Microsoft (MSFT) is no longer shipping Windows XP, but frustrated Vista-hating consumers may have new options to avoid the operating system. Dell (DELL) says it’s found a loophole in its licensing agreement with Microsoft that allows it to keep selling Windows XP Professional.
From the Dell blog:
The short version is that Dell can sell what we’ve branded “Windows Vista Bonus” which allows us to preinstall XP Professional with a Vista licence (on select system categories). This lets customer’s [sic] upgrade to the Vista platform when they’re ready. And yes, Dell will support both OSs.
It’s possible Dell has some sort of special deal with Microsoft which allows it to offer its “Windows Vista Bonus” (we love this name). But more likely, Dell’s move comes from a creative reading of the standard Microsoft licence. If so — and if the market’s aversion to Vista is as strong as we think it is — expect more computer manufacturers to follow suit.