While the response to Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system has been less than positive since it was launched, the numerous issues preventing the product from gaining mass adoption should not be sufficient cause for organisations to buy Windows XP-preloaded computers instead.
Jason McMillan, HP business unit manager at Tarsus Technologies says that companies actively buying computers bundled with Windows XP over those bundled with Windows Vista may be making a mistake.
"The reason for this is simple," he says. "Companies will have to make the switch to Vista regardless of whether they intend to continue benefiting from Microsoft support or not," he explains, "and although the right time for the move to Vista may still be a year away for most, companies should rather be exploiting the 'downgrade' rights on Vista than buying computers with XP licenses and then having to incur additional costs when the time comes to upgrade."
McMillan adds, however, that organisations should bear in mind that orchestrating downgrades is easier said than done.
"Much of the hardware certified for use with Vista is not compatible with XP," he explains, "and only the Vista Business SKU is eligible for a downgrade to XP Professional.
"However, provided that organisations do their homework and ensure that their computers not only have a full complement of XP drivers available, but are bundled with Vista business, they should not encounter any problems.
"If any doubt exists, they should simply ask their reseller for assistance," he says.
"Vista has been such a contentious issue over the past couple of months, and we have gone to great lengths to ensure that our reseller partners are not only aware of the options, but are also familiar with the process.
"Having done this for many customers over the past year, we feel our resellers are more than capable of showing their customers the best route forward," he says.