Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tech News: Businesses get to "downgrade" to XP, but not individual consumers

The XP/Vista debate is a constant issue I have to deal with at work, especially over this past summer. When a new OS comes out, businesses usually wait a year or so before adopting the new one. According to the news.com article "The XP alternative for Vista PCs," businesses who purchased PCs with Vista on them can now "downgrade" back to XP, but this offer only applies to Windows Vista Business and Ultimate versions. This is being offered via the computers manufacturers, who will ship the computers with Vista installed but include the XP installation CDs.

But there is demand for XP among businesses and consumers, due to "Vista's hefty graphics and memory needs," not to mention having to re-orient yourself to getting used to Vista (Why was it necessary to rename everything in the Control Panel? Why does it ask me if I'm sure I want to run an application every time?).

As far as the general public, there's no word about such an option and there probably won't be. But if you think you can buy a Vista PC and just install XP on it yourself, be warned: I mentioned the idea to an Office Max employee who told me doing so would void your manufacturer's warranty. I haven't check the validity of this, but it does seem likely. But for all you Vista users out there, a bit of relief may be on the distant horizon when Microsoft gets ready to launch Vista Service Pack 1 eventually.

Microsoft admitting that not all small-medium businesses are ready for Vista is good to hear:

  • Vista does demand higher RAM to run properly, which means more money to purchase better computers.
  • Some employees will need some help becoming comfortable enough with Vista to before fully upgrading.
  • This will also allow time for more software programs to become Vista-compatible, which has been an issue here at school (we were scrambling this past spring to find Vista-compatible equivalents to the software we usually distribute).
Microsoft's decision this past summer to make it easier for businesses to downgrade is a wise decision. This way, businesses can still get better computers without having to worry about supporting a new OS, at least for now. Look for more businesses to support Vista in mid-2008.

In the meantime, why haven't you upgraded yet? :P


kassie! said...

Favorite part of the link you posted - "..nags you with an "Are you sure????" prompt every time you try to do anything beyond run the calculator." lol Eeek. Try again, Microsoft.

Megan said...

lol, it's very true Kassie. I find it's particularly tedious dealing with it at work when I'm having to uninstall and install programs. Another problem with install/uninstalling is that it takes forrevvverrr....