How-to get Windows XP past the June 30th cutoff (or not)

While it looked like Mac users couldn't wait to get their hands on the latest version of Apple's operating system, their Windows counterparts seem to have been a little more reticent about picking up Microsoft's oft-delayed Vista upgrade -- so much so that Redmond decided to both extend XP's shelf life by six months as well as offer an unprecedented "downgrade" service on select SKUs. Well with the June 30th cutoff fast approaching, PC World decided to take a look at your options for procuring an XP license after that date, but unfortunately, the picture isn't too pretty. Basically, personal users looking to purchase less than 25 licenses but not a new machine have almost no recourse; your only surefire move is to buy a new box pre-installed with Vista Business or Ultimate from an OEM opting to continue with that downgrade service. Still, caveat emptor: support for consumer versions of XP ends on April 14, 2009, and with it, the end of your Patch Tuesday celebrations.