From the latest "Windows Secrets" newsletter:
"Vista is looking more and more like the Edsel of the computer industry. Presumably as a result of slow uptake by corporations and individual users, Microsoft last month confirmed that it will allow OEMs and smaller-scale "system builders" to pay as late as May 30, 2009, for copies of XP ordered by Jan. 31.
Combine this news with reports that Windows 7 may ship as early as mid-2009, and it looks like Microsoft is ready to relegate Vista to the binary scrapheap. Maybe the company's recent $300 million marketing push for Vista wasn't so successful as Microsoft claims it was.
If Windows 7 turns out to have better performance and reliability than Vista, as some reviewers believe, the OS may gain a measure of relieved acceptance from end users after only a few months on the market.
Dell has gradually been inflating its surcharge for "downgrading" a PC from Vista to XP. The bite rose last June from U.S. $20 to $50, then spiked in October to $100, and now is a whopping $150. The fact that Dell's customers appear to be willing to pay this amount or more to avoid Vista may be the greatest indictment of Microsoft's unloved OS.
The reality is that the Redmond software giant has been forced by popular opinion to provide customers with a Vista-free option — an extended life for XP — more than two years after Vista's rollout. Depending on your point of view, this concession can be interpreted negatively as an act of desperation or more positively as a burst of marketing acumen on the company's part."
Very interesting . . .