Downgrading Your Operating System

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You may have heard that Microsoft’s Windows  Vista operating system has been less than a booming success.  You may have also heard that you will no longer be able to buy Windows XP, the system that Vista replaced after the end of this month.  Really?  Well, yes and no.  Here’s the real scoop from PC World.

Microsoft will stop selling XP to retailers and OEMs on June 30.  But, the retailers and OEMs can continue to sell XP software and XP computers as long as they have inventory.  So the imminent demise of XP has been overstated.  Microsoft will continue to provide support through 2014.

But wait, there’s more!  Because there have been so many problems with Vista, Microsoft offers what they call  "downgrade rights."  A computer manufacturer can sell you a new machine with Vista installed and then downgrade it to XP before you take delivery.  You’ll receive the installation discs and drivers for both operating systems, giving you the option to "upgrade" to Vista if you choose.

The "downgrade option" won’t be available on all computers, so check before you buy.  System builders, that’s people who custom make computers to order, will be able to offer XP until the end of the year.

Support

Microsoft will offer what it calls "mainstream support" which includes bug fixes security patches until April 14, 2009.  From 4/15/09 until 4/8/14, you’ll be able to get "extended support".   Extended  support includes security updates but no bug fixes. 

There it is, crystal clear.  There seems to be a love-hate relationship with Vista.  Some people love it.  Some people hate it.  MYOB runs on XP and we have no desire to change.  Vista may be great, but have you ever heard of any manufacturer offering "downgrade rights" on anything?  It does seem a bit odd.  It’s like selling you a 2008 Chevy but giving you the option to trade it in on a 2007.  Sounds like an admission of guilt, doesn’t it?

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