Windows XP Machines Still Being Sold

For anyone resistant to converting to “Windows Vista” from “Windows XP,” there is still an alternative. Dell continues to sell new computers, desktops and laptops, loaded with Windows XP (www.dell.com). Reportedly, some other manufacturers are doing the same. The Dell prices are competitive with prices at major retailers, where only Windows Vista loaded machines are for sale.

There are also reports that “downgrades” to Windows XP can be obtained for some Windows Vista machines, however the process as described on the internet may not be as simple as some might like.

There are two good reasons for postponing the switch from Windows XP to Windows Vista.

1. There are continuing complaints about Vista. They are so intense that competitor Apple has run television advertisements about Vista.

2. Many older programs will simply not work on Windows Vista. In the longer run, people using such programs will need to migrate to the new operating systems (or to alternatives, such as Linux or Apple). However, the new 2007 Microsoft Office product, which features Word, Power Point and Excel runs on both Windows XP and Windows Vista, so that additional time can be taken to adjust to the emerging Windows environment without having to make a complete break with Windows XP and the many years of PC compatibility that Microsoft appears to value so little.

A final, less compelling reason for resisting the change is to “vote” against Microsoft’s recurrent practice of unveiling new operating systems “before their time.” Planned or forced obsolescence is in no-one’s best interests except that of a firm seeking to maximize its revenues by undermining the interests of its customers. This is why, in the longer run, Microsoft, will face market share losses that are likely to be swift and significant, if serious competition ever emerges. So far, Apple is not even a threat (regrettably).

Thus, this is no advertisement for Apple, to which I attempted to switch a few years ago in an expensive experiment. One afternoon about a month after switching, I realized that I was more productive on a French language keyboard (with its extra letters, requirements to hold down more than one key for some letters and default special character set rather than numbers on the top row) than on an Apple US-English keyboard. That realization resulted in the Apple being boxed up within minutes (as soon as I could copy the nwere files to my older PC), and I have never looked back. My sister in Alaska, who had long wanted an Apple, was well pleased.