Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Want XP on a Dell? That'll Be $50, Please...

Well, it's the last official day to get XP installed on a Dell without paying a "downgrade" fee. If you're looking for the low-priced Vostro line of desktops and notebooks - bring your piggy bank.

It'll cost $20-$50 more to have XP Professional installed as a downgrade to Windows Vista Business or Vista Ultimate. Oh yeah, and if you want to downgrade to XP Home - you're S.O.L. - you can only choose XP Professional (which is better, if a little more expensive).

You could, however, choose the more expensive Latitude, OptiPlex and Precision systems and downgrade for no cost - but those machines will set you back the extra $20 to $50 anyway.

Also notice that you have to pop for Vista Business or Ultimate versions in order to be eligible for the downgrade. Those two options are the "high end" of the Vista scale in terms of price. Here's a for example:

If you add Vista Ultimate to a Vostro 400 desktop it'll cost you $149 more than the default Vista Home Basic; choosing to downgrade from Ultimate -- Windows XP pre-installed and the Vista Ultimate installation disc in the box -- costs $169, a surcharge of $20.

And, the best part is - you don't get the XP re-install disc! Hey, great move Dell! I guess this is so that when (not if) your hard drive fails, you can see the error of your ways and install the most hosed piece of crap ever invented "true" operating system - Vista.

To be fair, it's not really Dell's fault - at the end of the day, Dell is only doing what it's supposed to do according to their OEM license with Microsoft.

Microsoft will stop giving computer makers an OEM licesne for XP after June 30th (12 days from now) and will stop selling boxed copies to retailers on that day as well.

My advice? RUN down to BestBuy and get as many of these things as you can afford. Then you can charge all your friends, co-workers, in-laws and relatives cost + $75 to get XP after their hard drive fails or when they realize they need to have a four processor, 32 core system with 8GB of RAM to get Aero to work properly.

I can understand Microsoft wanting to get people on to the "new" code base. It's going to be the basis for their next OS version - and it makes life much easier for THEM - in terms of upgrading.

The interesting thing - is that Microsoft has relaxed the XP OEM licensing until June 2010 for these new subnotebooks like the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) and the Eee PC.

Ah, so I get it. Those low-cost, ultraportable notebooks don't come with four processors and 8GB of RAM! So for those people, XP is the ONLY alternative (short of Windows Mobile!) that Microsoft has for them.

Good thing Dell also offers Ubuntu Linux right out of the box - NO extra charge... no downgrade B.S....

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