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Microsoft Pulling the Plug On Windows XP In Three Years 315

An anonymous reader wrote in with an article from myce. Microsoft will be discontinuing all support for Windows XP in Spring 2014. Coinciding with the announcement, Microsoft released a 1,000-day countdown gadget to help XP users pass the time until their IT departments get into gear. Maybe.
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Microsoft Pulling the Plug On Windows XP In Three Years

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  • Ummm (Score:5, Funny)

    by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <<megazzt> <at> <>> on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @04:42PM (#36740014) Homepage
    It can't help XP users pass the time since it requires Vista or 7!
  • by Afforess ( 1310263 ) <> on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @04:43PM (#36740020) Journal
    How many other companies are expected to maintain 10+ year old software, even after TWO new releases (Vista, Win7) are available?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by creat3d ( 1489345 )
      Companies that make operating systems used the world over in everything from personal desktops to enterprise-wide systems.
      • by Afforess ( 1310263 ) <> on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @04:48PM (#36740126) Journal
        Ubuntu does not maintains Long Term releases that long. Apple is notorious for dropping support for previous OS X versions (um, talk to the people trapped on OS X 10.4 due to the intel switch).

        Sorry buddy, your facts are wrong.
        • I thought 10.5 could run on PPC. All I know is, I can't buy a new printer for this damn thing without an OS upgrade and, frankly, that's stupid.
          • Yes, 10.5 can run on a PPC.

            10.6 is Intel only (and RosettaStone is an optional component, to be removed in 10.7)

          • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

            totally depends on the PPC G5 10.5 no problem G4 10.5 eh maybe, my 9600 apple said fuck you less than 2 years! (though if you fuck with it long enough you can get 10.2 on there, but why bother it runs brand new debian ppc and xfce faster than my work computer deals with XP just on 256 megs and a "upgrade" to a ati 7000

        • Ubuntu does not maintains Long Term releases that long.

          Nor does Canonical charge for operating system upgrades. Nor does Canonical drop all support for older yet paid for and still working PC hardware as quickly; Ubuntu 11.04 needs less than half the RAM of Windows 7.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by AvitarX ( 172628 )

            I don't know how true that is.

            Windows 7 runs almost as well as Ubuntu with 1GB of RAM, I can't imagine using either with less.

            I just installed Windows 7 on a Pentium D with 1GB RAM, and Integrated graphic, aside from the fact that I'm in the ugly interface mode, it works pretty well.

            Both it, and my Ubuntu box with 1GB of RAM suffer freeze-ups as things swap.

          • by Kjella ( 173770 )

            Support means you like the system the way it is, but want the necessary patches and such to keep it working. Upgrade means the versions of everything changes, the UI changes, the API changes and a host of other things that may break systems or confuse users. That means retesting, recertification, updating training materials, guides, system documentation and so on. Just because the upgrade is free doesn't mean upgrading is free. It's a valid point but hardly a perfect substitute.

          • Its also about 3 times as obnoxious GUI wise. Its probably the only Ubuntu release that I trialed for less time than it took to install in a virtual machine-- it was bad enough that I couldnt even stand testing it.

            I mean, this is completely off topic, but if you want to shift gears to spouting about how great Ubuntu is vs WIndows, some honesty about the trainwreck that is 11.04 would be useful. It is, after all, the Vista of Ubuntus.

        • um, talk to the people trapped on OS X 10.4 due to the intel switch

          My PowerBook is running 10.5 quite happily.

          • yes, yes, he got his digit wrong, good thing you pointed that out (and got beaten to the punch [] by someone who didn't feel the need to be a douche).

            being snarky won't help you get 10.6 or 10.7 installed, nor will it make his point false.

            • The machine is 7 years old and shipped with OS X 10.2. For the last couple of years, it's not done anything except play music. I don't really have any problem with it not supporting 10.6 or 10.7. Not supporting 10.5 would have been a problem, because VLC dropped support for 10.4 a couple of years ago.
              • by paziek ( 1329929 )

                You bought PowerBook just to play music? Wow...

                • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @06:00PM (#36741456) Journal

                  No, I bought it to do work. It served that purpose well for three years. By the end of that time, the 1.25GHz G4 CPU was starting to feel a bit slow, and it got relegated to being the spare machine, with a new MacBook Pro taking over as my main computer. It was used as a spare when the MBP's hard drive broke a couple of years later and I had to work on it for a few days while the MBP was being repaired, but since then it's been sitting connected to my living room speakers playing music or sleeping, and very occasionally playing YouTube videos or flash animations.

                  On eBay, similar models sell for about a hundred quid, so it's not worth selling it and buying some dedicated device. As a laptop, it uses very little power, and can suspend and resume well, so it's a competent device for this.

        • Except for the fact that Ubuntu makes it pretty easy to upgrade to the next version by just clicking a button, the system requirements aren't increased and it is totally different than upgrading from XP to Vista/7. And yes, Apple is a hardware company primarily and wants people to buy new expensive hardware every couple of years so that makes sense for them to do that.
          • by bberens ( 965711 )
            My personal experience is that upgrading Ubuntu via that button is a bit like using a Windows upgrade CD. It technically works, but winds up being more trouble than it's worth and you're better off doing a complete system rebuild.
          • All true points except the "pretty easy" part. I might be willing to do the upgrade myself, but I cant imagine recommending that a non-techie friend click that upgrade button without my help-- who knows how many things would break, or have the upgrade process halt because its waiting for you to figure out which grub.cfg you want, etc.

        • by Urkki ( 668283 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @05:28PM (#36740912)

          Ubuntu does not maintains Long Term releases that long.

          Update from one LTS support to the 4 year later LTS version is generally painless. Ie. the support is there, you just have to click a few buttons to install it, and it'll most likely even run, just like that, click click. Upgrading Ubuntu (or other comparable Linux distro) is more like installing new service pack to a Windows OS, there's continuous upgrade path.

          Now try upgrading a basic WinXP computer from just 2008 (to compare to Ubuntu 8.04 LTS) to anything newer.

          But I do think MS does not have any obligation to support XP any longer than they think it's smart business-wise, and I'm rather surprised about how long they've supported XP. Commercial OS costs money, and it's unreasonable to expect indefinitely long support for a one-time payment.

        • by jimicus ( 737525 )

          Ubuntu does not maintains Long Term releases that long. Apple is notorious for dropping support for previous OS X versions (um, talk to the people trapped on OS X 10.4 due to the intel switch).

          Sorry buddy, your facts are wrong.

          Perhaps there's a reason Microsoft remain in their dominant position?

        • Sure they do. Except instead of a "Service Pack" you just download the new version.
        • Ubuntu's releases are also measured on the order of months, not years. They certainly dont support some of their LTSes that are younger than vista-- is Edgy Eft still supported? (thats october 2006)?

    • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

      I dunno, how long did dos last ...

    • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @04:51PM (#36740204)

      How many other companies are expected to maintain 10+ year old software, even after TWO new releases (Vista, Win7) are available?

      Hmm, perhaps companies that were still selling that 'ten year old software' on new systems last year?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AvitarX ( 172628 )

        Like Dell?

        Even so, the system will be 3-5 years old by the time support is dropped. It will be worth $0 to the accountants.

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @04:53PM (#36740242) Homepage

      It's not 10 years old if it was sold last year.

      Yeah. XP has been shipping on new machines until very recently due to the fiasco that was Vista.

      Your "age calculation" should start at when the product stopped shipping with new machines, not when it was first introduced.

      • by Spad ( 470073 ) <slashdot.spad@co@uk> on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @05:03PM (#36740470) Homepage

        Just like how my house is only 3 years old, because that's when I moved into it. I mean sure, it was built in the 60s, but that hardly counts.

        • There is a difference.

          Last year, some guy wet to a store and bought a new (made in last year) PC with an operating system. Now he is being told that his operating system is really old and will not be supported. Then why was it for sale as recently as last year?

          I'll try to make a house analogy.

          You bought a new house right after it was built. A few years later you find out that you need to replace all the wiring because it is too old, since while the house was new, the wire used was made 50 years ago.

          • You bought a new house right after it was built. A few years later you find out that you need to replace all the wiring because it is too old, since while the house was new, the wire used was made 50 years ago.

            And in that case, of course I blame the wiring manufacturer, not the contractor that couldn't be bothered to use the (same cost) new wiring. Or maybe he used the wiring I demanded because I already knew how to use it and didn't want to figure out a fancy new circuit breaker. Actually, a circuit brea

        • Software doesn't decay like your house does, jackass.
    • by syousef ( 465911 )

      How many other companies are expected to maintain 10+ year old software, even after TWO new releases (Vista, Win7) are available?

      That just shows your ignorance. MANY MANY companies maintain software that is 10+ years old. Talk to anyone in IT in the Banking, Finance and Insurance sectors. Unless you throw a LOT of money at it (like NASA, aviation industry etc. - systems that must not fail else people die or millions are lost), software does not get bedded down and achieve stability for at least a couple of years. Even if all the major issues are right on day one (in practice this seldom happens) there are always minor differences bet

    • We have a lot of production software written to target Windows XP. We're still running some DOS software on Windows 98 boxes. The two of us working on this, part time, can not possibly move all the software to the Windows 7 platform by that time. Don't blame me, blame the short-sighted managment that has chosen to ignore all of my recommendations for the past 8 years.
      • by kcbnac ( 854015 )

        Then they'll have to pay the price for not listening to their experts, and:
        A) hire more folk to migrate everything
        B) run 'unsecured' systems
        C) lock them down (more) as they'll be unpatched
        D) head for virtualization for the DOS/XP apps.
        E) Combination of Virtualization for the Win98 stuff, and compatibility mode for XP software.

        Time to start harping about that, if its gonna take that long.

        • Virtualization won't work. It's a manufacturing production environment with instrumentation hanging off of the computers. Virtualization does not provide the necessary hardware interface / drivers.
        • Time to start harping about that, if its gonna take that long.

          You're not saying anything I haven't brought up before, in fact you missed a couple of points. Doesn't matter what I say, management thinks they know what they're doing so they make their choices. Stuff breaks and then they act surprised, even though I have email going back to 2003 documenting these discussions.

          As it is, I'm about to bail. I've had enough of being ignored then being held accountable. To top it all off, the pay is bad (so, chances of them hiring more folks are close to zero).

    • Plenty! (Score:5, Informative)

      by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @05:12PM (#36740624)

      How many other companies are expected to maintain 10+ year old software, even after TWO new releases (Vista, Win7) are available?

      Off the top of my head:

      • Every aerospace company that makes software
      • Every military contractor that makes software
      • Most banking software
      • Lots of software that runs on a mainframe (AS/400, etc)
      • Point of sale systems
      • Healthcare equipment
      • CNC machining equipment
      • Accounting systems

      Just to name a few. There is software out there which demands support periods measured in decades. LOTS of companies are expected to maintain support for old software.

    • I think HP is still supporting OpenVMS through 2012.

    • Those that write software for the medical industry, air traffic control, electric power generation, military hardware, etc. etc.
    • When you have a product that customers still use and demand, why not decide to keep customers happy instead of migrating them to an inferior product?

    • I very recently was going to make a snarky comment about XPs support vs Linux, and then I realized that kernel 2.4 (that one thats basically considered obsolete in non-embedded deployments) was the latest thing only 7-8 years ago-- kernel 2.6 is younger than XP is (and for that matter, 2.4 might be as well).

    • You see this a bit more in the mainframe and server world. Releases see very long support cycles, often exceeding a decade. However, updates are usually limited to break/fix and security patches as opposed to feature enhancements. Much of that comes from the conservative nature of those environments. The premium pricing of product and support contracts reflects that environment.

      For desktop and workstation markets, a decade is a long time. Microsoft is well within its rights to reallocate those resource

    • by nothings ( 597917 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @07:15PM (#36742412) Homepage

      An operating system is not like other software; it hosts other software. I shouldn't be forced to reinstall all my software every ten years, or five years, or two years. I shouldn't be forced to switch to a new version of the software that controls my access to all my other software if that new version has a different UI that forces me to relearn all sorts of new UI shortcuts, to abandon helpful utilities and add-ons that I've acquired or developed, etc. etc.

      Of course it's not just Microsoft; Firefox has fucking up that last one with nearly ever major release.

      I dunno, maybe I'm just an old fuddy-duddy or something, but after eighteen years of regular OS "must have" upgrades every couple years, yeah, I'm comfortable saying it's a huge fucking waste of my time, and it is stupid, and yes they should support the old versions.

      If upgrading to new versions didn't involve changing the user experience and didn't require reinstalling everything, then it would be no different than a patch or service pack, except it would cost money and have a new version number... and that would be fine with me. (It's still lame to have to pay 50-200 dollars every couple years, but I could live with that at least. But that's not what's on the table.)

  • This is a dupe (Score:3, Informative)

    by ucflap ( 2317940 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @04:44PM (#36740036)
  • by JKConsult ( 598845 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @04:45PM (#36740060)
    I'm still on (and perfectly content with) XP, but even I'll admit that by that point, it'll be the equivalent of Terry Schiavo.
    • by 6ULDV8 ( 226100 )

      I'm still running XP in Bootcamp because of a requirement of certain network devices. I can't upgrade until those are EOL by a customer.

    • Agreed. They can have my WinXP VM image when they pry it from my cold, dead, hard drive.

      (deal with too many customers using "legacy" systems and need older image, besides, XP runs wonderfully as a VM under OSX :) ).

      • Of course Windows XP runs beautifully as a VM. In fact, XP as a VM integrates really really well into the upper versions of Windows 7. In fact, it's an advertised feature, and you don't even need a separate XP license.
        • But it would probably be cheaper to get an OEM licence from somewhere and run it in a VM on Home Premium than it would be to buy Vista Pro or Vista Ultimate.

          • Well, for a home user maybe. For a really small business possibly. But given that XP Mode gives you start menu integration with Windows 7... the seamlessness of the integration might be worth the piddly extra $50 per seat or whatever it is for Win 7 Pro over Win 7 Home. Assuming Microsoft even does volume licenses for anything under Pro...
  • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @04:47PM (#36740108) Homepage Journal

    when the have to keep maintaining a product across the course of two new releases so customers can survive long enough for a release that's worth ponying up for.

    Tho I suppose 7 wasn't too bad. Vista, however...

    • 7 is excellent, a true successor to XP. XP is only still around because of poor people who don't torrent or have ancient hardware, and incompetent IT departments.
      • I have perfectly capable hardware and I torrent. I also have a perfectly legitimate copy of XP and have yet to be presented with a compelling reason to upgrade to 7. When that happens, I'll upgrade, but not before. People who don't spend money on upgrades they have yet to see a need for aren't "poor", they're making rational financial decisions.
        • There's also the issue that XP works just fine. Why upgrade? You force yourself to get new faster hardware with more memory, and when you're done putting the new OS on it you discover that it doesn't run any faster than it did on the old system. It's like Office, everyone knows that the older versions are always better than the new ones; I can't recall any release of Office where there was an overall improvement. And yet some people insist on upgrading...

      • I torrent and have semi-recent hardware (would be enough for Win7 I guess). However, reinstalling Windows and then spending days if not weeks configuring and installing all the software is such a PITA that I do not want to do it without a really good reason (for example, all of my software stopping working in XP, XP no longer booting, not even if I restore from backup etc).

      • I keep XP because 7's UI is generally clumsier. Mind you, 7 does have some nice things but they aren't must-have features yet, in my opinion.

      • windows 7 is a bugfix of the performance issues in Vista.

        What bug did windows 7 fix?

        The bug that caused background services that are only supposed to run when the computer is idle (defrag, shadow volume copy, windows search, etc.) to run whenever the fuck they feel like it.

        I was google-ing "windows vista HDD light" furiously by one week into vista ownership. So were a lot of other people.
  • We are migrating to 64 bit Windows 7 this month, and if you have to stay with MS, now is the time to do it. 32 bit XP support in some apps and games is starting to slip to "also will run". SP1 is out, Vista has been passed over, and 7 is much easier to maintain and runs on what is now the cheapest hardware, AND will run some Win32 apps better than Vista, from my experience. Might as well start now, since they still are not going to add any new features or compatibilities to XP (and haven't in a while), on

  • Does this Mean XP 64Bit Edition.
    If so I am going to be pissed. There is not SP3 even yet for 64Bit XP.
    Sure some of you may hate it, But I has it's uses for Certian Software.

    • But I has it's uses for Certian Software.

      Well then the Certian's probably need to upgrade their software.

    • I thought Certian went out of business years ago...

    • by Spad ( 470073 )

      There never will be an SP3 for XP 64-bit; it's based on the Server 2003 64-bit kernel and co-opts its service packs and updates.

      My understanding is that its support ends on 08/04/2014 (UK date format, so April 2014).

    • April 2014 []
    • I went through this. If your software is 64bit and runs on XP 64, then it probably has a newer (or even the same) version that runs better on Win7 64bit. Skip Vista.

    • Officially it's the same date as regular XP. However XP64 is really Server 2003, so I'm a bit surprised it won't be supported until 2015 like the rest of the Server 2003 lineup.

      The fact that it's Server 2003 is also why there's no SP3. XP64 SP2 is its "SP3".

  • Microsoft announced back in 2007 or 2006 that Windows XP Pro would be supported until 2014. In 2007, they extended XP Home and Media Center support to 2014.

  • This is not news (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bacon Bits ( 926911 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @05:07PM (#36740524)

    This gadget was released months ago. I've had it on my Windows 7 desktop at work since May at least.

    And before all the whargarbl about MS dropping support... Windows XP was released in 2001. No consumer OS has been supported that long, and few enterprise OSs are. Since Windows 7 was released (that was 2 years ago) netbooks and low end systems have shipped with Windows 7 Starter. XP has not been sold on systems for years, and a four years of security support is not bad at all.

    Earlier the same year XP was released, Red Hat 7.1 came out. That's the first version of Red Hat to use the 2.4 kernel (7 had the 2.2 kernel). Later in 2001 they released 7.2, which as a new feature offered support for the ext3 file system. One of the major selling points of XP, you may remember, was the fact that it offered full native USB support. It's time to move on, people.

  • Only three years until XP is finally stable? That certainly is good news!
  • And if so, how? If you can't activate the software is worthless. I know lots of people running Win9X still (old games mostly, but some old software too).
    • Make sure you have a few VM images created before 2014.

    • That's a good point. I may want to re-run XP sometime in the future. I should validate now, but I suspect it won't work anyway since they'll assume this isn't the same OEM system that it used to be since I replaced too many parts. Well, at least I can still run Windows 98 or Wine.

  • I haven't needed Microsoft's support for my copy of XP for the last 10 years... why should I in the next 3?

    Um... except for that time it "forgot" its activation, and I ended up having to call some guy in India. Thanks, Microsoft.
  • by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @05:44PM (#36741190)
    I was at my bank (a big Canadian one) and the manager told me that they finally upgraded to XP. I was to stunned to ask what they upgraded from.
  • I wonder what will become of the activation process? If someone should want to reload the o/s will Microsoft still activate XP and allow it's use or will there be a published unlock?

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