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Apple indicates final Xserve orders won't ship for two more months

With just days to go before Apple officially pulls the plug on its Xserve line of rack-mount servers, the company has indicated that all orders for the systems taken today and through Monday won't ship for at least another two months.

Apple updated its online store early Thursday by noting that orders for both the "Quad-Core" and "8-Core" will ship in "April." No explanation was provided for the delay, which comes just four days before the company will stop accepting orders for the servers on January 31st.

Back in November, the Cupertino-based company announced the discontinuation of the Xserve on its website, posting an "Xserve Transition Guide" [PDF] stating that it would not be developing a future version of Xserve.

Instead, Apple said customers looking for a Mac-based server option could choose between the Mac Pro with Snow Leopard Server, or the Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server. It said both systems will remain available for customers looking to upgrade, replace or supplement existing Xserve systems.

That same guide noted that the 12-core Mac Pro with Snow Leopard Server already meets or exceeds the performance of the baseline Xserve hardware. Meanwhile, it said that while the Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server is significantly outperformed by Xserve, it has been Apple's most popular server system since its introduction in the fall of 2009.

While Apple provided no formal explanation for the discontinuation of its flagship server line, a purported email reply from chief executive Steve Jobs reportedly claimed that "hardly anyone was buying" the systems.

Xserve orders will be accepted through Jan. 31, 2011, including the 160GB, 1TB, and 2TB models, and those purchases will be backed by Apple's full one-year warranty, the company said.

For more on why Apple axed Xserve, and how it can reenter the server market, see AppleInsider's special report.