A few of the business manufacturers have the same restoration CD policy. They will provide you with a system with Vista installed and it will be up to you to re-install Windows XP. There are those who say they will provide a system that is Windows XP ready (driver ready, that is) however, youll need to purchase Windows XP from a secondary source.
If that isnt strange enough, it gets better. Quite a few of the OEMs have a policy that states that Windows XP will only be available to business customers who will be purchasing at least 25 desktops or laptops over the next 12 months.
So we have a downgrade option that includes paying more, re-installing the OS and (I think) extortion. I have been purchasing machines for a long time and never have I heard of needing to commit to a number of machines to get what should be available to me on a single machine.
The reports Ive read from other journalists as they looked into this 25-machine commitment policy claim that none of the manufacturers seem to be enforcing this policy.
Therefore, what is the bottom line? How do you get a new system after June 30th 2008, with Windows XP Professional installed?
Well, if youre willing to use the business Web sites or sales reps that offer pricier systems with fewer options, you could get what you want, with a bit of deception. Simply put, they must believe you are a small business. And in some cases, they need to believe you will purchase another 24 systems in the coming year.
If deception is not your thing (and I dont blame you), you can try to wade through the corporate bureaucracy and get the manufacturers to sell you a system with Windows XP installed. I promise you it will not be an easy task.
Moreover, I wouldnt be surprised if you ended up with nothing in the end for all your effort.
Im sorry I apologize for my industry. You would think it would be a simple task to get what you want. Considering that Microsoft took the end-users to heart and offered the alternative, it should not be this hard to get Windows XP installed and delivered without having to pull teeth or lie.
In conclusion, I recommend the following, given that the coming of Windows 7 isnt until 2009: perhaps you can stretch your system until that time.
Maybe you can purchase an older pre-built system with XP from a reseller. Or perhaps a barebones system running ReactOS (a Windows XP clone Operating system) which works with all the same system drivers XP uses.
The problem with that last option is ReactOS is in the Alpha stage, it will not be in Beta until sometime in September. That means you need to continue to limp along with your older PC or laptop for another two months or so. Good luck!