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Xerox bans Windows XP beta after ‘major network outages’

Not Microsoft's fault, company says

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Xerox has warned all 50,000 employees in the US not to install the Windows XP beta on company computers.

The printer giant sent round an email on Wednesday telling staff that Xerox had experienced "three major network outages since Friday, March 30, that are directly traceable to the installation of the Microsoft Windows XP Beta (Whistler) code on devices attached to the Xerox production network."

The email informed employees that any installed versions of XP must be removed immediately, and that additional installations were banned "until further notice".

Anyone found with XP on their systems would have it removed, with any costs associated with the activity "borne by the offending party's budget."

"Continued violation of this restriction may result in disciplinary action," it warned.

Xerox today said the three network outages were all isolated incidents that had occurred in one Xerox building in California. It did not reveal how many systems had been affected, or how many copies of XP had been installed.

Despite the company email claiming the outages were "directly traceable" to XP, a Xerox representative was keen not to put the blame on Microsoft. The problem was "not an issue with the Microsoft software, but with equipment from a third party vendor," she said.

She added that the XP software was not compatible with certain hardware and the unnamed vendor has been made aware of the problem and was trying to fix it.

Xerox has a policy not to let employees use "non-standard software technologies" on machines on its network. ®

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