Don’t Forget About the Dual-Booters!

InfoWorld has an article out today wherein Randall Kenney of the “Windows Sentinel” team (a program used to monitor system settings and performance to provide aggregate data for analysis) trashes end-user uptake of Windows Vista by revealing that 35% of surveyed PCs that ship with Vista have downgraded to Windows XP.

While that’s a stunning number of Vista-only OEM machines running Windows XP, Mr. Kenney seems to have forgotten about those of us that dual-boot. As champions of dual-booters everywhere, we’ve got to put our two cents in here.

If you keep in mind the type of people who would install the Windows Sentinel tool and take part in such a geeky program you’ll realize that it’s not too out there for a good number of these people to be the kind that run multiple operating systems on their machines.

Obviously not all of Windows Sentinel’s (only) three thousand subscribers are included in the numbers above (it’s highly unlikely that even 80% of the 3000 subscribers are using hardware that only comes from the OEM with Windows Vista installed). And of the percentage that are using late-model hardware, a hefty percentage dual-boot.

We don’t have any numbers as far as the number of dual-booters out there, but they’re certainly not few enough to be discounted. Keeping that in mind, it’s rather unprofessional of InfoWorld to claim that 35% of all Vista users will downgrade to Windows XP. Obviously big numbers make for better headlines, but this is the kind of stuff that can damage stocks and ruin jobs – you don’t want that on your conscious, at least, not without good reason.

Not that we’re suffering from any delusions or hallucinations with regards to Windows Vista’s relatively shoddy performance and stability, but you’ll agree that it’s a rather far cry to go from “a lot of people have reservations about upgrading to Windows Vista” to “a lot of people will take the time and effort to remove Vista from a PC and put Windows XP in its stead;” especially keeping in mind that Vista’s been out for two years now and there’s an (unfortunately) increasingly-large number of Vista-only products out there on the market.

More data from InfoWorld and the Windows Sentinel service would certainly be most-welcome in giving a clearer picture of what the actual numbers are and where end-users stand in this OS mess.

5 thoughts on “Don’t Forget About the Dual-Booters!

  1. Hey folks

    Good to see a resource for dual-boot masochists! I tried to put Zenwalk 5.0 as an alternative to vista, but messed up using the auto partition option with the result that my new lappie is without a viable OS now. In fact thats all it will give me by way of conversation. Its clearly upset!

    Can I restore to a previous good config. or do I have to format and start from bare metal? Is there a bit of software which would give me some options. I’m very stressed about this as I spent a large amount of $ on the lappie – too much to consider leaving it as it is, but the “recovery disc” the manufacturer sent me is doing nothing to help, and I dont believe it even has a version of windows on it which I could use to get running again! I’m not keen to shell out cash for a copy of windows which I already own!


  2. Yes, I agree, we mustn’t forget about dual-booters. I for one have XP, Vista and Mandriva 2009 running stable and am working on getting around to installing Ubuntu 8.10.

  3. True story. Dual-booting w/ xp is the only way to have vista as a 100% working OS. (because it doesn’t do everything it should, and when you need to get everything done, time to call in XP)

    And I hate that it is true.

    But it is.

  4. I have been dual-booting for a few years now. Was hard to find good D_B progs out there at first. I use EasyBCD to restore the vista boot files and run the D_B.
    Vista and XP Pro. The reformating and partioning went off without any probs. Used the windows partioning ‘disk management tool’ tried 2 third party ones but shockingly the windows one works best.
    My 500 G hard-disk now has 2 Os. I like vista for sure – kicked the snot out of it and it still runs. XP still handles my software testing better than Vista.
    My other machine has Vista Ultimate on it which is a nightmare all on it’s own. Ultimate needs lots of stuff turned off to run stable even w/4 G of 667 Ram. I partioned half with Linux Ubuntu – what a relief.
    dual booting is much easier now than back-in-the-day. Give it a try you will definately enjoy it.

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