The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
Ballmer: Buy Vista, Downgrade to XP for Free

Ballmer: Buy Vista, Downgrade to XP for Free

by , 4:00 PM EDT, June 4th, 2008

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, responding to a question about the support for XP off the shelf, said that customers can buy Vista, then downgrade to XP for free. "I don't know how you can do better than getting both," Mr. Ballmer said Tuesday in Washington D.C.

According to InformationWeek on Wednesday, Mr. Ballmer's comments suggest that Microsoft doesn't see the license provision as a loophole to be exploited by disgruntled customers but, in fact, is endorsing a program to spur sales of Vista.

Despite Microsoft's claim that 140 million copies of Vista have been sold, enterprise customers have had problems with Vista's onerous hardware requirements, incompatibilities with older applications and driver issues.

According to Paul McDougall with IW, this raises the question of how many copies of Vista are actually in service because of the special licensing provision. Some PC makers, including Dell, have "pre-downgraded" the PC from Vista to XP before delivering the PC to the end user.

TMO notes that other observers are lamenting the recent preview of Windows 7 at All Things Digital as an "Osborne Effect" marketing blunder. As a result, Mr. McDougall noted that some businesses may decide to wait for Windows 7 -- whenever it becomes available.

Microsoft has another reason to keep XP around. The smashing success of Ubuntu Linux on Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs), most notably from Asus, took Microsoft by surprise. As a result, companies are springing up right and left to sell Ubuntu Linux on Atom-powered UMPCs, and Vista cannot compete.

Recent Headlines - Updated March 27th

Fri,3:45 PM
The REAL Reason Apple’s iPad is Faltering
2:50 PM
‘Bobine’ Flexible iPhone Charging Dock: $24.99
2:05 PM
UK Safari Users can Sue Google Over Unwanted Browser Cookies
12:56 PM
TMO Daily Observations 2015-03-27: Tim Cook is the Top Leader, Leshi TV says Apple is Hitler
10:56 AM
Leshi TV CEO Says Apple is Hitler
9:29 AM
Apple Watch Compatible Apps are Already Arriving
8:55 AM
Numbers: Using the Quick Calculations Bar
Thu,9:20 PM
7 Things We Learned when Fortune Named Tim Cook World’s Greatest Leader
8:22 PM
How To Sell, Trade In, or Recycle Old Macs or PCs
7:35 PM
Apple’s App Store, iTunes, iBooks, Software Update Briefly Down for Some Users
6:08 PM
The New MacBook Giveaway
1:21 PM
TMO Daily Observations 2015-03-26: Apple’s Revamped iTunes Radio Plans, Amazon’s Big Cloud Storage
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!