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back to article Windows XP support ends two years from now

Support for Windows XP will end two years from today, on April 8th, 2014*. XP was shipped to OEMs on August 24th, 2001 and reached average punters on October 25th. Plenty bought it and plenty still run it: Gartner's July 2011 assessment of the global OS population suggested "Windows XP Home and Follow-Ons" had 68 million users …

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Linux

No Problem

In two years time Linux based system(s) will be a fine replacement for my XP.

A tablet will be no problem. A suitable 1600 x1200 or better laptop will be harder to source than a decent OS.

They certainly don't need to run the same GUI or OS. You listening Mark Shuttleworth and Steve Balmer?

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Silver badge

Re: No Problem

Yeah, a whole YEAR before I have to start thinking about an alternative and another one after that to buy one, assuming, of course, that XP updates actually matter to me at all (a closed, firewalled system with good apps is a closed, firewalled system with good apps!). Though I suspect, work-wise, we'll move before the last moment. They held out marvellously through Vista and now 7 but it looks like 7 is at least good enough for business use if you're going to lay down money on it (and we have a lot of money saved from NOT laying it down in previous years).

Still have a Vista Business and a 7 license for my main machine just sitting in front of me, waiting for a reason to use them. Ironically, that will probably be silly things like games, Steam, etc. rather than anything vital to my IT. And, to be honest, if Wine gets caught up a little more by then, a re-run of my Linux desktop trial would be in order, I think. The last time I did that (8 years ago? Maybe 7?), it ran so well that I never threw the machine away and it's still chugging along to this day. About the only thing it couldn't really do was games but that meant that 99% of the things I actually do on a computer were fine. Since then, we have a much-improved LibreOffice, much improved Wine, a lot more indie-games supporting Linux, Android devices everywhere, and a lot more CPU oomph and VM software integrated into the platform.

The only reason I use Windows is because work uses it, and I have a work laptop that's more powerful than any computer I own personally. I honestly think my next big personal IT purchase will be a powerful laptop, and an Ubuntu install with XP / 7 virtualised on it, mostly for gaming if Wine hasn't made it extremely viable since then (previous Wine / Crossover Office experiences were good enough but not perfect).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No Problem

« In two years time Linux based system(s) will be a fine replacement for my XP. »

I suspect Microsoft finally found the way to cripple Linux by making their own products crappier and crappier, thus encouraging Windows users to migrate. As has been seen recently, virus writers will target any OS provided it has enough market share to make it worth the effort. What's more, hordes of clueless newbies will flood Linux forums, wasting everyone's time and rendering those forums basically useless. Perfect plan. It's a bit sad that MS let their hate of Linux harm them so much, though.

(too bad ACs can't choose their icon any more, so let the downvotes roll...)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No Problem

Mr S and B seem to be vying with each other as to who can produce the least appropriate desktop interface.

Thankfully, although there will be only one Microsoft, there will be other Linuxes to choose from.

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Anonymous Coward

@Mage - Re: No Problem

So we've moved out to nor this year nor next being the year of the Linux Desktop?

It's nice to see some realism creeping in...

:o)

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Re: No Problem

Indeed, it is no problem. My company has already replaced Windows on the desktop and the server with Linux based Operating Systems, the final changeover date was January 1st 2012.

We are even able to continue building C# ASP.NET web applications, using Mono and Mono Develop on Linux (Linux Mint actually) desktops, and host those web applications on Debian Linux Servers.

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Trollface

Re: @Mage - No Problem

Didn't you read the article? 2014 will be the year of Linux on the desktop.

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Coat

Re: No Problem

"In two years time Linux based system(s) will be a fine replacement for my XP."

Ahh the fabled "year of the Linux desktop". It's like Charlie Brown believing that this time Lucy really will let him kick the ball, honest.

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Anonymous Coward

if I was stuck with Vista

I would be crying.

But

I am not, I have 7 and that's good enough for me.

Oh and you can stuff 8 up your....

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Re: No Problem

>Ahh the fabled "year of the Linux desktop".

I share your sentiment. From what I've experienced on a variety of Linuxes in the past few weeks I don't think the fabled year will ever become real. Even the best of them, Linux Mint, seems to have taken the idea of a desktop and made it worse. Not that they're alone in that - Win 8 is terrible on the desktop.

What is it with the IT world at the moment? Everyone seems to be getting hot under the collar over tablets being the next big thing. With the way OSes are going at the moment tablets will be the *only* thing that will be semi-usable. But we won't be as productive as we used to be with the humble desktop. They're great toys but rubbish to actually work on. I can type quicker on my Blackberry than I've ever seen anyone manage on a touchscreen keyboard.

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Re: No Problem

Bluetooth keyboard. £9.99. Job done.

But yeah, I take your point. Depends what you want to do. Ultimately, a desktop is the most ergonomic set up of display, mouse and keyboard for many people.

The point is processor power, battery and storage are not the obstacles they once were to having many different form factors.

They just need integrating better with each other.

Why don't Mac desktop applications come with iPad toolbars? If I am proof-reading, why can't I tap my Kindle against the monitor, and continue reading the same page in a comfier chair?

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Mushroom

Re: Linux based system(s) will be a fine replacement for my XP.

What is taking you so dammed long?

I ditched XP over 4 years ago when I started playing with Ubuntu.

Lately, I have been giving serious thought to replacing `This Old Box` with something powered by an i3. Since it is likely to come from a `big box` retailer, the question is what to do with the pre-installed Windblowze 7 Home Premium.

My choices are:

1) dual boot Ubuntu and Windblowze (I really don't want a Windlowze infection on my computer), or

2) nuke Windlowze from orbit, and maybe making a set of recovery discs beforehand.

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kb
Thumb Down

Re: No Problem

People wouldn't take Linux when Vista was out, what makes you think they will take Linux when XP is EOL? they'll just "call a friend" who'll give them a "wink wink" copy of Win 7 which frankly is even easier to pirate than XP and that will be that. The problem with Linux is there is ZERO stability, what works in version Foo may be completely broken by version foo+1 and as long as Linus Torvalds has a pulse that is the way it'll be because the man won't allow Linux to have what every. other. OS in the free world, BSD, Solaris, OSX,Windows, even OS/2, has had for decades, a stable driver ABI. Do Linux followers REALLY believe Linus is smarter than the entire OS teams of ALL those OSes?

As for why XP lasts this long that is simple...its Ballmer's fault. When MSFT was offering Win 7 home for $50 and the triple pack for $100 I had tons of orders for conversions of existing XP machines, price went back to $100 for Win Home?...none. it was also wiping out piracy and now I see classified ads all over the place with $100 PCs running $400 Win 7 Ultimate..I didn't see that when home was $50.

If Ballmer were to go with $50 Win 7 Home and $100 Win 7 Pro you'd see those XP machines converted, but as long as he charges too much they will stick with XP or go pirate. I bet he'll try the $50 price point when win 8 comes out but since Win 8 is a turkey it won't sell anymore than Vista did, in fact i still have a pile of Vista discs, nobody wants 'em and nobody is gonna want a cell phone UI on the desktop.

But they won't go to linux friend, its just too much of a mess, what with pukeaudio, the DE wars, Linus and his kernel breaking, nope instead Win 7 will be the new XP, mark my words. Considering win 7 is supported until 2020 i know i've switched all my family and we are battening down the hatches, we'll stick with what 'just works" and that is Win 7.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No Problem

"The problem with Linux is there is ZERO stability, what works in version Foo may be completely broken by version foo+1 and as long as Linus Torvalds has a pulse that is the way it'll be because the man won't allow Linux to have what every other OS in the free world, BSD, Solaris, OSX, Windows, even OS/2, has had for decades, a stable driver ABI. Do Linux followers REALLY believe Linus is smarter than the entire OS teams of ALL those OSes?"

Yes.

But then again, Linux users tend to bizarre and inexplicable belief systems. Well that's an unavoidable consequence of being locked in the basement by one's family....

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WTF?

Re: No Problem

My FAVORITE are the tablet users who go all out and add a keyboard and all these other things to end up with an $800 sort-of laptop. Tablets are great...for putzing around...anything that requires data entry is not only slow but you lose half your screen real estate for the keyboard, the capacitive touch isn't accurate enough for most business applications and when you rebuild the application where everything is larger so it can be "touched," you can't fit squat on the screen. They are counter-productive in most (not all) enterprise environments. Tablets have ONE thing that laptop-makers need to take note of - battery life. A new laptop should last longer than 90 minutes on battery...I don't care that the specs say "up to 4 hours" or whatever, laptops have poor battery life in comparison to good tablets. Tablets are getting ready to go through some real growing pains with the high-res displays...New iPad upscaling is terrible and it's only the first to come...Android tablet will soon follow and will have the close to the same (Android developers have a leg up because they already build their apps to scale up or down to different screen sizes). The data usage is going to balloon...either that or users are going to complain that everything they see is being upscaled...and then what's the point of a high res display?

Windows 8 is going to fail on tablets not just the desktop. It's the Windows Millenium / Windows Vista of the present. Enterprise adoption will be minimal and those home users will likely hate it. It will fail on tablets because it's nothing but lipstick on a pig. Once you get past the lipstick, you see the pig...and he's not touch friendly.

I have tried switching my desktop to Linux about every 18 months....it fails every time....NVidia video card this time, something else the next time, Compiz used to rotate the screen if I put my mouse to either side and scrolled...try to find the setting to make that happen. Oops, my screens are backwards...what, I have to go to the command-line and edit files or run a config utility as root after searching for 15 minutes on the internet? I want to USE my computer, not sit and f*ck with it all day. I can say it HAS gotten better...PPTP VPN's actually work, Open Office is OK (until you get into formulas in Calc) but it STILL doesn't handle document templates (which is THE reason we went to fillable PDF's in my company instead of using Open Office for office forms).

Windows 7 is the new XP...it's rock-solid, stable and fast. The network stack blows XP out of the water! Linux is still relegated to the server room here where it appears it will remain.

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Linux

Re: Year of the Linux Desktop

Linux bypassed the desktop and went straight to tablets.

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Nya
Windows

XPE

On the embedded systems it could prove interesting as there is a huge install base of machines using XPE out there, which haven't an upgrade path at all. Getting Linux to work on some of these things as a possible upgrade path is nothing but a pain in the behind and a huge downgrade in performance. But then again, on an embedded system it shouldn't really be that huge a problem to just keep rolling on...hopefully!

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Silver badge

Re: XPE

On the embedded machines, I bet they'll just leave XP on there. Just as I still see MS-DOS running in embedded systems in factories or old OS's in ATM's.

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Silver badge

Re: XPE

I saw OS/2 Warp on a Peruvian ATM machine as it rebooted itself - causing concern because my debit card was inside it at the time! I had to stay an extra day on the edge of lake Titicaca waiting for the bank to retrieve it, but at least I got to visit a British-built steamer that had been carried up the Andes by man and mule, and a sardonic letter by Prince Philip contained in its museum: "As I was travelling across Lake Titicaca in an unpressurised vessel..."

Thanks goes to the Puno tourist police.

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Windows

We're sometimes forgetful...

..weren't we assured that XP was all a business would need?

So, I'm sorry, but I can't see why I'd need to 'upgrade' (Vista requires the sarcastic quotes) to Windows 8. Has a business need suddenly - and coincidentally with the launch of a Microsoft-pushed (soon to be forced) release - unexpectantly changed?

Are businesses driving the Microsoft development program, or is Microsoft driving the business direction?

One wonders.

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N2

Re: We're sometimes forgetful...

Couldn't agree more, theres a lot more to 'upgrading' than just rolling out the latest variant of Redmonds pie. I used W2000 for years & it ran all my stuff flawlessly.

In my opinion, Microsoft is trying to drive the direction of what businesses do, but their intervention is really not needed.

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Silver badge

"the first mainstream desktop OS Microsoft built on the Windows NT kernel"

What about Win2k Pro? I suppose XP was the first desktop NT OS that wasn't (in marketing terms, at least) associated with a server version.

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Silver badge

Re: "the first mainstream desktop OS Microsoft built on the Windows NT kernel"

Win2K was aimed at business users, not 'mainstream' home users. Still, at least it supported USB and HDDs bigger than 8GB without fiddling with drivers. Home users had 98 or WinME aimed at them (and if they had any sense, would duck!)

Still, Win2K use to overwrite a Zip disk with the contents of whatever previous Zip disk had been in it. I had to take my hat off to MS for that!

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Unhappy

MS - their own worst enemy.

I have to say that Metro/Win8 is what's putting me off upgrading (my small business). Vista was never going to happen, and by the time Win7 was a realistic prospect, the rumours of the horrors of Metro were around. Why move to Win7 when MS are offering no realistic upgrade path beyond it?

I suspect XP will be extended here (again), and non-MS options seriously looked at over the next couple of years. Win7 play a part, but as a stop-gap.

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kb
Happy

Re: MS - their own worst enemy.

Because Win 7 has support until 2020 MINIMUM and that is if they don't extend it like they did with XP. i predict Win 7 will be the new XP and Win 8 the new Vista. you watch Win 8 will finally be the straw that gets the board to fire Gates' little buddy and then we'll get someone from the business side to run the company.

Just as many skipped WinVista completely (for the most part I skipped XP as well, going from Win2K to WinXP X64 which is just server 2K3 with an XP skin to win 7 X64 ) if you go with win 7 you can get some frankly insanely powered kit now for little money (built two hexacores and a quad for me and the boys for a little over $1300 after MIR) which will be more than powerful enough to let you skip win 8 and Win 9 as well if they don't straighten up.

But I wouldn't bet the farm on XP getting another extension, its just too long in the tooth to continue supporting. i mean how many patches is it up to now, something like 4 digits? The fact that MSFT quietly extending support for ALL versions of Win 7 until 2020 tells me they are planning on keeping win 7 for all those that won't take metro. mark my words win 7 WILL be the new XP. Besides most machines that are running XP are P4s or dual cores as best, how long do you think that will be able to keep up with all the bloat the web designers are adding to their pages? Using a P4 on today's web is just painful and a dual frankly isn't a whole lot better.

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FAIL

Re: MS - their own worst enemy.

Metro with a keyboard and mouse is such a @$&!ing disaster that I seriously wonder if MS will be around in 2020 to deliver that support.

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MJI
Silver badge

P4 and XP

We have a Pentium P4 at home and it still works, it cost us a fortune when new, so no intention of scrapping it.

Web browsing is fine, but flash games are a bit of a pain, BUT real games run perfectly, I can leave my sons playing Team Fortress 2 quite happily.

So why is an online multi person FPS running fine and a silly facebook game stuttering?

Apart from this fettling and keeping it pared down results in a fast boot and a perfectly usable computer.

If a web site gets too difficult to use the web site gets ignored.

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kb

Re: P4 and XP

Because unless you get your power for free you're not really doing yourself any favors? both of my boys had Pentium Ds which BTW are beyond dirt cheap so if you have a socket 775 and can't afford new kit that is a possibility, but by replacing them with an AMD quad and AMD hexacore their power usage went DOWN by a pretty significant amount and that of course isn't counting the fact they'll need less AC in the summer.

As i tell my customers the Pentium netburst arch was 'power piggie oink oink suck" that just got worse as they came out with new models, hence why they gave up on the P4 and went back to the P3 design that was used in mobile. of course the cheapest for power sipping is the CULV intel chips but Jebus those things are crazy priced .

So i tell my customers that if all they want is surfing and light gaming? then look at the Brazos E350 boards. those have an AMD 1.6GHz bobcat dual with an HD6320 GPU. great for videos and i play L4D and GTA:VC on mine in the netbook. after this the newer AMD APUs based on liano, costs more but you get more GPU and better performance, next up in speed from that would be the Zosma and Thubans, I'm having a lot of folks jump on these as they are cheap chips in the states, we're talking about 6 cores for $139 and of course then you can pair it with any GPU you want. I could have saved power there but the kids like heavy MMOs so i went with a couple of HD4850s i scored for $50 each.

But trust me friend you look up how much power those P4s sucked and they simply weren't a good chip to hang onto. the newer AMD boards like the Asrock can even turn off phases when idle to REALLY drop the heck out of the power. looking at mine I've saved 25 Kj just by having the phases drop when i'm just surfing instead of gaming. Look into the power difference friend, those P4s really aren't something you want to hang onto. but if all they are playing is TF2 you could probably get by with an E350, they are dirt cheap and only use 35w max.

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Holmes

Will be with us for a while

I've been in factories where Windows 95 and DOS are still in evidence on machines controlling bits of custom hardware used for manufacturing. These machines aren't connected to networks and just do the same job day in day out. If they get replaced the hardware gets replaced but the OS doesn't. Or they find some way of running MS-DOS as a virtual machine.

Likewise until very recently one ATM in town appeared to be running Windows 95 (yes it was always slow as hell and had indeed crashed out revealing it's OS).

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Re: Will be with us for a while

I know of a saw mill production line controlled by a dos pc with a 20mb mfm hard disk that was only shut down last year because the company outsourced the work. I last rebuilt that thing in 1999 and I bet it hadn't been touched yet except for the maintenance reboot. They don't make em like they used to.

You see Win 9x based tills and cash machines all over the place. It wasn't so many years ago I saw a tech start up an atm and bloody Win ME presented it's mishapen visage to the world..

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Silver badge

Re: Will be with us for a while

During a recent foray into a disused electronics factory, I came across a box of cassette tapes with CNC code, according to the labels!

: D

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Thumb Up

Re: Will be with us for a while

"I've been in factories where Windows 95 and DOS are still in evidence on machines controlling bits of custom hardware used for manufacturing."

Pah! I was in a shop in Sunderland last year. They were still using a Tandy Model 100 "laptop" to run their sales/stock management. I did point out to the lady using it that it was now a collectors item, especially in full working order, so when it was time to upgrade they should seriously consider EBaying it.

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Boffin

Re: Will be with us for a while

I was in Wickes a while back and the till crashed just as I got to the checkout.

"Hello, that error message looks familiar" I sad to the man at the till, "what do you mean?" sez he.

"It's got that Win98 look to it" sez I, "You know, I think you're right" sez he.

"I'm sure I've got a 98 boot floppy somewhere in the motor if you get stuck"

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Unhappy

Re: Will be with us for a while @Dave126

About 3 years ago I was repairing such a machine :)

Not only was the program stored on 'high speed' cassette, but you then had to remove it and load another cassette with the job data.

The machine had a 'program' mode where you manually moved the cutting heads, dialed in the speed etc... rinse and repeat, then saved the lot to a new data tape. I don't know how many steps it had - quite a lot I think.

The company was mooting the idea of a tape recorder emulator, but thanks to our wonderful economy and unbelievable support for small business, they went out of business and all the machinery was broken up for scrap.

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Re: Will be with us for a while

I know for a fact the 9x runs all the tills at Tesco.

Not sure what the new self serves are, but it wouldn't surprise me if that was the same.

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kb

Re: Will be with us for a while

I actually had to build a DOS 3 machine in 2005, that was a trip down memory lane. the poor kid came in looking like he was gonna have a heart attack because the CNC PC has finally died and the CNC would ONLY run with an ISA card and DOS 3..They had a $50k+ order and without the custom columns the deal was off. Lucky for him i still had a couple of my old gamer PCs back in the shed so I cloned his HDD and sold him a P100 and a P233. Made a pretty nice profit on those.

Last I heard the P100 is still running that CNC 5 days a week and he boots up the P233 once a month just like I told him just to make sure the spare is running alright. gives me the warm fuzzys to think the machine i originally used to play DOOM on is still chugging away.

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Thumb Up

Re: Will be with us for a while

going by the frequency of the Tesco "self-serve" tills being out of order, id suspect they also run Win 9x behind the scenes.

I was in "home bargains" a week or two ago (amazing what sh1t3 they sell for much cheapness) to be greeted with a rebooting POS (point of sale that is, or piece of 5h1t either work) with the familiar "tum tee ta daaa daaa" sound of Windows 9x! oh how i giggled,

"cashier" dam i cant remember my logon.......

"me" its allright love, just hit escape ;o)

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MJI
Silver badge

Re: Will be with us for a while

Paper tape

Only dropped it for our Windows software, our previous DOS application could control a paper tape punch, and this was late dos with client server and still in use in a few places today.

Having what was best dos app in our industry made going Windows that bit harder!

Cassettes only just dropped as well.

Floppy still very common.

Machine control PCs still see NT a lot.

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WTF?

err..

XP:? support? sorry, you lost me there. There was a thing called WGA that I had to stake through the heart

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Trollface

Re: err..

Try actually buying the OS then! Windows Genuine Advantage was intended to prevent OS Pirates from gaining access to updates.

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Anonymous Coward

"We're not willing to classify Windows NT Workstation as a mainstream desktop OS."

We're not willing to classify Windows as a mainstream desktop OS.

Fixed it for you !

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Gold badge
Coffee/keyboard

Re: "We're not willing to classify Windows NT Workstation as a mainstream desktop OS."

Have you used Windows 8? Windows isn't a desktop OS at all anymore.

Keyboard, because you'll have to pry the keyboard, mouse and multitasking operating systems from the hands of my rotting corpse.

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Bronze badge

Re: "We're not willing to classify Windows NT Workstation as a mainstream desktop OS."

So why did at least one well-known bank run Windows NT workstation on tens of thousands of their PCs?

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Microsoft ending support... so what?

Ok, within an enterprise environment maybe, but certainly within a home or small business environment there is absolutely no need to rely on Microsoft patches. Ok, this is only anecdotal evidence, but I never patch any of my pcs, and have never had any problems with viri/malware/trojans/whatever the word of the month is.

All you need is a decent security package, and if people carry on using it then the security manufactures will carry on writing for it. I still see no reason to upgrade.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft ending support... so what?

I think what you mean is "My computer has had a rootkit on it for the last ten years but I've never worried because my pwned security package keeps reassuring me everything is ok."

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Alert

Re: Microsoft ending support... so what?

So have you tried renewing a W2K AV license recently?

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Happy

Re: Microsoft ending support... so what?

> So have you tried renewing a W2K AV license recently?

Yes, I have, with great success (for more than a DECADE)! My version of AVG Anti-Virus is 9.0.914, with current virus-database data. I also have up-to-date Malwarebytes, Spybot Search & Destroy, etc.

Do not assume that just because Microsoft deliberately abandons its customers' OSes that every other vendor does!

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Anonymous Coward

Two more years, excellent. That about fits my timeline for buying a new computer. There is no way that I pay $100+ for an OS if I can get an entirely new PC for $250+.

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