Dell sees the light regarding Vista

The two biggest PC companies, Hewlett Packard and Dell, have continued to offer new PCs preloaded with Windows XP, but only to their corporate and small business customers. All new consumer PCs have been offered only with Windows Vista, which is just the way Microsoft wants it.

In February, Dell rolled out a new Web site called IdeaStorm, which gave customers an opportunity to provide feedback and make suggestions regarding Dell products. The day after the site launched, the following message was posted by a user named javaprog07:

“I would like to see both Home and Business computers, especially notebooks, have an XP Home and Pro option on top of Vista until it has at least been out for a year.”

It was the first of many requests. On April 19, Dell responded.

“We heard you loud and clear on bringing the Windows XP option back to our Dell consumer PC offerings,” began the message.

Dell has announced that they will now offer Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional on a handful of models — on two Dimension desktops, the E520 and E521, and four Inspiron laptops, the 1405, 1705, 1505 and 1501.

In case you’re still fearless, consider this message I received from a client yesterday.

Heard a horror story from my brother tonight…He just bought a brand new laptop with Vista on it. Said it took him 3 hours on the phone just to get the DSL operating as they are not equipped to work with Vista – no software or whatever. Then when he hooked up his printer, which is only 1 year old – he went online to get the software updated, and they didn’t have anything that would work with Vista. He ended up going out to get a new printer, and then he still had trouble. He was ready to chuck the whole thing. He finally got everything hooked up but he spent a whole lot of time getting it together. Was he mad. He said that the software for all of the hardware is not up to date with Vista. One more reason not to get Vista.

I have heard similar stories from many sources. Hardware manufacturers are notoriously slow to develop drivers for new operating systems. We went through the same thing with XP.

Give it a year.