I ordered several desktops last week for administrative staff and, unfortunately, overlooked the "Downgrade to Windows XP" option. This is, in fact, the default for HP's business systems, which certainly speaks to Microsoft's Vista debacle. The secretaries are thrilled that the machines on their desks are running XP Pro - if it ain't broke, right?
However, from my perspective, I just can't see installing a 7-year old operating system on a computer that should last at least 4 more years. You can do the math, but it's good to see this number: at the end of the computer's life the OS will be 11 years old. Vista is not my favorite OS; XP was quite usable, I think OS X is the best thing since sliced bread, and OpenSuse/Ubuntu/modern Linux distro of your choice are really outstanding. However, Vista is a perfectly fine OS. If we must live in a Windows world, there really isn't any reason (barring legacy applications that aren't compatible with Vista) for not using the latest and greatest out of Redmond.
Lots of us have quite an investment in Windows infrastructure; like it or not (and there are plenty of folks who like it), most of us can't simply dump Windows in favor of an alternative, no matter how viable they might be. If that's the case, then give me Vista. Give me Vista Business with its more robust security, pretty interface, and, hopefully, long-term compatibility with new software. Give me Vista with its active development of patches and the full attention of Microsoft to its stability and security.
Don't give me Windows XP anymore. It's gone. Let it go, folks.
What do you think?