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Windows Microsoft Operating Systems

What's Keeping You On XP? 879

Hugh Pickens writes "PC World reports that Windows XP lost more than 11 percent of its share from September to December 2011, to post a December average of 46.5 percent, a new low for the aged OS as users have gotten Microsoft's message that the operating system should be retired. Figures indicate that Windows 7 will become the most widely used version in April, several months earlier than previous estimates. Two months ago, as Microsoft quietly celebrated the 10th anniversary of XP's retail launch, the company touted the motto 'Standing still is falling behind' to promote Windows 7 and demote XP. In July, Microsoft told customers it was 'time to move on' from XP, reminding everyone that the OS would exit all support in April 2014. Before that, the Internet Explorer team had dismissed XP as the 'lowest common denominator' when they explained why it wouldn't run IE9. The deadline for ditching Windows XP is in April 2014, when Microsoft stops patching the operating system. 'Enterprises don't want to run an OS when there's no security fixes,' says Michael Silver, an analyst with Gartner Research rejecting the idea that Microsoft would extend the end-of-life date for Windows XP to please the 10% who have no plans to leave the OS. 'The longer they let them run XP, the more enterprises will slow down their migration.'"
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What's Keeping You On XP?

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  • Nothing (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:48PM (#38576552)

    This is a troll article. Using a decade old OS and going on about problems it has today is typical discussion for the stagnated slashdot.

  • Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:49PM (#38576562)

    Cheap PCs run XP.

  • It still works. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:50PM (#38576578) Homepage

    If it ain't broke, why fix it? It's not like I'm running a nuclear reactor at home on my XP box.

  • Re:It still works. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:51PM (#38576624)

    As Steve Jobs once said, "It just works."

  • Re:MS (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:52PM (#38576638)

    You know you can continue using XP even after the security patches cease right? I haven't upgraded my XP after SP1

  • Re:MS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Synerg1y ( 2169962 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:56PM (#38576738)

    Not acceptable for any business environment, how'd you feel if I was processing your SSN off that xp sp1 box?

  • Cost (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zaphod The 42nd ( 1205578 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:56PM (#38576744)
    Paying $100+ for Windows seems like even more of a ripoff when I've got to buy it again every 2 years.
    I bought this software, its mine, and I'll use it, thank you very much.

    If only more of the software industry would target linux and mac, we could get away from having to pay an arm and a leg to Redmond every few years.

    Dunno about you guys, but I don't exactly have a ton of free cash to spend.
  • by ElmoGonzo ( 627753 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:58PM (#38576814)
    It may have escaped PC World's notice (not like THAT ever happened before) but there are some applications and drivers that will not install on any of MS's newer OS's and that so-called XP Compatibility mode isn't. And if those applications need to be supported then XP is what you use. Maybe you hide it in a VM that is running on a newer version of Windows but chances are that you'll do like me and keep that XP machine running and wish you never got sucked into the Microsoft maelstrom.
  • Ya what dicks! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:00PM (#38576846)

    They are only willing to support their product for 13 years! How dare they demand that users move to new technology once a decade to maintain support!

    Please, come off it. MS has a plenty lengthy support cycle. They support all their OSes for 10 years from release minimum. XP has been extended 3 years past that. That is quite reasonable.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:00PM (#38576860)
    When TweakUI [] went away for Win7, I got annoyed. Doubly so now that files and paths in the Win7 explorer are filled with space-wasting "breadcrumbs". Triply so now that (in Win7) I can't just say "Control Panel > Foo > Bar", but have to memorize some sort of unique name for each applet in order to access it quickly. The web-appification of control panel in Win7 doesn't add much to the annoyance of performing administrative tasks, but it hugely complicates the documentation of administrative tasks.

    At least with focus-follows-mouse, there's a X-mouse [] workaround involving a couple of registry edits, but I'm dreading Win8.

    Every time Windows "evolves", I'm forced to add another 10-15 minutes to undo the latest round of dumbing-down.

  • Re:MS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:04PM (#38576934)
    And they say that the Desktop isn't dying.
    I have a 5 year old Mac Book Pro, and I don't have any needs to upgrade that as well. I think we are seeing the end of the desktop, because people are no longer feeling the need to upgrade. Go back 10-15 years ago. Every 2-4 years we felt that we needed to upgrade our PC, and when we upgraded we felt the difference.
    Floppy to CD to CDR to DVD to DVDR. 512k to 1 meg to 4 meg to 32 meg to 128 meg to 1 gig to 3 gigs of ram.
    CGA (4 colors 320x200) VGA (256 colors 320x200), SVGA, 3d cards...
    When we upgraded every 2-4 years we got something new and cool. Today an upgrade doesn't give us the same bang anymore. So we hold off and wait longer between upgrades with perfectly usable Computers that are getting much older however still function well and runs modern software.

    We are now looking at Tables and our Phones and using them more and more compared to our PCs or Laptops. Every new version adds a bit more of a wow factor and entices people go upgrade and get the new one.
  • by jsnipy ( 913480 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:04PM (#38576936) Journal
    (good) 64 bit support
  • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:09PM (#38577020) Homepage

    I still use WinXP and I expect to continue using it for quite some time to come. It's the operating system that the TabletPC slate I use for drawing runs on, and it does everything I need it to do: load my graphics application, provide storage and TCP/IP services to that app, and support drivers for the stylus and other input devices on it. I could upgrade it to Windows 7... but would gain absolutely nothing from doing so. The OS serves quite nicely as an operating system for the device, and that's all I ask of it. By the time the security updates from Redmond stop, WXP should be such a niche OS that the minimal exposure that this device has, should be a tiny risk.

  • Re:It still works. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:12PM (#38577076)
    Betcha that a lot of reactors are still running Windows 2K or NT servers. OS upgrades tend to move very slowly in isolated automation/SCADA systems.
  • Re:Ya what dicks! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:12PM (#38577080)

    You do realize that MS was selling new licenses for most of that time, right? Additionally, MS doesn't give support for free, most of the time you have to either go through the OEM or pay MS to provide it. The cost of them providing patches to all the XP users isn't significantly higher than providing them only to people that have bought in the last X months. Developing the patches is the cost there.

  • Re:It still works. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:13PM (#38577104)
    I.T. is a means of solving problems, it's not a religion. If it works well for the purpose, no need to upgrade. If it doesn't, then move on.
  • windows xp (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:16PM (#38577132)

    Ok, here's the rundown as I have managed to wring out of friends and family that cling to XP.

    1) it came on the computer they currently have, and works fine on that hardware.

    2) they are familiar with it, and it does what they expect it to.

    3) they don't want to buy new hardware when the hardware they have suits their needs already, (when running xp)

    4) microsoft has switched around how the user interface works, so that now it treats you like you don't own the box. This causes issues for users who just want to make the printer they got for christmas work. Clicking OK on 3 or more scary "let this program make administrative changes?" Dialogs and other "scary" popups are not enjoyable to users, who really don't understand the significance of what the windows really mean, and who don't have an alternative to the "untrusted" 3rd party driver CD that came with the printer anyway. Windows 7 does this "less" than windows vista, which complained when you wanted to run solitare, but this is simply users chosing the lesser of two evils. They prefer the simplicity and nonverbose output of xp.

    5) fewer and fewer people buy computers to play video games these days, given the rise of modern console games with online multiplayer, and the reduced hassles of competing against people with better rigs. There is much less incentive to continue driving the forced upgrade cycle, so users try to get more equity out of already owned assets, like older hardware. Let's face it, unless you turn on 3d return of clippy or some other horseshit, you don't need an i7 to print resumes or make greeting cards. You don't need gobs of resources to play mp3s while you clean your house, facebook and farmville don't need epic leetness, etc. An old windows xp era rig can do all those things just fine, and users know this. Thus, windows xp satisfies most of their needs for a general purpose computing environment.

    The few issues that crop up appear to be (and are) totally contrived to continue monetizing the computing market. Driver support for devices, for instance. Unless it is some radical new slot architecture or something, there is little to make xp insufficient for a driver, especially when you are pushing a crapware consumer peripheral device like a printer or scanner, which usually use unidrv.dll for 99% of the functionality anyway. Other than drivers, you have security fixes, updates, and browsers. Browser makers don't like to support "legacy" OSes because they usually represent the dreaded "low end hardware", which forces them to make efficient code instead of quickly produced code; the impetus of which is purely due to makerting forces in the vast majority of cases. Feature creep causes a software product to require more and more resources to satisfy more and more edge case uses, which would be better satisfied with optional plugins run in sandboxed processes. Remember: "newer isn't always better." when users feel financially pinched, they stop chasing the shiny.

  • Re:Ya what dicks! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:17PM (#38577162)

    Please, come off it. MS has a plenty lengthy support cycle. They support all their OSes for 10 years from release minimum. XP has been extended 3 years past that. That is quite reasonable.

    No thanks. It still works. Linux has been the same for that long. Something about a continuous upgrade cycle... rather than only releasing an upgrade every, uhh... ten years. And there's any number of products that are still supported decades after their release because they still work. See also: Most mainframes.

    So no, time since release is not a determinant.

  • Re:Nothing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:17PM (#38577168) Homepage Journal
    Actually..not really a troll.

    Many business I know of are still using XP on their desktops. I guess often due to specially written apps, or just that the mandate to change has not yet come from upon high.

    Heck..on on project I know personally about...federal one....everyone is on XP. Until they upgrade the workstations/laptops, no one on that team is going to be moving from XP to Win7....I'm not 100% sure that the move has been sanction for the whole system in this rather large Federal department.

    And you don't go updating these computers yourself....

  • So it's Microsoft's fault that HP hasn't released a Win7 driver for your old discontinued printer? Yes, I know it's an expensive multi-function copier, but MS radically changed how drivers work in Vista/Win7, which has made the systems far more secure and better for the future.

    Blaming MS in this case is like the people who blame Apple because the newest version of OSX won't run their 6-year-old version of Quickbooks anymore.

  • Re:MS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pla ( 258480 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:26PM (#38577354) Journal
    Not acceptable for any business environment, how'd you feel if I was processing your SSN off that xp sp1 box?

    Since you'll just paste them, along with a variety of other personally identifying information, into an unencrypted spreadsheet which you then email to your various regional offices, I don't really care what OS you run on your desktop PC. Attackers will take advantage of the easiest way to get what they want - And I don't care if you still run Windows ME for all it matters, because "YOU are the weakest link" (or rather, humans in general, not you in particular).

    To answer the original question, though, I still run XP (SP3, at least) on some of my machines for the same reason I run any OS - It works well and runs everything I want it to. Tell me what Win7 does for me* that XP can't, and we can have a more meaningful discussion; but as phrased, the FP amounts to a trolling question. He may as well have asked what keeps us all from using Beos.

    And that 11% drop? We call that "Christmas" here in the US, and you just can't buy a new machine with XP anymore.

    * And for the record, I DO have two machines running Win7, for precisely the one thing it does that XP doesn't (at least, not well) - 64 bit support. Not all that impressed, otherwise, and outright annoyed by most of the "improvements" to Windows Explorer.
  • Re:It still works. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nman64 ( 912054 ) * on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:30PM (#38577444) Homepage

    Your car doesn't hold 5 years of email history, and nor does your shirt. If the hard drive in your old computer dies, you may lose files you want to keep, such as your email history. If you aren't staying up with changing platforms, then it will become increasingly difficult to keep your things safe and usable on current technology. If you still had your email on a Windows 98 machine, your computer started to fail and you wanted to switch to a computer running Windows 7, you might find it quite a challenge to get that mail moved over. You'd also have a lot of other major changes to deal with. It will typically be easier to stay current than to make the leaps and bounds across more than a decade of changes.

  • Re:Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Truekaiser ( 724672 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:32PM (#38577482)

    and two weeks later the psu blows killing the pc.. never skimp on a power supply.

  • Re:Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stoutlimb ( 143245 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:43PM (#38577644)

    Considering Windows 7 Ultimate costs more than the PC you built, my guess is you installed Windows 7 Pirate Bay Edition.

  • Re:It still works. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cro Magnon ( 467622 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @06:01PM (#38577964) Homepage Journal

    Which does not reassure me on nuclear safety!

  • Re:Nothing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @06:02PM (#38577986)

    I work for a relatively small business. We have industrial processes (computer controlled valves, conveyors, etc) which are run by third party software. This third party software runs on XP and will not be changing any time soon.

    Nobody in our business gives a flying f*ck about anything other than the ability to make sure that the product mix is correct, and barely ten percent of the company uses a computer at all. Our accounting program is dos-based from around 1993 IIRC. None of the company owners or managers can even use email.

    We have recently had to switch computer providers to an even sketchier company because the guy we used to use gave up on us.

    I wonder how many of these companies are out there..

  • Re:Nothing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @06:14PM (#38578236)

    So you're offering to pay for the upgrade for all the Win7 licenses? Sweet!

    There are ONLY _three_ reasons to ever upgrade an OS:

    - Security / Bug-fixes
    - Drivers
    - Features

    WinXP is "good enough" for the average Joe. Things "just work" -- with Win7 there is no guarantee that everything will _still_ work and won't find something broken.

    If Microsoft didn't charge and arm and a leg, and another leg, say $20 for Win7, they would encourage people to upgrade. For $100 (minimum OEM Win7) there is just not enough incentive to upgrade.

    If MS was smart they would sell the dam XP cd-key for $20, but gouging customers for essentially what amounts to bug-fixes is there any wonder the majority of business (and home users) go Fuck You MS ?!?!

  • Re:Nothing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eyegone ( 644831 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @06:15PM (#38578260)
    ... and the development team I work in hasn't been asked to test any of the software we support on windows 7.

    This attitude is what's keeping people on XP. $DIETY forbid that you test your application on an slightly recent OS; that would be work, after all.
  • by DeadCatX2 ( 950953 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @06:23PM (#38578398) Journal

    Well, the driver support is pretty terrible for 64-bit XP.

    Aside from that, 64-bit Vista/7 support the Kernel Mode Code Signing Policy. This means that it is practically impossible to get a rootkit, because kernel-mode binaries must have strong signatures embedded directly inside them to prevent tampering.

    You should see the hoops that malware authors must jump through in order to circumvent KMCSP. It's insane, there's only two rootkits that I know of which get around it, neither of which directly attack KMCSP but instead try to work around it by e.g. infecting the MBR with malware that hooks the boot process and loads the infected driver before KMCSP is in effect.

    Even if you don't need >4GB memory...even if you don't need 64-bit application support...the KMCSP is a Good Thing that makes infecting your system much more difficult.

  • Re:Nothing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Captain Hook ( 923766 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @06:24PM (#38578412)
    Whats keeping people on XP is that it's good enough for what they need an OS to do (both from a user and a developer point of view), nothing in the more recent OS's is a compelling reason to upgrade.

    If it weren't for the looming end of life I don't think a lot of people would upgrade at all.
  • Re:Nothing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @06:32PM (#38578540) Homepage

    If it weren't for the looming end of life I don't think a lot of people would upgrade at all.

    Microsoft could probably make more money selling yearly extended support contracts for XP than it could selling Win7 upgrades.
    Upgrading an OS costs a company much more than just the license fees the OS vendor would get.
    For every $1 MS would ask as one-time upgrade fee, they could charge $2 for a single year of XP support per license.

  • Re:Nothing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wiedzmin ( 1269816 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @08:48PM (#38580176)
    Easy. Cost of upgrading to Windows 7 vs benefit it brings. XP does everything I need it to do at home (Netflix, Gmail, Slashdot); and at work (Office, LiveMeeting, Telnet, Photoshop, AutoCAD, etc). Why would I bother upgrading if there is no real driver to do so? What, the viruses? That's what antivirus, firewalls, NoScript and common sense are for. So I got hit by one 0-day worm in last 10 years, really does not justify the thousand bucks to upgrade each system for either me or my company, especially since it's not like there isn't going to be any more 0-days on Windows 7. In fact, you are more likely to see a 0-day on a newer OS...
  • Re:Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @12:12AM (#38581632) Journal

    This is where Ballmer fucked up IMHO as I saw a LOT of people jump on board Win 7 when they had the $50 HP and $110 family packs but when that ended so did adoption.

    Lets be honest folks, for the vast majority even those late model P4s and early athlon X2s and Pentium Ds are more than "good enough' for what they are doing. i can tell you the vast majority of my customers are surfing, webmail, IM, the closest they come to heavy lifting is burning a CD or maybe getting red eye out a picture, oooohhh boy that takes a lot of horsepower. so why should they shell out a minimum of $100 for a new OS or closer to $400 for a new PC? What do they gain?

    Finally there are plenty of machines that run just fine on XP but that would need significant upgrades to run Win 7 comfortably. My netbox is a 1.8Ghz Sempron with 1.5Gb of RAM and an old Nvidia 32Mb card. On XP that makes a great little box for downloading and surfing, quiet as can be and generates almost no heat. To upgrade that machine to Win 7 not only would I be out the cost of the OS but I'd need a new motherboard, CPU, and RAM because socket 754 chips cost more than they are worth and i think the biggest you can get anyway for that socket is a 2.2GHz single core, not worth spending the money on. so why would i upgrade? it does its job and my gaming PC has Win 7 for all the Dx11 gaming goodness, so an upgrade would make ZERO sense for that unit. Instead later on in the year once i've upgraded both boy's PCs I'll use one of their old Pentium Ds as a base for a new box. no hurry though, XP still works fine where it is.

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_