back to article Look out, world! HP's found a use for Autonomy - rescuing Win XP bods

HP is offering an Autonomy-powered escape route for wannabe migrants from the dead-end of Windows XP. Microsoft will no longer support for XP, and withhold security updates for the ageing operating system, from next April. Business users will need to upgrade their PCs to run a more modern version of Windows; companies face …

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I prefer my ads...

to appear at the side of the articles thanks.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: I prefer my ads...

Not an ad. We'll leave it to readers to weigh up the merits of using Autonomy software and HP's own servers.

C.

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Re: I prefer my ads...

I prefer my ads blocked by Adblock plus

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Gold badge

Re: I prefer my ads...

Actually, I found the article rather useful. I know little about Autonomy, but I am facing an issue of having to migrate some Windows XP machines. If HP is claiming this is a solution, I want to investigate!

Does it "discover" applications and move them to a new OS? Or just "data"? What kind of data? Is it "drop box for enterprises" trying to upjump itself as a migration solution? Or is is actually going to help me migrate from one OS to another? What about user settings?

Ideally, I want to be able to run an application in my Windows XP box that will vacuum up everything about that box and then plop it down onto a Windows 7 with zero effort on my part. APps, data, settings...the user shouldn't notice a difference except A) there's UAC on Windows 7, B) they removed the up arrow in explorer (the bastards!) and C) they'll continue getting Windows Updates.

If the "migration solution" doesn't do the above then it isn't a "migration solution." It's Dropbox, but probably more crap.

Time to see how much truth there is in HP's claims...

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Re: I prefer my ads...

I agree Trevor, but a good article would answer the questions you've posed and tackle the subject from both sides instead of pointing out all the pros and neglecting to mention any of the potential disadvantages. We'd be able to weigh up the pros and cons as suggested, if some of them were presented.

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Windows

The wrong way

They could probably make a lot of money by starting to Windows Updates for XP. I know several companies that are still using XP and aren't inclined to move to something else. If the cost of buying updates from Autonomy (or whoever) is less than the cost of upgrading hundreds or thousands of PCs to Windows 7, many companies would probably jump at the chance.

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N2

Re: The wrong way

Agree entirely, XP is second with about 33% share thats a vast potential chunk of revenue, even if they just charged a tenner a year for extended support.

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Re: The wrong way

They should launch a "Windows XP R2 Professional X64 Edition", which would basically be Windows XP Professional x64 Edition with a third service pack, plus select backported functionality from Windows 7, such as:

a) TRIM

b) AHCI drivers

c) DirectX 11

d) No user interface "improvements" that would prevent me from making it look just like Windows NT 4.00.

e) No revamped sound stack, DRM or any of that crap in Vista or later.

They should also do the same for Office 2003, with support for the latest file formats, perhaps with a save-as-PDF feature - and that's it.

Both products should be supported with a €10 per person per year support charge, which would allow a stable and mature product such as this to be supported on a long-term basis, while still providing an workable income.

Once this is in place, they could offer Windows XP and Office 2003 users a real upgrade path!

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Anonymous Coward

So that's where Alexei Sayle is these days

He's on the cover of the HP brochure you eventually get after clicking the link in the advertorial. Said brochure contains the following text:

"Autonomy Connected Backup interoperates with Autonomy’s Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) to apply automatic advanced analytics, categorization, and clustering to all types of data, enabling organizations to reduce costs and risks and collect server data for data analytics, efficient discovery, and legal hold. Note: Autonomy IDOL requires a separate software license"

A separate licence is also required for Autonomy Legal Hold, part of the same product suite. Probably others too, icba.

Not so much a connected backup product, more an upselling opportunity mailout. Well we'll see won't we.

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Silver badge

Here, let me fix that for you

That will involved data migration from the old expired XP boxes to whatever newer Windows system might be chosen.

That will involved data migration from the old expired XP boxes to whatever new Operating System might be chosen.

Keeping with Windows might be easier in the short term, but the same problem will keep happening over and over. For some companies this is a very good time to look at making the switch to Linux.

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Meh

Windows XP data - Securing the data is fine...

...I'm less certain that, having secured a Windows XP Office 2000 Access database's content, say, that I'll find some "automagic inside (tm)" Android or iPad tablet app that's going to help me make sense of that data...

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WTF?

A bear of little brain asks...

Is difficulty 'moving data' the burning problem keeping people on XP?

So it's nothing to do with losing perfectly functional 16 bit apps; retraining lusers on crappy UI's; legacy hardware with no Vista (and later) drivers or the inability to run Office 2003 on Windoze 8 then.

I know XP arrived when PCs still (just about) came with floppy discs but.. (see icon)

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Silver badge

We've already migrated to Windows 7, however ...

We did not have a problem with data migration. People do not save data on local drives. If they do, they risk losing it.

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Bronze badge
Go

Re: We've already migrated to Windows 7, however ...

No local data storage. Check. Correct.

However, this leads to the question: why are we running a full-fat Windows client machine, when (perhaps) we could get by with something slimmer running Remote Desktop Protocol? I expect that as Christoph says, some organisations will think of shifting to Linux (KDE wouldn't be a huge transition for XP users), and others may think of re-engineering to use thin clients.

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Silver badge

HP Say

Upload all your business data to our cloud. That way the NSA only has to ask us for it, instead of hacking your network.

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I wonder...

What will happen if you try to install a non-LVL XP after the EOL date?

Will they keep the "activation" servers on forever?

Will they make a patch that removes the phone-home element.

Does them turning off the activation services mean they'll give out a LVL to anyone that wants to keep using it?

Is it legal to make a product stop working after a certain date, after you bought it?

What happens after 90 days and it tries to phone-home, but no one is there, are people going to be locked out of their systems?

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Pint

Re: I wonder...

I think it's time to schedule popcorn deliveries as well as start collecting some survival kits for the big chaos to come :)

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Re: I wonder...

"Is it legal to make a product stop working after a certain date, after you bought it?"

You didn't buy the product, you bought a licence to use install and use it. Microsoft are expiring the licence, as they enshirned in the agreement that you acknowledged and accepted by using and registering the supplied licence key.

I wonder, too, how Apple users running WindowsXP on top of Parallels or Boot Camp will manage, beyond the license cease date...

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Bronze badge

Re: I wonder... @Ged T: "Microsoft are expiring the licence"

No Microsoft are terminating support updates, as per their product lifecycle there is a difference!

The XP EULA does not contain a termination/license expiry date, nor the means whereby MS could activate such a termination other than through the user not abiding by the terms of the EULA.

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Re: I wonder...

You mean something like the codes on MS' site here?

There are various ways that MS allows volume licences or OEM licences to continue to work.

I do echo your question about how perpetual licences may or may not continue to be activated after April next year though.

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FAIL

Re: I wonder...

Eh? Since when does XP 'Phone Home' every 90 days? I've dozens of custs on XP boxes, some without any internet (just use it as a typewriter basically) - it doesn't auto-expire, you know.

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Bronze badge

Re: I wonder...

>There are various ways that MS allows volume licences or OEM licences to continue to work.

For volume licenses, just keep paying the annual subscription/licence fee, or negotiate to convert them to perpetual licences.

As an OEM license is just a specific type of perpetual license, I would take MS's assurances that the activation servers won't be turned off and that if they were to be they would issue an update removing the need to activate XP (and other legacy products?).

The only caveat I would add, is that the above are conditional on the licence's not tripping MS's abuse/piracy flags and hence getting terminated.

The only real unknown is: how long will MS maintain the XP (and other legacy products) update sites. As whilst MS have specified when they will stop issuing new updates they haven't specified a date when the existing released updates will be withdrawn. But given that you can still get updates for WfWGs from MS, I suspect this will not be anytime soon... So it might be useful to invest in tools such as nLite from www-nliteos-com.

A question is whether XP embedded has a licence key and does it work on an XP desktop install - if so now might be the time to invest as this could give a few more years of updates...

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Bronze badge

Re: I wonder...

>Since when does XP 'Phone Home' every 90 days

XP does phone home, if auto updates are enabled. Also during the auto update process it performs a licence/activation key check of some form. Obviously, turning off auto update and not installing stuff that requires verification stops this from happening.

Another time this can happen is when Windows for reasons unknown decides it is no longer registered - from the MS support forums this seems to happen quite a lot and may be due to such things as a failing network card, causing Windows to go into the unregistered/reactivation cycle.

One of the interesting things I encountered with a client's system (pirated VLK) was that the licence purchase prompt was for Windows 8. So once in this situation unless the user has a valid licence and media for the installed version of Windows, enabling a repair install, the only solution is to install a new OS ...

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Facepalm

Re: >Since when does XP 'Phone Home' every 90 days

You are correct, but so am I. A user was wondering what would happen once the activation servers go offline, because of the 'phone home to authenticate' feature in XP. He was obviously under the impression that a legitimate copy of XP would then somehow become 'deactivated'. I'm pointing out that once they pull the plug on updates, there is *no requirement* for XP to authenticate, quite obviously. It will remain operational forever (hard drive permitting.

For the tldr guys, XP will not simply self-destruct if > 90 days pass since the last activation.

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Silver badge

I've had to deal with HP salesfolk recently

Autonomy does it all, apparently. If I'd had a requirement for a cheese-grater, their solution would have been several servers-full of Autonomy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I've had to deal with HP salesfolk recently

"their solution would have been several servers-full of Autonomy."

You do realise that if you buy the software they pay you an equivalent amount to take the servers? They record the software sale as a sale and the servers are written off as a marketing expense.

Allegedly, m'lud.

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Silver badge

Re: I've had to deal with HP salesfolk recently

That's like a smack dealer giving you a free syringe.

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Bronze badge

XP end-of-life

I have a number of XP systems, but I'm not going Win7 or Win8, I've been trying out Linux Mint for the last few months and I now find it good enough. For me at least, 2013 is the year of Linux-on-the-desktop.

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Silver badge

Re: XP end-of-life

For me at least, 2013 is the year of Linux-on-the-desktop....

Yippeee, what about the other 10,000 in your business...Oh wait.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: XP end-of-life

"Yippeee, what about the other 10,000 in your business"

If Linux is ready for him, then clearly he is not in any sort of business in the normal sense of that word.....Linux market share hasn't moved off 1% in years....

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Gold badge

Windows XP is closed source.

"If the cost of buying updates from Autonomy (or whoever) is less than the cost of upgrading hundreds or thousands of PCs to Windows 7, many companies would probably jump at the chance."

But Windows XP is closed source, so this is not an option.

That said, indeed, once "0 hour" comes and you do upgrade your systems (seriously, don't leave them running XP... I'm not saying go to Windows 7 or 8, this is a good time to evaluate what you really need...) then a backup strategy really is needed, even if you intend to do some "in place" upgrade it really provides a needed safety net.

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Bronze badge

Re: Windows XP is closed source.

A data backup strategy is needed regardless of platform version. No the real challenge is preparing to maintain XP platforms, which at some stage may need to be reinstalled on new hardware (physical or virtual).

Remember as of April 2014 Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 will also go off support, so the migration issue isn't quite so simple as just identifying the, generally older, machines that natively run XP.

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Anonymous Coward

Amazing

HP is still doing something other than printers? Who knew!

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Silver badge

Re: Who knew!

HP makes printers? I thought they just sold toner and ink.

Sadly, I'm old enough to recall when they sold cool stuff like low powered He-Ne lasers.

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I solved my aging WinXP installation

about 3 years ago by going over to Ubuntu 10.04 at the time.

Its bloody brilliant.

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(Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

Re: Er...

Just checked. No - this article was pre-modded.

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Bronze badge

Why bother with the cloud? Just wrap it in a virtual machine

Use any VM converter to wrap the XP box into a virtual machine and safe it on a big enough external hard or network drive, then update the box to the OS of your choice, either Windows 7/8 or any flavour of Linux or BSD or whatever OS you wish to migrate to, connect the virtual machine (and deny it network connection after next April, for obvious reasons) - voila! You have full access to whatever used to be on the XP box.

This has the nice side effect, that there is still a chance to recover licence keys you forgot to unlock before the transition. (Some software might notice it is suddenly running in a VM and might not allow to unlock the license key any more, however).

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Silver badge

Say what?

"It backs up files from the dead-end XP machine either to the cloud or your own data centre. From there the users can get "near-instant" access to their data when they log in to their new PC"

Well I will admit that it's been quite some time since I was focussed on Windows but how is this different than simply setting up a roaming profile*?

I understand that the iOS and Android access would not be there but I can't imagine that your local button pushing Windows monkey tasked with doing last minute emergency XP migrations would have that sort of thing high up on their priority list.

* Unless of course MS has broken migrating roaming profiles between Windows versions which would not surprise me in the least.

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Bronze badge

Re: Say what?

>Unless of course MS has broken migrating roaming profiles between Windows versions which would not surprise me in the least.

Yes there are interoperability issues with roaming profiles between XP, Vista/7 and 8 when working in a mixed OS environment...

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Silver badge

Re: Say what?

Yeah there are profile related issues for data storage. But I agree with many of the previous posters, this is the mote in the eye of the migration issue, not the beam sticking out of its side. Data you can always find a way to get at. It's replacing the apps that is usually the bitch. I recall we were all the way up to XP SP3 at one place I worked for all the systems except for one critical database desktop we needed for HR that ran on a Windows 98SE box. Replacing the box was easy. Paying the $10K for the new employee database and badging system was another story. And that would have been before re-engineering the back end hooks that fed into the company intranet. Somebody may have finally virtualized the damn thing, but I'd bet a month's pay its still running 95 to this day.

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Silver badge

Re: Say what?

Yeah, I realise that this was not an option in the days of win 98 but these days legacy shitfights like that can be "solved" using virtual machines although one would have to wonder how sensible it is to have a critical database hosted on a Windows 95 machine in 2002 and beyond. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet

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Windows

April 1st, 2014

Next April will be an auspcious time to migrate to the Industry Standard Windows XP, when after 13 years of fastidiious bug fixing by the Microsoft legions, it will finally reach Stable status.

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Nym

And Windows 7 of course

expires next month

Windows 8

the month after

Windows 8.1 the month after that and...

after that Windows 9 which is strangely convenient. No disc, no computer, no hard drive, it doesn't work; it just frees you of wishing to ever use a computer again.

No, wait, that's Microsoft Operating Systems.

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