Just registering my displeasure at Dell's (Australia) response to a Studio 15 laptop I ordered at Christmas.
What I did not notice when I ordered it was that Windows 7 was the 64 bit version which may be acceptable for business applications, but not for general home use, as not enough applications and drivers have been written for it. Microsoft supplies both 32 and 64 bit versions when buying an OEM or retail version of the OS. The support disc supplied with the laptop contains only the 64 bit version and therfore cannot be "rolled back" to a 32 bit version.
I was told by Dell tech support that they will not supply a 32 bit version and that they do not even have a retail version for me to buy. This is particular to the Australian market and would not happen in the States. So who should I vent my anger at: Dell for not supplying all the OS discs or Microsoft becuase of possibly their policies ouside the US.
As an aside that is not related to Dell but to Microsoft again. Once again in Australia, having bought a full retail version of Vista home premium about 18 months ago for another PC I have. I found that, that PC had a corrupted OS and needed Vista reinstalled. The Vista disc failed installation becuase there is some sort of damage to a file on that disc now. I cannot get a new disc from Microsoft in Australia with a clean OS, even though I have a valid licence from Microsoft (which is what you pay for, after all), as Microsoft's policy in Australia is bad luck you'll just have to buy a new one. It is this sort of attitude from large corporations apart from their greed that drives people to pirate software.
There are very few 32-bit applications that won't run on x64 and many driver packages are written for both. I've been running x64 Windows 7 since RTM and have yet to find any of my applications or devices that do not run properly and I have had it running on about 8 machines ranging from 6 years old to brand new. Not to say that you don't have an application and/or device that does not have x64 driver support - I'm not trying to dismiss the possibility that you have a real incompatibility, just to point out that few experience them.
Because OEM's (Dell, HP, Asus) offer the OS installed on your system for much cheaper than buying a full version, there are some restrictions - you can only install it on the machine with which it was sold and you only get the media for the OS you ordered (32-bit or 64-bit) - among others. So, its not that Dell is unwilling to send you something to which you are entitled, rather, they can only send you what you paid for. However, the Pruduct Key will work if you can find a copy of Dell x86 media. You should be able to buy a Retail copy of the OS you need from some supplier, even if Dell doesn't have it in stock.
I can't speak to your Retail Vista DVD, as in the US Dell can supply replacement media - either orderable physical media or by download - but I agree that situations like that can drive people to feel they need to pirate what they feel should be rightfully theirs. Been there, done that.
Thanks for your thoughts...but what about ITunes for one. You see 64 bit really is intended for people doing "work", not mucking around, hence my surprise at it being the default OS when I ordered the laptop.
I have found a possible avenue for a replacement disc for my Vista OS. I will advise when I get results.
I've heard of problems with iTunes on 7x64, but I've been running iTunes 18.104.22.168 since the beginning of February without a single problem, so I can't really speak to that. Hope things work out like you want.