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Microsoft Squeezes Win2000 Users 404

Posted by kdawson
from the 5-years-and-out dept.
darkonc writes "InformationWeek has a story on how Microsoft is squeezing Windows 2000 users as Vista and Office 2007 are being released. While some new software is legitimately unable to run on Windows 2000, other software (like MS's anti-spyware product) will install and run flawlessly — but only if you remove an explicit check for Windows 2000 in the installer." The article notes that other vendors, for example Sun, have more liberal and flexible support policies for legacy products.
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Microsoft Squeezes Win2000 Users

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  • Win2000 rules (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LittleImp (1020687) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @06:42AM (#17276000)
    I haven't tried Vista yet, but at work I only use Windows 2000. I think it's much faster and even more stable than XP. At least when I open up the Task Manager on XP, every Task uses at least 5MB of RAM, while on 2k most of the Tasks use less than 1MB. I bet upgrading to Vista means also a hardware update for most people, so maybe some will switch to an open source alternative.
    • Re:Win2000 rules (Score:4, Interesting)

      by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @07:02AM (#17276098) Homepage Journal
      Its not just vista.

      Every recent MS product has just felt *slow*.
      Its like outlook and office in general, the interface looks nice and logical, but it has lost its snappiness.
      Actions involving a full page refresh appear like a web page.
      Clicking between folders in Outlook leaves the old mail on screen briefly and things just aren't better.

      I was evaluating visual studio .net again this week and whilst it might technically do everything it needs to, its slower than VS 6 at most things.
      My colleagues think I should live on oldversion.com, but I just don't like the direction MS has taken.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The problem I have with the Visual Studio line of products is that it is sometimes far too time consuming to set compile options, add paths for includes, etc., and some of the ways of adding or setting things are inconsistent between parts of the toolset (although this is much improved in .NET) or with the way things are done in other Microsoft tools. The majority of development work I do is on unix or unix-like systems so having to remember the little idiosyncracies of Visual Studio can be a pain, and thes
      • by kjart (941720)

        Clicking between folders in Outlook leaves the old mail on screen briefly and things just aren't better.

        I actually find the opposite in the case of Outlook. Going from Outlook 2k3 to 2k7 (RTM - which version were you talking about?) on XP actually seemed to be about the same if not snappier. I don't use most of the other Office apps extensively, though, so I can't really comment on them.

      • It is simply "Gates law": Win installation == 50% less performance every 18 month.

        If you believe some unfair tricks are played by Microsoft, bad Eula etc. and you have some factual evidence just report it to your Competition authority. Europeans please take this form [europa.eu]. Competition authorities have to be triggered and do not work without triggering. They are curious to know consumer complaints.

        They make trouble for you. You make trouble for them.

        How Al Capone got jailed? "Capone's downfall occurred in 1931 wh
        • by Luscious868 (679143) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @10:46AM (#17277000)
          It makes perfect business sense for Microsoft to produce versions of their software that requires new hardware or hardware upgrades to get acceptable performance. New hardware generally equals new OEM Microsoft licenses. Think about it. To the average consumer if you've got to upgrade your processor, motherboard, RAM and/or hard drive you might as well buy a new system and that means you're probably going to be paying the Microsoft tax. It's very much in Microsoft's interest to require you to upgrade your hardware to run the latest version of their products. It's no accident and by now no one should be naive enough to chalk it up to bad coding. It's done on purpose and for very sound business rea$ons...
          • by Random Destruction (866027) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @11:42AM (#17277318) Homepage
            If microsoft is going out of their way to make everything slow, then why isn't linux SIGNIFICANTLY faster?

            Not a troll, I only run linux and hate windows, but I dont see the logic in your statement.
            • by The Warlock (701535) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @11:58AM (#17277436)
              Some distros are significantly faster. The thing about Linux is that it's not one operating system, it's a huge collection of different distributions, each tailored for different needs. Damn Small Linux is going to fill a different niche than Gentoo, which will fill a different nice than Ubuntu or Red Hat, etc. etc.

              Linux can use any number of GUIs, or no GUI at all. If you want something significantly faster than Windows, don't use Gnome or KDE, as these are a bit bloated (or "fully-featured", if you want to put it nicely). Use XFCE or IceWM or Fluxbox, instead.
            • by inode_buddha (576844) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @02:09PM (#17278312) Journal
              "If microsoft is going out of their way to make everything slow, then why isn't linux SIGNIFICANTLY faster?"

              It is. This 4-year-old P3 (Fedora Core 6) box is easily keeping up with my dad's brand-new Dell/XP setup. Both boxes are fully loaded with *everything*, both hardware and software. If I want to make it really snappy, I can do some re-compiling and just install only the stuff I use. I doubt that most MS users can say that.

          • by CastrTroy (595695) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @02:00PM (#17278242) Homepage
            However, with XP, the OEMs could get away with selling a computer with 256 megs of RAM and a crappy onboard video card. With Vista, this won't suffice. You need good 3D acceleration, and at least 512 megs of RAM, probably more like 1 Gig from what i've read. No more $299 Dell that can actually run the OS.
      • Creating software is balancing the requirements that you want to provide against what the abilities of the machine it's going to be put on.
        So new version of software expects it'll be installed on faster machine than the last one, so they can shove more features in.
        So if I run new version and old version on the same machine, the new version will appear to be slower. Over time you'll PC will get faster and faster and the 'new' product will appear to get snappier and snappier - until the next new version of
    • Re:Win2000 rules (Score:4, Informative)

      by Jugalator (259273) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @11:18AM (#17277176) Journal
      At least when I open up the Task Manager on XP, every Task uses at least 5MB of RAM, while on 2k most of the Tasks use less than 1MB

      This is strange, because on my test install of Vista, most tasks use less than 5 MB of RAM. :-/
      And yes, that's even the total working set, not just the private.

      About 30 of 38 use less than 5 MB now.

      Maybe MS split up some of their tasks into more processes though, not really sure about this.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17, 2006 @06:45AM (#17276010)
    Windows 2000 is rarely used anymore. Get with the times. It's going to be 2007, that'll make it 7 years old. Besides, its GUI is hideous compared to Vista's Aero goodness. Does anybody really want to use an OS that looks like Win95? Furthermore, the only people still stuck on Windows 2000 are paranoid weirdos afraid of Microsoft activation and are probably stealing their licenses anyway.
    • by Grimbleton (1034446) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @06:48AM (#17276018)
      So how tight is the foil on YOUR head?
    • by Kierthos (225954) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @06:55AM (#17276060) Homepage
      Hey, I don't know about you, but when I first got XP, practically the first thing I did was change the GUI back to Windows Classic because I didn't want something that looked like it was designed by the Teletubbies.

      Vista can have all the oooh and aaaaah it wants in it's GUI, but guess what? When I eventually "upgrade" to it, I'm turning all that crap off.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kubevubin (906716)
        The classic theme in Vista looks horrible, though. Furthermore, using Aero will generally result in better performance, as the rendering is hardware-based, rather than software-based as in the past.
      • by ci4 (98735) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @08:47AM (#17276426)
        E&S Glaze OpenGL benchmark is about twice as fast on Vista with classic theme, compared to the default Aero. This is on a reasonable dual Opteron system with 4GB memory and Quadro FX560 graphics card (and yes, build 6000 with the currently available NVidia driver).

        The first thing I do on Vista is switch to classic (the second being turn off the side bar forever). I wonder if Microsoft have ever heard that their OS is being used by real people to run CAD/CAM applications... not that they want it, but they are forced to.

        Will try the same this week with a FireGL card to see if ATI are better.
         
        • well i guess no one'd say that

          "dual opteron system with 4gb memory and quadro fx560 graphics card"

          is just 'reasonable'. my computer is a lowly athlon 64 with 2gb of ram and builtin 6150 graphics..
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Directrix1 (157787)
          Didn't Microsoft turn OpenGL into a second class citizen in Vista by instead of providing direct-to-the-hardware support for OpenGL they just turned OpenGL into a Direct3D wrapper? I may be wrong on that, but I could've sworn I read about it, like a year ago.
      • by kjart (941720)

        Hey, I don't know about you, but when I first got XP, practically the first thing I did was change the GUI back to Windows Classic because I didn't want something that looked like it was designed by the Teletubbies.

        I do the same thing in XP - reminds me of the beloved Win 2k days. However, having looked and played around with Vista, it actually looks fairly decent, so I think I'll actually give it a chance.

      • by sbben (983577) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @10:26AM (#17276898)

        Hey, I don't know about you, but when I first got XP, practically the first thing I did was change the GUI back to Windows Classic

        Most people did.

        Windows 2000 was an amazing operating system for its time. As stable as XP, it wasn't as much of a resource hog. It would run quite nicely on 64mb of ram. Yeah, aero looks good in Vista, but when it comes to hardware requirements, it is simply not suitable for many businesses who may have hundreds of computers not quite vista ready. If you like aero and would like to upgrade, that's fine. But locking out w2k users with software that will run fine if not for an explicit OS version check is just unfair. If the software is capable of running on an OS, I expect it to run on that OS. I don't think that is asking too much.
        • by The Warlock (701535) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @11:20AM (#17277188)
          This is what you get for relying on Microsoft for software. Really, anyone should have expected this, and should expect this in the future.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Kenshin (43036)
          Most people did.

          Who are these "most people"?

          Only one person I know changed the XP interface back to Classic, and he's a cranky fellow.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
          ``If the software is capable of running on an OS, I expect it to run on that OS. I don't think that is asking too much.''

          Welcome to the wonderful world of proprietary software, where the corporation decides what software you can run and under what conditions.
        • by Lagged2Death (31596) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @04:55PM (#17279620)
          ...locking out w2k users with software that will run fine if not for an explicit OS version check is just unfair. If the software is capable of running on an OS, I expect it to run on that OS. I don't think that is asking too much.

          Microsoft faces a monumental testing job for every piece of software they release. If they cut an OS from the lsit of supported configurations, that's a heap of testing they can avoid. It also means they don't have to worry about future updates being compatible with Windows 2000. In short, a smaller set of platforms is cheaper to develop for.

          And I say this as a Windows 2000 user myself. Sure, I'd rather that MS continued to fully support 2000 until there's a genuinely superior option, but I think there are non-evil business reasons for ending such support.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Duds (100634) *
          It happens to be fine yes.

          But what if something obscure in the program happens to not work. If they say it works on 2000 they'd have to support it. This isn't MS screwing anyone, this is just common sense.
      • Surely I can't be the only one who actually *likes* the default XP theme?

        Nice colourful blues and reds, easy to spot the various bits you need to click on?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rubicon7 (51782)

      Does anybody really want to use an OS that looks like Win95?
      I said it in 1995, and I'll say it again now: NO.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by a.d.trick (894813)

      Actually, I worked at a school that had many 2000 machines. It had nothing to with paranoid (these guys would have jumped off a cliff if MS asked). It had everything to do with cost, and Microsoft hadn't released anything in the past 7 years that they would find cost-effective.

    • by berberine (1001975) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @07:09AM (#17276136) Homepage
      I still use Win2k. It's not dead for me. Yes, I want to use it. Everything I run works on it. It's on 24/7 with a reboot every 4-5 weeks. I don't play games on the computer so I don't need the latest, greatest thing. I paid for my license, am not a paranoid weirdo and don't have a problem with my computer looking the way it does instead of some Fisher Price/Playskool, created by a two-year old GUI. I have XP on my laptop. It too has the classic look. When the time comes that, what I do can no longer work on Win2k, I'll be moving to Linux. That, however, may be a long time away since I do now what I did in 1993 with my computer, with the exception of videos. I don't need some fancy aero glass to make me feel better. I just need a machine that works. BTW, my car is 6 years old. I bought it brand new. It works flawlessly, with only minor adjustments from time to time. Should I get with the times and throw it out too?
      • I paid for my license, am not a paranoid weirdo and don't have a problem with my computer looking the way it does instead of some Fisher Price/Playskool, created by a two-year old GUI. I have XP on my laptop.
        KDE, Gnome, and others have been working hard to replicate your Fischer Price/Playskool created-by-a-two-year-old GUI. So should you find yourself wanting to use Linux, you'll be right at home.
         
    • by Geof (153857) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @07:15AM (#17276162) Homepage

      the only people still stuck on Windows 2000 are paranoid weirdos afraid of Microsoft activation and are probably stealing their licenses anyway

      I was an MSDN Universal subscriber and Windows developer when XP came out, so I had 10 legit XP licenses. But I had no interest in being an early adopter setting a precedent for activation. Nor, now that they don't allow people to take their copy of the OS with them when they upgrade the machine, did I want to further lock myself into system whose costs increase while my freedoms decrease. I suppose I could have planned on piracy, but I have the odd conviction (one apparently not shared by a whole lot of companies) that it's unethical to make money by breaking the rules.

      I stayed with Win2k, moved my data away from Office and into open formats (mbox, Open Office), turned my attention towards FOSS development, and finally switched to Mac. Incidentally, the Mac is very pretty, but I would have been fine with W2K's "hideous" look. Apple's no saint; someday I expect I will similarly have to make the shift to Linux.

      Paranoid? No. I just want control of my computer and my data, and I don't want my money to encourage schemes like DRM which erode my freedom and that of others.

      • by Macthorpe (960048)
        now that they don't allow people to take their copy of the OS with them when they upgrade the machine

        You need to keep up. They rewrote that part of the agreement.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by edwardpickman (965122)
      You'll pry my copy of Win 2000 out of my cold dead hands.
    • by Rick17JJ (744063) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @07:38AM (#17276232)

      On several occasions, I have recently gone into a couple of local banks and while I was standing in line, I noticed the words "Windows 2000" on their screen savers. I have noticed the same thing at several other business as well. Apparently many businesses that have not felt the need to upgrade.

      • by tilandal (1004811) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @08:21AM (#17276348)
        90% of computers in the business world don't need anything better then Windows 2000. Heck, Most business computers would be fine running Windows NT. Most PC's in the business world are set up to do basic data entry and retrieval and don't need to do anything else. The Bank teller doesn't need DirectX 10. The call center worker doesn't need an advanced GUI. The Mechanic doesn't need a Quad core CPU. What businesses do need is a reliable long term solution that runs with minimal trouble.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Silver Sloth (770927)
          I can confirm that a major British bank uses nothing older than WinNT on the desktops for the back office. It's a closed network so the security issues are less and there is no driver to upgrade to anything later, indeed, there are plenty of economic drivers to keep the PCs on NT.
    • Get with the times. It's going to be 2007, that'll make it 7 years old

      Fine, Upgrade to XP an OS that is 6 years old. Yeah right...

      The consumer version of Vista is due out Jan 30 2007. I just upgraded everything older than Windows 2000 to Ubuntu Dapper Drake. I still have a few Windows only apps and they run fine on Windows 2K. If I upgrade my Windows 2K machine, it won't be to Windows XP Home.
    • Our company has 6500+ pc's with Win2000. Upgrading to XP just isn't viable as there is too much software that breaks in subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) ways.

      Yes, we should upgrade sometime soon, but as long as we can buy extra Win2000 support we won't, as it would mean a *serious* investment. And for what? To have the same functionality as we already have? Get real.

  • by pe1chl (90186) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @06:50AM (#17276026)
    Chinnery says he's accepted the fact that he'll have to use the utility to fix his Windows 2000 systems. But, lacking an easily deployable patch, it means he must walk around to tweak each machine in his organization. This is a chore he doesn't feel he should face.

    This is what you get for having systems that can be administered using a simple mouseclick by somone with only superficial knowledge of the matter!
    Of course it would be simple to automatically install a registry fix on all systems on his network, but he has become so accustomed to every tiny fix being installed in a hundreds of KB executable with automatic installer that he has never learned (or forgotten) how to script such simple things himself.

    The daylight saving time mechanism in Windows is broken anyway. Posix DST handling is much better, especially (but not only) when the definition of start and end dates changes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jimicus (737525)
      This is what you get for having systems that can be administered using a simple mouseclick by somone with only superficial knowledge of the matter!

      I disagree. My take is "this is what you get for hiring people who believe that the correct way to fix a large number of systems is to click "next next next" on every one of those systems like a trained chimpanzee". What are such people doing in IT anyhow? The whole point of computers is to make repetitive tasks quick and easy, why are you giving yourself a rep
  • There are lots of new features in the new operating systems that may be useful in an Anti Virus product (the example you give). While they are not used now, they may be in the future. Why should microsoft limit themselves to using only technology that existed 7 years ago?

    How do you know the product works perfectly on Win2000? Just cause it looks like it doesn't mean it does...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Aladrin (926209)
      "How do you know the product works perfectly on Win2000? Just cause it looks like it doesn't mean it does..."

      I think this is the REAL issue here. Microsoft didn't know for sure it worked on win2k, and this guy doesn't either. He hasn't rigourously tested it in any fashion. He just installs it, runs it a few times and proclaims 'Hey, it works!'.

      When an app IS supported, it can have major issues. Unsupported has got to be a lot more risky. If your whole point of running win2k is the stability, running un
      • I think this is the REAL issue here. Microsoft didn't know for sure it worked on win2k, and this guy doesn't either. He hasn't rigourously tested it in any fashion. He just installs it, runs it a few times and proclaims 'Hey, it works!'.

        Not only that, but even if Microsoft has tried it and verified that it "works," they almost certainly did not go through a full test cycle on these products using Windows 2000. Although the "if it compiles and runs, ship it!" mentality might work for small OSS programs, it

  • Cut the BS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by p0tat03 (985078) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @06:56AM (#17276064)

    From the summary: "other software (like MS's anti-spyware product) will install and run flawlessly -- but only if you remove an explicit check for Windows 2000 in the installer."

    I work for a software company - and I suspect many Slashdotters do also, and there are extremely good reasons for this. My company's software dropped support for OSX Panther in our last release, even though in all likelihood there wouldn't be any trouble running it on Panther - we weren't using anything that would specifically be known to break Panther, right?

    But one has to realize that to release software on a mass scale involves a lot of QA work. You cannot say "we're not using any XP-only features, so it must work on 2K also!", you have to rigorously test your software on all supported platforms. Failure to do so is irresponsible and unprofessional. This means that, if you wish the drop the overhead of testing in 2K, then you stop supporting 2K, and to prevent consumers from installing your software and then coming back to complain about it (or worse, posting a scathing blog entry about your software's suckitude), you simply block the installation of the software on the older OS.

    There's nothing evil about this, this is a simple business decision: you cannot support every legacy OS forever, and as new OS'es get released, your QA load increases. At some point you have to drop support for legacy OS'es, even if they are still technologically compatible with your software.

    • Re:Cut the BS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by alexhs (877055) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @07:10AM (#17276140) Homepage Journal

      if you wish the drop the overhead of testing in 2K, then you stop supporting 2K, and to prevent consumers from installing your software and then coming back to complain about it, you simply block the installation of the software on the older OS.
      What's wrong with only showing a dialog box ?

      Lots of programs in the win9x era would show a dialog box at installation when you tried to install them on a winnt system : Might not work, unsupported...
      Then, it's the user responsability to choose.
      • Re:Cut the BS (Score:5, Insightful)

        by p0tat03 (985078) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @07:45AM (#17276254)

        Another poster below you also pointed out the same strategy. It is a valid notion, I admit, but considering our software is targeted at average users who may not be technically inclined, I believe ours is the right decision. I believe you are grossly underestimating the intelligence, or dare I suggest, honesty of the average software user.

        If you give them the option to install, they will ignore any and all warnings and call you anyway when they run into problems. Worse yet, they will fly off the hook and begin slandering your software to anyone who will listen, and you bet your ass that their version of the story won't contain the fact that they're running on an unsupported OS.

        Some won't even understand what the warning means, or some won't even read it - the "OK" button is just too large and tempting to click.

        The install/runtime check is more of a preventative motion than anything else. We don't want to present a negative image of our product when know-nothing users decide to run it on unsupported hardware/software and get stuck. We don't want support calls related to this - even listening to them long enough to kick them off the line costs us valuable dollars and cents. We want nothing to do with this possibility - and the number of honest consumers who will legitimately accept the lack of support and run it on an old OS is small enough that we really don't want to open ourselves to that risk. Honestly, if there were a significant number of people still using the OS, we wouldn't drop support for it.

        Disclaimer: The above is a personal opinion and in no way represents the views of my employer.

        • Include a box in the installer that requires the user to type in the exact sentence: "I recognize that this software will not operate properly on this operating system."

          Add a line on the top of the window when the software is running on an unsupported OS: "This program is not supported on this operating system."

          Nothing will stop complete idiots, but this should help significantly.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      So why not simply have the installer do the check and then say "Your detected OS is not supported by this software. By installing, you void any official support. Install and run at your own risk! Support questions for this installation will NOT be answered. Continue installation? Y/N"? If someone installs it and gets bitten, they can't claim that they weren't warned. And no one can claim that you're breaking support intentionally to force upgrades. How is this not a win-win situation?

      There are plenty of
      • Re:Cut the BS (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Mister Transistor (259842) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @09:09AM (#17276522) Journal
        Sounds good, but the luser on the tech support line won't know the tech that installed it checked "OK" when it was installed. When that luser happens to be a corporate VP, then the fun starts.

        What might work in the shop adequately may not be robust enough for general use. We take OS faults in stride...

        Back on topic, I've suspected artificial version lockout on many occasions, stuff that will install on XP but not 2K, even though they are almost identical "under the hood". Seems especially common on high end A/V editing/processing programs. I'm interested that TFA pointed to the Orca editor, that sounds like an quickie way to see just how many of these programs will _actually_ run under win2k.
        • by Haeleth (414428)
          Sounds good, but the luser on the tech support line won't know the tech that installed it checked "OK" when it was installed. When that luser happens to be a corporate VP, then the fun starts.

          Huh? Are there many corporate VPs who phone external tech support themselves, instead of just telling their PA to send an angry email to their corporation's internal IT department -- you know, where that tech that checked "OK" works? How many corporate-VP-type users who don't install their own software even know whic

    • I work for a software company - and I suspect many Slashdotters do also, and there are extremely good reasons for this.

      Besides taking home a paycheck?

    • by toby (759) * on Sunday December 17, 2006 @08:17AM (#17276346) Homepage Journal

      But Microsoft does, through their announced product lifecycle, [microsoft.com] promise to deliver security and other fixes for a period of up to 10 years beyond "general availability" (NOT date of license purchase, a nice loophole penalising customers who buy late in the lifecycle). According to that page, Business customers can expect security updates through 2010. Perhaps they don't classify Spyware as a security issue (would explain a lot).

      Al Capone put it best. You can get more upgrades bought with flashy launch hype and a gun, than just flashy launch hype.

  • by rubicon7 (51782) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @07:00AM (#17276080)
    ... and we mustn't have that!

    Seriously, I run win2k(sp4) on an old PIII 600 with 128 megs of RAM. It does what I need it to do, if only grudgingly. Why would I "upgrade" to Vista, when I've never had any intention on "upgrading" to XP, which probably would refuse to work with my hardware anyway? (dunno really, haven't checked)
  • Most realworld products are designed for a specific lifetime, and some pessimists suspect that make their products break down after a set time on purpose. Closed source software could also easily build such a feature in (and who knows they haven't). What the beast from redmond is doing here is just a bit less efficient, but produces less outfall when their trick feature might be discovered. From their evil money-eyed perspective it makes perfect sense: forcing you to upgrade is good for their economy.

    Window
  • by kerubi (144146)
    Hey, Sun Solaris is free these days. If you have used Windows 2000 until now, you have used it for several years now. It's not like your initial investment in the OS hasn't delivered it's return by now. If Solaris is so great, why not just switch to that then?

    People using Windows really should accept that they are be paying for it to Microsoft and that they will be paying for it in the future, for upgrades or various subscription based offerings. There are plenty of alternatives if you don't want to accept
    • by Legion303 (97901)
      "There are plenty of alternatives if you don't want to accept that."

      Yes. One of the alternatives is to hack around Microsoft's artificial forced upgrade path.
    • If you have used Windows 2000 until now, you have used it for several years now. It's not like your initial investment in the OS hasn't delivered it's return by now.

      I've recently done a new install of Win2k, so have had only a few months' use.

      (The box was previously running NT Server, and has been retired from that role. It doesn't have the hardware to run XP, so Win2k was the obvious choice. Win2k will be fine for that particular user, until such time, perhaps, as they start getting PDF files that need a n
  • "The company has fairly strict policies defining when it stops supporting older products. In the case of Windows 2000, the end of what Microsoft calls "mainstream support" came in June 2005."

    Since when did MS support any OS? I mean if I report a bug in Windows XP it won't be fixed. MS help desk will just tell me that's a "known issue", or they won't even admit the bug exists. So, basically I have the same level of support in Win 2000 as any other version.
    All you need to do is avoid using MS products ( I mea
  • Solaris 2.6 support? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by larien (5608) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @08:11AM (#17276324) Homepage Journal
    Hrm, article is inaccurate:
    (Sun) is actually still supporting users of version 2.6. ... the operating system is fully supported through 2007
    Not according to Sun's own website [sun.com] where support ended in July. We've actually called up Sun and they refused the call because 2.6 was out of support.

    That said, 2.6 is a pretty old release and we're overdue doing an upgrade on it, but it's inaccurate to say Sun still support it. Added to that, there are a number of Sun Alerts which come out and say that older versions aren't being evaluated for certain bugs.

  • The simple answer is that MS is not only illegal, but unethical. I do not blame them. But sadly, too many fools make the choice about where a program runs and will back Window only rather than thinking long term.
  • by Joebert (946227) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @08:21AM (#17276352) Homepage
    When my mom squeezes me, it means she loves me.
    I think that's why Microsoft does it too.
    I still haven't figured out why Uncle Tom squeezes me though. :/
  • But MS screws the users. As usual. That's what happens when any one company has so much power to abuse. In the absense of real competition the old versions of their own products are just nuisances that prevent them from ramming new garbage down our throats.

    Frankly I'm sick and tired of it. I have installed Ubuntu Linux as a cross-boot on many of my machines. Unfortunately, several things are still making it hard for me to abandon Microsoft completely. One of them is actually Microsoft's DRM being used by a
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by plasmacutter (901737)
      That's what happens when any one company has so much power to abuse. In the absense of real competition

      The irony is that in the US.. and it literally would be any one. Just take out your local financial section and throw a dart at the page.. yep.. that one's got it's greasy bribing hooks in the government too.

      The antitrust law here is kind of like the bill of rights, an antiquated and curious roll of vintage toilet paper.
  • by the_REAL_sam (670858) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @08:40AM (#17276398) Journal
    I still use Windows 2000, and I like it. MS still provides the updates/service packs, etc, for download. Since they're doing that, I'm a naysayer to the accusation.

    Personally I suspect that they are still making enough cash on the current releases that they don't have to resort to petty tricks. IF they wanted to pull the plug on the older O.S.'s then they could probably do a much better job than disabling software.

    Anyhow, it's better to be unassuming than to assume they would be dishonest. We really don't don't know what their motive was, and, like them or not, we shouldn't just assume their action was dishonest or that it was done for an insidious reason.

    The bottom line is: it's a sin to bear false witniss, even if it's against Microsoft.

  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @09:03AM (#17276486)
    How Microsoft is pushing Windows 2000 users to use a non-Windows operating system.
  • I've been offered free windows XP licenses. I've thought about getting a free windows vista license (it's nice to have friends), but you know what? I just don't feel it's worth it. Right now, I have two computers sitting side by side. One needs to be turned off every couple of days or so or the performance suffers. That said machine also can do a total of 1 thing better (to my knowledge) than the other that machine also makes my life harder when I need to go change the security settings on. It also insists
  • by almclean (829638) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @09:06AM (#17276508)
    If Microsoft wants people to upgrade from Windows 2000 to Vista then why doesn't the Vista Upgrade Advisor http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/getready/upg radeadvisor/default.mspx [microsoft.com] run under Windows 2000?
  • First of all, it's really not the OS developers that are at issue here, but the application developers. These are the people who will get the calls when something in Office 2007 breaks on Windows 2000. Even before those calls come in, there is a QA matrix that has to be satisfied. The more supported versions the longer it takes to get new software out the door. Moreover, sometimes those OS version differences cause ugliness in the application code, particularly when some might be classed "cruddy little
  • ...old apps on new Windows. Frankly, companies that put OS checks into the installation package can go screw themselves. Feel free to not support it, but don't go aborting an install just because you don't like the OS's version.
  • by MadRat (774297) <mm94438@nospam.alltel.net> on Sunday December 17, 2006 @09:53AM (#17276722)
    OS'es need to be treated differently for Copyright than other forms of software, simply because maintaining copyright on such a product is unfair to the consumer. If a company drops support for it then they should lose right of control for the future. The public was sold a secure Operating System that can never be secure. Once support is dropped then people should have the right to pursue reverse engineering of the code to support it themselves.
  • ...it was never QA'd on 2000. Even Microsoft has resource limits.
  • I'm having a great time watching Microsoft self-destruct.

    It seems as if they've forgotten who they work for?

    Do they really believe that users will continue to take this incredibly shoddy treatment?

    It is becoming incredibly obvious to me that Microsoft is trying to leverage their monopoly worse than ever before, with products and the general attitude of the software design towards the user such as Vista.

    Then again, what more can you expect from a company who has pretty much 'stolen' their way to the top? The
  • by operagost (62405) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @10:54AM (#17277056) Homepage Journal

    Chinnery says he's accepted the fact that he'll have to use the utility to fix his Windows 2000 systems. But, lacking an easily deployable patch, it means he must walk around to tweak each machine in his organization.
    While I don't understand why MS did not release the patch for an OS that is supposedly still under support, this guy is either lazy or ignorant. Not only does regedit work remotely, but he can also put the TZ changes into a reg file, which is just text, and kick off a remote script to apply it on each of his servers.
  • I don't understand how this is even news.

    Anyone who's ever built an install for an Windows environment, be it with the (weak) tool in Visual Studio or InstallShield or whatever has most likely seen an option screen where you can choose to check which OSes the install is for (and will be allowed to be used on.)

    A software developer could've just as easily built software that locked out Win2k five or more years ago if they wanted to.
  • by pair-a-noyd (594371) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @12:47PM (#17277772)
    A customer of mine called and said she was having hell with hotmail using IE6 on W2k..
    I went out there and found that they've changed the online Hotmail interface.
    It informs you that there is some "new & improved look" to the Hotmail interface.
    It hangs up indefinitely but displays a message telling you to click a link if you are
    having trouble with the new look. She must click the link for anything at all to happen,
    it then gives her a Hotmail screen but informs her that she is now in "reduced functionality mode"
    and that not all features will be available.

    "But it works on my home computer!" and I query her, "Ah, but I'll bet it's running Windows XP, right?"
    "Yes" she tells me.

    So I then go to the microsoft site and check for any win2k updates that may help with this.
    I find none are available. So then I attempt to track down IE7 for win2k.
    Nope. According to the M$ website IE7 is available for windows XP and up.
    A few minutes more of research and I find that IE7 will not now nor ever be available for Windows 2000.

    Another machine in that office (set to do automatic M$ updates) is running Office 2003. Over the past several months M$ Word has become almost unusable. The woman at that machine opens online email from Yahoo then uses copy & paste, she copies the text from an online message in an IE6 window then tries to paste it into a M$ Word blank document.
    Word just hangs up for very long periods, sometimes 15 minutes, sometimes Word crashes. Most of the time she just brings up task manager and kills Word then re-tries it over and over until it works.
    It always worked fine until about 6 months ago. The copy of Office was pre-installed by Dell.
    How much you wanna bet they sabotaged it during an "update" to cause frustration and make the customer seek a solution which of course will be a shiny, brand new package of Office 2007 ?? Eh?? No way to PROVE it, but...

    Cha-ching for M$!! There are several win2k machines in that office and they all use Hotmail.
    I will guarantee you that over the next 12 months that they will strangle everything else off, slowly.
    Win2k and below will be choked off at an insane pace, XP will be choked off a little slower but it will still happen none the less.

    I want to also note that the Linux developers are following suit.
    I use Suse 10.0 on my primary work horse. I've noticed support and focus has wanned.
    Everyone is all gung-ho on 10.2 (which I have no intentions of using) and developers are putting all their effort on the current release. 10.0 has been moved to the back of the bus.
    I find that many of the apt repositories have been abandoned or moved and I'm having trouble
    with dependencies thus making upgrading a nightmare.
    Because of this and the MicroSu$e merger it appears that it's time for me to jump ship and move to
    one of the latest ubuntu distros.

    M$ isn't the only one pulling this crap off.
    The Linux folks do it yearly, M$ does it about every 5 years.
    God strike me dead for saying in defense of M$..

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by GaryPatterson (852699)
      "Another machine in that office (set to do automatic M$ updates) is running Office 2003. Over the past several months M$ Word has become almost unusable. The woman at that machine opens online email from Yahoo then uses copy & paste, she copies the text from an online message in an IE6 window then tries to paste it into a M$ Word blank document.
      Word just hangs up for very long periods, sometimes 15 minutes, sometimes Word crashes. Most of the time she just brings up task manager and kills Word then re-t

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