Windows XP has been a spectacular success for Microsoft. Many companies avoided moving to Vista as it was such a big change. Radically different hardware requirements and massive compatibility issues, coupled with a thorough overhaul of the user interface, intersected with the global economic meltdown. The end result was that …
...the whole estate is going to 64-bit Win7 from 32-bit XP, you will need to do a pretty major re-training program.and a massive purchase of new licenses, hardware etc.* That's a big shake-up!
This would be the perfect time to take a small test group and try them out on a Linux distro (perhaps use one that can be skinned to look like XP). You'll still have training to do, but hopefully less than Win7.
The savings? Potentially: licenses, hardware, downtime etc
I am not saying it's an answer that will fix all problems, but where is the harm in trying?
*I have moved from 32-bit XP to 64-bit Win7. Win7 gives me pain (mostly poor performance) every single day. For want of a few minor features, I'd go 100% Linux in a heartbeat. The missing features are: RDP - Linux does not have a decent remote desktop server, VNC sucks; and OCS - there is no client that can fully connect (audio, video etc). Everything else is equivalent to or better than Win7.
..Core App one...Ah no Linux version
..Core App Two..Nope..
Core App Three...yes, well kinda, in a fashion.
..Core App four. Nope.
..Core App Five YES!
..Core App Six..Nope
Well that's our testing complete.
Either over ssh using SSH -X or via XDCMP is an alternative.
Pity Ubuntu / Gnome (gdm) seem to have recently made XDCMP harder to configure.
Gotta love those guys at Gnome, keep rewriting stuff and removing features, why don't they just call it windows.
It's Windows before, it's Windows now (and probably more like the version they're using at home) - where is the retraining?
Lets try Win 7 64-bit
..Core App one...No, not under Win 7
..Core App Two..Nope..not with 64-bit
Core App Three...yes, well kinda, in a fashion.
..Core App four. Nope.
..Core App Five YES!
..Core App Six..Nope
Oh well. XP it is :)
So let's see what happens under Win64:
Core 16 bit DOS app 1: Contact the vendor for an updated version
Core 16 bit DOS app 2: Contact the vendor for an updated version
Core 16 bit Windows app 3: Contact the vendor for an updated version
Core 16 bit Windows app 4: Contact the vendor for an updated version
Hang on a minute, that's our own f'ing software that won't go under this new 64-bit thingy. Back to Status Quo to avoid getting into Dire Straits :)
Over to you Bill. Once Win64 can run Win 16 (not forgetting DOS 16) apps there might be a greater takeup.
We've got about 30 Win7 machines at work...
Win 7 is nearly as big of a POS as Vista, it just has more shiny. Also it seems MS has found ways to break yet MORE apps, and who is the sick bastard who keeps 're-designing' the UI?!
Seriously, I'm pretty sure it takes about 4 times as much clicking and twice as much thought to get anything done!! You'd think MS doesn't WANT anyone to get things done with windows.
It bluescreens more than XP ever did, at least they don't take as long to boot up as Vista does.
From the perspective of our IT dept, Linux is starting to look more attractive for many functions, especially ones where functionality, stability or security is needed.
A few assumptions there.
1) Retraining users to use Linux (a whole different UI) would cost less than retraining to use Win 7.
2) That any company systems in use will both work in Linux and require little testing or alteration.
3) Any applications the company uses either have linux versions or good equivalents..
4) Retraining users to use Linux versions of Applications will not cost a lot.
Regarding point 2. This applies in Windows as well, but a windows based company system is more likely to work in a new version of Windows. I work in an Enterprise. When you are working with software and os installs that will be deployed to over 500 machines, you test extensively, and spend a lot of money doing so.
Re:Lets try Win 7 64-bit
Core app one...compatibility mode/native
Core app two...compatibility mode/native
Core app three...compatibility mode/native
Core app four...compatibility mode/native
Love 'em or loathe 'em MS did actually put some thought into Windows 7 and seem to have made it very difficult to legitimately not upgrade (providing you're a windows shop). I speak as someone working for a company that couldn't find their arsehole from a hole in the ground but are happily (and successfully) rolling out Windows 7 64-bit enterprise version.
As for those stating license cost issues I'd imagine MS would be very amenable to you moving off of XP onto 7 so the initial costs would be very accommodating.
"Either over ssh using SSH -X or via XDCMP is an alternative."
No, it is not (not for me anyway). Windows does not come with SSH or XDMCP support and I cannot insist that clients install random software. Also I find that XDMCP is a bit slow with graphical data and security is a concern as (IIRC) SSH cannot be used to fully secure the network traffic (it does encrypt UDP or something).
Because it looks and behaves radically differently. And you must remember we are talking about non-IT literate people. People who think that Google an application and don't know what the internet is.
I hear yah, my P4 Ubuntu box can boot from cold and be ready to go in less time than it takes for my much bigger Win7 box to simply log-in (never mind boot).
As for those who seem to be getting the wrong end of the stick - I am *not* saying that Linux is the perfect answer for everyone in every situation. All I am saying is that it could be for some. The shift to 64-bit Win7 is huge, especially if moving from XP (software compatibility, complete UI changes etc); so not would seem to be a good time to look at see if Linux can ease some pain. Unlike Win7, Linux can at least be "skinned" to look like XP. It's not Windows, I grant you, but to the non-IT literate the UI is a big, BIG deal. To not even look is IMHO, sheer idiocy.
What part of "I am not saying it's an answer that will fix all problems" do you not understand? As much as you may wish it to be otherwise, YOU are not the centre of the universe. What does not work for you, may work for some and vice versa.
As you clearly have nothing of value to add, perhaps it would simply be better for us all if you remained silent.
In that case I'll stay with Windows 2000 off line and XP on line.
I've been through three Linux distros in the last year and none is ready for replacing XP.
If you think otherwise then you ain't tried the same Office and Comms applications.
Just as long as you don't want to work on a MS Word .doc in Open Office, you'll be fine.
However, if you don't believe me, you are gonna have to proof read every line of every doc to make sure it ain't been mangled.
In particular look out for fucked up tables and formulae.
I am tied to OCS...
...VPN and few other things which are Windows specific. OpenOffice works well enough for me. The VPN is not such a big deal (it will be changing soon for a host of reasons) the killers are OCS (Office Communicator) and RDP (remote desktop). Nothing can interact with OCS fully (IM, audio and video). This is not the fault of Linux, but the fault of MS for applying the proprietary poison-pill; but I am still stuck regardless of fault.
VNC is not up to the job of blasting a desktop around the globe and this is the fault of the Linux community, it should have been deprecated years ago. XRDP is a friggin' joke.
I have solutions to these problems that should suit me fine (virtualisation of Windows - yes, I have the licenses) but that is not going to work for everyone.
It staggers me that for all their innovation, the distro makers let such simple things slip through the cracks. Empathy and Pidgin can (almost) work with OCS; fix them! VirutalBox OSE can act as an RDP server, why not tear the code out of that?
Still, this list of bitchy-gripes is a lot short than my gripes with Windows!
Yeah, like Word *never* gets it's own panties in a bundle over formatting...
I will agree that OpenOffice is less, err, feature rich than MS Office; but this does not mean it is a bad tool, only that it won't work for some people.
If you are one of those people, then use Office or whatever works for you.
LOL - Windows - it's much like changing from using a finger to scratch your haemorrhoids to using an entire pineapple - rough end first.
"Ooooooooooooooo JUST Gotta get that scratch on"
Pass on all Microscoff stuff - Linux it is, my nice little medicated suppository.
I Made The Switch Already
...From an XP-based machine straight to a Win7 Professional 64-bit machine. have to say I'm loving it. I did spend a lot of money on a very powerful PC (graphics and DAW), admittedly (this thing has frankly ridiculous 12GB of RAM as well as one of these: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 930 @ 2.80GHz, 2801 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s) according to my system information. It is amazingly fast and powerful compared to my old XP machine.
I haven't stumbled across very many compatibility issues at all. All my Adobe software works just fine (and now Photoshop runs in spiffing 64-bit mode - yay!) and my MIDI software, indluding VSTi plugins for 32-bit, have just about all been absolutely fine.
All in all, for me, migrating to a hugely more powerful beast has been very painless and - so far - most enjoyable. For me, Win7 feels like a very much more faster, more powerful XP. BTW, I'm running Win7 off of a dedicated 32GB SSD. I know. Even that's too small (just 7GB free). Still, I have 2TB of internal storage. Nice!
You made the switch...
...but it was from a old box small enough that XP could drive it to a machine with 12GB of RAM, more cores than XP was ever licensed for, and an SSD. You've probably gained more than an order of magnitude in raw performance on almost every common benchmark, so I'm not surprised that it feels faster, even with Win7.
A Long Time Coming
Bearing in mind 64bit hardware has been with us for years now anyone upgrading to Windows 7 should most definitely go 64, we're doing it now and haven't had any problems in so doing. While it's still not yet essential it soon will be if you consider all the new technolgies being developed today; UEFI, 3+ TB hard disks and ever increasing memory requirements mean making the change now will be more cost effective than waiting until you're pushed to do so.
Not only that but the more people who switch the more incentive there is for developers to finally moveto the world of 64bit too. The general concensus amoung our beloved code monkeys seems to be the inherent difficulty in writing much more expansive and multithreaded code, furhter uptake will bring us better tools to overcome this.
A lot longer time still to come
"UEFI, 3+ TB hard disks and ever increasing memory requirements mean making the change now will be more cost effective than waiting until you're pushed to do so"
How does that work, then? If I defer the change, I get to keep my money in the bank and the shiny toys are much cheaper in real terms next year anyway. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Once it is broke (or no longer meets your requirements) *that's* the "push" you referred to.
"The general concensus amoung our beloved code monkeys seems to be the inherent difficulty in writing much more expansive and multithreaded code"
Either you haven't understood your code monkeys or they really are monkeys. Porting to Win64 has nothing whatsoever to do with multi-threaded code. On the other hand, it will require an expensive re-write that adds no new end-user features (unlike the Win16->Win32 transition, where the 32-bit APIs had loads of new stuff you could play with) and quite probably slows the machine down. (To a first approximation, going from 32 to 64-bit halves the effective size of your memory sub-system, unless you are doing heavy numerical work, in which case you are probably already running on 64-bit Linux.)
There is no business case for porting 99% of native mode apps.
64 bit *can* be an issue.
If you're lucky enough to be rolling out new hardware, it's likely the PC vendor is going to supply Win7 64bit drivers too.
However, if you're upgrading the OS on existing hardware, good luck with that. And don't bet that Microsoft will "magically" have those drivers too - you REALLY need to do some homework first.
Let alone card and peripherals without 64bit support. Again, good luck with that.
All the hardware I have at home, and what I use at work are all 64bit capable, but I'm still running 32bit simply for this reason. Till the vendors pull their thumbs out and start writing drivers for the 64 OS we're ALL going to be running in the near future, I'm staying where I am thanks.
Maybe Vista had to happen ?
It's worth bearing in mind that even if Vista had been a success, it would still have had issues with rollout, as the look and feel was too different.
Windows 7 isn't perfect, it still has issues with Wireless routers due to IPv6 being enabled by default, and the uPnP flooding caused by Media Centre.
People are afraid of change, but when the need is there, issues can be worked around (upgrade router, disable IPv6 temporarily, disable uPnP on the router). There was no need to move to Vista as XP was still pretty fresh, now XP is starting to look pretty long in the tooth, and it's time to move on.
tell me more...
'uPnP flooding caused by Media Centre' - can you post a link or two about this? Interwebs are unresponsive to my cursory searching.
I am rolling out 7-x64 to all of my managed sites with little issue. Legacy software which has refused to run operates just fine in XP Mode, and the integration makes the users happy as well. I have to say Microsoft did a really good job with this.
My biggest issue is Microsoft's middle finger to all those who did not "upgrade" to Vista. By not providing an upgrade path directly from XP to 7, it has made the chore a major PITA for upgrading the OS. In most of my cases we are moving to new hardware, anyway, so the only migration we worry about is profile (USMT works wonders for this) and software installation. In all, it is a great opportunity to flush out old software installations which may be stale or illegitimate.
Second issue is drivers. While Microsoft has required both 32- and 64-bit drivers for WHQL qualifications, not all 64-bit drivers are sane. Printer drivers have been the absolutely worst for me in a couple of situations, especially when trying to network to Server 2003 print services. Take the server out of the picture, and even direct printing to a network printer can be sporadic.
For myself, I have been using XP x64 Edition for a couple of years now, and me likey. The primary issue holding me back for myself will be to reload all of my programs and data, and that I absolutely abhor and despise the Vista user interface. It is not just about being different than what we have been using for over a decade, but having to navigate a phone tree to get to "advanced" system options.
For all the benefits it provides, 64-bit is IMNSHO definitely the way to go. I feel we should have been here many many years ago.
Paris, doing everything the same way for over a decade.
> not all 64-bit drivers are sane. Printer drivers have been the
> absolutely worst for me in a couple of situations, especially
> when trying to network to Server 2003 print services.
No Windows 7 Canon printer can be shared from Server 2003 to Win 7/64, unless you personally modify the printer drivers on Server 2003 (making them unsigned). You can't fix the Win7/64 drivers, because Win7/64 requires signed drivers.
Canon Printers blamed MS for this, (although the only problem is the re-naming of the printers) but who-ever the fault belongs with, Canon categorically refused to support shared printers. From Server 2003 or any platform. As:
"Do you have a printer than can be shared?"
"You should use a networked printer"
PS, the Pentium Pro was 64-bit capable, and that was 1995 - rather more than the "half decade" associated with the "hidden advantage" in this article.
Your PS is complete cobblers.
The Pentium Pro was not in any way a 64bit processor.
It had 64/80 bit Floating Point, but that is nothing to do with the process address space that can be used.
With the right chip set some could have more than 4GB of physical memory, but that was effectively paged in using special extensions in the OS, this was similar to the flipping of 64KB memory regions on the 16bit machines, but at no time could a process see more than a 32bit address space.
If you think the Pentium Pro was 64bit, using the similar logic I could claim the VAX 11/780 (1977) was a 128bit machine as it had both FP and Integer instructions for manipulating 16byte structures.
The VAX was 32bit, and so was the Pentium Pro.
i made the swicth a long time ago
from 32bit xp, to xp x64. which was pretty painless. There was no end user difference at all, only a few bits and pieces around drivers. If a company needed it, they could have switched with no user re-training.
The only difference between xp, vista 64bit versions and widows 7, is that you don't have to buy them separately!
Warning: May contain traces of nuts
There was a 64 bit version of NT4.0
Most ordinary people don't need 64bit windows. It's less efficient.
XP support possibly till 2020
Ubuntu is a more interesting upgrade for XP users than Win7 unless your PC is an expensive game console.
I know one guy with XP + 1G RAM for real work and 8G RAM and 64bit Win7 solely for games.
But we're talking *enterprise* here.
"Ubuntu is a more interesting upgrade for XP users than Win7 unless your PC is an expensive game console.". But this isn't about being interesting it's about getting your work done.
If you run an enterprise estate based on MS technology you *have to* upgrade from XP soon or you'll run into support and possibly even regulatory problems. That means going to Windows 7, if you're replacing your PC estate, and so it makes sense to go 64bit so that, in five years time when you're still on the same hardware, you'll be able to whack 4GB or more RAM in if needed to get a bit more time out of your kit.
I keep seeing this "Most ordinary people don't need 64bit windows. It's less efficient." in relation to Linux as well -- but I'm not sure I've seen any figures to back it up. Though I'll admit I found it odd that the article suggests 64bit is *more* efficient.
XP support will not run until 2020
It goes out of support in 2014, and no business will (should) take that risk.
Been a decent run for an OS that shipped in 2001
Don't upgrade. Only buy new Laptop.
Old laptop couldn't handle company-mandated McAfee crap (CPU pegged out at 100% every couple of minutes). Boss authorized a new laptop, which came with company-standard XP. I trashed that straight off, put Windows 7 64-bit on it. No problems so far, much better experience than Vista.
Linux? Sure, when it's useful. My home desktop triple-boots XP, Debian and OpenSolaris, my home server runs OpenSlug, my office desktop/server runs Solaris (I develop on Solaris). There's no point in being dogmatic about any one OS, any more than there is being dogmatic about any one programming language. Use the one that's appropriate.
Ah the race, I remember it well!
I have to have a faster machine 'cos the O/S needs it. I have to have the latest O/S, cos the hardware is too new for the older O/S I did like.
I stepped out of the home PC arms race and got a life with some real hobbies outside in the fresh air. I now make do with a 2 year old machine that still chugs along and will be replaced when it croaks out it's final death rattle.
Don't get me wrong, if you have need for a powerhouse to get something useful done like computing huge prime numbers or some serious CAD work, go for it, but just for bragging rights and signatures on some forum full of other saddos, no thanks. Need to answer a few mails, look up the local Sainbury's opening times and play the odd game? I have a ASUS notebook dohickey for that.
Any OS you like, as long as its Window 7
"Windows 7 has had a very positive reception, and it has quickly become the operating system (OS) of choice for consumer and SMB PCs"
As in the Hobson's choice of "Buy a PC with Windows 7 pre-installed" or "Don't buy a PC"?
Yes I know you can mail-order or build a bespoke PC with an alternative OS if you really want. What you can't do is walk into PC World, Tesco or any other High Street seller of branded PCs and buy a one that has an alternative OS (or no OS at all) pre-installed. As that's how the majority of consumers buy a computer, it's stretching the truth to say they chose to buy Windows 7 when it is the only option.
so rather than give Microsoft any credit for being the customer's choice...
you'd rather stretch the truth by saying Windows 7 is the "only option"
Which is an accidental compliment to M$ and an accidental insult to Apple as it infers that a Mac isn't substitutable for a Win7 offering, or that for some other reason isn't a viable alternative to consumers. Why wouldn't it be?
Yes, it's Hobson's choice...Mao Microsoft or Stalin Apple.
Good to know not to be the mayority of the consumers
I will not buy a next PC, I will buy:
Motherboard, CPU+cooler, Graphics-card, RAM, drives, power supply, case.
If I will use Win 7, I will buy the cheapest 64 bit
System-Builder version (when possible US english -> GAMES!)
(in ordinary brown box) for gaming only.
I slowly change to Linux mint 9 (gnome) for the rest.
(* first version with my upgraded PC originally from 2001/2002.)
Windows 7 is the only Windows option
If that Mac runs all your apps, that's great. But I think the focus of the present discussion is a corporate environment where all the apps are Windows apps and hardly any of them have Mac variants even if you have no budgetary constraints.
For the purpose of this argument I'm treating PCs and Macs as different, in much the same way that Apple did in their advertising. So for the purpose of this discussion, Windows 7 IS the only option as you cannot buy a branded PC from a High Street store with any other version of Windows installed.
I'm not suggesting that companies are not within their rights to only sell the latest version of their product. I am saying it is stretching the truth to claim the new product "has quickly become the <product> of choice" when the old one is no longer available.
Ha ! The only time I tried to upgrade a PC to Windows 7 the boot sector of the disks were a problem as the motherboard/CMOS/whatever didn't like them ! Immediate fail on M$ part. When the data was copied and a bootable disk made, the PC/processor couldn't take 64 bit anyway. If you have XP, stick with it for now. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Your attempt at installing a 64bit o/s on a 32bit computer? That's Microsoft's fault?
Not think of doing some h/w first?
From the success stories
I might see about Windows 7 when I build a new box. Seems like it's come along quite nicely
Windows 7 64 Bit Ultimate
I upgraded my old quad core to Win 7 when it first became available through the MSDN subscription. After a couple minor upgrades ( more and better drives and memory ) , it's much faster and more stable than my xp installation was, and allows me to run multiple concurrent virtual machines under virtualbox.
Q9550 with 12Gig, a pair of striped 15k drives for onboard 300GB of storage, with ~20 TB of NAS connected storage on my home network.. I literally can do everything I want from one machine.
I have to say I haven't enjoyed a windows upgrade this much in a decade or so.
So, your new Win7 is "much faster and more stable" once you did a few simple things. Nothing big. Just added loads more RAM and a pair of 15k drives. No big change compared to the old XP system I'm sure....
Also, the biggest thing I've seen is "just use XP Mode" for those "legacy" programs. It will work fine! Well, not in this case: "and allows me to run multiple concurrent virtual machines under virtualbox." Sorry, XP Mode is Virtual PC with a shiney wrapper, and guess what? Virtual PC doesn't release hardware locks properly and thus, doesn't play well with other VMs. I ran into this problem on my Win7x64 system at work. Have a couple legacy apps, so I opted to try XP Mode. Boot up the legacy app and VMWare crashed. Haven't tried on Virtualbox since the VMs are already built in VMWare. Back to using legacy apps in an RDP session. :( And no, the legacy apps won't work in compatability mode. One in particular uses some 32-bit DLL for image handling...
1000's of programs
When you have 1000's of programs, the first thing which stands out about win 7 is the HORRID interface. Yeah I know there's classic menu now. There's a ton of things I can spend time "learning about" instead of actually "producing and getting work done"
And as far as "faster"
I'm not convinced. Yet I can't prove anything.
However if it works for you, great.
I use netbsd, linux, win 7 and XP - Tried migrating to win 7 64 bit and it was a MISERABLE FAIL, but I have a cloned backup, so no problem.
Win 7 / 64bit's good for grandma just like ubuntu is. BOTH work equally wonderful for grandma.
One is oligarchy priced into off the shelf computers, the other is a Download.
PS, even the bug reporting tool doesn't work under Mandriva, it keeps crashing, what a laugh !
Your granny must have a BSc in computing then.
I thought of putting my 84 year old father onto Linux after Win 2000 became NOTsecurable.
However, considering the amount of programs he uses and the amount of confusion this would cause him, I'll just monitor the Win 2000 a bit tighter. He does no banking, shopping, facebook or anything other than eMail and Solitaire.
The same goes for my other clients who are past 60.
Why cause them a problem they can't live with.
It wouldn't do my business any good at all.
You have a business - people pay you !?
My experience is that anybody can use a Linux installation that's been set-up for them. Age doesn't come into it.
I use XP x64 Edition
Works fine ... except for my Canon LIDE scanner, which has no 64-bit drivers available (on any Windows version, so I'd be just as screwed as if I opted for Windows 7).
But then I might just treat myself to an Epson GT-2500 Plus before I have to submit my German tax return...