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Well, so much for Dell. I had to tell someone today not to buy a new Dell PC.

By Andrew Pollack on 02/09/2007 at 08:48 AM EST

Like most of the geeks who read this, I'm someone people ask advice on what PC to buy. Often. I'd recommended a Dell machine to someone this week but got an email back saying they could only get the machine with Vista. Incredulous, I checked this out and it is true. Dell will not sell their new PC's to consumers without Vista. When I asked if they seriously would rather me go away than buy my fourth Dell machine, all I got back was "Why do you feel you do not want Vista?"

Hey, Dell, how about because I'm the consumer and it's what I want. How about because I have a bit (probably more than 15 years) more experience than your fresh from the cabbage patch telesales guy and don't need to justify my purchases to the little whelp.

My advice to this friend came down to this:

"My very strong suggestion is to wait it out. It's smarter to hold off buying a PC and see what happens over the next few weeks and months. Either all of us doomsayers will be proven wrong and Vista will be wonderful, or else Vista will create such a backlash that vendors will once again sell PC's without it. How badly do you need a new machine right now? If you really need one, we can find an alternative. "

Clearly Microsoft is putting huge amounts of pressure on vendors to sell only Vista now. This will of course be reflected in the adoption numbers that come out this quarter. They'll say "Look, a huge percent of new PC's are being purchased with Vista! It is a success! Don't sell our stock.

Once again, I call bullshit.

There are  - loading -  comments....

Thread on devWorksBy Chris Whisonant on 02/09/2007 at 09:29 AM EST
I commented at this thread on devWorks:

This guy said they're planning a quick rollout of Vista to 10,000 users...
re: Well, so much for Dell. I had to tell someone today not to buy a new Dell PC.By Philip Storry on 02/09/2007 at 09:37 AM EST
I'm in the market for a new machine, and my answer if someone says "Why not
Vista" is pretty simple:

Much of the software I've tested had issues with it, and I gave up testing it
because of this. I want a machine that works with my existing software, and I
want it now.

Not whenever all the various software vendors ship patches. Not even when they
have new Vista Certified versions for me to buy.


Therefore, if you won't pre-install Windows XP, you won't get my money.

Easy. :-)
re: Well, so much for Dell. I had to tell someone today not to buy a new Dell PC.By Ben Langhinrichs on 02/09/2007 at 09:43 AM EST
I'm with Philip on this on. My wife is looking for a new computer, and we
already agreed that it won't have Vista on it. Microsoft can pressure vendors
any way it likes, but they can't make people buy Vista just because they say
so. If a vendor won't sell me a machine with the OS I want, I'll go
elsewhere. There are still certainly vendors selling XP, and if they stop,
I'll move her to a Mac or to Linux. I HATE being told what to do when it is
against my better judgement, and Vista is just not ready... or necessary.
re: Well, so much for Dell. I had to tell someone today not to buy a new Dell PC.By Stephen Hood on 02/09/2007 at 09:54 PM EST
Ben I can understand that you may have to stay with windows but we switched our
home machine to a Mac a few years ago..the kids love it.

Previously I was the maintenance the kids do it themselves. I really
only have and admin account for emergencies .. I've barely been on the machine.

In a way having something different severed me from being the "guy" and the
kids took ownership/learned the Mac. Variety can be good :)
re: Well, so much for Dell. I had to tell someone today not to buy a new Dell PC.By Jerry Glover on 02/09/2007 at 11:31 AM EST
I've never been a big Dell fan; my experiences with their machines have been
less than satisfactory. Beyond that, Dell is obviously pretty heavily tied to
Microsoft and Intel in the PC ecosystem. Vista, with its heavier hardware
requirements, will drive a lot of new PC purchases; for Dell, this is a good
thing, so they have a vested interest in promoting Vista as a desirable OS.

I noticed something similar with regard to a Vista review (and subsequent
unrestricted recommendation) by Marc Salzman in the CostCo Connections member
magazine. CostCo is generally regarded to be "not evil" but in this case, it's
clear they, as a software retailer, have a vested interest in selling Vista
upgrades. I don't know if there was any corporate pressure or if it Salzman was
influenced merely from understanding where his paycheck comes from, but his
statements were in such glaring contrast to other reviews, I have to question
his motives and objectivity.
You tell 'em, Andrew!By Ray 'The Lion King' Bilyk on 02/09/2007 at 12:31 PM EST
Your story reminded me of an experience I had a week or so ago. I talk about it
here =>
re: Well, so much for Dell. I had to tell someone today not to buy a new Dell PC.By Neil on 02/09/2007 at 12:32 PM EST
I had exactly the same experience with Dell in the UK, I was looking for a new
Dual Core laptop, I already have 2 Dell machines and have been pretty pleased
with them.

However via the web I cannot order win XP Prof on a machine and when I
contacted them they would only ship vista, when I said there was software that
didnt run on Vista and I needed XP they could not help..

So they lost a sale, bearing in mind how much trouble Dell seems to be in I
wonder how they can turn away business.!!
What site/PC did you choose?By Vince Schuurman on 02/09/2007 at 01:27 PM EST
I see a choice for Vista or XP on and
In the Netherlands you can't even choose Vista yet :P
re: Well, so much for Dell. I had to tell someone today not to buy a new Dell PC.By Patrick on 02/12/2007 at 07:28 AM EST
This doesn't appear to be the case (US) with the small business/enterprise
selections. There are also references to XP but no option to select under the
home and home office PC selections. I find it difficult - though not impossible
- to believe you couldn't get XP installed on one if you wanted it built that

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