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One Third of New PCs Downgraded To XP? 617

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the if-only-they-could-just-be-not-bought dept.
CWmike writes "More than one in every three new PCs is downgraded from Windows Vista to Windows XP, either at the factory or by the buyer, said performance and metrics researcher Devil Mountain Software, which operates a community-based testing network. 'The 35% is only an estimate, but it shows a trend within our own user base,' Craig Barth, the company's CTO, said. 'People are taking advantage of Vista's downgrade rights.' Last year, Devil Mountain benchmarked Vista and XP performance using other performance-testing tools and concluded that XP was much faster. Barth said things haven't changed since then. 'Everything I've seen clearly shows me that Vista is an OS that should never have left the barn.'"
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One Third of New PCs Downgraded To XP?

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  • Me too! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Verteiron (224042) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:08PM (#24651281) Homepage

    Every machine I've ordered from CDW has been preloaded with Windows XP, for which I thank them with my continued business. Vista has no place here.

  • 2001 Called (Score:4, Informative)

    by nauseum_dot (1291664) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:14PM (#24651367)

    and said that its OS is not going out without a fight!

    Seriously, some variation of NT 5 is going to live for a long time, ReactOS [] is proof positive of this.

  • by Renraku (518261) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:15PM (#24651385) Homepage

    I bought my laptop with the intention of downgrading to Windows XP for increased stability and performance.

    I was shocked, on the other hand, to find that there were no Windows XP drivers and that inserting the Windows XP CD and booting from it caused a BSOD before the installing starts. I have an HP Pavilion DV5-1002NR.

    Do not purchase this laptop if you want to use Windows XP on it.

  • by zooblethorpe (686757) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:26PM (#24651491)

    Somehow I suspect this might not be legal, since the warranty is ostensibly to cover the hardware. Wasn't there a /. article some months back about exactly this kind of issue, and how voiding the warranty on computer hardware for changing the software wasn't legal?


  • Re:Downgrade? How? (Score:3, Informative)

    by x2A (858210) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:32PM (#24651557)

    "really pisses me off when the computer decides that it will restart in T - 10 minutes just for a security upgrade and there is nothing I can do about it"

    Try shutdown /a (run shutdown /? to see all options available) from command prompt. Not tried on vista, but at least on 2003, that's the command to abort a system shutdown.

  • by Hyppy (74366) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:34PM (#24651571)
    I hate to break it to you, but you've stumbled on Mojave. Server 2008 is Vista to the core, minus some of the flair.
  • by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp.Gmail@com> on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:53PM (#24651787) Homepage Journal

    "Windows 98 was slower than Windows 95, running on the same hardware
    Windows XP was slower than Windows 98, running on the same hardware
    Windows Vista is slower than Windows XP, running on the same hardware.

    On a 486 with decent memory, it was hard to tell the difference in performance between 95 and 98. There's no mistaking the difference between XP and Vista on the same hardware, though. 1 gig of memory is fast for XP. On the same amount, Vista runs like a dog. Well, actually, Vista runs like a dog with any amount of memory.

    As far as 98 to XP, Microsoft has an out there... 98 ran on the old DOS-based core, while XP has the much-more-capable but resource intensive NT core. So you're really comparing apples and oranges there. Vista has an NT based kernel, just like XP, so no excuse there.

  • by daoine_sidhe (619572) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:57PM (#24651849)
    Sorry, link ----> Implied Warranty []
  • by brianjlowry (1015645) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:02PM (#24651931)
    Slashdot is ridiculous. Everyone here is complaining about a system they don't use and haven't seen. Microsoft is cool to hate these days, but for those of us that do use it - i don't know many complaining. I dual boot Linux and Vista x64, and I like both. In fact, Vista boots faster. And I'm not posting Anon.
  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:04PM (#24651961) Journal

    XP was an upgrade from Win2k, not 98

    And in that regard, XP is faster than 2000 is.

  • XP is a great OS!! (Score:4, Informative)

    by suck_burners_rice (1258684) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:11PM (#24652043)

    The question in the title of this story is: "One Third of New PCs Downgraded To XP?" The answer is: This is a trick question. PCs are not being downgraded to Windows XP; they are being upgraded to Windows XP.

    Let me explain. No, that'll take too long. Let me sum up. Windows XP is actually a very decent operating system, if you know how to install it. For that, there is a program called nLite. This is a program that allows you to insert your factory original Windows XP installation disc, choose basically all the various options that you would, on a normal installation, go through all the Control Panel windows, the registry, and maybe even some INI files, and then it makes you a new Windows XP installation disc that installs Windows with all those options set. So you can go ahead and switch all of Microsoft's defaults to their opposite. You tell it to optimize for best performance; get rid of those cartoonish looking blue and red windows in favor of the Windows 95 style; tell it to display extensions and hidden files; tell it to basically do everything backwards from the way Microsoft installs it normally. And once you do all those things, Windows installs in 30 minutes and runs like a meteor through cyberspace. A few additional utilities like CCleaner (set it to run on startup and check all the boxes) and a better editor than notepad (like UltraEdit-32, commercial software you have to pay for and it's worth every penny ten times over) and whatever other utilities you want... like FileZilla client and server for transferring files around your network (Windows SMB networking sucks -- that is unless you do it through Samba, in which case it works great), Wireshark for figuring out why Computer A can't "see" Computer B when you just transferred a file from Computer B to Computer A and that worked like a charm, those sorts of things. If you set it up using nLite to be a more businesslike OS and a less "let's make everything really easy so even the experts won't be able to move a file from one folder to another" then Windows XP is a wonderful operating system.

    Windows Vista? I'll use it when it goes Open Source. (Hmmm, maybe I'd better be careful. Sarge was released; Apple did go Intel; and who knows, maybe Duke Nukem Forever will come out one of these days... You never know.)

  • by glitch23 (557124) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:45PM (#24652427)

    A larger OS will of course use more resources.

    I don't think anyone disputes that. The problem is that MS made a bigger OS and doesn't have much to show for it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:49PM (#24652483)

  • by NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) on Monday August 18, 2008 @08:13PM (#24652749)
    I recently assembled a PC using an old Asus P4C800-E Deluxe with a 3.2GHz Prescott, Asus/ATI AH3650 (512MB, DirectX 10.1), 4GB OCZ platinum DDR RAM, and a 1TB Maxtor drive. I admit, this is not a state-of-the-art machine, but the video is excellent, and a 3.2GHz HT P4 with a megabyte of L2 cache is nothing to sneeze at.
    Well, after a clean install of Vista with the Asus/ATI video drivers and SP1, the system is so low that I cannot use it. It reminds me of when I loaded W2K on an old Thinkpad with only 96MB of RAM (a real trick with no CD on the 233MHz Pentium X560). In fact, I'd say that the laptop was faster (until you loaded something like MS Word).
    BTW, I loaded XP on the Asus first, and there were no delays for anything. Runs every app with no problem. With Vista, however, it is too slow to load an app to test.
    You might think that the Vista machine had a virus or some other malware, but I have not yet put it onto a network. So, unless the Microsoft or Asus discs had a bug, then this machine was clean.
    I am not disappointed by this, I am amazed. How can Microsoft live with these kind of results?
  • by Afrosheen (42464) on Monday August 18, 2008 @09:23PM (#24653391)

    None of the CAD companies we use have certified their apps for Vista. They don't plan on it either.

  • by ukemike (956477) on Monday August 18, 2008 @09:49PM (#24653637) Homepage
    I love this idea, "have DOS3.3 installed." When I had a DOS computer you picked which DOS by sticking the appropriate floppy in the floppy drive when you turned the dang thing on. I didn't have a hard drive in a computer until Windows3.1 came along in my 486-33 with a 487 math co-processor. That thing was a speed demon. Most of the games I had were unplayable because things happened too quickly.
  • by rrohbeck (944847) on Monday August 18, 2008 @10:01PM (#24653747)

    Windows 98 was slower than Windows 95, running on the same hardware

    Windows XP was slower than Windows 98, running on the same hardware

    Windows Vista is slower than Windows XP, running on the same hardware.

    You should see DOS 3.3 on a 2.6 GHz Xeon.
    I think I need to try 2.15 too. Now if I could only find that floppy...

  • by Moryath (553296) on Monday August 18, 2008 @10:16PM (#24653891)

    Most of the games I had were unplayable because things happened too quickly.

    That was due to common (but lazy) coding - if you remember from that era, most games had a "speed adjustment" bar, which was a simple data value tied to an idle loop (basically, it would add on a meaningless but semi-processor-intensive command, to be repeated X times, for each time the game's master thread looped).

    A lot of third-party programs to "slow down" faster computers for older games worked the same way, just in the background.

    Properly coded games, of course, actually use the system clock to adjust the timing of the main thread and should work on any system.

    If you want to run those older games today, of course, you're lucky that DosBox actually lets you adjust how fast its emulation runs. I still enjoy OMF2097 from time to time on DosBox.

  • by toddestan (632714) on Monday August 18, 2008 @11:04PM (#24654237)

    XP Professional was an upgrade from Windows 2000.
    XP Home was an upgrade from Windows 98/ME.

    Very few people ran Windows 2000 at home. For most people, XP Home is their first OS from the NT line, and they came from 95/98/ME.

  • by suck_burners_rice (1258684) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @01:43AM (#24655075)
    He was happy with XP and 98SE before that. He's happy using the wife's Mac. He couldn't figure Vista out because it's a POS. I know enough about computers that I'm posting bullshit on /. (and coding for four processor architectures) and I can't figure Vista out. He bought the Dell to sell shit on eBay, send/receive emails, browse the web, do a spreadsheet, and nonsense like that. All of those were easy to set up thanks to Ubuntu, Firefox, Thunderbird, and some 1337 h4x0ring to drop in Sun's official version of Java. I got rid of all the icons and other nonsense. It boots right into his user account and there's (almost) nothing he can push that will fsck anything up. If the software update window pops up, it looks similar to the Mac one and he knows what to do. He's happier than a pig eating slop. I got a skateboard out of it. A damn nice one. So why don't you make like a tree... and get outta here. :-)
  • by Allador (537449) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @02:52AM (#24655371)


    Let me be more specific, so that you dont get too caught up on my 'halfway to vista' comment, and use that (rather than the obvious point) to comment on:

    Completely re-writing the desktop imaging/management system on XP to support a compositing system like Vista uses, including pulling the bulk of the video drivers out, is major, major surgery on XP. If you actually did that to XP, it would result in a system that would need all new types of drivers for video cards.

    Not to mention changes to the kernel to support some sort of mini-driver (to do all the kernel level calls that the video driver themselves used to do, and are no longer able to do since they run in user-space.)

    If you do that, you've got something that is fundamentally not XP, is not driver or image or kernel compatible.

  • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @03:02AM (#24655433) Journal

    Not even a first. Anybody remember Windows ME? Redmond is forgetting their history apparently....

    Erasure is one option. Overwriting is even better. Some of us recall Microsoft Access - the communication package from the 1980s which utterly flopped (could not compete with Procomm etc.). The name was re-used in the 1990s for their database product, making it difficult even to refer clearly to the failed product. Their replacement communication program was given an entirely different name - HyperTerminal.

  • Not exactly (Score:4, Informative)

    by DrYak (748999) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @07:00AM (#24656481) Homepage

    Properly coded games, of course, actually use the system clock to adjust the timing of the main thread and should work on any system.

    That's sloppily fixed games.

    Properly coded games, actually synchronize to the display refresh rate. Which not only gives a fixed speed, but also give a smooth animation (the 60Hz display refresh has a finer grain than the 18.2Hz system clock, and synching to display avoid tearing and other artefacts).

    Also, synchronizing the refresh rate was a requirement for very old hardware to avoid displaying garbage (single channel memory, couldn't be accessed by the DAC and the system at the same time). That's why some archaeologically-old games still run well on more recent PCs.

  • by supernova_hq (1014429) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @07:28AM (#24656623)

    Every iteration of windows has been slightly slower but also better than the previous version... until Vista.

    I guess we're just going to ignore Windows ME here?
    This is not the first time they've made this mistake.

  • by Carnildo (712617) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @05:27PM (#24664755) Homepage Journal

    So...why has compositing always been fairly straight forward with Linux then?

    Mostly because the much-maligned network transparency of X forced a clean separation between GUI applications and the X server, while the fact that XFree86 and the Linux kernel were developed by different groups kept the two from getting tangled up in each other.

    The typical GNU/Linux distribution is about a million times more modular than Microsoft Windows, so major changes to any one part have few undesired effects on other parts.

With your bare hands?!?