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back to article Hidden Windows 7 costs worry upgraders

Microsoft - if not IT pros - can breath a sigh of relief, as Windows 7 has given businesses a reason for not defecting to competing desktop systems. According to a new study released Wednesday, the number of businesses desperately looking for an alternative to Windows on the desktop has dropped significantly for the first time …

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And that is Microsofts fault because...?

"...upgraded from XP to 7 and in general really like it. What I hate is filling up my trashbin with perfectly good hardware (mostly USB stuff) because drivers aren't available..."

How is that the fault of the OS developer? If you changed to Linux/OSX and couldn't get a driver, putting you in the same situation, would that be the fault of Linux/OSX...?

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xyz

@love it, hate it

Visual Studio 6!!!!...we need to get a whip round going to drag you into the 21st Century.

I didn't think anyone was running anything less than 2005. I do have 2003 and 2005 on old laptops just in case and am running 2008...but 6, man! I've got apps still running I wrote way back then, but they're all web apps. I'm shocked.

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And that is Microsoft's fault. (Yes, I'll stop there.)

"How is that the fault of the OS developer? If you changed to Linux/OSX and couldn't get a driver, putting you in the same situation, would that be the fault of Linux/OSX...?"

Er, yes, assuming that Linux previously had a driver but failed to support it in a later upgrade. Oh, hang on, that hardly ever happens.

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Re: VB6

Erm, so you're saying that developers *should* be constantly re-writing their working apps simply to use the latest platform, even though they won't be able to sell the revised versions to their existing customers because there's no actual new functionality?

Most of us who program for a living find it *much* easier to sell new features than new back-ends, just like most of us who buy software to solve a problem care much more about what it does rather than how it does it.

You might also want to investigate why Windows is so broken. It's not too far from the truth to say that Windows has become sclerotic because Microsoft know full well that if each new version isn't fully compatible then there's a proportion of the customer base that will never upgrade and will go looking elsewhere. There's an awful lot of "old code" still in use out there. Microsoft's ability to run that code better than WINE is the reason *anyone* still buys Windows.

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Vs6?

News to me. It warns you about compatability issues at install and has to be run as admin but it's working fine for me and has been since november not using xp mode either.

It's worth a bit of fiddling, it's not technically supported but will work.

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Stop

XP mode..not that good on a 5 year old PC?

Iirc XP mode needs a CPU that is virtualisation capable. How many corporate PCs from the likes of Dell/IBM/HP etc. all running those lovely single core 2.4GHZ P4s with 512MB of ram and a 40GB HDD will be up for that?

If you go XP mode you are likely gonna have to junk most of your PCs. I dont say thats a bad thing, the more single core PCs we can rid the world of the better!

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Go

Ahhhh good news!

CPU vitualisation not needed soon.......

http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/03/18/microsoft-opens-windows-7-xp-mode-to-systems-without-hardware-vi/

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I run Vista SP 2 no issues so no rush to Windows 7

Now I probably get some serious flaming but I run Vista SP 2 and no issues, never had one.

My point is this when Microsoft releases any new OS there is this mad rush to upgrade, and then after people start to moan and groan.

With Vista it took SP 2 to make it stable and that is normal, how long did it take XP to be stable .

I will say there is no reason to be running XP it is a legacy system plain and simple, it fails many of the current OS security needs.

I probably will upgrade to Windows 7 but only when SP 2 is released, but like Vista, Windows 8 will be rolled out and the same usually folks will be slagging Windows 7.

I agree with Ubuntu I love it, but the problems is certain apps just do not work with Linux; Blackberry Manager, my Microsoft Zune obviously will not work.

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What did you expect ?

One starts

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Normal

They stop seeking for an alternative once they've tried the "alternatives" and realize they know shit about anything remotely related to computers. I've just spent 2h at a helldesk - explaining how to install an audio driver to a beancounter. Glad to see MS raking in the N00bs. We don't want them on our mailing lists anyway..

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Go

After All ...

... you're just an "automobile mechanic" who fixes stuff we consumers buy for our pleasure. That's why you get calls only when you're actually needed. And that's as it should be, we pay; you fix. Ta Da!!

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Troll

There's no accounting for taste - or need

MS is still trying to make money building OSs for all seasons and all users. However, the ranges between most and least sophisticated and most and least demanding users have become so great that the compromises all must accept (in MS trying to satisfy everyone all the time) now far outweigh the incremental value of successive versions in the relatively small subset of features that I need, use and prefer. In expanding its OS to capture the latest and greatest fads at both ends of the spectrum, while dragging along as much of its legacy middling software from the past, it has become increasingly untenable.

From my specific user's view, MS is still using the same tired office- and business-app models they had almost 15 years ago - only cluttering them with so many added goofy "features" - seemingly change for the sake of change in many instances - that using them is10X more difficult and less efficient, while the Linux "desktop" and open software seem to be only bad imitations of MS's bad ideas. Who needs that? What is needed is a long overdue re-factoring of the whole office and business application model that takes advantage of all the improvements in hardware, software, human-factors, and the web - not more of the same old tired "suite" of programs that operate, in software and in their human interface, as if they had been designed and programmed by 10 different vendors and patched together after the fact ( maybe that's the way things work inside MS). It's ok to defer re-factoring for a while, but for decades is just sloth and the inefficiencies of monopoly economics and business - not a desirable state of affairs for progress.

So, when they do that, I'll cheer for change. Until then, I'll drag my heels because I know that the past is a good guide to the immediate future and in MS's case, that is a very sobering thought.

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Linux

Upgrading hardware

I know this is a industry journal, but are we really going in the right direction with the general, "toss out the hardware, get a new printer" approach to IT?

I have no credentials with the organic knitted lentil sandal wearers but...

I am using an 8yr old gigabyte motherboard, with PATA and SATA, dual NIC, firewire, 8 usb 2.0, dual channel 1GB PC2700 (a gimmick IMHO, but it was £18/stick) Athlon 3200, Geforce 6200 (5 years old) soundblaster audigy to replace on board sound.

I'm running full fat KDE 4.4.1 on openSUSE, with no sign that I need 64 bit, dual core or faster I/O. Device compatibility only gets better. All applications have worked from version to version.

Does hardware bloat and software bloat never need to end? What am I missing?

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Sanity!

You can pack that in right now! Tch! Bringing sensible thought into an IT argument, whatever next?

I used to have to have "latest'n'greatest" of everything, then I got a hobby ( photography ) and got a life! I find I can happily use my two year old kit to process digital images of my 2 month old dSLR with ease, I spend far more money on something that gets me out and about. IT is my day job, it pays the bills. Downtime, I am just another PC user with a bit more nous than average.

Unless you are some gaming nutter running three 30" HD screens and you need the power, why not spend the money you would waste on your PC kit on something to make better use of your existing kit and your precious time, with any luck you'll exercise the other side of your noggin in the bargain!

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Linux

Making the leap

My Windows system is getting old enough that many parts are obsolete. The replacements would be overwhelmed by dependences. And I've been using Linux on this netbook for long enough.that I think I'm past fear of the Linux option.

Linux + WINE looks as though it should work. And the cost of a Windows7 which will handle my XP software (Not everything I use has a substitute) is significant.

And if "free" doesn't work out, I can still choose to spend money.

My best choice looks rather obvious, doesn't it.

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Linux

Re : Making the leap

Go for it ! - nothing to lose but your chains

Try a few distros though - I use OpenSUSE 11.2 - I've installed on 5 systems without any kind of problem. I'd recommend Edimax if you need WiFi PCI - ~£12 from DABS -worked out of the box.

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I'm probably the odd man out............

One of my customers is currently updating their old kit from xp to windows 7. They use some old programs (designed for windows 95) and so far i haven't had any problems. Most of the users like the "new shiny" look. I haven't had any complaints and all the software seems to work. I'm not using xp mode on any of the computers. I'm still in the testing phase so i will probably find something that doesn't work, but at the moment it looks good.

And before anyone starts saying i'm a M$ corporate shill, i think Ubuntu is great and the best workhorse server i have ever used ran AS/400. I think everything has it's place and i'm happy to give my smarter customers linux boxes.

...........but not Macs

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Gates Halo

A pleasant surprise

I bought an Acer Revo recently which was remarkably cheap at about 200 sovs. It came with Windows 7 installed. There were other cheaper options (Linux or Vista) but I thought I'd give 7 a punt. Linux couldn't run the software I needed and Vista is a pain. In fact the whole Vista world of hurt was one of the reasons I swapped my office hardware to Macs.

I'm remarkably surprised at how snappy the 7 is on the Revo's puny hardware. The OS loads quickly and I've had no compatibility issues. It certainly seems better than the Vista installs I've seen on more expensive hardware.

Perhaps Microsoft can only get every other OS right? 95 crap, 98 OK, ME crap, XP OK, Vista crap, 7 OK?

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Missed....

2000.

Everyone loved 2000

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No easy or automatic upgrade to Win7.

One thing which is not mentioned is the combination of Chrome OS and WINE for old XP users. Partly, this is because the Chrome OS is not finalized yet. But, it has possibilities we should explore.

The Chrome OS should be more comfortable for Windows XP users than Linux. WINE will allow old versions of software to be run. This means the bulk of Windows XP users (which comprise 60% of the world market) have no necessity to buy the new computers required by Win7. Many businesses are content with running old XP software, hence Chrome OS and WINE will be the cheapest way of gaining better security than on Windows XP. Reusing old XP software, which they are used to, means no retraining cost for their staff. The IT personnel will love that.

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Troll

I Rite Allot

I can't believe I'm the first grammar Nazi to notice that the thing that one does with a sigh of relief is "breathe." With a terminal "e."

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Gates Halo

Software doesn't wear out

I use a variety of systems, including some Win2K. If they do the job now then they will continue to do the job for the foreseeable future. I don't get worried about security issues with these old systems because they are not connected to the Internet, at least not in a way that anyone could push software onto them.

Modern systems are some kind of "one size fits none" design. They are not modular so you get everything even though all you want is a kernel, filesystem, maybe a display and some limited connectivity. All the extra power in modern hardware is wasted, its providing pointless animation and infantile sound effects. This is what I'd guess is driving the rise of the smartphone.....it does what its users want in a small, handheld, package.

The future for me is Linux because I can customize it and I can move applications from platform to platform. I don't have the one PC.....and I don't spend all day on Outlook....my systems work for their keep.

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FAIL

People banging on about WINE

Yeah, having used Linux for a few years now, I can tell you that while WINE is rather bloody good, it's not a miracle fix; try running XenCenter on it. Fat chance.

Also, try running your proprietary XP software on it [name any package you need paid support for] and if it works, wait for it to get a bug.

Then call up your software vendor, and listen to them laugh heartily when you go through a certain set of steps, at which point the app crashes due to WINE not behaving exactly like an XP platform, and refuse to support you for running it on an unsupported system.

The best way to migrate to a *nix platform is to find a FLOSS alternative that runs natively on DistroOfChoice, or to rewrite your apps for it, if you can. Some apps transfer better than others - web apps, natch, and anything based on an open-ish platform that can cross compile, some basic .net apps that will run with Mono and so on.

If you can't do that, you're basically stuck if you actually want to have proper support from your vendors and suppliers.

I'd also be interested to see how large vendors who haven't updated their software to run on Win7 deal with support requests for software running in XP Mode - I'd put a fiver on them desperately trying to get out of it if they can.

It's not right, and it's not fair, but it's the way it is.

For what it's worth, I'm no MS apologist - I have four machines here, three running Ubuntu, and one Xenserver box. I also have a Win7 VM for 'emergency' access - such as when my good chums at openxencenter update the SVN and break the Python XenCentre clone and I need to fluff my VMs. I like my Linux, but alas, the idea that you can just magically transfer to Linux in a corporate environment is closer to fantasy than it is reality at the moment.

Ah well, maybe one day, eh?

Steven R

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Gates Horns

Re:software doesn't wear out

If your future is Linux, you might still want to give Bill a halo, but I bet Ballmer wouldn't like you one bit...

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