If you’ve been holding out for HP to offer the Mini-Note with Windows XP preinstalled, I’ve got mixed news. The bad news is that HP will not be selling Mini-Notes with XP already loaded. The good news is that starting around May 15th, the company will offer a “downgrade” option that will let anyone who buys one of the Windows Vista Business models ask for as Windows XP installation disc and a driver disc.

In some ways, this is actually better than getting XP preinstalled, because you’ll have an XP disc that you can use to reinstall the operating system if something goes wrong. But it’s a bit funny to see HP selling a computer that has no CD/DVD drive and then throwing in two CDs.

If you don’t want to buy a USB CD-ROM drive, you can follow my instructions for installing XP without an optical disc drive. But I’m guessing that a lot of less tech-savvy customers will decide it’s too much work to install XP and just stick with Vista.

[via MiniNoteUser]

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4 replies on “HP will offer Mini-Note XP install disc on May 15”

  1. Brad, this downgrade option is a requirement of Microsoft, not HP. They are requiring Vista be sold with all new PCs and then XP as an option to that if desired.

    1. I thought that you could still sell Windows XP up until June 30th, although I can certainly see why HP wouldn’t want to go through the trouble of configuring a PC with XP and then sell that configuration for just six weeks.

      1. Well, Dell isn’t going through that configuration hassle for just six weeks. They have (AFAIK) indicated that they will continue to do the downgrade for their customers even beyond June 30.

        So I wonder if HP will ship out the downgrade disks to early adopter Vista Business Mini users.

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