System builders continue to feel the heat of Vista and Office 2007 rejection, which is creating a paradoxical situation where companies are paying two and three times for their seven year old software.
Downgrade rights, which are only available through volume licensing, have existed for more than a decade with Office, and since 2001 for Windows. But system builders and other Microsoft partners say they're witnessing a large and growing number of customers exercising downgrade rights to roll back Windows Vista to XP Professional, and Office 2007 to Office 2003.
"The whole concept that you have to buy an upgrade so you can downgrade to an older version is perverse anywhere but inside Microsoft," said DeGroot [of Directions On Microsoft]
One Microsoft partner who requested anonymity said growing interest in downgrade rights is an undeniable trend, as is the "bizarre denial" from Microsoft over the slow pace of Vista adoption. "For whatever reason, Microsoft executives have had their heads in the sand on Vista from day one. At the highest levels, there really seems to be a lot of denial over what's really happening with Vista."