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Microsoft Extends XP To May 2009 For OEMs 605

Posted by timothy
from the that-pesky-reality-again dept.
beuges writes "Microsoft has announced over the weekend that it would allow computer manufacturers to receive copies of XP until the end of May 2009, shortly before Windows 7 is expected to hit the market. This should allow users to skip Vista entirely and move straight to 7, which has been receiving cautiously favorable reviews of pre-release and leaked alphas."
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Microsoft Extends XP To May 2009 For OEMs

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  • by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @11:53AM (#26211979) Homepage Journal
    unbelievable.

    it would take a butt the size of mount everest for any company to take the plunge and trust anything from microsoft again, after the stunt they pulled with vista.

    and what happens to the poor sods who DID trust microsoft and upgraded their entire office to vista, again ?
    • by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:50PM (#26212727)

      Microsoft had failures before. And it didn't kill them. MSDOS 4.0. Windows v1, v2, ME, Bob, their bout into making Anti-Virus software, Web TV...
      Peoples memory are actually quite small. Yea Vista stunk, however if they can get Windows 7 up to spec and running smooth and quick then they will switch again. Vista was all visual, any of the technical improvements didn't really get recognized with the world. Besides Vista took so long to develop that in order for it to succeed it needed to be light-years ahead of XP. For Windows 7 it just needs to be an approvment on Vista, if it can be released by the End of 2009 anything longer (people will start expecting more from it)

    • by rolfwind (528248) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @01:03PM (#26212897)

      As an OS X and Ubuntu fan - I like Vista. I don't do the hardest core computing on it, but coming from XP Home (I know, I know, XP Pro is better) it has UAC in every version AFAIK. This makes it much nicer security wise. Also, file browsing is nicer - no more .db files in directories but a centralized database where it should be. The ability to rotate pictures with a right click (to really rotate, not just in the thumbnail preview) is also nice. This may be a rather superficial overview, but those are the features I use and like.

      That said: I had one computer inexplicably crash completely with Vista and the OS never start up again (not the harddrive, it reinstalled flawlessly). And Microsoft underplayed it's hardware requirements, Aero is turned on to max on too many systems that can't handle it, and the bloatware many OEMs tend to install on it suck the rest of the life out of it.

      I would like to see MS lose marketshare for the simple reason of getting binary compatibility from developers with several major platforms instead of being forced into windows - but Vista isn't the biggest no-value flop, that would have been Windows Me. Instead, Vista is just a mediocre update when MS promised the world.

  • by Erie Ed (1254426) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @11:54AM (#26212005)
    Is anyone surprised by this? Many customers told them time after time that they didn't want vista, and that they would rather use XP. Now I'm not a fan of M$, but I can say that XP Pro SP3 is absolutly amazing and stable I really really don't feel the need to upgrade to vista when I've finally got XP tuned so well that I hardly have to do any maintenance on it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mweather (1089505)
      XP is nice, and it's faster than Vista, but I'd hate to be stuck with the security holes. Not that Vista/Windows 7 (same OS, different skin) is much better.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Saint Gerbil (1155665)

        Windows 7 which there has only been a pre-beta release of. your signing off as copy of the last one.

        Excuse me if I wait for a final or near final version before passing judgement.

        I'll ignore it for the obvious hate post it is.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Paradise Pete (33184)

          I'll ignore it for the obvious hate post it is.

          You might want to take another look at the meaning of this "ignore" word.

    • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:12PM (#26212189) Journal
      Exactly how I felt about Windows 2000 when XP was released...
      It took two service packs for it to be decent.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by msormune (808119)
      Of course they care. XP is their product and they want people to still use, because they get money from it. The whole deadline dance is just a way to push people to Vista. MS never had any intention to really cut XP off, that would be insane.
  • Skip (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @11:55AM (#26212015)

    It's not uncommon for companies to skip OS's , so this works out great for our 40,000 users. So we can go from XP sp3 direct to Win7 , but we will probably wait for SP1 of Win7.

  • What do they care. Wonderful thing about still being a virtual desktop monopoly. Am I wrong?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by meringuoid (568297)
      Wonderful thing about still being a virtual desktop monopoly.

      I thought Windows didn't have virtual desktops?

  • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:00PM (#26212085)

    I'm not old enough to remember all the promises of '95/'98, etc (More like I didn't care). But I'm already seeing the same XP/Vista/7 cycle start over..

    Microsoft is setting themselves up for another round of the same old shit. Vista had favorable reviews from pre-releases and leaked alphas.... and then features started to drop to meet the continually moving release date.

    Microsoft is going to have to sever all backwards compatibility at some point if they want a fresh start. Microsoft BOUGHT an Emulator/Virtualizer (Virtual PC), how hard would it be to make a seamless sandboxed XP install?

    Not to sound to fanboyish, but Apple has done this TWICE in the last 10 years. First OS 9 -> OS X. Sandboxed everything in Classic. Not everything worked perfect, but it bridged the gap. Then again with the release on Intel If you already had your Apps in XCode all it took was 1 checkmark in a config. That's it. Complete new binary for a new architecture. And if that didn't work you still had Rosetta, which like classic, wasn't perfect but it works. On my laptop I seamlessly run PPC code on an Intel machine with less problems than most people have had with just trying to run Vista.

    Not just GUI apps either. I can compile something like coreutils on a PPC machine and run it on an Intel machine, not ideal but it works.

    Microsoft is supposedly the 800# gorilla in the corner but it can't figure out how to cut all ties to the past and move on.

    • by Khuffie (818093) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:15PM (#26212235) Homepage
      Why don't they cut backwards compatability? Because businesses want backwards compatability. Businesses are Microsoft's core market. Cut off backwards compatability, and businesses won't like it.

      Sure, Apple did it twice, but guess what? That's why Apple isn't very populer within enterprise-level companies.
      • by C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:41PM (#26212601) Journal

        apple isn't very popular with enterprise for several reasons.

        - price: no competition means higher price. with the PC, the cutthroat competition between hardware makers is what keeps price down.
        - openess: the PC is an open architecture, you can choose your box from any manufacturer. even apple recognized this as an advantage and moved to intel/PC arch.
        - relationship with developers: say what you want, but working in a large IT shop i know several programers who all agree that MS treats developers a whole lot better than apple. see the strangle hold they keep over that iPhone store.
        - availability of software: the PC was created by IBM with a focus on business. the Mac wasn't. a huge library of corporate software made the diference on DOS days. the previous item does it today.

        and you didn't get GP's point. emulation and virtualization, either in hardware or software helps a lot. and MS is not a newbie on this. in the early days of the transition from DOS to windows 3.0, the version for 80286 PC/ATs couldn't multitaks DOS apps. if you opened more than one DOS app, the one in the background would freeze, but in a 80386 you could multitask DOS apps because the 386 introduced hardware based "real mode" VMs. heck, you can run a binary compiled on an S/360 on a current version of Z/OS running in the latest state-of-the-art IBM mainframe.

        apple's several transitions, m68k -> PPC -> intel (hardware) and Mac OS classic -> Mac OS X pretty much afected some few specialized (read: badly written) software. nothing that caused widespread problems.

        it can be done, and is only the stuborness of the redmond guys that prevents them from doing it.

        • by Khuffie (818093) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:49PM (#26212697) Homepage
          apple's several transitions, m68k -> PPC -> intel (hardware) and Mac OS classic -> Mac OS X pretty much afected some few specialized (read: badly written) software. nothing that caused widespread problems.

          Nothing that caused widespread problems because Apple isn't used widespread.

          Though I didn't mean to indicate that backwards compatability is the only reason why Apple isn't very popular in the enterprise, but it is one of them
    • Microsoft is the 800# gorilla in the room because it doesn't break backward compatibility. I'm not a mac fanboi but from what I've heard the various changes from one version to the next over the past ten years were not as seamless as you indicated. Most of my friends who use macs (none of whom are technical, they're all in the design space) just gave up on trying to get their old software to work with the new version and bought all new software. Compare that with Microsoft where althought they're not officially supported, almost all DOS applications will still run. So if you bought some piece of software in 1988 for DOS 3.0 chances are pretty good that it will run on Vista.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by JCSoRocks (1142053)
        Exactly... Mac users have basically been trained to think that it's normal for you to have to replace all of your software when you upgrade to the newest version of the OS. PC users would lose their minds if this happened. I was furious when I ran into a few niche programs that weren't Vista compatible and expected me to buy a new version. Needless to say, those companies lost my business.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by dzfoo (772245)

          That is not really accurate. When the transition to OS X started, for instance, all new Macs came with a version of OS 9 called "Mac Classic", which could be installed to run all your old applications on the new machine. There was also an interim development framework that allowed developers to easily port their programs to the new OS, until they were able to re-write them in native code.

          As far as I remember, this was adequate for most users, and it helped make the transition virtually seamless.

          Moreover,

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by robogun (466062)

        Microsoft is the 800# gorilla in the room because it doesn't break backward compatibility.

        This is not precisely accurate, at least in my case. I have a lot of 16 bit programs that date back 10 years or more, and with every MS OS "upgrade" fewer and fewer of them work.

        Also, a lot of new stuff is written in .NET 2.0 which only installs on XPSP1 and newer. There is no reason for MS to make it not work with for instane 2000, except to force OS upgrades.

        It is why I will not proceed past XP. If I have to buy/writ

        • Serious suggestion: try them in Wine on Linux. Wine is frequently a better Windows than Vista.

          It's still beta-quality, but we use it on production machinery at work (one app which we didn't want to run a whole Windows box for, so it runs on CentOS in Wine). So it's "enterprise quality," whatever that is.

          It's a good way to get rid of that one last Windows box you have running because of one legacy app you can't even find the developer for, let alone ask them to port or open source it.

          Wine doesn't work well under Cygwin as yet, unfortunately, so Wine on Windows is not so good yet. More development eyes needed ;-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ubergrendle (531719)
      There's a few reasons Mac could do this. First, they're primarily a desktop operating system with stand alone apps. Sandboxing applications isn't the end of the world when looked at in isolation. Alos, their market share at the time was extremely small, with limited 3rd party software support. Much easier to support. Second, they moved from a proprietary framework to a BSD based operating system so they were essentially adapting to a tried/true product.

      Microsoft, however, owns 90% (i'm guessing 98%+) of
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vux984 (928602)

      Microsoft is going to have to sever all backwards compatibility at some point if they want a fresh start. Microsoft BOUGHT an Emulator/Virtualizer (Virtual PC), how hard would it be to make a seamless sandboxed XP install?

      We don't really want all our XP malware and viruses to run seamlessly in a virtual layer.

      Microsoft wants (needs) running really legacy stuff to be a least a bit of a hassle.

      A guy I know runs XP in parallels on the Mac with some key windows apps he uses, and got it all infected with malware

  • New security process (Score:4, Informative)

    by Monoman (8745) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:09PM (#26212147) Homepage

    If they use the same security prompts/process as Vista then Windows 7 will be another one to skip. I have found it inconsistent and incomplete.

    * If your account is a local admin then should you be prompted to do some things? Probably, but not more than once. I swear there is a minimum of two prompts by default.

    * Why does an admin need to choose "Run as admin" for some things?

    * If the system is going to prompt me then make sure I will see it. Sometimes the security prompts pop-under. If I go off to another program while waiting for something to finish only to later find the unanswered prompt still waiting for my response.

    * If a program requires admin access or "Run as admin" then clearly give the user direction to do so. Try pathping for instance and you get "0 No resources". Launch cmd "as admin" and it works fine.

    The Vista security model is horrible IMHO. We are just getting started with Windows 2008 and it looks like it is going to be more of the same. If I am logged in as admin on a server I sure hope I don't get the same incomplete and inconsistent experience. If so, Windows 2008 will be the Server OS to skip from MS. (I'm sure some slashdotters will say they should all be skipped. :-) )

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by drsmithy (35869)

      * If your account is a local admin then should you be prompted to do some things?

      Yes, because being an "admin" just means you can elevate your privileges, it doesn't make them (much) higher by default.

      * Why does an admin need to choose "Run as admin" for some things?

      See above.

      * If the system is going to prompt me then make sure I will see it. Sometimes the security prompts pop-under. If I go off to another program while waiting for something to finish only to later find the unanswered prompt still wa

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dzfoo (772245)

        Yes, but in Linux or OS X, whenever I try to perform an action to which I have no privileges, by mere fact that I am in the Adminstrators group (or sudoers file), I get prompted for my password immediately. I do not have to ask special permission to "run as admin"; if it requires to be "admin" to run, then run the damn thing as admin already and demand authentication or confirmation from the user, and then abort if they fail to respond accordingly.

                -dZ.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Arterion (941661)

          That's what all those Cancel or Allow prompts are. They just don't ask for your password again like linux and OSX does.

          The "run as admin" is for one thing: programs which can be used as a with OR without elevated privileges and be useful. For example, if you don't "run as admin" an installer or application that writes to Program Files that doesn't properly elevate privileges (which results in a Cancel/Allow prompt), it will virtualize the Program Files to your profile directory. This can be useful or it

    • by PRMan (959735) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @02:02PM (#26213711)
      I am running Windows "Workstation" 2008 and I can tell you that it is amazing. So much better than Vista. No 12-20% CPU tax from the MAFIAA. And running as Admin, I have NEVER been asked for a prompt for anything nor have I ever seen anything like a UAC prompt.
  • by mlwmohawk (801821) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:10PM (#26212167)

    Here's the problem: Microsoft has used illegal tactics to maintain its monopoly gained from unethical practices.

    Microsoft's monopoly is so entrenched, that the proto-typical "Sun Oil" case can't even compare.

    In a real competitive environment, customers would have long ago abandoned Microsoft. The best analogy is WordStar vs WordPerfect. WordStar was first, but WordPerfect was better. Naturally WordStar lost and is now, no more.

    Microsoft is so entrenched, and so anti-standards, that your data and business operations are held hostage. You can't escape the Widows lock-in without paying a lot of money and abandoning some of your core applications.

    Furthermore, the monopoly level of Microsoft means that it is unrealistic for ISVs to develop for other platforms because Windows represents 80+% of the market and who can justify an the cost of development unless you can really identify a market. Virtually every notebook and P.C. sold at the consumer and "system" level has Windows installed.

    In a real competitive environment, Windows ME, Microsoft BOB, Microsoft Dogs, or Vista would have killed any other company and we would be glad to see them go. But no, it is so bad that users CAN'T escape windows, so they are settling for an 8 year old operating system instead of modern alternatives.

    If there was ever a time where clear proof existed that Microsoft needs to be broken up, this is it. Its insane.

    • by AviLazar (741826) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:34PM (#26212499) Journal
      Microsoft's monopoly is so entrenched

      Not really. MS isn't imposing any monopoly. First of all there are alternatives - some pay some free. So if MS had a true monopoly there would be no alternatives. The problem is that businesses are not willing to move from MS to another software platform. They are not 100% to blame - businesses need to stay competative and part of that is to play well with everyone else. Can't do that if your systems platforms are completely different. Also by going with a less used product you are more limited in your IT staff (more people know windows based products then linx or mac). Lastly if you use a less used product you have to spend extra money training your staff. Overall it is expensive to switch technologies.

      MS doesn't have to work to maintain the customer base....if Linux and Mac want to become the defacto business product then they need to adjust themselves to look/feel/work (at least on the front-end) more like MS products -and then offer just as many (e.g. Exchange, Office, compatibility with 95% of the software out there, etc).

      You may not like that reality, but it is reality.
    • by tehcyder (746570) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:49PM (#26212707) Journal

      The best analogy is WordStar vs WordPerfect. WordStar was first, but WordPerfect was better. Naturally WordStar lost and is now, no more.

      Er, and then Word was easier to use and so better for most people, and so WordPerfect lost, and is now, no more.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fractalus (322043)

      I have seen the way out.

      It is virtualization.

      Upgrade all your existing workstations to a secure OS (Linux, Mac, whatever you think is appropriate) and create a Windows VM that runs the old applications. Now you can keep access to all that old stuff in a more controlled fashion, while still locking down the host OS.

  • by loconius (1106103) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:12PM (#26212187)

    if Windows 7 tanks, they can always ask for bailout money like all the other companies that make crappy products.

  • M$ feels the pain. (Score:3, Informative)

    by KcRusty (1437681) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:16PM (#26212247)
    It seems that many people really think there wasn't much recourse for Microsoft putting out such a terrible product in it's initial release of Vista.... This very much so isn't the case.

    If we refer to the table here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_desktop_operating_systems [wikipedia.org] you can see how much of the market has started to diversify since Vista came out. I think it would be safe to assume that the market share of Vista is somewhat inflated due to the fact that Microsoft made it very difficult to get anything but Vista on a regular consumer machine for quite some time, and now most major builders charge a fee ($150 at some!) to "downgrade" Vista to XP.

    Since Q1 of 2007, Microsoft has seen both of their largest competitors in the desktop operating system market (Apple & Linux) double their penetration. Will this possibly drive them to bring us a better product? On a side note, Microsoft Server 2008 as a workstation is definitely worth taking a look at. You can download and use it free for 60 days, and a quick look at http://www.win2008workstation.com/wordpress/ [win2008workstation.com] will give you some pointers on setting it up. There are definitely some things lacking, but it might give you hope that M$ will do something right in their next major release.
  • by TheSHAD0W (258774) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:26PM (#26212381) Homepage

    Now, what Microsoft needs to do is:

    (1) Offer free DOWNGRADES for anyone with a Vista license.
    (2) Offer free UPGRADES to Windows Seven for anyone who buys a machine loaded with Vista.

    Today I shall be installing a replacement IDE hard drive in a 6 year old system, a 1.8 GHz Pentium 4, which I'd much rather upgrade but won't simply because anything I bought today would be running Vista.

  • by Phroggy (441) <{moc.yggorhp} {ta} {3todhsals}> on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:28PM (#26212401) Homepage

    ...will be the name. By not being called "Vista", users won't associate it with all the horror stories they've heard about Vista, so they'll be willing to give it a chance.

    It will have a handful of minor improvements, but otherwise I expect it to be mostly identical. Vista's biggest problem is third-party compatibility, which should mostly be worked out by the time Windows 7 ships.

    Personally, I hate Vista a lot less than I hate XP. Most people can't understand how I would say that, but that's because they actually like XP. Blech.

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:28PM (#26212409)

    I really like the benefits of Linux, and I think that given a little more time to mature, it could really take off with less-technical users. I wouldn't mind Windows 7 sucking just to give Linux a bit more of an incubation period.

    (And, given the things MS has pulled in the past, I still think it's got a big karma deficit to work off. I'm still overwhelmed with a sense of schadenfreude against MS.)

  • by eulernet (1132389) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:31PM (#26212451)

    As usual, after Vista's debacle, Microsoft communicates about their next generation OS, trying to keep the users focused on their software, to prevent them for looking for competition.

    What has changed recently is that the economy crisis will force most of the companies to reduce their cost.
    This will be done in two phases:
      - the first one is reducing the number of employees.
      - the second phase will be about reducing the cost of software.

    Microsoft is as always very expensive, even though the cost of their development has been largely returned.
    I think they will need to reduce the price of their software, or the next years will be difficult for them, especially when competing with free software.

  • by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:45PM (#26212647)

    Windows XP is all the 32 bit OS anyone should ever need. It's fast, and pretty much scales as far as 32 bit will go. Windows 7 better have an option to be as sleek and unobtrusive as Windows XP. They lost me 2 years ago when I switched to Linux, but I spent 5 years learning the ins and outs of XP so it's almost as comfortable as my custom Fluxbox configuration (which took me all of a week to get to a reasonably functional level.)

    Anyway, even if it does, $150+ is way to much to pay for an OS that has regressions in functionality (whether coming from XP or Linux, this is definitely the case on Vista, and I'd expect it for 7.)

    An OS is worth about $50. Don't get me wrong, I understand the energy that goes into optimizing it. But it's unnecessary. I've used new Macs running quad cores, I've run new Fedora machines running the same, I've used Vista... sparingly, and I have to say, the performance gains of the past 4 years over my single-core integrated graphics machine are negligible. If I'm paying, I'm paying for security fixes and continued driver support plain and simple. I have yet to see anyone give me something that so blows away Windows XP that it really sounds like it's worth more than $50.

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @01:03PM (#26212895)
    This isn't so wonderful if XP costs you an additional $150 (hello, Dell) over the Vista that you don't even want, but are forced to take as well. The previous $50 downgrade was just about palatable, but forcing you to virtually buy 2 OSs when you're only running one has got to be a Microsoft wetdream.
  • Good news for OEMs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ErichTheRed (39327) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @01:34PM (#26213353)

    These days, it's pretty much guaranteed that any PC you buy at retail will have Vista on it. Microsoft has done a pretty good job of addressing Vista performance concerns. I hear the newest service pack is pretty good.

    However, how many IT people out there are dealing with a large number of older systems? For us, it really comes down to this -- we can potentially run Vista on a fair number of our systems. Others are right in the middle of the XP system requirements (P4, 512 MB RAM.) So which do we choose?

    • Continue to run XP everywhere. The older systems will perform acceptably, and newer systems will be incredibly fast.
    • Switch to Vista completely. Junk tons of old hardware (yay recession!) and buy more memory for the ones that barely make the cut.
    • Run and support two operating systems (not my favorite idea.)

    We're just small enough to not really have a formal hardware refresh cycle, so this is a major concern for us. Windows 7 will probably have the same problems regarding hardware resources. Do you put up with lousy performance on some of your machines, or stick with good performance overall?

  • by arkham6 (24514) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @02:15PM (#26213869)
    You can safely skip every other one in the series.

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