Space Ramblings

Stand By Vista: Windows XP Ain’t Dead Yet

April 20, 2007 (Computerworld) — Dell Inc. yesterday bowed to pressure from customers and dumped its Vista-only policy for consumer PCs by adding Windows XP as an operating option on half a dozen machines.

Dell now offers Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional on two Dimension desktops — the E520 and E521 — and four Inspiron laptops — the 1405, 1705, 1505 and 1501.

“We heard you loud and clear on bringing the Windows XP option back to our Dell consumer PC offerings,” Dell said on its Ideas in Action page, a companion to its IdeaStorm site.

IdeaStorm, a site rolled out in February where Dell customers can plead for changes, has been most notable for convincing the company to add Linux as an operating system option. The requests for XP started coming a day after IdeaStorm launched.

“I would like to see both Home and Business computers, especially notebooks, have an XP Home and Pro option on top of Vista until it has at least been out for a year,” said javaprog07 in the inaugural message on that particular thread.

Or more accurately consumer pressure won out over Microsoft pressure which is well aware that its only real hope for making Vista the new standard as fast as possible is to use its leverage over resellers into bullying them and consumers into having no choice but Vista, Vista and Vista everyfreaking where.

The reality is Vista is a stunted OS. A white elephant that hogs system resources while giving the user very little in return. Microsoft will of course learn its lessons from Windows 95 and use its increasing leverage in the world of games to push users Vistaward, already advertising Halo 3 as being only for Vista. But then again Microsoft’s main gaming success is in its XBox platform. How many people really plan to play Halo on the PC and how many people will be driven by wanting another Ages of Empire sequel to switch to Vista.

Dell is no doubt doing what management itself wanted and needed an excuse to do, which is continue shipping XP, rather than giving users a computer that will run much slower under Vista and saddle them with all sorts of Microsoft’s new OS regs.

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