Yes, we purchased the 5 minis with XP. Of course, the first things I did was claim one in the name of all that is open source and holy. In other words, I grabbed the Dell .iso they are using for the mini 9 and dumped the XP. Unfortunately though, it was the second one I used. The first, upon initial boot, locked in the Windows setup screen. I finally got through that, but besides the annoying clicking from the hard drive like all the 12s do, this one continued to lock up. I dumped XP for Ubuntu 8.10 (Dell edition), and it continued to lock up. In working with Dell and looking online, this looks to be a common problem with hard drives.
So, Dell sent a new hard drive. And what a tiny little hard drive. The disassembly of this laptop though tested my manhood. I have never seen such a tight packaged piece of hardware. The Dell Mini 12 is definitely meant to not need to be open. It snaps together tightly, so when you do need to open it, it will take awhile. When I finally did open it up, and notice the thin cabling and connectors, I believe I could have damaged the motherboard, as the new harddrive did work briefly, but then it failed as well. Of course, the motherboard may have been damaged before I began to tinker with it, but this design is definitely not for those of us with fat hands and fingers!
So Dell instructed us to send this unit back, fortunately the only one of five we found issues with. While we wait for this one to return, I confiscated another and dumped Ubuntu on it. While the Dell Mini 12 is not a speedy machine, it serves the purpose of a netbook well. I use it regularly in meetings and at home as I cruise the web, use it for basic notetaking, and even use it for a presentation or two. I do not think the form factor of the 12″ will serve our schools well, so I think we will stay with the 9″ machine.