XP Prices Are Rising
Dell has tripled the surcharge it will charge users who wish to downgrade Vista PCs to Windows XP. Dell’s Inspiron 1525 notebooks and 530 desktops can be ordered with XP Professional preinstalled for an extra $150.
There is still a strong user base that prefers Microsoft XP to Vista, this is shown in the fact that the XP downgrade deadline has been pushed back a couple times now. Under Microsoft licensing, Vista can be downgraded only to XP Professional until July 31, 2009. Many are still requesting XP with their new PC purchases, but Microsoft’s downgrade fees are trying to force users into purchasing the unpopular Vista.
Though the Microsoft brand is linked with PCs in the minds of many consumers, that does not necessarily mean they will be herded like sheep into purchasing Vista. The demand for XP is still high, even if starting to slack a little lately. When Microsoft tries to penalize customers with fees instead of improving their current OS, there is going to be backlash. This may turn out to be the jumping point for some who considered buying a Mac, or it may lead some users to pirating their choice OS instead of paying extravagant fees, especially with the recent economic slump where people are trying to save every penny they can.
The stigma has been set, many people do not trust Vista and most of them don’t even know why. Regardless of the cause for the Vista hate, Microsoft is not fixing the problem by forcing users to purchase the OS. We’ll only have to wait a few days before the Apple ads roll out and start smack talking Microsoft about this latest feat.
Windows 7, the next OS in line from Microsoft, is the company’s hope of eliminating the stigma. Industry analyst Rob Enderle says, “Windows 7 is designed to fix this problem [the Vista stigma], but it will need stronger demand generation marketing than Microsoft has yet proven it can provide. Windows 7 is estimated to ship in 2010, but may come sooner if Vista acceptance does not improve.
My personal experience with Vista has been iffy. I tried to keep the prejudice out of my mind while using the OS, but I still found myself disliking certain elements from the very start. I use my girlfriend’s HP laptop with Vista often enough, and it is constantly riddled with error messages (many of which don’t make any sense). Much of the OS is clunky, but there are a few redeeming qualities.
I myself am a mac user, but I have owned nothing but PCs until a little less than a year ago. I am running Leopard but I also have a second partition on my computer, this is where I have XP installed. I will not be putting Vista on my computer anytime soon. XP has its own share of problems, but I encounter far more on a regular basis with Vista than I do with XP. Everything I still need to use on my Windows partition still supports XP and I don’t think that will change for a long time.
What do you think? Is Vista a needed or wanted upgrade? What are your experiences with XP and Vista?