Even though Microsoft Corp. plans to stop selling Windows XP licenses after the 30th of June for all personal computers with exception of very entry-level systems, large suppliers of PCs intend to continue offering Windows XP-based systems after that date since Windows Vista license agreement allows “downgrading” to Windows XP.
According to a news-story by News.com web-cite, HP said it plans to continue selling the “pre-downgraded” desktops, notebooks, and workstations to its business customers until July 30, 2009. Dell also offers its customers to downgrade to Windows XP from Windows Vista on its web-site and claims that the option will be available after it stops taking orders on Windows XP-based systems on June 18, presumably until 2010. Lenovo, another leading PC supplier, “for a limited time” is providing Windows XP Recovery CD media as a way to downgrade from Windows Vista, reports InformationWeek web-site.
Microsoft created downgrade capability only with Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate, whereas Windows Vista Home Basic and Windows Vista Home Premium are unable to downgrade to Windows XP. As a consequence, end-users will either have to acquire a more expensive version of Windows Vista operating system to keep using Windows XP, or use a more affordable Windows Vista flavour.
Even though Windows Vista does provide certain benefits to end-users compared to Windows XP, such benefits may not be tangible enough to catalyze people to stop using the OS that they are familiar with. But while consumers can continued with Windows XP going forward, in order to get it, they have to request downgrade from computer makers, which may not be an easy task when buying systems in retail. Microsoft does not plan to prolong lifespan of its operating system that has been on the market for nearly seven years.
“While (computer makers) continue to see large numbers of customers making the transition to Windows Vista, there are some pockets – like small business – that need a little more time. And from what we’ve heard from our partners, the downgrade rights option fulfills that need,” said Kevin Kutz, a director in Microsoft’s Windows unit, in a statement.