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back to article Microsoft gives XP an extra two years to live (kinda)

Microsoft said today it will continue to sell Windows XP Home beyond its scheduled June 30 kill-date for the emerging class of "ultra-low-cost PCs," or ULCPCs. The operating system has been granted a reprieve until mid-2010, but only for the diminutive laptops such as the Asus Eee PC and Intel Classmate PC which lack the …

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Anonymous Coward

@Gordon Fecyk

"say Good Bye to your first (second?) love, and start dating Vista"

Date that fat wheezing old slut who spends her afternoons telling your boss what you did the day before? No thanks, I'll stick with Lady Linux. I bit difficult to pick up, but slim. elegant and MINE.

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Alien

MS Windows and the NHS

Big chunks of the NHS will continue to use XP for some years - Dell, amongst others, will be supplying new XP machines until an as-yet unknown future date - but certainly several years I believe.

I rather hope that when, in the fullness of time, XP is no longer well-enough supported to be used in clinical practice, we start the change over to Linux, rather than yet another proprietary OS.

Such a decision by a huge customer may, of course, be a big enough trigger for MS to try and pursue the various patent violations that it claims Linux has commited.

It is interesting to note that some of the big names in medical imaging - GE and Toshiba - for instance, have already partly made the switch to open source.

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Paris Hilton

@gothicform

...but support it forever? I believe the act only requires a supplier to provide a warranty service for the first 12 months (or is it 24 months?)

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Linux

Dear Microsoft,

I anticipate buying a new laptop, within the next 12 months or so.

The operating system on this laptop will be XP, or Linux. Your call!

Cheers,

Steve.

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For people considering Linux try PCLinuxOS

I'm typing this on a wonderful Linux system called PCLinuxOS. It makes Vista look slow and bloated in comparison. I have my dual monitor setup, great sound and video, multiple desktops available via a variety of hot-keys, all the software I could possibly use in a lifetime. All for free.

There is a fair amount of effort at this point to learn it all and often it's a solitary thing to get it going, but once it's there you gotta say, Holy of Holies ( didn't want to be censored here), is this ever a sweet set up! A much nicer computing than either of M$' offerings.

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Ben
Flame

RE: Support? Linux?

"Just the same way that community "supports" all the WiFi cards supported on Windows?"

Tell me, which WiFi cards are supported by Windows XP out of the box? Certainly not any WPA cards...

"Or support the way each Linux Distro is slightly different and all popular programs "just work"?"

You've got a short memory span if you can't remember all the compatibility head-aches when 98, XP and Vista were introduced.

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Coat

Nitpick

You can't wash your hands dry. By definition you wash them wet. You'd have to rub them dry or towel them dry.

Mine's the one with the towel in the pocket.

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Unhappy

@Wayland Sothcott - Onwards and Upwards? I don't think so...

Wayland tells us: "We could freeze all hardware right where it is and the computer industry would still produce faster computers. Software would slim down and speed up. With Vista, Microsoft is using software to drive the hardware market which does not seem to want to follow."

Now this sounds great, ideal in fact. But I'm afraid that this is idealistic fantasy.

We might all like to think of software development as continual fine-honing of software, optimising here, tweaking there, until you are left with a smaller, faster, more refined piece of code.

Sadly this is nothing like the reality, certainly as far as Microsoft is concerned, but regrettably most other developers too. The problem is that making code more secure only serves to add bulk to it in most cases. Bounds checking, input validation and the like all require more code. We have seen Firefox, sadly, become more bloated and slow with every security update they release. Don't get me wrong, I still love it and use it, but it isn't getting any faster, at least not at the moment (version 3?).

I like the ideal, I wish code was becoming more refined, faster and smaller. But that don't make it so. The reality is that securing code only makes it more bulky and slow in the vast majority of cases. And that is without mentioning the effects of adding new functionality, and other inexplicable bloat for which Microsoft has become renowned.

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Tom

Backups and slipstreaming

Acronis True Image works for me too, but why bother faffing about with DVD-Rs? Install a second hard disc (or an external one) and backup to that.

For slipstreaming, try Nlite- it works beautifully. Not only can you integrate patches, service packs, drivers etc, you can also add things like serial number and prefs, and remove such things as IE 7 and Windows Media player. The whole thing is GUI based.

When you are done you can burn the whole lot to a bootable CD. It's a great little utility, and it's free.

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NAT IPv6 and IPv4

Last time I visited the topic. There were calls to drop Routers doing IPv6 and doing NAT IPv4. So if you buy a new router that supports IPv6 its not going to NAT any IPv4 devices too many problems storing state and security issues apparently.

Personally my ISP is going to have problems getting me to move to IPv6 if they are not going to be routers with NAT support for Ipv4

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Stop

@ M. Burns

"IPv6 compatibility would be a very stupid reason to switch to Vista from, say, XP. If your PC is on a NAT network, as for example on a home router, then IPv6 on the PC is irrelevant and IPv6 compatibility is a router issue not an OS issue."

... except for the fact that using a NAT with IPv6 is totally redundant. In fact, I'd be surprised if it worked at all. The idea is that each computer has it's own IPv6 address which is automagically routed by the same gateway so that NAT is not necessary.

(Also who the hell comes up with the names for these Linux distributions? "PCLinuxOS" sounds like it was thought up by a nine year old!)

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Anonymous Coward

@Bogsheet

isn't that the truth - but Linux isn't completely free from scorn when it comes to needless bloat.

We all remember when games came on tapes, and damn they were good fun. I remember getting my first game on disk, quickly followed by double densisty disks, then games with 3 or 4 double density disks. Then games on High density disks, then games with 7 or more disks! (Dune) But back then each itteration of game actually seemed better then the last. The same with text editors, desktop publishers and graphics software. Your hard disk was sub 50mb your processor sub 10mhz but darn you could have fun, bards tale was epic.

Roll on to cds and half gig hard disks - heady days. But you did start noticing that the games were getting shorter and less interesting, the text editors and dtp's had become word processors, your new graphics apps seemed slower. Roll forward to dvds and 100gb+ drives. Games are huge, processors are like lightning, 10000 times faster then when you used to play captain blood and elite.

Yet you think it's good when a game lasts 30 hours. Sure the graphics are good but you have to download a 600mb patch for the thing to work right. Your office product is the size of a small moon and it just does so many stupid things. Your operating systems are all flashy and hideous, they do a million stupid things you don't want them too.

It annoys me. But it's why I like the notion of UMPC's lol - if only someone would write a good compatible operating system for them (even if it's microsoft - seriously... it should be small and fast and interoperable) but it wont happen. The hard ware will get faster, but as it does the software becomes more hideous.

Maybe one day someone will sigh and set about writing something new. Feature light and efficient.

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Boffin

So

So what is happening on the Windows 2000 front then , since the largest installed User base is still using that software OS ?

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@AC

Damned Small Linux?

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Anonymous Coward

@@ M. Burns

wouldn't that render routers useless and open the every system to direct attack...

That's the first time IPV6 has sounded stupid...

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Sim
Thumb Up

win2k

i am sticking with windows 2000 -dont need no fancy pants xp thank you.

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Thumb Down

I guess this is how the rich

I guess this is how the rich get keep getting richer while the poor just keep getting poorer.

And to think, only two years ago When I need to replace my old clunker the only Windows I could find on the shelf was XP. And already their telling me to shove-off. Even my last cheap television will have lasted fifteen years when uncle sam tells me to shove-off. Maybe Linux [is] a better way to go.

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Happy

@ Aubry Thonon

2) Anyone knows of an easy way to get all those various pesky updates and store them locally (preferably on a DVD or dedicated HDD)? I don't want to be left out in the cold once MS decides to stop supplying the patches/updates/drivers and I have to re-install XP on a PC.

Try Autopatcher (http://www.autopatcher.com/) should do what you want in one simple download and it's updated fairly often

~P

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The Vista's OK

Now that Vista SP1 is released I finally decided to bit the bullet and upgrade my recently new hardware PC to Vista/XP dual boot PC. I've now been running it for a few days and my impressions (bearing in mind I'm IT support tech and got it so that I could learn the ropes for implementation at work) are:

1) If you've go the right hardware, installing it is really easy. I had to manually install the LAN driver as the manufacturer's installer didn't work, but everything else went in fine. It felt like it installed easier and quicker than XP did on the same machine. If you've got old hardware, you'll have to dump the old stuff and get new stuff.

2) It's intuitive. It is quite different from XP in some respects, but pretty much everything is still there if you know where to look (ie Google). The switch from XP to Vista is much easier than from XP to MacOS.

3) It takes ages to boot up.

4) Some things are faster in Vista than XP. Office opens noticably faster, as do several other apps. If you see the boot time as a way of cutting down app loading time it actually makes sense ;)

5) It looks nice. It does! Nicer than MacOS to my eyes.

6) Get rid of the stuff you don't like so as to make a happy Windows experience! I turned off that windows shrinking/expanding from the taskbar effect because it was giving me a headache. Now windows snap into and out of visibility faster than XP, and apps load faster too.

7) Flip is pointless. Translucent windows look cool. Sidebar is quite nice (after finding the Tetris panel!)

8) Extra security level isn't that annoying once you get used to it - you can turn it off for certain apps.

9) Networking is a peice of p*ss. I had heard really bad things about wireless on Vista, but I was on my home network in about five minutes after installing the wireless drivers.

10) Some nice touches (eg, you can directly alter the exe file by changing the properties on the shortcut).

So far I am very happy with Vista - it has crashed once (I don't know why yet), but I have tried installing several apps that aren't really Vista compatible!

Conclusion: if you have a new machine (less than 1 year old) with dual core processor, a good graphics card, at least 2Gb RAM and a good, quick, quiet HDD (Vista hammers the HDD esp on boot) then Vista will not feel any slower than XP for most 'normal' use. Some things are slower, some are quicker. Turn off the windows fading in and out thing as this makes the OS feel much slower than it actually is. However, if you don't have a newish PC you should stick with XP. The worst mistake M$ made was trying to pressure/fast talk consumers into using Vista on unsuitable PCs (see Intel M$ Vista spec conspiracy).

Don't buy Vista for a computer with XP unless you have money to burn or have an over-riding need to do so (eg DirectX 10). As an upgrade it really isn't worth £100 plus because there simply isn't enough extra functionality.

Install XP as a virtual machine. Running Vista means you will have to abandon some apps and games (eg Juice podcast, Diablo II) but if you really miss them you can run them from inside Vista on a Virtiual PC. I have decided not to go dual boot after finding this solved pretty much all my issues.

Microsoft really, really got the marketing and deployment of this wrong. I really don't think Vista is that bad, and if M$ had done things differently they could have avoided most of the bad reaction. Confronted with the problem of selling a new OS that only ran well on very new machines, that didn't have proper driver support and was well behind schedule, M$ made the critical error of giving the OS the 'hard sell'. Instead they needed to sweeten the deal with discounts for early uptake, and to soften the blow by being honest about the heavy load the new features put on hardware. I bet that if they'd done something as simple as set the vanilla installation with the extra interface features switched OFF, Vista would have got a much warmer reception.

So, I'm not missing XP on my home PC at all - much against my expectations. I'm sure extra annoyances will crop up, but I expect to get a few more pleasant surprises as well. Overall, I don't think its worth the upgrade for most users, but I would take Vista over XP on a new machine.

Having said all this... we need to move away from the continual cycle of OS + hardware replacement. I replaced my home PC because old one broke, but I was happy with it until then. For many uses a five year old XP machine is still OK, and will be for another five years (if we can somehow stop websites clogging up with Flash junk). In fact, I see no reason why we shouldn't demand that increasing the usable life of a typical home PC be a duty of hardware and software industries. In my house we have one workhorse PC that does high end stuff like video encoding, coaster-free 16X DVD burning, playing games etc whilst the rest are really just web browsers and word processors. When I replace my old laptop I don't need to buy a laptop capable of running Vista because it would be redundant processing power.

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re:By 2010 ipv6 will.....

I thought win98 once had a ipv6 stack download or was that part of ie6 ?

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Alert

El Reg Pro MS Bias......

""which lack the hardware necessary to run Windows Vista adequately""

El Reg does this quite often. Think back 20 years or so to the days of Vic 20's, BBCB's, Electrons and Speccy's. Think about what what your machine does now. Just what does a 2mhz processor 2GB RAM, Video ram etc etc actually do ? It runs a massive OS. It is not, as El Reg suggest that machines ""lack the hardware necessary to run Windows Vista adequately"" but more that the OS is not capable of running on the hardware available. Subtle difference but important.

Ask yourself one last question.

Why are these ULCPC's starting to gain some credence ? It is becuase they do a simple job well, for minimum cost. Email, web, saving/opening documents.... what more does a PC need ?

The bloatware that comes with MS and Apple machines creates the impression that , without all this bloatware, your life is somehow facile. Not in the slightest. 75% of the crap that ships with most Wintel and MacTel machines is not needed and is hardly ever used.

Bin it, buy a ULCPC machine, but a mountian bike with the differnce saved and have a life instead.

Amazing.

P./

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Gates Horns

Vista = Millenium

When will the press and the public stick that so far up M$ backside that they'll stop dribbling crap about turning off support for XP? Gamers have tried Vista and don't like it. It went in the drawer till SP1 and then it got tried again and put back in that drawer.

SOOS! Save our OS.

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@Anonymous Coward & @Neil Alexander

You missed the main point, namely that Microsoft claims that Windows XP already supports IPv6. So IPv6 is not a valid reason to switch to Vista from XP.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/network/bb530961.aspx

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Flame

WTH?!

What the frick is this XP Home Crap?

Its worthless in comparison to XP Pro.

Morons! Microsoft insists on shooting themselves i the head.

Fine then... be my guest!

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Go

@Dave

OK, fair enough, Dave, but don't forget that your son's loss of his password is final. Without the User Tools and Groups snapin that comes only with XP <strike>Standard </strike>Pro you cannot reset his password without headache or $$.

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Many thanks

Many thanks to the many people who answered my question. I'd just like to mention, however, that the "backup" option will not work for me as I regularly update my hardware (small upgrades every so often, new PC about once a year) and transfer licences to the new hardware... which means a backup of an existing installation will not work for me. (the old hardware, BTW, is given a flavour of Linux and becomes part of the Server array on my 19U rack... best purchase I ever did).

As an aside, I though AutoPatcher had been cease-and-desisted by MS?

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Thumb Down

An XP Carol

Bill Scrooge really needs a Christmas Eve's Ghost to enlighten him.

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