back to article NEC goes Back To The Future with XP for biz users

NEC computers has decided to throw its business customers a Windows XP lifeline by punting a new solution for its desktop and notebook ranges that will allow IT administrators to downgrade from Vista. The firm said that it has launched NEC FlexLoad to address demands from customers who are reluctant to adopt Microsoft's latest …


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  1. heystoopid

    Very Funny

    Very funny , is it because Dell did the arm twisting when the business and IT departments treated Vista as the equivalent of a bad dose of bubonic plague and declined to buy in big numbers the annual replacements but in smaller lot numbers to allow for the boys in IT to scrub the drive and replace with corporate XP and selected software !

    Now Toshiba of course followed Dell with the downgrade option too so as not to be left out in the cold !

    So now it seems all the other competitors to the big boys are doing like wise as well since they got that itch to scratch the proverbial as well , so whilst sales are booming just how much extra are we being charged for the double license fees for having a laptop with dual stickers ?

    Why do I have a bad feeling we are in fact have been truly shafted big time and are paying a lot more for this "Snafu" then we should and M$ is raking it in !

  2. Mr B


    I guess that's the smart choice, better off with an not too bad unsupported XP than a supported VISTA. With the Hackers working full time to address the latter, the former may be a bit safer.

  3. dervheid

    Advice... Microsoft.

    The hint is in your own corporate title. "MICRO". We don't want any more lardy-arsed OS's porking out on our system resources. Surely it's not beyond you (well, maybe it is) to produce a leaner, faster more frugal OS that doesn't need 2Gb RAM to function at an acceptable speed. Oh, sorry, I forgot. You did that already (XP, well, sort of!). Couple that with cutting your EXTORIONATE pricing (yes, I KNOW R&D costs a bucket of $), wouldn't it be more effective to produce said slim OS at a low retail price (below 'pirate' profitability margins) and actually GIVE THE CONSUMER WHAT THEY WANT, not what YOU think they SHOULD HAVE!


    Thought not.

    ps. Vista is a dead horse. Stop flogging it.

  4. Lee Dowling Silver badge


    Just bought a shed-load of Fujitsu laptops for the school I work in and (after much wrangling with a so-called "public sector account manager" at my suppliers), it came with Vista/XP "Twin Load" dvd's. What's surprising is that these were only very cheap laptops (£300) so the choice was nice to have, even if I did have to fight for it. I also got told by my suppliers that "nobody was buying Vista in schools" but that didn't stop it being an absolute pain to try to get them to come supplied with XP.

    Needless to say, it's not a hard decision to choose which DVD to boot from first...

  5. the Accountant
    Gates Horns

    Ubiquitous comment

    Alright, I'll say it ....

    "allow IT administrators to downgrade from Vista"

    Shouldn't that be "upgrade from Vista"?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Stinking out the beach

    Let's all throw stones at that rotting whale carcass


    Dead vulture - closest I could find

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    NEC will start to get our business!

  8. Slaine

    common sense

    Maybe, just maybe... as more companies join the exodus from Vista (M$ included since they are themselves already referring to Vista's replacement) and the stark reality of a choice between XP or a non-M$ OS becomes the norm, maybe then M$ will decide to adopt the common sence approach and actually provide customer support... and to continue it after June 08.

  9. Sir Runcible Spoon
    Gates Horns

    end of support

    does that mean they will stop issuing security patches?

  10. Johnny FireBlade
    Gates Horns

    @ dervheid

    I 100% agree with your comment mate, as I'm sure a lot of IT types do. Thing is, Microsoft will never a) listen or b) even hear our words. I wonder how many Microsoft employees actually read El Reg and even then, how many of them would actually report such a radical (albeit sensible) idea back to their superiors...

  11. Brian Gannon

    Vista the new XP

    Didn’t we all hate bloated XP, when it came out, now we can’t wait to go back to it? How ironic. I Suppose when windows 7 comes out we will all want to roll back to Vista.

  12. dervheid

    @ Johnny Fireblade


  13. David Cornes
    Gates Horns

    Not that important to bigger businesses

    Any decent sized firm (with any sense in the IT dept at least) should be running with their own custom desktop builds anyway and NOT what gets shipped from the manufacturer, and the Vista licence stickers on the side should automatically confer 'downgrade' rights for (certain) previous OSes, so this won't be a big deal for them. It should be a bad PR blow for Microsoft though.

    As for skipping OS releases, well I contracted for HMRC last year who were then only just migrating from NT4 to XP, and I doubt they're the only ones. What's the chances of them *ever* putting Vista onto 100k+ desktops..?

  14. Nick

    Re: end of support

    Sir Runcible Spoon wrote:

    "does that mean they will stop issuing security patches?"

    No, it will go into extended support for 5 years which includes security updates and paid support (but no hotfixes, design changes, feature requests, warranty claims etc).

  15. dervheid
    Gates Horns

    Never Gone...

    to Vista, personally. Seen it in (in)action often enough to be (un)impressed. I agree that XP is bloated, if not quite as lardy as Vista. I'm not advocating XP as a de-facto standard (God forbid!), but 'Micro'$oft need to take an OS back to basics. By all means, provide all the knobs, bells and whistles, but as OPTIONS, not as integral parts of the OS. Let's not forget that "OS" is SUPPOSED to be the OPERATING SYSTEM.

    I accept that the vast (and I do mean VAST) majority of home PC users want a system that gives them all they (think) they need 'out of the box', but the (corporate, in particular) business user wants a more streamilned, customisable OS. Let's face it, it's (almost) always going to be easier to add something(optional) in, than to take something (integrated) out.

    I dread to think how bloated 'Windows 7' is likely to be. Probably make XP (if not Vista) look like the proverbial 'Racing Snake'!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Brian - XP

    I actually liked XP when it came out - a combination of the gaming platform in Win98 and the resilience of W2K has a lot to commend it.

    However, I just don't see to point of Vista. As someone else said, If XP support ends, then it will be a choice of which non-ms operating system I go for.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Support to end?

    XP has always worked fine for me, I've never needed their support... not a loss for me. Why change, ever? I'll see what Winhoo! comes up with next... maybe. Actually... probably not.

  18. b166er

    What goes around

    Funny, back in 95/nt 98/2k days, there were the above mentioned options. ie; a corporate business platform and a consumer platform. Obviously the DOS based platforms had to go, so MS merged them into one platform. What they should have done, is migrated the consumer platform onto NT, but still kept the 2 separate solutions.

    Instead we got the different flavours of XP and now Vista. This strategy could still work, provided XP and Vista were available in stricter modes. If you want to have the eye candy/applications, install the OS without the services running that the average home user doesn't use, but if you want a low overhead business platform, install the OS without the eye candy/applications and with those extra services.

    People do this with nLite/vLite, but why doesn't MS offer that as an install option?

  19. Sir Runcible Spoon


    As soon as developers start writing their games for Linux I bet Windows will take a major node-dive - as that's really the only thing keeping it going in my eyes.

  20. andy gibson
    Thumb Up

    NEC for me too

    I will certainly support and buy from any manufacturer still providing XP support. It doesn't even have to have the OS on it (I can use my volume licence), I just don't want to hear "we cannot help you, you have installed Windows XP" which Acer are currently spouting while I am trying to get a hardware BIOS issue (which has nothing to do with software or drivers) sorted.

    Acer don't even provide any XP drivers and you have to struggle to find out what components they have used so you can go to the websites of ATI, Intel, Broadcom and AC97 to get their drivers.

  21. Mike

    Move with the times?

    I must be the odd one out, I run a dual boot XP/Vista system and almost never use XP, it works absolutely fine for all games (Steam based), music, video, office 2007 etc.

    It's a 3800+/2Gb and performance is absolutely great (windows experience score of 5).

    It's rock stable, and apart from one issue with "do you want to prepare this blank disk" with any DVD I put in (30 second fix) it's worked out of the box.

    I think the biggest problem was chaging the HAL, being unable to use some XP drivers meant that loads of hardware didn't work without a driver update, secondly some people expected it to be faster than XP, sooooo.... more features, prettier and more going on in the background, but yet you think it should be faster on the same hardware?

    Vista is not ME, it's not a crippled XP (like ME was a crippled 98), but it is immature, SP1 could well make it as stable as XP SP1, this is probably the first time in 15 years that the world didn't *need* a new desktop OS, Server 2008 is a different matter, I found it a pig to set up and not that stable, but, apparently it is far more scalable (processor, memory and disk), but we'll see, I think this year will be the move to Vista/2008.

    As a footnote, I would guess that a lot of reluctance to use Vista is pure 'ludditeness', if it ain't broke don't fix it, call it what you will, but time moves on, XP will not be here forever whether you like it or not, did you know that they are turning analog TV off?

  22. Pat Ar

    xp upgrade availability?

    Are these XP upgrades available to non NEC users?

  23. Simon Williams

    Headline demons

    Can't believe the El Reg punsters missed 'NEC goes back to XP, or Vista Versa'. Sorry. I'll get my coat.

  24. Boris H.

    @ Mike

    Yes you must be the odd one...

    I used xp and vista but i can not see an advantage a new system with vista had over my old system with XP.

    Maybe i didnt play with Vista long enough but the incentive just wasn't there.

    The huge and i mean HUGE footprint of the install is the first thing i noticed. Yes , the hard drives space is getting cheaper and common but i would rather use it to store my stuff then some OS junk i will never use.

    The pretty interface had to go with first 20 minutes, and the old windows look was there after 25 (as soon as i figured out where they hid the interface this time).

    My OLD XP box still boots faster then a brand spanking new, loaded with gamer hardware, Vista machine.

    Now that you are such a big Fan(some would say shill) of Vista please do tell me what is the new feature in it you did not have in XP and can not live without now.

  25. Highlander


    100% agreed. With the current version of Windows, perhaps their nake ought to be updated to GigaSoft?

    You have to wonder how Microsoft thinks that they can just drop support for XP when the majority of users of their Windows Product are still using it. Sounds like a class action suit in the making if you ask me. It's not like they can claim that they can no longer support XP. Nor can they say that they cannot make changes to the OS core in order to address any major problems or incompatibilities. That's what they have done in each major services pack for Windows NT, 2K and XP. Sure they would do a completely new version every now and again, but XP in particular underwent considerable change from the original release version through to SP2.

    Nope, if I were Microsoft I would take this one on the chin and apologize for the whole sorry episode and offer free upgrades for all Vista users to go to XP if they desire. It's not like they're hurting for cash. Then focus on the next iteration of Windows. Go get a focus group of users with a few years worth of frustration...I mean experience with Windows. It often seems that the feature set in Windows is driven by two kinds of people, techo-crats in ivory towers who think that gesture based interfaces are just great, or utter newbies who want the computer to do everything for them, including wiping their butt. Perhaps it's time to listen to real users of the products and come up with a version of Windows that a) uses less resources, b) is more reliable than before and c) doesn't catch viruses faster than a cheap prostitute on a busy street corner when the fleet's in town.

  26. Morely Dotes

    @ Sir Runcible Spoon

    It should be note, Sir Runcible Spoon, that Microsoft's "security" patches traditionally install new security holes, to replace the old ones. Ergo, lack of "security patches" is not important. Use a real, hardware-based firewall, and the various and sundry proven third-party security products on your XP PC, and you'll be as safe as anything using an MS OS can be.

  27. J. Cook Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    re: David Cornes

    I am the person at my company that's responsible for generating those 'custom' OS and App images.

    the Network admin has not released Vista to me yet to build an image for it yet, despite my asking for it. There are a small number of vista machines running around, but it's largely on test machines, or development systems.

    And yes, it's a dead horse already. let's stop flogging it and flog something else...

  28. james hartman
    Thumb Down

    win me all over again

    the title sez it all;it winning no one

    james hartman

  29. Anonymous Coward

    @ Simon Williams

    I think you meant "Visa VESA"


  30. Anonymous Coward

    I run Vista and have SP1 installed - it STILL sucks!

    Since I have a technet subscription I have the RC1 version of Vista's Service Pack 1. I installed it on my notebook - the only machine I run Vista on - which has an AMD x64 dual core 2Ghz CPU (actual speed) with 2GB 667Mhz DDR2 RAM. Vista still SUCKS. I'm just about to remove Vista and install XP x64 Professional since it is SO much more stable and SO much quicker.

    As I imagine many of you did, I learned to use a computer back in the DOS 3.x days, and so prefer to type commands rather than use the mouse - needless to say I can use a mouse if I have to but the keyboard is so much quicker. For example, if I want to open a shared drive on another computer on my network, I usually hit [Start]-R on the keyboard and type in \\machine\share and hit [Enter]. On XP Explorer takes about 1 second to either open the Window displaying the share, or to ask me for my credentials if I haven't already connected to the machine since boot. On Vista this same action took about 30 seconds prior to SP1 being loaded, and now with SP1 it still takes about 10 or 15 seconds. Most times, I can hit [Start]-R, type in CMD, press [Enter], type in "net use R: \\machine\share", press [Enter], enter my password, type "start R:" [Enter] and have the Explorer Window pop up before the Vista shell does anything visible!!!!!

    My wife keeps saying, "honey - what happened to the old system you had - it was so much easier to use?" - and I keep saying "well I have to have this system to provide support" but you know what - nobody I know except a single individual has Vista installed and no-one I know plans to install it any time soon. When XP came out - I immediately loved it (ok I turned off the new shell interface for a while) because it just made sense, worked properly and as expected, and didn't make me feel like throwing my computer out the window EVERY SINGLE TIME I USE IT.

    I could go on and on about this "feature" and that "bug" in Vista and how it worked BETTER IN XP, but WHY? It's not like it's going to make ANY DIFFERENCE TO ANYONE IN REDMOND, is it?

    Ok, the only thing I would miss if I didn't have Vista on my computer is the STUPID ASS sidebar which I use to display the clock and the stupid little weather thing. I think I can live without both and I'm going to go back to XP. I put stupid ass in caps since this thing (even though it looks nice and is a semi good idea) is really nothing more than the absolute bullshit "feature" they had in the 98/ME OS's they called (I think) Active Desktop where you could put html/web based content on your desktop. Can you say, "Waste of Processor Cycles" boys and girls?

    For me, Vista is at best on par with Windows ME. And that includes with SP1 installed. For that matter Windows NT 3.1 BETA was more reliable...

    Anonymous Coward since Micro$haft makes you sign a confidentiality agreement prior to installing SP1 RC1.

    Flame Icon for damn obvious reasons. Microsoft ARE YOU LISTENING????

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here we go again

    I am totally hacked off by "William" dictating to me what system I should use and I recall the initial problems caused by importing "XP" into my system some years ago when it was not properly tested. This led to much annoyance and the wasting of much time sorting out the problems which should have been forseen but were ignored for too long, The vistula is not within my requirementsand it seems that at least a lesson was learned and we are not being pressurised into indescretion again by "William's" advisors.

  32. Mike

    @Boris H. calm down... eh.... eh.....

    "Now that you are such a big Fan(some would say shill) of Vista please do tell me what is the new feature in it you did not have in XP and can not live without now."

    Is that a flame? have I been flamed? gosh!

    How about...

    "The pretty interface had to go with first 20 minutes, and the old windows look was there after 25 (as soon as i figured out where they hid the interface this time)."

    Ahhh.... you must be the luddite Iwas talking about, probably the same kind of person who changed the XP look and feel to look like NT calling it the "Windows Duplo Edition"

    I like Aero, I liked it when it was running on Linux before Microsoft mimiced it (and when it didn't require a 256Mb graphics card).

    Anyway, back to you(r) (f)lame.... what does Vista have that I can't live without? ummmm.... nothing? OK, there's better user control, bitlocker (but not in business edition.... durrrrr), IP6, better crypto, readyboost looks promising and the media centre is much better (media handling generally is better, not DRM 'tho), but will I die if I don't have these? hopefully nobodys life will ever depend on a Redmond product.

    I don't *love* Vista, but it's not a big deal (for me), I've run it on fully certified kit (lovely) and uncertified kit (not so good), I run XP on my laptop (lightweight and quick), I run 2008, 2003, Solaris, Aix, Linux and nothing gives me any serious gripes (I'd like to see 2008 a little more stable) Vista isn't a big leap on from XP, only a few better things (maybe a quantum to use the term correctly), and as I said the inability to use XP drivers was a really bad thing, it's bloaty, but it does more in the background (even if it's pointless), lets face it, Microsoft could have added the extra features into XP SP3 and given it free, but that wouldn't have been good business sense.

    If you're buying brand new kit for the home, go Vista.

    Don't upgrade to Vista from XP.

    For business I'd use XP Pro and always use disk encryption.

    Enterprise, use 2003 for Exchange/BDC/PDC,Workgroups,Sharepoint etc. (Solaris or virtulised Linux for high end DB servers)

    There you go... sorted :-)

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