The numerous issues many customers have with Windows Vista are compounded by the fact that many feel that Microsoft's pricing for the operating system doesn't quite mesh with the perceived value offered over Windows XP. Windows Vista is priced at $199/$99.95 for Vista Home Basic, $239/$159 for Vista Home Premium, $299/$199 for Vista Business and $399/$259 for Vista Ultimate (full/upgrade).
As a result of the complaints from customers and businesses regarding Vista, Microsoft recently began offering an "XP downgrade" option for OEMs. The decision to downgrade a Vista installation is fully supported by Microsoft, but it’s up to each individual OEM to provide the option to its customers. Unfortunately, the option only exists for Vista Business and Vista Ultimate installations – Vista Home Basic and Vista Home Premium users are out of luck.
Fujitsu, which took matters into its own hands by offering copies of Windows XP with its Vista notebooks and Tablet PCs, fully embraces Microsoft's decision.
"That's going to help out small- and medium-size businesses," said Fujitsu's Brandon Farris to CNET News.
Other PC retailers such as Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Lenovo also provide their customers with Windows XP if they so choose.