Business PC buyers are still overwhelmingly opting for XP, computer giant HP has revealed.
HP's revelation, made at the launch of a new range of business notebooks, flies in the face of Microsoft's persistent PR claims that Vista has sold tens of millions of copies — and is selling at a faster rate than XP ever did.
However, HP explained how Microsoft is coming up with these "Vista" sales figures.
"From the 30th of June, we have no longer been able to ship a PC with a XP licence," said Jane Bradburn, Market Development Manager, Commercial Notebooks for HP Australia.
"However, what we have been able to do with Microsoft is ship PCs with a Vista Business licence but with XP pre-loaded. That is still the majority of business computers we are selling today."
So, in other words, Microsoft counts a sale for Vista, even though the computer manufacturer has really sold XP.
Rob Kingston, Group Manager of Commercial Product Marketing for HP said, "Looking into the crystal ball, I don't think businesses will see much value in upgrading to Vista until late next year, and even so, Microsoft will probably have come out with something else by then."
HP's revelation casts doubt over Microsoft's claims about how many copies of Vista have been sold, as HP has made clear that although a sale may be counted as 'Vista', it may actually be XP.
Microsoft has told HP it will no longer be able to do this after January 2009, but HP's Jerel Chong, Market Development Manager, Commercial Notebooks, said the number one PC maker was already in discussions with Microsoft about how it could push this deadline back.
He said it actually suited HP well only selling Vista licences but actually being able to ship either Vista or XP on the computer. "There's a lot of extra administration that goes with offering both XP and Vista on every computer, and it's all in one now," he said.
He said the feedback he was getting from customers was that they simply hadn't had the time to do full compatibility testing of all their business applications with Vista yet and that the high time and monetary cost of rebuilding system images wasn't worth it while the economy was down.