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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