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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP 641

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Nearly every longtime Windows user looks back on Windows XP with a certain fondness, but the party's over according to Microsoft. 'It's time to move on,' says Tom Murphy, Microsoft's director of communications for Windows. 'XP was designed for a different era.' But Ian Paul writes in PC World that many people around the world refuse to give up on XP. But why? What's so great about an operating system that was invented before the age of Dropbox and Facebook, an OS that's almost as old as the original Google search engine? Bob Appel, a retiree based in Toronto, says he uses 12 PCs in a personal Dropbox-like network—10 of which are running XP. 'I use a third-party firewall, a free virus checker, and run Housecall periodically,' says Appel. 'My Firefox browser uses Keyscrambler, HTTPS Anywhere, Ghostery, and Disconnect. I also have a VPN account (PIA) when traveling. For suspicious email attachments, I deploy private proprietary bioware (me!) to analyze before opening. All the "experts" say I am crazy. Thing is, I stopped the security updates in XP years ago after a bad update trashed my system, and yet I have never been infected, although online for hours each day. So, crazy though I be, I am sticking with XP.'" (Read more, below.)
More from Pickens: "Mike Merritt uses an XP PC to run his online business in rural Ontario and cites Outlook Express as one of his major reasons for sticking with XP. The once-popular email client isn't available with Windows 7 or 8.1, and for Merritt, alternatives such as Thunderbird or webmail clients like are a non-starter. 'Webmails have a slower load time than a desktop app like Outlook Express and they would have their own learning curve and modification to my current workflow,' says Merritt. 'The upgrade path for me would require replacing a bunch of things that work just fine as far as I'm concerned.'

The same day that Windows XP reaches its end of support on April 8, Microsoft will roll out a major update to Windows 8.1 that will make it easier for traditional desktop users and the company recently announced that the Start menu will return to Windows sometime in the coming months. Mike Eldridge says that since his computer is currently on its last legs, he's going to cross his fingers and hope for the best until it finally dies. 'I am worried about security threats, but I'd rather have my identity stolen than put up with Windows 8.'"
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

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  • VirtualBox (Score:5, Interesting)

    by taiwanjohn ( 103839 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @08:47AM (#46692791)

    I still have an XP installation running in a vbox, just because it's easier than trying to get SlingBox to run under wine.

  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @08:51AM (#46692815) Homepage
    Software doesn't wear out. I'm still running XP on an old desktop in my basement. It works fine for what I need it for. Upgrading to a new version of Windows would cost more than what the machine is worth, and I'm reasonably sure that all the hardware wouldn't have proper drivers because the machine is so old. I have no problem getting Windows 8.1 (or whatever the current version is) when I replace the computer, but there's nothing wrong with the machine right now. It's behind a router with NAT turned on, so there's little chance of attack from the outside, and I can still use updated versions of Firefox or Chrome for browsing the web, so there's not many security problems there.
  • by sandytaru ( 1158959 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @09:07AM (#46692951) Journal
    The hardware eventually will, though. As long as you've taken reasonable backup precautions you'll be fine, but the average user out there isn't running a good antivirus, let alone a weekly backup of personal files.

    I'm not worried about the folks on Slashdot. I'm worried about the Maaco shop up the road, which had an XP computer the last I checked. I'm worried about my husband's aunt and the photos of her grandkids. I'm worried about the ATM in the gas station.
  • That's just wasteful. At least while doing things in the Cloud, there are efficiencies of shared resources.

    I have my own cloud. My home network of machines have had Wake On Lan support since the 90's. When I get updates, I download the data ONCE than mirrors it to the others internally.

    You can run a computer efficiently or not, just as you can run a cloud efficiently or not.

    IMO, that we do not have OSs inherently focused on decentralization and interoperability is the primary reason both "upgrades" and management of our multi-device lives is needlessly painful.

  • by VortexCortex ( 1117377 ) <VortexCortex AT ... trograde DOT com> on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @09:15AM (#46693025)

    Everyone running old specfialized hardware which is not compatible with windows 7 or later feel the pain of the XP end of life.

    That is not the pain of XP EoL, it is the self inflicted torture by those who refuse to use free and open source software.

    It is a shame, but I have no sympathy for those who embrace planned obsolescence. []

  • I loved WinXP (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Ozoner ( 1406169 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @09:17AM (#46693035)

    I've been with Windows since the start and ended up loving WinXP.
    I was forced to move on to Win7 64 bit for the extra memory, but after a couple of years I still hate it.

    It's just so full of irritating little bugs which catch me out every day. And M/S shows no interest in fixing them.
    I swear I'll never buy another M/S product.

    If only Linux wasn't worse.

  • Re:Good for you. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by pla ( 258480 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @09:24AM (#46693115) Journal
    and yet his efforts will probably stop 99.9% of the crap that affects "modern" Windows versions with their clueless users.

    99% of the crap that affects "modern" versions of windows makes use of bugs that date back to the days of XP and older. And as these long-standing bugs get discovered and patched, effectively the very act of MS releasing a patch will serve as an advertisement to the world of malware about the existence of a new XP exploit that will never get closed.

    Continuing to use XP for any box either connected to the network or publicly-accessible (ie, kiosks) at this point amounts to begging the world to hack you - Nothing short of willful negligence.
  • Re:Good for you. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Wycliffe ( 116160 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @09:31AM (#46693187) Homepage

    My father in law runs windows 98SE. He says he doesn't have problems with viruses anymore
    as all the viruses are written for the newer systems. It's not worth people's time to infect an OS
    with a small userbase.

  • by wolfguru ( 913659 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @09:48AM (#46693387)
    There are systems and processes that we run on a 24x7 basis on equipment that was built when NT was current, for which XP has been the final upgrade. The company is unlikely to replace a 25 million dollar machine so that its controllers can be front-ended with Windows 7 or anything of the kind, given that it still does half a million dollars worth of work for us a day. Some of the specialized software to drive the components and controllers is still 16 bit, and nothing beyond XP supports it. I've heard all the well meaning advice, and the folks that betray their lack of experience and understanding by declaring that we should have made these changes ages ago - the costs of designing new controllers for systems that were designed and built in the late 80's is prohibitive and the expertise and understanding of the processes necessary to replicate is for the most part lost to the ravages of time. Maintaining the most stable alternative is the only choice many companies have. I don't see the exceptions as to running desktop configurations like the one described as essential- there are current alternatives and it is only personal preference that keep people using systems like that; the desktop environment has progressed and there is little reason to stay behind. The control and process environment however, will probably keep XP running well into the 30's just because there are no solid, universally supported alternatives to running 16 bit systems for essential processes.
  • Re:Viva La XP! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Cro Magnon ( 467622 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @10:22AM (#46693781) Homepage Journal

    I just recently got "upgraded" to W7 at work, and while it certainly sux less than W8, and has good things compared to XP, on "look and feel" I really preferred XP.

  • Re:Viva La XP! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kremmy ( 793693 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2014 @01:37PM (#46696003)
    Except it really does.
    XP is more than capable enough for real world computing usage. I hate to admit it, but it's become kind of a shining example of how derelict this upgrade cycle is.
    Vista Capable marked the point where computers outperformed the needs of the operating system and the applications, in a huge way. It was bad enough that Vista never grew out of the reputation. Windows 7, while more efficient, still suffers the same issues if you limit its RAM to 1GB. That sounds reasonable coming from the perspective of using Windows 7 as a base point, but it's completely unreasonable when you take into account the fact that you can run 99% of the same software on a system that takes a fraction of the resources. The security issue is a real and nasty one, it's fact that you can attach an un-patched Windows XP computer to the internet raw and it won't last long enough to perform the updates. But that risk disappears when you add even the most basic NAT router to the mix. Every attack vector beyond the remote service exploits requires enough user interaction to DISAPPEAR if not for the human element of people throwing in all kinds of untrusted crap and pretending like their problem doesn't exist.

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer