Dell brings back XP on home systems


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Amid significant customer demand, the computer maker said on Thursday that it has returned to offering the older Windows version as an option on some of its consumer PCs.

Like most computer makers, Dell switched nearly entirely to Vista-based systems following Microsoft's mainstream launch of the operating system in January. However, the company said its customers have been asking for XP as part of its IdeaStorm project, which asks customers to help the company come up with product ideas.

"We heard you loud and clear on bringing the Windows XP option back to our Dell consumer PC offerings," Dell said on its Ideas in Action page. Users get to vote on various suggestions, and the notion of bringing back XP got 10,000 "points," making it among the most popular requests but well below top picks such as adding Linux or OpenOffice.org to its PCs.

Windows XP systems became scarce, but not impossible to find, after Vista arrived. For example, Hewlett-Packard said it would continue selling XP on some machines aimed at small and midsize businesses, while CompUSA still stocks a couple of business-oriented XP systems in its retail stores. Lenovo has also continued shipping XP on many of its business systems.

Starting immediately, Dell said, it is adding XP Home and Professional as options on four Inspiron laptop models and two Dimension desktops.

Earlier this month, Dell added XP back as an option for small-business customers, but at the time, it said it would not add it back for home users.

"Dell does not have plans to launch Windows XP for home users as the preference, and demand is for the 'latest and greatest' technology, which includes Windows Vista," Tom West, director of small-business marketing at Dell, said in a blog posting at the time.

Analysts say Dell's move is not a good sign for Windows Vista.

"That there is remaining demand from some segment of (the) consumer market points to the inability of Vista to resonate with consumers," IDC analyst Richard Shim said.

There was an initial bump for Vista sales right after its launch, Shim said, but some of that may have been from consumers who delayed purchasing a PC late last year. Sales in the later part of the first quarter were less strong, he said. The overall response to Vista will become clearer throughout the year, he said.

Current Analysis research director Samir Bhavnani said most of the demand for XP he sees is from small businesses, rather than consumers.

"They know that XP works," Bhavnani said. "It's not that they don't want to upgrade to Vista. They just don't want to upgrade to Vista yet."

In a sense, the issue isn't the relatively small number of PC buyers demanding XP, but it's whether Vista is having any affect on the PC market as a whole.

In announcing PC sales data, Gartner said this week that Vista's launch "had very limited impact on overall worldwide shipment demand on a quarterly basis."

Bhavnani blamed some of the lackluster results on a lack of marketing, noting he sees more ads for Apple than for Vista.

"It's been a very soft launch," Bhavnani said. "I think you will see Vista create additional demand for PCs in the back half of this year."

Microsoft product manager Michael Burk said in a statement: "Dell is responding appropriately to a small minority of customers that had this specific request. But, as they have said before, the vast majority of consumers want the latest and greatest technology, and that includes Windows Vista."

The software maker has said it will stop selling Windows XP to large PC makers by January. Smaller computer sellers, known as system builders, will be able to sell XP machines for an additional year.

In a statement last week, Microsoft said such a move is normal after a new operating system comes out.

"Windows Vista is safer, easier to use, better connected and more entertaining than any operating system we've ever released, and we're encouraged by the positive customer response we've seen to date," the company said. "It's standard practice to allow OEMs, retailers and system builders to continue offering the previous version of Windows for a certain period of time after a new version is released."

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I don't blame comsumers for wanting XP back. I have no deshire to go to Vista anytime soon. They don't even have the issue of having more thank 2.75 gigs of ram addressed. I'll wait for the first service pack for vista before i'll completely move everything over to it.

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Nothing wrong with this. Why should people who want new computers have to have Vista shoved down their throats?

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I think is perfectly fine for the most part, but it's the drivers that need help.

I would like for my scanner to work (but that's just a pipe dream), and Nvidia is slowly getting better, but other than that, it runs just as well as XP for me, and Aero has a bonus in a dual monitor setup. There are other little tweaks that I've gotten used to as well, like in Windows Explorer, that make things easier too.

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Yeah... i had to revert down it was running like crap on mine, and had a lot of errors. I'm enjoying my Windows XP Professional right now. It works perfect.

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The real question to me is why do want to buy a brand new pc with a 5 year old os?? Seems pretty stupid to me. Also, they're if they're gonna be upgrading at sp1, then they could save themselves like $200 by just buying the system with vista already on it.

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The real question to me is why do want to buy a brand new pc with a 5 year old os??

Because Vista has no real benefits for the end user, especially people who are even somewhat knowledgeable regarding their machines and let's not joke ourselves, despite what anyone says - Vista sucks way too much resources compared to what it offers.

Alternative operating systems offer the same graphical gimmicks?(and?much?more) in a fraction of the resource usage and most importantly, Vista is ridicilously expensive for what it offers.

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If I went out to buy a new pc or a laptop (tho my next computer is gonna be a macbook) I would like to have XP because I can't not yet trust Vista...

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The real question to me is why do want to buy a brand new pc with a 5 year old os?? Seems pretty stupid to me. Also, they're if they're gonna be upgrading at sp1, then they could save themselves like $200 by just buying the system with vista already on it.

Ummm... Because up until a couple of months ago, it was the current OS? Or because it matches the rest of their systems? Or because (get this! ), they just don't like Vista?

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To each their own. Personally I'd rather stick to a 5 year old OS that I figured out very well by now and is very reliable for me in my everyday use instead of trying to migrate to a brand new OS just for the heck of having the newest OS, because I have found no good reason to switch to Vista yet.

Everyone has to decide for themselves because you can't just be all stereotypical about something that's as complex as computer user experience.

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Alternative operating systems offer the same graphical gimmicks (and much more) in a fraction of the resource usage and most importantly, Vista is ridicilously expensive for what it offers.

Its not just about the gimmicks. If you dont see past the GUI, then you dont really know what an Operating System is.

Plus - how is vista expensive?

Vista Home Premium - ?70... http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/123052

XP Media Center - ?75... http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/119649

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The real question to me is why do want to buy a brand new pc with a 5 year old os?? Seems pretty stupid to me. Also, they're if they're gonna be upgrading at sp1, then they could save themselves like $200 by just buying the system with vista already on it.

Do the end user has to suffer all the problems with a BRAND NEW PC and NEW OS because Microsoft decided to shove the NEW OS in their throat?

Its not fair, and big companies like Dell are loosing money because customers bought a new PC and they somehow cannot use X device on Vista that was once working fine in an XP machine.

I'm glad Dell started this, and I hope other companies do the same thing.

In a way I'm glad Microsoft pushed Vista out on all the new PCs, because since the Vista release I have built many computers for customers with XP Pro because customers did not want to deal with Vista problems.

/EZ

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This is a shame as it means less demand for Vista compatible software :(

Honestly, it seems that NO-ONE is coding for Vista these days. There are so many products that i'm interested in that dont support Vista i'm considering going back to XP Pro SP2 :(

The world just doesnt seem to be ready for Vista? Its a shame because I think Vista is awesome.

Is it really THAT difficult to code for Vista that it needs to be ignored or is considered too much hassle? :s

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I applaud Dell for doing this and they should be doing this for all their machines. I like Vista but I switched back to XP on my Dell 1505 because the video driver performance while gaming was just pitiful. Driver support has been just atrocious from a graphics card perspective. And I really don?t blame MS. I blame the vendors. They seem to have been caught completely flat footed and there?s just no excuse for it. They?ve known Vista was coming for years.

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To me I just like the fact that XP has to be the most documented OS in pc history. Whenever I have a problem I can find the answer at Neowin or even Google. Plus I don't consider XP SP2 to be a 5 year old OS. SP2 is very different from the original release.

I went to the Dell website and the computers they still offer XP on are junk. You can't even order a 2nd optical drive or 2nd HDD, cus the cases are so small. Yeah you can get a USB drive at 1/10 the performance, but thats not good enough 4 me.

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Its not just about the gimmicks. If you dont see past the GUI, then you dont really know what an Operating System is.

But still truth is Vista's gimmicks suck much more resources than those on alternative operating systems, while delivering less eyecandy (in terms of quantity at least, as "quality", or "how pretty it looks", is subject to personal preferences).

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This is a shame as it means less demand for Vista compatible software :(

Honestly, it seems that NO-ONE is coding for Vista these days. There are so many products that i'm interested in that dont support Vista i'm considering going back to XP Pro SP2 :(

The world just doesnt seem to be ready for Vista? Its a shame because I think Vista is awesome.

Is it really THAT difficult to code for Vista that it needs to be ignored or is considered too much hassle? :s

It's because people are stubborn and hate change. Look at Office 2007... A lot of people don't like the change, not because they've never actually tried it, just because it's different. Over time, people will be more accepting of Vista, just like it took time to get used to XP, but it won't happen right away, as the OS is still only three months old or so.

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OEM products - don't count. Use Retail prices instead of trying to trying to make the product more appealing.

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate - t?ysi englanninkielinen DVD-versio.496.90 ?/b>

Why use ultimate as an example? Not everyone needs ultimate. Actually hardly anyone needs ultimate. I made a pretty long post a little while ago showing prices of Vista compared to XP, and from the ones you can compare (XP home Vs home basic, XP MCE Vs Vista home premium, XP business Vs Vista business), vista was actually cheaper both OEM and retail. And Home premium was actually very closely priced to XP home.

I think this is a sad but good decision. Its good, because it gives consumers choice, but its sad because there's less incentive to develop vista software, and so that leads to a less uptake in vista, which goes in an endless cycle.

Also, I'm not sure, but is this the first time a major OEM like dell has gone back to using an older windows OS after using a newer one??

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