Windows Vista registration numbers - not backwards compatible

And it's time for another serious complaint about Windows Vista, today, it's about the registration numbers. After careful discussion with a number of Security experts at the Infosecurity Europe show in London this week, it appears I'm not alone in having problems using a Vista serial number with Windows XP.

Why would I do this? Well, basically Vista has a lot of compatibility problems with third party software, specifically in the drivers department.

At the same time, almost all PC vendors now bundle an OEM version of Vista with their desktops and laptops. You'll be hard-pressed to find a vendor still offering Windows XP as an option (ed: Dell has just re-introduced Windows XP on Desktops due to customer demands).

When Microsoft moved from Windows 95 to 98, and 98 to XP, all serial numbers were backwards compatible. So if you had problems with XP - as many did in the early days - you could install 98 and use the same serial number.

Not so with Vista. If you want to `downgrade' your new Vista machine to XP, you have to shell out for a copy of XP, which are becoming increasingly thin on the ground as stocks are wound down.

This is a real pain in the posterior. Thanks for reducing consumer choice Microsoft, thanks a lot...