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Windows Operating Systems Software

XP Reprieve, Downgrade May Continue After Win7 392

Posted by kdawson
from the operating-system-that-would-not-die dept.
CWmike writes "Gregg Keizer reports that Microsoft acknowledged today it has 'broadened the options' for PC makers to continue offering Windows XP as a downgrade from Vista — and potentially even Windows 7. However, the company would not confirm specific reports that HP has been given the green light to sell new PCs with Windows XP Pro pre-installed through the end of April 2010. 'Windows XP went into semi-retirement in June 2008, when Microsoft stopped selling it at retail and withdrew Windows XP Home from use on all but netbooks, though it allowed XP Professional to be installed as a Vista downgrade. Since then, Microsoft has extended the final date it will sell XP Professional install media to large computer makers and smaller systems builders to July 31, 2009, and May 30, 2009, respectively. Today, Microsoft denied that it had extended the life span of Windows XP, and intimated that those rights were built into the newer operating system — in this case, Vista — and did not expire at some arbitrary date.'" Update: 04/07 14:36 GMT by T : nandemoari adds "Not only will users be able to keep Windows Vista, but they'll be able to step back in time two generations, all the way to XP. "We will offer downgrade rights from Windows 7 to Windows XP in the same way we did with Windows Vista," a Microsoft rep said. Insiders speculate that the right to use this time machine might be reserved for those purchasing licenses for only two versions of Windows 7 — Ultimate and Professional. However, that's not yet been confirmed."
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XP Reprieve, Downgrade May Continue After Win7

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  • XP support (Score:5, Funny)

    by sakdoctor (1087155) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @04:24AM (#27486529) Homepage

    Does this mean extended support will still end in 2014?

    • Don't worry, other people will support XP.

      It was always obvious that if Microsoft delivered one good operating system, most users would not feel a need to have another. Windows XP SP3 is fine for most private users and businesses.

      Run limited user accounts and use the latest version of Firefox available in 2015, and that should be sufficiently secure.
      • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @05:26AM (#27486835) Journal

        Interesting post indeed.

        XP truely is a fairly slick and fast piece of operating system now.
        With Firefox updates, locked down security permissions, a decent AV and firewall just how long could an XP box remain useful to a small business, perhaps a POS machine or email / web / printing / burning terminal?

        This is what's causing Microsoft so much trouble, I don't know about the rest of you but the most myself, my friends and my family do on a machine is.

        Browse
        Email
        IM
        Video playback
        Burning
        Downloading
        Printing
        Collecting photos from cameras
        Write documents etc.

        That's 99% of the work done on 99% of the machines I support and help with, this is one of many reasons why Vista is having so much trouble.
        If anything Vista is approaching things from the wrong angle, I don't believe any one of the above is significantly improved in Vista, if anything - due to the cluttered OS it's harder.

        As an IT guy, I suspect I'm going to come across some really old but perfectly working XP installs over the coming 5 and maybe even 10 years, it's almost the DOS6.22 of OS's - just fire and forget.

        • by rvw (755107)

          That's 99% of the work done on 99% of the machines I support and help with, this is one of many reasons why Vista is having so much trouble.
          If anything Vista is approaching things from the wrong angle, I don't believe any one of the above is significantly improved in Vista, if anything - due to the cluttered OS it's harder.

          Vista does one thing better. It is possible to run (almost?) everything in user-mode, without the need for every user to be administrator. I don't know how much this improves security, but it is an improvement. Whenever I need admin-rights, a box pops up asking for the right login.

          • To do this in windows xp I'm prety sure all you have to do is hold down shift and right click an icon and use the "Run As" command.
          • First: Linux/Unix has done this since it was created

            Second: and improvements of programs to do user-mode on vista will translate to user-mode capabilities for XP, although few people will use that.

        • Re:XP (Score:5, Interesting)

          by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @06:53AM (#27487307) Journal

          Car Analogy!

          Hi Mr. IT Guy. You'll come across them all in varying shades of disrepair from "normal" OS wear & tear. There was an article about "the 10 cars that sunk Detroit" and the Ford Taurus was one of them. That's where XP is now.

          It was so midline good, and such a vacuum formed around it, that there was no successor plan properly formed. XP is kinda sloppy, but it's been patched by enough creative people to do *something*, and all these Alt Op Systems ... just have other conceptual themes in the way. (Linux Versioning vs. business software, Mac Hardware tie-ins, etc.)

          Vista was a joke, Win7 is perhaps Burlesque. Someone in another post said XP needs to die ... then have someone get a grip, get hold of Tracy Kidder & do a "Soul of a New Windows". Code the successor to Win7 to be a beautifully optimized racecar that natively works for netbooks and screams on gaming rigs, add a year of nothing but tuning, and then yes XP will die & "Windows Nitro" (or such) will be the new 7 year standard.

        • by hedwards (940851) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @09:17AM (#27488957)

          Sigh, I wish people would stop implying that XP is better than vista, and definitely stop implying that it's better than 7. 7 isn't even out for God's sake.

          XP is pretty decent, but Vista is a better OS in pretty much every way imaginable. The number of times that my parents have bothered me about either or their computers over the last 6 months is less than the number of times that they bothered me in an average month with any of the predecessors.

          I'm not suggesting that my experience alone is sufficient, but let's be a tad honest here, the vast majority of the people have no issues with Vista this is basically just pound on MS for the sake of it.

          And this is coming from somebody that has a distinct dislike for MS software.

          • I wish people would stop implying that XP is better than vista, and definitely stop implying that it's better than 7.

            People aren't saying or implying that XP is better. They are just saying that it's good enough.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by bdenton42 (1313735)

            This may be true now with Vista SP1 but the GA version of Vista was an abomination. Slow as a dog with a huge memory footprint (but you can speed it up with a USB key /boggle), poor driver support, and multiple permission popups to do the most trivial things.

            On top of that a few apps and games I had just failed completely when UAC was running and no setting I could find would allow them to run so I had to turn UAC off. What did MS expect me to do, wait for fixes for all the apps I need? At least I was a

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Eil (82413)

            XP is pretty decent, but Vista is a better OS in pretty much every way imaginable.

            This argument depends strongly on what you consider "better".

            For my mom, the biggest reason to uninstall Vista on her brand new machine was because Vista was a full order of magnitude slower on her new machine than XP was on the old one. Once Vista was replaced with XP, she loved the new machine.

            For me, the biggest reason to avoid Vista (and run Linux, or XP when I have to run a Windows app) is because of all the DRM that's bu

      • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @06:03AM (#27487019)

        What MS needs is new hardware.

        Let's ponder. WinNT to 2k. What was the reason? That NT was "too old" or that 2k was "slicker, faster, better, newer"? Nah. USB support and DirectX. Win2k to XP? Wifi. No, seriously. That's pretty much all that is so terribly different. Ok, the DirectX SDK for 9.0c doesn't want to run on 2k, but you can convince it. Oh, and I think you need XP for some of the later .NET goodies.

        In a nutshell, it was always MS deciding to abandon support for "older" systems that should convince people they "want" the new system. They tried the same stunt with Vista, by not offering DirectX10 support for XP. It fizzled because neither people nor industry cared.

        • by aurispector (530273) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @07:30AM (#27487535)

          What MS lacks is a compelling reason for people to switch from XP and I don't think they're ready to dare cutting off all support to force a switch. They're victims of their own success.

          I played with win7 for about a month, became irritated at the difficulties networking with existing XP machines and failed to find a "must have" feature compelling enough for me to switch.

          I also smell a screw job coming - either DRM or some other anti-consumer scheme built in to the OS that's going to offer me zero benefit and make my life more difficult.

          OS's are becoming less relevant as computing becomes more browser-centric. Who cares what's under the hood if Firefox runs? The only real reason I still run xp is for gaming.

          • by Belial6 (794905) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @12:12PM (#27491865)
            If they want to move people off of XP, MS needs to include an XP VM in Windows 7. They then need to get their VM to have full pass through to the video card (or some other magic so that 3d games run well in the VM). If they did this, most die hard XP users would generally be ok with installing newer versions of Windows, as all of their old software and games would run.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Opportunist (166417)

        Run limited user accounts and use the latest version of Firefox available in 2015, and that should be sufficiently secure.

        My guess is that even with a completely open, unsecured, Administrator-using WinXP you'll be secure in 2015. Take any current threat and try to run it against WinNT, 9 out of 10 won't even run.

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @04:24AM (#27486531)

    Even faster than Windows XP, most of the incentive to downgrade is gone and it'll just be a shrinking market.

    The only thing I can think of is driver compatibility for that random device that they don't have Vista driver for yet or just something unsupported since then.

  • by vtcodger (957785) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @04:25AM (#27486533)
    People are going to be allowed to buy the OS they prefer rather than the one that Microsoft prefers they buy? What a strange idea? Can American capitalism survive thinking like this?
    • by geekmux (1040042) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @04:37AM (#27486605)

      People are going to be allowed to buy the OS they prefer rather than the one that Microsoft prefers they buy? What a strange idea? Can American capitalism survive thinking like this?

      Ah, whether you're buying a Cobalt or a Corvette, GM is just happy you're on their damn lot to begin with. In light of the economy and the amazing shrinking budget, Microsoft would be wise to put themselves in the same humble position.

      This has little to do with what's "better" at this point vs. what business customers don't want to have to deal with (driver issues, software incompatibility, buying new hardware for the sake of software, etc.)

      • by Xiph1980 (944189) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @04:51AM (#27486671)
        Totally true, but you can't buy a new '68 Covrette C3 StingRay from the GM Factory.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by MichaelSmith (789609)

          Totally true, but you can't buy a new '68 Covrette C3 StingRay from the GM Factory.

          But you can get that horrible PT Cruiser. And my 1994 Townace van is basically a 1970 Corona.

        • by tjstork (137384)

          Totally true, but you can't buy a new '68 Covrette C3 StingRay from the GM Factory.

          That's the Feds that make that deal impossible.

  • The future (Score:5, Funny)

    by Thanshin (1188877) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @04:25AM (#27486537)

    "Entity X27. Your navigational hipostaticer is ready."
    "I calmly express great joy"
    "Do you want us to install Conscious Neurolinker MarkIII? Or Windows XP."
    "Windows XP"
    "Ok... Oh, wait. Your hipostaticer doesn't allow it sorry."
    "Are you *expletive* making a joke on my behalf? *expletive* you! You *expletive* slow person."

  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @04:28AM (#27486549) Journal

    Microsoft, I'll give up my obsession with XP, skip Vista and widely support Windows 7, if you guys have the testicles to release Windows 7 as a 64bit only operating system.

    I dare you, I double dare you - do the right thing for a change.

    • I dare you, I double dare you - do the right thing for a change.

      Only if Elon Musk is in charge. [jalopnik.com]

    • by cjfs (1253208)

      I dare you, I double dare you - do the right thing for a change.

      After seeing the efforts to 'do the right thing' in Vista, I'd prefer Microsoft sticks to doing the wrong things consistently.

      Better the devil you know...

    • by zlogic (892404) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @05:00AM (#27486723)

      If 64-bit Windows 7 would be slow like the 64bit edition Ubuntu 8.10, then no thanks.
      The thing uses 1 gig of RAM for mail and web browsing. Java apps use nearly twice the RAM compared to the 32-bit edition because there are too many pointers. The same with gcc, a simple build task consumes 500 megs of RAM compared to 350 in 32-bit. So one gigabyte in 64-bit Ubuntu is as slow as 512 megs in Vista.

      Oh, and netbooks run on Celeron or Atom CPUs, meaning Microsoft would have to continue selling Windows XP.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drsmithy (35869)

      Microsoft, I'll give up my obsession with XP, skip Vista and widely support Windows 7, if you guys have the testicles to release Windows 7 as a 64bit only operating system.

      To what end ?

      I dare you, I double dare you - do the right thing for a change.

      Why is it "the right thing" ? There are (and will be) plenty of Windows 7 capable machines out there that are not 64-bit.

  • by Toreo asesino (951231) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @04:40AM (#27486617) Journal

    Same reasons many can't upgrade to Vista...

    Spanners in the works:
    -New driver model meaning much older hardware just doesn't work.
    -UAC breaks lots of badly written apps. Causes huge annoyances at best in these instances.
    -64bit. First serious 64 bit consumer Windows.
    -No IE6. You wouldn't believe how many legacy apps require IE6 and/or ActiveX, it's quite sickening actually.

    Any one of these can be a show-stopped for your app/system, and on older apps this can be a nightmare to have to work round that often isn't worth the investment until forced. I've seen many legacy business apps in particular that break because of Windows re-engineering (Vista). Same applies for Win7.

    • You wouldn't believe how many legacy apps require IE6

      I think it's quite fitting that the self-serving proprietary bullshit and lack of standards in IE6 might actually translate into a few lost OS sales for MS some years later.

    • Seriously, teh linux now supports far more hardware than recent MS releases, and this will continue to be true unless lots of hardware vendors:

      1) Put a lot of effort into porting drivers for old products. There's no revenue in that.
      2) Come back from the dead

      So it's XP or linux now if you want to use that more-than-three-year-old non-standard printer/scanner/modem/webcam/doohickey. I know people who are still downgrading their new machines for this very reason.

      I know it's wishful thinking to hope that linux

  • Just bought a newly released Asus netbook pre-loaded with XP.

    I don't know why they chose XP, it could have been
    many reasons, but as a casual user the changes
    from Vista to XP were substantial - but they
    always will be - your options are always the same.

    (a) Choose another, similar product from the [vendor]
    (b) Choose another, similar product from another vendor

    In the case of windows and its lack of ethics in
    regards to inter-operability [or their past] this
    has harmed their overall effectiveness in the market.
    The

  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @05:21AM (#27486815)

    It really makes me wonder why Microsoft bothers with the continued development of Windows. The customers have spoken: they like XP, and find it so good that they do not even bother to upgrade nor switch to the much more modern Linux distributions that are available already for years. Vista flopped, and Win7 (or whatever it's going to be called upon release) is also not getting a too warm reception so far.

    Just lay off >90% of the workers, keep a core of XP maintainers, and profit.

    • by Capt James McCarthy (860294) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @05:31AM (#27486859) Journal

      It really makes me wonder why Microsoft bothers with the continued development of Windows. The customers have spoken: they like XP, and find it so good that they do not even bother to upgrade nor switch to the much more modern Linux distributions that are available already for years. Vista flopped, and Win7 (or whatever it's going to be called upon release) is also not getting a too warm reception so far.

      Just lay off >90% of the workers, keep a core of XP maintainers, and profit.

      Exactly. I don't think it's customers saying they like XP, but it does what 95% of folks out there need to get done: email...sorry showing my age, I meant facebook, web, and some paperwork. And guess what there is little reason to upgrade hardware or the OS if your only concern is how fast your facebook page loads. That's up to your provider. Unless there is a "must have" in 7, there is little to no reason to upgrade.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by AbRASiON (589899) *

      I disagree that Windows 7 isn't getting a warm reception.

      Pure marketing spin is going to get Windows 7 a tonne of sales, it will be heralded but a tonne of Vista haters purely because it's not Vista, that name is now a tarnished brand (it simply can't be repaired)
      In 18 months you'll STILL see XP vs Windows 7 discussions (fewer I admit) but Vista will simply forgotten, much like Windows ME or the Xbox 1.

      I am in the camp which feels 7 IS an improvement but I'm not in the "OMG IT'S NOT VISTA! IT MUST BE GOOD!"

    • by aussersterne (212916) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @07:19AM (#27487453) Homepage

      I'm the "tech neighbor" in my rather large apartment building in New York. Word has gotten around that the guy in 12C "knows about computers," and I'm a reasonably nice guy so I do my share of silly stuff like helping with missing driver installs, helping people figure out how to shut down or reboot, helping people try to delete a file, helping people to get their flash plugin working again, or helping people to find programs that are "missing" while still installed, etc.

      Note that all of the things that I just mentioned are recent problems (last couple of weeks) with Vista that I've helped people to solve.

      In all cases, the problem was user confusion, user error, or simple lack of user knowledge about how to use the feature, enable the feature, find the feature, etc.

      It's not that people were completely in love with XP. They bitched about "Windows" all the time, as they've done for years, sometimes seriously, sometimes half in jest. But Vista changed nearly every aspect of "how to get things done" for the average user.

      I don't mean in the "flowchart by a UI designer way," in which the structures of many charts are the same. I mean in the "regular human way," which includes steps like:

      - Look for icon I recognize
      - Right click to find specific text
      - Follow my nose intuitively through a process I've never really remembered well

      Vista changed nearly all the icons, nearly all the text, replaced icons with text and text with icons, placed options in physically different locations relative to window edges, screen edges, or the shapes and levels of menus, and changed policies on some simple stuff like program installs, file renames and deletions, adding things to the start menu, what appears on the start menu, and whether prominent start menu options shut down/reboot or simply sleep/hibernate.

      This stuff didn't just break software that made bad assumptions and finds itself no longer working when it was fine in XP, and it's not just a matter of drivers that are missing so that peoples hardware won't work.

      It's a matter of changes silently having been made to the ways that users imagine basic things like context menus, the control panel, file behavior, and the start menu to work. I don't know how many times I've helped someone to shut down or reboot Vista after they've tried for days and only managed to sleep/hibernate repeatedly.

      Basically, Microsoft made Vista a 100% learning curve for any non-technical person, and people are finding they can't get stuff done. All the cognitive maps they'd made about how "computers" operate, and all the little tricks that had evolved in their computing practices on an ad-hoc basis to get along with Windows over the previous decade were suddenly worthless, and they found themselves in many cases re-living their "first time I used a computer" experience, with all the bewilderment, time wasting, missteps, and unrealized desire to get task X or step Y done that that entailed.

      They want XP rather than Vista because they are able to productively use XP in ways that they can't productively use Vista. It's not just a matter of slowness vs. fastness, it's a matter of people literally not being able to figure out how to do the things that they want to do in Vista, whether the thing that they want to do is simply shutting the computer down, visiting YouTube, or making their scanner or printer work again.

      Dumbest revision by Microsoft ever; they basically negated the advantages that their massive installed userbase gave them in terms of product preferences.

  • XP forever (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    They should change the support model for XP. Offer it for free and charge for support.

    It's still a popular OS that will be in use for years to come - if people are still deploying it on new machines today.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by lukas84 (912874)

      That would be a disaster. Even with Auto Update being free, what would happen if people would have to pay for security fixes?

      The situation would be even worse than it is today. Remember: Conficker happened because of idiots, not because Microsoft fucked up - a patch was released almost a month before conficker hit the net.

  • A Catch 22 (Score:4, Informative)

    by WoollyMittens (1065278) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @05:30AM (#27486855)
    Microsoft can't smash the competition in the Netbook market without Windows XP, which itself is a product they can't make a profit on anymore and are desperate to get rid off.
  • by oDDmON oUT (231200) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @05:32AM (#27486863)

    Industry has always lagged behind the consumer market.

    Well into the 90s, in the right catalogs, you could still buy VESA cards and other legacy parts, to keep repairing the 286/386 boxes running DOS and your NC lathe/drill/w.e.. Why should a business upgrade to some shiny new box when the old one, completely amortized and producing pure profit, was still working just fine, thank you very much.

    Likewise with the new OS and Office suite. Gartner said when Vista/Office 2K7 came out "no compelling reason to upgrade [google.com]". Any bean counter worth his salt could see that the new software combination would require a considerable cash outlay in new hardware just to keep productivity at current levels. Non-adoption became a no-brainer.

    What MS did was ignore the market and attempt to make too clean a break from their previous policy of the greatest backwards compatibility for hardware and software. They miscalculated and are now reaping the results of that decision.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by lukas84 (912874)

      I work for a small ERP ISV in Switzerland.

      We run 90% internally, and have several customers that run 100% Vista. And none of those customers hate Vista - in fact, they don't understand what all the fuss is about in the Media, since it's working very well for them. A rather big customer started in June 2007 with 100% Vista.

      The reasons behind these things are simple: Their most important application is our ERP software - which works very well on their machines. If they are using other software and hardware, w

    • PCI wasn't introduced until the Pentium in 1993, and new consumer VESA cards were still being introduced until late '94 or early '95.

      You could still get support for your PDP-11 controlling your NC lathe/drill from Mentec well into this decade, though they seem to have finally dropped out around 2007.

  • So they're saying Windows 7 will be such a failure before it's even released, that customers may want to just stick with XP until Microsoft straightens things out?

    I'll stick with Linux myself.

  • by RaigetheFury (1000827) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @06:50AM (#27487295)

    I'm an IT guy, and application developer and a user who supports their "mother". Trust me... the last thing in the world I want to do is upgrade my mothers PC and start that whole "Where is..." process again.

    What do I look for in an OS?

    1) Innate Driver support (finding some of these drivers is a pain in the ass)
    2) Speed (opening programs, loading by default)
    3) Stability (how often does it experience problems, lag, programs crashing or stalling out)
    4) Finding crap (how easy is it to find what you need?)
    5) Security (How easy is it to lock down with virus protection etc)
    6) Intuitive design (This is huge to me and why linux still fails to be a great desktop OS)

    Fact is most people don't care what runs under the hood as long as it runs well. They don't WANT to know. Me, I'm a little more focused on performance since I'm a gamer and write software for a living.

    I hated Vista... I still do. It just felt clunky and overly feature laiden. Still does and it's why most IT guys I know refuse to install it (not even including the security issues, driver support, software compability etc...).

    Windows 7 on the other hand... surprised me. Lets go by my list above.
    1) Innate Driver support (finding some of these drivers is a pain in the ass)

    Well... I had some old hardware and new hardware in my box, separate sound card, you get the idea. Typically you have to install motherboard drivers, sound card drivers, ethernet drivers, blah blah blah. After installing Windows 7 FRESH... I only had to install my NVIDIA driver. Additionally, I was able to search (through find new driver in windows) for my sound card driver even though a default one was installed and let me tell you... the driver that was found (for lack of better words) PWNED the one that came with it. the XP install when searching windows databases never could find the sound card driver... not sure why. But... the fact is ALL of the drivers I had to have to do things were there.

    2) Speed (opening programs, loading by default)
    From default settings... Windows 7 loaded faster than my default of XP. I'm thinking this is because of how they order things when loading, or the fact that there was a lot less that starts. However, Windows 7 does take up a buttload more ram. Idle was using 500mb. I have 8gb so I don't care. With all my software installed (Winamp, CS3, Eclipse, blah blah blah) Windows 7 STILL loaded faster than XP. This caught me off guard and frankly didn't make much since until I looked at the startup. The adobe reader wasn't starting, acrobat was starting etc etc... by default a lot of those processes that add themselves to the startup... weren't. On average (yes im sad... I timed it), out of 5 start ups it took 20 seconds from pushing power to being at the login screen.

    3) Stability (how often does it experience problems, lag, programs crashing or stalling out)
    I have had NO blue screens of death. Not one. I haven't even had a program crash on me where XP used to die all the time. Every single game I've tried to play installed fine and works. Some had to be run in compatibility mode (Neverwinter nights, Quake 2) but they all run. Newer games haven't had a single issue for me. I was very pleased with this.

    4) Finding crap (how easy is it to find what you need?)
    Okay... windows 7 requires some adjustment... It's kind of difficult to find "My documents" folder... and if you download something good luck. Your downloads folder really isn't... it's your username THEN downloads. But other than that I REALLY liked the options for viewing contents of folders and how it automatically figures stuff out and saves your settings. It started to realize I wanted to see documents in a list view, pictures in small thumbs and html, php, cfm, js files as details. I never saved the folders it just remembered AND applied it to other folders.

    The taskbar grouping and configuration was done EXTREMELY well. It allows you to set it up however you want it to. Not limiting you to two or three options. It

  • No thanks, I'm good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LatencyKills (1213908) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @06:54AM (#27487315)
    For the past seven or eight years I've been running three computers at my house each with Windows XP. When one dies, I buy parts and build myself another one and move XP to it. I've had no incentive to buy a new copy of XP or even try Vista, and I suspect the same will be true of 7 as well.
  • ...Microsoft are now saying that Windows 7 might need a beefier system (The old upgrade or die scenario again!!) than current "NetBooks" can provide, so they are keeping Windows XP.

    Thought Windows 7 was to be adaptable for big desktop systems AND small netbook type systems!

    But i guess MS bloat has won again...
  • by AnalPerfume (1356177) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @07:31AM (#27487549)
    Microsoft can't convince people to buy the newer versions of their software and are forced to keep the old ones going, this wouldn't have happened without a serious threat to their customers; ie Linux. Linux still has a tiny percentage of the market right now but the momentum is growing by the week and more and more regular people are seeing there IS a way to use a PC without Windows or a designer Mac.

    One of the differences between closed and open source software is obvious here and should be a sales pitch for FOSS in it's own right.

    With closed source, only the software developers can update it, fix it, add features etc so if they choose not to (or are not able to due to bankruptcy) the product dies, regardless of how many customers use it. It can also be cut off for commercial reasons, like a new version on sale and the company wanting even more money from their customers, regardless of the customers need for the new version.

    By contrast, open sourced applications live on while there are people willing to use it and develop for it. If Windows XP was open source Microsoft would REALLY be struggling as the people hooked on Windows WANT XP. They don't want the newer versions Vista & Win7. They are paying a premium to avoid Vista. They are flooding online forums and blogs telling Microsoft they don't want Vista. They are demanding to be able to buy a new PC with XP installed, not Vista. If XP was open source it would NOT die, regardless of Microsoft's commercial intentions. Then again, if XP was open source it'd be a much better product in the first place.

    With closed source applications, they can be bought (slandered or sued into bankruptcy) by competitors and closed down. As several super-corps have done over the years, when you can't compete on merit, crush or buy the competition (and their market share). An open source application can be bought and closed down, but that only affects the brand name / trademark. It will be forked by the developers / users who want it to remain open source. It will live under a different brand name, most of the developers and users will switch and the buyout will only have caused a temporary blip in the market at a huge cost. This is one of the reasons why Microsoft foam at the mouth trying to stop the concept of "open source" (specially GPL which explicitly insists on sharing the improved code) from taking off in people's minds.

    It's a sad state of affairs when you have to resort to pulling the old product off the shelves, refusing your customers the product they want to buy, because you need to force them to buy the new product you want to sell them. If that's not bad enough, some people genuinely still respect Microsoft's policy of contempt for their customers. Many Microsoft apologists are paid shills, but many more have genuinely swallowed the pill, in spite of all the evidence.
  • ReactOS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Civil_Disobedient (261825) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @08:42AM (#27488413)

    Excellent news! This additional extension should give the ReactOS [reactos.org] guys enough time to finish their open-source Windows XP.

  • by dbc001 (541033) on Tuesday April 07, 2009 @08:44AM (#27488473)
    I just ordered a 64-bit system from Dell and they wouldn't offer it with XP (probably because it would never recognize the full 8G of RAM that I installed on it).

    But now I'm stuck - I need to get a copy of XP Pro 32bit (I'll run a 64-bit linux on the machine as well). Google Products lists XP Pro for as low as $24 [google.com]. Is it safe to buy a copy of XP from any vendor? Or should I just buy from Dell?

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