Amazon slips with Windows XP pricing, again

Online retailer Amazon.com on Thursday gave customers another chance to preorder Microsoft's anticipated Windows XP operating system, offering its second peek at how much users may be expected to pay for the product ahead of the software maker's official release.

Amazon listed Microsoft Windows XP Professional for sale on its Web site at US$299 for the full version, with an upgrade price of $199.

In July, Amazon offered a similar glimpse at the product's pricing before abruptly pulling the information from its Web site. A spokeswoman at the time said the online giant had "made a mistake" by taking orders too far in advance of Microsoft's planned Oct. 25 launch date.

Customers could once again preorder Windows XP on Thursday morning, but by the afternoon the online retailer had yanked the product from its site.

"That was a mistake and we've removed it," said Bill Curry, an Amazon spokesman.

In July, Amazon listed the Professional version at the same price of $299. It also listed the Home Edition of Windows XP, at $199.99 for the full version and $99.99 for an upgrade. The Home version wasn't made available this time around.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is expected to provide PC makers with the final code for the operating system Friday during an event at the company's Redmond, Washington headquarters, according to several major PC makers who will take part in the release. A number of those vendors, including Compaq Computer Corp. and IBM Corp., will begin shipping Windows XP computers through their direct channels in late September, ahead of the official launch on Oct. 25.

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