Ben_2 With June 30th just one month away, your business may be feeling pressure to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista. But don't panic if you're not ready. Three of the world's largest PC manufacturers have announced that they will continue support for Windows XP on new PCs when customers exercise their Windows Vista downgrade rights. The best part of the downgrade process is that when you're ready to move to Windows Vista, you have already purchased the license for it. So the upgrade should be "free." And why is Microsoft allowing this? Because machines shipping after a Windows Vista downgrade (hence, with Windows XP) still count as shipped Windows Vista licenses, which allows Microsoft to continue touting how well Vista is selling.

Here's a quick guide to the Windows Vista downgrade process by PC manufacturer for all of the businesses that aren't yet ready for Windows Vista.

  • Dell: Dell is offering to pre-install Windows XP on newly purchased machines as part of their Windows Vista downgrade service. Dell will provide technical support for the factory-installed Windows XP image. Just make sure you select "Genuine Windows Vista Business BONUS" or "Genuine Windows Vista Ultimate BONUS." There is no additional cost for this service.
  • HP: HP is also offering to pre-install Windows XP on new machines until at least July 30, 2009. Just make sure to select "Genuine Windows Vista 32 downgrade to Genuine Microsoft Windows XP." Again, there is no additional cost for this service.
  • Lenovo: Lenovo will also support downgrading to Windows XP on many of its machines, but it isn't offering a factory pre-install option. Instead, customers may purchase a Windows XP Recovery CD with the purchase of a Windows Vista Business or Ultimate machine. However, it is only offering this service through January 31, 2009.

By Benjamin Gray

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