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 April 30th

Mon,12:40 PM
Three Ways to Protect your Apple Watch (and One Way Not To)
Fri,6:10 PM
An Open Letter to Phil Schiller about iPhones, iPads, and Macs
5:30 PM
New Products Apple Might Give Us While We Wait for the Car
4:42 PM
Nomad Pod Portable Apple Watch Battery Pack: $33.95
4:40 PM
FBI Director in the Dark on iPhone Hack Details
2:36 PM
How to Select Single Pics from Burst Photos on Your iPhone
1:30 PM
SolarTab Portable Solar Panel is a Bright Spot in Outdoor Charging Solutions
12:00 PM
TMO Daily Observations 2016-04-29: Kicking Off a New Apple Conference
9:15 AM
Changing Your Wi-Fi Channel for Improved Speed
Thu,7:59 PM
Carl Icahn Isn’t Wrong about Apple in China
5:54 PM
House Passes Email Search Warrant Bill
3:20 PM
Roxio Toast 14 Titanium for Mac: $49
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!