Operating System Debate Rages On

The lingering controversy about Microsoft's operating systems appears as if it will never die, in part because XP just won't go quietly. Are businesses really shunning Visa? Wil Vista go the way of the short-lived ill-fated Windows ME?

Only the mavens in Redmond know for sure, but there is in fact new evidence that sopme business customers still favor Windows XP over Windows Vista. A report published on Internetnews.com notes that user information collected by Devil Mountain Software finds that more than one-third of business users have "downgraded" from Vista to XP. For its part, Microsoft says this is no big deal because most of those XP users will likely install Vista later, and the Devil Mountain data is hardly a representative sampling.

Those are good points, but it's also true that build-your-own (BYO) resellers, as well as more established channel players like CDW and Dell, are still seeing demand from users (business or otherwise) for Windows XP. Officially, sales of Windows XP ended in June, but by paying a "downgrade" fee, users can usually get around the ban. (Microsoft saves face because, in fact, Vista can be added later.) All of this suggests that despite Microsoft's position that Vista has carried the day, the operating system still has a way to go in winning hearts and minds.

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