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PC Makers Offering Vista-XP Downgrades

Oh, we try hard, so hard, not to pile on with this Vista stuff. It's just that every time we think it's getting old to talk about what a, uh, "mitigated success" (yes, we're being kind) Vista has been, something else comes out that demonstrates that this operating system is about as popular as New Coke was once upon a time. (By the way, thank you, Internet and Wikipedia, for providing us with more information than we ever thought existed on New Coke. What was life like before the Internet? We don't remember...and we don't care.)

Anyway, it wasn't enough, apparently, for Dell to start selling PCs with XP (rather than Vista) pre-loaded. Now Dell, HP and Lenovo are all offering downgrades to XP for customers who buy machines with Vista pre-installed.

The linked article says that most of the downgrades are primarily for business customers rather than the retail set; the anecdotal evidence we've heard suggests that neither category of customer is happy with Vista, but the critical point here seems to be that Vista has drawn reactions not so much of apathy but almost of disgust and contempt. It's one thing for businesses to ignore a major Windows upgrade; it's another for them to actively dislike it.

Of course, we still maintain that we'll all be running Vista eventually, but with Office under attack from multiple sources, open source getting lots of press and the European Union putting the hammer down on the company, it sure would be nice for Microsoft if it could point to Vista as a bright spot in its current cloudy skies. Alas, that's not really possible.

Any leftover thoughts on Vista? It always seems to be a popular topic. Send your musings my way at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on September 25, 2007 at 11:54 AM