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Maybe With Help From Google and Adobe, Microsoft Can Kill Windows XP 405

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-wendy-from-accounts-receivable-will-be-upset dept.
colinneagle sends this excerpt from Network World: "Google announced last Friday that, in accordance to its policy of supporting a current browser and the immediate predecessor, its Google Apps productivity suite would drop support for Internet Explorer 8 once Windows 8 ships. Neither IE9 nor IE10 are available on XP. Adobe announced on the Photoshop Blog that the next version of Photoshop CS would support only Windows 7 and 8. The current version, CS6, is available for XP but, amusingly, not for Vista, which was its successor. This is a much-needed boost for Microsoft, which anxiously wants to put XP out to pasture after 11 years. Despite efforts to get rid of the old OS, XP still holds 43% of the market, according to the latest monthly data from Net Applications. Among Steam customers, Windows 7 has 70% market share, covering both 32-bit and 64-bit, while XP has 12%. That confirms what has been known for some time: consumers are adopting Windows 7 at a much faster rate than businesses. I know there is a whole economic argument to be had, and these numbers are not precise or scientific, but if XP really can be found in only 12% of households but 43% of businesses (or something close to that), then it really is time for the enterprise to stop dragging its tail."
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Maybe With Help From Google and Adobe, Microsoft Can Kill Windows XP

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  • Kill XP? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jawtheshark (198669) * <slashdot@jawthes[ ]k.com ['har' in gap]> on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:12AM (#41384519) Homepage Journal

    You'd think so.... However, you'd be mistaken. The main reason for this is that XP is used by two types of "customers":

    • Business users, that are locked to a certain platform that only support IE6. I know, the vendor of that platform should adapt its code. Business software release cycles are glacial. It will eventually happen, but slowly. Also, replacing computers costs money. Many businesses won't spend money on (perceived) non-core business.
    • "Good enough" users. The power of modern computers, even lower end ones, is more than most users can throw at. Let's be honest: is a P-IV 2.0GHz with 1GB or 2GB RAM not enough to run Windows XP and the few applications most normal users run? Yep, I thought so. Unlike most slashdotters, normal people keep their computers for a long time and replacing them is a hassle for them. Given replacing a computer is not only a hassle, but also costs money... money that can be used for more fun things, they won't do it. Note also, that people in this category are also very likely to stick with the software they own. They won't stand in a line for the latest Photoshop and are most likely still happily using the Microsoft Word that came bundles with the pre-installed Works package.

    Those people will not switch until they get new computers and that simply is the way it works and should work. Finally! Stupid upgrade treadmill.

    From an administrator point of view, Windows XP is well known and mature. Which means, you can anticipate problems and make sure everything works like expected. With 7 (let's ignore Vista) a whole slew of new problems got exposed (not necessarily for the users, but for the admins... Try partitioning a 7 machine in two parts: one drive OS/Apps, on drive Data... Results must be seamless for newly created users. Another example is to copy a user profile as a default template. 7 is a true bitch for these things)

    What 7 brings to the table, and the only reason I recommend it, is 64-bit. If you need more than 4GB RAM, get 7. I think Microsoft should do a "Windows Classic" which is XP re-branded, and sell it as a subscription to finance future patches. Let's say 5€/month. I think it would sell like hotcakes. I think I'd take it for the few remaining XP machines, I haven't converted to Linux yet. (I'll probably convert one back to XP as the ATI drivers for that laptop suck donkeys balls)

    • by emilper (826945)

      I would still use XP if it supported newer hardware with the original CD ... and if my copy did not decide it was pirated after changing the HDD and adding some RAM

      • Re:Kill XP? (Score:4, Informative)

        by RaceProUK (1137575) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @05:24AM (#41384819)

        Reactivation is automated, and takes less than a minute.

        Wait, why am I defending using XP?

      • Re:Kill XP? (Score:4, Informative)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @07:32AM (#41385527) Journal

        As far as driver go simply make your own disc with Windows Unattended CD Creator [vitaligraf.de] which will let you add Driverpacks [driverpacks.net] which will cover just about ANY hardware you can come across. Of course even if you NLite the hell out of it with all those drivers you'll have to move up to DVD instead of CD. as for WGA it takes like 20 seconds to re-auth but if you don't want to waste the 20 seconds or are dealing with a machine that doesn't have net and you don't want to do the whole phone thing I'm sure I don't have to tell you there is a little thing called "WGA Killer" which i'm sure you can find easily.

        Now that said I have to ask...why? Why would you want to do that? You can run Win 7 on any old P4 or better so unless your hardware is from the last century you shouldn't have a problem, even with older hardware its much better memory management makes the system actually pick up speed as you use it (thanks to intelligent caching and actually using free RAM for cache instead of bitchslapping the paging file like XP does) and with Readyboost any $2 2Gb flash drive can be used like a hybrid drive to speed up small random reads thus further speeding up the system.

        If there wasn't something better out? THEN I could understand, in fact while everyone was struggling with XP RTM and SP1 I stayed with Win2K pro but when XP X64 came out I switched because it was the better OS even if you didn't have 4Gb of RAM because of the larger registers and being built on the excellent Win2K3 Server meant it was very stable and a solid system. I tried Vista but got bit by one too many bugs and went back to XP X64 but I switched to Win 7 when the beta came out and never looked back. The system I'm typing this on has been running it since RTM, that's 3 years and in that time I've replaced the CPU, GPU, RAM, board, and HDD and I had to re-auth exactly ONCE when I replaced the board and it took less than 15 seconds by Internet, completely painless.

        So I look forward to your reply because i honestly can't see the appeal of running XP now. Win 7 is the first one since XP X64 where I can make a list of features and say "THOSE, those right there, make it the superior OS" and not just for consumers like Win 8 metro-fied, with win 7 you have so many features that are great for workstation users too. Default 2 pane explorer, jumplists and breadcrumbs make it insanely easy to get back to work, better memory management makes large applications run better, better video subsystem with hardware acceleration support means even beta GPU drivers can't crash the whole OS like they could on XP, its just a MUCH better system.

      • by neonKow (1239288)

        Just do what gamers have learned to do with DRM software: buy it, stick it in your closet, pirate the hassle-free DRM free copy.

        In your case, you have a legal copy already. Why go through the trouble of trying to make the "defective" copy work when you can install a "working" copy?

    • Re:Kill XP? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ajo_arctus (1215290) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:35AM (#41384623) Homepage

      Business users, that are locked to a certain platform that only support IE6.

      I hear this a lot, and in some (but very few) circumstances it's certainly true. However, mostly it's not. Most internal web apps run just fine on IE7, 8 and 9 too. My feeling is that these businesses don't want to upgrade because the current tool (usually a Dell Pentium 4 with XP) is working just fine. Why would any sane businesses want to spend money replacing something that works perfectly well? Well, you and I know a few good answers to that, but we're not the decision makers here.

      BTW, I'm a developer, and I wrote a lot of those apps that originally ran on IE, so I've seen this all the way through. There aren't truly that many apps that are genuinely IE6 only. Most run just fine on newer versions of IE, and often times FF and Chrome too. As a developer, even though I was targeting IE only back in the early 2000s, I actually used Firebird (which then became Firefox) to do most of my testing -- and I don't think I was alone.

      • Re:Kill XP? (Score:5, Informative)

        by second_coming (2014346) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:58AM (#41384729)
        The main ones I have found which only work with early versions are embedded web apps in things like telephone systems. We had a Mitel 3300 which just would not work with anything later than IE6. The developers in their wisdom wrote some browser detection into the pages that if you weren't using IE6 told you it needed IE6 or later then refused to display anything else.
        • by equex (747231)
          Aye, fellow former telephony coder here, same deal. Had IE6 ActiveX components that talked to the phone central. (avaya i think it was called, plus some other components for the dialer (dont exactly remember the names anymore, they have been surpesssed to protect my brain against asploding). Also, parts of the platform was ran on Delphi.
      • by peragrin (659227)

        at my current job I have both windows 7 and XP on my machine why?

        Because the entire "system is a remote desktop session" to a secured server windows 7 came standard on my new computer however any RDP capable machine could make it work.(my previous machine was literally win 2k.

        Windows XP isn't going anywhere in such environments.

      • Re:Kill XP? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Trogre (513942) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @06:22AM (#41385077) Homepage

        Okay, how about Business users who don't want to have to type in the fricking domain name each time they log into a different machine.

        For some utterly confounding reason, Microsoft decided to do away with the customizable msgina login system (username, password, drop-down box for Domain) and replace it with the brain-damaged domain\username, password pair. Oh, and forget about writing your own drop-in replacement, they "fixed" that too.

        For more Windows 7 great ideas, how about the Shut Down button that now lacks any kind of confirmation dialog? Want to Suspend? Find the little arrow right beside the words Shut Down, but don't miss by a couple of pixels or you lose your workspace.

      • Re:Kill XP? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hairyfish (1653411) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @06:55AM (#41385255)

        Why would any sane businesses want to spend money replacing something that works perfectly well? Well, you and I know a few good answers to that

        Out of interest what are those answers? I've been through a few Win7 business cases and none of them got accepted. The current place is upgrading purely because we are being forced to my MS as support reaches EOL. Planned obsolescence. Right now we still use XP and it does everything we need it to. Sure 7 might do more, but we don't need more, we just need a stable platform to run our business apps. XP does this and now costs us nothing. The same can't be said for Win7 (or any other OS alternative).

        • Indeed, planned obsolescence. You payed for XP knowing this beforhand, and you're paying for Windows 7 knowing it'll happen again.
          If they manage to fool the company you work for twice like that, then I'm guessing the on to blame isn't microsoft, but rather the person who keeps on taking these decisions.

      • Re:Kill XP? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @07:50AM (#41385681) Journal

        I had some customers like that, know what I did? I told them to buy just one new box and compare it to their P4 and if they were happier with the P4 I'd hand them their money back and sell the box.

        I picked one of the secretaries that had this awful P4 that sounded like a jet taking off and just belched heat and replaced it with an AMD E350 mini, no heat and noise and of course as i pointed out her power usage dropped to less than 18w while having a faster system. She of course just raved about how much nicer it was and they were sold. So with the exception of a few of the graphics guys that needed more power most were changed out to low power units, E350s for the ones just doing basic office work and low power Phenoms for those that were doing a little more heavy lifting.

        For those stuck with a boss that thinks "It ain't broke so don't fix it" let your old pal Hairyfeet tell you how to win them over...point out how much money they are tossing each month on power and AC. The Pentium 4 was probably THE worst chip ever made when it comes to power, since Intel with those long pipes on netburst just kept throwing more and more power trying to beat AMD in MHz, and of course they are nearly always paired with some big ass CRT which is also sucking juice and belching heat all over the place.

        So just pick up a Kill-A-Watt and show them how much money they are flushing on electricity and then point out that they are blowing even more on top of that in waste heat that has to be dealt with. Then point out how the low power Intel and AMD chips paired with a power efficient LCDs mean they can run 3 systems for the same power 1 of those P4s is sucking and its really not hard to get them to see the big picture. Heck they can't even use IE6 as an excuse since you can run 6, 7, and 8 in XP Mode [dotsmart.net] and even have it preset to ONLY go to the Intranet app, thus letting you use a safer more modern browser for everything else.

        Money may be tight but with an office full of P4s and CRTs it really doesn't take long at all for energy efficient units to pay for themselves. As an added bonus Win 7 is supported until 2020 so you can point out they should be set for the rest of the decade.

      • It's all about ROI (Score:4, Informative)

        by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @08:05AM (#41385791)

        The hold back on XP probably is not ie6 compatibility for the majority of businesses. On the other hand, business tend to make decisions based on ROI. If upgrading to Windows 7 gives a favorable ROI, businesses will upgrade. If not, they won't. For most business users, word processing and spreadsheets are the major applications. Does switching to Windows 7 make one type faster? No, of course not. Therefore there is a low ROI.

        Another move has been to hosting apps on a terminal server and then just using an RDP client. Again, the ROI on moving users from XP to Win 7 in that scenario is also poor.

        Businesses make business decisions based on the bottom line. If they can get a better return doing X than Y, then they will do X. It's not that businesses can't benefit from switching to Win 7. It's just that they don't benefit as much as using those resources elsewhere in the company.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There's a third class: "Power Users". I'm sorry, but properly-configured XP on the same hardware IS faster than Windows 7. Better machines than what you describe still perform better on XP than Windows 7. To me, it's a waste of money to upgrade to Windows 7 when I'm going to take a performance hit in the process. I also waste a lot more time reconfiguring Windows 7 to the way I like it than XP.

      You're right that the only compelling reason for upgrading is 64-bit, >4GB (technically >2GB) application

      • RAM is cheap. You'll get a bigger performance boost by going Win7 plus 4GB or heaven forbid 8GB of RAM.

      • What are you using, a single-core Pentium? There's so many internal kernel changes to thread/core scheduling in Windows 7 from XP that accommodates multi-core systems that anything with 2 cores or more will greatly benefit compared to XP's shoddy outdated makeshift scheduler. Don't forget filesystem driver changes, memory manager updates, and object handling alterations that removed ugly bottlenecks, all of these designed to streamline processing on modern configurations. If you have a much older system, in

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hairyfeet (841228)

      There is a LOT more to recommend Win 7 than just X64, although that IS good. With Win 7 I have placed it on systems as "old school" as a socket 754 sempron with 2gb of RAM and the system...was actually snappy. Thanks to Win 7 having MUCH better memory management the system has real snap, more than XP, and by slapping a cheapo 2Gb flash drive i had around for Readyboost to take up the small I/Os it loads programs MUCH better.

      That said you have a third set of users..those whose systems are frankly overpowered

    • Re:Kill XP? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @06:22AM (#41385079)

      I bought Win XP, why should I upgrade as long it runs all programs I want to run?

      What is the reason for me to give Microsoft more money, when my copy of XP runs fine on my home computer?

      I will never buy a upgraded windows version, unless I get one with new hardware or my XP gets to outdated that the programs I want to run simply does not support XP.

      Please point out, what is so great with the newer versions of windows?

      • Re:Kill XP? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Tenebrousedge (1226584) <tenebrousedge@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @08:12AM (#41385895)

        As a home user,

        1. Security.
        2. Security.
        3. A saner driver model.
        4. Support for newer hardware. Vanilla XP needs drivers slipstreamed into the installer to deal with SATA drives.
        5. Support for more standards-compliant versions of IE. Only Microsoft thinks that tying improvements like that to major OS releases is a good idea.

        More minor things include an updated sound system (per-app volume levels), better graphics composition, improved boot times (varies), more efficient use of hardware (e.g. SuperFetch/Readyboost), and probably half a dozen other things I've forgotten.

        I don't like buying things from Microsoft either. I switched from XP to linux and haven't looked back. However, I don't ignore that they have made a number of improvements since the days of XP. People seem to really like Win7, for what it's worth. Personally, the only way that I would use XP at this point would be from read-only media; Windows before the introduction of UAC was basically without a security model.

        • 3. A saner driver model.

          How does this affect the user? Especially, considering his hardware works fine.

          4. Support for newer hardware. Vanilla XP needs drivers slipstreamed into the installer to deal with SATA drives.

          GP did actually say he would upgrade if he had issues with newer hardware, but currently he does not.

          5. Support for more standards-compliant versions of IE. Only Microsoft thinks that tying improvements like that to major OS releases is a good idea.

          Ever heard of Firefox? Or Chromium?

          There plenty of reasons to hate XP. These are not valid ones.

    • Re:Kill XP? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @06:32AM (#41385139)

      Here's why I continue to use XP. I am a public high school teacher. I take systems that are donated by local businesses, refurb them, and donate them to students who don't have computers at home. Virtually every single computer that gets donated has an XP COA sticker on the case. I have tried sending the donated PC's out with Ubuntu installed, but the majority of recipients don't like it because it's "different", i.e. not what they are used to and comfortable with. So I install XP.

      I like the "Windows Classic" idea; I think MS should (and could) put out a basic OS (with some built in limitations, i.e. limited in RAM, storage, or something like that) for $50...as that's all most users would need. Even better if they have some sort of "trade up" program that allowed you to "deregister" an XP key in exchange for a "Windows Classic" key.

    • A lot of them did fix it, and then promptly locked it into IE8 instead. I've been trying to prevent deployment of IE9 to around 200 Win7 systems ever since it was released. It finally got to the point where I started logging into the system and just clicking the damn "Hide update" button. Grrr.
    • Microsoft should do a "Windows Classic" which is XP re-branded, and sell it as a subscription to finance future patches.

      The only thing more evil than forced upgrades in the world of OS developers would be subscription-based OS. That right there is the biggest "fuck you, I'm using linux"-causing proposition I have ever heard. It is quite literally charging me over and over again for something I already purchased, for no added value whatsoever.

      How about instead of charging a monthly fee for something I bought and paid for a decade ago, they just leave it alone? I don't require MS to support my XP install. I use XP because I li

      • The only thing more evil than forced upgrades in the world of OS developers would be subscription-based OS.

        No one is *forcing* you to upgrade. But supporting multiple OSes costs money so everyone will drop support for old versions eventually because continuing to support it isn't profitable any more. This applies to *all* OSes, not just Windows.

        I don't require MS to support my XP install. I use XP because I like it, and I don't WANT to switch to 7 (don't need any of the features, and it has a much higher overhead on my older hardware).

        So don't switch. You're free to continue using Windows XP (under the terms of the licence you originally _agreed to_). But don't expect third parties like Google to bother supporting it for you either.

    • Microsoft did release this to get people off Windows 9x: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Fundamentals_for_Legacy_PCs [wikipedia.org] They could do it with Windows 7, perhaps an OS a step above the current 7 Starter that supports Active Directory logins.
    • Re:Kill XP? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2@NOspam.gdargaud.net> on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @07:20AM (#41385411) Homepage
      You are forgetting one 'use case' scenario: virtual machines. I've long converted to Linux all work and family computers, but there are a few tasks that can only be performed in Windows. A virtual machine works fine for that and I'm not going to waste time and money (and CPU cycles) on the latest version for that.
    • Re:Kill XP? (Score:4, Informative)

      by jythie (914043) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @07:46AM (#41385641)
      Which is why using Steam as a statistics source isn't very useful.. gamers are less likely to be in the 'good enough' crowd, thus using it as representative of 'home users' is going to skew results rather badly.
  • Vista (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jrumney (197329) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:16AM (#41384533) Homepage
    The difference between consumer and business is Vista. Businesses never went near it, and consumers can't wait to get rid of it.
    • Re:Vista (Score:5, Insightful)

      by temcat (873475) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @05:47AM (#41384931)

      Well, I for one don't plan to get rid of Vista. Moreover, I'm going to buy a used box of Vista Ultimate which sells for ridiculously low price here (due to bad rep) and install it on a PC that is going to be upgraded. This is because Vista works perfectly fine nowadays (and is more stable than XP for me), so I cannot see any reasons to choose 7.

    • XP has a "corporate" install disk that didn't need product activation in both 32 and 64-bit, and passed genuine advantage. Vista and 7 do not. If Microsoft *really* wants Windows 8 to take off, don't be surprised if a Windows 8 corporate install version doesn't get released for *cough* corporations.

      Really, because of the 'ol corporate install version of XP, it is going to running in virtual machines for an eternity.

      Part of it is just a coincidence, but notice the decline of Microsoft right about the same t

      • That version is called Volume License Key activation. Microsoft actually made it more annoying to run then standard retail Vista/7 copies by requiring a business to run a "key management" license server.
  • by PCK (4192) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:25AM (#41384565) Homepage

    If you are a company that has a working system that runs fine, why would you force an upgrade just because XP is n't used by consumers any more? Even if you put the economic costs at zero which it certainly is n't and the summary brushes aside way to casually; you always have a risk factor of unforseen issues getting passed testing.

    No business should upgrade for the sake of technology fashion, weather it be OS or applications. Hell you see companies running custom DOS programs all the time.

    • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:46AM (#41384677)

      How many companies use *just* custom DOS programs tho?

      A company I worked for for many years used a green screen suite of apps which they had been developing since about 1985 - they started out with dumb terminals, and gradually moved on to Windows with a terminal emulator and then stayed with the terminal emulator while tracking Windows releases. If they had stayed on dumb terminals, their business would have suffered.

      The problem here has nothing to do with DOS applications or custom green screen stuff - that can always be accommodated. The real issue is that your suppliers are moving on, and it becomes harder and harder to find new versions of applications which run on your platform - how many new apps are released today which run on Windows 98? Is Windows 98 still a viable OS to run? No.

      • by somersault (912633) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:50AM (#41384699) Homepage Journal

        A lot of "business" computers only need email and an office suite. There was quite a big difference between Windows 98 and Windows 2000/XP. There's less difference between XP and Windows 7.w

      • by PCK (4192)

        I'd wager that a large percentage of the 47% are businesses with a large number of seats and pretty much a standard application set, introducing a new application into these kind of environments are normally a big descision anyway with the likelyhood of a role out of new hardware/OS.

        If the support contract for your software has come to an end and the supplier is no longer willing to support older software then you obviously have a business case for an upgrade. However as Microsoft will provide security upd

      • I don't think there are any left that use "only" custom DOS programs. But there may be the occasional old program that is still considered important for business. Especially if it is closed source and the vendor does not exist anymore.

        Personally, I'm working for a medical technology company that still has a lot of devices with DOS in the field.
        Right now, the successor to that particular system is under development, using Windows 7 with a realtime extension for the time critical stuff. But until recently, th

  • Steam users are games that want the latest and best of what their money can buy, and on the shelves only windows 7 computers are available.
    Companies want to keep their knowledge/trainning as long as possible, and/or one of their core application doesn't work on windows 7, and/or the investment in new softwares adapted to windows 7 is too high. Companies have a bunch of "good" reasons to keep XP.

  • by g2racer (258096)

    But Google is still supporting XP with their Windows version of Chrome... No need for IE...

  • Risky (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pmontra (738736) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:30AM (#41384599) Homepage
    If MS forces almost half of its customers (that's more or less what the 43% of the desktop/laptop market is) to upgrade they are going to lose some of them in the process. Some people will buy a Mac instead of a new PC, some will buy a tablet and forget about their old PC, some will install Linux. I can understand why Google is happy with that, even understand why Adobe doesn't care about XP (its customers have to keep working with its sw, no matter what) but MS is sending some of its customers to somebody else. Furthermore I believe that many companies are waiting to get a boost thanks to the WinXP end of life in 2014.
    • If MS forces almost half of its customers (that's more or less what the 43% of the desktop/laptop market is) to upgrade they are going to lose some of them in the process.

      Yeah but even if they lose 10%, they make money out of the remaining 90% which is 90% more than they are earning right now.

  • Why Update (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:36AM (#41384625)

    Why would business from XP to Windovs 7 (or Windows 8)? For that matter, why would non-gamer browsing and office only user do that? As long as they do not need some new Photoshop or other Windows 7 software, they have no need to update.

    Businesses are not supposed to buy new stuff just because it is shiny, they are supposed to spend money only when it is effective. Home users can spend the same money on tons of other fun or useful things. Why new computer when the old one is just fine for what you do?

  • Carrot or stick... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zemran (3101) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:41AM (#41384649) Homepage Journal

    Maybe it is well past time that companies (i.e. Microsoft) learnt to support customers rather than drive them. If 43% of businesses are really happy with XP then they should continue to support it. Many companies are fed up with constant updates (although constant is not an apt word with this time frame) and would prefer to stick with something that works. Most companies are not interested in bleeding edge and just want Doris to be able to type up that invoice for the roof that Gary has fixed or the sink that Fred unblocked or whatever and updating the computer to do the same job is of zero importance.

    It is one thing that a company does not want to continue to develop an old product but when they pull the plug on updates etc. rather than just leaving the server running, I feel that they are not complying with their agreement. If Doris needs to run a new scanner or something that does not work with XP then it is time for her to talk to her boss but while she is happy with her laserjet churning out reams of invoices and heating up the office at the same time, let her.

    Written using XP :-)

    • by Viceice (462967)

      Lets not forget the dot matrix printer. That thing refuses to die,

  • by couchslug (175151) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:44AM (#41384661)

    When you have thousands of dollars in CAD software (for example) on a system which works fine for your needs, you lose time and money changing out your PC. If some of that software doesn't work well with later Windows versions, you lose even more.

    The cost of the PC and OS may be trivial, but replacing it may "cost" much more than buying a new machine.

    • by Hillgiant (916436)

      It is nearly impossible to purchase AutoCAD, SolidWorks, or Pro/E these days without a "maintenance contract" that includes "free" upgrades. I.e. the big three (imho) of engineering CAD software are already on the subscription model. This removes the software cost barrier to OS upgrades.

      I'm not going to say there aren't a few holdouts clutching their copy of AutoCAD 12 on floppy disc*. Or a few grey bearded autolisp hackers that don't want to have to update/debug their .lsp files /again/**. I'm saying t

  • by Nick Fel (1320709) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @04:45AM (#41384665)
    Nitpicky point, but Steam figures should never be used to represent the whole consumer market. Gamers are more likely to have new rigs or want to play games that already don't support XP. I suspect XP users a more likely to be users with simple needs who have a system that works for them and don't want to chance. For that matter, Photoshop isn't likely to sway them either. Google Apps maybe, if it includes Gmail -- but damn if that doesn't miss the point of using webmail in the first place.
    • by Radak (126696)

      Exactly this. Steam users are a terrible metric of "consumers". Probably a decent way to analyse OS adoption among gamers, but certainly not consumers. Grandma is a consumer, and she might still be using 98. Hell, I'd be willing to bet 1% of Steam users are running Windows 8, which isn't even out yet. Does this prove that consumer adoption of Windows 8 is already at 1%? Definitely not.

  • I think a problem windows is having is they have to many versions. No one in the business word wants to upgrade to Vista and then to windows 7 and then in a year need to upgrade everything to windows 8 and in another year to windows 9 and so on, possibly loosing compatibility along the way and certainly making more work for themselves having to answer user questions on how to do things on the new system. They really need a slow moving Cooperate Windows they can put out and say, this is the next 10 year upg
  • by ledow (319597) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @05:05AM (#41384757) Homepage

    Virtualisation.

    I don't really care what I "use" on the desktop so long as I have something that supports the hardware I need, and a desktop that I can work on without needing to retrain.

    Thus virtualisation is being taken up by companies. Why? Slap ANYTHING on the machine itself. Virtualise an old version of XP that you KNOW how it works, all its quirks, all the software you use is compatible with, all your users know how to use, and you already have disk images and licenses for.

    So you're not selling XP licenses (businesses already have them), but you might sell a Windows license or not depending on how well Windows works for them. Hell, with modern machines you notice precisely zero overhead from virtualisation and it absolutely DOES NOT MATTER what's running the VM.

    I imagine VM companies are raking it in at the moment. If they're not, they're not pushing their product's features well enough.

    The argument to upgrade "because everyone has it at home" is so ludicrous as to be beyond mention and shows absolutely zero knowledge of what a business is and how to run an efficient one. Nobody serious in business is still using IE6 (or if they are, it's locked down by virtualisation or proxies that don't let it stray to the Internet), but lots of people in business are seriously using XP. Because it works, predictably.

    The only reason to change is hardware support, which virtualisation pretty much solves. Hell, hardly anybody dual-boots any more when they want to try Linux - just run it in a free VMWare player or equivalent at full speed and isolated from the rest of the machine.

    That said, I got a new laptop recently. It came with Windows 7 (and a Windows 8 upgrade offer). I kept it on there but, hell, it took me a few days to get it how I like it and turn all the crap off and install some freeware to make it useable. And it will take me FOREVER to get used to the explorer windows (which are horrendous). So I slapped my old hard drive into the second drive bay and virtualised XP on it until I feel I can transition smoothly.

    I got Windows 7. Made it as close to XP as possible. Then run XP on it to get work done. Sure, my Steam games are running in a 64-bit Windows 7 install, but that's not anywhere indicative of the OS being a choice itself (only that it's "passable"). I also have an Ubuntu VM to test my code against for multi-platform and 32/64 bit issues. And my browser has never been IE, even on Windows 95.

    The fact remains: If you offered those businesses a paid-for Windows XP update, they would probably pay it rather than the massive HIT that they will take moving things to newer Windows. Hell, if they're going to have to have Windows 7, it's cheaper to virtualise their old machines and they get a lot more functionality back for doing so (e.g. rollbacks, snapshots, always clean images, etc.)

    • by epyT-R (613989)

      seems like a whole waste of new hardware to virtualize like that. you're better off just running xp. A sane network policy will protect you better than any ms update will. It is still possible to get xp running on most newer hardware, but it does take a custom install disk and possibly some bios tweaking.

      • by ledow (319597)

        The last five batches of laptops I've bought for my employer, XP is not supported, the BIOS sometimes can't boot XP even (which is only going to get worse with UEFI), BIOS options to boot XP provide detrimental performance degradation and/or limit disk size. I have at least one laptop running around with a SYSLINUX "chain" loader to get into the operating system we want without BIOS problems.

        That's not to mention trying to find XP drivers for the hardware - I've found more than a few drivers that just DID

  • Not this again (Score:5, Informative)

    by Quick Reply (688867) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @05:10AM (#41384785) Journal

    First, it was already posted: http://it.slashdot.org/story/12/09/15/0130219/google-kills-apps-support-for-internet-explorer-8 [slashdot.org]

    Second, IE8 is being dropped, not Windows XP.
    IE8 does not equal Windows XP.

    IE8 is a web browser.
    XP is an operating system that supports many web browsers and applications, and more than one at the same time.

    There are plenty of other SUPPORTED ways to access Google Apps on Windows XP:
    - Google Chrome
    - Mozilla Firefox
    - Apple Safari
    - Google Chrome Frame
    - Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook

    With all of the above solutions, Internet Explorer 8 will still work on the computer for other websites that are required (whether that is a technical requirement or user preference). These solutions work in ADDITION to Internet Explorer, they do NOT replace Internet Explorer.

    If the organisations IT policy is so rigid that they can't allow any of these solutions onto their network but still use Windows XP, then I doubt that this kind of organisation would be using such progressive and relatively new (compared to on-premise) solutions such as Google Apps in the first place.

    • by pmontra (738736)
      You are right about IE8 but in the summary I read "Adobe announced on the Photoshop Blog that the next version of Photoshop CS would support only Windows 7 and 8."
      • by Rockoon (1252108)

        You are right about IE8 but in the summary I read "Adobe announced on the Photoshop Blog that the next version of Photoshop CS would support only Windows 7 and 8."

        ..it also said that CS6 doesnt support vista... meanwhile I am running CS5 on Win7, and I suspect we could go back to Photoshop 7 or earlier and have no problems.

  • by MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @05:18AM (#41384801) Homepage

    We'll be replacing those shop-floor Win XP machines - right after we get rid of the Novell Netware servers. Yeah - we still use Netware.

    I guess you'll have to mod me 'funny' because you can't mod me "sad".

  • by ravenswood1000 (543817) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @05:32AM (#41384847)
    The cost of upgrading from XP can be prohibitive. I work part time for a small market radio station. Just to replace the OS it is $150 a pop. There is the new version of the automation software that will not work with XP, that is an additional 15K. The new software won't work with the old servers so add 4-5K on that. Then there are the little things. Adobe Audition1 is a great product! Doesn't work so well on 7. That's another $350 a pop Some business just can't afford it yet.
    • Re:The Cost (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cyber-vandal (148830) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @05:55AM (#41384961) Homepage

      I love these kinds of articles, usually from someone who's never had a proper IT job, who assume that businesses are just being lazy or cheap just because they don't feel spending a fortune to replace something that still works fine with something that probably won't work any better and may actually be worse.

    • Re:The Cost (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Legion303 (97901) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @06:24AM (#41385093) Homepage

      "Adobe Audition1 is a great product!"

      That's because it's still Cool Edit Pro. Then Adobe started fucking around with the codebase and turned the entire thing into a horrible, steaming pile of shit in a few short months.

    • Going through a Win 7 project now. We have at least 40 business critical apps, 2 of which don't work with Win 7. One has been quoted at $50k for the newer compatible version, the other is closer to $1million for a complete new product because there is no newer version.
  • The practice of replacing software and equipment every few years for thousands of dollars a seat doesn't make sense anymore. Business computing is really starting to become a mature market, and there are no benefits to upgrading in many situations. It may be time to start looking at software as a service and not a product. And it's definitely time to sit down and draft some firm standards regarding business computers, so that software can be compliant with those standards. It's time to move away from propri

    • by epyT-R (613989)

      software as service is a big mistake.. it's too dependent on reliable internet connectivity and free flow of data.. It's NOT wise to push company data over public networks. It may save money short term, or even long term, but they're one network slowdown away from losing money, and one data breach away from lawsuits.

      No matter how high level the logic is designed, if the hardware around it is changed enough, it'll break. The real answer is licensing that allows porting/recompiles so that the company never

  • by dltaylor (7510) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @06:08AM (#41385021)

    Where I work, I use Windows XP to run an Exchange client, deal with some intranet sites that only work with IE, and run a Cygwin X server.

    Most of my work is in Linux; whatever docs I need to read from the Microsoft "productivity" suite, I can read with OpenOffice or one of its variants, and I never need to create or edit one, so that doesn't matter.

    I don't use Adobe ANYTHING, cause I'm a bit too security conscious (or, paranoid, if you prefer); evince, again, is close enough (actually, better, most of the time) for PDFs.

    Why should the company piss away the license cost and three days to a week of my time (~USD$2000/week) to get back to a usable work environment, for absolutely no benefit from a Windows 7 "upgrade"?

  • I'm glad to see big companies pushing XP's viability out the window. It needs to die, swiftly. As someone who manages several large Windows-based software projects, keeping XP around and supported is a headache and costs a lot of money and time. You see, Vista, 7 and now 8 are very much alike from a support and development standpoint. XP has fallen so far behind and is now the edge case, it's the exception. Some of our software seriously pushes (and exceeds) the limits of memory on a 32-bit OS when working

  • by puddingebola (2036796) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @06:22AM (#41385071) Journal

    I still have Vista installed on my machine with Ubuntu. I use iTunes. I sync to an iPod. I do not care. But it is not time for businesses to drop XP. It is time for us to smash the computers that rule us. It is time for the humans to rise up. It is time to climb to the top of the highest towers and launch our laptops off to the waiting cement below. It is time to smash the computer overlords with baseball bats, to storm into the server rooms of the universities, of the schools, of the businesses, of the research facilities. We must destroy the computers that our attempting to take over our lives. Take up a hoe, or a shovel, or a hammer and begin to destroy all the electronic devices around you. Take off your wristwatch. Is it digital? Destroy it immediately. Destroy everything that contains silicon microchips. If your car was made after 1984 set it on fire with gasoline. Then, and only then, can we form the perect agrarian society. Thank you.

    This is not a troll and I am not a spy. You went to the crazy house and said you were going as a student to school. You are abnormal because we have schools here, in all the suburban urban areas.

    In his mind, James Taylor is going to Carolina in his mind.

  • by TheDarkMaster (1292526) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @06:23AM (#41385083)
    If it is not broke, do not fix it. If your system (which can be huge and cost millions) is working perfectly well on XP, why update?
    • by indre1 (1422435)
      I completely agree. Just yesterday I was replacing another old machine with a new one at a small business and was forced to Windows 7. This meant reinstalling all the business-specific software and exporting-importing the data to the new machine, which took around 3 hours. Add to that setting up mail clients, office and other smaller programs and you end with quite a bill for the company.

      And the end result for the business? 0% increased productivity/business value (-X% for the first days of troubleshooti
  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday September 19, 2012 @06:32AM (#41385145) Homepage

    Microsoft created a vendor lock-in strategy. Expensive and proprietary, they encouraged everyone to develop develop develop for it.

    Microsoft has pushed the limits of what companies will spend for OSes and applications. That everything is so very integrated, while it encourages business to work within its proprietary framework, prevents them from easily leaving it.

    The short description of the problem? It's deeply complex and rooted within business systems and Microsoft created things this way intentionally.

    What did they expect would happen?

  • A guy down the street has a Model T Ford. The Ford Motor Company is tired of supporting it, and is considering ways of getting him to upgrade to a Focus.

  • Why? Because I can!

    XP is like that car from the 80's. It gets crappy gas mileage, and pollutes like crazy, but it has been paid for and it just works. You can get parts and the local mechanic can fix it for cheep. The seats are frayed and the paint is peeling, but so what. You only drive it around town anyway.

    Windows 8 is the brand new fancy high tech super cool car. It has every conceivable gadget: GPS, satellite radio, power heated seats, and so many buttons and digital displays that even the people who

  • It is obvious the corporations don't want to buy new versions as fast as MS would like, and that is how Microsoft has always made its money. Sell a subscription to the OS and just keep the damn thing the same. Obviously, people don't like change. Why not have a Microsoft Business Edition, based off of XP, that only got bug fixes and security fixes, but otherwise JUST STAYED THE SAME FOREVER. Right now, I can guarantee that there are businesses that would fork over money for that OS...every year. Especially

  • And never saw the problem of third-party driver support mentioned. I do some audio work, and have a high-end digital audio PCI card installed. The company that made it was "acquired" a couple of times and this product is no longer even remembered by the current owners.

    The last OS that they had working drivers for was XP - and it took a while for those to come out.

    To upgrade would require that I replace this audio card - it cost over $1200 when it was new and there are NO new replacements. Without a drive

  • Until Chrome and firefox are no longer supported on XP, XP will still have modern browsers.

    XP users will just stop using IE(which is a blessing for the internet in of itself)

  • Using Steam to determine the make-up of PCs in the household? Seriously? Anyone considered how squewed the data will be? I have on gaming rig in the house--my most powerful computer. That is the only computer that connects to steam. Also in the house are severl set-top PCs, a NAS,, as well all desktops for my wife and kids--and their notebooks. Of the 9 computers in my house--3 are on Windows 7--the gaming rig and two laptops. Three run XP and the other 3 run linux. XP is far from dead. I have no in
  • All the anti-MS fanatics can suck a fart out of my ass. You'd be fucking howling if you were forced to use a different kernel or even different desktop skin on a system which you had spent a lot of time optimising so that it ran a particular app or set of apps as best as possible given the known limitations.

    I'm stuck with XP on a lot of machines because of the apps that need to run. I have it tuned a hell of a lot faster than WINE or any other emulator could ever hope to accomplish. But your sorry know-it

It's a naive, domestic operating system without any breeding, but I think you'll be amused by its presumption.

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