Dell announced Friday it is offering home PC buyers a choice between Microsoft’s older XP operating system and Windows Vista when they purchase certain new machines.
As with most computer makers, Dell stopped installing the XP operating system on its new PCs after Redmond launched Windows Vista in January. However, the PC maker said it is responding to a swell of customer requests that it not completely nix XP just yet but instead offer the older Windows version as an option on some of its consumer PCs.
Users Spoke Out
“We heard you loud and clear on bringing the Windows XP option back to our Dell consumer PC offerings,” the firm said in a Web posting.
That response was prompted by user postings on Dell’s IdeaStorm Web site from customers asking for XP instead of Vista.
On a section of the site where visitors can post suggestions for the company and vote on the ones they think are important, a plea titled “Don’t eliminate XP just yet” received more than 10,700 votes.
Offering a Choice
The decision now gives home PC buyers a greater choice between Microsoft’s older operating system and Windows Vista, the company added.
Recently, the PC maker has moved to expand those choices. A few weeks ago, Dell said it would offer PCs with Linux, a free open source operating system that competes with Windows.
Although XP systems have receded from the marketplace since the arrival of Vista, it can still be found on some shelves. Hewlett-Packard said it is also selling XP on some machines aimed at small and mid-sized businesses; in addition, CompUSA has a few business-oriented XP systems in its retail stores.
Now, Dell has added XP Home and XP Professional as options on four Inspiron laptop models and two Dimension desktops.
Vista Still on a Roll
There is no reason for Microsoft to believe that Vista isn’t gaining traction with consumers, Laura DiDio, an analyst with the Yankee Group, told TechNewsWorld.
XP is likely appealing to buyers looking at entry level machines, who may not want to worry about all the upgrades necessary to take advantage of Vista’s features, DiDio said.
“What is the sense of having Vista if you aren’t going to use it?” she noted. “Microsoft has always had a close relationship with Dell and are well aware that often their competitors are older versions of their own products.”