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Dell Latitude XT Drivers Held Hostage: Day 9



robhostageThis little “Held hostage” feature is generating a lot of comments here on GBM with some saying we’re overdoing it, and some very angry with Dell for the lack of movement. Here’s the deal. This doesn’t just involve the Windows 7 drivers for the Dell Latitude XT it involves other Dell hardware as well. All well and good and set that aside for the moment.

The Latitude XT was the first multi-touch Tablet PC device from Dell and it generated a lot of pre-release excitement. It also generated a lot of post-release heat after issues surfaced with the machines. Dell shocked everyone with the very high price point of the XT and, for those eager to jump on Dell’s multi-touch bandwagon, it was quite an investment. Dell, wouldn’t have the issues it has now, and folks breathing down their necks, if they’d been a little more clear about their intentions here. Dell got out front with a lot of noise of their own making (remember those videos?). Whether right or wrong, many assumed Dell would stay out front and the XT would still be a great device to use with the multi-touch goodness baked into Windows 7.  Given all the problems with the short life of the XT, folks were ready to forgive Dell and move on. Dell missed that window. That’s where the dismay at the delay seems to stem from.

So, we’ll keep the pressure on until there is a resolution. Already, we’ve seen some movement and communication, but there’s still some distance to travel.



  1. Sumocat

    10/30/2009 at 2:10 pm

    Yep, totally overdoing it. I mean, sure, Dell released those videos bashing Tablet PCs like pinatas and running them through table saws to impress upon us that current users were frustrated with their inferior non-Dell tablets. Then they claimed they would cure those woes with their ultra-expensive multi-touch Tablet PC. But that was so long ago. Surely we can’t expect them to fulfill those claims. Ever.

  2. Neil

    10/30/2009 at 2:51 pm

    Please let it go, these “Held hostage” have truly become annoying….honestly if you have nothing new to say just drop it.

    Repeating the same thing everyday is just stupid….when there is something new to report then by all means write about it. It just seems like you think you can blackmail Dell into action….hate to break it to you, but I doubt you have that much power.

  3. Jon

    10/30/2009 at 3:51 pm

    I’m afraid I disagree with Neil. As a consumer that purchased an XT for over £2000 last year I feel this is my best chance of getting Dell to provide support for the XT. However much influence Gottabemobile may have, it’s an awful lot more than I have as an individual. Please don’t stop this campaign.

  4. thecold

    10/30/2009 at 4:23 pm

    sumo your arguement almost makes sense, well until…

    Go to the middle of the page, notice something funny. Yes that’s the latitude xt, still selling on the site. Though his complaint is not just the xt, it’s the ENTIRE last gen Dell lineup. Really it shouldn’t be called the latitude xt drives held hostage it should be called the inability to support a product that’s still in warranty. I’ve got 3 Dell laptops and only on of them is actually truly supported.

  5. ChrisRS

    10/30/2009 at 4:23 pm

    Keep it up! I do not have an XT, but this was a premium product. The early adopters should not be ignored. It seems that it took this series of posted to get any response. Maybe there will be some action. (I am not sure there was any commitment to act in t Dell response.)

    I feel the same as Neil “….honestly if you have nothing new to say just drop it.” every day when I watch the news on TV.

  6. Xavier Lanier

    10/30/2009 at 4:48 pm

    It is odd that Dell’s selling a legacy product :-)

  7. Alex

    10/30/2009 at 5:43 pm

    I agree with keeping the pressure on. I have an XT and it would be great to see Dell come up with a solution. The squeaky wheel gets the drivers! (Squeaks can also annoy some people, but please just ignore the posts if you don’t care for them!) Keep up the great work, guys!

  8. Todd G.

    10/30/2009 at 7:51 pm

    Keep the pressure on. Dell deserves it. They have cut far too many laptops from the support list both on the corporate and consumer sides. I personally own a Latitude XT, obviously affected by the issue, but also support a corporate network where approximately 95% of our machines are unsupported (but all are relatively new).

  9. Marc

    10/30/2009 at 8:44 pm

    Thank you so much for running this. Its infinitely annoying as a consumer to invest so much in a product which doesnt work properly, yet the issues arnt resolved. I had an aweful experience with the Asus R1E laptop, where they ignored the issue and unethically just ran users in circles. While XT issues havnt been so bad, N-trig/Dell have really dropped the ball on this one. Companies have too much power to walk over consumers so thank you for being our voice! Maybe if we spread the word, and start to bite into the Dell reputation they will actually work to preserve it :(

  10. Levo Pinder

    10/31/2009 at 5:37 am

    Keep it up!!!

    Companies have got to be *embarassed* into delivering on their promises. Otherwise they will take us all for fools. Dell is behaving idiotically and I appreciate you letting us know — and letting THEM know that you are watching.

    Next year I’m gonna nominate you guys for the Nobel Peace Prize. And who knows — you might just win!

  11. sbtablet

    10/31/2009 at 7:43 am

    @thecold: I’m pretty sure that Sumocat’s post was meant to be ironic.

  12. thecold

    10/31/2009 at 9:29 am

    @sbtablet yea that’s deffinitely possible. Appearantly I’m fairly dense and need a small notation O o

  13. David

    10/31/2009 at 11:48 am

    In no way this is being overdone. I spent more than 4000 usd on the XT1, I still have more than three years on warranty and CompleteCare coverage but now I have a Legacy Product?
    This was marketed as the Solution for those looking for a MultiTouch Tablet Pc.

    As I said here and in other blogs, if this doesn´t get remedied this will be my last purchase of a DELL product (and I have purchased more than 5 computers from DELL in the past years). I am ANGRY, if somebody as some other poster above sees it differently he is not an owner of an XT1, he would be mad as well.


  14. Jake

    10/31/2009 at 11:59 am

    I can understand the frustration felt by XT owners but unless Dell specifically promised Windows 7 support I don’t think you can expect it. I would expect them to start selling the XT1 with Windows 7 (and thus have 7-compatible drivers on their website) but that’s for their own good, not the good of the people who bought an XT1 with Vista.

    At the end of the day, you guys bought a PC with Vista not Windows 7. Whether we like it or not, Dell aren’t under any obligation to support future operating system upgrades. The same goes for any other vendor. They should get multi-touch working properly in Vista but I wouldn’t expect it in Windows 7.

    The other day I saw an article on this site bemoaning the fact that Fujitsu Siemens hadn’t released Windows 7 drivers for the P1610. I have a P1610 and it never occurred to me that I should expect official support for such an old laptop. The P1610 was really an XP-based laptop. How is the situation with Dell any different?

  15. Rob

    10/31/2009 at 1:00 pm

    @jake – The situation with Dell and the XT is unique in that it was the first multi-touch tablet pc on the market just 18 months ago (I think). It has been the poster child for what we all looked forward to in Windows 7. Companies and people bought these machines because they were the most future-proof tablet on the market with an eye toward 7. Everything with regard to multi-touch revolved around this tablet. The XT2 was released after the XT, and except for minor changes under the hood and few aesthetic things, they are basically the same machine. Dell moved on the XT2, left the XT owners behind, and are supporting 7 on the XT2. It’s not right and we shouldn’t have to put up with it. As customers, we should expect more from our OEMs and hold them to nothing but excellence and fairness.

    I’m not asking that 5 year-old computers have Windows 7 compliant drivers. However, there are vendors like Lenovo that have released Windows 7 drivers for tablets like the X60. What does that tell you about what Dell could do if they wanted to?

    We paid too much money for these machines that are only 18 months old to be swept under the carpet and forgotten about.

  16. Rob

    10/31/2009 at 1:16 pm

    @jake – here’s another reason why this is important. Dell is telling us to install Vista drivers for Windows 7 on the XT. What happens when sp 1 or other changes / fixes happen to 7 that cause conflicts with those Vista drivers? Do you think Dell is going to fix those so Win 7 issues are addressed? No. Those drivers are based on Vista and will only be touched to address Vista problems.

    Currently, XT users installing Vista drivers have to install at least one of them using Vista Compatability mode – that has potential issues written all over it.

    The XT2 got a BIOS update that included Windows 7 enhancements. The XT didn’t. So already we are seeing that there are Windows 7 specific things that drivers and BIOS updates will address to help a machine run better (with context to my previous statements).

  17. double-o-don

    10/31/2009 at 2:26 pm

    Back in 1999 I helped specify Dell as a corporate sole supplier for a company that I estimate has purchased 12,000 computers since then, about 7000 of which are currently in use.

    Since then I have also used Dells for personal and family, probably totalling 20 laptops and an few desktops.

    To me it is inexcusable that Dell should refuse to support Windows 7 on such a high priced and highly hyped model as the XT. Those companies and individuals who paid premium $ for the XT were NOT early adopters for tablet technology, but WERE willing to follow Dell’s marketing model when Dell finally choose to support the Tablet, becoming one of the last vendors to support the technology.

    I agree that manufacturers are not obliged to support systems forever, and should not be expected to. However, the Dell XT has only been followed by one model (XT2). A quick look at Motion Computing’s site for a comparison shows that they are providing support for Windows 7 upgrades for both their current model (J3400) and its predecessor (LE1700). Motion, being a much MUCH smaller company than Dell has a LOT more to lose in sales by providing this support than Dell would by supporting the XT. Motion is doing it because it is the right thing to do for your long term customers.

    Dell needs to listen to those inside and outside their organization that are urging them to step up and provide the support.

  18. Xavier

    10/31/2009 at 3:33 pm

    I wonder what the actual cost is of writing and testing a set of drivers for a system. Whatever the amount is it’s only right for Dell to support Windows 7 on any system still under warranty.

    Remember, the Latitude line is designed for and sold to enterprises that plan for 3-5 year lifespans. All it takes is one angry IT dude to be turned off to the brand, and they’ll lose far more $ than it would’ve cost to support the XT.

  19. HG

    10/31/2009 at 9:59 pm

    This is why in our company I recommend products to use in our office and we replaced all Dell products. Service was not to great.

  20. Dave

    11/01/2009 at 5:11 pm

    Totally overdoing it. The main reason I say this, is that I own a Latitude XT, with Windows 7, and have absolutely no problem with the drivers that are on there.

  21. Daveh

    11/02/2009 at 3:01 pm

    I’m the same as Dave — (in addition to first name). I have an XT that is working fine with 7. What problems should I be experiencing and what should I be wary of?

  22. Rob

    11/02/2009 at 4:09 pm

    @dave and @daveh – see my two comments above

  23. Antimatter

    11/02/2009 at 9:30 pm

    The problems you should be seeing are with multitouch not working. The only windows 7 multitouch drivers for the Latitude XT are RTM drivers from n-trig, which are buggy and unstable. This is unacceptable.

    The XT was marketed as the first multitouch tablet and it has no support under the first multitouch OS, while its younger brother has full support? Seems like a classic case of cutting costs at the expense of the consumer.

    Anyone who feels this is okay is sending a message that it is okay for dell to think of their customers second.

  24. Veneration

    11/03/2009 at 3:27 pm

    please, for the love of god ignore these people who bash these articles. I’ve been trying in vain to get sound recording and multitouch working on my XT using google, and feel the urge to hit someone everytime I see the Dell website with NO WINDOWS 7 DRIVERS.
    If GTM can make dell work on and release those drivers even one day faster, I will be forever grateful

  25. XT User

    11/04/2009 at 3:31 pm

    I’m sure Warner & Rob know this by now but… N-trig has had updated Win 7 drivers for the XT & XT2 available on their website since last Thurs/Fri – pen and multitouch support. I believe the driver package is 2.172. Currently running on my XT with no issues.


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