June 30th is quickly approaching and you know what that means, don’t you? It means there are going to be a lot of unhappy people because that’s the day that Microsoft is going to stop selling OEM and shrink-wrapped copies of Windows XP. People will be forced to purchase Windows Vista, an operating system that many aren’t too eager to switch to. With this in mind, for those of you who don’t intend to upgrade to Vista and instead plan to wait until Windows 7, you may want to get your hands on a copy of XP before June 30th approaches.
Ever since Vista launched, users who purchased certain copies of Windows Vista have been able to downgrade to Windows XP for free. For example, someone who purchased Vista Business or Vista Ultimate could call up Microsoft and ask to be downgraded, and they’d then receive a new activation code that they could use with an older disc from a previous machine with the option to go back to their copy of Vista at any point. The key thing here is that Microsoft wasn’t supplying the media, the user had to. With the option to downgrade in mind, Dell has decided to make it super simple for their customers to downgrade.
Now when you purchase certain computers from Dell, there’s the option to have them install Windows XP for you and then they’ll provide you with a copy of Vista so that you can upgrade at any point. The Inquirer quotes Dell explaining how it works:
With Windows Vista Downgrade Service from Dell, you get a simple way to migrate to Windows Vista on your schedule.
Dell will factory-install Windows XP Professional and give you the DVD to install Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate when you’re ready (you will also receive the DVD for Windows XP Professional).
Dell will also support both operating systems on your PC throughout the limited warranty period.”
The screenshot above shows what we’re talking about. Notice how you can select “Genuine Windows Vista Business Bonus” in which case Genuine Windows XP Professional is factory-installed and the media is included?
The big deal with Dell is that users are getting OEM copies of Vista and XP, and XP will already be installed for them. This is a pretty big thing for Dell to offer, and certainly gives them a few reputation points from XP fans not ready or wanting to upgrade to Vista quite yet.
We do want to mention that this is all a bit confusing and we’re still not sure if this offer will be something that Dell can offer once June 30th comes rolling around. From our point of view, Vista isn’t as bad as many people make it out to be. After using it for over a year, the advantages make up for the disadvantages. Does it have flaws? You betchya! But there are plenty of reasons that it’s a great operating system so before you rule it out, try it out for yourself and come up with your own opinion regarding it. If you really don’t like it, well then at least you know you’ll be able to go back to XP.
Thanks for the tip Omar!