The VAR Guy

June 30, 2008

1 Min Read
Dell: Windows XP Ain't Dead Yet

Microsoft is scheduled to bury Windows XP today — basically forcing Windows customers to buy Vista instead. Yet, Dell’s channel blog actually has the guts to show VARs how to continue offering XP to customers. Don’t underestimate the significance of Dell’s move.

Yes, the so-called XP loophole — which enables customers to receive XP even as Microsoft forces Vista onto systems — is well-known.

But Dell’s decision to promote the licensing loophole (in this Dell channel blog) is a significant one. As Dell states simply:

The short version is that Dell can sell what we’ve branded “Windows Vista Bonus” which allows us to preinstall XP Professional with a Vista license (on select system categories). This lets customer’s upgrade to the Vista platform when they’re ready. And yes, Dell will support both OSs.

Read between the lines, and Dell is basically saying that it no longer fears Microsoft. The customer — rather than recently retired Bill Gates — now calls the shots in the PC market. And Dell continues to promote customer choice to its corporate buyers and channel partners.

Remember: Dell actually had the nerve to introduce Ubuntu Linux on selected PCs and laptops — the very year that Microsoft began shipping Windows Vista.

Some folks argue that demand for Windows XP remains strong because it’s such a solid operating system.  That may be true for some customers. But The VAR Guy argues that XP remains a contender because Vista has been such a major disappointment.

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