Inc. on Tuesday closed the shutters on its page offering pre-orders for Microsoft Corp.’s Windows XP operating system, admitting that it had made a mistake by taking the orders too far in advance.

Amazon began taking advance orders for the operating system on Monday, and in the process published pricing for the product even though Microsoft had not officially released that information. Amazon priced Windows XP Home Edition at US$199.99 for the full version and US$99 for an upgrade, while Windows XP Professional was listed for US$299.99.

“We made a mistake by taking preorders too early,” Amazon spokeswoman Ling Hong said. Amazon will offer the software again closer to the announcement date, when Microsoft makes final pricing available, Hong said. “Those were preliminary prices,” she added.

Those who did pre-order Windows XP may actually get a pricing break. If Microsoft’s pricing ends up being higher than the Amazon price, customers who pre-ordered the software will be charged the lower price, Hong said. If Microsoft’s pricing turns out to be lower, users will pay Microsoft’s price, she said.

Hong declined to say how many customers had preordered the software.

Microsoft Canada Co. is at