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The XP alternative for Vista PCs


JurgenDoe
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While Microsoft is still pushing Vista hard, the company is quietly allowing PC makers to offer a "downgrade" option to buyers that get machines with the new operating system but want to switch to Windows XP.

The program applies only to Windows Vista Business and Ultimate versions, and it is up to PC makers to decide how, if at all, they want to make XP available. Fujitsu has been among the most aggressive, starting last month to include an XP disc in the box with its laptops and tablets.

"That's going to help out small- and medium-size businesses," Fujitsu marketing manager Brandon Farris told CNET News.com.

Hewlett-Packard also started a program in August for many of its business models. "For business desktops, workstations and select business notebooks and tablet PCs, customers can configure their systems to include the XP Pro restore disc for little or no charge," HP spokeswoman Tiffany Smith said in an e-mail. She said it was too soon to gauge how high customer interest has been. "Since we've only been offering (it) for about a month, we don't really have anything to share on demand."

Lenovo page

A Microsoft representative confirmed there were changes made over the summer to make it easier for customers to downgrade to XP. Under Microsoft's licensing terms for Vista, buyers of Vista Business and Vista Ultimate Edition have always had the right to downgrade to XP, but in practice this could be challenging. In June, Microsoft changed its practices to allow computer makers that sell pre-activated Vista machines to order Windows XP discs that could be included inside the box with PCs, or shipped to customers without requiring additional activation. Microsoft noted in a statement that neither it nor the PC makers are "obligated to supply earlier versions to end users under the end user licensing terms."

Full Story can be found here

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