Pay $50 extra for XP on a PC? You've gotta be kidding me!

Pay $50 extra for XP on a PC? You've gotta be kidding me!

Summary: 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.

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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.

XP tombstoneOK, 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.

[poll id=312]

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.

Thoughts?

Topics: Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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  • I selected yes ...

    but the system registered a No ...
    Ludovit
  • fixed

    Seems to have corrected itself ...
    Ludovit
  • Paying more for something that does work

    sort of makes sense.

    My AMD64 running Ubuntu, that just works, and we know that MS are desperately trying to find a means, fair or foul, to make me pay them for that privilege too.

    Whatever happened to the idea that computing would change the world, and that free and fair competition is the basis of a free market society?
    fr0thy2
    • Welcome to reality...

      [b]Whatever happened to the idea that computing would change the world, and that free and fair competition is the basis of a free market society? [/b]

      Uh... I don't know what ivory tower you grew up in, but "free" and "fair" competition has never been the case. It's always been a "dog eat dog" world. The name of the game is "SURVIVAL" and in any ecosystem - natural, business, or whatever else, there will always be someone or something that will rise to dominance. That someone or something will figure out that in order to truly survive, it would have to do things that some may view as barbaric and mean and nasty and unfair.

      It's true of lions becoming the "king of the jungle" and it's true of the human race who started out as a PREY species that learned to fight back, kick a$$ and take names.

      Flash forward a few million years and we've become the dominant species on the planet. We still live by those same rules - SURVIVE or succumb. It applys to everything in our lives. Those who are shy around girls may have a hard time getting up the nerve to ask that special girl out. If he doesn't ever get over his shyness, he'll never get married, have kids and pass on his genes.

      It applies to business as well. Look at what happened to Apple after the ousting of Jobs. Apple damn near went out of business because the people running the show didn't do what was necessary to survive. Jobs returns years later and look at them now - Market share returning, millions in the bank, new products, a new army of fanbois - Like or hate their products, you have to admit that Jobs has pulled the company back from the brink of extinction.

      Was it fair that Jobs pulled the plug on Apple clones when he returned? It wasn't fair to the cloners. They've had to move onto doing other things. But it was necessary for the survival of Apple.

      It's the same story with Microsoft. They did things that may be viewed as unsavory, illegal, and what not - but they did whatever they felt necessary, and then some, to survive. And like them or not, they've done VERY well for themselves.

      It's also likely why Linux will never really be more than a marginal player. There is no dominant force behind the product. There is no visionary who can see a future where Linux is [u]THE[/u] 'it' OS. There's no one out there who has the chutzpa to actually make it happen. Linux evangelists - like Stallman - are generally regarded as nut cases, morons and communists.
      Wolfie2K3
    • The don't want you.

      I mean it. MS _needs_ at least a few people to be using something else so they can point to them when the monoply issue comes up and you and the other monoply, apple are about all that is out there so no they don't want you to come back. Not as long as everybody else is less than 10% of the market anyway. ?;^)
      deowll
  • Good and bad Windows's

    I have been using Windows since version 3.0. Let's face it. There have been good, bad and ugly versions of Windows. Vista is perhaps not ugly, but qualitywise it is one of the worst Windows's ever and definitely the worst of all the descendants of Windows NT. Win 2000 and XP are quality products compared to Vista.

    Vista has just too many issues that bug serious users and it is a resource hog. If you really need to wonder why someone would use XP instead of half-baked Vista in a new PC, maybe you are not into productive computing that much, which is ok, of course, but those of us who need to get their job done will stick with XP for now and skip Vista hoping that the next time Microsoft will get it right again. Vista is a major flop, comparable only to disastreous Windows Me.
    zsi
    • Please detail these quality issues.

      [i]Vista has just too many issues that bug serious users and it is a resource hog.[/i]

      Specifically what issues? And what do you mean by resource hog?
      ye
      • bugs and annoyances

        here are some on my list:

        windows mail newsgroup watched messages doesn?t work (they know and won?t fix)

        windows mail autocomplete holds 29 addresses

        folder views are not retained, they revert whatever they want

        can?t run compact manually in windows mail

        can?t edit file version and revision in explorer

        doesn?t show the folder size on the status bar unless all files are selected

        can?t get rid of ugly blue theme in office 2003

        blue/green graphic theme throughout is ugly
        g_keramidas
        • Interesting list. Though most appear to be complaints with...

          ...applications (majority of which are Windows Mail) and not Vista itself. My question to everyone is: Why are these annoyances any worse than those in XP (or any other OS)?

          I just finished reading the Wine 1.0 blog and I find it interesting Linux users are tolerant of annoyances running Windows applications under Wine but aren't tolerant of Windows' own annoyances.
          ye
          • I for one am not tolerant

            of the annoyances of Windows programs running under Wine. If there are no annoyances running an app under Wine, then great, no problem. But if there is then I find a better solution, whether it's finding a native Linux program that fits my needs (which is usually the solution) or using Windows (usually virtualized) for that program. To be honest though it's always better to use a program native to the OS you are using. The only programs I have under wine are ones that I've tested, the programs I use day to day are native Linux, simply because they are better.

            But getting back on subject, I don't think it matters that Windows Mail is not a part of the "OS proper". It's a part of the Vista package that you bought, so I don't see it as any less of an issue than if there were a kernel flaw or a slowness issue. If MS is going to insist on selling Vista as a package which includes the OS proper, the GUI, and base applications (and believe me, I don't have a problem with that strategy) then you can't say that a flaw or design issue with a base application is any less important than a flaw in other areas. And I say that about ALL the OS distributions: Windows, OS X, Linux, you name it.

            OS X doesn't get a pass from me because they got hacked through a Webkit flaw and not through the OS proper. Webkit is a toolset that THEY chose to include in every default installation of their systems, so they need to take responsibility for it if there is a problem. Likewise a Linux distribution needs to take as much responsibility for a Firefox flaw as they do a kernel or a GCC flaw (although I have to say they generally do step up to the plate). And likewise if there is a usability problem with Windows Mail, MS has to take that just as seriously as they take a cut and paste issue.
            Michael Kelly
          • It does matter. One cannot easily replace the "OS proper" but one can...

            ...replace (or use something other than) the included application. There are many 3rd party e-mail and news readers for Windows.

            With that said what I'm more interested is why are Vista's annoyances any worse than those of XP (or any other OS)? All OSes have annoyances. All OSes contain inconsistencies. It just seems that people are tolerant of annoyances as long as they're not Vista related.
            ye
          • I disagree

            People who have tried Linux and didn't like it and moved back to Windows XP are pretty vocal about the fact that it's because of the applications. That doesn't seem like tolerance to me. I've heard of people trying OS X and moving back to Windows XP because of issues with OS X they found annoying. So why would it sound strange if people tried Vista and found certain things annoying and decided to move back to Windows XP?

            And even when XP came out, a lot of people (myself included) preferred Win2k over XP and decided not to upgrade. But then you know what happened? SP2 came out and fixed a boatload of problems, and XP started looking pretty attractive. Now personally I feel Vista today is as much of an improvement over Vista Gold as SP2 was over XP Gold now that the driver issues and other annoyances have been addressed, but if people had a bad experience with Vista early last year, it's going to be harder to convince them that Vista is really okay now than someone who never tried it. That's just human nature, and it has to be dealt with.
            Michael Kelly
          • but..

            outlook express has worked properly since at least win95, why shouldn't it work under vista? a lot of us don't like to install a program when one comes with the os that does what we need. outlook is bloated, all i need is outlook express and the newsreader is part of it.
            windows live desktop mail has the same bugs, so that's not an alternative. they just need to fix what comes in the box.

            vista works, i never had any issues with it. i've always had the hardware to run it. i reported bugs on the wm issues a year and a half before vista was released, but they never would fix them. but these annoyances keep me from using it. i used xp as my main os for most of the beta cycle. here it is a year and a half after vista was released, and i still don't use it.

            as a reseller, i've sold over a hundred copies of xp. i've sold 3 copies of vista, all on new notebooks and all have been downgraded to xp because the clients don't want vista.
            g_keramidas
          • @Michael Kelly: You still haven't addressed my question:

            Why are people willing to tolerate the annoyances in XP (or other OSes) but not Vista? Or are you of the position other OSes do not have annoyances?
            ye
          • @g_keramidas: I hear you. But the same can be said...

            ...of other operating systems and their bundled applications. It's an argument that can be applied universally so why is Vista being singled out?
            ye
          • @ye, I'm not saying they have no annoyances

            But maybe there are far less of them, or maybe because XP has been around for so long that suitable workarounds have been established.

            And yes I do hear the occasional gripe regarding XP. Are you saying you don't ever hear them? Well maybe that's because the Vista gripes are drowning them out, or maybe you just aren't looking, but trust me they do exist. In fact I still hear frequent gripes regarding DRM on XP, however I suppose that since Vista's DRM is far more outreaching the gripes you hear about that are much louder and more frequent.
            Michael Kelly
          • @Michael Kelly: I doubt there are fare less of them.

            With Vista I suspects many of the gripes fall into the category of "it's different".

            Every OS has gripes. Every OS has inconsistencies. It just that people are more vocal about those with Vista for some reason.
            ye
          • @Michael: the Vista DRM card is a perfect example

            [i]In fact I still hear frequent gripes regarding DRM on XP, however I suppose that since Vista's DRM is far more outreaching the gripes you hear about that are much louder and more frequent.[/i]

            There isn't a single person that could possibly have been affected by Vista's DRM yet so I think it actually makes a perfect example of how the anti-Vista FUD mob of bloggers have done a fantastic job of confusing the public. The number of PC BluRay/HD-DVD players is miniscule and the number of discs with the HDCP flag turned on are 0 (or nearly 0). Those who complain about Vista DRM are doing so because they heard someone else who has complained about it. And when (if?) the HDCP flag ever starts getting used, Vista is going to be the only OS that will let you play it back on your computer. Don't bother throwing it in your Linux, OS X, or XP box because it simply won't play (or will play with greatly reduced resolution). I'm not saying that is a good or a bad thing, only that complaints about Vista's DRM are uninformed at best, malicious at worst.
            NonZealot
          • A few words about Vista's DRM...

            [i]"There isn't a single person that could possibly have been affected by Vista's DRM yet"[/i]

            Apart from Adrian?
            http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=1861

            [i]"And when (if?) the HDCP flag ever starts getting used, Vista is going to be the only OS that will let you play it back on your computer. Don't bother throwing it in your Linux, OS X, or XP box because it simply won't play"[/i]

            Didn't they say the same about DVDs? I think that someone [b]will[/b] find a way; DRM schemes are always defeated in the end; AACS has [u]already[/u] been defeated.
            Zogg
          • Michael Kelly Program Workarounds

            Mike, I don't think you can seriously argue that there aren't work arounds for Vista's mail program. You can run a 3rd party mail program, and that takes care of it.

            Someone argued that it's a fair knock against the OS, because people say apps are why they leave Linux, but the difference is that they're leaving, because they can't find an acceptable solution for the OS, not because the OS isn't packaged with an acceptable solution (at least I've never heard that latter stated before today).

            There are some annoyances in Vista, but as an OS, it's at least as good as XP. It's absolutely better than XP was in 2001. And having run Vista and XP (same h/w dual boot) with 512mb of ram, I can say that they both ran ok, but I was quite happy to make the move back to 2GB once I build a new box.

            It does use the resources you've got. So if you've got 3.5GB of addressable ram, it'll put it to use. I don't consider that a bad thing. I always hated out XP would page so much crap out to disk when I had plenty of ram going unused.

            But I really can't comment on the mail program, because I don't use it. I use web based email at home, and if I do decide to use a program, I'll probably install Outlook 2007 (I've got more licenses for it than I know what to do with).

            IMO, if you buy new hardware and get XP, you're nuts. If you've got something that won't work in vista run XP in virtual PC or virtual box. That covers almost everything, except for games, and Vista, apparently, has just about caught up with XP on most games.
            notsofast