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back to article This changes everything: Microsoft slips WinXP holdouts $100 to buy new Windows 8 PCs

In an attempt to lure people off its 13-year-old Windows XP operating system, Microsoft will pay $100 to XP users who upgrade to a new Windows 8 PC. The promotion, run via the Microsoft Store website, is open to users who ditch their Windows XP systems and buy new machines. The money-off offer applies to PCs costing $699 or …

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Windows 8.1?

No.

Just no.

Wiped 8.1 once on a new $175 laptop to install Linux Mint. Don't need to do it again.

...Cirdan...

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Re: Windows 8.1?

Each to his own. I have it running on all of my machines here. I find it is the best version of Windows I've used - I've been using Windows since 2.0 was released.

I leave the Windows installed and either dual boot or run Linux in a VM here.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows 8.1?

I think it's perfectly named: Wait (w-eight). I won't touch it.

If MICROSOFT is offering me $ (sorry, £) to upgrade I get very, very, VERY suspicious as it's not exactly known for generosity. This logically means that there is an intention to reclaim that £/$ 100 via higher costs elsewhere. No thanks.

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Facepalm

Re: Windows 8.1?

If you had been using Windows since 2.0 you'd know that Windows XP is one of, if not, the best OS straight out of Redmond and nothing has come close right to this day.

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Re: Windows 8.1?

Well, duh - they've been through PR disasters before, such as Vista - you think they should sit around and do nothing to respond to user complaints? Yes, the $100 is a pretty cheap "take a 2nd look" bribe - why not?

Microsoft was pretty hot on the upcoming update to 8.1 announced at MobileWorldCongress - while the execution of Win8 was all Ballmered up, in the end I'm still interested to see corrections and new features.

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/windows-81-update-1-will-arrive-just-in-time-to-woo-windows-xp-holdouts/

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Re: Windows 8.1?

>>>> Each to his own. I have it running on all of my machines here. I find it is the best version of Windows I've used - I've been using Windows since 2.0 was released.

I love it when someone writes something really funny. Nice one :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows 8.1?

I find [Windows 8] is the best version of Windows I've used - I've been using Windows since 2.0 was released

Yes, I bet using Win8 brings you back to the good old days, eh?

No bevels, few colours, ...

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Re: Windows 8.1?

I've got no real problem with MS as a whole. Sure, some of their tactics are shitty and some of their products really, really suck. But that's to be expected with any huge company.

One thing MS is not though, is an innovator. They have had a lot of success in refining concepts and ideas of others and they excel in market segmentation and manipulation management. But innovation? No.

On the business side of software Microsoft most certainly deserves all the credit for one of their only, truly original concepts. They singlehandedly created, refined and scaled the 'It's supposed to do that' aka the 'That's an Undocumented Feature, not a bug' method of product defense. Prior to that development, talking about how your customer base was comprised of the worlds most talented professionals. The abilities your product gave them to maximize their potential and, without skipping a beat, turn right around and say 'you obviously aren't in that group of elites, dumbass, or you'd know why this feature is so important', is a pretty bold move.

Truth be told, that strategy only worked because LASIK surgery was still very experimental and contacts were hard, uncomfortable and expensive. Had the 'don't hit people wearing glasses' societal taboo not been in place someone would have knocked Bill Gates right off the stage and into a mosh pit filled with Cheetos dust and damp, untied shoelaces trailing the unique bathroom floor sludge found at IT conferences, and guaranteed to completely befuddle FBI forensics teams sent in to investigate how someone could be mobbed to death and leave absolutely no trace of blood.

They also deserve a lot of credit for the 'could've cost more' strategy. Although not entirely original, MS scaled it so far that it actually became something else entirely. Historians differ on the exact date, but the release of the 'Other' Kennedy, the one with Mental Health issues and a frontal lobotomy that nobody talks about (aka Windows ME) is universally agreed on as being the 'ignition product'.

'Windows has more than eleventybillion lines of code. Of course there will be some bugs in there. But look, it uses more than twice as many computer resources than the previous version so you're doubling the amount of work your computer was doing and the price didn't double. We worked very hard to reach those performance milestones and we could have charges you a lot more than we did. You should be thanking us. Have a butterfly sticker'.

The audacity of those defenses and the matter-of-fact way they were delivered will certainly go down in history as some of the most important developments ever made in commerce. Somewhere, as we speak, the successors to the Gates/Ballmer 'Fuck You' school of PR are out there. Will they come from the world of traditional, proprietary closed source code or the newer, less understood world of OSS where new developments are occurring daily? Time will tell, but those successors will have some very large shoes to fill.

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Re: Windows 8.1?

XP is what drove me to try Linux in 2002. It was a huge pile of doggie dos until SP2 came out, until then Windows 2000 was a better option. Windows 7 was much better than XP and I prefer Windows 8 to Windows 7.

Next to ME, Windows XP is probably the worst version they released, it was just the only option for so long, that it became popular and is, for many people, the only version of Windows they have ever used.

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Re: Windows 8.1? PR disaster

Vista was a PR disaster? And what was XP? Few people wanted to use it, it was the last of the pre-Internet operating system, released in a time when everybody wanted Internet access. The firewall was diabolical and turned off as standard. Its standard security resembled a sieve.

That was its huge problem and the reason why it took so long to come out wit Longhorn. Gates had to pull nearly all staff off of working on the next version of Windows and get them on shoring up the leaky dike that was XP, with the secure Computing Initiative.

It was only after SP2 that it became a credible alternative.

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Re: Windows 8.1?

>>>>XP is what drove me to try Linux in 2002. It was a huge pile of doggie dos until SP2 came out, until then Windows 2000 was a better option.

Good comment, people talk about xp like it was a windows utopia, but the initial release was awful and sp1 didn't fix all the issue.

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Re: Windows 8.1?

I moved to XP from 2000 after at least SP1 (and dual booted it with SUSE Linux). I manually tweaked security settings (and was fairly paranoid in setting router firewall settings). I found XP useful, but actually prefer Windows 7. For me, Windows 7 is the best version I have used, but then I have little or no experience with the 98, ME, and Vista incarnations (my loss, I know ;-) ).

Win 8 on a new laptop is much less to my liking and I must still get round to setting up the machine to dual boot with Linux. A single try getting round the effing EFI boot loader failed.

I will try upgrading one ancient laptop from XP to Win 7 and failing that make it a full Linux machine.

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Windows

Re: Windows 8.1?

>>XP is what drove me to try Linux in 2002. It was a huge pile of doggie dos until SP2 came out

Which of course is *exactly* what happened with Vista/Win 7, Vista came out, a POS, SP1 was a huge fire-fight, SP2 actually pretty good (but by then the damage was done), SP3 was "renamed" Windows 7, it's the same code base (even called Windows 6.1 internally, mind you 8 is 6.2 so that probably doesn't mean much now).

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Linux

Re: probably doesn't mean much now

From what I've heard the underlying OS seems to be everything you'd want from a Windows 7 update, it's just the user interface and some of the system management tools that MSFT really messed up.

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this sounds like a deal

599$ (plus tax) is surely the offer that no "cheapskate" holding on to ancient PC would refuse (discarding all other valid reasons to keep existing system). And Windows 8 is just icing on the cake.

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Re: this sounds like a deal

Not sure if being sarcastic....

But how's this for a reason?

I don't have £600 (because let's face it - any technology related item basically get's the $ sign changed to a £ when it launches here with no actual currency conversion taking place) to spare - and I cannot justify spending half-a-grand replacing a system that works perfectly well and has plenty of life in it yet. Throw in the fact that there are 8 machines running XP Home, XP Pro and XP Media Center - and suddenly that's quite a lot I would have to spend upgrading.

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Re: this sounds like a deal

"Not sure if being sarcastic...."

I'm sure. Definitely sarcastic. You posted in vain.

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Re: this sounds like a deal

"...icing on the cake ???"

More like icing on the road, waiting for the unwary to drive over it.

Yes, I have tried it - the free test version MS released last year. Good hardware recognition BUT how do you properly switch the b#st#rd off? My workaround was to reboot, and hit the off button when the power-up screen appeared.

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Windows

Re: this sounds like a deal

You're wrong about the $ to £ conversion.

I'm pretty sure the $699 will translate to £699, but the $100 discount won't translate to £100.

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Re: this sounds like a deal

Wow why didn't I think of that?! I just yanked the lead outta mine to get it to shut off!

Cause Start -> Shutdown was just to simple to keep huh?

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Thumb Up

Re: this sounds like a deal

Andrew, you probably have some reason for running so many systems, and you are right upgrade costs in the UK are silly money. But if you can't afford to keep them upgraded then you run security risks, so its time to consider a new strategy by either

a) Reduce the number of PCs, the electric savings alone would cover a lot of the XP to Win7 or XP to Win 8.1 upgrade costs.

b) swap to Linux.

Just food for thought :)

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Re: this sounds like a deal

"because let's face it - any technology related item basically get's the $ sign changed to a £ when it launches here with no actual currency conversion taking place"

Whilst that's generally how it works, there's some exceptions. Take CoPilot for Android. $7 for the premium US edition. UK and Ireland premium edition is £20.

Which is a pity, I'd buy CoPilot at the drop of hat, but for that single fact that the thieves are trying to ream me out.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: this sounds like a deal

Windows 8 is an insect moving about on the cake.

It is not the icing. Not by a long shot.

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Happy

Re: this sounds like a deal

I can surely confirm

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Joke

Re: this sounds like a deal

" I'm sure. Definitely sarcastic. You posted in vain."

Yup. We definitely need(*) an "An American in the room" icon for such occasions!

/me runs away and hides

(*) Sorry, just a crappy joke about the stereotypes regarding America/British sarcasm! Don't be angry old chaps. There's plenty of cake left in the queens parlour. Toodle pip, cheerio old fella!

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Re: this sounds like a deal

Glad I wasn't the only one who kept losing the "off-switch". How can a company with a reputed R&D budget of 10bn make such a basic concept so goddamned protracted?

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Re: this sounds like a deal

Not sure if being sarcastic....

Not sure if being meta-sarcastic...

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Linux

Re: the "off-switch"

You could always use the "shutdown" command, maybe even stick it in a shortcut on the desktop ... oh, yeah - no desktop.

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$1000 wouldnt be enough

I have had this misfortune to use a W8 laptop.

What a total pile of shit. The bluetooth mouse needed to be paired again on every re-boot. The graphics card crashed all the time, the wireless network would keep dropping every few mins, the "shared graphics" was just a shambles, and I could not select the AMD 8000 card to work with my browser or certain applications which insisted on using the inadequate intel HD graphics resulting in piss poor performance.

All in all I wanted to throw the laptop out of my window!!

The worst computer experience I have ever had!!

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Trollface

Re: $1000 wouldnt be enough

Clearly you need Clippy to give you advice on blood pressure management.

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Re: $1000 wouldnt be enough @Nathan

Sounds like the problem wasn't with the shitty OS but shitty hardware. Was it an Acer...?

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Re: $1000 wouldnt be enough

AMD you say ?

Hmmm never seen a shit AMD/ATI driver in my life.

Epilogue explanation for Americans:

The amd driver comment contained a heavy amount of sarcasm and should not be taken literally.

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Re: $1000 wouldnt be enough

"Clearly you need Clippy to give you advice on blood pressure management."

Clippy was the cause of high blood pressure for a former colleague.

He would explode with rage when the wretched thing made an appearance.

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Re: $1000 wouldnt be enough

Office and Windows - more deadly than booze, fags, and cholesterol. (And bingo.)

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Bronze badge

Re: Clearly you need Clippy to give you advice on blood pressure management

To be fair, my reaction to Clippy wasn't quite that bad. I did however immediately kick the user off the computer to completely uninstall it.

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Re: $1000 wouldnt be enough

$1,000 would be plenty, buy a £600 laptop with Windows 8 pro then ask MS for a key to upgrade it to Windows 7, or put your favorate free OS. An hours work and you would have a free reasionable spec laptop running the OS of your choice (unless it is XP or earlier).

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SVV

They're not paying you $100

They're basically giving you the OS for free if you buy the hardware through the "Microsoft Store".

Hands up who'd buy hardware through the Microsoft Store?

Yep, thought not.

I wouldn't bet against them giving it away for free in the next 12 months, as they panic and realise that the low opinion of it has become so deeply entrenched that the risk becomes apparent that this may break the chain of Windows (and therefore Office) license revenues that has kept the moolah rolling in for so many years now.

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Meh

Re: They're not paying you $100

That's a pretty safe bet. It might even work to some degree, but there must be some pretty impressive levels of cognitive dissonance going on in the marketing department when they try to reconcile their apparent certainty that they are 'right' concerning the roadmap for Windows in the face of months of overwhelming evidence (in the form of lack of revenue) that it isn't what customers want.

Underneath the Modern UI is a decent successor to Windows 7, with a few useful new features and good performance. All that has to happen is for them to provide a 'desktop' service release for Enterprise and Desktop users who need that, preferably with an admission that they were wrong and an undertaking to listen to users in future. I'm doubtful on the first, expecting Hell to experience a sudden cold snap before the second ever comes into play.

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Re: They're not paying you $100

Precisely.

I would upgrade in a heartbeat to;

Windows 8 OS with Windows7 UI - best (relatively speaking) of both worlds in a Microsoft universe.

It astounds me that this option was not the default for the WindowsServer versions (and spare me the "real-men" use headless and CLI bullshit please) and a fully functional option on the consumer versions.

But hey, I have seen plenty of galactically dumb corporate moves in the IT industry in the past 30+ years, so what's one more amongst "friends"?

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404
Bronze badge

Re: They're not paying you $100

ok, wouldn't buy any hardware from the Microsoft Store, but ya'll need to stop being ridiculous.

I've been running Windows 8 since first day on an HP EliteBook 8440p, running Start8 since 45 minutes after install and haven't seen Metro or whatever you want to call that way-too-large start menu since. Boots right into desktop.

Pay your $4.99, Bada boom, bada bing, Windows 7 desktop with Windows 8 speed.*

*edited to say: I apologize for the pun. It was not intended. Try again with an Italian mobster accent.

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Re: They're not paying you $100

@404

Pretty much you agree with everyone else, the Desktop is crap, just you would rather pay $4.99 to put it right.

Many would prefer MS to put it right, everyone that pays for Start8 or the likes, is actually agreeing that there is a problem with Windows 8/8.1. just showing there dissatisfaction in a different way IMHO.

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Re: They're not paying you $100

Not taking sides but I recently was ask to look at a laptop that had crashed, throwing up an error message. When I got it, it booted up fine. Seemed to have been a one time thing, it recovered on reboot, and the owner panicked.

I decided to check a few things, just to show that I had done something, and found that it was running windows 8. I was very surprised on this, no metro at all. Straight up windows 7 looking screen. I ask what they were using and they had no idea, came like that. This was a $400 machine, and it ran smooth.

Point being, yeah, metro sucks, but like others have said, you can run windows 8 without ever seeing the first metro tile from boot up to shutdown.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They're not paying you $100 -- @taylor

"Point being, yeah, metro sucks, but like others have said, you can run windows 8 without ever seeing the first metro tile from boot up to shutdown."

Of course - 8.1 update made that an option.

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Facepalm

Re: They're not paying you $100

"ok, wouldn't buy any hardware from the Microsoft Store, but ya'll need to stop being ridiculous.

I've been running Windows 8 since first day on an HP EliteBook 8440p, running Start8 since 45 minutes after install and haven't seen Metro or whatever you want to call that way-too-large start menu since. Boots right into desktop.

Pay your $4.99, Bada boom, bada bing, Windows 7 desktop with Windows 8 speed.*"

Spoken like a true consumer. I'm glad you've got something that works for you, bizarre though it is that you're OK with spending the $4.99 you shouldn't have had to spend. However:

  • If you go to a boardroom and plead for $4.99 each to add Start8 to several thousand PCs during a rollout, the answer will be a rather mystified 'no'.
  • If you then say 'how about adding Classic Shell* - it's free!' - the answer from the IT Department will be 'no' because why should we add complexity to our images, and spend man hours of testing on, something that has been and should be in the OS already.
The Modern UI in the context of Windows Phone is pretty nice. I have a Nokia Lumia, and like it, it's a good phone with an increasingly decent OS. Combining that with the Windows desktop like some kind of binary Frankenstein has had predictable results by way of breaking them both. They want to have their cake and eat it by keeping the desktop market while setting up a walled app garden next to Apple, and they wanted to save money doing so by using one development effort for one single (abortion of a) product. They got called on it by pretty much the entire corporate world and not an insignificant portion of the consumer one, they won't admit they're wrong, and this is the result.

*I use it when I have to evaluate 8.x - it works acceptably. That's not the point.

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Perspective

Paying $4.99 for Start8 to get an XP-like interface... you pay more for coffee at Starbucks, vs. continually pissing and moaning about the modern UI over how MS 'shoulda done it'.

How much is your time worth? $4.99 is a very small price to pay to just get on with it and do my job(s). Maybe I pick my battles differently, maybe I just get tired of the squishy sound beating my head against a wall. Take your pick.

Good Day!*

;)

*up/down votes-> wasn't me. Too much effort for this subject.

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Re: They're not paying you $100

"I wouldn't bet against them giving it away for free in the next 12 months..."

Then all they'd need to do would be to open-source the code, and enhance it to the level of a good Linux distro - and it would become competitive!

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Re: They're not paying you $100

they panic and realise that the low opinion of it has become so deeply entrenched that the risk becomes apparent that this may break the chain of Windows (and therefore Office) license revenues that has kept the moolah rolling in for so many years now.

Actually, they are panicking already. The Swiss office of data protection told them to clean up their act of face problems with selling Office 365 in Switzerland. In something that is IMHO totally unprecedented for especially a *LARGE* US company, Microsoft agreed to not only make their contracts subject to Swiss law, but also give clients a choice as to where to host their data. (translated link, original article is German).

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Too little, too late.

XP has been running for the last 13 years on hardware nearly as old.

Anyone using a copy of XP on an XP era machine knows full good & well that It Works.

If they've stuck with XP this long, especially after all the media coverage to upgrade, what do you think the chances are of them actually doing it?

Contrary to popular belief, $500 +tax +shipping isn't an inconsiderable amount of money, especially if you live on a fixed income (Pension, Disability, Minimum Wage, etc).

So being able to plonk down half a thousand for a brand spanking new computer, when the old one Just Works, is grasping at straws.

If GrandFather has to choose between refilling his arthritis medication and buying a new computer (especially if the one he's using Just Works), then the computer doesn't get the dosh.

Anyone whom has lived in a low/fixed income situation for any length of time has learned to Make Do with what you've got, especially if it Just Works.

Don't like that 19 inch Standard Definition, RCA plug sporting, Rabbit Ears antenna using, no coax connecter, television? Too bad, it works, so you can't afford to toss it out to get a new one.

Same thing goes with the computer.

If it's worked for the last 13 years, it's still working now, and you haven't got the cash to upgrade, then you don't upgrade.

And you want them to upgrade to an operating system that all their friends, family, and their personal (read Unpaid) TechSupport person has told them to avoid like the plague?

Not for a Hundred, doubtfull for Five Hundred, and "maybe" for a full thousand.

Essentially, if you *Gave Away* the computer to those whom are still using XP, then *MAYBE* they'd be willing to migrate.

And those are just the private citizens reluctant to stop using what works.

Government agencies, financial institutions, merchants' Point of Sale control software, "Advanced" Flight Control Systems (Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S., the equiv in the rest of the world) using XP to keep planes from playing bumper tag in the skies, pharmacies using it to control inventory systems & ordering systems, schools using it because they don't have the budget to upgrade nor the staff to do the job even if they could scrape up the cash, etc etc etc.

The U.K. is hounding MS to continue support for XP, because they don't want, can't afford, and can't give a good reason to "upgrade" to Win8.

The hardware still works, the software still works, and nobody wants to throw good money out the window on the off chance they'll be able to use Win8 worth a damn.

It doesn't matter if I like Win8 or not, it doesn't matter if You like it either, the General Public has spoken, and XP, even if it's ONLY *Down To* a 15% market share, is *STILL* doing better than Win8.

So what if MS is offering $100 off some crappy, overpriced, Win8 equipped machine?

They'll spend more than that $100 on retraining to use Win8, buy all new software (Office, their XP software *IF* a newer version exists), and to migrate all their data.

Unless, of course, the devices they're using with XP can even be supported under Win8.

That old Konnica DotMatrix printer that's still going strong, prints Just Fine for the needs of it's owner, and requires a Parallel Port to interface, will be a rather amusing project to get working on a current machine.

"Just buy a new one!"

Uh huh, so now they have to spend even MORE money to "modernize", only to end up not being able to do what they can currently do Just Fine on their XP machine?

GrandDad isn't going to shell out nearly a thousand dollars for a new machine, a new printer, a new scanner, a new fax machine, a new copy of Office, fresh copies of $RandomProgram, just because MS whines at them to do so.

He'll give 'em The Finger, tell 'em to shove off, and keep right on pecking on that original IBM clicky keyboard, connected via DIN plug, smacking his "newfangled" two button mouse, staring at his 15 inch 1024x768 "high resolution" CRT, and transcribing all his memoires in his perfectly functional copy of WordStar2000...

And you can pry his Lotus Notes 123 out of his cold, dead hands.

*Snort*

So Microsoft, you'll have to do better than this.

There's a perfectly valid reason those "hold outs" are doing it.

Because the hardware still works, the software still works, they can't afford to upgrade, and everything they've heard in the news, read in the paper, gotten in their email, and been told by their Tech Support GrandKids says Win8 is an absolute pile o' crap.

If they're already unwilling to upgrade under those conditions, do you REALLY think insulting them with a hundred dollar whine is going to change their minds?

And all it takes is a single question to derail your "upgrade":

"Whill this new machine still be running in 13 years like my old one?"

If the answer isn't a resounding yes (and made in writing), then you'll get laughed at.

"Why should I buy a new car with all those bells & whistles, when my Volvo stationwagon still runs just fine?

Sure it's cantankerous on cold mornings, but hell, so am I!"

If you're LUCKY, they'll get talked into getting a Win7 machine instead, but that STILL opens the can o' worms of having to buy all new software, new hardware, and having someone retrain them to the new UI.

Because no matter how much of that crack pipe you suck down, the "Ribbon" UI is still a dingleberry infested arse fold, and "Metro" makes the "Ribbon" look *good*.

*Gags*

Now if you'll pardon me, I've got an XP machine I'm currently reformatting.

It's getting Linux, & MS is getting The Finger.

*GRIN*

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Silver badge

Re: Too little, too late.

Try using a 13 year old install of XP on a 13 year old PC and you'll find that it doesn't work...very well at all.

Trust me I see them when folks ask me to upgrade them.

If you think wasting 20 minutes a day waiting 'for something to happen' then by all means but I'm sure most of us here have better things to do.

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