PC Makers Announce Windows Vista Service Pack 2
XP will hit an end-of-life. We have announced one. If customer feedback varies, we can always wake up smarter, but right now we have a plan for end-of-life for new XP shipments.”
Well if this doesn’t count as the sort of feedback that would cause Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer to wake up smarter, I’m not sure what does. Heeding the cries of their Vista-averse customers, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Lenovo (0992.HK) and Dell (DELL) are now offering customers who purchase machines running the Business and Ultimate flavors of Microsoft’s new state-of-the-art OS the chance to replace it with Windows XP Professional. And they’re doing it in a way that will keep Windows XP around well beyond the June 10 deadline Microsoft has set as the end of its retail sales.
How? Well, remember that “downgrade” to XP option Microsoft quietly offered PC makers last summer? The one that Mike Nash, corporate vice president of Windows Product Management, said was designed for “customers who need a little more time to make the switch to Windows Vista”? Well, HP, Lenovo and Dell are exploiting it to their full advantage. HP and Lenovo are shipping XP Pro recovery disks with qualifying Vista machines. Dell has gone one step further and volunteered to exercise those downgrade-to-XP rights on their customers’ behalf, installing Vista on their new machines and then purging it and replacing it with XP.
All of which, seems a bit ludicrous, really. Why bother with such a charade? Perhaps because every downgrade to XP counts as another copy of Vista sold.