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back to article MS to WinXP diehards: Just under 3 more years' support

Microsoft continued its campaign yesterday to convince stuck-in-the-mud Windows XP customers to upgrade to Windows 7, the company's current operating system. Windows XP is now 10 years old, and for some, it's still going strong. So Microsoft has reminded those users that support for the OS that refuses to die will end in less …

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Seems reasonable.

Win7 /is/ better than WinXP. It's not perfect (what version of Windows ever was) but it's a more than capable replacement.

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Re: Seems reasonable

I wouldn't say that Windows 7 (or rather 6.1) is awful, it is adequate, but I wouldn't say that I come close to XP or win2k (basically the same OS). I used the latter until I was forced to change last year.

For the average user it might be better and more secure. For me it is not, until it can provide me with a volume control that controls the hardware instead of the software, a start menu that follows some basic menu guidelines and a search function with a GUI. As for security it is a big thing for me to know what my computer does most of the time. I no longer do, with a ton of extra services doing something, scheduled tasks hiding god knows where, auto-updaters you have to wrestle with on monthly basis, delayed start services that hide themselves etc. I constantly got this feeling that this is no longer my machine.

I predict a duality of votes on this one. Seems to be the trend.

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Stop

Someone please explain to me...

... what "extra" do I get from each version of windows ?

- More secure ? Till it gets broken.

- Better UI ? bah..

- Support for latest silverlight/flash whatever ? That's usually doable on older OS.

- New hardware support. That's drivers and is doable in new OS.

So why am I forced to buy a new OS (not just a new version) every couple of years ? I understand they can't forever support XP, but what am I getting by buying a newer OS ?

If I buy a newer version of adobe photoshop, usually it means that they have added some extra functionality like layer support (whatever).... I don't see it in windows (perhaps it's not obvious to me).

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I'm still puzzled...

...after all these years - I'm still puzzled.

Windows 2000 was reasonably streamlined and could have been the basis for a reasonable OS.

XP is bloated, slow and lacks anything useful by default.

And as for Windows 7 - it's still a LAN only OS - the internet has been around for while now and you'd think they'd be able to seamlessly link to SSH shares at the very least.

Sorry - it *can* connect to SSH shares all you have to do is...

Download and extract mindTerm

Run mindterm.jar (double click it if you can, otherwise in command prompt type in java -jar mindterm.jar)

Type in the host you want to ssh into followed by the username and password

In the menu click on Plugins>FTP To SFTP Bridge…

Type in 127.0.0.1 for the Listen address

Type in 21 for the Listen port

Select the Remote system type

Click Enable

Click Dismiss

Next we want to install NetDrive

Once netdrive is installed, open it up, and click New Site on the bottom

Type in localhost (or whatever you want to call it) for the Site name

Type in localhost for the Site IP

Type in 21 for the Port

Select FTP for the Port

Select a Drive letter

Check Connect as anonymous

Click Save

Click Connect

Click the X to close the window (will minimize to system tray)

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Yeah, Win7 is kind-of better than XP...

but for all the improvements, there has been plenty of regression too. The file browser, for example, is less flexible than it used to be in XP. It now takes multiple clicks to find out the size of a group of files, instead of just selecting them and looking at the staus bar. The right mouse button now sometimes works one way, sometimes another, depending on the phase of the moon.

The new Control Panel is a nightmare. The new network interface management crap is shit, and takes far too many clicks to do tasks that were just two or three clicks in XP. The new search function is crap, I want my old, /functional/ search back. And the "libraries" can fuck right off, I don't need my OS obscuring the location of my data, I want to know *exactly* where my files are. If the concept of directories is too scary for you, then maybe you shouldn't be using a computer in the first place.

Too many leaves taken from Apple's book, I reckon, trying to hide all the scary system plumbing away from the end user, which is exactly the opposite of what I want in an OS. At the very least, Win7 *Professional* ought to have an "expert user" mode where all the internal workings are exposed and easy to get at. [And yes, I know Linux will do that, it's why every other machine on my network runs Linux. My gaming (and therefore primary) machine, though, needs to run Windows because WINE is just not good enough yet.]

Under the hood, Win 7 might have quite a few improvements (although it's far too RAM-hungry), but the interface designer should be shot. In fact, Microsoft shouldn't let a *designer* anywhere near their next version's interface. They ought to instead ask an engineer to design it, then we might get some useful functionality instead of bells and whistles.

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Happy

by 2014...

I've be ready to move all my computing to Android I think :)

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Unhappy

If a tool works, why change it?

XP works perfectly for my office, no need for anything else given how we work here. XP also runs well on the hardware we have and I don't want to have to upgrade them just for the sake of it. I've got Win7 on a couple of laptops and it is of no benefit as far as I can see.

We are also running Office 2000 because it does what we need. I've looked at more recent versions and see no benefit upgrading there either. They stopped including updates automatically last year so I had to roll my own for post SP3 updates when I need to do a rebuild.

I appreciate that they need to keep developing and innovating and can only spend so long supporting products that no longer being them income but as an end user I don't need to chase the latest version.

If a tool works, why change it.

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Holmes

A Couple of reasons actually...

As a business it is indeed important not to waste money in areas that could be better spent affecting your bottom line, however to ignore advances in product version indefinately is foolish. Sooner or later you will come accross some add on or product which does office integration and you will not be able to use it and it WILL be beneficial to you.

At that point you will need to upgrade machines, os, producitivity software in one big hit, seems expensive to me.

Holmes.. because its not always obvious what the answer is but you'll figure it out in the end .

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Anonymous Coward

Need not want

As long as there is no business need, but they are proactive in dealing with the potential effects of forced hardware replacement it's better to wait.

Not only do they make more on the money they hold back, but they will be making a larger purchase when they do upgrade and therefore should be able to get a better deal.

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@A Couple of reasons actually

If there is a good reason to change, then go for it. however, I doubt it is more expensive to do in one step, probably less in total, though a bigger expense at that point in time.

However, if you don;t need to change, they why do it?

Ah yes, security...more so after end of life. But then you could:

1) Convert your working XP computer(s) to virtual machine(s).

2) Run them on Linux host and deny XP internet access, so email/web must be on the safer platform.

3) Profit!

Training is needed, as it is with ANY change. Most users are not El Reg readers after all.

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Security

New security holes are being found all the time. New versions of software get patched old ones dont.

If you value your data then you keep yourself in the patching zone.

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Why aren't you running Windows 3.1 then ?

And Word 6 ?

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"At that point you will need to upgrade machines"

So leave it to that point and not before - in fact - do a cost benefit on all the options and see if you can do without the new add-on.

MS point about time to replace something that is good enough with something that is better is not going to chime with how many businesses are feeling right now - in fact "good enough" would be a luxury to a lot of businesses who work with not quite good enough equipment and software because they can't afford even "good enough" never mind being amongst the aspirational acquirers of the latest and greatest.

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Anonymous Coward

'Cos

They were cr@p !

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Linux

Why not Win 3.1 then?

Windows 3.1 is a DOS shell.

XP is a version of NT.

Windows 7 is like BluRay. It's a product that represents a much smaller relative improvement than it's predecessor does. XP was the first consumer version of NT. The difference between it and it's predecessor was much more meaningful. (much like DVD)

It's not about naievely whining about age. It's about actually bothering to consider the characteristics of the products in question.

Plus, XP is really only as old as it's last service pack.

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Windows

They call it capitalism

"If a tool works, why change it."

Because, its software, its 2011, and M$ is acting in its own self-interest. Today, that's what they call capitalism.

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FAIL

@ Alan Bourke

>> Why aren't you running Windows 3.1 then ?

Otherwise known as "Windows for DOS". Because it crashed about 6 times every working day, as it did for the other guys in my office.

XP does not.

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Because

Win 3.1 doesn't support USB [3.15 did but there were IIRC problems getting that to install] and Word 6 won't read .ODF

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FAIL

Actually…

I prefer the interface of Windows 3.1 and Word 6 versus Windows 7 and Word 2010.

Word 6 didn't have the sodding ribbon, and Windows 3.1 was not concerned with fancy 3D graphics.

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@ Alan Bourke

Because Microsoft has made honest-to-goodness improvements since then. But somewhere around XP and Office 2000 they apparently ran out of useful innovations and decided instead to make the OS more "secure" (read annoying and user-hostile), and make the interfaces more "transparent", both literally (which is *so* useful), and figuratively by hiding all the commands from us.

To the best of my acknowledge, the only feature added since XP that I actually want is support for side-scrolling mice. But I think I can live without that.

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Pint

Really?

I suppose I'll replace my aging and yet durable Toughbook CF-29 by 2014 with a Macbook Pro. This Toughbook can't be upgraded above XP, but then, for a fully ruggedized Netbook, I don't need anything more than that at the moment.

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Toughbook-->Macbook, oh dear!

you’ll be disappointed with the Macbook Pro if you are coming from a Toughbook, if any of mine are to go by it will fall apart or its video circuitry will fail inside of 3 years...

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upgrade might be possible

I managed to upgrade my CF-18 to windows 7, it was a fairly drawn out process especially seeing as intel never produced graphics drivers for it under vista or 7. I got there in the end with all functions working.

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Linux

Dear microsoft

Can I have some money to buy a PC capable of running windows 7 ?

Oh well , guess I'm stuck running Linux then

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Whilst I appreciate your point

I picked up a core2 duo desktop pc and a bit of extra ram from 'bay for my mum to run windows 7 on for about £60. That is hardly a deal breaker, is it ? But if I did not have a spare 7 licence from work to use then the cost of a retail Win 7 probably *would* have been a deal breaker.

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Anonymous Coward

brass neck

"glory days", "trophies" "records are broken" and "what it took to be the best "

words almost fail me.

obviously a graduate of the Ballmer school of bumptious, overblown shit-talking

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Vic
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Which planet are Microsoft on?

> "Things get better, faster."

I've yet to see a Win7 installation running faster than XP on the same hardware...

Vic.

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Faster

they mean the hardware gets faster allowing MS to bloat the OS even more in ways which just don't actually help the end user in anyway.

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FAIL

errr, pretty much every new machine out there

Simple, run it on a machine that isn't steam powered. He is referring to the hardware capabilities and in that realm a current budget core i3 machine would run rings around a £2000 machine from 2001.

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Vic
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FAIL

Errr - did you read my post?

> run it on a machine that isn't steam powered.

You missed the bit about "on the same hardare", then?

Vic.

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IT Angle

faster doesn't neccessarily mean os speed

It can mean productivity... runing windows 7 on the same hardware as xp is pointless, as clearly xp will always win, doesn't mean things are faster.

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Running XP on a current machine isnt normal

If you bought a PC in the last 2 years it probally came with windows 7. if you bought a PC before that it had vista. unless you downgraded your OS you are running some seriously old hardware.

Which is what the vast majority of people would have done.

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Flame

wrong

Maybe he did not read your post, maybe he did. His point still stands though.

Clearly if you have an old computer and you stick 7 on it it will be slower than XP. But if you downgrade a new one and put XP on it, 7 will be faster (if not right away then definitely after a few weeks). Also as other people have pointed out - it's all about productivity and XP is crap compared to 7 for that.

Whenever I have to go back to XP on someone else's machine it takes twice as long to do anything (even when I remember the exact convoluted way to do it).

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Meh

"Things get better, faster"

Hardware yes - but not, it would seem, Microsoft operating systems - where "bigger and slower" would seem to be what he meant to say.

Microsoft's idea of an "upgrade" involves buying a PC, a new operating system, new printers, scanners etc, and a whole new set of applications software - all because the old versions are not "compatible" with the new version. And to boot - I get a whole raft of features that I don't want, or use, from Microsoft too. Oh yes - and we all have to use that God Damn tool strip thingy that making my life miserable on the one application that I did upgrade.

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FAIL

Nope

I strip the bloated crapware out of my new machines and install XP or buy them sans OS

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Vic
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Really?

> But if you downgrade a new one and put XP on it, 7 will be faster

That's a strong assertion - and one that I've yet to see borne out. And I've seen quite a few machines that have been "downgraded".

> XP is crap compared to 7 for that.

My customers roundly disagree; none of them prefer Vista or 7 to XP. Not being a Windows user myself, I have no opinion on that.

But judging by the number of downvotes my simple post has got, I'm not allowed to express an opinion anyway :-(

Vic.

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No, XP is still faster.

I run a dual boot XP/Win7 system. XP is faster. Quad core 660, 8G of RAM. And it isn't that convoluted.

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Meh

Wrong to you, ya boo sucks etc.

Whenever I have to go forward to Win 7 on someone else's machine "it takes twice as long to do anything (even when I remember the exact convoluted way to do it)." Proving what? ... that whatever we're most used to is easier. Meh.

And my own opinion is that 7 is crap compared to XP for productivity. But apart from sysadmins, who produces anything with an OS? Users run applications and produce with their apps. Office 2003 or 2007 or 2010 looks much the same on XP or on 7 or on a Mac (yes, I know, it's 2011 on a Mac).

The main reason for not upgrading is the cost of forced replacements. It's not just elderly PCs that are still OK for XP. It's also a host of printers, scanners and other useful gadgets that don't have Windows 7 drivers. Some places have "legacy" software that won't run under "7" and which will cost a fortune to migrate upwards or away from. Or even worse, software that has no migration path at all (vendor defunct, source code buried).

The other reason is the retraining cost. Even if you and your staff are capable of retraining themselves, their productivity will drop while they are un-learning the old way of doing things and finding out what the new way might be. And if that's going to happen all over again with Windows 8, delay makes more sense than burning bridges.

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Linux

Not faster, but not slower either

My machine used to run XP x64, now runs Win7 x64 and Linux Mint dual boot. I can't detect any noticeable difference in speed between the two Windows versions. Linux is, naturally, faster than both of them. ;-)

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Paris Hilton

re: wrong

"But if you downgrade a new one and put XP on it, 7 will be faster (if not right away then definitely after a few weeks)."

Does Windows 7 become faster over time in your world, or are you one of those users that manages to fill your computer with so many background applications, malware or otherwise, that your computer gets slower with time?

My eight year old installation of win2k still boots in the same time as it did when it was installed. Interestingly enough it boots in about the same time as Windows 7 does on its new machine with twelve years newer hardware.

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"I've yet to see a Win7 installation running faster than XP on the same hardware.."

Strange. Every PC I've done a clean install on from XP to W7 has flown.... what are you doing wrong?

DISCLAIMER: I am not a M$ or Apple or Linux lover, just stating facts....

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Boffin

Not necessarily...

I got a machine recently that was a few years old, and was shipped with V***a (2 options were available from the factory, XP or V***a). Reformatted it immediately and loaded XP. I also had a spare HDD for it so I loaded 7 on that for comparisson.

Bearing in mind that the drives are identical, 7 actually ran faster than XP, so on certain platforms an OS upgrade can actually provide a noticeable speed benefit.

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God damn it

I better get a move on.... only 2 more years before I have to start looking at alternatives and see what's for sale then. Because unless you work in the largest of organisations, a year is a perfectly adequate time to do a serious amount of testing and then a massive one-off upgrade for something like that. And that's if I decide that we actually *need* to move to something else at that point, and that we will move to Windows, and that it will be Windows version X (whatever is best at that point).

Shame, because if you'd sorted out your educational licensing, Microsoft, so that I didn't have to pay annually for something I originally paid for once and owned a perpetual license to, then I'd have been on Windows 7 last year.

In the meantime? 3 years? That should see me into Windows 8 at least, by which time Windows 7 will be cheap and stable and I'll know all its quirks, and then extended support for that will last me until 2020 at least (assuming there isn't another endless deadline-slip like there was for XP). I'll set my calendar to remind me in 2 years to check the end-of-life date again, but that's about it.

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Meh

er...

"a year is a perfectly adequate time to do a serious amount of testing and then a massive one-off upgrade for something like that"

Yes, but who's going to pay for it? Why would my company spend vast amounts of money fixing something that ain't broke?

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JDX
Gold badge

Why would my company spend vast amounts of money fixing something that ain't broke?

Because when MS stop doing security updates, the OS will become increasing vulnerable and the cost of having all your systems infected could be substantial.

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Mushroom

Grrr!

Especially if, like certain companies I know, they'd already spent 9 months testing Vista only to find out that Win7 was annouced so all the Vista testing was a complete waste of time and money! The testing would have be done all over again with W7 but that won't happen until the budget allows, so XP is here...ahem, there to stay!

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Silver badge

Why would my company spend vast amounts of money fixing something that ain't broke?

What makes you think that having your systems infected is in any way a preventable thing, or anything more than vaguely related to the last OS security update you installed? If you're doing things properly, it doesn't matter what OS is in use - people can't open attachments with .EXE's or even HTML code in them that hasn't been scanned / sanitised already and they shouldn't be able to execute programs that haven't been authorised.

Preventing malware infections is a way of life for IT guys, and we deliberately limit things as much as we practically can and spot suspicious activity. In a properly locked-down environment, you have no need to know what OS is running at all.

MS stopped doing most security updates for Windows XP years ago, they only ever do the most serious now (i.e. ones that a huge, public virus exploits and causes millions of infections) so you've been in pretty much the same position for the last few years anyway. The point is that if you properly secure the points of entry, and properly sanitise anything passing through, and properly look for anything that's slipped past, what OS is on a desktop is neither here nor there.

Having the latest OS software updates is a useful tool but it's not the be-all-and-end-all of security. For a start, you're vastly more likely to catch something through an application exploit than anything else. Having the latest OS software updates applied without proper testing is vastly more likely to end in tears, though, especially if you deploy them automatically to every machine. I've had more downtime because of Windows Update than I've ever had through virus infections on the networks I manage.

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FAIL

Because when MS stop doing security updates

So firewall it solid and allow no internet access or USB products, who needs MS lack of security on the new versions anyway.

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Boffin

Security reliant on the OS?

Anyone who relies on their OS for security is insane.

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Silver badge

This just in

Even better now - http://www.thinq.co.uk/2011/7/12/windows-8-will-run-all-current-pc-hardware/ is a quote from an MS exec that says that anything that runs Windows 7 now will run Windows 8 when it's released later this year.

Next up from Microsoft: How to kill Windows 7 deployments with two simple steps:

1) Announce that XP is support for another three years.

2) Announce a new OS coming within the year.

3) Announce that any investment in 7 will be the same as an investment in 8 a year later.

If they are to be believed, I'd cancel all my Windows 7 deployment plans now... if I had any.

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