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back to article Big biz 'struggling' to dump Windows XP

Windows 7 is running in just 20 per cent of large enterprises with the most difficult migrations yet to come. That’s according to web browser specialist Browsium, which said 80 per cent of big companies - those with 10,000 or more PCs - are still clinging to Windows XP even though support for it is due to end in two years. But …

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dinosaurs companies

When you print on an IBM mainframe, you use a piece of software called HASP.

Houston, Automated, Spooling, Program. Developed by NASA for the moonshot program. It's still used because it still does the job perfectly. There is nothing cheap or backward about keeping code that works.

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Childcatcher

Re: Dinosaurs companies

Come on guys, go easy on the kid. Heck he's probably on his third mobile in two years and when you consider his software was always free warez and his oldest program is a free version of Angry Birds, his comment makes sense. Besides, he's probably a bit afraid of things that are more mature than he is.

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Unhappy

Re: Dinosaurs companies

its pretty easy to tell the script kiddies/public sector workers around here vs the private sector companies.....

Hey, don't lump me in with the skiddies! We are still on XP because it will be a nightmare to get all the public safety apps working well on 7, and 7 offers NOTHING to justify the cost of migration. Not all public sector IT bods piss money out the window...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meanwhile in the real world

EVEN Chrome? what do you mean by 'even'? Chrome is about the buggiest piece of crap I have ever installed on my PC.....

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MJI
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Re: Dinosaurs companies

Idiot!

It takes that long to develop a system. Are you saying a system should be rewritten every 5 years then dumped?

OK I am now going to scare you!

I have converted code between languages, currently 3 or 4 generations.

I changed a lot of BCPL to Clipper about 18 years ago, this took me a couple of days search and replace worked very well.

When looking at Window I reconverted the same code again twice in fact.

Alaska XBase++ was easy, but we found it difficult to develop in - at the time screens were design then compile with no route back, a nightmare to maintain.

We then used what we should have started with Visual Objects, so there you go code well over 20 years old - so older than you!

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I don't hear anyone...

...coming up with an actual reason for moving from XP to 7 (other than that MS would like everyone to do it). We have a mixed environt. Other than the somewhat tedious time wasted as users get used to a new UI, I haven't spotted any actual difference between the two OS's. Has anyone else?

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Re: I don't hear anyone...

The only reason I could think of is to get onto the IE9+ stream. But corporately, why do that ? The excuse of "security" with IE6 only holds water if you are using it in the wild. I would imagine a great deal of companies using it (like HMRC) will be driving in-house intranet apps, so much less risky than just surfing the web in general.

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Re: I don't hear anyone...

...coming up with an actual reason for moving from XP to 7 (other than that MS would like everyone to do it). We have a mixed environt. Other than the somewhat tedious time wasted as users get used to a new UI, I haven't spotted any actual difference between the two OS's. Has anyone else?

Less than 4 gig of RAM? Check.

Spinny hard disk? Check.

DX9 is sufficient? Check.

Nope, no reason to go to 7 here. XP32 is fine.

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Coffee/keyboard

Application rewrite

Im confused. What application is there to rewrite? 35m seems a bit steep, but I guess not once you take off 34.5m for management/consultancy charges

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If I tried to migrate them to Linux

and it was not 99% pain free then I would get howls of anguish telling me that they had made a crap choice and how Linux was incompatible with everything, why did they listen to me, no I cannot have any budget for redoing a few things .... - why could they not stay with MS Windows ?

But when it comes to upgrading from one version of MS Windows to another - they just accept the pain!

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Re: If I tried to migrate them to Linux

No they don't. You obviously haven't seen the cries of anguish on these forums about Windows 8. Or before that with the Ribbon interface. People complain about everything

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Re: If I tried to migrate them to Linux

reminds me of my first company ... logistics software, written in DOS, under a windows wrapper. We had an issue where the reporting package (Foxpro) just would not run in under 16Mb (yes, Mb !!!!!) of RAM. So we had to up the minimum spec - I had to put a check in the installation script.

Anyway, one of DOS programmers pointed out that when the DOS code needed more memory, they had to rewrite it (remember Memmaker ?). But when the windows code needed more memory, they just upped the spec. These were real old-school coders who got excited by trimming a byte of a routine in assembler ...

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Happy

Re: If I tried to migrate them to Linux

Hooray for the old-skool, I say. That approach is why we made it to the moon and back.

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Boffin

Re: If I tried to migrate them to Linux

one of the tricks which most impressed me was their realising that because the number of entries in the data structure was limited to quite a small number, they could shrink the index from 2^16 to 2^4, which left them 12 extra bits in the datastructure to cram with other data, thus reducing the memory footprint, and being able to load into the Extended Memory.

Kids today, really have no idea.

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Trollface

Sharper BASIC Skills

I'm not smart enough to make sense of the ignorance. I suppose that's why CIOs make the big $.

>“We continually hear that legacy web applications are the number one blocker to migration. When it costs millions of dollars to rewrite or replace a critical business application, migration projects invariably stall until a cost-effective solution can be found," the blog continued.<

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Windows

Get off the train to crazytown

The lock-in with XP was horrid, but what makes anyone think that migrating to another version from the same vendor is going to put them in a position to have continuous business operations? It's the software vendor's strategy to keep you on their platform with these incompatibilities, and it's working. They're not going to suddenly change that very effective strategy.

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They need to just suck it up and pay to get off these shit old apps. They made a huge mistake getting locked in by microsoft and when you make a mistake you gotta pay for it.

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Go

We love our XP ...

No STARTUP REPAIR, faster than Win 7 and simply operationally more reliable and able to stand abuse better.

IEnn? Just use it for XP upgrades.

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Anonymous Coward

Why choose Browsium???

Sorry, maybe I'm missing something here........?

We're being told to upgrade from XP/IE6 because of the end of support. We're told Browsium on Win7 is a great solution.............. yet its still running that IE6 unsupported code. So where exactly is the benefit?

Or did Browsium buy the IE6 source as well so they'll provide security fixes for the MS code going forward??

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Anonymous Coward

Cost and reliability

When going from 3.11 through to NT 4.0, there was always a desire to update, simply because there were a number of major issues that rendered an upgrade necessary to fix these issues.

From a certain perspective MS shot themselves in the foot, XP for the most part worked.

As it lived for a relatively long time all the major issues were fixed and does 95% of what most users need.

Going to Win 7 or 8 gives little, if no productivity update, so you've effectively a zero benefit cost to the company.

Businesses won't update unless the support goes, 2014 I believe, but this is the only reason.

The main issue is cost, as some have stated above, the cost could be millions.

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Could you not..

Just run a local virtual machine and publish the app through that? Either by actually booting up the local VM or using the Windows 7 function to pass the App directly onto the Win7 desktop.

Fortunatly in my company we have the Devs still around to re-write any of those tricky browser based apps, even going as far as making them 64bit compatible. Started development on the Windows 7 image in November, now at about 80% rollout completion in the UK. The biggest slow-down has been users moaning that they will lose their saved music/photos etc which we're refusing to migrate.

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MJI
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How to survive with IE6

IE6 for when it is needed - everything else Firefox, my last XP work PC still has IE6 but it is nerver used

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TJ1
Stop

TCO

The implications of the lock-in to IE5/6/7 applications are that Microsoft's claims over that last decade or so that Window's total cost of ownership is less than its competitors need revising - upwards.

In the interests of balance and accuracy, of course!

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FAIL

Let this be a lesson

The question is, will any of these organisations learn?

They bought into MS and got locked into IE6, now a few years down the line they feel the pain. Had they written standards compliant apps in the first place instead of getting locked into proprietary technology, then migration would be simple.

And yet despite having been screwed so badly, i regularly see businesses deploying new applications that are locked into IE, perhaps version 8 this time. Will these people never learn? Sure IE8 might be up to date now, but if you place your trust in MS then you will face the exact same problem again in a few years time.

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Too expensive?

There is always going to be some cost, but it's not as if they haven't had enough years to do it in and spread the cost a bit. Large businesses expectation for Microsoft to continue support on an 11 year old OS and browser is a bit much I think.

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Big Brother

Bah, humbug!

I'm getting together a desktop computer with a swappable HD tray for the OS. It'll be able to run anything I want. Right now, it's running XP, because some old, familiar applications do not play nicely with 7. My Windows 7 laptop runs Firefox, Thunderbird, and Open Office. 7 broke many of my applications, and I'll not give Microsoft a second drink from my wallet for new ones. The laptop's virtual XP powers are there, and are used. Fortunately, there's only one of me -- even as I sit in a room with six computers.

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Anonymous Coward

It's worse than that...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/microsoft/9437703/Microsoft-Surface-tablet-launch-date-confirmed.html#disqus_thread

Even Telegraph readers know Metro is only suitable for tablets.

No start button, no metro removal, no purchase for me.

However, start button, and a big button that says "Hide the abortion that is metro for PCs" and I'll upgrade my entire office at 15 quid each.

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Just outta curiosity

Has anyone found a compelling reason why a business would want to upgrade from XP?

You've got your shop set up, presumably with whatever software environment to do whatever it is your company does. Why would you want to upgrade? Because you're feeling generous enough to line Microsoft's pockets?

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Not just software

Many companies, still struggling with a no-end-in-sight recession, simply can't afford to upgrade PCs purchased 5 or 6 years ago to something that can run Windows 7. Hands up who works for a business (not government) that gives your department enough cash to upgrade all your PCs every 2-3 years? Don't bother telling me about what should happen, about responsible practices and security. All of you work in places where those words are fairy tales that only the extremely niaive believe in. Those of you that don't should consider yourselves incredibly fortunate and never quit your jobs.

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Pint

At least SOME of the problem

...isn't JUST the cost of upgrading n copies of Windows XP (which, as has been noted, can be very significant).

It's the problem that there are sometimes n licenses of Windows XP, but m installations, where m > n (sometimes m >> n). Windows XP let you do this fairly easily. It was much more difficult to do starting with Vista.

And maybe there really ARE m licenses, but the same activation key was used every time for "simplicity."

So on top of the upgrade cost, there's the cost of becoming compliant.

Sounds like a good job for "next month."

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These corporations have just been scared by these browsium suits, when if they just took a moment to check whatever applications they use in IE7 then the majority of it will just work. Maybe one or two tweeks. If a company has a MAJOR issue that their application does ONLY work in IE6, then maybe they should be sacked and hiring new staff with a more up to date view of Internet Technology would not be as big a cost as they fear.

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RDP? Setup a 2003 RDP server with IE 6. Problem solved.

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Sensible approach, if you ask me

My last "regular standalone install of Windows" was W95. Since then it was Wine or Vbox . . and they all more or less sucked. I mean, seriously, what was it,Vista had to offer ? Aero ? Sidebar ? Fucked up FM with a focus on errr . . libraries ? It actually took 3 registry hacks to make explorer display the contents of the HDDs by default. Folders . . mind you . . not directories . . . M$ Bob is still alive. With every release, M$ introduced more layers of obfusaction to seperate the user from the metal. Now you go and explain to my mum why the stuff she deleted from her libraries is still on her hard disk It's not her fault M$ suddenly developed a love for symlinks, now is it ? Win 7 ? What was that again ? Oh, right, Vista with less services running by default ! Made from scratch - my backside.! And every N00b on this planet thought it was: THE SHIT ! . . incl most of the Regs readers . . You know, a few years ago, they'd have LARTed you out of existence. Yes, you and your dual boot Umbongo, but that's not the point. The point is: XP does everything with a lot less resources than Vista/W7, the rest is marketing drivel. No reason to "upgrade" - let alone to W8 (shiver), at all.

If you absolutely have to use Windows - Stay with XP ! Teach them a lesson, if nothing else.

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Go

Good luck Browsium

If I was a great lier I would say I am surprised Microsoft does not provide those programs for free in order to save the cost of rewriting good programs for their customers because their IE platform got rotten.

But I am not, so good luck Browsium.

There was a time when Unix customers wanted to switch to the, then new, NT, and many did. The most important tools to make that possible where made bye some university in Utah. Unix scripts for Windows, the most important where those dealing with character substitutions.

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To quote "How hard can it be?"

Unfortunately for all of us, it is actually quite hard. Microsoft keeps developing targets and changing them on a regular basis. If they had the follow on to XP at the proper time (say in 2004), people would have upgraded as the normal 3 or so year interval had passed. Instead they stretched out XP for almost 3 times that and everybody got used to it, and not changing was the norm. Now along comes Vista (being a failure) and currently W7, and users are expected to change. Sorry, this nice old XP box has been working fine for lots of years, so why upgrade.

Sorry, Microsoft screwed up big time on this one. There should have been LOTS of follow-ons to XP (windows 5, then W6, then W7 maybe). Get the people used to the change and they might even do it.

Kinda moot point for me, as I use Linux on my desktop (it is a few years old (like 6 or so) but updates and modern stuff are available, so I keep it working!

Then there is my friend who uses W98 for his digital audio workstation because there is too much BLOAT in anything newer! Oh, well...

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Trollface

Re: To quote "How hard can it be?"

Time was when you could run a Linux box in 16Mb of RAM and a teensy little hard drive. So yes, Windows has bloat, but I gotta say that Linux has been piling on the pounds at an incredible rate. It would be the mother of all ironies if, just when Windows Server finally sheds the GUI nonsense it's been saddled with for the last 15 years, Linux distros put more and more GUI junk in each release.

Curmudgeonly yours,

The Troll.

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Bronze badge

Not just IE

While there are many places using XP for IE6, IE isn't the only thing holding holding companies back. Windows XP was the last to include HyperTerminal, which a *lot* of old applications require, specifically banking, POS, inventory, payroll, etc. applications that were written for VAXen.

There are also many other little things that changed between XP and Vista / 2008, mostly in the way of security. I've worked with apps that would fail if ASLR or the NX bit was turned on that could only work in XP. Most of which really need to be completely rebuilt.

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Coat

Taking the P

One of my work pc's is a beat up old dell D610 single core laptop without a screen, hole where the optical drive would be, couple of missing keyboard keys (one being P).

Parts were stripped off this for better ones but one day I needed a working Office install for Outlook so I fired it up and RDP'd to it from Linux

I have tried various workstations and OS installs many of which do some fantastic CAD or graphics work but virtually none make any great strides in basic office productivity.

XP office 2003 works pretty well without needing multiple Gigs of RAM and more cores than chapters in the open document, changes since then have been somewhere between incremental and just plain mental.

Who remembers the pens with many inks popular in the 70's? real improvement! FOUR inks in one pen they were totally the future.

What uncool divvies would still use a pen with just one ink!?

---

Mines the Nylon Blue one with fur round the hood over flares, Peter Powell stunt kite under arm, Fizzie parked on the crazy paved front garden.

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Another Gates mess

Making a fortune from turning out half baked sotware has perversely seen Gates as 'much admired' Microsoft software is so bad and so vulnerable that hundred of dollars are spent on the life of any computer I've had or heard of simply resolving issues...some of which are, granted, caused by the criminal minds which think its amusing or find it enriching to interfere with people's computers, bank accounts and so on. Still Microsoft has not made impervious software..after decades. They prefer to worry about other wampum, or trinket, -generated sales to the electroic device addicts.

On another issue, the spread of very poor spelling and grammar and construction through "spellcheck" 's ghastly, Americanised "English" which sees students as well as supposedly "higher-educated" people, beguiled into such horrors as commencing sentences with prepositions and /or conjunctions. As soon as I see "And" or "But" for example commencing a sentence I realise I am dealing with someone so far behind even the "comma or semi-colon ignoramus", that I wonder about his content.

I suppose in a world where the stupidity of being a member of "Facebook" or Twitter" or other spy sites such as Google and Yahoo is so widespread and adopted even by people who posture themselves as intelligent, one cannot expect much common sense from those who see computers as their drug of choice and Gates as the Candy man.

The story in the report which initiated this letter along with other comments, isn't quite as accurate as it should be; yes, a huge number of businesses are holding onto XP, by far and away the most reliable of anything the Gates mob have turned out...some for which he should have been locked up or asset stripped..such as "Millennium". Many don't get much joy out of the more recent versions of IE or Outlook Express...still held by many against Outlook...That said, not only are so many HOLDING XP, many many actually dump the Win 7 off their new computers and install XP; that's a far more damning indicator of the Win7 unpopularity and mistrust of microsoft than simply 'not changing'...which is quaintly but often so incorrectly put as "upgrading".

One of the items I use a lot is email. I have win 7 on my laptop but I avoid it because the email format is just so pathetically awful I can't stand using it...it's a time wasting bloody pest whch hasn't a thing over the email aspect of 8 ..after which it became a menace..I suppose, when you spend your life turning out software for which there is no longer any excuse to have defective but are banking billions (and more squillions are sucked out of the users world-wide by "IT" experts for extremely overpriced repairs) simply to appeas progressive, one might wonder about your morals.

His supposed leaving of his in my opinion largely ill gotten gains to "charity" may not be enough to get him through the eye of the needle. My opinion is not 'sour grapes' as you would see it...it's about what I see as his part in a lack of responsibility endemic in "electronic media and comms" and churned out to people with almost no concentration span left.

There's nothing to elevating about seeing children at school "texting" in class, during breaks...or even adults at dinner doing that..It's disgusting and almost depressing to see how computers and mobile comms has dragged the social world into a mental abyss which then "en masse" draws them into the asylums of Facebook and Twitter so as to not only expose people who under no circumstances want to be associated with any such spy-site site but do themselves permenant lack of privacy and even seious damage .

Even the ABC advertised for them at no charge, the news and the appalling "Q and A" dirge being riddled with "Tweets" and advertising for them..against polcy I'd say.

It's disgusting to find students ownloading serious pornography onto their phones during class...Is that "your problem"..yes it is , it's one in which irresponsible adults and avaricious adults and sick minded adults have constructed and allowed to be widespread, technical comms which are not only socially destructive in the truly human sense but which are things of fashion costing us billions in cash and in wasted time....to what end?. Even emails are, after junk mail in the letter box, the most lowly regarded form of communication by Governments.

Is the world a better place in 2012 than it was in 1960?..unequivocally NO."Being informed" is the ecstacy tablet of the "Garden of Eden" which itself is the hedonistic illusion created to control mankind for a new order. Instead of dealing with the real world and protesting furiously, the appalling daily crimes against humanity, and others are cogitating over XP V win 7!

I hope I am distracting you. How many use their internet to investigate, away from christian-hysterical, nazi-fixated, US hysteria and other websites and deliberately misleading websites the forces of evil (Central Bankers, Bilderbergers, Masonic Lodges,, Zionism, CIA, Mossad, World bank, IMF and so on and on) which are seeing us doing nothing effective while mass murder takes place daily througout the world. Those croimes are OUR crimes as we p[permt them by our governments or supported by our supine governments to profit one or all of those powerbrokers. Whilst your head is buried in your computer or immediate issues with it, they are manipulating life as we know it.

The solution is straightforward. Microsoft continues to support XP as long as there is demand. On the money it and Gates owns that's a pittance. Why should clients who so clearly want XP be periodically forced into some other half baked software.? The hysteria over any new comms product has drawn now 'flibberty jibbert' computer addicts away from commonsense approach to using computers. Few use even 1% of the potential and that will be I feel sure, he same proportion as gain any advantage from new software generated to impose a need to buy new base software...

As an entity we ought to demand of Gates he get off his fat backside and create a near perfect software based say on XP and forget about "bigger, better, brighter" until he can actually show that his people and he himself have the technical expertise and the will to turn out a product which can justfiably be called "good stuff"!! I can't see any product since XP which for the majority of PC users would add any quality of life whatsoever..but then, I don't get my jollies from change and fashion., more flashing lights and sales gimmicks.Just being able to own a computer and software which works flawlessly would be my 'computer heaven'.

In closing ,computers are not good for health when used without plenty of sunshine exercise and distractions....Get the priorities right..life isn't about computers unless you have capitulated.

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re:"another Gates mess"

By he way my dyslectic keyboard made some spelling errors...but none of them would induce me to use spell check..it would be so nice to type into a lot larger format...I humbly accept my errors in the letter, no need to mock me for it...LOL!! I did see them immediately on printing but because I didn't 'preview' I missed them

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No need for any new Windows versions

As long as a client OS can open web browser and the few remaining thick client applications, there is no need for a replacement. There are no functional or performance reasons to upgrade. No one wants to upgrade to get a client OS that is 10% shinier than XP.

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Thumb Down

Trapped in IE6

In an hour I am off to see a client who are trapped in IE6 hell because one of their suppliers has produuced a very large IE6 which isn't going to be replaced any time in he near and distant future.

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Flame

I have

I haven't spotted any actual difference between the two OS's. Has anyone else?

The networking is a mess. The XP:Win7 networking and permssions thing is an utter disaster if one isn't in a domain.

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What's IE?

[Linux user]

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The sad part about this is...

... that many of those businesses are now probably moving from one lock in to the next, probably something like C# and .net.

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Anonymous Coward

Microsoft should revert

to two product streams. Consumer and corporate. If we remove IE from the mix (bearing in mind Chrome can run on XP and render HTML5), is there any real reason why an average office worker needs more than XP with Office 2003 ? If you except the exchange of documents prepared on later versions of Office, (which is an artificial one - I've had clients request I resent stuff as .doc, instead of .docx) I really can't think of one.

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Go Virtual?

Glad I got my copy of Paragon Go Virtual while it was still free! Several times I've virtualised dead systems so they can carry on living without paying massive upgrade costs on old accounting systems, etc, just to be able to use their new Windows 7 64 Bit laptops.

(Go Virtual converts a physical XP HDD to a VirtualBox / VMWare / Virtual PC disk image, and adjusts the IDE / SATA drivers appropriately.)

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Happy

I believe that Nelson Muntz put it best

Two Questions:

Q1. Will any of the senior managers who sanctioned this short-sighted push to locked-in software suffer in any way for this?

Q2. Which large company will have the next financial meltdown on account of, ahem, unsupported software?

Remember, boys and girls, Microsoft delivers the lowest Total Cost of Ownership because they say so. I never asked, from whose viewpoint they were talking about — the customers' or Microsoft's.

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Anonymous Coward

Big Corps

Some of us have to use "Shared Services" which makes migrations very difficult.

Thankfully finally going to 7 later this year but not before testing testing and more testing.

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