So I was talking to our COO today - and I mentioned some difficulties we' ve had in finding new notebooks that fit our requirements. Like a lot of companies, we don't want to move to Vista. We bought a couple Vista machines (Vaio's) and they pretty much suck out loud.
So we decided to stick with XP Pro. And a couple of us who actually set up the new machines are making an effort to stick with one particular model (namely HP's business class notebooks - no pre-loaded craplets, no pre-loaded trial anything - just plain, solid machines for a good price) and XP Pro.
The problem we've basically created for ourselves is that we are limited to a particular brand, model and operating system when the new dominant OS is Vista. And recently I almost got screwed because I ordered a bunch from PC Connectiion that turned out to be severely back-ordered.
My COO mentioned that now you could buy any Vista machine and downgrade it to XP Pro. But those are all the details I have. The only backup he had was that he read someplace (NY Times yada yada) that because of peoples' reluctance to move to Vista, that one could take a Vista Machine and run it as Windows XP Pro.
My question - is this really true? I mean, I keep up with most of this stuff - did I miss something?
I'd really love for some confirmation of this claim.
So, again, the question is: Can you buy any machine with Vista and run the thing as XP Pro?
So here's the deal.
The whole magic button aspect of what my COO was talking about is a myth. But I finally found the articles he had in mind.
http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=543 (ZDnet blogger Mary Foley outlines the particulars)
(and the official word from Microsoft)
So basically it looks like a person is perfectly within their rights to request an OEM to downgrade Vista to XP OR, to wipe Vista, load a copy of XP (that I assume the owner already has) and then call Microsoft for help activating.
I'd still love to hear from someone who has gone through the particular mechanics of this process.
In the end - yes, you can downgrade Vista to XP. And it sounds like you wouldn't have to spend anything extra to do it.