After the Windows 7 public beta disaster when the demand to download exceeded Microsoft’s server capacity to download the 2.5 million copies with key codes. Most likely there where 10 time this amount of XP users eager to see if Windows 7 justified their lack on interest in Vista.
Now if Microsoft’s marketing department was smart they would create a special limited edition of Windows XP Pro that included all the SP3 updates as of December 2008 and maybe throw in some SATA drivers and sell it as a full Retail version for say $99.99 and would include a $20.00 rebate for Windows 7.
The box would be labeled “Windows XP Professional Limited Edition”. The key code would include the letters XPLE and would be valid for use on the Limited Edition of XP and all Beta and Release Candidates of Windows 7. The Desktop would have a Limited Edition wallpaper to uniquely identify the product.
Chances are this would generate enough sales to more than justify the effort and would line up a good number of buyers to purchase Windows 7 when it is released about a year from now.