According to an email received by InformationWeek from Microsoft Microsoft will extend Windows XP downgrade rights to larger OEMs until July 31, 2009.
You can read the full article here.
This means that companies like Dell can continue to offer a Windows XP Downgrade option on select new computer purchases. From what we have seen on Dell's web site, this includes most of their business laptops (Latitude) and business desktops (Optiplex).
Our customers should keep in mind that an upgrade to Vista or whatever the next version of Windows is (Windows 7) the decision to upgrade is mostly unavoidable and you will have to upgrade SOMETIME.
We have been using Vista since its release in January of 2007. Despite some initial problems with drivers not working properly we like it. Vista will work with most of your existing business applications if they are a current version. The only reason we would recommend that you NOT upgrade is if you feel the new operating system will create confusion for your less than tech savvy employees. Vista is better than Windows XP but there is a learning curve to understand the differences between the two.
For the record, we do not recommend that customers upgrade their computers which are currently running Windows XP to Windows Vista but on new computer purchases, it is OK to purchase your new computers with Vista (make sure it is Vista Business).
For a more personal consultation please contact us. We are glad to help you with the decision.