Vista backlash: Microsoft lets Vista users revert to XP

Dell, HP and Lenovo offer Vista to XP Pro downgrades

Hate Vista? If your PC is running Microsoft Windows Vista Business or Windows Ultimate and you're fed up with the OS you may be able to ditch Vista for XP Pro. Microsoft is quietly allowing you to downgrade to Windows XP Pro.

Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo are just a few of the system manufacturers offering downgrades. Each of these PC makers offer an XP Pro recovery disc to those who request one that can be used to revert a Vista machine to XP Pro.

Dell, HP, and Lenovo customers can request a Windows XP Pro recovery disc to be included with their purchase of a Vista machine - should they want to revert in the future. Customers who already have purchased a Vista-PC can request an XP Pro recovery CD for between US$15 to $20 by calling technical support.

Different policies for different vendors

A Lenovo Website for downgrading to XP Pro states: "For a limited time only Lenovo customers that have Windows Vista Business or Ultimate installed on their machines will have the chance to purchase a Windows XP Recovery CD."

Dell small business sales told PC World if a customer purchased a system with either the Vista Business or Ultimate operating system they could pay an extra US$20 to have XP Pro recovery discs shipped with the machine. Dell told me I wouldn't need an extra Windows license for the XP Pro software.

HP business sale's staff described a near identical downgrade plan, except for the fact the XP Pro recovery discs would not include a license to activate the OS.

The desire to revert to XP Pro from Vista is a business trend, not a consumer trend, says Chris Swenson, director, software industry analysis, for market research firm NPD Group.

"Retail consumers are not requesting to go back to XP," Swenson says. Businesses are more sensitive to upgrades because Vista requires a more robust computer to run programs at peak performance. Vista's requires better graphics and memory than XP, forcing companies to spend more on systems, he says.

Additionally some customers and businesses have complained about Vista's lack of support for software and hardware designed originally for XP.

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Tom Spring

PC World

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