Two years after businesses first caught site of the new world of Vista, many are still turning their backs on it.

It's got so bad, many see XP as a holding position until something better comes along next year or the year after more like. It's got so bad, even, that there is now a viable community of users who now demand XP when hitting the ‘buy' button, and who even devote time to <a href=" "> hunting down old PCs </a> just to get a cheap XP license.

Remember, XP still costs around £75 ($115) in the UK, Vista between £80 and £120.
Many new PCs come with two operating systems in the box, Vista and an XP downgrade. We have Vista to thank for this remarkable innovation - the downgrade - that could turn out to have a big influence on users, and hopefully on Microsoft itself.

You buy one OS and you get the old one in case the new one turns out to be a pile of over-hyped, under-performing pap. Remember this when you read all those technical articles on Windows 7, penned by journalists who've been out to Redmond for a few days to be wowed by ‘new features' galore.

Journalists talk flannel a minimum of 50 percent of the time; how else to explain the fact that Vista garnered almost universally impressed reviews prior to launch? And I've checked. Those reviews were written, only to be buried under more disappointed ones later on when a few independent voices piped up.

Windows 7 won't hear the same friendly voices when it's launched, but perhaps by changing Microsoft's mind over a few issues it will have turned out to do users some good in the long run.