Dell Inc. will charge customers up to $50 for factory-installed Windows XP on some PCs after Wednesday, according to the company’s Web site.
Buyers of the low-priced Vostro line of desktops and notebooks will pay $20 to $50 more for Windows XP Professional installed as a “downgrade” from Windows Vista Business or Vista Ultimate than they would for Vista only.
To meet Microsoft Corp.’s June 30 end-of-availability deadline, Dell will stop pre-installing most versions of the seven-year-old operating system after tomorrow. However, it will still be able to ship PCs with XP by taking advantage of the downgrade rights built into Vista Business and Vista Ultimate. Downgrading lets Dell install Windows XP Professional in lieu of Vista, although the newer operating system is still shipped with the machine so that buyers can, if or when they want, transition from XP to Vista. (link)