Dell triples charge to downgrade PCs to XP for $150

More than five months after Dell stopped selling its popular Inspiron line of consumer desktop and laptop PCs with Windows XP, Dell is offering the systems with the aging operating system for a surcharge of $150 over the newer Windows Vista. It's now selling Inspiron consumer PCs with XP for three times June's surcharge!

Dell's Inspiron 1525 notebooks and 530 desktops can be ordered with Windows XP Professional pre-installed for an extra $150, according to the company's Web site. The fee is three times the maximum amount Dell charged last summer, immediately after Microsoft pulled XP from retail and barred computer makers from installing the more popular XP Home edition on anything but lightweight, low-priced "netbooks."

Vista Business and Vista Ultimate are the only generally-available editions that allow downgrades, and they can be downgraded only to Windows XP Professional.

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14 Comments

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business side of things allow downgrades if required but if you want Dell to install it they "try" to charge for it. Most times if you challenge it they will waive the fee (then again I have an account manager) or threaten to go to HP :P

Ya I have a corporate account rep. All of our PCs come shipped with XP Pro pre-installed at no extra cost, with a Vista license as well. I guess they are just trying to take advantage of consumers, which isn't quite fair.

Sounds to me like Dell is trying to really, really push Vista, even with the downgrade rights option available. With the next "you can't sell XP anymore" deadline around the corner (end of Jan or Feb for smaller OEMs like myself), seems like prime timing for this.

What is disturbing is that Dell is profiting from the ignorant misconception of so many people that Vista is no good and XP is better. My friend recently bought a new computer from them about 6 months ago and since he heard negative remarks from a friend of his (who's never even used Vista, mind you), he asked if he could get XP instead of Vista. His computer is 3 times faster than mine, and now he feels like an idiot for installing what is essentially a 6 year old OS on it. Thanks Dell! You're doing a great job of supporting the FUD!

Ha ha ha, what? Dell is TRIPLE charging for a downgrade. Now, do you think that would deter -or- encourage people to downgrade? Think carefully before you accuse Dell of spreading FUD...

Sounds like a typical money grab to me. All they're doing is loading a generic image onto the PCs unless its a special order so its not any harder for them to load XP than Vista.

They are also required by their OEM agreement with Microsoft to provide support for the obsolete OS.

I think it is only fair to charge people a premium for it. If I were an OEM it would be around a $500 a premium. It is stupid to want XP at this stage, but if they do they need to pay the proper fees.

Frazell Thomas said,
They are also required by their OEM agreement with Microsoft to provide support for the obsolete OS.

I think it is only fair to charge people a premium for it. If I were an OEM it would be around a $500 a premium. It is stupid to want XP at this stage, but if they do they need to pay the proper fees.

Yeah, XP Pro is not obsolete until MS ends support (around 2012 I think) and businesses may also require XP for compatibility reasons. As for the home user I agree, they should just ship Vista. My statement still stands.

If people want to downgrade then let them pay. I could understand wanting to downgrade a year or so ago but it's really getting a bit silly. Hopefully Win7 will arrive as early as predicted and all this fuss will disappear as it has certainly been sensationalised by many media outlets.

soldier1st said,
even though dell are crap xp is old and vista is fine.

+1. Agreed. So called "problems" with Vista are wildly exaggerated and usually nothing more than rumour and supposition, and are generally based on initial experiences when Vista was first released. Vista works just fine so long as you don't expect it to run well on 5+ year old PCs.

Actually, Dell makes very durable laptops, provides good support, and offers competitive prices. XP is older than Vista, but it's not old like your grandma and still plays everything that Vista doesn't. XP has been a more successful product sales-wise than Vista.

CFer said,
Actually, Dell makes very durable laptops, provides good support, and offers competitive prices. XP is older than Vista, but it's not old like your grandma and still plays everything that Vista doesn't. XP has been a more successful product sales-wise than Vista.

It certainly helped XP's cause that it was released on the heels of the WinME debacle. It was NOT a good operating system when it was released IMO.

Good to see the Vista fanbois at it again.
For many people XP is more than enough for people's needs. Others want XP for whatever reason they choose. They are the customer, after all.