Branded PC vendors will continue providing Windows XP Professional downgrade media in Australia as an option on new systems pre-installed with Vista.
Earlier this month, Microsoft US extended the availability of the XP operating system on new PCs till July 31, 2009. The original deadline was slated for January 31. However, it is possible that XP Professional would still be available after July 31, because ‘downgrade rights do not expire,’ a Microsoft spokesperson said.
“Some partners want to be able to support their customers with appropriate media while they transition to Windows Vista, knowing they sometimes need more time to test applications before upgrading,” the spokesperson said.
Windows XP will also be shipped pre-installed on select low-cost mobile devices such as Nettops and Netbooks. Acer business head product manager, Robin Tang, said SMBs and mid-size corporations purchasing pre-loaded Vista Business systems continue to request XP as a downgrade media option.
“It’s mainly the resellers that have been requesting the XP downgrade media,” he said. “People like to have that comfort blanket in case anything doesn’t work.
“A lot of the compatibility issues and fear users have of new operating systems is what makes it so hard to discard XP.”
Lenovo desktops and notebooks business manager, Otto Ruettinger, said it would be offering the XP downgrade media until May 31.
“If we need to review that before then, we may do that as well,” he said. “We’ve been providing XP media to customers through the call centre and we’re also including it with the majority of systems that we put through distribution.
“There will be some customers that are interested in XP and some that would want Vista. We just want to make sure they have the ability to exercise that choice.”
An HP spokesperson said the company would also continue offering XP Professional as a downgrade option on new PC and notebooks.
According to Acer and Lenovo, Vista Business has been the most popular of Microsoft’s new OS versions overall.
In the SMB sector, Vista Home Premium had proved to be a favourite, Tang said.
“One of the factors of in considering Vista is application compatibility and support. In the last six to 12 months, progress has been made in this area,” Tang said. “In reality, the migration will take place.”
The HP spokesperson claimed larger corporates had also started to make a move towards Vista.