Dell Bringing Back Windows XP For An Encore

from the welcome-back dept

Last year, when Microsoft announced that Vista would be delayed for the umpteenth time, there was some fear that by releasing it after Christmas, it would result in a significant lull in computer sales. But this thinking assumed that people were actually enthusiastic about Vista and wouldn’t want to buy an older version of Windows with a new one coming out soon. In retrospect, that assumption seems to have been quite misplaced. Not only is Vista not leading to higher computer sales, but there’s a significant subset of consumers that actually would prefer to buy an older version of Windows. This demand has prompted Dell to start selling a few PC models preloaded with Windows XP, which the company had discontinued earlier this year. This can’t please Microsoft, which would like to concentrate, as much as possible, on supporting its new operating system. But with so many complaints about the resource demands of the operating system, and the amount of crapware that it comes bundled with, it’s no surprise that many people are happy to go with the old system.

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Comments on “Dell Bringing Back Windows XP For An Encore”

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Vista? No thx! says:

I don't understand what all the hoopla's

about with Vista. Yes, it seems on the surface MS is trying to stuff every security hole they can, but XP was never a big problem for me anyways. With some quality 3rd party software it is more than stabel and secure for me.

Vista to me is the pretty, shiny new model, while XP is a proven, reliable, stable and quite competent OS. I for one will not get Vista until I have to get a enw PC and it comes with it.

Makes Sense says:

Makes me smile

to think that Bill & Co can’t figure out how to actually sell Vista. If consumers prefer your OLD product over your NEW product that has been in development for what? 10 years? That should tell you that you are doing something seriously wrong.

Imagine Toyota coming out with a new Camry and everybody still wanting the old one…

Part of the problem is all the different flavors they are trying to sell. Should do it just like XP, make a Pro and a Home version and be done. Plus their prices are just plain CRAZYYYY! $300 for an upgrade? Come on! says:

Buisness Needs

If you think it takes a while from home users to switch to a new version of operating system just think of how long it will be before businesses upgrade. Businesses don’t need a major upgrade right now. At this point their is absolutely no reason for Vista. Microsoft is the only one who wants it.

David Cunningham says:

Re: Buisness Needs

Good point except at my Company the IT Staff are ordering new PC’s with Vista. They literally don’t ask anyone that’s using them if it’s ok, just shows up with Vista. Not to mention that ALL of our licensed software runs on XP, not Vista. So thats what some of us have to deal with.

Anonymous Coward says:

Well, i for one, have vista. I am okay with it, except for the fact that the transfer of files, large or small, is terribly slow. I have two computers running XP pro, and one with vista. As said before, you can guess which one I have an issue with. I really think that MS was in such a hurry to get out there and please the media companies with all the piracy issues, that they forgot about us little people.
With that being said, forget vista people, while your ahead. Had it not come bundled with my laptop, I wouldnt have it. And thank you to my hardware vendor for not offering an XP sound driver. HD my ass, I just want a good OS. Good riddance to Vista already!!!

OffRoader23 (user link) says:

Vista is a POS

OK, so I am a long time windows hater, but I still use it because I like playing games. Microsoft said Vista is supposed to be a gaming OS, but it is absolutely horrible right now. I tried installing it on my built computer, with a friends copy, and not activating it and trying it for 30 days. Worst 3 hours ever. I got it installed and go to try to use it…5 min later, BSOD, my PC restarted…So I downloaded all the device drivers for my graphics card, and sound card, and it still is BSODing all the time. When I installed the sound card drivers, right when it tried to play a sound. BSOD. I was pissed, and then I couldn’t get in long enough to change it to boot back to XP so I had to completely rebuild the boot partition which was a pain in the ass I shouldn’t have had to go through for this shitty ass operating system. VISTA SUCKS

Emilio says:

Forced Obsolescence

Um, at some point, will M$ simply stop validating/activating my retail copy of XP Professional? They tried roping in the liscence for Vista to limit it to the original motherboard, essentially, but if I decide to put my legally-purchased, paid-good-money-for copy of XP on a new PC say, three or four years from now, will they be legally able to say “tough slop, we won’t activate it anymore”? Would that be legal? Surely not…

Anonymous Coward says:


Or OSX. Vista is clearly a huge step sideways and a little backwards. M$ screwed up with it, and I doubt they will be able to fix some of its fundamental flaws unless they remove some of the “features”.
Having said that, Mac is clearly a viable alternative, especially for home users. Parallels and an old copy of XP are more than sufficient for the few must have Windows programs. Why anyone is buying Vista in April, now that it’s as bad as some feared, is beyond me.

Anonymous Coward says:

This is the same MS BS as usual, hype something as being more than it is, use the world as a test bed and then fix all the problems after everyone else finds them for you. I like XP because i know it inside and out, i can manipulate and write scripts and batch files to make it do what i need it to do(since MS can’t).Why would i want to cause myself a headache and start out form scratch?

Josh says:


I have been using Vista since November when it was released to MSDN. I think it is a fantastic OS. I still do not understand why so many people are Anti-Vista without even giving it a fare test. My guess is that most people do not like change, so they stick with what is comfortable for them.

I have had a few issues with drivers (not Microsoft?s fault as vendors have had the information they needed for compatibility for a couple years now). I do have 1 out of my 3 vista PC?s with the slow file copy issue (which is being addressed by Microsoft Soon).

I can only assume that all of the people complaining about Vista are new PC users who clearly do not remember XP?s launch. Back then, the complaints were legitimate and the OS security was like Swiss cheese. Now everyone is in love with XP but hates Vista (an OS that is rock solid and feature rich).
It will be interesting to see this flip/flop again in 5 years.

Healthy Sceptic (profile) says:

Re: Vista

Dude you are STUPID!!!
I have been a Vista Beta tester since the Longhorn CTP. You do not know what the hell you are talking about.

The people like you that do like Vista are the kind of people that check their email, blog, look at some web pages and make a word doc or two.
I have been using Windows since Windows 2.0, and I hate the hassles of Vista.

I just bought a new laptop (I buy a new one about every year, and a desktop or two) with Vista and Beta testing aside, I just hate to have to work on it everyday. So I downgraded to XP Pro. I do run Office 2007.

Also I know of hundreds of people that are very, very Tech savy that do not like Vista. Even turning off the UAC (User Account Control for newbies like you) still does not fix all the crap you have to deal with to just get stuff set up. I support and sell PCs and Servers everyday as my job and I always hate it now when I sell a new PC with Vista installed because it has caused me so many support headaches.

So until you become a experienced user that needs to do more than browse the web stop your STUPID statements about how nice Vista is!

Shaun Barlow says:

Re: Re: How can i reinstall my previous operating system?

I must’ve been outof my mind to think that vista would bring me the best computing experience around, but i have had to bear with it for a month and a half and it’s driving me nuts.

I have my Windows xp media Centre edition Installation disk, but how do i revert back to this?

I put the disk in, but the install option was all greyed out. ๐Ÿ™

Wizard Prang (user link) says:

Re: Vista

Looks like your remarks are getting crucified; I will join the general melee…

First of all, I think you meant “fair”, not “fare”. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been playing with a Vista Beta since it came out last year. Running on a 2.4GHz/1GB machine. Brings the machine to its knees with startling alacrity. Couldn’t find anything that makes it worth keeping, but cannot be bothered to remove it. The machine spends most of its time running my OS of choice: Windows 2000.

I suppose that your opinion depends on what you are looking for. Some are looking for Cute/Cool/Neat (an experience), while others are looking for a way to do stuff (an operating system).

One may safely assume that any site that has “tech” in its name will have a fair smattering of geek/nerd/engineering types for whom form inevitably takes a back seat to function. The simple fact is that for most of these folks, if Vista does not offer new functionality, then to such folks it represents a pointless expense/effort.

I remember the launch of every OS since DOS. I also remember that it took Microsoft two years AFTER launch to finally get XP right (SP2). Frankly, I expected better for 5+ years of development… and it is WAY overpriced.

Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

Why should a new OS require such a major upgrade?

I, for one, have no desire to try out Vista.

My brother installed it and said “other than the fact that it slows my computer to a crawl and everything takes much longer, and a lot of my old software isn’t compatible, I like it”. What a ringing endorsement!

A friend of mine who is quite computer literate installed it on his PC and was unable to get any sound to work in games. He bought a new sound card that was “Vista compatible” and now instead of no sound, it hard crashes the PC requiring a press of the reset button. He’s reverted back to XP just in order to get his PC to do all the things he did before he wasted, err… spent money on Vista.

I picked up a copy of Microsoft Flight Sim X in the store the other day and under requirements it said Windows XP:256 MB of RAM, Windows Vista:512 MB of RAM. Think about that – their new and improved OS requires that I have TWICE as much memory as their last OS in order to play a game that Microsoft themselves publish!

My computer runs great with XP + SP2 and only 1 GB of RAM. I recently upgraded from an Athlon 64 3500+ to a Athlon X2 3800+ and have no desire to upgrade hardware again any time soon, so why would I want to install *anything* that would slow my system down or make it less efficient than it is now?

Johnny Boy says:

Vista is coming!!

I was against XP when it first came out. It didn’t work with my stuff; and most of my favorite programs wouldn’t work on it for months. I understood 98 very well, and had gotten to the point where it was reliable for me. But we’ve had XP for 5 years now, longer than any other OS. We’ve grown accustomed to it. We’ve gotten used to it. Who would go back to 98 now?

I have Vista and XP at home; and there really isn’t much of a difference on Microsoft’s end. Yes, Vista has alot of security features. And you can turn them all off. That’s what I did. The security features aren’t intended for people that read things like Techdirt; they are intended for people like my mother. I will definitely leave her’s on. ๐Ÿ™‚

Microsoft will patch up the problems as the product matures. XP is mature; Vista is still an infant OS. This is just how Microsoft works. That’s why I have a dual-boot machine with both XP and Vista drives on it. I can do most things fine in Vista; but not everything. At least not yet.

My biggest problem with Vista is that not all of my software is Vista compatible yet. But I know it will be; it just takes patience.

And the machine has 2 swappable, identical hard drives. Vista and XP run at the same speed.

WillLik says:

Why windows anyway?

Except for gaming (which may not be as big a problem as many think), Why aren’t we getting more users on Ubuntu?
Or some other easy to load light operating system?
I too rail at Vista when I run into some little barrier like file sharing with a home version on a network, but I was more upset that I let the user get that version anyway. “I” Should have known!
I will end up liking vista as I have XP I am sure.
RIGHT after I learn how to tweak every single part of it to get it’s memory charge down below …, let’s say 250M.
Then I’ll be happy
(I’m still at around 320 right now)

Charles Griswold (user link) says:

OS Upgrades

I’ve actually upgraded a couple of computers from XP to Win2k. Aside from the support issues, it seems to have been a good upgrade.

You could also go the Linux route if you’re not concerned about games. This is an especially attractive option with older PCs. I’m running a recent version of SUSE Linux on a 400 MHz Athlon system and it runs very smoothly. Try that with XP or (God forbid!) Vista.

Robert Clark says:

Re: OS Upgrades

I upgraded from Win2k to Ubuntu, because Win2k was too slow on my old Dell 700MHz P3 with 384MB of RAM. I started with Edgy Eft (6.06) and moved to Feisty Fawn (7.04) I made this move because my hardware is snappier with Feisty Fawn. This old machine is quite usable now. Boot time, and application load time is quite respectable, considering the hardware. I can only imagine the performance on decent hardware.

What do I miss from Win2k? Only TurboTax. Everything that I need is included in Ubuntu Feisty Fawn.

glitch says:

I had Vista and i liked it. Ran betas thru RC2. My only true issue was a printer driver. The mfg said they wouldn’t ever release a drrive for Vista or even XP 64 bit [and it was a color laser]…well, that laser is now long gone and I will never buy another of that companies product. I have sinc rebuilt this computer twice and am still on XP. I just can’t justify the cost of the new OS.

Based on dollars and cents alone, I am considering going to Linux. I have tried 32 & 64 bit versions of Ubuntu and Kbuntu. All gotten for free, and able to play with without installing, but I dont think it is for everyone. It works for me, without jumping thru hoops and truthfully, that is all i care about.

I was one of thos that were waiting in line for the initial releases of Windows, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, 98 and ME.I started with DOS 3.2 and alsoo was one of the first to get DOS 5, 6 and 6.2

I build/upgrade my own computers, and so doing, just can not justify the costs involved with purchasing Vista. I have done my homework, Basicis out, Home premium is plausible but Business is what would seem best for me. Even with OEM pricing, i amn priced ot.

BmaJam says:


I think Vista was intended to be a Mac competitor. I mean, better graphics, improved search options (i do admit, i like me some search). Problem is, it’s a complete resource hog and its ordinary browsers can’t even work properly (like My Computer, n’ whatnot). So, it’s rather unreliable and very annoying and i hate it i hate it i hate it!!!! It makes me literally wanna get a mac!!! And the supposed heightened security is a joke. All it is, is an annoying full screen popup more or less and you can’t install your favorite anticrapware/firewalls. like zone alarm. my XP comp, i think, is waaay better than my vista. i relaly wanna selll that crap-ass vista ….
really do …
but it’s so prettty …..

Clueby4 says:

Vista DOES comes with crapware

Just take a look at the services that run in Vista. Some of which you can’t even disable without registry hacks!

Then the pre-bloated Task Scheduler, which is one of those unmodifiable services.

Sidebar, I’d have to put that in the crap-ware category, and UAC for that matter.

And don’t forget the most obscene form of crapware, frankly it could be consider malware, Vista’s DRM solution.

So tell me again how Vista doesn’t have crapware?

I keep coming back to this, software developers have lost sight of the fact that the applications/os/solutions they create to run on users desktop run on the hardware the software developer, DID NOT PAY FOR, so it would be nice to see an effort towards efficiency rather then obtusely saying “upgrade”. Vista is a great example of this arrogant behavior, there is little compelling reason to upgrade, and it does less WITH MORE. Yet some seem surprised by the valid complaints, attempting to flap about the first days of XP. Yes software is buggy, but design flaws and obvious CYA solutions are not covered under that “waaahh it’s hard” excuse.

Eric says:


Vista and any new Microstinks OS’s that comes to the market untested by the public, or majority of tech consumers could get a pile of stinking garbage.

Finally Dell got its nose outa MS butt and offered XP or Vista.

DUH Dell ya should do that anyways, you want ppl to buy your junk well give them a choice.

Vista is a untested ball of VIRUS!

I aint, and I am sure most techies wont touch it with a ten foot pole.

Not until a service pack.

My 2c

Perri Nelson (user link) says:

Downgrade complete.

I’m a long time Microsoft fan, but they’ve lost me with Vista. It’s a POS. They didn’t bother to really bake in backward compatibility with their developer tools. But they also didn’t bother to release developer tools for Vista either.

When I upgraded my XP box to Vista Ultimate I also bought Visual Studio 2005 Professional. You know, their latest and greatest development package.

I upgraded windows, Installed Visual Studio, then I installed Visual Studio Service Pack 1, because VS 2005 isn’t compatible with Vista. Neither is Service pack 1, but you need it to install the Vista update for Service pack 1.

Big Mistake! After installing Service Pack 1 I was no longer able to boot into Vista except in SAFE MODE, which was essentially useless. I also was unable to roll back using the System Restore points because of an access violation in the System Restore code.

Soon, I wasn’t even able to boot Vista at all.

I wiped the system completely, re-installed XP, and restored almost everything from my backup.

But it was a pain, and I still managed to lose five years worth of stored email.

I’m not too happy that XP is going away in less than 9 months…

|333173|3|_||3 says:

The annoying prompts asking users if they wish to allow a prgram to run undre hieghtened priviledges is one of hte worst pieces of stupidity, since after a vvery short while, people will get sick of reading them properly, and end up installing all sorts of crap.

Some parts of the Australian civil service have stated that they will never switch to vista, and that oncce they have to leave XP, if Vienna is not a vailbe option, users will have to use Linux or Mac OS *. This is because of the DRM provisions, and the factt aht they cannot ve sure what backdoors there might be for DRM and US govt. use (think of the MS HDD encryptor).

Steve R. (profile) says:

When Microsoft introduces a new version of its operating system, they should issue a final version of the “old” operating system. This subject seems to be overlooked by us when discussing the issue of whether to migrate to the new operating system. I believe that Microsoft should make final versions of all their “discontinued’ programs available.

For example, I have an old computer that only can run Windows98, I was able to get the program “current” by downloading from Microsoft’s website, nevertheless having a final CD would have been much easier. Also Microsoft may not keep the website operating forever.

Just recently my Access2000 program crashed. The computer dutifully asked to report the error, I let it do that. On the next screen, I was informed that 1. the bugs to access were no longer being fixed and 2. My solution was to upgrade As many people have pointed out upgrading from XP to Vista may not resolve old issues and may introduce new problems.

John (profile) says:

Some thoughts

I think of the big issues is the amount of change from XP to Vista and how many people don’t want to change. Many people think “Win98/ Win2K/ WinXP works fine for me, so why upgrade?”

Anyway, here are two nit-picks that could problems down the road… if only Microsoft had actually thought about it:

1) “Start” menu: the Start menu is now just a rounded Windows icon. Will book publishers and IT support staff have to explain that the “start button” is that rounded thing to the left? No, not the taskbar- the “other” left. No, that’s the Internet Explorer icon.
Ten minutes into the conversation and the customer is getting upset because his version of Windows didn’t ship with a button labeled “start”.

So, who exactly, thought it was a good idea to train users for 12 years to click “start” and now dump the word “start” from the button?

2) Security/ User Access.
While I was visiting my parents, I got a chance to use their Vista PC. I installed Firefox on their machine and got the usual Vista dialog box asking if I wanted to allow the program to install.
While I think security is a great idea, I wonder how long it will take for users to ignore this security box just like every other dialog box?
Let’s see… allow Quicken, Photoshop, QuickBooks, Word, Excel. Allow “TrojanVirusA.23”? Fine, whatever, stop bugging me and just let me get back to work.

Or how long will it be until virus-writers and hackers spoof the name of their viruses so Vista says “Allow winsvr32.dll?” and users just assume it’s a part of the operating system?

Or-I-Made-Gun says:

How do I go back to Window XP from Window Vista?

I just upgrade my Dell to Window Vista..But I found out that my Backup files couldnot open on it..How can I go back to my previous window? I cant even install some application on Vista…I’m not happy with it at all..I cant get to use my files since Friday..Anyone with hints?..I really think Window XP is cool than Vista.

Patrick says:

Returning to XP

I recently downgraded my new machine from Vista to XP. Got tired of all of that crapware running in the background, most of which I had no idea what the heck it even was. My computer runs smooth as silk now with XP.

Anyhow, if you still have your old XP install CD, unfortunately the only way that I know of is to boot from it, repartition and format the hard drive, and do a clean install. That’s how I had to do it. If there is a way to uninstall Vista and go back to XP from within Vista itself, I’ll be damned if I could find it. One might get the idea that Microsoft doesn’t want anyone to get any “foolish” ideas like that.

paulson says:

Vista Sucks...

As everybody says, MS Vista sucks. I don’t think that there is anything new or unusual in it about MS Operating Systems. But this time it was very much beyond our expectations.I bought a new Dell pc. They were not selling anything other that MS Vista. So I had to go for that. It’s …. I don’t know what to say… Shittt. If I got Bill Gates, I could have killed him. B*stard. F*ck you Bill Gates!!

Anonymous Boy says:

I “upgraded” to XP Pro SP2 from Vista Business. I couldn’t copy 33MB of 3092 text files with Vista. Incredible. It sat there forever and said “Preparing to copy.” I can’t be bothered to deal with Vista’s bullshit. That’s the most basic thing an operating system should be able to do… copy files.

Also, under Vista, my laptop would lose connection to the network.. “Identifying..” or “Local Only” I would look at my other laptop under XP, and it would be online just fine.

Good Riddance, Vista. You suck.

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