We know that both HP and Dell have planned to extend the life of Windows XP by using the "Downgrade Rights" Policy which allows buyers of certain versions of Windows Vista to get a copy of Windows XP along with Vista. But a report indicates that HP is looking at two different ways to make an "end run" around Vista.
According to Business Week
, HP, the world's number one computer maker, has started two initiatives to reduce the somewhat negative impact of a Windows Vista-based computer. The first project, one that HP publicly acknowleges, involves a "customer experience" group created nine months ago, led by a former director of HP's research labs, Susie Wee.
That effort is to develop add-on software and touchscreen technology that simplifies media viewing on a Vista PC.
Phil McKinney, chief technology officer in HP's PC division said:
"Our customers are looking for insanely simple technology where they don't have to fight with the technology to get the task done."
It's clear that many are displeased (to put it mildly) with Vista's impact on computer performance, and this initiative is designed to reduce both that performance hit and Vista's complexity.
But another report, unconfirmed, shows HP considering not just add-on software, but a complete OS of its own. Three insiders at HP told Business Week that employees on a separate skunk works team are working on a replacement OS.
According to the report, that OS would be based on Linux (makes sense). But at the same time that the insiders said this, McKinney told Business Week that, while such a project may have been discussed at "lower levels," it's not something under consideration by upper management.
"Is HP funding a huge R&D team to go off and create an operating system? [That] makes no sense. For us it's about innovating on top of Vista."
In reality, whither HP? While it may not make sense for HP to do this, or at least acknowledge it, it's true this is a particularly vulnerable time for Microsoft Windows. As such, Microsoft has taken some steps to "reboot" Vista's image, such as the Gates - Seinfeld
ads and the "Mojave Experiment
Despite these moves, the real savior for Windows may lie in their next OS, Windows 7, and this time Microsoft, which has recently admitted
it made mistakes with Vista, needs to get it right.