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Windows Vista users given XP Restore Discs

Microsoft lets Vista users revert back to XP

If your PC is running Microsoft Windows Vista Business or Windows Ultimate and you're fed up with the OS, you may be able to ditch Vista for XP Pro.

The software giant is now allowing some customers who are fed up with Vista to revert back to XP, and has started to provide PC builders will a 'downgrade' option on Vista Business and Vista Ultimate.

Several PC makers – including Fujitsu, Lenovo and HP - are already offering XP Restore discs, with a Lenovo website for downgrading to XP Pro stating: "For a limited time only Lenovo customers that have Windows Vista Business or Ultimate installed on their machines will have the chance to purchase a Windows XP Recovery CD."

Business customers were already able to switch from Vista to XP under their licensing agreements, but the new Restore Discs will simplify the process.

Dell’s small business sales team told PC Advisor’s sister title, PC World, that customers who purchased a system with either the Vista Business or Ultimate operating system could pay an extra $20 (£10) to have XP Pro recovery discs shipped with the machine. Customers don’t need an extra Windows licence for the XP Pro software.

Microsoft has previously admitted that Windows Vista sales have not met expectations – earlier this year it reduced its forecast for Vista sales while increasing its projection for XP shipments.

However, the desire to revert to XP Pro from Vista is a business trend, not a consumer trend, according to Chris Swenson, NPD Group's director of software industry analysis.

"Retail consumers are not requesting to go back to XP," Swenson said. Businesses are more sensitive to upgrades because Vista requires a more robust computer to run programs at peak performance. Vista requires better graphics and memory than XP, forcing companies to spend more on systems, he says.

Tom Spring from PC World US contributed to this story

See also:

Windows Vista review

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