Microsoft Simplifies XP Rollback

Dennis Faas's picture

Although chairman and recent Harvard graduate Bill Gates has bragged that Microsoft has shipped its new operating system, Windows Vista, some 40 million times, there has been much criticism of the product.

That's not news.

However, word that Microsoft will offer more simplified methods of "downgrading" new systems to Windows XP, is. Much to the company's chagrin, customers have demanded that newly purchased computers ship with the outgoing operating system XP rather than Vista, which took some ten years to create. (Source:

The new, XP-friendly initiative will help customers via OEM partners. Microsoft will streamline the ability of OEMs in order to downgrade rights/policies/procedures.

Although customers have been able to roll back their new PCs to XP, the process has been more difficult for OEMs. General Manager of Microsoft's U.S. Systems Group, John Ball, has publicly admitted so much.

How has the process been simplified?

Rather than forcing OEMs to make phone calls to Microsoft and then file an individual license key for each PC buyer who demands XP rather than Vista, the OEM can now roll back to the older operating system by simply filing online. It will save about 170 OEMs some serious time, especially since it can incorporate more than just one roll back at a time. (Source:

For now, just those 170 OEMs will have access to the plan. However, Ball and Microsoft promise to broaden the downgrade deal in the coming months.

Although offering XP more readily will make customers (and in turn, vendors) happier, it might cut into Microsoft's massive marketing campaign for Vista. According to one report, some 99% of new Windows PCs are shipping with the January 2007 operating system preloaded.

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