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Microsoft Kills Support For XP SP2 315

Posted by timothy
from the too-soon? dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "Microsoft's announcement this week that it is preparing to end support for machines running Windows XP SP2 not only represents a challenge for the thousands of businesses still running SP2, but also is the end of an era for both Microsoft and its customers. It wasn't until 2004 that the final release of XP SP2 hit the streets, but when it did, it represented a huge step forward in security for Windows users. It wasn't necessarily the feature set that mattered as much as the fact that the protections were enabled by default and taken out of the users' hands."
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Microsoft Kills Support For XP SP2

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  • So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:42PM (#32197390) Journal

    What's wrong with SP3?

    • Re:So what? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Andorin (1624303) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:45PM (#32197442)
      Way back when I had XP SP2, installing SP3 borked my machine. Had to do a System Restore.

      Just sayin'.
      • Re:So what? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:55PM (#32197642)

        Way back when I had XP SP1, installing SP2 borked *my* machine. Had to do a full reinstall.

        Just sayin'.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Backward Z (52442)

        I had the same problem going from XP SP1 to SP2.

        Later, I tried installing SP3 clean to the same machine. It blue screened every time during the progress bar part of the install sequence.

        • by ls671 (1122017) *

          Same when trying to go from SP2 to SP3, the machine wouldn't boot after installation, I had to use System restore. Oh well, my machine configuration has changed since so I guess I have a couple months yet to give it another try.

          Machine is HP Pavillion a1450n - AMD Athlon 64X2 Dual Core 4200+ running in 32 bit mode. Anybody else experienced the same with this specific setup ?

          • by Mr. DOS (1276020)

            There was an issue with AMD processors right after release. AFAIK, they fixed it within a couple weeks of release. Still, do all other available updates before trying it, and you might want to try the offline installer [microsoft.com] - I've had better luck with that than the Windows Update site.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mollog (841386)
          Microsoft has no incentive to support older operating systems, especially the really good versions of older operating systems. Indeed, they have every reason to be careless about 'updates' to those older operating system and ignore problems caused by those 'updates' because their policy is to recommend their newest product. Obviously, the policy of recommending customers buy their newest product to fix problems with their previous product is a profitable policy.

          The reason that this article is newsworthy
          • by drsmithy (35869)

            Everybody hailed it as uncharacteristically stable and usable.

            Er, no. They treated pretty much the same way they did Vista.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Gr8Apes (679165)

              Everybody hailed it as uncharacteristically stable and usable.

              Er, no. They treated pretty much the same way they did Vista.

              IIRC, they lampooned it for its cartoonish look, and the fact that it was slower than Win98 and Win 2K, depending on where you were coming from. Win 2K was probably the "best" of the NT versions, solid and trim compared to all of its predecessors and descendants. And while XP was eventually accepted, Vista never will be, as Win 7 is now out (Vista SP2 really, renamed because "Vista" had such a bad rap)

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by drsmithy (35869)

                IIRC, they lampooned it for its cartoonish look, and the fact that it was slower than Win98 and Win 2K, depending on where you were coming from.

                Yes. Just like Vista.

                Win 2K was probably the "best" of the NT versions, solid and trim compared to all of its predecessors and descendants.

                Compared to NT4, Windows 2000 was "bloated" and slow - the former needing a 33Mhz 486 with 16Mb RAM and the latter a 133Mhz+ Pentium (~8x more) with 64MB RAM (4x more).

                Vista never will be, as Win 7 is now out (Vista SP

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ajlisows (768780)

            XP SP2 did seem stable, but now when I compare it to Windows 7, it was really buggy. I've been using Windows 7 since the Beta and the only time I had problems was early on with a Toshiba laptop running the 64-bit version. Toshiba eventually released a BIOS update that allegedly would solve that problem...but I had gotten rid of that laptop by that point. I did try running Vista for awhile but had all sorts of issues with it.

            Compared to others around here I am not that big of a Linux fan. Don't get me wr

      • Re:So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by westlake (615356) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:24PM (#32198212)

        Way back when I had XP SP2, installing SP3 borked my machine. Had to do a System Restore.

        The plural of anecdote is not data. How many upgrades to SP3 were successful on the first attempt?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by prograde (1425683)
        That only counts as one bad experience. It sucks, to be sure, but it's anecdotal. I've done dozens of SP2 --> SP3 transitions, and zero machines got borked.
      • I actually have this problem on a Compaq Presario I bought used. I cannot install SP3 because it sends me into a BSOD at boot time, which causes the machine to reboot which brings me back to the BSOD during boot which causes me to reboot...you get the idea.

        Did a system restore back to spec and updated to SP2. Not touching SP3 with a ten foot pole.

    • Re:So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:50PM (#32197548)

      Nothing wrong with SP3. Just another "security columnist" trying to make headlines by exaggerating a minor event. Title of his article? "End of Support for XP SP2 is End of an Era", give me a break.

      • by iamhassi (659463)
        "Title of his article? "End of Support for XP SP2 is End of an Era", give me a break."

        It is the End of an Era. XP was the first Microsoft OS that didn't suck. If XP wasn't released and Apple became the dominate player they have become, there's a good chance 50% of PCs would be Macs and Linux would be fair more popular than it is today.

        I remember the daily struggle with 95/95b. OS was such crap I did nightly backups to a $250 1.6/3.2gb TR3 tape drive [wikipedia.org] and could restore 95 and all data in a few hours.
        • "2000 was amazing, but couldn't run games"

          Uh, I had a Win 2000 Pro system that I used for gaming back in the day, no problems, solid as a rock.

          It (Win 2000) was a better OS than XP ever was as far as stability in my direct personal experience with both OSes.

        • 2000 was amazing, but couldn't run games.

          It *could* run games, but every time you went to update something, you ran the risk of the update hosing the whole system. Fun times!

        • by zmollusc (763634)

          I ran quake 4 and doom 3 , half-life and battlefields 2 and 2142 and various command and conquer versions on win2000, you insensitive clod! Granted, I had to wrestle a couple of them on because the installers were written by retards, but still. Win2000 is still the one true operating system!

        • Actually, every game I ever tried worked on 2000, even the ones which said specifically for XP. In fact, I would never have upgraded to XP except 2000 wouldn't install on my Sempron rig when I put it together in 2006.

          Then that fall I switched to Linux. And now I use Lubuntu, which looks a lot like 2000 did...

    • More like, why would you need support for SP2?

      In any case, I'm sure most Microsoft employees will tell you "Did you do the Windows Updates? Do you have all of them installed? No? Bye"

      • More like, why would you need support for SP2?

        If you need to reinstall XP, and your XP disc didn't have SP3 slipstreamed, then you might need support for getting Windows XP pre-SP3 working in order to install SP3.

    • Re:So what? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:55PM (#32197640) Homepage

      MS never released it for XP64, this kinda leaves XP64 w/sp2 users going wtf.

      • Re:So what? (Score:4, Funny)

        by spidercoz (947220) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:57PM (#32197688) Journal
        all 3 of them
        • by sa1lnr (669048)

          Ok, who are the other two?

        • by nschubach (922175)

          You laugh, but the three people still driving around in Ford Pintos/Chevrolet Chevettes can still fix and maintain their own cars.

          We all love comparing everything to cars.

      • Re:So what? (Score:5, Funny)

        by BitZtream (692029) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:57PM (#32197696)

        Anyone using XP 64bit has pretty much been doing that since the day they installed the OS anyway.

        • Anyone using XP 64bit has pretty much been doing that since the day they installed the OS anyway.

          Indeed.

          XP64 was always a mess. The only reason I liked Vista at all was the mainstream support for 64-bit systems.

      • by TheLink (130905)

        I'd go "WTF" at people who install XP64 for nonexperimental use.

        Hard for me to say which is worse: XP64 or vista. Like choosing which way to be tortured slowly to death.

        FWIW, I use Windows 7 64 bit at work (boss's bright idea), and I still prefer Windows XP SP3.
        Windows 7 had this annoying problem: "Windows Explorer may stop responding for 30 seconds when a file or a directory is created or renamed after certain applications are installed."
        It sure was longer than 30 seconds for me. I hope it's really fixed n

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Ralish (775196)
        That's because XP x64 isn't actually XP (NT 5.1), it's Windows Server 2003 (NT 5.2). That is, it's really only XP in name as it is built off the Windows Server 2003 codebase. It has all the server functionality of its counterparts removed as well as some minor functionality present in XP but absent from the server releases included. Consequently, they share the same service packs and updates, with the latest service pack for Windows Server 2003 being SP2. Unless of course, you meant the original "XP" Itaniu
      • by Bengie (1121981)

        XP64 is considered as 2k3 as it derives from 2k3 while XP32 is derived from 2k

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ImprovOmega (744717)
        XP64 SP2 is the same as Windows Server 2003 SP2. When there's an SP3 for Server 2003 there'll be an SP3 for XP-64. Further, any updates for Server 2003 SP2 x64 edition will patch directly into XP-64, so in actuality you'll probably have support for that long after XP-32 is dead and buried. Microsoft's support for Server OS's far outlasts their support for consumer OS's (generally).
    • Its death has also been foretold. Three years hence... tick. tick. tick.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ephemeriis (315124)

      What's wrong with SP3?

      At my previous job they were still using a piece of software that did not like SP3 - only ran happily on SP2 and older systems.

      This wasn't a problem at the time because Microsoft still supported SP2 installs.

      • by yotto (590067)

        My job has a couple OS/2 machines, because a piece of software we rely on only runs on OS/2. We don't expect IBM (Or that program's creator, who has since moved on to operating systems made in the past decade) to support it. We support it ourselves.

        Move on with technology or be ready to work on it yourself.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Mister Whirly (964219)
        And so you think it is up to Microsoft to continue support for SP2 because you use some third-party software they have nothing to do with?? I think your beef should be with the software company not making their software work with the current patch to the operating system, and not vice-versa.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Ephemeriis (315124)

          And so you think it is up to Microsoft to continue support for SP2 because you use some third-party software they have nothing to do with??

          When did I say that?

          The original question was "What's wrong with SP3?" I indicated one example where SP3 would be a problem.

          I think your beef should be with the software company not making their software work with the current patch to the operating system, and not vice-versa.

          I never claimed to have a beef with anyone.

          I certainly don't have a beef with anyone about this particular piece of software, as I no longer work there. For all I know they may no longer use that software.

          And if I was going to have a beef with anyone, it would be with my former boss. He was too cheap to buy the new version of the software, which was why it didn't work with anything

  • by Dystopian Rebel (714995) * on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:44PM (#32197426) Journal

    I ended support for Microsoft products a few years ago.

    • by westlake (615356)
      I ended support for Microsoft products a few years ago.

      OS Market Share [hitslink.com]

      Windows XP 63%
      Vista 16%
      Win 7 12%
      OSX 10.6 2%
      OSX 10.5 2%
      Linux 1%

      Windows ME 0.03%
      iPad 0.03%

      OS Share Trends [hitslink.com]

      Jun 2009 Win 7 1%. Linux 1%.
      Apr 2009 Win 7 12% Linux 1%

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Oh, I'm sure Redmond is trembling over having lost Dystopian Rebel (714995) and less than 2% of the desktop market [hitslink.com] in the last two years. They're 3.5% down on web browser stats because users use cell phones to surf the net more but if you look only at the Win/Mac/Linux shares the change is minimal.

    • I'm officially obsolete now. Last system I ever ran and now it's done.

      Damn it feels good.

  • News? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by toleraen (831634) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:58PM (#32197708)
    Microsoft has had their end of life policy available on the web for ages now. Sp2 has been well known to be going EOL. If this threw any sysadmins off-guard...then wow.

    The only reason I can see sticking with SP2 is that SP3 hasn't gotten an EAL rating.
  • if you call microsoft asking for support for something that they have EOL'd, they will be very happy to point you towards a microsoft-trained and microsoft-certified consultant tech in your area who has the expertise to help you.

    Trust me, MS is still getting their money, one way or another.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:10PM (#32197928)

    "..the Library of Congress yesterday approved six exemptions to US copyright. The one most pertinent to gamers is that, for archival purposes, copy protection on software no longer being sold or supported by its copyright holder can be cracked.."

    - http://www.joystiq.com/2006/11/23/us-copyright-office-grants-abandonware-rights/ [joystiq.com]

    if not, why not? Seriously, interested..

    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      The only flaw in your plan, is that you can still buy Microsoft Windows 1.1 from Microsoft. You just can't get support for it.

      Windows XP is still sold, just no support is offered, just like all the other previously expired Microsoft OS products.

  • Oh, Noes! (Score:3, Funny)

    by lbalbalba (526209) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @03:30PM (#32198340)
    Next thing you know, they'll be dropping support for my MSDOS systems too!
  • Microsoft and Intel created a distinct competitive advantage by keeping so much software "backward compatible." I can still run DOS on my computer, but of course the only reason I do is to brag about it on /. Now, they are stuck with the monster they created, a giant albatross on their businesses, slowing every step and darkening every decision. Such is life.

    Do you know how God created the universe in six days? He did not have an installed base.
  • by Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @04:16PM (#32199154)

    >Microsoft Kills Support

    I've often thought that death was the appropriate punishment for MS Support. I'm glad that they took care of it for us.

  • Along with the fact the article makes no mention of SP3, Windows XP was NOT a replacement for Win2K. Windows had (and is continuing to preserve) 2 separate tracks:
    3 -> 95 -> 98 -> Me -> XP -> Vista -> 7
    NT -> 2000 -> 2003 -> 2008 -> 2008R2

    The fact they have consolidated the core (as of Vista/2008 as I recall) aside, the repeated mention of the 2000->XP lineage in the article is extremely poor reporting.

    • by Kalriath (849904) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @06:57PM (#32201526)

      The successor to Windows 2000 Professional was Windows XP. Not Windows Server 2003.

      Millenium was also a consolidation release, designed to make the consumer line look more like the business line so they could merge them. There are three tracks:

      3.x -> 95 -> 98 -> Me -> (Line ends. Continue from XP below)
      NT 4 Workstation -> 2000 Professional -> XP -> Vista -> 7
      NT 3.51 -> NT 4 Server -> 2000 Server -> 2003 -> 2008 -> 2008R2

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