Dell thinks it knows what customers want - and that isn't Vista...
In an amendment to its Windows XP FAO for businesses made late on Friday the PC builder proclaimed:
"Customers may continue to get Windows XP Professional by exercising Downgrade Rights that come with Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate licenses. Dell has the ability to exercise 'Windows Vista downgrade rights' on your behalf in the factory if your business is still reliant upon Windows XP and you'd prefer to have Windows XP Professional preinstalled on your PCs."
So what are downgrade rights? Over to Dell again:
"Downgrade Rights means that anyone with a Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate operating system can downgrade to Windows XP Professional provided they have the media for Windows XP Professional." Of course there's a caveat: "Dell will only support the factory-installed operating system. Windows Vista Home Basic and Windows Vista Home Premium do not have this option, as they are not capable of downgrading to Windows XP."
Still, if 16 months later you remain unconvinced by Vista (join the club) and aren't planning to only buy a ULCPC this looks a good bet. As for Microsoft: fellas, if you'd made a better OS in the first place you wouldn't be in this mess...