A rumor about Microsoft's 64-bit version of Windows XP has been making a lot of news lately. This rumor states that Microsoft will release its 64-bit version of Windows XP to original equipment manufactures (OEMs) only. However, if this is in fact true, all one would have to do is buy an OEM version online, and a large majority of people today already do.
Persistent rumors reach our ears that when Microsoft finally does release Windows 64 XP, it may only be available in versions for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). If these rumours turn out to be true, this would effectively deal a blow to smaller system integrators and to enthusiasts seeking to build Intel or AMD 64 based systems for themselves.
Windows 64 XP is expected to be released in the second half of this year and its absence is undoubtedly affecting sales of Athlon 64 machines. Intel has said it won't contemplate releasing its own EM64T (iAMD64) desktop versions until Microsoft presses the green button. The genesis of such an idea goes back to the early days of the launch of Windows XP. Before it was launched, Microsoft was toying with several ideas, some of which are outlined in this May 2002 story.
News source: The Inquirer