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MS Reportedly Adds 6 Months of Vista Downgrade 244

Posted by kdawson
from the charting-a-course-to-windows-7 dept.
LiteralKa sends in a poorly sourced Reg story claiming that Microsoft has granted OEMs six more months to sell PCs using Windows Vista with the support to downgrade to Windows XP. OEMs can now offer such arrangements until July 31, 2009 — the previous deadline was January 31, 2009. The article claims as source "a Reg reader" without further details. Neither Microsoft nor any OEM has confirmed the rumor, and only a few scattered bloggers have picked it up.
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MS Reportedly Adds 6 Months of Vista Downgrade

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  • Gasp! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Friday October 03, 2008 @09:11AM (#25244731) Homepage Journal
    Critical reception of the Reg? It's about time. Good work, submitter.
  • Front Page? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by donaggie03 (769758) <(moc.liamtoh) (ta) (reyemso_d)> on Friday October 03, 2008 @09:15AM (#25244775)
    Why is a poorly sourced, unconfirmed story from the Reg posted on the front page? VERY slow news day?
    • by eebra82 (907996)

      Why is a poorly sourced, unconfirmed story from the Reg posted on the front page? VERY slow news day?

      Because it can still be interesting and open to great discussions. As with everything else, it is up to the user to decide if he/she believes the story is accurate or not. And at least it is clearly stated that this article is poorly sourced.

    • Isn't a poorly sourced, unconfirmed story from the Reg is posted on the front page every day? It's usually just called a story from the Reg tho.
  • The Reg (Score:3, Insightful)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Friday October 03, 2008 @09:17AM (#25244789) Homepage Journal

    I can't decide whether The Reg is The National Enquirer or the Weekly World News of tech news sites on the Web.

    Can someone help me with this? ;)

  • Well well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daimanta (1140543) on Friday October 03, 2008 @09:18AM (#25244801) Journal

    "Neither Microsoft nor any OEM has confirmed the rumor, and only a few scattered bloggers have picked it up."

    Including Slashdot.

    • by antic (29198)

      Slashdot is rarely considered a timely news source at the best of times, which makes me wonder why they would approve an openly acknowledged poorly sourced story, rather than waiting?

      Fair enough, two answers might be "kdawson" and page impressions from all of us Vista haters, but are not the editors adult employees with some sense of quality and thought?

      • by foobsr (693224)
        adult employees with some sense of quality and thought

        You might as well think that 'employee' vs. 'sense' and 'thought' is a contradiction these days if you look at the 'quality' that is delivered (and at the cost to fix the financial implications).

        CC.
  • Thank God (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sdemjanenko (1296903)
    I still do not see why they are cutting off XP. If their Vista is so good than it would speak for itself and people would switch to it. Perhaps once computers have enough power to waste a few extra cycles on vista's ineffiencies it will catch on. i guess i have a problem with microsoft trying to bully people into using their newest software. If they used that time constructively I am sure they could come up with much improved products.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HBI (604924)

      They're cutting off XP because Vista sucks. That is obvious. This is an attempt to force conversions to Vista by putting an air of inevitability on it. However, the truth is that if people don't use Vista, they can't can XP. No company can afford to kill their source of revenue.

      If the OEMs can't sell with XP then companies will start pirating it with VLK versions anyway so... I don't see where Microsoft has any leverage here.

      • by ubrgeek (679399)
        > They're cutting off XP because Vista sucks.

        I guess I didn't correctly read what you meant. I'm assuming you mean they're _not_ cutting it off yet. Regardless, IMO they're allowing for additional time because it's an extra revenue source. Why limit the potential option to one OS when you can get people buying one of two? It's also to their benefit to do so rather than to effectively cut off sales to both: "Hey, I hear Vista is terrible. I wanna go to XP. What do you mean XP isn't for sale anymore?
      • by DAldredge (2353)
        How is it obvious that Vista sucks?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by HBI (604924)

          Did you ever use it? I ran it for 9 months. Short answer: it's slow. Very slow. Performance is lousy, and if an operating system's performance is that much slower than a previous version, it sucks. I am not concerned about the DRM issues so much, just performance.

          There were some good points: graphically it was nice, and I liked some of the UI enhancements, but balancing this out was the incompatibility with some software that I need, such as TFTP servers. Also, certain games (intended for XP, not tal

          • by DAldredge (2353)
            Yes - I use Vista and W2K8 on a daily basis. My main box runs Vista 24/7 and see 0 slowdowns. Am I doing something incorrect? What games are those that do not work?
        • It doesn't suck. I've seen many people on /. (including myself) explain that it works fine for them and others, yet the FUD persists. Go figure. :/
    • by Dunbal (464142)

      Vista is a piece of crap and official Microsoft policy is to deny it, of course. Can't speak badly about the company after all, can we?

      I use XP. My daughter bought a new laptop and hates Vista. My dad bought a new laptop and after 2 weeks STILL can't install a printer driver - the Microsoft website is a maze of recursive links that never actually provide useful info. Not to mention all the nagging Vista does. So what incentive do *I* have to switch? I'm happy with my dual boot Ubuntu/XP computers, there the

      • HP problems (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Kupfernigk (1190345)
        In fact this is an issue with HP rather than Microsoft. I don't use Vista (because my company doesn't support it internally) but I do not see any obvious reason why printer drivers should be hard to install. I work for a company which consults in printing, and over the last two years I have been growing increasingly concerned about the quality of HP firmware and drivers. I don't know what the problem is, but the Windows drivers are getting really bloated (and sometimes hard to install) and the firmware has
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RAMMS+EIN (578166)

      Well, I can only speculate as to what Microsoft's reasons for cutting off XP are, but I would imagine they include a desire to eventually stop supporting it - preferably when not too many people are using it anymore. If they continue to sell XP, XP will supposedly continue to gain new users and keep existing users, which means Microsoft will have to support it longer.

    • by Shados (741919)

      The current mob's opinion of Vista comes from A) People who didn't even try it, B) people who WANTED Microsoft to fail before Vista was even in development, and C) people who did try Vista, either from piss poor OEM installs (fuck you Dell, can you at least CHECK if your bundled drivers are of the correct version when you modify your XP images to run Vista instead of making a Vista one from scratch? dumbass OEM), or from the early driver screw ups (Creative...Nvidia...)

      Then when someone brings that up, one

  • by Lord Lode (1290856) on Friday October 03, 2008 @09:21AM (#25244823)
    By july 2009 Windows XP will be 8 years old! Because they extend it till then, both Microsoft and the market agree that this 8 year old operating system is still relevant and not hopelessly outdated despite its age.

    In those 8 years, Windows has hardly evolved. Honestly, Windows Vista doesn't add too much groundbreaking stuff to Windows XP, the only real technological novelty is the graphics.

    Eight years is a lot in computer history, and if you look at what it was 8 years before Windows XP, that was 1993. So Windows 3.11 is to Windows XP, what Windows XP is to Windows Vista, but the difference between XP and Vista is much smaller than the difference between 3.11 and XP!

    why does the evolution of desktop operating systems like Windows go slower now than a decade ago?
    • "why does the evolution of desktop operating systems like Windows go slower now than a decade ago?"

      In short, because Microsoft succeeded in killing platform independant applications.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      why does the evolution of desktop operating systems like Windows go slower now than a decade ago?

      It's not exactly the way you paint it. There is no 'line of succession' between Windows 3.11 and Windows XP.

      XP and Vista are derivatives of Windows NT. Version 3.1, the first version of NT, was released in 1992. There's a chasm of difference between Windows 3.11 and NT 3.1.

      Between Windows 4.0, which was released in 1994 or 1996 and Windows 2000, there's not that much difference outside of the user interface changes. And between 2000 and Vista there's not that much difference, aside from user interface ch

    • by neowolf (173735) on Friday October 03, 2008 @09:36AM (#25245017)

      Well- this is Slashdot, so...

      Look at how much Linux desktops have evolved over the last 8 years. Actually- just over the last four. Also- look at how Apple's OS has evolved over the same time period.

      The only company that seems to be having a hard time evolving a desktop OS is Microsoft.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Espectr0 (577637)

        looking at the other side of the coin, the reason microsoft has trouble evolving windows, is that the OS is simply mature. linux with X/kde/gnome is developing features that windows has had for ages, and macosx is only about 8 years old.

        i actually like xp, it runs most windows software, fast. try running a 7 year old distro and see if it runs today's software.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by maugle (1369813)

          linux with X/kde/gnome is developing features that windows has had for ages

          Wait, didn't we just have a story about Microsoft releasing something to finally give Windows multiple desktops?

          ...and it apparently doesn't work very well, but that's getting off-topic.

        • by pembo13 (770295)
          There are only a few features that KDE/Gnome is adding that Windows has had for ages, and that's forgetting that KDE/Gnome are just DEs. There are a multitude of features that those DEs have that Windows does not. But people tend to ignore things that Window does not have.
      • I'm afraid I cannot comment. In 30 years of using computers, I've used a lot of UNIX, Linux and Windows, as well as a few other lesser-known OSes.

        But I can't comment on OS X because in all those years I have never once found a need to either use or buy anything from Apple.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      why does the evolution of desktop operating systems like Windows go slower now than a decade ago?

      What do you need an OS to do that XP doesn't already do? But the question answers itself. A more evolved OS should run apps faster and more securely and be easier to use.

      Since a fully-patched XP is pretty stable and secure, and Vista is allegedly bog slow, I'd call switching from Vista to XP an upgrade, especially considering MS's penchant for changing everything around, giving you a brand new learning curve. An

      • About the only thing XP doesn't do that would be nice is DirectX 10 support. But since that requires a wholesale replacement of the driver model, I can understand why it's not being patched in.
        • by hairyfeet (841228)
          Uhhhh.....here is DX10 for XP [techmixer.com] although I can't tell you how well it runs since me card only supports DX9. Of course it hasn't been updated for awhile because everyone realized that DX10 not being ported to XP makes it a non starter. I mean,look at Shadowrun and Halo 2 for PC. If MSFT thought THOSE games would get folks to switch....HA HA HA HA.
    • by Vellmont (569020) on Friday October 03, 2008 @10:00AM (#25245293)


      why does the evolution of desktop operating systems like Windows go slower now than a decade ago?

      I think this is a decent question. You'll note that other OS's actually DO evolve at a decent rate (Linux OSX, etc). So why does Windows such a dog?

      The answer, I think is really all the accumulated weight that Windows has to carry. That's not just "code bloat" as some would have you believe, though that's part of it. It's all the OTHER pieces of software that simply HAVE to work on windows for them to continue to exist. Microsoft has resisted pruning much out since the Win32 architecture first came out, for fear of losing market share to the competition. This has been a mistake, and is costing them now.

      • by Blakey Rat (99501)

        I think this is a decent question. You'll note that other OS's actually DO evolve at a decent rate (Linux OSX, etc). So why does Windows such a dog?

        Supposedly they do, but why isn't OS X and Linux substantially better than Windows if that is the case? I mean, OS X hasn't even begun implementing Windows' enterprise features and game features, nor has Apple shown any inclination towards either.

        It's all the OTHER pieces of software that simply HAVE to work on windows for them to continue to exist. Microsoft ha

    • One of the issues that has plagued MS is the long time between XP and Vista. 5 years is a long time between hardware too. With 98-> XP, it was only three years. If customers wanted to upgrade, most of the time, it was just a matter of more RAM. If they needed to upgrade things like CPU and video cards, it was easy. With 5 year difference it becomes harder. Take me for example. My machine is an AMD 2200 1GB RAM with an AGP video card. Although MS says this is enough for Vista, we all know it isn'
    • by DAldredge (2353)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_features_new_to_Windows_Vista [wikipedia.org]

      Kernel and core OS changes

      * The new Kernel Transaction Manager enables atomic transaction operations across different types of objects, most significantly file system and registry operations.[18]

      * The memory manager and processes scheduler have been improved. The new CPU cycle-based thread scheduling gives a greater fairness and more deterministic app behavior.[19] Many kernel data s

    • by Pig Hogger (10379)

      There are many widely used OSes that are more than 8 years old. In fact, XP is NT by another name, and NT is more than 15 years old in any case.

    • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Friday October 03, 2008 @10:27AM (#25245721)

      By july 2009 Windows XP will be 8 years old! Because they extend it till then, both Microsoft and the market agree that this 8 year old operating system is still relevant and not hopelessly outdated despite its age.

      In those 8 years, Windows has hardly evolved. Honestly, Windows Vista doesn't add too much groundbreaking stuff to Windows XP, the only real technological novelty is the graphics.

      Eight years is a lot in computer history, and if you look at what it was 8 years before Windows XP, that was 1993. So Windows 3.11 is to Windows XP, what Windows XP is to Windows Vista, but the difference between XP and Vista is much smaller than the difference between 3.11 and XP!

      Very true. Vista has a few changes under the hood that are nice... But the major difference is in the UI. There are some GUI modification tools out there that let you customize your Windows desktop with different themes and visual styles... I've worked on XP machines that were skinned to look like Vista machines, and it is very hard to tell the difference.

      Look at KDE, Gnome, or the Linux kernel over the last 8 years... Amazing changes, all sorts of added functionality.

      Take a look at the MacOS over the last 8 years - again, huge changes. Not just from a UI standpoint but real changes in how the OS operates.

      Vista is a little bit more secure... A little bit less stable... And a lot more shiny... But that's about it.

      • by Shados (741919)

        the UI is the most insignificant change that was made to Vista. The graphic sub system (not the part you see, but the "engine"), the security architecture, the network stack, all of the management tools (even the task manager!), all of the enterprise services (mostly useful for developers, but IIS jumped up 2 full numbered versions between XP and Vista, but its not the only one that was upgraded... a large part of the COM+ stack did, and its not only useful for servers), new multi-threading primitive, enhan

      • by Blakey Rat (99501)

        I've worked on XP machines that were skinned to look like Vista machines, and it is very hard to tell the difference.

        Do any of those skinning packages do real compositing of windows, or do they just fake it with clever bitmap-moving? Have a link?

        Look at KDE, Gnome, or the Linux kernel over the last 8 years... Amazing changes, all sorts of added functionality.

        Yeah, but 8 years ago they hardly did shit. It's not so much "added functionality" as "catching up to Windows and Mac OS."

        To go back to my compositing

    • by ehaggis (879721)
      Correction: Desktop Operating Systems were created and do not evolve. Random kernel mutations cannot explain the complex machines which are our desktops and servers. Survival of the fittest? How do you explain Gentoo and DOS 5.0 still in production environments?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ruin20 (1242396)
      Actually, I run vista without the fancy graphics and actually get comparable performance. On top of that I can appreciate the UAC and improved control schemes. And although it breaks a lot of programs that use FlexLM (and all you need a new license file from the individual vendors, most cooperate), I can't complain about backwards compatibility.

      So when you say operating system goes slower, please clarify under what conditions. I've run linux with compviz on the same hardware and although it runs faster th

  • ...and see how he feels about being 'downgraded' from Vista -- or maybe it is 'upgraded' to XP?

    I wonder if any of these people knew their whole world would become a confusing choice of operating systems when they decided to become 'Windows'
  • Well at least they admit it finally. It is NOT at upgrade. It is an attempt to make people hate Windows so much that they are starving for an alternative.

  • I have seen the future: Windows $NEXT_VERSION Milestone $MOCKUP. [today.com]

    I tried it on a low-end laptop with four Core 2 Duo chips and only 8 gig of memory, and trust me: $NEXT_VERSION is shaping up to be one heck of a product.

    WordPad and Paint have seen major overhauls to their user interfaces. Forget the freetards and their "distros" full of all sorts of useless shovelware like "FireFox" and "OpenOffice" and, haha, "GIMP"! - the bundled software with Windows $NEXT_VERSION is clear, simple, sparse and to-the-point. The much-loved $HATED_VERSION user interface from Office $HATED_VERSION is now part of WordPad and Paint!

    I am so excited about $NEXT_VERSION of Windows. It will go beyond just solving all of the problems with $CURRENT_VERSION, it will be an entirely new paradigm. Forget about security problems, those are all fixed in $NEXT_VERSION. And they're finally ridding themselves of $ANCIENT_LEGACY_STUFF.

    Also, there'll be $DATABASE_FILESYSTEM. It'll be awesome!

    I wonder how $NEXT_VERSION will compare to $NEXT_NEXT_VERSION.

  • Downgrade? What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Friday October 03, 2008 @10:04AM (#25245359)

    Just because Y is newer than X doesn't mean Y is an upgrade to X.
    Whether something is an upgrade or a downgrade depends on the relative functionality, not the time difference.

    Installing XP over Vista is definately an upgrade.

    http://www.tothepc.com/archives/windows-xp-features-missing-in-vista/ [tothepc.com]

    • For your information, just about all the applications that are listed as having been removed in Vista can be removed with a tool like XPLite in XP.

  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Friday October 03, 2008 @10:28AM (#25245737)

    ...is simply due to the huge tactical error Microsoft has made over Netbooks & low-powered handhelds.

    XP can be slimmed down relatively easily to run quite well on these devices but there is no chance with the size of Vista.

    I'm sure that there is still a big demand for XP over Vista but I also understand (with my limited reading of MS product bulletins) that Windows 7 is being designed as a scaleable OS, presumably so it can run on these smaller devices. Therefore it makes commercial sense for MS to keep XP alive for their own reasons of getting onto Netbooks until Windows 7 is ready.

    So it is not just because there is a continuing demand for XP from new PC buyers.

  • My 2 1/2 y.o. Dell just died. It was out of warranty. I replaced it with an iMac.

  • by Aphoxema (1088507) * on Friday October 03, 2008 @11:35AM (#25246807) Homepage Journal

    One of my many bosses at work was really, totally into Vista, defended it tooth and nail and swore up and down it was the best thing he ever had done did see. I kept telling him he'd end up hating it, and just didn't believe me. Asked me if I ever used, and I explained the only time I ever did was for five minutes playing with a Touchsmart at Best Buy. He said if I hadn't used it then I really have no right to talk bad about it, so I just let it go.

    Then he started having problems, blue screens, he shelled out a couple hundred on a new motherboard trying to bulldoze the problem, and it did fix it.

    Then he got SP1, and he got blue screens again, then he reinstalled and he still got them.

    Then he bought new memory...

    New hard drive...

    New processor...

    New video card...

    Then, and I swear this is a pretty bright guy, he found out it was shoddy web cam drivers, the one he insisted to always have plugged in.

    Then he switched back to XP just so he could keep using that web cam. I said, "It's not Microsoft's fault that this company made bad drivers" and he said "Yeah, I decided Vista wasn't so amazing after all"

    • by Shados (741919)

      Thats a funny story :) Shitty web cams do that crap quite often in general... A long time before Vista came out, a friend of mine had gotten a 30$ microsoft web cam... the drivers for it sucked so hard, it would blue screen -XP- constantly...

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