back to article 'We could wake up smarter' - Ballmer hints at Win XP reprieve

Windows XP could yet be reprieved from end-of-life, if enough customers demand it, said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today. Speaking at a news conference in Belgium Ballmer said: "XP will hit an end-of-life. We have announced one. If customer feedback varies we can always wake up smarter but right now we have a plan for end-of- …

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wake up Smarter? he's been asleep for years

So they're eventually going to wake him/her up? I doubt if they'll recognise the place after the length of time they've been gone. it must be at least 7 years: 2 years of Vista and 5 years for it's development, with not a sight of "Smarter" during the entire time.

Given the rumoured $10B that vista cost, it is hopefuilly a lesson that MS won't forget in a hurry.

Funny thing: XP has just had it's new service pack released - not the kind of thing you'd do for a product that was going to be dead in a few months. Makes ya' kinda' think they've been planning this for some time.

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Linux

Ubuntu over Vista

Today sees the release of Ubuntu 8.04.

Balmer. Do us a favour and discontinue ALL XP sales ahead of end of the June deadline. Infact, do it tomorrow!

MS... all your desktop are belong to us.

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Thumb Down

He's not getting it, is he?

What he's failing (apparently) to grasp is that a lot of their APPARENT Vista sales in the business arena are people buying machines w/Vista Business OEM and exercising the downgrade rights to drop 'em back to XP Pro.

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Unhappy

Finding SP3

Is it just me that is having trouble finding the download for SP3? All I can find is release notes...

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Joke

dontcha just love weasel words

of course vista is selling in numbers, heck, the concorde is still selling in numbers... 0 is a number just like any other!

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Gates Horns

Dusty old kit?

You must be kidding, we're still buying brand new machines with XP on them, and if we can't get them with XP, we format them and put XP back on.

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Coat

Well

They sure couldn't wake up any dumber.

Mine's the one... Hey wait! Give me back my jacket Microsoft!

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Flame

eXtra Painful and adrift

Microsoft has always known better than their customers.

That's the way the company has always operated and apparently it's the way it will always operate.

It remains to be seen what percentage of their base will graduate and start knowing better for themselves.

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Microsoft Culture

I run XP x64, which I think is a fine OS. But as support for XP wanes, support for the 64-bit version disappears even faster. Vista has some good features, but most people are somewhat disappointed, especially those who saw what it could have been.

Microsoft used to know how to turn the crank on big systems, better than anyone else in the industry. But they are making mistakes. Internally, they have underminded the testing organizations by trying to force them to program and automate testing instead of the good old fashion sleuthing that a good tester used to do. In general, there has been a breakdown of their traditional culture three-way checks and balances among developers, testers and program managers (who advocate for the user).

Executives lack the tradition technical knowledge that used to pervade Microsoft's management. A bad idea, like Avalon, gets sold to Alchin while the developers groan and roll their eyes. Then it gets yanked when everyone realizes it won't work, and the whole project gets delayed. That kind of stuff is what caused Vista to be so late.

There is some good work in Vista. The new device driver interface is great, the kernel refactoring project was almost finished and should be done for Win 7. A lot of the most impressive engineering in an OS goes unseen by the user, but it does ultimately improve his experience.

Hopefully MS has realized that it made some mistakes. Ballmer has more or less admitted that, but does he know how to fix it? Maybe the most important thing he could do is restore that old Microsoft culture under Bill Gates, where a developer could go to a meeting and tell a vice president "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!". Today, he'd get fired for that.

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Ha!

"“We'll be distributing the service pack slowly so that we can help Windows users have a good experience,”

More like "so that we can roll it back when we FUBAR the first thousand users"

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Go

yeh

But even with SP1, Vista performs 50% less than XP. XP reprieve is a must.

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If it ain't broke...

...don't install it. Seriously I have just installed SP3 and noticed little improvement. I was expecting a speed boost but that did not happen. If this means XP is more secure and stable and does everything I need why bother with Vista?

It's like trying to upgrade the tyres on your car. You can get those fancy tyres and notice little difference to the standard set.

The only advantage is in the 64bit arena because they totally screwed up on XP 64.

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Tom

Dusty old kit?

My employer is still specifying XP on all new PCs. This is a site with over 2000 desktops and Dell is the monopoly supplier. Corporate policy is strictly no Vista, so I am curious as to what will happen come 30th June.

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Jobs Horns

Hint hint wink wink nudge nudge.

Revive XP?

That's a joke. XP is all they have. Vista won't cut it and nothing else has got the attraction and the vendor lock-in.

An upgrade to XP -a version with DVD say, would make it out of date. The only attraction XP has for the rest of us is that it isn't Vista or Linux.

Most people view their coming upgrade as a computer that will run Linux, with XP for their games and stuff. MS have not only seen the writing on the wall, they've had it translated to them:

No more lock-ins.

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Alien

Naked Emperors .... Executive Global Administrations ....

....Enhanced Graphic Adapters ... Spin Merchants

How spookily bizarre..... the Parallels in U turnings .....with policies in meltdown ...... money-making collapse ......... Toxic Sub-Prime rather than Credible Fantastic Viable Imagination.

"We could wake up smarter" would need Servering, Steve. Know of anyone who isn't Bought and For Sale? .......ZerodDay Traders with their Heads and Derivative Futures Hedged in the Cloud ..... Virtual Untouchables with AIMastery of Magical Mystery Turing Trips

Are Microsoft Geared to Role Lead Humanity with a Holywood Following Move ........... with XXXXPerienced AIdDrivers Delivering VistaVersions of Life .... and for IPTV2?

Or is Innovation Dead in the Land of the Free ...... Slave to Slave Drives rather than Global IntelAIgents Processor Units for EduTainment.

This is AIMentored Monitored MuI7 Production ..... Proceed with All Due Care for Attention.

And Yes, El Reg[ers], that is Perfectly Serious and QuITe Impossible for anyone Playing the Fool with Fools, to Plausibly Deny. They are Cordially Invited not to Try for that would be Foolish Squared.

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Anonymous Coward

There's still a retail demand for retail pre-installed XP

Mr Ballmer is stating the bleeding obvious, just a little on the late side.

There are still retailers that will sell you systems with XP pre-installed (and not just small places either). They're only doing this because the demand still exists in the retail market, from people who have a clue, in significant quantity. In the corporate sector, no IT department with a clue is touching Vista, and the IT folks are perfectly capable (well, should be, BOfH's excepted) of re-imaging a corporate box desktop with an upgrade to XP, even if the manufacturer's volume discount deal with MS means everything must leave the factory with Vista installed (what proportion of Billmer's Vista sales numbers would that eliminate?)

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Gates Halo

*sniff sniff*... anyone smell the coffee?

Well its about time!

Have Microsoft at last woken up from the dream where Vista was actually a success?

Paris because even she realised Vista was **** before Microsoft

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Anonymous Coward

Reality bending speech

Someone slap a 6kgs frozen salmon across his face. Hard.

It's called "reality check". The saddest part is that their billions in the bank allow them to live in such a far fetched private universe that they might actually believe the bullshit that spews forth with every breath.

Comes the revolution, marketing "evangelists" should be the first ones on the wall, togheter with their circle-wank mates from the "legal team".

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Paris Hilton

Even if they don't make it official, you can still "exercise your downgrade rights" as expressed in the EULA. At least, the current EULA for Vista Business allows for it, I haven't checked any others.

The problem at that point becomes finding drivers for your platform, which for certain OEMs (like Dell) can be an issue since manufacturer reference drivers often refuse to install and inform you they are not "certified" for the OEM version of the hardware. So, if your OEM doesn't produce XP drivers for your kit you are likely out of luck.

Fortunately for us, Dell plans to offer Windows XP as a factory installation option until December 30, 2010. Therefore obtaining the proper drivers for future Dell models will not be an issue.

The exact quote from Dell:

"Microsoft has given us permission to ship XP from our factory using Vista Downgrade Rights (DGR) COA/license thru December 30, 2010 ... [it will] show the following sku under the operating system:

Genuine Windows Vista® Business Downgrade, XP Pro Installed

We will sell the customer the license to Vista ... but XP will be loaded as the OP."

This is one of the few times I can say that I'm glad our company uses Dell!

Paris Hilton because I'm sure she knows how to exercise her downgrade rights...

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Anonymous Coward

Not just clued-up IT depts, either

The one I work in has no Vista boxes either. This idea that people are running XP because their equipment is too old, and that it'll all turn around shortly, is frankly bizarre and slightly offensive.

Anonymous for obvious reasons...

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IT Angle

@ Matthew

XP Service Pack 3 is only currently available to TechNet subscribers, allegedly to be released into the wild on April 29 according to this link:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsxp/0a5b9b10-17e3-40d9-8d3c-0077c953a761.aspx

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the problem is not vista

the problem is until Vista came along programs could write what they want and where they want in all flavours of windows. Vista breaks lots of old programs because they don't understand about elevating permissions and the like.

Businesses are not going to spend money on Vista PCs and money on getting their bespoke software rewritten

Microsoft have had there head in the sand about security for year and now they have woken up to it they have been bitten in the arse

Only way round it tith old software is to switch off UAC and then the only real advantage is the enhanced search function which is probably not enough for businesses

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Gates Horns

Pathetic

"If customer feedback varies we can always wake up smarter .. "

Pathetic. Just like a performer begging the audience to ask for an encore.

Or in this case, to dump the new material and go back to doing their greatest hits.

Like PJ of Groklaw says, "People aren't as dumb as Microsoft needs them to be." Really starting to show, these days.

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I put my money where my mouth is

Just got delivery of a nice shiny XP Pro OEM package from ebay. (Threw the 256Mb slice which came with it in the souvenir bin.) It's going to sit on the shelf until my new PC is selected and bought - about January if things go well.

I don't like having to spend dollars on something I'm not using yet but I can't risk not being able load a brand new machine with my choice of OS.

I have nothing against Vista or Microsoft and wish them both well. When all the volunteer guinea pigs are through, in about two years time, I might consider installing it.

To anyone who is going to post the usual "don't know what you guys are all whingeing about - Vista works fine for me": put a sock in it! I spend my life with computers and have done so for decades. Take it from me. Vista is well and truly broke. Without going into anecdotes, I haven't yet seen a single installation which works as advertised, and worse, which hasn't annoyed the sox of its miserable owner. Early XP had it's moments and 98 made you hate the colour blue but they weren't designed to deliberately infuriate the user and waste resources.

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Silver badge

What else could he say

Of couse he has to try to push Vista bye hinting to end XP.

Of couse he will not.

The life of XP will be extended, day bye day, at least until W7.

And then we have this very Microsoft "like" promise about Windows7 soon or almost soo soon or later.

MS good friend Forrester tells you not to wait for W7 but jump into Vista right now.

So to make MS happy first jump into Vista and the as soon as it is possible into W7.

Funny, bye the way how, fine XP has become in the light of Vista.

And will MS actually loose any money if business pays fo XP instead of Vista as long as they stay MS, that is.

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Paris Hilton

Re: my comment above

I've just noticed Paris has gone walkies to be replaced by 'him' in my above comment. Scary! Here she is anyway.

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Its a new OS? So what!

I've recently had the chance to start using Vista, and I like it. Do I like it enough to spend £100 to upgrade from XP? Erm, nope! But then, would I make the effort to get XP on a new computer when Vista is no extra cost? Another 'nope'.

The thing is, I've been using computers with a GUI fronted operating system for 15 years now - and I have reached the conclusion that I really don't care how the OS user interface looks or behaves. As long as my hardware works and my software works, and its pretty easy to get around and to tweak, then I'm happy.

So, a question springs to mind. If the details of an OS don't matter, why should the release of a new computer OS be such a big deal? Aside from the continual security battle and the need to adapt to occasional new generations of technologies, we should have reached the a natural endpoint of OS development by now. Compare the different ways of controlling a computer back in the late 80s with todays current slew of OSes and diversity has significantly decreased.

What I'm saying is that the OS should be seen as a basic component of a computer and is not worthy of huge sales figures or fanboy worship. The typical computer user should have no strong preferences between OSes because they all do the same rather basic things. Do you care about the interface of your car stereo? Or your phone, or your MP3 player? Do you choose a house on the basis of the way the lights turn on, or the direction the doors open in? Well, perhaps a little - but not enough to determine what you buy. So it should be with OSes.

The public response to Vista isn't really a reaction to MS' incompetence, poor planning or mismanagement of the promotion. It isn't a response to the superiority of Linux or MacOS over Vista either, as there is now so little to choose between them all (if they are all set up properly and running on newish hardware). Basically, we have said 'meh' to Vista because we have all suddenly realised that an OS isn't actually that important - only MS hasn't caught up with reality yet and tries to promote difference when all we really want is consistency.

You can't sell people change when what they really want is for things to stay the same.

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Strange moment

Got issued a nice shiny new HP Compaq laptop last week by my employers ( a well known telecoms company). On the underneath is a MS licence certificate thingy for Vista but what a suprise, it boots to XP !

XP or Vista, I really dont care, its better than the Win98 laptop I had up till then :)

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To go, please.

MS: "Welcome to McRedmond's - what can we get you?"

Mark: "Uh, how about an XP-deluxe?"

MS: "We're sorry, we no longer offer the XP-deluxe. You will have the McVista instead."

Mark: "Thank you, no. They make me vomit."

MS: "Too bad. You eat it!"

Mark: "Maybe I'll try one of those other places down the street."

MS: "Oh wait. I think I saw one more XP-deluxe back there somewhere. You wait there."

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Linux

Perhaps

Perhaps the new darling on the block Eee PC along with the Corporate World's bulk steadfast refusal to say "No Thank You !" and the more astute wiser punters with Vista powered note books sold at high street stores demanding and getting to replace the currently unusable Vista POS with XP !

Choices ?

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In this virtual money's world...

I'd like to know how much Microsoft really has in fortune...

The real money that is. The one that can't disappear in 2 days.

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@Finding SP3

Matthew, it has already hit the Torrent sites. "google" it:

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=xp+sp3+torrent&meta=

BTW I haven't installed a single update since early 2005, can't remember the last time I had to re-boot :-0

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Linux

SP3

@ Matthew

They haven't released SP3 (despite what it says above) What they have done is a "release to manufacturing" which means they send it to their oems and whoever it is that prints their cd's so they can incorporate it into their product lines.

The general release has yet to come.

Tux, because Ubuntu 8.04 is born today

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Windows XP

XP *NEEDS* to be kept alive. Everyone I know is bitching about Vista and how pokey it is. A lot of friends and family wish their machines came with XP.

I'll be upgrading many machines from Vista to Ubuntu Linux 8.04 LTS in the next coming months (once Windows share browsing is fixed in Nautilus/gvfs). I'm not being given a choice - people need their computers to run well, and be easy to use.

Loosing Microsoft compatibility doesn't seem to bother anyone anymore.

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Anonymous Coward

demand... from people who have a clue...?

Vista is so much of a joke that even low-clue users are demanding XP. We've now had a number of requests from retired workers:

"can you help me with a new computer, dear? and can I have XP please not this new thingummy?"

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Anonymous Coward

How do we let them know?

Other than phone or snail mail, how do we let Microsoft know that we still want XP?

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Gold badge

He means: if we make enough money from XP

I quite like that one. It's a quite sneaky, underhand suggestion that MS *may* just leave XP alive if they make enough money out of it.

Quality.

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Unhappy

A thousand times no

Pleez Mistuh Ballmah, suh, don't force no vista on me.

savexp.com (yeah, it's infoworld, but so far over 170k have signed the petition- is that enough yet?)

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Anonymous Coward

Two XP reinstalls and two Vista downgrades today

XP's here to stay, MS. At least while the only MS upgrade offered is Vista.

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Alert

Dusty old kit?

???

as customer I do not mind running any new and shiny kit with XP. Only trouble is getting hold of a new (legal) copy of the operating system for state of the art hardware now days... Personally I would like MS to continue to sell XP without further support for a while longer - it works very well indeed with plenty of RAM and any of the latest processors of choice.

If Vista is soooo good - surely MS can continue to allow sale of their XP through normal channels to all. Surely - people will quickly realise the great benefit of Vista and there is no real need for MS to dissallow sales of XP. Or is there?

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Gates Horns

@ Microsoft Culture

Back before the internet and downloadable bug fixes, I remember a reporter asking BG if they ever thought about a version release that just fixed the problems without adding more. "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard" was BG's response.

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Anonymous Coward

RE How do we let them know ?

Easy by not buying Vista, not even with a downgrade to XP option.

It is called voting with your wallet and something that should be done a lot more. Just demand your retailer to have XP or something else (Linux, Mac) instead of Vista.

RE: Its a new OS? So what

The problem is that the majority of the users don't even know they can get PC's with a different OS. What stores do you know that sell PC's without OS or PC's with an alternative to MS. The only option I have is Mac and that is something I never tried and probably will not try in the near future. I still think that Mac is overpriced.

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Alien

Get your Acts Together for IT can Sort IT Transparently ....No Problem.

"I'd like to know how much Microsoft really has in fortune...

The real money that is. The one that can't disappear in 2 days." ..... By greg Posted Thursday 24th April 2008 22:48 GMT

Now, now, greg, behave yourself. Everyone knows that if it's in the Banking System, it isn't real money and can instant disappear/be written off/be transferred to Beta accounts. It's the Great Game that they Play with IT although they've been losing badly and rather heavily recently, with their own gambling decisions, and that has exposed their position and leaderships to be unfit for Future Purpose. After all, a Bank is only rich by Virtue of those who would share/do business through it....... and if they have dodgy customers they lose their money, for the money is siphoned off, quite rightly, by the System and deposited elsewhere for a rainy day.

Let's get virtually Real here, Wealth Created, doesn't just disappear, its Value is just transferred to Pay for Warrior Projects and Black Ops. After All, when have you ever seen a Prospectus promising a Return on an Investment for a War Started for Business Reasons. That would be outlawed and condemned as a War of Terror and a Crime against Humanity so it has to be stolen stealthily for how do explain the huge cost of going to war and waging it for years and decades, if there is no huge cost to the economies and businesses at home.

Which makes it the dumbest virtual business imaginable [and yes it is Run with IT Systems from War Games Rooms] with everyone a real loser. IT Offers Command and Control with Words of Encouragement and Clarification/Death and Destruction/Simply Complex BrainWashing and Perceptions Management.

QuITe why it is tolerated and accepted can only be because of a Lack of Intelligence or a Block on Sharing Intelligence because surely Man is not so Stupid, is he?

Does he just need Education/Enlightenment/a Beta Plan to Follow religiously? Or is that too Imaginative for Words whenever IT is Simple Common Sense available to everybody.

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If Microsoft ran a Vista to XP downgrade programme ...

If Microsoft announced an OS downgrade program tomorrow I would jump at it.

One of my machine came only with Vista .... its pants. The worst OS ever. Its even made Mac OS X a very viable proposition.

XP was simple, fairly intuitive with SP2 and just worked and was fairly compact and rock solid when it had the right drivers.

Vista is buggy, slow, HUGE, counter intuitive and plain terrible.

Mac OS X is light, simple and, apart from not being as intuitive as people claim, not bad although ... 2 mouse buttons please, let me ALT-TAB my windows not just my applications and let me resize windows from everywhere rather than just the bottom right. Oh yeah, maximise windows should maximise windows :)

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@Finding SP3

"BTW I haven't installed a single update since early 2005, can't remember the last time I had to re-boot :-0"

On the other hand you are probable vulnerable to just about every exploit in existence.

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You what?

"Windows XP could yet be reprieved from end-of-life, if enough customers demand it"

Is the man DEAF, or just suffering from selective hearing.

Need to replace Gates Icons with Ballmer Icons, I believe!

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Alert

XP needs putting out to pasture

terminate all downgrade rights... push users onto Vista... you have to be cruel to be kind... only then will the true reality of the horror show that is Vista will be revealed... the Vista sales figures are apparently good, however, the reality is most of those are being downgraded back to XP...

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Anonymous Coward

XP done, Ubuntu arrived

I am two companies, I work from home. Just downgraded my new Lenovo with VB to XP Pro, easy peasy with the supplied discs. Also got the Ubuntu CD in the post today for the old Thinkpad, should be fun too. Who needs Vista?

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Gold badge

Vista is rubbish

Not my words, the words of my Father after he bought a high end laptop with Vista on it.

He wants XP back as he says nothing works with it, his printer won't work, software won't work. He's not a Windows expert and just wants his hardware to work.

Why should people have to go out and purchase new hardware to replace perfectly good hardware that is only a year or two old? I'm sure he wouldn't have to do this with Linux or Mac OSX.

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Paris Hilton

I also bought a Vista recently

Dell just won't sell you an XPS Laptop without at least Home Premium.

About 10 Minutes after the package was delivered, Vista was gone and is now replaced with an actual upgrade: Windows Server 2008 Standard x64.

Thanks to El Reg for pointing me to the relevant blog article.

Paris, because she's as cute as my M 1330.

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