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Summary:

We’ve certainly discussed the need to continue using XP on a lot of the mobile computers being sold today.  Consumers and OEMs both are aware that the healthy hardware needs of Vista make the need to continue supplying XP as the OS of choice for these […]

We’ve certainly discussed the need to continue using XP on a lot of the mobile computers being sold today.  Consumers and OEMs both are aware that the healthy hardware needs of Vista make the need to continue supplying XP as the OS of choice for these computers a hard reality.  Microsoft has said that on June 30 XP preinstalls are to go away, although recently they seem to be back-pedaling on that a little.  OEMs are now allowed to include XP "downgrades" with new computers as long as they preinstall Vista as Microsoft wishes.  No doubt this is intended to allow Microsoft to keep quoting big sales numbers for Vista, even though many savvy consumers end up replacing the Vista install with the included XP.

Now Dell is flexing its muscles by offering to preinstall XP over the Vista install for select computers.  This is clearly against Microsoft’s wishes and it will be interesting to see how this plays out.  Dell’s Windows XP Availability web page explains how this works:

When you are configuring your system online or through the help of oneof our sales experts, you will have the opportunity to select whichoperating system you would like on your PC. When selecting youroperating system, you will see an option called “Genuine Windows®  Vista Business BONUS” and “Genuine Windows®  Vista Ultimate BONUS.”  With these options, you may purchase the licensed rights to Windows Vista but have Dell factory install Windows XP Professional.You will also receive a backup media disc for Windows XP Professionalas well as the media for Windows Vista so you can upgrade when you’reready. Furthermore, with these options Dell will provide technicalsupport for the factory-installed Windows XP Professional image andyour licensed version of Windows Vista.

While you are technically buying a system with Vista installed as per Microsoft’s wishes, Dell will save you the trouble of having to downgrade to XP yourself by doing it for you.  This is no doubt in anticipation of consumer demand because Dell certainly wouldn’t go to this trouble just for fun.  Let’s see how this all plays out.

(via CNET)

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  1. Kudos to Dell for pushing back against Microsoft on this issue. It seems like just about everyone on the planet except Microsoft realizes that Vista isn’t suitable for every scenario. For mobile devices, Vista is a bloated piece of moose dung. Microsoft’s wanting to inflict Vista upon the masses won’t change that fact.

  2. MS needs to stop shoving Vista down everyones throat just so they can have nicer sales charts. i guess what they dont realize is if they keep forcing Vista on these low powered ultraportable devices it’s just going to damage Vista’s already terrible reputation even more when they perform terribly.

    kudos to Dell & any other manufactures that decide to challenge MS. if MS keeps it up these manufactures should just stop selling preinstalled OS’s period & let the USER decide what (if any) OS they even want for there machine.

  3. Have we had a poll on this?
    How about asking: -
    1 Have you bought a new Vista PC (UMPC, etc) then ‘downgraded’ to XP? (how many?)
    2 Have you ‘upgraded’ an XP PC (etc) to Vista then ‘downgraded’ again? (how many times/machines?)
    3 Have you ‘upgraded’ to Vista and kept it?
    4 Have you had a choice when buying a new PC (etc) and opted for XP instead of Vista?
    And anything else relevant you can think of.
    (I am Y,Y,N,Y)

  4. Partners in Grime Saturday, April 26, 2008

    5. Buy a Mac and get Windows 7 today.

  5. This reminds me of how M$ first tried to force people off Office 97 by saying only 2000 would get security and malware patches. Pricing was a main issue, particularly higher prices for 2000 after 97s end of of life.

    Also consider XP was presented as the fix to Win2k’s lack of a firewall. Apps like WinDefender are also coded to only run on XP or higher.

    I’m giving Vista a fair shake as the main os on my new work machine (I even choose an XP preinstall) as I study to add Vista certs to my MCSE. More users are also option to keep their preinstalled Vista.

    I’ve disliked Vista and Office 2007 because of slowwww preformance on old hardware and the slowdown I experience hunting for applets and menu options in the new UIs. Since I’m the type to grumble when I’m at user machines that don’t use XP’s classic start menu, I’m hoping keyboard shortcuts make the hunting moot regardless of OS.

    If I really loathe daily use of Vista, I’ll go back to XP and banish Vista to a virutal machine.

  6. This shows how weird Microsoft business works. Pleasing the customer is just not important.

    BTW, I’m not an expert, but even my mother asked me how to get rid of this Vista thing.

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