Dell is upping the ante and offering a pre-installed Windows XP Professional “downgrade” for $99 on many of its computers. Now this feature has “bonus” (Dells own description) has been available since this summer. But now its being pushed in the bulk of Dells offerings.
As previously shown, HP offers this “downgrade” for no apparent charge/cost but only for its business laptops. If you go to the HP website and look at consumer PC and laptops there is no downgarde on offer from HP. Only the more expensiove business laptop and desktop PCs from HP are making the “downgrade pre-installed” sales options.
I have yet to discover any comparable offers from Lenovo or Asus. So the other major players are still not playing their cards.
However, as Christmas selling season passes through with economic downturn likely firmly in place, I suspect these offers will get better from the major PC suppliers. Microsoft has ostensibly done its part by extending the downgrade offer for 6 months but as yet we dont know at what cost to OEMs like HP and Dell.
This OS pricing will be well worth watching – given that the antitrust consent decree supposed allowed OEM much greater pricing freedom and relief from Microsoft doing punitive pricing deals. And with the Democrrats likely coming to power, the days of nudge, nudge; wink, wink; know what I mean, know what I mean Antitrust enforcement has gone along with extreme laissez faire business regulations and enforcement supported by the Bush administration. In short Microsofts salad days of no monopoly scrutiny from US Justice department are dwidling rapidly away.