Microsoft is ever so quietly working with PC vendors to widen its Vista to XP “downgrade” policy for companies who are not ready to move from XP to Vista or companies whose hardware does not meet the minimum Vista standards.
The program only includes Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate, and the reality is that it is up to the PC makers if they want to offer the “downgrade” as an option if at all.
Even if your PC maker does offer a “downgrade” to XP, it still may prove challenging to get your new PC up and running under Windows XP, depending on the amount of support and help that is offered by your PC maker. While some PC makers are offering an XP restore disc in the box with the unit, other charge to supply you with an XP restore disc.
Still others offer the “downgrade” to XP option, but you are responsible for loading and configuring your own PC. And if this is the case and you have issues, you are on your own for operating system support; so do not even bother trying to call your PC maker who normally is responsible for supporting Windows on your PC.
While Microsoft is cutting off PC makers from selling PCs with XP after January 31, 2008, many PC makers continue to lobby Microsoft to be able to offer XP beyond the cutoff date. Availability of XP licenses also continues to be an issue for consumer PC builders. If you are building a new PC and want to load XP on it, System Builder copies of Windows XP have largely disappeared, and those who need a license have been forced to seek out retail boxed full copies of Windows XP that are now being sold for a premium price by many retailers.
Some retailers in the US that have Windows XP Professional Retail Box on the shelf are charging between US$20 to US$50 more than the suggested retail price because of unknown future availability to restock their shelves.
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