Dell is to charge customers who purchase the low-priced Vostro line of desktops and notebooks up to $50 for a pre-installed XP Pro "downgrade" from Vista Business or Ultimate.
OK, I know that there are some raging fanboys out there who believe that their entire computing lives should be spent on Windows XP, but as operating systems go, XP is now old and fast becoming outdated (heck, it's seven years old, older than most people's PCs ...). While I can understand some of the reasons why people don't want to migrate an older system over to XP, but loading XP onto a new system (especially a system that doesn't need to fit into a specific ecosystem) seems a very peculiar thing to do to me. I'm no raving fan of Vista, but put the two OSes side-by-side and I'll go for Vista every time. Equally, setting up Vista (or, as would be the case with an OEM system, reloading the OS at some point down the line) is much easier with Vista than it is for XP.
While there was no price gradient between XP and Vista, then I guess there was a real choice, but to now be faced with having to pay up to $50 for the privilege of running an OS that's on borrowed time must be one of the final nails in the XP coffin.
What I'm hearing a lot from entrenched XP users is that as soon as Microsoft pulls the plug on XP support, these users are going to move to another OS (both Linux and Mac OS are usually hinted at). To be honest, I'm not sure I believe this. XP is already on borrowed time and the date that the plug is pulled on support is known, so why hang onto XP as some kind of security blanket for now? Isn't now as good a time as any to start making that migration to a new OS? Isn't this "I'm moving to Linux/Mac OS" nothing more than a smokescreen? How many of these people who cling to XP now will have shifted to Vista over the next 12 months and will then be clinging to that OS for dear life?
As much as I once liked XP (it was a really robust OS once SP2 was released), I also realize that it has now had its day. There's certainly no way I'd pay an extra $50 for XP.