Support Windows XP By Posting Drivers for PCs with Vista
Now that the decision has been made by Microsoft to keep XP Home and other editions on the market at least until 2010, it is time to do more to add value to Dell's product and take advantage of your build to order model.
Recently, it is noted that:
a) the Inspiron 1520 has been brought back with XP for the home market.
This need to be greatly expanded with XP available pre-installed on every PC sold by Dell. The build to order model is indifferent to it.
b) Retail machines sold at Best Buy, etc. need to come with XP and not just Vista.
Want to be real brilliant? Find a way with Microsoft so that customer can choose whether they want Vista or XP installed when they first boot up a new machine. Make the choice revocable so that a customer can always change their mind later if they made the wrong decision.
c) Dell need to support their customers who had the misfortune to have bought Vista based machines before the full extent of the Vista disaster (few drivers that work properly, etc.) were known.
There are many people out there who have machines that were bought that cannot do what it was intended to do because of the failings of Vista.
Specifically, Dell need to make available "unofficially" or officially, XP drivers for all machines that are shipped with Vista to date.
While Dell can elect not to support these machine's software if they are reinstalled with Windows XP, providing the drivers is a must.
What Dell can do is to make clear what devices will work, what wouldn't work if XP were installed on it, and how much functionality a user converting a Vista machine to XP can expect.
If Dell is real clever, they would offer to these loyal customers the option of either downloading the drivers from the website, or alternatively, having the drivers / application programs disks mailed to them for a nominal cost.
Want to be real smart? Sell a retrofit kit including a copy of Windows XP (Upgrade edition) so users can easily upgrade their Vista machines to Windows XP.
FYI, I bought an Inspiron 1525 at retail and converted it to XP myself.
The problem was difficult if you wanted to use AHCI rather than ATA compatibility mode. (Had to create my own boot disk from the XP disks).
I got it working, but had to hunt for drivers from the Inspiron 1520 (not all of them work properly), the Latitute D820 (some work), and then, some of the Inspiron 1525 drivers work with both Vista and XP.
As it stands, your competitors Fujitsu and Sony are both shipping XP installation disks and drivers with every Vista Business machine shipped.
Give customers a reason to choose build to order by offering something that is simply not available from your competitors HP, etc.