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back to article Windows XP support ends a year from … now!

Windows XP, we hardly knew ye! Yet by this time next year, the adolescent operating system will be headed for the big Recycle Bin in the sky, thanks to Microsoft's planned obsolescence policy and the inevitable march of progress. Introduced in 2001, XP was a big hit. But Microsoft will end support for XP on April 7th, 2014. That …

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Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

This is the only thing wrong with your otherwise good post.

It was only 2-3 years after XP came on line that it really began to take off. That was about the time of SP2.

And, let us not forget, Windows XP SP2 (with its total reworking on the security infrastructure of Windows) was in fact a quite new version of Windows, not at all a service pack. Microsoft merely called it a free service pack so that everyone would upgrade to the new, more secure, version of Windows.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

Come on get real, it was not a failure.

My concern is that I will have to find $200,000 to get custom support, or go over to Win 8.

Don't know what would be worse.

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Re: Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

Switch sooner next time and you could have Win7 instead of 8

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Alien

Re: Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

It's not that WinXP was a failure, or that SP1 magically fixed everything. Actually it was Microsoft who failed because it released WinXP approximately three years before the average consumer hardware could handle it adequately. This is out of blindness from developing on cutting edge hardware and as usual not considering the customer.

XP arrived in 2001 with Pentium 4, specifically the horrific Willamette initial entry at about 1.3 GHz. Memory was still crappy SDRAM. HDD's were just crossing into 48-bit LBA territory but Windows didn't yet understand it. USB was stuck at 1.x on most consumer machines, especially the ones that launched with WinXP. The Motherboards were not yet the cornucopia of features we now expect. In short, it was still 1990's hardware well into the new century.

It wasn't really SP1 that helped, because XP was still a bloated Windows 2000 + Win9x merger. What helped was the greatly enhanced hardware around 2004 with CPU's well over 2 GHz, Northwood and Prescott cores, big L2 caches, inexpensive DDR RAM, large fast HDD's, common USB 2.0 and associated devices and motherboards filled to the rim with features so that most people only needed to add a video card, and many didn't even need that. Running Windows XP with 1GB or 2GB in this era really shined.

XP got a bonafide second wind when Vista faltered and the machines started going over 3 GHz or more, and more importantly had usable multicores, especially Core2 versions. Now it was fast! These machines are alive and well, and will be for some time, and are one of the reasons that Windows XP still hovers around 40% of all Windows systems.

I would urge people to call Microsoft's and her enablers bluff on this. They have a lot of people snowed with that nonsense: "support will end...", as if Microsoft is somehow carrying these WinXP systems on her poor back. Ignore their push to get you to drop more bucks into their pockets. Run those machines as long as possible just to piss them off. I know I am.

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Mushroom

Re: Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

I guess you must be in a very junior role in IT, or working with the IT for a sweet shop or something similarly critical. end of support = no more security patches, and no more vendor support unless you pay large amounts (doubling each year) of money for it. Option a) is too high a risk for 95% of businesses, and option b) is very expensive very quickly.

As to "Run those machines as long as possible just to piss them off. I know I am." - Microsoft don't care - it's just you that will be suffering - every PC that you buy to replace failed / outdated ones almost certainly already comes with a Windows license.....

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Linux

Re: Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

Or just find something like Cinnamon Mint install Wine on it then Office 2k3 (Which will also go EOL the same time XP does), and continue on! What's that ya like to play your Ego Shooters? I'm sure Valve will have ya covered pretty well by then with Steam for Linux!

Happy Cinnamon Mint user. Flying the Bird at Microsoft!

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Re: Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

"As to "Run those machines as long as possible just to piss them off. I know I am." - Microsoft don't care - it's just you that will be suffering - every PC that you buy to replace failed / outdated ones almost certainly already comes with a Windows license....."

While sadly true, I still down voted ya, I have a perfectly serviceable ATX Case, I can replace Mobos, and HDDs as well as the Odd Graphic Card now and then. The BIGGER challenge going forward will be UFEI Secure Boot.

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Re: Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

"Run those machines as long as possible just to piss them off. I know I am."

And then dual boot them with your favourite Linux distro just to rub their noses in it.

Don't, whatever you do, go anywhere near Windows 8.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

You think that was bad, I got a home pc which was supposed to get Windows 98 and to my horror had Windows ME installed. XP would never randomly Blue screen (Yes 9x did BSOD a lot but nowhere near as much as ME even when maxxed out on 512MB memory) on your or have people point and laugh at you at LANS.

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IT Angle

Re: Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

Partial stats from my most major techie website, 150K users/month:

Windows OS of Unique Visitors:

Windows 7: 28.2%

Windows XP: 34.2%

Windows 8: 3.1%

Source: SmarterStats Enterprise 7.4

Windows XP won't stop working when Microsoft EOLs it.

As I'd written before, my brother's computer has Windows XP SP3. He hasn't run Windows Update in five years. He uses Outpost firewall and a good antivirus and has never had a problem.

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Windows

Re: Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

Same here, XP SP3 + no updates + Avast free + daily 'Image for Windows' backups do for me.

Have gone for up to 3 months between reboot with no problems. Nowadays do a daily reboot as am running 'enhanced write filter', and no swapfile either.

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Re: Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

As I recall, XP was a stopgap. Win2K came out and was, for its time, a decent desktop OS. In 2000, MS looked like they'd won and the war was over. However, Apple started to ship OS X, and by the end of 2001, 2K was already looking like it needed updating. Add to that that MS was deep into Longhorn, which would become such a running joke that it quit being funny, and MS had to release SOMETHING if only for marketing purposes. They put out XP, which I remember being called "cheesy", "bloated", and the interface possibly being made by Fisher-Price. Plus, the system requirements for the time were pretty darn serious, so that put a lot of people off as well.

Over time XP became more accepted, because the stopgap (XP) turned out to be better than what replaced it (Windows 7). This is not unique to Microsoft, but it was a pretty glaring example.

It's odd, looking back, just how quickly MS went from dominating the desktop to scrambling to keep up with Apple in the early '00s. (I can't bring myself to call them the aughts.)

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Re: Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

He He Microsoft shipping an OS that will only run properly on a machine that has not ben built yet.. What a ridiculous idea..

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Re: Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

Today's best Linux distributions (of which there are many) can do a good job of replacing Windows 7. They can replace Windows XP very easily indeed, and probably thrill users with all the new and better features they offer. As well as running even more comfortably on what is now low-end hardware.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

"I have a perfectly serviceable ATX Case, I can replace Mobos, and HDDs as well as the Odd Graphic Card now and then."

Good luck with that approach in the enterprise.....That's like the old Linux on the desktop costs less argument. It doesn't unless your time is of no value....

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Mushroom

Re: Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

"Today's best Linux distributions (of which there are many) can do a good job of replacing Windows 7. They can replace Windows XP very easily indeed, and probably thrill users with all the new and better features they offer. "

Munich council tried that - ten year later and tens of millions spent and they still havnt finished - and the 'migration' largely consists of having to access Windows via Citrix when they need to get real work done....

Hence no corporates except very niche markets will touch Linux on the desktop with a shitty stick.

If it really was better or cheaper then corporates would be climbing over each other to get the better mouse trap....

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Re: Windows XP was considered a failure when it was first introduced

So how much longer can your Brother count on his Anti Virus Software. 'Cause once Microsoft calls time on XP, you can bet the rest of the World will follow suit in due process...

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> While the desktop version of XP has less than a year to live

You are implying that XP will stop working in a year's time. That is not true, or should not be true. It is that there will be no more updates or fixes, but it should keep running as long as the hardware survives.

It is probable that if there is hardware failure then a reactivation may be required but not available. Warez fixes that problem.

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Windows

YOu're right.

... and it's obviously bugfree and security-hardened after 12years of fighting the gremlins, so no worries at all running it unsupported.

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Updates

Basically it will get tricky when the first major vulnerability is left unpatched by MS.

Afaik MS did some fixes to win2000 after the expiry date, and since much larger XP user numbers won't be ready by April 2013, leaving something that is actively exploited or otherwise extremely dangerous would lead to big trouble and a bad publicity for MS.

So my guess is that they will continue fixes for the worst vulnerabilities a while longer, and in as many ways as possible give you a "subtle" hint to upgrade.

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Dude just use Mint

I feel your pain towards Windows 8. Really I do! But, really its about time to let go and try Linux. It just might surprise you!

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Re: Dude just use Mint

> I feel your pain towards Windows 8. Really I do! But, really its about time to let go and try Linux

This is the attitude that really pisses me off about Linux fanbois, the arrogant assumption that if we would only deign to try it we would all be singing Hosannas and be converted to the Church of Linus for ever after.

Most of us are only too familiar with Linux. I run Solaris, two kinds of Linux, Windows XP and Windows 7 on various computers.They are all great for the environment where I installed and use them. I have no desire whatsoever to put Linux on my laptop, not because it isn't good, but because a Linux laptop is less useful for my particular needs than a Windows one. My home desktop can be booted into Solaris/Debian/WinXP as I wish. I am not looking forward to replacing it because Win8 looks crap, and I still have a need for a home Windows system.

So, enough of the Linux bigotry, OK?

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Megaphone

Re: Dude just use Mint

Linux bigotry? OK, I'll grant you that there are some real zealots out there, but can't you say the same for Microsoft fanbois as well?

I agree that there are serious problems running some software from the Windows environment on Linux. Wine is not a panacea for all that ails you. However, would you not also agree that part of the problem relates to people that insist on using brand names to justify their OS choice rather than actually looking at what they actually need? The same argument can be aimed at those who resist moving from XP to W7, or to iOS, or wherever.

Yes, like you, Phil, I have access to various OS loads, both on virtual and physical metal, and I know what I like and what I can do on each machine. You may think it strange that I do much of what I do on Linux, but it does what I want it to do. Then again, I do much of my video stuff on Windows 7 and have a Windows XP machine that may be used to do my vinyl transfers when I get a round tuit.

I'm not suggesting that everyone needs to change, but neither would I appreciate somebody forcing the choice down my throat. After all, I still use RISC OS. Just think how old that system is!

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Unhappy

Re: Updates

I wonder if this is already happening. Some of my Xp installs are behaving worse and worse - particularly in the area of networking, where slow or absent servers cause the UI to freeze. I'm sure this didn't used to happen.

Windows 7/8 will be "so much faster than XP is (now)"

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Boffin

Re: Dude just use Mint

The problem with Linux distros is that many of them (I do not know them all) are ill maintained and have poor documentation. Updating can also be a problem on many Linux distros today.

For this reason I am going to go away from Gentoo Linux to PC-BSD. I got a bit tired of the nonsense that I am seeing in the Linux world today and I just had enough. So I am moving to the stable world of BSD.

As for Windows XP. I am only using it to run few computers that record earthquakes (that can be viewed here on my web page, http://www.jonfr.com/webicorders/tremoren.htm). I am not going to update them to other version of Windows. I am going to move them to some version of BSD in the future.

Until then I at least hope that I can active Windows XP when I do re-installs. The only other usage that I have for Windows is games that run only on Windows platform. But I am only going to go up to Windows 7 with that. I am not going to come close to Windows 8. But that is a disaster and clearly shows how disconnected the development progress is now from the real world usage.

Since most users want to customize there computers with fancy backgrounds and such things. Something that cannot be done on Windows 8. I also do not like the DRM-UEFI lock down used in Windows 8.

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Re: Dude just use Mint

Linux don't run my version of Photoshop

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Re: Dude just use Mint

I'm a software developer and I'm using Mint and Windows 7 at work and own OS X machines at home. Mint is nice, but I just went through an upgrade where the NVidia drivers were absolutely horked and it took 10-12 hours of my time and about 5 of the sysadmin's to get it straightened out. Good luck getting my kids or in-laws to figure something like that out.

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Re: Dude just use Mint

"The problem with Linux distros is that many of them (I do not know them all) are ill maintained and have poor documentation. "

In desktop terms i hear you. One option is possibly to use Centos which will then leverage off of the underlying RHEL albeit lacking some specific mods. Originally I thought Ubuntu offered hope but that's gone off on a tangent. Maybe LMDE is another option?

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Re: Updates

'Windows 7/8 will be "so much faster than XP is (now)"'

Yes indeed; mainly because the computers it requires to run are about ten times as powerful.

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really!

With approximately 30% or so of all PCs running WinXP I just do not see how Microsoft can cease support. From a practical point of view security of one third of PCs will be at risk and that simply is not acceptable.

Whilst it is unfortunate it is inevitable that XP will live on well beyond next year!

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XP users should say 'thanks' to the penguins

Home users were supposed to get cheap Windows ME and anyone who needed to do anything was supposed to spend hundreds on Windows 2000. ME was a disaster in its own right, but the nail in its coffin was Linux with free stable multi-tasking. XP had its priced slashed for home users because Microsoft needed a competitor for Linux. Next came a whole stream of 'Linux not ready for the desktop' articles, followed by 'get the facts' wrong and still they could not increase the price of XP.

Eventually Microsoft got an operating system that they could charge for. Just when XP was about to be killed to force expensive Vista upgrades, out comes the small cheap computer running Linux. XP users got a stay of execution while 'small cheap computer' got transmogrified into 'netbook' and obscurity.

UEFI and secure boot are here to block Linux, so XP is no longer required. Windows users can now enjoy the yearly price hike an bi-annual hardware refresh that Microsoft planned for them 13 years ago. Enjoy porting to TIFKAM and get ready to port to Microsoft's new fashion statement every two years because Microsoft think you cannot join the penguins any more.

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Re: XP users should say 'thanks' to the penguins

I had Win Me and I also tried linux back then. Win Me was not a disaster at all but linux on the desktop was a disaster in its own right. MS had and OS which worked for the masses; they were not competing with linux.

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WTF?

Re: XP users should say 'thanks' to the penguins

>Win Me was not a disaster at all

I'll assume 3 things.

1. You did not use WinME.

2. You did not support WinME.

3. Your memory has faltered.

I have never seen an operating system corrupt files, randomly blue screen, or oddly fail in so many ways as ME.

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Happy

Re: XP users should say 'thanks' to the penguins

1. I used WinME

2. WinME crapped up many times.

3. I recall that I wiped all six machines that were supplied with WinME and loaded them with spare Win98SE licences.

I know of folk that persevered with WinME, but I had my limits!

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Re: XP users should say 'thanks' to the penguins

I disagree, WinME was a disaster as was Vista (WinME2).

Are you not mixing up WinME with Win 2k?

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Re: XP users should say 'thanks' to the penguins

I actually liked ME better than 98.

It only had two or three major memory leaks and after a while I pretty well knew which bit of software would have to be killed after use (oddly, the win help facility was one of them).

I still routinely fire up task manager first (I've got it running now on Win7) and miss it on LINUX or BSD (ps followed by kill -9 process# works as well).

A lot of us use Windows for a very good reason; Windows operating systems are where our customers live.

You know, money, root of all evil and that sort of thing. I am not at all sure that I would even have a computer if I didn't need it for work.

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Mushroom

Re: really!

"I just do not see how Microsoft can cease support."

They are not ceasing support. It just becomes very expensive and the cost increases exponentially year on year!

"From a practical point of view security of one third of PCs will be at risk and that simply is not acceptable."

XP has been out for 15 years at retirement! Try finding an enterprise Linux version (or any commercial OS) with that sort of lifecycle. Microsoft gave many years notice of the impending retirement of XP - just because you choose not to do anything about it isn't Microsoft's fault....

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Re: really!

Not the problem of MS. They offer alternatives AND the end of support does not come as a surprise. If you don't like the alternatives - buy a Mac, pay for the support or live with the problems.

And let's face it - a lot of those XPs still "out there" won't survive contact with WGA testing so for them nothing changes with the end of support - they don't get any now.

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Re: really!

I have to check but at least Solaris has similar lifecycles. S8 is from 2000 and end of support was 2012.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: really!

So XP had a ~ 25% longer lifetime then!

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XP support ended here ...

... and indeed, all MS support ended here, close to three and a half years ago. Amazing how much of my time has been freed up, without a loss in income.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

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Angel

Except that XP lives until 2016

Windows XP Embedded Edition gets at least another two years of support, so somebody will do unofficial backporting, just like Windows 98 has an unofficial service pack that is currently maintained.

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Facepalm

Re: Except that XP lives until 2016

Oh yes, very clever idea ... run an unsupported operating system after the cut-off date for security support with unofficial unauthorised reverse engineered patches from untrusted 3rd party sources.

That's about as advisable as wandering around a safari park covered in pieces of raw meat!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Except that XP lives until 2016

What security? There is none in Windows. Its just a worthless cat and mouse game.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Except that XP lives until 2016

Erm - you know that the Linux kernel alone has had substantially more security vulnerabilities than the whole of Windows XP? We are on well over 900 now....

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Meh

won't happen!

for the same reason TIFKAM was "called" WindowsRT.. MS senior management are gutless, and they don't have A compelling story to say, because Windows7 is "obsolete" and Wi-Eight is "imature".

It'll take just a few major customers to threaten to go OSX or Linux and MS will fold.. It all hangs on Windows Blue, and that won't leave time for 2014.. Just like the 2007 announcement, it won't happen!

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Re: won't happen!

It will happen. Look at the published pricing for extended support - that's clearly a "pay the salaries of the Win XP team yourself" price.

XP will die, Microsoft cannot afford to let it live.

However, the result will be a wave of Windows 7 installs instead of the Windows 8 (or Blue) that Microsoft wanted, and it will be reported as yet another nail in the Windows 8 coffin.

WinXP is dying and it's taking Win8 with it.

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