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Microsoft Operating Systems Upgrades Windows IT

Time To Dump XP? 1213

An anonymous reader writes "Gartner is saying it's time to plan your migration now (if you havent already done it). I for one know my company still has loads of users still on XP, citing training costs (time and money) rather than software license fees. Is my company alone in wanting to stay in the 1990s or is Windows 7 the way forward?"
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Time To Dump XP?

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  • XP is the 90's? (Score:5, Informative)

    by jamesborr ( 876769 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:11AM (#32510662)
    Could have sworn that XP was not available before Windows 2000 -- but what do I know...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Mods, please explain how a first post can possibly be "Redundant"? Extra credit if you can explain this as something other than censorship, since the OP actually has a valid point that applies to TFS ...
    • Re:XP is the 90's? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:22AM (#32510874)

      I don't even see how this was offensive enough to be downmodded.

      And: Windows XP Release date was August 24, 2001 so it's informative.

  • Not only... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:12AM (#32510670) Homepage

    ...is my company still using Windows XP SP2, but we are still using IE6. Feh...and they complained that Audacity was a security risk because it was "open source, so anyone could hack it".


    • by Just_Say_Duhhh ( 1318603 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:25AM (#32510946)
      so migrating to Win7 won't help your company. Stay on XP, keep trying to get by with IE6, and UPDATE YOUR RESUME! Oh yeah, have you pulled your money out of the employee stock plan yet?
    • by Steauengeglase ( 512315 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:50AM (#32511368)

      I had the same problem. It was "open source crap". So I did the natural thing. I installed it on the prettiest employee's desktop and within a week of her lauding this "Audacity thing" there were official requests to install it on any desktop that had to manipulate audio. We would be on Asterisk by now if she hadn't left.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      ...is my company still using Windows XP SP2, but we are still using IE6. Feh...and they complained that Audacity was a security risk because it was "open source, so anyone could hack it".

      You should tell them that XP has some open source bits - namely BSD TCP/IP stack - in it. That should have them scrambling to migrate to 7, then.

      Not that it would make things any more secure, in the circumstances...

  • We are staying on XP (Score:4, Informative)

    by yakatz ( 1176317 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:12AM (#32510672) Homepage Journal
    I would live to migrate on of my offices to Windows 7, but then they would need to buy all-new hardware, sinc ewhat they have will not support Windows 7.
    Also, they use an old version of Navison Axapta (since renamed to Microsoft Dynamics AX) which has issues on newer OS versions.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by alen ( 225700 )

      other than the fact that new desktop PC's are dirt cheap, i'm typing this on a 6 year old P4 desktop PC that originally came with XP and runs WIndows 7 perfectly with no issues. Just get more RAM

      • by Corporate Troll ( 537873 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:30AM (#32511032) Homepage Journal

        The reason I'm not getting 7 is because.... I already have an XP license which works perfectly fine on my 6 year old P4. It's not exactly cheap to upgrade, since you say: "Just get more RAM". Assuming you want 2GB RAM, with a typical machine having 2 or 3 DDR memory slots, thus needing 2 sticks of 1GB at about 35.99$/piece (Quick search on newegg.com, you might find better deals).

        Add in the license for Windows 7 (Upgrade is out, because you're on XP).... 99.99$ for the Systems Builders 32-bit version (source: also newegg)...

        Total: 171.97$/seat and that's ignoring workhours....

        Only to upgrade... Which has zilch benefit....

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        What suprised me is that Ubuntu 10.04 feels as good or better as XP. Operating systems do not matter much anymore.

  • by DesScorp ( 410532 ) <DesScorp.Gmail@com> on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:12AM (#32510686) Homepage Journal

    Another example of why companies like Gartner are useless. They're little more another source of advertising for computer companies.

    Your decisions on your OS should be driven by your needs first and foremost. If XP is still supported, and it's doing the job well for you... why switch? Switch if YOU need to, not because someone like Gartner says "Hey you, get out of the past and get with the future. All the cool kids are running *insert OS here*"

    • by eln ( 21727 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:20AM (#32510836)

      If XP is still supported, and it's doing the job well for you... why switch?

      The problem is, at 9 years old, XP won't be supported for very much longer. Any responsible company should be looking at a migration plan, identifying legacy apps that need to be updated, and starting up projects to do so. Companies have a bad habit of waiting until the last minute to figure this stuff out and then end up being forced to run old out of support software because they didn't give sufficient time or resources to updating their legacy internal apps that won't work right on the new platform. This is how we end up with so many companies still using IE6.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 )

        Another lesson my company is painfully learning is:

        Do not write large applications in microsoft languages for microsoft operating systems.

        We are going to hardware and operating system agnostic packages in a big way.

        For the problem software tho, it's going to be a rough road until the packages are rolled out (and that will take a couple years). At any point, our current software could be killed by an arbitrary microsoft patch since the language (vb6) is out of support.

        • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:34PM (#32512180) Journal

          For the problem software tho, it's going to be a rough road until the packages are rolled out (and that will take a couple years). At any point, our current software could be killed by an arbitrary microsoft patch since the language (vb6) is out of support.

          VB6 IDE is not supported now (though a paid support agreement with MS is possible). It also has known compat problems with Vista and above. That said, it works perfectly in XP Mode under Win7.

          VB6 runtime is a part of Windows 7, and will be supported for at least as long as Win7 itself is supported. So, no, an "arbitrary patch" won't kill your software.

          See here [microsoft.com] for details.

      • by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @01:26PM (#32513070) Homepage Journal

        The support deadlines aren't rigid. Microsoft has extended support for Windows in the past. I was using Windows 2000 until late last year and was still occasionally getting security updates.

        You have a point on working on a migration plan, getting the pieces in place, though the actual migration doesn't have to happen for a few years.

    • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:57AM (#32511480) Homepage Journal

      I've been in this software business for twenty seven years, and one thing I've learned is timing is everything. You gets tons of people trying to make money doing something, then the person who gets a good enough product out at the right time -- not too early, not too late -- wins the prize.

      The same goes for upgrading. Vendors want to you to upgrade ASAP, especially if there's revenue involved. If you listened to them, you'd upgrade too early. But you can also upgrade too late. Here's how you know you've got the timing right: nothing much happens. What? I go through all that pain in the ass for nothing much to happen?

      Yes. Exactly so.

      The vendors do not have a solution to all your problems. They're peddling software updates. So you're a fool upgrading early to achieve IT Nirvana. But you're equally a fool to wait until your hand is forced, and you have to meet heaven and Earth to do multiple years of updating in a single quarter, disrupting the operation of your employers and leaving users in a world of unfamiliar user interfaces.

      Lack of drama is the hallmark of competency. Each quarter looks more or less like the last one, with no notable emergencies or sudden "improvements" that leave people with allegedly powerful but unfamiliar tools. You can't do that if you wait until your hand is forced.

      We're coming up on the one year anniversary of Windows 7. For Windows XP shops, this is a good time to start planning a transition that will be done before this time next year.

  • Dont know (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anon-Admin ( 443764 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:13AM (#32510716) Journal

    I am at a Fortune 500 and everything is still XP. Most companies I know are not migrating at this time.

    Although, if they have to retrain (Citing time and cost) Plus the cost of a new license then why not move to Linux and at least drop one of the costs (Licensing)

    • Re:Dont know (Score:4, Insightful)

      by courteaudotbiz ( 1191083 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:28AM (#32510990) Homepage
      Absolutely agree with you on this, except that you will have to convince all your software suppliers to create a version of their software for Linux, or you will have to find other software for the employees at your pretty big business to do their job.

      Unless all they are using is MS Office that you can replace with OO, you're gonna have the hell of a time finding equivalent software, but in the end, it might pay. Or be painful.
      • Re:Dont know (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anon-Admin ( 443764 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:34AM (#32511108) Journal

        I would tend to agree but in today's offices there really is not a lot of specialty software. 99.9% of the users use office, e-mail, chat, and a very small list of other common apps. Heck, where I am now, the accounting and other custom application are all run on HPUX or Solaris systems and the people open a terminal to the remote server to access them. It was done because it costs less to manage the apps that way, no need to distribute them to the desktops, etc.

        Maybe I am wrong and smaller companies pay to have custom apps written for the desktop or maybe small companies are using custom apps to do stuff. Dont know, all the companies I have worked for in the last 15 years are Fortune 500.

      • Re:Dont know (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:56AM (#32511458) Homepage

        Dont need "equilivant" Wine recently is far more stable.

        I even have Sony Vegas video editing software running under it.

        I am sure that crappy VB6 sales app your company pays $6800.00 a year for will run fine..... Now will they support it or blame every bug in the thing on your Install....

        If they can blame it on something else, they will..

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mpe ( 36238 )
          Dont need "equilivant" Wine recently is far more stable.

          It's possible to have wine configured per app. Which can work out better than running certain combinations of apps nativly on Windows.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kenh ( 9056 )

      The cost of a Win7 licesne doesn't enter into it, most llikely.

      Your Fortune 500 company most likely doesn't have retail/OEM Windows XP licenses - they ar emost likely under "Software Advantage" and pay a per-desktop licesne fee for a number of MS apps per year. It is more economical if you turn your desktop operating system or MS applications over every three years.

      They pay a license fee each year (software maint.) - do you really imagine a Fortune 500 company can just 'migrate off Win XP' incurring only "t

  • XP is productive (Score:4, Insightful)

    by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:13AM (#32510718)

    FOr business do you really need anything more than XP?

    The problem with XP is not that it'snot perfectly satisfactory but that it's not maintained. New software won't be written for it. That's the reason to migrate.

    On the other hand one could make a lateral move. Linux is more like XP in feel than even Win 7 is. And software is in production for Linux. So perhaps a lateral move is not so unthinkable in terms of training costs at this particular point in time.

    • Re:XP is productive (Score:4, Informative)

      by mspohr ( 589790 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:45AM (#32511262)
      I migrated my business and home use from XP several years ago. We now use Mac and Ubuntu Linux everywhere. Benefits:

      - freedom from worry about malware (80% of XP malware runs on Win7, no malware in the wild for Mac and Linux)

      - runs on my existing computers (except Mac OSX, of course)... no need for expensive computer upgrades

      - Office software compatibility... we standardize on OpenOffice.org and have been pleasantly surprised that it is more compatible with MS Office than all of the various MS Office versions are with each other.

      - other software... we have been pleasantly surprised that we have been able to find good quality software for everything we need. We were worried about the FUD about open source software but haven't had any problems. We have been pleasantly surprised with the quality and availability of Office, Web, eMail, graphics, video, audio, utility, etc. software. We have found everything we need. We don't have any legacy applications tied to XP or IE6.

      - powerful unix utilities... we have also been pleasantly surprised to discover a wealth of powerful genuinely useful unix utilities such as rsync, dd, grep, etc. which have made our lives much easier. - training has been a minor expense... this is just not a problem... most people can transfer their Windows skills without problems or a simple introduction.

      - support is easy... upgrades from repositories have been a joy...

      - Peace of Mind... priceless

      • by besalope ( 1186101 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:31PM (#32512138)

        I migrated my business and home use from XP several years ago. We now use Mac and Ubuntu Linux everywhere. Benefits:

        - freedom from worry about malware (80% of XP malware runs on Win7, no malware in the wild for Mac and Linux)


        Yeah.. except the first Mac botnet was discovered in the wild well over a year ago [theregister.co.uk]. While Windows is indeed a larger target for malware due to marketshare, claiming that there is no malware on MacOS and Linux is just an ignorant view of security.

        • by mspohr ( 589790 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:48PM (#32512382)
          Holes found and fixed. Mac and Linux are not impervious to malware, they just have a much higher level of resistance due to the Unix security model... and a much more vigilant community to fix problems promptly. I don't have the illusion that I am completely secure against malware but I do have a high level of confidence that I have a secure system. This is the opposite of Windows where I assume that the systems are compromised and insecure.
  • by thomasdz ( 178114 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:14AM (#32510730)

    Just to get the ball started... yes, I agree... it is time to dump Windows XP and change to OS X or one of the BSDs or heck, even one of the mature Linux distributions like Ubuntu.
    Moderators: start your engines... am I Flamebait, or am I Insightful? Informative or Offtopic?

  • Migrate this! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:15AM (#32510742) Journal

    God no, you're not alone. We need stable environments for consistency of software development. We have a dozen home-grown tools, and 2x that from open source type things, and jumping service patches is a holy pain, much less an entire OS. We were still supporting Win2k machines until two years ago.

    "Migration" is in Microsoft's interest, not yours.

  • 90s? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Moridineas ( 213502 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:16AM (#32510758) Journal

    Windows XP came out in late-2001...hardly "the 90s"

    At my small office workplace we are down to one remaining Windows 2000 computer, majority XP, no Vista, and one Windows 7. It was a pain to convert our roaming desktops from 2k/XP style to Vista/7 style (samba server). I personally really like Windows 7 though it of course comes with the assortment of upgrading pains and things that make you slap your forehead and say "WHY?!" -- example, out of the box Windows 7 runs a maintenance task that deletes broken shortcuts. Unfortunately for whatever reason it believes shortcuts to documents and programs on our network shares are broken, and so they repeatedly disappeared until we figured that out. Why can't I pin a network share/document/application to the start bar? etc

    We also have an OS9 computer that doesn't get used often anymore (though did up until about 3 months ago), OSX 10.4, 10.5, and 10.6.

    Why upgrade if it still works? (of course barring any major security vulnerabilities that can't be protected against)

  • by superglaze ( 1112971 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:16AM (#32510762)
    Flamebait, I know. But honestly, having used 7 for a while on my personal machines and having to still use XP at work, it's 7 all the way. I shall pretend that Vista never happened.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eldepeche ( 854916 )

      I like Windows 7 a lot as well. I work for a cloud software company, and as a non-developer who had used prerelease versions of 7, I upgraded my machine as soon as it came out. Display hotplugging magically started working properly, and the Aero Snap feature is like a useful version of Tile from 3.1. The only issue I have is related to the Cisco VPN client, but that's because we won't pay to upgrade to the latest version.

      Having spent the XP-Vista era in the Mac and Linux world, I was pleasantly surprised wi

  • Staying with XP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NetDanzr ( 619387 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:18AM (#32510788)
    Same at my company. Given that we use largely Web-based applications, there is no cost for porting apps to Win7 (if necessary at all); the only external cost would be to retire a few older printer that we tested as not working with Win7. However, with the few Win7 machines we have, we experienced two problems:
    • Retraining for Win7 is prohibitive, from a production perspective. We can't afford people to be idle for a day or two. (This also assumes converting from Office 2003 to Office 2007, which eats up most of the retraining costs
    • Anti-piracy controls on Win7 are far from perfect. We have only three machines with Win7, and yet we experienced a total of four times so far a black background and a screen that our product key was invalid. A call to Microsoft has always solved the issue, but it's still a hassle.
  • by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:20AM (#32510826) Homepage

    Well, it's a way, but it may not be forward...

  • We'd like to but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by painandgreed ( 692585 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:21AM (#32510840)

    My company is ready to migrate once our vendor applications are compatible with Win7. Some won't run. Some haven't been verified by the company to work and our company won't move forward till the bendor says it's ok. Some are web apps that won't work with IE8. They will work in compatibility mode but once again, unless the vendor signs off on that and agrees that they won't corrupt our database or lack features doing such, management does not want to move forward. We're also a hospital and healthcare if involved directly so we don't want to beta test anything. We'd like to move forward to 64 bit Win7, but until ALL the applications we use can, we have to stick with WinXP because they are all used together on the same machines.

    For the record, nobody ever considered Vista. Not us. Not the vendors.

  • by kenh ( 9056 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:24AM (#32510930) Homepage Journal

    Windows 7 has hardware requirements that many, many otherwise capable WinXP boxes can't meet either technically or economically.

    It's easy to say well, upgrade your 1 Gig RAM 2 GHz P4 desktop to 2 Gig of RAM, but if you have to pitch 2x 512 Meg sticks and buy 2x 1 Gig PC3200 sticks it can get expensive fast. And that IDE drive will suffice, but it won't be very speedy - an upgrade may be in order, but unless your desktop includes a SATA port, will it really be cost-effective? Oh, and you can toss in a ReadyBoost USB flash drive to improve performance, but this is starting to get expensive...

    PC3200 RAM is about $40-50 a Gig, a 4 Gig ReadyBoost USB flash drive will cost another $10 and where does that leave you? With an investment of $100/desktop plus labor in performing the hardware upgrade, or half the price of a new low-end Dell OptiPlex which will blow the socks off the 5-7 year old P4 you are investing in.

    OR you could just sit on WinXP boxes for another year and start saving up for a forklift upgrade next year...

  • by HockeyPuck ( 141947 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:31AM (#32511050)

    ...but we just rebranded them as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

    -Brought to you by VMWare and Wyse.

  • 64-Bit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DarkSarin ( 651985 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:31AM (#32511058) Homepage Journal

    The main reason, in my mind, to upgrade is being able to effectively use 64-bit machines fully--and have more than 4GB of RAM.

    Yes you need new machines to do this, but really, if you are buying NEW machines, you should probably upgrade. The question then becomes a matter of whether or not new machines are worthwhile. Your old machines may be still serviceable, but would newer machines result in getting work done enough faster to offset (even partially) the cost of the upgrade.

    In many cases, the answer is no--a LOT of secretaries & folks that mainly do word processing are better off just staying where they are--their machines are fast enough for what they do, and additional RAM & extra cores aren't going to make a difference.

    That said, if you are doing statistical analysis, engineering, graphic design, programming (and compiling), and a number of other jobs, then you should ABSOLUTELY be on a very aggressive upgrade schedule. Additionally, 8GB of RAM is more than just a good idea for many of those jobs--some of them should be stuffing as MUCH memory as they can into their machines so that they can do their jobs more efficiently.

    In any work setting the bottleneck for employee performance should not be the environment or resources, but rather human capacities. That's the ideal. Obviously cost of achieving that and other considerations prevent most companies from getting to the point where that's true--but it should be the goal.

    So either move to Win7-x64 OR move to another 64-bit OS with lots of power & memory in the hardware. Staying where you are only makes sense if you are doing mostly word processing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Belegothmog ( 712435 )

      The main reason, in my mind, to upgrade is being able to effectively use 64-bit machines fully-

      This. The main reason to upgrade to Win7 is for 64-bit. Unfortunately, it's also the main reason to put off upgrading. While we haven't had too many issues with software and 64-bit (though there are some), the main problem has been with peripherals. In our IT shop, none of the PC card or USB NICs that we had have a Win7 64-bit driver. Only one of our USB to Serial adapters has a 64-bit driver. A customer has handheld scanners for their warehouse -- no 64-bit driver. Same issues with printer drivers.

  • Running XP? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Prototerm ( 762512 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:35AM (#32511114)

    I'm still on 2000, you insensitive clod! I'm planning to *upgrade* to XP in the next year or so. Provided my hardware can run it, that is. Everyone knows that XP is a resource hog. :)

  • Oh brother (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jav1231 ( 539129 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:44AM (#32511242)
    Another editor writes an idiotic title??
    Let's answer this simply, since the article has a simple title: "Is it finally time to dump XP?" NO. It's 2010. By your own article's admission support ends in 2014!

    FTFA: "IT departments need to dump Microsoft's Windows XP operating system (OS) before the software vendor ends support for it in April 2014"
    Thanks, Capt. Obvious!
    Also FTFA: "the sooner the better as many new versions of applications are not expected to support XP beyond 2012."
    What applications? Do these people live in the enterprise? Vendor apps are the slowest to migrate to any new OS. That's one of the major reasons why migrations happen so slowly. The other is money. In a down economy you're simply not going to see wholesale adoption of Windows 7 when there's no funding and companies can pull profits from apps that are working now! This is all fun to sit and talk about and kick up some worry but the reality is when you go back to your CIO or IT manager funding will win out. They're going to wait till they get closer to EOL and hope the economy turns around and frankly that's what they should do.
  • by Angst Badger ( 8636 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:58AM (#32511522)

    No, seriously. What killer new features does Windows 7 have that are worth the time and expense of an upgrade from XP? The only one I've heard mentioned, that it sucks less than Vista, doesn't apply to XP users.

    When it gets down to it, there are two main reasons to upgrade to Windows 7: Eventually, it will become impossible to get new machines running XP. And Microsoft really wants your money. Neither of these benefits the user.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tom ( 822 )

      You beat me to it.

      I've upgraded one machine to W7. Don't see much of a reason to upgrade the other. Aside from a few minor improvements, there really isn't all that much in W7 that is compelling. And in all the things that matter to me - user friendliness, software available, performance, in that order - it is just as bad as the other crap out of Redmond.

      Yes, MS has put in incentives - IE8 (which I don't use), DX10/11 (which really doesn't make all that much of a difference so far) and probably a couple oth

  • by scorp1us ( 235526 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:01PM (#32511590) Journal

    When XP is no longer getting security updates (and its not that far out) everyone install the latest LTS Ubuntu. Set up an XP theme for users resistant to visual change.

    Then, for any business-essential application that requires Windows, use Citrix, RDP or VNC to some secured XP boxes. Or, use VirtualBox or VMware. You can set the VMs to use specfic MAC addrs then set the DHCP server to not assign those an internet gateway, so they can't get on the intERnet, but they can still use the intRAnet. This way your users can still use the internet but not risk infection of XP machines.

    OpenOffice is usable, but the .DOC and Access DB base still represents a migration problem.

    It may be possible to use CodeWeaver's Crossover office ($40) to get Office to work where you have to. However I expect the reduced support costs to pay dividends, as well as not having to upgrade hardware. It now takes XP 14 minutes to boot on a (3-year-old) dual-core laptop. Ubuntu starts in 60 seconds, and that is to a "usable" desktop.

    Other things that Ubtunu beats windows on:
    - centralized updater. Only one update service runs for the whole system.
    - no viruses

    I've really been amazed at the latest Ubuntus - as easy to use as Windows - no - in fact easier.

    I'll always keep a copy of XP around, but it will be a virtual machine that I keep between my linux upgrades and it won't have internet access, so I don't have to worry about viruses.

  • Give me a reason (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:26PM (#32512050) Homepage

    I'd cite the same reason business will give: "Give me a single business reason to migrate. Tell me what Windows 7 will do for me that Windows XP isn't doing for me today.". Note: "XP's being EOL'd." is a very weak business reason. The primary benefit's to the vendor, my only benefit is ending up exactly where I started. Various features of Windows 7 itself aren't good business reasons either. I don't run Windows for it's own features, I run it for the applications I use every day that need Windows underneath them to run. "But your applications aren't going to support XP anymore, you have to upgrade Windows to run them." also isn't a very good business reason, again it's arguing that I need to spend a lot of money and time and effort getting right where I already am today. It's also circular, because my application vendors are going "Microsoft isn't supporting XP anymore, so you're going to have to upgrade to new versions of the applications that'll run on Windows 7.".

    Now, "Windows 7 provides better security and you won't have as many problems with malware." might be a better business reason. Still weak, but better. But it'll get me to thinking: what makes me think Windows 7 really will be any better? Many of the vulnerabilities in Windows come not from Windows but from things like Internet Explorer and Outlook. I can eliminate many of them by just not having those things around, by using Firefox and Thunderbird and the like instead. Except, oh look, I can't because Microsoft doesn't allow me to remove IE. It's always there, it's always active and it's always used for certain things. And Windows 7 doesn't change that. Other vulnerabilities are caused by things like Windows' file-sharing capabilities. Except, why are my desktops even sharing files? They aren't network file servers, they've no business even having the ability to give other machines network access to their filesystems at all. Except that Windows won't let me turn that service off without crippling Windows itself, and Windows 7 doesn't change that. So why am I spending time and effort upgrading to a version of Windows that has the same basic vulnerabilities built into it's design that my existing one does, as opposed to say spending that effort convincing my application vendors to support an OS where I can completely remove the things I don't need and not have to worry about whether there's vulnerabilities in them anymore?

    I'll probably have to migrate this year as a purely technical matter, because support won't be there and I can't afford not to have security updates and AV support. But it won't be because I'm deriving any real benefit from the upgrade, it'll be because a vendor needs more upgrade revenue and is in a position to twist my arm. And as a pure business matter I'm going to be looking seriously at ways to get that vendor out of a position where he can twist my arm anymore, because it's just not good business to be at someone else's mercy.

  • by s31523 ( 926314 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:36PM (#32512216)
    The question of migration is not about staying in the 90's. Ask yourself this, "If it were your money, what would you do?". Your answer would probably be, if you were a successful business, you would look at the cost-benefit of the switch. So, citing training costs is a factor. Another factor might be whether you develop application that run on Windows, or do you just use Windows as development platform at all, or just a casual Business user? In the end, if the switch will cost you (the company) thousands of dollars and you gain nothing, surely you would not want to switch because Microsoft is forcing the switch. From a training perspective, one would want to push off the switch for as long as possible to allow the market (end users) to get the familiarity with the new Windows and Office on their home PCs so that training is minimal at the work place. If you personally upgrade your home PC, which a lot of people will do, and use it for a year or three, when your Office does the switch it (the new Windows) will be old hat, and that means less training on the company dime.
  • Our Migration plan (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vinn ( 4370 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:46PM (#32512358) Homepage Journal

    Our migration is probably similar to many other companies. Here's what we're doing in case anyone is curious how this roadmap looks in a reasonably sized company (multilocation, etc, etc):

    1. We got our first Win7 system to test a few months ago. We discovered almost everything worked, but our VPN clients should be updated, our AV needed some updating, and really we should be on Office 2010. The nice thing there is we can eradicate Office 2003 once and for all.

    2. So, that really prompts some server upgrades that we've been planning for a while anyway. We're going to consolidate a lot of servers onto VM'ed boxes. Most of our stuff (was) running Server 2003, with the exceptions of our domain controllers which we updated to 2008 last year. Exchange 2010 (from 2003) was planned for a while, so we pulled the trigger on that one. That also prompts an upgrade of BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) from 4.1 to 5.0. Our asset tracking also needed some attention in order to make sure we don't populate it with garbage when new machines arrive. We're hoping to have Exchange completely migrated by the end of July using a slow migration tactic instead of cutting over in the middle of the night. The goal here is to leave some app servers on 2003 until the new version of MS's server platform comes out, then update to that on an application by application basis.

    3. So.. that means there's a fair amount of work to do before we want to consider replacing the user machines. I suspect most companies are in that boat. I think most companies are itching to replace XP - it's getting pretty tough to maintain these days and pretty outdated. Plus, no (sane) company actually upgrades machines from XP to Win7 - you transition to Win7 when your leases expire or you need to purchase a new desktop/laptop. Upgrading is in no way cost effective. Therefore, based on a lifecycle of 3 - 4 years per machine, we'll see XP still being used for 2 - 3 years at least for light duty.

    Now, the really crazy part? Most suppliers are pushing 32-bit Win7. That means the 32-bit legacy is going to continue to haunt us when we could have transitioned to Win64.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:50PM (#32512424) Homepage

    Cost is usually rather low on the reasons for wanting to stay with Windows XP. There is an increasing amount of Microsoft phobia in business lately... at all levels. Moving to a "newer" Microsoft product used to bring cheers from the users. Now it brings groans. Why? Lately, it seems, Microsoft has been dumping far too much change on users and it is a burden. To this day, I STILL don't know how to find my way around Office 2007 and now there is Office 2010?!

    And in a business sense, change can be expensive. There is downtime, re-training/re-learning, and the cost of mistakes that happen more often when big changes occur. (Almost no one ever cites the potential cost of mistakes during a migration... they can be quite costly at times.)

    • by HikingStick ( 878216 ) <z01riemer@@@hotmail...com> on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @03:09PM (#32514672)
      In addition, in specialty environments (e.g., some manufacturing shops), you're often constrained by what your other software vendors and equipment providers will support. A number of our key tools (e.g., 3D CAD) support Windows 7, but we have many legacy tools that only run on XP (or earlier environments!). In some cases, vendors are only supporting newer OSes if we also upgrade the machines that are tethered to the workstations--that means it's not as simple as buying a new PC and a new version of software, but instead could mean a $200,000.00 investment in a manufacturing device that will again be tethered to a specific build of Windows.

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein