Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dell's Vista Upgrade Fiasco

In order to continue to shift PCs in the latter months of 2006 and early 2007, in advance of the launch of Microsoft Vista, Dell introduced the Vista Express Upgrade scheme (my italics). The commitment made by Dell was that if you bought a PC during this period with Windows XP, Dell would send you a free Vista upgrade kit (but charge €16 for shipping/handling) as soon as Vista launched. Now in case you may have missed it, Vista was launched in Europe on January 30th of this year, so how has Dell done in getting out those Express upgrades? Well, it hasn't. Initially Dell posted on their website that they would be shipping by the end of February, then mid-March. It now claims to have begun the shipping process (I don't know anyone who has received the upgrade yet - let me know if you do) and hopes to have completed all shipments by the end of May!

Now PC Medic purchased a new Dell in November in the hope that we would have a Vista PC in the workshop from early February. However, had we just waited until February and purchased a Dell with Vista pre-installed we would have had our hands on Vista a lot earlier. (In the end we installed an OEM license on an existing box as we saw a screw-up like this as a possibility with Dell.) With Dell's recent turnaround decision to continue to sell PCs with XP installed instead of Vista, one wonders if there are ongoing compatibility issues with Dell and third-party hardware that could see the Express upgrade further delayed. Frankly, it has been a major embarrassment for Dell and, like their policy of off-shoreing customer support, suggests that despite producing good, value-for-money PCs they have lost focus on their customers. With Michael Dell back at the helm one can only hope that this will change.

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