Microsoft

Businesses can still buy new Dell and HP computers with Windows XP Pro

Dell and HP are selling select, business computers loaded with Windows XP Professional. Customers can have Windows XP preinstalled and get a DVD to upgrade to Vista when they are ready.

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Dell and HP are selling select, business computers loaded with Windows XP Professional. Customers can have Windows XP preinstalled and get a DVD to upgrade to Vista when they are ready.

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Microsoft may have officially ended retail sales of Windows XP, but some Dell and HP customers can still buy new machines loaded with Microsoft's venerable OS. Business customers can buy select Dell and HP machines, like the Optiplex 330 MiniTower with Windows XP Professional preinstalled.

Dell Optiplex 330 MiniTower with Windows XP Professional installed

Dell's Windows Vista Bonus program

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According to a post on the Dell Channel Blog:

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.

A post on Dell's Small Business Blog elaborates on the company's Windows Vista downgrade service:

For those of you who still aren't ready to make the leap, but think you might want to one day, Dell Small Business is now offering Vista Business and Vista Ultimate with Downgrade Service free on Latitude, Optiplex and Precision, and for a small fee on Vostro systems. With this service, we exercise your downgrade rights for you and factory-install XP Professional on your system while shipping you a CD for XP and a DVD for Vista.

Unfortunately, those hoping to get Windows XP Home or Windows XP Media Center Edition are out of luck. Microsoft is only offering the downgrade program for Windows XP Professional. Also, Microsoft won't allow you to move from Windows XP Pro to Windows Vista Home Basic or Vista Home Premium. You must upgrade to Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate.

Moving from Vista Home Basic to Vista Business can be a pricey upgrade. Selecting Windows Vista Business adds $130 to the price of the Dell Inspiron 530.

Dell Inspiron 530: Windows Vista Home Basic vs. Windows Vista Business

 Dell Inspiron 530: Windows Vista Home Basic vs. Windows Vista Business

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HP wanted $80 to upgrade from a Windows Vista Home Basic license to a Windows Vista Business license with Windows XP Professional installed on an HP Compaq dx2400 Microtower.

HP Compaq dx2400 Microtower: Windows Vista Home Basic vs. Windows Vista Business

HP Compaq dx2400 Microtower: Windows Vista Home Basic vs. Windows Vista Business

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Dell reports that they will offer the service "for as long as Microsoft supports" it. According to Microsoft's Product Support Lifecycle, the software giant will end mainstream support for Windows XP Professional on April 14, 2009 and end extended support on April 8, 2014.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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