There have been a number of hints that computers preloaded with Windows XP remain a hit with some users, but the impact of these sales may be greater in PR terms than financial ones.
It's often said that the greatest competitive threat to a new Microsoft OS release is the collective weight of all the past iterations of Windows. After all, if someone has a stable installation that he or she is happy enough with, why switch? Redmond has usually gotten around the inertia by ensuring that new machines ship with the newest OS, which ensures that the company's latest and greatest shows up on more machines as older hardware gets replaced. But indications from a variety of sources suggest that Vista is facing more resistance than usual when it comes to preinstalled sales.