bit-tech.net

Microsoft offering XP downgrade

Microsoft offering XP downgrade

Some users of Vista Ultimate will be able to downgrade to XP with little or no charge.

Businesses and home users just may not be ready for Windows Vista yet. For the people who feel strongly about that, Microsoft is offering a downgrade to XP option through the original computer manufacturers. If you have either Home version of Vista though, you're out of luck - only those that bought computers preloaded with Vista Ultimate or Business qualify for the downgrade.

One of the reasons for this move could be because the "attach rate" (speed of migration) of Windows Vista for businesses in the UK is very low. In the nine months since the operating system had launched, less then two percent of UK companies have started to use it, according to a survey done by Computer Business Review. The same survey also indicates that less than 60 percent of all business have plans to move to Vista within the next two years.

That may not come as much of a surprise to some, since many businesses are slow to upgrade their desktop systems. The cost of new hardware to run Vista may just keep many at bay until it is time to upgrade whole systems. Sales pushes for newer operating systems are typically done by the personal consumer instead of businesses in the first year anyways.

For those that are wanting to downgrade, you'll have to check with your manufacturer as there are varying in the methods to make the downgrade available. Fujitsu has been packaging an XP disc with its laptops and tablets since last month, while Lenovo is charging customers for an XP recovery CD. Other manufacturers may include the XP disc in the box regardless since the cost is so inexpensive.

All of this brings a confusing message to some, since Microsoft is still requiring manufacturers to quit bundling XP with new machines starting on January 31, 2008. Many manufacturers are pushing Microsoft to extend that deadline but it is still unknown as to whether that will happen.

Are you satisfied with Vista or would you rather just go back to XP for the time being? Discuss this move by Microsoft over in the forums or in the comment section below.

35 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Mankz 24th September 2007, 17:03 Quote
I know that our school PCs used to be able to log on and print something off in under 1min under XP pro, where as its now closer to 5 with Vista.

I have a copy of vista here, but I won't be upgrading to it from XP for a while to come.
Redbeaver 24th September 2007, 17:10 Quote
Vista supporter here ^^

its more than half-a-year already.. its time to put the nail in XP's coffin :P
noobarino 24th September 2007, 17:20 Quote
win 98 or winxp ftw
Djpuk 24th September 2007, 17:21 Quote
Only really good if the manufacturer has written XP drivers, we tried to downgrade one of the new HP notebooks recently and you will find problems as some components have not had XP drivers written for them, well at least not yet anyway!
will. 24th September 2007, 17:29 Quote
I'm happy with vista, but I see where businesses are coming from. As a home user I'm having a few problems. I can't imagine the sort of hell setting up 100's of vista machines would cause.
Enak 24th September 2007, 17:59 Quote
Worth having a look at this Microsoft Information Sheet

Further information from OEM system builders site.
Quote:
Originally Posted by http://oem.microsoft.com/script/contentpage.aspx?PageID=552836
What are Downgrade Rights?
Downgrade rights are an end-user right and are documented in the product End-user license agreement. Downgrade rights refer to the ability of your customers to acquire the most recent version of Microsoft software but continue to run a previous version until they are ready to upgrade.
When and Why Would Customers Use Downgrade Rights?
Your customer is purchasing a new computer system and it needs to run the same operating system as their existing 10 systems—Windows XP Professional. You can preinstall Windows Vista Business on the new computer system, then offer your customer the added service of installing Windows XP Professional on your customers' behalf. The downgrade media must be supplied to you from the end user and must come from a legally licensed version of Microsoft retail, OEM/System Builder, or Volume License channels.

If the end customer decides to downgrade, they can use one legal version of the downgrade media for multiple installations. The end customer does not need to have one set of Windows XP Professional media for each PC they are downgrading because they have acquired legitimate full operating system licenses for Windows Vista Business , which gave them the right to downgrade. Your customer can run Windows XP Professional until they are ready to upgrade the system to Windows Vista Business—and at that time they would already be licensed for the Windows Vista Business they purchased with this new machine.

When an end user is using their downgrade rights offered under the License Terms in Windows Vista Business and Ultimate versions and they use both Windows XP media and a product key that was previously activated, they will fail activation due to the hardware configuration change when installing on the Vista system. In these cases the end user will be prompted to call the Activation Support Line and explain their circumstances to the Customer Service Representative. Once it is determined that the end user has a valid Vista Business or Ultimate license, the Customer Service Representative will help them activate their software.
phuzz 24th September 2007, 18:06 Quote
We had 4 brand new Dell laptops into work last week, two of the managers decided to keep XP (including my boss, the head of IT), the other two insisted on Vista.
Fortunately I had loads of Dell XP install disks lying around, and because it's a dell, you will never be asked for an installation key, it just validates. Handy eh?
DXR_13KE 24th September 2007, 19:08 Quote
most people are still waiting for SP1.....
completemadness 24th September 2007, 19:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
most people are still waiting for SP1.....
most people are going to be disappointed IMO

SP1 is mainly a rollup of all the fixes to date, plus a few more
It doesn't change the "vista experience" so if your waiting for SP1, your wasting your time

I think the problem is, XP was plagued with issues when it was released, i remember all the bad press, then SP1 came out, it fixed most of the XP issues (a lot of which was compatibility if my memory serves)
However, vista SP1 really isn't going to do that (imo) so if you want vista, you'd do just as well to get it now
wuyanxu 24th September 2007, 19:17 Quote
Vista? problem? those 2 words never stays in 1 sentence in my book.

installed Vista on a Sempron 2800 computer, worked very well, installed Vista on my shinny new rig, worked even better.

i can't see why anyone know how to use a computer have problem with Vista. (know how to use a computer also includes know how to pick a graphics card)
and i can't see why new computers shouldn't have Vista
craigey1 24th September 2007, 19:43 Quote
I don't think it's just a case of how well (or badly) Vista performs compared to XP. I found out about the downgrade option today by googling as my step-dad has just bought 4 PC pre-installed with Vista Ultimate & the accountancy software for his company wont work on them. It's either downgrading or £300 to buy the latest version of the accounts software.

There's also some other specific software that wont work on Vista either & it could be very expensive to upgrade to the latest versions, (that's if some of them even have a version that works with Vista).

so, yeah. I think it's a good idea. Otherwise it'd cost 4*£80 (£320) to purchase new XP licences for the PC's.
DXR_13KE 24th September 2007, 20:15 Quote
the problem comes from hardware and software companies that create "spaghetti" code, it works ok on XP but its a headache to modify or port to other OS.
automagsrock 24th September 2007, 20:49 Quote
I have been using Vista since April and I love it. I won't go back to XP on my main PC. My Macbook will be dual-booting XP, but that's about it.
Tulatin 24th September 2007, 21:34 Quote
What i find laughable here is that vista's downgrade will be available at little or no charge. So, then, you charge people to downgrade eh? WTF guys?
Enak 24th September 2007, 21:54 Quote
Why would you buy a vista machine to downgrade?

The process is simple and wouldn't cost someone who knows how anything.

But if you don't know how to install windows, you'd have to pay someone to do it for you. That's gonna cost.
proxess 24th September 2007, 21:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by automagsrock
My Macbook will be dual-booting XP

if you have a macbook... why on earth do you have something ruining something like windows?
bloodcar 24th September 2007, 22:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulatin
What i find laughable here is that vista's downgrade will be available at little or no charge. So, then, you charge people to downgrade eh? WTF guys?

The charge from OEMs is for the price of the disc. Normally they charge you around $5 for a recovery cd anyways so it's not a real big deal.
ralph.pickering 24th September 2007, 22:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
i can't see why anyone know how to use a computer have problem with Vista. (know how to use a computer also includes know how to pick a graphics card) and i can't see why new computers shouldn't have Vista

And therein lies the problem. A lot of companies, like the one I do support for, have users who use a computer for their job, but haven't a clue how to "use a computer". They learn just what they need to know in order to do their job, but are clueless about anything else. My day is spent dealing with calls such as "is the server down?" (We have over 20 servers idiot - which one?), or "is the internet down?" (of course... the whole internet is down... pfft). Most of them won't even read an error message let alone comprehend what it is saying. So suddenly putting a laptop in front of them where all the shortcuts are in different places, and you have to work out (slightly) different ways of doing the same things - well they'll either have brain meltdown or be on the phone to me every 5 minutes saying "how do I ...".

So most IT people are probably thinking, like myself; wait till most of them have bought new home computers with Vista, and are forced to learn the basics on their own time. That way when you give them Vista in a year or so, no problems. Hell, I haven't even got round to putting Vista on any of my own machines - even though I've got an OEM copy of Ultimate edition that's been sitting in my cupboard for 6 months. I just can't be bothered, although I suppose I'll have to fairly soon.
Enak 24th September 2007, 22:12 Quote
To me, the issue is more of a question as to whether my customers will a) pay for the cost to upgrade a perfectly capable system b) pay to upgrade the perfectly capable staff.

In business, cost is always the bottom line.
DriftCarl 24th September 2007, 22:28 Quote
I am also happy with vista, it is a great product, the problem is the lazy developers of popular business programs do not fix their software to work under vista. For the home user vista is perfectly fine, asuming you got a nice new pc, i woudlnt get vista on your 2 or 3 year old XP machine.
Once developers of business apps start to get off their fat lazy arses and fix their software, I am sure we will see a bigger increase of business users with vista.
Lakeuk 24th September 2007, 22:34 Quote
the large company I work for only just 18mths ago moved over to XP, it's going to be a long time before we move upto Vista
wuyanxu 24th September 2007, 22:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph.pickering
And therein lies the problem. A lot of companies, like the one I do support for, have users who use a computer for their job, but haven't a clue how to "use a computer". They learn just what they need to know in order to do their job, but are clueless about anything else. My day is spent dealing with calls such as "is the server down?" (We have over 20 servers idiot - which one?), or "is the internet down?" (of course... the whole internet is down... pfft). Most of them won't even read an error message let alone comprehend what it is saying. So suddenly putting a laptop in front of them where all the shortcuts are in different places, and you have to work out (slightly) different ways of doing the same things - well they'll either have brain meltdown or be on the phone to me every 5 minutes saying "how do I ...".

So most IT people are probably thinking, like myself; wait till most of them have bought new home computers with Vista, and are forced to learn the basics on their own time. That way when you give them Vista in a year or so, no problems. Hell, I haven't even got round to putting Vista on any of my own machines - even though I've got an OEM copy of Ultimate edition that's been sitting in my cupboard for 6 months. I just can't be bothered, although I suppose I'll have to fairly soon.
good point. i didn't realise such problems such as employee don't think for themselves or software compatibility and fee for upgrading problems.

so to correct my statement, i shall say why the hell do Microsoft offer Ultimate downgrades? i dream to have Ultimate where university only provided Business for free :(
normally, manufactures don't put Ultimate unless they are sure it's a beast of a machine for home users (?) so why have downgrades when the machine won't have software problems, nor will it have any hardware speed problem?
Cupboard 24th September 2007, 23:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu

normally, manufactures don't put Ultimate unless they are sure it's a beast of a machine for home users (?)

Ultimate seems to have fallen between 2 stools, for home users, Home Premium comes with everything they need, and without a load of stuff stuff that would slow the computer down. for Business users, Ultimate is too expensive.

The only people that would buy it are people like us, that buy it either coz its "ultimate" or we are getting it cheap as an OEM deal.
speedfreek 25th September 2007, 02:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupboard
The only people that would buy it are people like us, that buy it either coz its "ultimate" or we are getting it cheap as an OEM deal.

Or on the school deal.

I installed XP on my laptop because it just works so much smoother and I need all the space that the vista takes compared to xp. I should switch over to linux all the way. :D
ragman 25th September 2007, 04:35 Quote
This sort of system "downgrade rights" has been in place since XP PRO was introduced for those slower migraters from 2000.

It is open to business licencsing customers including Office products. Hence the reason why only Business and Ultimate get it.

Ok i admit partially, that because of incompatibilities and products requiring patching, this is why most IT departments test thoroughly what will work and what wont before a rollout, but not only that to enable a smoother migration process. Typical example a business client still has another yr or 2 of tax obligations before he can effectively replace all the pcs in a department but that rogue one or 2 pcs that die and need to be replaced before their EOL cannot have an OEM licence taken from one pc to another needs to purchase new licenses along with the replacement pcs, providing he doesnt have an open business/value deal with Microsoft already.

The company may find and through their own testing that inhouse software is not compatible yet with vista and therefore dictates the need to have XP or 2000 reinstalled onto the new laptop or desktop. Along with many other reasons why a business needs this flexibility.

I work in the IT Industry as a PC Tech liasing with customers from industrial sites down to the home user and have done for the last 10 years and funny the same agruments abound 5-6 years ago when XP first came out comparing how crap it was to 2000. Now alot of ppl sing its praises over Vista, please. Ill see the same type of people, if not the exact same people doing the same thing next desktop OS release.

If you are going to post this sort of dribble as news then have something thats breaking ground not something ill prepared or is typical of sensational journalism and trying to stir up the same old argument of which OS is better or MS admission of guilt over a crap product.
DeXtmL 25th September 2007, 08:07 Quote
People always say the toughest competitor to Vista is XP.

Maybe those XP guys should start learning Vista and gain immediate benefit from then on.
h_2_o 25th September 2007, 08:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DriftCarl
I am also happy with vista, it is a great product, the problem is the lazy developers of popular business programs do not fix their software to work under vista. For the home user vista is perfectly fine, asuming you got a nice new pc, i woudlnt get vista on your 2 or 3 year old XP machine.
Once developers of business apps start to get off their fat lazy arses and fix their software, I am sure we will see a bigger increase of business users with vista.


as an IT contractor i have to very much disagree with this statement. it isn't that the developers are lazy it is that companies are getting sick and tires of spending tens of thousands of dollars if not hundreds of thousands of dollars upgrading when it is not necessary. I know more companies who will not upgrade to vista because it would require complete relicensing on products at absolutely no gain to them at all. so they are forced to spend a$$loads of $$$$$$ on a products that is slower (vista) and has less compatibility than xp to begin with. then you get into how much of a resource pig vista is. companies then have to upgrade hardware and spend even more $$$$, they are just getting sick of upgrading for the sake of upgrading. if they do not get any new real functionality out of a product that actually helps production, and i am all with them on this, why upgrade? anyway there is about an infinite amount more reasons not to upgrade to vista, but hey we do not have time to go over all them here
mikeuk2004 25th September 2007, 09:31 Quote
At work we have just been upgraded to XP a couple of months ago, only because MS dont support NT workstation anymore. THats the goverment for you, try to keep hold of the oldest tech thats cheap.
Panos 25th September 2007, 09:54 Quote
Hi,

I will give you my thoughts based on my previous experience on a IT support contractor, and present as the "IT guy" in a medium size company with 120 users.
Vista is crap on business enviroment. Why?

a) Software. Accounting, CAD, 3D design packages, including multifactional photocopiers/printers etc are not supported. Those "louzy devs" someone said above, will write code for Vista when they have the knowledge how it works. And then you have to buy the licences again. There is software out there who cost thousands to get (3D Studio, AutoCad). There are hundred of thousands of civil employees people who still work with Access 97 applications under Win 98. End. The people will continue working with them until the next multi million allowance comes from the goverment in 2020.

b) Shared server folders, network disk drives, wireless network drives and server managed Vista clients. Are not working. Try to turn off a UPnP router on your network and all Vista machines will crash.

c) 95% of employees do not have a clue where the applications are. They never went above the START button menu and they work with the shortcuts I put on their desktops. They are lost when they log in on another machine without activated roaming profiles. They cannot even find the shortcuts when they rearrange them. I did a test to some of them and load them a VM with linux and desktop looking exactly like XP. The people worked fine with the only complains were about coloured windows. They didn't even realise they are working on different OS. And all our software runs on Linux too.

d) So what's the benefits of Vista over XP in managed business enviroment? NONE. Vista is DX10. DX10 is for gaming not for work. Vista is like Exchange 2007. TOTAL USELESS compared with Exchange 2003.
leexgx 25th September 2007, 12:30 Quote
good post

its not in Business intrest to upgrade there pcs to Vista

1 most of there pcs are running windows 2000 or XP
2 most of the pcs probly only have 256mb ram or 512 that will not work with vista (nuff 512mb vista is unuseable needs 1gb min or 2gb recommended 3 gb for High video setting gameing)
3 cpus in most of there pcs probly going to be under
4 support err support what support (user ring up i installed something from the internet and my pc does not work any more, support rep say pop the Vista disk in and format and reload hang up) most mallware Brakes vista at this time as its ment to work on XP

its going to take +5 years before business upgrade but if all there stuff is working on XP no point in upgradeing most business will not upgrade coes there £5000 software will not work on vista and the companys that sell that software will want like another £3000 for an upgrade

as well as the problems with vista and networking i made sure all my customers in an good post

its not in Business intrest to upgrade there pcs to Vista

as well as the problems with vista and networking i made sure all my customers in an business place do not use vista as 80% of there software thay have that is +1/2 years old Will not work on it, home users i allso put off an little as well

the only reason i can see business wanting vista if thay want DX10 and maybe the secuity but it means your going to have to give trianing to all there chickens that use there pcs as i find most of them do not know whare the start button is and only look at whats on the desktop

--------------
to run Vista (properly) you need an Dual core cpu and 1gb of ram but should use 2gb if you use lots of programs (you can use 512mb but you be there all day wating for programs to open)
to run XP 512mb and any single core cpu but 1gb is better but most stuff will run happy with 512mb (you can use 256mb and get away with it but not as bad as vista)

XP gameing 2gb of ram
vista gameing 3gb/4gb of ram (so the maps can Fit in ram and stops windows from pageing alot)
bilbothebaggins 25th September 2007, 13:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panos
(...)
c) 95% of employees do not have a clue (...) I did a test to some of them and load them a VM with linux and desktop looking exactly like XP. The people worked fine with the only complains were about coloured windows. They didn't even realise they are working on different OS. (...)
*lol*
That's really great. :D
roadie 25th September 2007, 13:10 Quote
XP works and people know how to use it. For the average business or home user, there is just no compelling reason to upgrade to Vista, apart from making stuff look more shiny.

That's my opinion anyway.
completemadness 25th September 2007, 23:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeuk2004
At work we have just been upgraded to XP a couple of months ago, only because MS dont support NT workstation anymore. THats the goverment for you, try to keep hold of the oldest tech thats cheap.
surprised the government doesn't move to Linux or something, free is good :)
leexgx 26th September 2007, 06:39 Quote
but all the software works on windows so it proly cost more money as well as support you cant just plug an linux box in and expect it to work, you need an admin who knows linux and all the hardare would have to be the same to cut support, not going to happen
darklord of chaos 27th November 2007, 18:26 Quote
:)

I have been reading over the replies and it amounts to xp user/ microsoft bashing ,yes vista has problems ( anyone trying to run crysis will tell you that) and that xp is faster more stable. if you consider the length of time xp has been out for I am not surprised as MS has had time to eek out the bugs in the OS and with vista being a relitivly new OS it has issues for now a dual boot would be the way to go.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums