Over one-third of enterprises downgrade from Vista to XP

We are all familiar with the marketing tactic used by Microsoft to report Vista shipment numbers that leaves a big loophole -- the downgrade license. A PC ships with Vista, but the PC manufacturer, via the

user's consent, "downgrades" the desktop OS to wipe out Vista and use XP instead. But just how many enterprises have bought new Windows PCs without Vista? About one-third, Infoworld reports. The magazine tapped into its database from its Windows Sentinel project to determine this. (Windows Sentinel is a joint project between InfoWorld and the exo.performance.network in which participants deploy an agent that monitors Windows systems, processes and network performance while contributing to a global repository.)

The magazine found about 35% of new PC owners chose to get rid of Vista in favor of some other Windows variant, typically XP (though some were using a Windows Server flavor). InfoWorld admits the data is skewed. The data is based on roughly 3,000 total Windows Sentinel participants, though InfoWorld doesn't mention how many of those 3,000 had new PCs that originally shipped with Vista. Plus, the publication was rather famous for its humorous yet ultimately unsuccessful petition to save XP. So, it would be reasonable to assume that InfoWorld readers might lean more heavily toward a love of XP than the population at large. The article, which published yesterday, also doesn't mention when the downgrade might have occurred (for instance, the data may include machines bought before Vista SP1 shipped.)

Given all of this, it is more interesting that InfoWorld found a full 65% of PCs that kept Vista. That's most of them. With Windows 7 rhetoric rising and the Vista/Mohave experiment fresh in our minds, could it be that the anti-Vista tide is changing? In another year, maybe new PC owners will be signing petitions to save Vista and reading blog posts that demonize Windows 7.

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