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Dell To Offer Win XP On Consumer PCs Again 447

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-a-ringing-endorsement-right-there dept.
phalse phace writes "With so many consumers still asking for Windows XP to be loaded on Dell's consumer level PCs, the PC maker has finally decided to offer that as an option. 'Like most computer makers, Dell switched nearly entirely to Vista-based systems following Microsoft's mainstream launch of the operating system in January. However, the company said its customers have been asking for XP as part of its IdeaStorm project, which asks customers to help the company come up with product ideas. Starting immediately, Dell said, it is adding XP Home and Professional as options on four Inspiron laptop models and two Dimension desktops.' The Dell models with the Windows XP option are: Dell Inspiron 1405, 1705, 1505, and 1501; and Dell Dimension E520 and E521."
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Dell To Offer Win XP On Consumer PCs Again

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  • Well Duh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zoomshorts (137587) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:22PM (#18803565)
    Who wants Vista?
    • Re:Well Duh (Score:4, Funny)

      by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:25PM (#18803611)
      Microsoft?
    • Re:Well Duh (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jcgf (688310) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:28PM (#18803665)
      I certainly don't. I'm testing it at work here on a 1.7 celeron with 1.5gb ram and a radeon 9550. Can't do anything without the cpu meter hitting 100 for a couple of seconds. Videos that played fine in XP stutter now and I had to turn off UAC cause it was driving me mad.
      • Re:Well Duh (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Sylver Dragon (445237) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @05:01PM (#18804155) Journal
        Same experience here. Pentium 4 2.26Ghz, 1GB RAM, NVidia 6600GT, and it chugs with just the Vista basic interface. The worst part is that it occasioanlly just goes off and starts thrashing the hard drive, and pretty much locks the system up. I think it's the indexing service doing that, but I've not confirmed that. I also run it on a Pentium M 2.0Ghz, 1GB RAM, Radeon X700 laptop system, and it feels like I'm working on an XT.
        The only positive feature for Vista, so far, is the built in chess game. For the price, you can get a better one on XP.
        • Re:Well Duh (Score:5, Interesting)

          by RootWind (993172) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:11PM (#18805175)
          Seeing as how we are sharing anecdotal stories. I have a Pentium M 1.3ghz, 1GB RAM, Geforce Go420 32MB, and it actually works fine (Aero basic of course). It's certainly not faster, but it's not much slower either. My only slow-down problem was a misbehaving 3rd-party driver, which still needs an update.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Balerion (25115)
          I had the same problem with the thrashing... disabled everything I could find, and it still wouldn't stop. Eventually I found an option to change how often the index updated under Power Saving, of all places. I'd give you more specific directions, but I'm not running Vista anymore. It's somewhere in the giant tree of options that spills forth when you adjust the power settings.
          • Re:Well Duh (Score:5, Interesting)

            by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @10:55PM (#18807911) Journal
            Anecdotes, anecdotes.

            What I've found about the thrashing: It happens only at first boot, and when closing programs or otherwise freeing large amounts of RAM. Also: If you, Joe Fucking User, stop trying to fix the fucking computer and just use the thing, it will eventually stop thrashing.

            After that, programs tend load fast. It's called SuperFetch, and it's supposed help[1]. Quit being paranoid.

            [1]: Of course it seems like it's not helping, but that's not been Vista's fault in my experience. Rather, it seems to be a competition at boot time between SuperFetch intelligently trying to load data for applications that I'm actually likely to use, and those applications themselves doing their own foolhardy preload[2]. Since the hard drive head can only be in one place at a time, this presents a problem. It should be noted that Vista rather uniquely supports several priority levels for disk IO, and that SuperFetch appears to operate at low priority. It doesn't seem to get in the way at all, once you kill the third-party preloads and try to ignore the disk activity.[3]

            [2]: OpenOffice is a horrible example of this, trying to push its bloated self into RAM at boot time by default. Other common offenders are, of course, Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat Reader.

            [3]: Also: Almost all of this activity (including indexing) stops cold when running on battery, where runtime is generally preferred over performance. The whole thing is really pretty well behaved. Try it sometime. (incidentally, I get about an extra hour of real run-time from my Inspiron 6000 when running Vista instead of XP.)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cheater512 (783349)
          Question:

          WHY THE HELL ARE YOU RUNNING IT IF IT CHUGS?

          I thought that was a blatantly obvious question to ask. :)
    • Dell vs. Microsoft (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheMeuge (645043) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:38PM (#18803821)
      This raises an important question - who's more important to whom?

      1. Is Windows essential to Dell's business model of building and selling PCs?
      2. Is Dell essential to Microsoft's business model of establishing a monopoly and locking in customers?

      In an ideal world, it's obvious that #2 would be more true than #1, given the huge percentage of the PC market that Dell occupies. However, customers still demand Windows, and while Microsoft has the power to raise the wholesale prices for Dell, and render the latter unable to compete in the low-margin world of hardware sales, Dell is still quite dependent on directives from Redmond.

      This latest trend just serves to underline the inherent instability in this partnership. In this context, it is not surprising that Dell is looking into Linux, since proliferation of the latter will benefit Dell in that it will limit the extent to which Dell depends on Microsoft in the long run; in the short run it'll give Dell more bargaining power with regards to wholesale Windows price negotiations.
      • by CelticWhisper (601755) <[celticwhisper] [at] [gmail.com]> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:46PM (#18803927)
        I'm inclined to say that Dell is more important to Microsoft than Microsoft is to Dell.

        Remember that PC hardware stands on its own and free operating systems exist to drive it. However, Windows does not stand on its own and requires hardware to run.

        Add to that the fact that many, many people do not distinguish between the OS and the PC (or even the "computer" and the "hard drive" for that matter, but I digress) and they'll blame problems with --anything-- to do with their PC squarely on Dell, and you have a culture that strongly associates the OEM with everything computer-related.

        When you have the company with the greater amount of mindshare also creating the components that are more flexible (versus the OS which, as previously mentioned, requires hardware) you have a situation in favor of the OEM telling the software company what for.

        Simply put, it only takes a few commercials from Dell about "the power of open source" to get people doubting Microsoft.

        YMMV, of course, and this is just my experience dealing with the public for 7 years working in a library. Thank Cthulhu that's over.
        • by Corporate Troll (537873) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:50PM (#18803997) Homepage Journal

          Simply put, it only takes a few commercials from Dell about "the power of open source" to get people doubting Microsoft.

          Wow, I never saw it that way. Of course Dell would need to grow a spine before ever doing that. That means saying. "Screw you Microsoft, I don't care paying a premium for your licenses.... Brand recognition will save us!" Not very likely to happen... Interesting none the less.

          • Brand recognition will save us!

            Actually, I think it could, they just have to get their timing right, have a decent distro or 2, and a little cash in the bank to weather the storm. If done right, it would put them in a great position before the inevitable meltdown happens.

            Think about it from dell's point of view: Would you rather lose some money and market share while helping stake a solid and tenable future position, or watch your supplier (MS) drive everybody to the competition (Apple)? Dell might not make as much profit with a PC loaded with Ubuntu rather than Windows (at least int he short term), but they make no money if the customer buys a Mac.
        • You're forgetting... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Jeff Molby (906283) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @05:35PM (#18804621)

          However, Windows does not stand on its own and requires hardware to run.
          ...Microsoft has the cash to enter the hardware business by the end of the month if they wanted to. They'd have some serious catching up to do, but Dell's business model is pretty simple to duplicate for anyone with enough resources.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by MrCrassic (994046)

            That was Microsoft's ideology with the Zune, and everyone knows what happened there...

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by pete6677 (681676)
              The Zune had all the makings of a great music player. Hardware-wise, it has more than the iPod. Its just that Microsoft went out of their way to cripple it with heavy DRM and therefore make it a useless piece of shit. They could have had a great iPod competitor, if only they wanted to.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by SuperMog2002 (702837)
          Come to think of it, one of Apple's chief advantages is that they control both the hardware and the software, so they can custom tailor OS X to each individual model they sell. With Linux, Dell (and any other OEM) can gain this advantage as well by customizing a distro to install and run just right on the machine it's sold with. IE, Dellbuntu's installer may know exactly what chipset, wireless card, sound card, etc. a stock Inspiron 9900L (made up model number) ships with and configure them all perfectly
      • by puppetluva (46903) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @05:37PM (#18804661)
        There is no contest here: Microsoft runs the show because they are virtually an OS monopoly for the vast majority of customers that Dell has.

        Role play it out. If MS refused to let Dell sell Windows, then Dell would die (or shrink significantly). If Dell refused to sell Windows, then Dell would die (or shrink significantly). Microsoft has plenty of other vendors to sell their OS, Dell doesn't have plenty of in-demand OS's to sell (trust me- I wish linux counted, but that is nowhere near the volume business of selling XP/Vista).

        For future scenarios, this is the basic rule of supply chain economics. Think of this chart.
        Producer -> MiddleMan -> Distributor

        As you go towards the right, your power increases in all cases EXCEPT where someone to the left has a monopoloy (or somewhat close to it). Wallmart is all the way to the right and all they sell are commodities, that's why Wall mart can gouge their suppliers. Dell wishes they were in the same boat, but they have a monopoly to the left.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by HUADPE (903765)
          If MS refused to let Dell sell Windows, then Dell would die (or shrink significantly). If Dell refused to sell Windows, then Dell would die (or shrink significantly).

          Both of those are true, and neither one is being proposed here. Dell currently gets a discount off the normal OEM price in exchange for being Windows only. The most Microsoft could do is to revoke that discount. If MS stopped selling Windows directly to Dell, they could buy it from a wholesaler, and/or sue Microsoft for monopolistic practi

          • by jayratch (568850)
            I'm sorry, I'm a bit confused. Where in TFA did it say anything about selling Linux or refusing to sell Windows?

            This simply indicates to Microsoft that The Public (tm) have rejected their forced upgrade pipeline. If anything, they should consider it as a blessing that rather than flocking in droves to the ACTUAL competition, that they are simply preferring to choose a different (and for many purposes, superior) product from the same vendor.

            In any other industry, consumers are encouraged to buy Last Year's
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I've worked with Vista a bit on VMware for work and I think I would eventually want to upgrade to it. I just don't want to have to pay an arm and a leg for hardware to really use its full feature set, so I'm waiting at least until SP1 comes out because then the hardware I really want will be less expensive. If you're curious what I was using to run it in VMWare, I was using VMWare Workstation 5.5.3 on a computer with an Intel Core 2 CPU 6600 @ 2.4 Ghz and 2 GB of RAM. I gave 512 MB of RAM to the VM, and
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I don't even have a machine that can run it. The best machine I have was bought 3 months ago. (Other two in the household are both from 2003 and work 100% fine!) It has XP Media Center and was on sale. It does have a sticker saying "Vista Capable" - removed by now- but the fine print on the packing box said pretty much "you won't be getting any of the fancy stuff that Vista does even if you install it on this machine". I should have taken a picture of that text, it was priceless.

      So, I wouldn't dare

    • Re:Well Duh (Score:5, Funny)

      by vivin (671928) <vivin,paliath&gmail,com> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:53PM (#18804063) Homepage Journal
      Isn't it not true that you do not want to not install Vista on your Dell computer? Cancel or Allow?
    • by operagost (62405)
      You are about to post on Slashdot.
      [Cancel] [Allow]
    • I sure don't want Vista. Trouble is that I only get server hardware from Dell. My favorite laptops come from HP which last time I checked was still fully on the Vista bandwagon. Hopefully HP will wake up and smell the stink though and follow Dell's example.
  • by benzapp (464105) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:22PM (#18803573)
    Long live Windows XP
    • by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker.gmail@com> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:47PM (#18803947) Journal
      Hmm, Idea Storm says "immediently available". But I still can't buy XP on Dells home website..
      • Well, I've looked around their uk site, and if you buy via small business, they give you the choice of either xp or vista.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by MindStalker (22827)
          You've been able to get XP through their small buisness site for a long time. Generally the small buisness site is the best way to buy and they don't check to see if your actually a buisness if pay with a credit card.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by badc0ffee (969714)
      My daugter does support for some very rich and famous people. One of her best customers bought a new, top of the line, DELL for use with the stock market. This customer is very serious about making money, and had a T1 line installed. The DELL came with Vista, but the proprietary main application would not install or run, making the new machine and T1 line totally useless.

      My daughter to the rescue, buy a copy of XP and install. But, no drivers for the RAID array for XP that she could find. I got involved wa

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Schemat1c (464768)

        Vista is a failure for the same reason OS/2 was a failure... APPLICATIONS!
        Please don't put Vista in the same boat as OS/2. OS/2 was a wonderful OS for it's time, what killed it was trying to emulate windows instead of just supporting native apps. Vista is failing because it is bloated and buggy with horrible driver support and does nothing that XP already does just fine.
  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:24PM (#18803601) Homepage Journal
    this means the hating of Vista is stronger then the hating of previos OSs.

    Good, Maybe MS will take a hint....
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by walterbyrd (182728) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:29PM (#18803685)
      This also means the hating of Vista is stronger then msft's influence over dell. You know that msft must hate this.
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:31PM (#18803707)
      I think you're wrong here: as hateful as XP was, it was a relief compared to such gems as Windows 98 or ME. Frankly, if Microsoft was smart, given the relative acceptance of the latest iterations of XP as a stable and useful OS (in Microsoft metrics of course), they would have kept pluging holes and making it better one patch at a time until it was finally good. But of course this doesn't make them big bucks, so instead they embarqued on this stupid Longhorn fantasy and this is the result: people are happy enough with XP (and justly wary of any new Microsoft product) that they don't want Vista.
      • Re:Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

        by gad_zuki! (70830) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:02PM (#18805015)
        MS could take your advice and keep building on XP, but they would charge, just like APple charges for the next "version" of their OS. Essentially, SP2 should have cost 150 dollars, but it was free. I seriously doubt windows users want MS to act like Apple.

            A clean-ish break from XP is actually a good idea, but the implementation didnt go off so great. I wouldnt be surprised if by the time Vista hits SP1 it will have some love come its way, the same way XP did, which from what I remember on these boards was "just a new 2000 skin, dont buy it" "ripoff" "conspiracy to blah blah" "raw ports will destroy the net" "home version wont join a domain, run!!" "system restore didnt work in ME so it wont work in XP" "WMP and DRM!" etc.
      • Re:Wow (Score:4, Informative)

        by paganizer (566360) <.moc.liamtoh. .ta. .1evorgeht.> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @09:39PM (#18807339) Homepage Journal
        Do NOT tell me that you are implying that Win98 is anything like WinME.
        When it comes to usability/ stability in major versions of windows, it goes something like this:
        Win2k (any version)
        Win2k3
        WinXP Pro (only recently was I convinced to not lump XP Pro in with home)
        WinNT 4
        Win98SE
        WinXP Home
        WinNT 3.51
        Win98
        Win95
        Vista
        Win3.x
        WinME
        Win2.x
        I never tried Windows 1.0
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by suv4x4 (956391)
        I think you're wrong here: as hateful as XP was, it was a relief compared to such gems as Windows 98 or ME

        Have you tried Windows 98 recently? You'll be surprised how snappy it is on a Celeron 300MHz, much faster than XP on 3GHz machine.

        I remember people boo-ed at XP's system requirements for a long time when it came out. It was Vista all over again. Learn from your past, and best of all, don't forget it.

        Windows 98 was a nice OS for its time, XP was a nice OS for its time, and Vista may be a nice OS for it's
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      this means the hating of Vista is stronger then the hating of previos OSs.

      Good, Maybe MS will take a hint....


      Soooo, you are saying MS should release yet another OS immediately? Ah, I see. That way everyone will hate the new one even more than they now hate Vista!

      Brilliant!
    • I think Dell is just trying to help MS get their sales numbers up to a par with what they are selling in China :0
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jomas1 (696853) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:37PM (#18803801) Homepage
      I think you are partly right. Vista is receiving much more hate than Microsoft and most PC manufacturers thought it would but I doubt Vista deserves or is hated as much as Windows ME was. The fact that Dell feels the need to sell XP again may indicate that Dell has lost faith in Microsoft's "Reality Distortion Field" more than anything else. Everyone talks about Steve Jobs' RDF while neglecting to mention that Redmond has convinced people that they always need to upgrade and have no choice but Microsoft for the last 12 or so years. People far from the fringes now know that both Apple, Linux and XP are viable options for many folks and that means Microsoft's free ride is ending.
    • No it still doesn't beat the hate for Windows ME.
    • Good, Maybe MS will take a hint....

      Ha! I hope you're right but their track record taking hints is notoriously bad. I'll believe there's a chance they'll listen when Ballmer has a sudden desire to spend more time with his family.

    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Funny)

      by suitepotato (863945) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:19PM (#18805261)
      this means the hating of Vista is stronger then the hating of previos OSs.

      I can feel your hatred... It makes you strong... Gives you focus... A powerful Sith Lord you will become!
  • by Orig_Club_Soda (983823) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:25PM (#18803621) Journal
    ...whether we buy VIsta or XP?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by p0tat03 (985078)

      MS has a massive dev cost to recoup for Vista. If nobody buys Vista then that's a failure to make back the money they spent.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        MS has a massive dev cost to recoup for Vista. If nobody buys Vista then that's a failure to make back the money they spent.

        yes, and no. The dev cost is spread out across all future versions of Windows as well. It's not like they're going to throw vista away and start over on a different version (no matter how much I think they should do so) :)

        • True, as a company, giving them $100 is giving them $100 (or $20, or whatever, I don't know exactly how much they get per copy from Dell).

          However, if they spend a billion dollars developing Windows Vista, and then they only sell $800M worth of Vista-related crap, because everyone else is still buying XP (because Vista sucks that badly), then they've effectively 'lost' $200M on Vista, because it didn't generate as much in profit as it took to develop. It's not lost in the same sense of the money you blew on blackjack in Vegas is 'lost,' but it shows that Vista was a very, very bad investment, and it'll probably make them not meet their projections to their investors.

          It doesn't really hurt them as much as make them look like a bunch of idiots.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by drinkypoo (153816)

            It doesn't really hurt them as much as make them look like a bunch of idiots.

            Actually, that hurts them much more in the long term than the money hit hurts them now.

            Microsoft cannot compete on features, so it has to compete on marketing. That will be much-impaired if they look like the bunch of incompetent dumbfucks they are.

            This incident is a huge success for everyone but Microsoft on that basis alone. This latest straw, with Dell once again offering Windows XP because customers overwhelmingly prefer it

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Scott7477 (785439)
              This does come close to the camel's-back-breaker, though. For every PC that customers buy new now with XP, that pushes off the purchase of one copy of Vista four to five years into the future. That worsens the return on the cash M$ invested in producing Vista by a certain amount. I have a hunch that in three years if one had access to M$'s financial data on Vista that an analysis would show it to be a financial loss on a discounted cash flow basis.

              As you say, the only rationale for Vista has been that M$
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Not_Wiggins (686627)
            It doesn't really hurt them as much as make them look like a bunch of idiots.

            Oh, I'd expect damage-control to kick in.

            Expect to see "each copy of XP is sold with a limited Vista license" type of ploy; then Microsoft can still claim to be selling record numbers of Vista licenses and leave it implied that they're actually for Vista instead of XP.
            Save for delayed return on R&D costs on Vista, this still doesn't really hurt Microsoft.
      • Yes and no (Score:2, Interesting)

        by davidwr (791652)
        Suppose MS spent $500,000,000 developing Vista.
        If they don't recoup it, heads may roll inside Microsoft.

        But the difference between
        $600,000,000 in Vista licenses plus $0 in new XP licenses
        vs
        $400,000,000 in Vista licenses plus $200,000,000 in new XP licenses
        is a wash, assuming other things like support costs, long-term customer retention, etc. are all about the same.

        The numbers above are 100% made up from thin-air concentrate.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by truthsearch (249536)
        While true at face value, the purchases today are probably mostly from people who would buy the PC with Vista or XP. Either way they're buying a Windows license, so assuming the OEM price is the same, it financially makes no difference to Microsoft.

        If anything people were not buying a PC because it would only come with Vista. Which means no sale at all for Microsoft. So Microsoft overall makes more money by at least selling another copy of XP.

        Of course there are secondary costs, like lower sales figures
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        But if they make the money selling XP does it really matter? As long as you are buying something, they are making money. And since the development costs for XP are probably reclaimed by now, the sales from XP can go towards paying for the development costs of Vista. However, XP costs less than Vista, so they're making less, but they're still making money.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by p0tat03 (985078)

          On the large scale, yeah, it doesn't matter if people buy XP or Vista right? The same number of dollars still float into Microsoft.

          But look at it this way: Vista will have been a total flop if this occurs, and the books at Redmond will be looking VERY VERY red for this project. Considering Windows is one of MS's supposed guaranteed cash cows, this is going to be absolute hell on investor confidence, and stock is going to tumble. *That* then becomes the real financial loss for MS.

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:30PM (#18803697)
      Traditionally each new Microsoft OS has had a certain percentane of gauranteed sales due to computer makers switching. Having fewer copies of Vista sell means Investors could get skittish about the long term and not value the company as highly.
    • Does it hurt Microsoft financially... whether we buy VIsta or XP?

      In the short term, they don't care where the money comes from. In the long term, buying XP gives them more potential for incremental Windows upgrade sales, but at the same time is one less user that is subjected to their all new lock-ins and leverages into new markets. If you don't buy Vista, how can they take over the portable document space from Adobe? Strategically, they'd probably prefer everyone switch to Vista as soon as possible so they can start leveraging control into the new markets it is illega

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @05:37PM (#18804657) Homepage

      That's a very good question, and in spite of all the theories people will throw around, I'm not sure Microsoft even knows the answer.

      On the one hand, they're still getting paid. On the other hand, I assume they're getting paid less for the copy of XP (but who knows?).

      They could, theoretically, end up getting paid more if they can convince people to upgrade a year from now (XP OEM license + Vista retail license > Vista OEM license). However, most users do not upgrade their OS, and the lack of Vista adoption shows that people might be looking elsewhere for their "next generation" OS. Most likely this is good news for Apple, but also it might mean an increased market share for Linux. People are always looking for new things, and if IT departments don't like where Microsoft is going, it could mean they'll start looking at Linux as a way to upgrade existing computers (without the hefty system requirements).

      Plus, Microsoft has been trying to wrap products together in various ways. For example, Windows Update gives me errors in Vista if I try to use Office 2003, but not Office 2007. Call me paranoid, but at this point I would believe that this isn't entirely coincidental. Also, Office 2007 wants me to install Microsoft's desktop search, which also pushes me towards their "Live" services. They spent a lot of time on Vista making its DRM better so they could collect more licenses on Windows Media formats. Microsoft has been so successful in the past due to this sort of approach-- buying one thing means trouble unless you buy in to their other products. So even if they aren't missing much money in Vista, they might be losing money on things they hoped to push on customers using Vista as the vehicle.

      Either way, I'm sure it's embarrassing for Microsoft. They spent years working on an upgrade to their flagshit* product, and no one seems to want it. That's not a financial hurt, but I'm sure it hurts.

      * it's a typo, but I'm leaving it.

  • by Mockylock (1087585) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:27PM (#18803647) Homepage
    With the last Linux input to Dell and now XP being begged for.. Why doesn't dell have an option on their PC customization site that states,

    "Choose an OPERATING SYSTEM:
    1. Vista 32 or 64 Home
    2. Vista Ultimate
    3. Anything But Vista."
    • by hey (83763)
      Why stop there:

      "Choose an OPERATING SYSTEM:
      1. Vista 32 or 64 Home
      2. Vista Ultimate
      3. Windows XP
      4. Windows 2000
      5. Windows NT
      6. Fedora
      7. Ubuntu
      8. FreeDOS
      9. FreeBSD
      10. BeOS" ...

      That would be verrrrry niiice.
  • Whee! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:29PM (#18803683) Homepage
    Now I can order Crap with oldCrap installed on it! Not that crappy NewCrap! I hate NewCrap!
  • Dell Microsoft? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 15973 (861573)
    Let's hope Microsoft does the same thing next year when people are still clamoring for XP...
    • It will be interesting to see what happens honestly. Technically the business versions of Vista include a downgrade license (IE you can legally install XP by buying Vista) It would be interesting to see if Dell goes this route. If their XP sales are significantly strong, you might actually see them attempt to do this.
  • 1. Sell PCs
    2. Offer something other than Microsoft's flagship product preloaded.
    3. ???
    4. PROFIT!!!

    Oh wait, that actually works.
  • by Bobfrankly1 (1043848) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:33PM (#18803747)

    vista NOUN: A distant view or prospect, especially one seen through an opening, as between rows of buildings or trees.
    Well finally, Microsoft creates an OS that lives up to it's name. People like to see Vista as far away from themselves as possible.
    -
    You are moderating this comment -1 "Retarded", Allow or Deny?
  • "Vista Ready" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Apocalypse111 (597674) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:37PM (#18803805) Journal
    With new computers and top-end hardware running Vista at a crawl, I can't help but think that the 'Vista Ready!' sticker on many new machines just means it would make a really bitchin' XP box!

    Bravo Dell, bravo. Now if you could make just one more leap and offer Linux, we'd be all set.
    • by msimm (580077)
      I love Linux *and* MS basing (fun restarting servers on production every-time MS rolls out a patch). But while Vista may be top heavy, I don't think you do any thing any good by making it out to be worse then it is. There are plenty of good reasons not to jump on Vista, that just doesn't happen to be one of them.

      Likewise, we may be ready for Linux everywhere, but a LOT of people wouldn't be. You think Vista is giving people reason to complain? Try being thrust onto Linux unwittingly. Try having to explain
  • Dumb People (Score:2, Insightful)

    by astrosmash (3561)
    It's perfectly fine to not want to be an early Vista adopter. But, regardless of one's opinion of Vista's features or initial quality, spending money on old WinXP at this point is like throwing your money away.

    Vista is without a doubt the future of the Windows platform; if you don't want to partake just yet, hold off buying a new machine altogether. Demanding a new machine with WinXP is just irrational.
    • Re:Dumb People (Score:5, Insightful)

      by roman_mir (125474) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:46PM (#18803929) Homepage Journal
      Now, unlike this post [slashdot.org], the post of the parent is actually a troll. Haven't you heard an expression: customer is always right?

      It does not matter whether XP is older than Vista. There are plenty of products on the market that are newer and at the same time much worse than the products that preceeded them and the customer is correct to try and get an older better product than to buy into the 'newer must be better' crap.

      XP works for many people, and apparently it works for so many people that Dell had to change its way, this does not imply that people are dumb for choosing an older OS, it implies that XP is a superiour product.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by astrosmash (3561)
        Look, I'm no Microsoft shill. I gave up on the platform two years ago.

        What I'm suggesting is that spending money for a license to use obsolete software is a bad move. Even if there are growing pains with Vista, it's incredibly naive to think those issues won't be sorted out within a few months. On the other hand, Windows XP is going to be looking very obsolete and dated within the year.
        • Re:Dumb People (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jhfry (829244) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @05:08PM (#18804257)
          Obsolete and dated to whom... software is ONLY obsolete when it can no longer support the mission... and it's only dated when the user craves something new.

          I haven't met anyone who has even remotely suggested that Vista was something to crave... especially in the business realm.

          Sure if your a gamer, and can foresee that all the new games will be DX10... Vista is a better bet. If your a business and have a hundred XP machines, putting your new secretary on a Vista box is just a pain to manage . And updating the entire network is out cuz the hardware won't support it.

          Right now... Vista is a LOSING proposition for businesses... and not really that appealing for general purpose users. The only market I can say would be stupid for not going with Vista is the gamer market, and only for the reasons you hinted at... eventually it may be needed.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by roman_mir (125474)
          Look, I'm no Microsoft shill. I gave up on the platform two years ago. - I didn't say you were a shill, I said you were a troll for saying that anyone paying for an older product is dumb. Plenty of older products are worth the money paid for them.

          What I'm suggesting is that spending money for a license to use obsolete software is a bad move. - you are saying XP is obsolete as if saying it makes it so. I have a machine with XP at home and this is what I have on a station at work, I don't see them as obsole
    • Re:Dumb People (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jhfry (829244) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:49PM (#18803979)
      Your the dumb one.

      Dell sells to a metric assload of businesses. Most businesses are not migrating to Vista any time soon.

      Additionally, many users REQUIRE software that does not operate properly in Vista... thus they REQUIRE windows XP instead of Vista to have a computer of any value.

      Sure they could choose not to buy new computers... but for a company on a strict 3-4 year lease rotation on their dell machines, or a business that is adding employees, or any number of other situations where waiting is not an option, Windows XP is a must in order to maintain uniformity.

      For example, I have managed networks with several hundred machines broken in 3 groups... each group was on a 36 month lease, so over the course of 3 years, every machine would be replaced with a new machine. A software upgrade would never be done until 100% of our hardware was capable of running the new software... even if that meant waiting to rotate the oldest hardware out. With the new hardware demands of Vista, I have a feeling it will be at least 2 years before organizations that operate the way ours did has the hardware in place to perform a complete migration.
    • No prob, we'll just tell all the companies we support not to hire anyone for a few years...

      There are more reasons people buy PCs than just for home. Vista's caused us no end of grief on the small-med business front, and we still have enough problems with day to day use let alone deal with teething issues.

      Plus we do not have the option of not buying a new system. Companies grow, companies hire new people, new people need PCs, those new PCs are coming from Dell and we're finding a way to put XP on them, dam
  • I recall something similar happened with Windows Me where many vendors actually offered machines with Win98SE instead. Is Vista shaping up to be the next Windows Me?
  • by phulegart (997083) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:40PM (#18803855)
    Indeed, as was posted already, it would be nice if Dell just offered the option of several Operating Systems for every computer purchased. Sure, it would drive Microsoft crazy as they want everyone to switch over to their new OS, and thus dump their old computers for ones that will run Vista, but if a company like Dell has the ability to provide what it's customers demand, why shouldn't they?

    From what I've seen from Vista (specifically an install of Vista on a Sony Viao that refused to run the DVD authoring software because the Sony's video wasn't up to snuff), I am not impressed by it. Furthermore, when has Microsoft released an OS that did not need a major overhaul (other than Win2k) soon after it's release?

    There is far too much media hype over Vista, this early in it's release. I can't wait until the equivalent of an SP2 to come out for Vista, so I can chuckle like a maniac. I just wish Dell would expand their offer to all their products.
  • by IchBinEinPenguin (589252) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:50PM (#18804005)
    Windows ME again?
  • by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:51PM (#18804015) Homepage
    It's become clear that IdeaStorm isn't about soliciting ideas from users -- it's about using the web to publicly humiliate Microsoft into letting Dell sell to its customers what Dell already knows they want. It should be called PassiveAggressiveStorm.
  • Well, I'm using Vista, and I have to say, there are various things about it I don't like.

    F'rinstance, I just shelled out for a pair of 3D shutter glasses. Now, my graphics card has no drivers for it yet, and I don't blame MS for that, because it's NVidias fault. But it looks like the fancy Aero interface will prevent them from working in a windowed application, which may rule out their use for things like CAD and molecular modelling, which I had an interest in.

    My joystick drivers are utterly fubar.

    Getting a
  • Just bought a dell laptop yesterday actually. with all the discount specials floating around, some models listed in this article doesn't have the option of XP... Looking at the 1505 model, i was faced with the choice of getting Vista Home and buy a XP Pro OEM license elsewhere, or spend an extra hundred via a different deal to include XP Pro. Former requires much more time from me to d/l and install drivers later... Eventually, the 6400 model came through, which had identical specs as the 1505 and comparabl
  • Is it just me, or... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dracos (107777) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:53PM (#18804051)

    Is Dell becoming brave in the face of MS? First they seem to get serious about putting Linux on non-server systems, and now they're bending to customer demand, putting XP back on some systems.

    The rest of the OEM's surely see what a disappointment Vista is, both technically and in terms of sales. If the rest of them joined Dell in standing up to the Redmond behemoth, the result would probably benefit everyone. Except MS. A lower MS tax, and ways to avoid it altogether.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the next time Dell renegotiates their OEM contract, the terms are more balanced.

  • Keep giving out the coupons for Vista upgrades. If MSFT ever manages to get the bugs out of Vista they'll use their coupon. Or they'll buy a Mac. But at least if they have a coupon they'll be tempted to try it first.

    Vista reminds me of the dork in college who threw a big party and no one showed up.

  • by Jck_Strw (35674) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @05:09PM (#18804277)
    I bought a new machine about 3-4 weeks ago. Vista was the only option. I asked Sales before I bought it if I could get XP. No dice.

    So when the machine finally arrived, I declined the licensing terms of Vista (I have my own licensed copy of XP) and I emailed Dell for a refund. Two emails later I got $27. This is about half of what the guy in Germany got from Dell Germany (plus he got $8 USD for Works, which Dell US didn't bother to comment on when I asked for that refund).

    Just my $27 worth.

    http://www.headsallempty.org/wordpress [headsallempty.org]

  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @05:18PM (#18804421)
    so MS had to relent and keep XP going...
  • by TristanGrimaux (841255) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @05:33PM (#18804593) Homepage
    Many computers that hardware vendors offers today are under the recommendations to run Vista and yet, they come with Vista.

    So, you buy a new computer with Vista, and your old computer with XP is faster. You call your vendor and you ask him to explain. The help-desks can testify: the user satisfaction is low and they tend to blame the vendor. So the assistant tells you that you should add more memory to your computer... you have 512Mb? You should have 1Gb, or maybe 2! And then, only then, your Vista may run at the same speed in a brand new computer!

    This is hurting everybody's business, and Microsoft asks vendors for patience: "when the modest computer raise to an Intel Core 2 Duo with 2Gb nobody will remember these days... but until then you have to stand by me!"
  • by hxnwix (652290) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:02PM (#18805025) Journal
    We all know that Microsoft is going to play games with DirectX. And not the fun kind - the buy vista or go fuck yourself kind, wherein the next Halo and the next everything-not-based-on-an-ID-engine will only run on Vista.

    You know how I know this? First, I imagine that I were a huge fucking prick. Then, I ponder how I could screw the world with my massive pricktitude. The logical answer is, make the next DirectX Vista-only. But, in the grand scheme of things, I'm glad that Microsoft will make this move. Windows users obviously need a dick to come out of the screen and smack them in the face daily, or they feel unloved. They are the Mister Garrison of users, I say.

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. -- Confucius

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