a Vista licence but Dell (and others who go down this route) can still offer XP to businesses and consumers who don't want to switch to Vista.