Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Study Shows 35% Of Vista PCs Downgraded To XP

According to market research firm Devil Mountain Software, which runs a global community-based network to collect “real-world” metrics from windows computers, almost 35% of users who purchased a PC within the past six months downgraded from Windows Vista to Windows XP. Apparently, this trend continues, despite the fact that Microsoft officially retired Windows XP from retail and OEM channels back in June.

The survey covered more than 3000 users who voluntarily provided data to Devil Mountain's exo.performance.network. Devil Mountain came up with final results by matching vendor and system ID data from the exp.performance.network database and comparing it with system vendor offerings, which enables the firm to estimate the number of systems most likely shipped within the past six months.

"Either these machines were downgraded by Dell or HP, or they were downgraded by the user after they got the machine," said Devil Mountain's chief technology officer Craig Barth. "In any case, these machines are no longer running Vista." The EULAs for Vista Business (including Vista Enterprise) and Vista allows end users to downgrade to Windows XP Professional. Barth noted that 35% is an estimate rather than an exact figure. However, he considers the result an indication that "people are taking advantage of Vista's downgrade rights."

The study does not mention the reasons customer give for using the downgrade option so frequent it just gives an estimate on the total numbers that have been downgraded. However, the news about the survey’s findings contradicts Microsoft’s expectations of stronger Vista sales in the short term. The downgrade option will bed phased out in a few months and then customers won’t have the alternative anymore.

There may be a glimmer of hope coming from Microsoft as soon as next year with Microsoft set to reveal Windows Seven features as early as next month. Until then I suggest anyone wanting to avoid Vista to check out DistroWatch.com and try some of my favorite Linux distributions, which include Open Suse, Slackware and Ubuntu.

1 comment:

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