back to article 1 in 7 WinXP-using biz bods DON'T KNOW Microsoft is pulling the plug

A large number of Microsoft customers are in for a rude awakening on 8 April 2014. With less than 400 days to go, 15 per cent of those running Windows XP are still unaware that that’s the date Microsoft finally turns off all support for its legacy PC operating system, according to a recent survey. After 8 April next year, …

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@Kier0 Started a new job ...

"One legacy app was holding them back from going to Windows 7, which after two days of working on I found a way to get it working on Windows 7."

Did the legacy app vendor fully support your deployment on Win7 or did they insist you upgraded to a newer version that included Win7 support?

Whilst you can often get things working (I suspect that given a little more effort you could of got the legacy app working on Linux or OS/X), it is another matter to deploy it into the normal business environment.

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WTF?

Supprised companies on XP

What kind of backwards ramshackle IT do you have if XP exists in your building? Its over a decade old, which is forever in IT terms. Have these IT managers even got a qualification in IT or just drifted into IT in the 80s.. We all know the types...

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MJI
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Re: Supprised companies on XP

It works for them, why replace?

Small businesses have more important things to spend money on.

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Re: Supprised companies on XP

The same reason you have a car despite a horse and cart still working very well. I would even bet your car is newer than XP and you chose a newer car for about the same reasons you chose to update IT equipment.

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FAIL

Re: Supprised companies on XP

Microsoft were selling XP on netbooks up to 3 years ago (when I bought my last one). Windows 8 don't do netbooks so where do they expect me to go? Or do they expect me to throw away perfectly good 4 year old kit?

A great Redmond plan to get Linux on the desktop? Sigh.

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Devil

Re: Supprised companies on XP

If you have a ten-year-old car that still works fine, why should you change it for a new car that is ugly and doesn't work the way you expect? That's why people still use XP over Win8.

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Re: Supprised companies on XP

We still have assembly language running on our mainframe, should we re-write all of that because it's no longer sexy and with-it in the IT world?

In the world of large corporations, moving from one OS to another happens at a glacial pace and only when they have exhausted all excuses not to.

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Mushroom

Re: Supprised companies on XP

Its worrying that these companies employees are stuck on IE6! Thats as far as IE goes on Xp as far as im aware.

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Re: Supprised companies on XP

There are of course companies with bespoke software that won't run on anything later than XP. Either they don't have access to the source for this or the cost of re-writing would be excessive. In those cases it's a no-brainier to hang on to XP for as long as they can.

There's plenty of perfectly functional software on XP that just won't run on 7 or 8 (Microsoft wrote some of it for gods sake, look at their compatibility matrix some time) and any IT manager that spends his/her budget providing no visible benefit over what the users had wont last long.

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They keep saying that...

A great Redmond plan to get Linux on the desktop?

Then it hasn't worked in twelve years. Wasn't the Windows 95 Start Menu the first thing that was supposed to make people move to Linux? Or was that product activation on XP? UAC on Vista? The Start Screen on 8?

I'm still waiting.

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Linux

Re: Supprised companies on XP

Believe me son once you give Mint Linux a try for a few days you'll never miss Microsoft again.

That is unless you like reading the Registers summery of this Months latest batch of Hotfixes.

When it slowly dawns on ya that your no longer on Windows, and theres no reason to care about that crap anymore!

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Re: Supprised companies on XP

Actually it goes up to 8...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Supprised companies on XP and IE6

"Its worrying that these companies employees are stuck on IE6! Thats as far as IE goes on Xp as far as im aware."

XP limit is IE8. However some companies' applications were stuck with needing IE6 compatibility though..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Supprised companies on XP

Oh for crying out loud - its commonplace for big companies to still be running XP.

I work for a major corporate where the default desktop globally is still XP. We have only /just/ started trialling Win7, and thats only been given to a handful of developers - only only because we've been demanding it.

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Vic
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Re: Supprised companies on XP

> stuck on IE6! Thats as far as IE goes on Xp as far as im aware.

That's not the case.

I have IE8 on this machine. I'm running XP SP3.

It's a client's machine...

Vic.

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Re: They keep saying that... @Gordon Fecyk

Start Menu wasn't a bad change. In fact, Win95 was merely MS catching up to do a complete ripoff of the Macintosh System 7 interface, instead of the half-assed, DOSSHELL-based thing they used for the 3.x versions.

XP activation theoretically would've done the trick, except the corporate keys started making rounds on the internet and thus the feature was defeated.

Of course, the rest of the stuff you mention should've theoretically made people jump ship, but Linux hasn't quite got up to scratch on the install part, and lack of MS Office is a dealbreaker in many companies. But jumping ship to OSX does seem to be a real possibility...

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MJI
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Re: Supprised companies on XP

My car is a 2001 model, and I do not like the stying of many current cars, and the only ones I like are too expensive.

BTW it is more reliable than a newer BMW at work

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MJI
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Re: IE6

Actually they tend to have the latest Firefox/Chrome ect

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MJI
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Re: Bespoke & Legacy

So XP is the latest OS for a lot of software

Vista lost full screen command prompts.

Netbios removal

Netbios

No need to remove them - they just like to force things

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@Bill the Sys Admin Re: Supprised companies on XP

I guess your "sys admin" role doesn't involve administration of Windows systems. XP runs IE 8

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Re: Supprised companies on XP

Regretfully, no.

The problem with Linux fanatics is reality. The OS isn't the concern for the vast majority of users - it's the APPS. Linux has almost no native programs for specialized markets - no custom financial, system control, inventory control, Point of Sale, merchandising, CAD / CAM design, embedded system diagnostics, technical support assistance, et al. written for it. It makes absolutely no sense for the thousands upon thousands of companies currently dependent upon customized industry solutions to switch to a non-supported OS and then use an emulator or code interpreter just to run a program that can be run natively on the original OS, with willing tech support (by the developer or the OS manufacturer, MS) to boot.

No sense AT ALL.

And it is high well time that the Linux "Year of Linux!" fanatics finally realize this. Linux will NEVER grasp the desktop market because it is not - and has not been since the days of the war between Windows and OS/2 - about the operating system. People who believe that are living 20 years in the past, believing that the "Next Best Thing!", waiting over that hill, is the thing that will kill Microsoft Windows...which is exactly the same argument that OS/2 supporters used 20 years ago.

Repeat after me: "Yes, I can be cured. I have a problem. The problem is that I can't realize that people want solutions in the form of applications to run and don't give a hoot as to what OS they [need] to do it."

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Re: Supprised companies on XP

@Bill the Sys Admin

There are other browsers. They work with XP.

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Pirate

Re: Snake

Funny, I think IBM felt the same way towards microcomputers/PCs and Microsoft back in the 70's. There was no financial software for those toy computers back in 1974, no COBOL., no reason to worry at all. IBM's mainframe business was HERE TO STAY and to think otherwise made "absolutely no sense for the thousands upon thousands of companies currently dependent upon customized industry solutions to switch to a non-supported OS and then use an emulator or code interpreter just to run a program that can be run natively on the original OS, with willing tech support (by the developer or the OS manufacturer, MS) to boot.".

It's a cycle, see. At some point, MS will fall and a new giant will emerge. Might be Google, might be Apple, might be RedHat, might be some little company that hasn't even been incorporated yet.

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Re: They keep saying that... @Gordon Fecyk

One word WINE... One more Word; O2k7 is all the M$ Office ya need!

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Re: Bespoke & Legacy

Odd that seeing as I just came off XP I can tell ya that a Full Screen CLI never existed outside of an F8 Boot to CLI. So perhaps you're a bit young to remember that.

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Re: Supprised companies on XP

"What kind of backwards ramshackle IT do you have if XP exists in your building?"

Where I work we migrated away from XP. I believe the primary reason was the licence cost, with "due to end soon" coming a close second. After a look at the options (Windows, more licence cost) they did a migration by saving user files to a networked server, chucking away all the old desktop machines, and giving everybody midrange laptops with Ubuntu on. There was panic and chaos for a while (and the migration to OpenOffice really sorted out those who "knew" computers in general (who got on okay) from those who "knew" Office specifically (and floundered as things were slightly different)). Now everybody is happy and from the user side, there are no problems. There are some XP machines kicking around for software (like the environment monitoring) that is not available on other platforms, but by and large I think I'd say in this instance Microsoft might have shot itself in the foot.

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MJI
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Re: Bespoke & Legacy

XP machine on next desk to me

Yes it does full screen command prompts, used it yesterday to set up a system for dot matrix printing (as I didn't migrate that edit screen)

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Anonymous Coward

I still have an unopened OEM version of XP for a computer that I postponed to build. I want to do it this summer.

I understand "no more bugfixes". What about activation? Can I still activate after 8th of April ?

What if you need reactivation after some time ?

Does anybody know the answer to that ?

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Thumb Up

Quote:

As long as you're running a particular version of Windows, there's a possibility that you'll eventually have to reinstall it. And that means you'll have to reactivate it--a job that requires Microsoft's cooperation.

That's a serious concern considering how much Microsoft wishes that Windows XP would just go away. They have promised to stop supporting the operating system in April of 2014.

But Microsoft has assured me that they will continue to activate XP. Their exact words: "The end of Windows XP support will not affect activation, but rather security updates and phone/online technical support."

From here:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/250774/will_i_be_able_to_activate_xp_after_2014_.html

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Anonymous Coward

Windows XP is going?

what?? I was about to start my large corporation roll-out project as some people have been complaining that their Windows 95 and 98 boxes were unable to browse some of the internet sites we let them get to.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows XP is going?

you may joke, but we still have some win98 PCs because the software on them doesnt work on anything newer, and no one will sign off the project to replace that software.

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The "beloved" XP is the same OS that had a load of problems when it came out?

Companies not liking the Fisher Price interface.

Applications not working due to the differences between the 95/98 and NT kernel and application compatibility not being good enough for them.

How many of these people clinging to XP were clinging to 98 for the first few years of XP's life?

How many were clinging to WfW, rather than going to this new Windows 95 thing?

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Customers.... really???

someone who bought a product 12 years ago, and has enjoyed free maintainence ever since.

is that person really a customer?

or merely someone that once did a bit of business with MS a long, long, looooong time ago.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Customers.... really???

*Free* maintenance.

Tell that to any moderately sized company that pays for MS support.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Customers.... really???

I take issue with this - Maintenance??

What you're actually talking about is the company who sold me the product in the first place gradually fixing all the broken and insecure code they bashed into the product in order to rush it to market to make massive profits for their shareholders.

I see this as an obligation that they owe me and not some damned privilege I'm getting.

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Re: Customers.... really???

>someone who bought a product 12 years ago, and has enjoyed free maintainence ever since.

Obviously only someone who has NEVER being involved in MS licensing for business could come up with such a comment.

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@AC 17:30 Re: Customers.... really???

Interesting point, but the argument is somewhat flawed.

Anything you buy has inherent "flaws" that can be used by a nefarious 3rd party - the alarm/imobiliser on your car can be circumvented; the locks on your front door can be picked; the condom you wear could fail.

If you choose to park your car in a public and dodgy neighbourhood, is it the manufacturer of the alarm/imobiliser that's at fault if it gets stolen?

If you leave your house for a long period and it gets burgled, is it the lock manufacturers fault?

If you sleep with a skanky person and the protection fails and you get a virus, is it the condom manufacturers fault?

Plugging a PC into the internet is always risky, you just take measures to minimise the risk (firewalls, AV, web check and so on). If the PC gets attacked and you're behind a firewall, why is it the OS that's at fault and not the firewall (after all, one is sold on the premise it protects you and one isn't).

What you are "owed" is a working* operating system. That's it.

* Let's not get into the "hur, hur, it's Windows, I wouldn't say it was 'working' hur, hur" comments

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Anonymous Coward

fools

anyone still running XP are fools that deserve to be pwned. anyone who doesn't know that support for XP is ending shortly, are idiots.

there are lots of fools and idiots

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Facepalm

Re: fools

I have to agree. Useless old fogies is more like it.

XP needs to die and go away forever. It was obsolete 6 years ago.

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Re: fools

There are those like myself who will continue to use Win XP Pro for tasks NOT requiring the internet. I have a few IBM Thinkpad laptops that work extremely well with XP and each laptop performs a separate role to the others; one is a retro gaming machine; one is a music studio sequencing machine; one is a notebook that is taken on holiday or to diagnose my car with and more. However I have a desktop machine that runs Win 7 64-bit and that can download whatever I need, and then be passed to the other laptops.

Win XP will continue to be used my myself for a good many years to come! However Win 8 can take a running jump!

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Happy

I like XP, we need another icon for a gravestone with Xp on it.

“One customer said if you are going to push a new UI on employees, you might as well go all in and go Windows 8 rather than Windows 7,” Van Heerden said.

Only if that person is working in a place where walls are padded and everyone has jackets with arap around sleeves.

I will miss XP, it was a solid dependable workshore and served us well. Windows 7 is doing a good enough job as a replacement, lets hope it lasts well pass the hiccup of windows 8.

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Anonymous Coward

Is win 7 or 8 realy secure?

"Windows XP is the hackers port of call in terms of trying to get a foot hold and establish botnets”

Windows 7 & 8 can also be hacked and be running botnets.

MS should have secured the OS long ago. Its their area of expertise and yet nothing of real value has been done since XP in 2001. Security through obfuscation doesnt work.

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WTF?

End of life?

Seriously, how can any IT manager not know that XP is nearing end of life? I mean its mentioned regularly in the IT press, particularly when MS have launched the next OS (7 and 8) usually in the same sentence as don't forget to get rid of IE6. I find that far more worrying than whether the systems will be left "naked" or not after April 2014.

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Anonymous Coward

XP... and security...

My take on this is that at the moment most remotely exploitable vulnerabilities are found in the evil triplets (Java, Flash, Adode Reader)... and to a lesser extent browser vulnerabilities.

If a Windows machine is firewalled to block all incoming connections, the evil triplets and browser are fully patched, to what extent is that system vulnerable? This is a serious question... for several years now we have not had malware problems on machines where users cannot install software, so we have no experience to tell us where the real risks lie.

Obviously the risk with XP end-of-support is going to be non-updating of IE (users are all on the FF treadmill at our site, so not that much of an issue), but the little devil on my left shoulder is saying that the time and money might be better spent on a comprehensive IPS solution that has the potential to catch malware infestations regardless of the state of the client. As I was writing that there was a little demonic whisper "...not to mention that many of the leaders are using their own machines that the IT dept is not permitted to access".

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Linux

If the fabled "Year of the Linux" is ever able to come true then the MOMENT IS NOW!

I think Mr. Shuttleworth knows this. I might not care for his methods but, I for One agree with his reasoning. Linux needs to get into the mainstream NOW! Before Microsoft can be made to see reason and chuck Ballmers sorry rump on the the Street and fix that shambolic disaster a.k.a Windows 8.

If a few Websites (like this One), could help tear down an otherwise good os like Vista back in 2006/7 'cause the OEMs played to fast & loose with the minimum specs. Then what chance does Windows 8 have? No sane person would go near it on the PC, and well the success that has been Windows Phone 7 & 8, plus Surface Pro & RT. Just speak for themselves.

If jobs were still 'round I bet he'd use this to start propping up the PC side of Apple. But, hes not and I think they may have forgotten that they were in the market to sell Computers to begin with. So that leaves a huge vacuum for the likes of Ubuntu to fill.

The chance is there and, its ripe for the taking, but will they pull it off?

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Anonymous Coward

No, they won't.

IT departments don't actually have any loyalty to Microsoft. This is important, but ignored by linux zealots who simply don't understand the issues facing IT Professionals. In theory from a certain point of view, there is a window to replace Windows XP with some variety of Linux.

In practice this will not happen. Here's why.

Companies do not run on "Windows", be that XP or whatever.

Companies generally run on two or three applications. First is the word processor, which is not longer an obstacle. Yeah, LibreOffice is perfectly good enough for word processing and it's actually easier to convert users from legacy versions of office to it than it is to Microsoft offerings. (and good job on that, by the way)

Second is an industry specific piece of software, basically CRM or CMS. These are typically tied to word for generating word documents, however it's not so much of an issue as in the past as quite a few are moving towards being web based apps and so therefore platform independent.

Thirdly is Exchange/Outlook, the formidable obstacle that will prevent pretty much any migrations. It's used everywhere, and the integrated mail/calendar is the killer. Before someone says that you can add lighting to thunderbird, I shall point out that outlook allows a delegated user (such as a seceratry) to take a phone call from Mr X, check her principals mailbox to see if he has actioned it and then book an appointment in for that client. This is important, regardless of if that principal is a Doctor, CEO, Solicitor or whatever.

If I was so incautious as to ignore the users wishes on this little issue then I would be seeking employment elseware and my successor would be reimplementing Exchange/Outlook. So, when there is a *working* alternative to Exchange and outlook out there then you can expect to see a huge tidal wave of companies moving away from windows server and Exchange. It's not happened yet, although openchange is getting to within shelling distance of being able to replace an exchange server.

"Working" needs to be defined as gaining user acceptance by being suitable for doing their job, as well as technically operational. If it sort of technically works but the users demand the severed head of the person deploying it then it doesn't work.

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Anonymous Coward

It's not really the MS software.

As for Exchange, look into SOGo. (Yes that's how the capitalize it.) I find it's usually some other legacy piece of software that keep companies using Windows. In SMB's, more often than not, it's the "must have MS Office to be compatible with all the other companies" FUD.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's not really the MS software.

Yes, it really is the Microsoft Software. I *could* just leave the windows servers running for exchange, and then replace the desktops.

However that still hasn't addressed the problem of not being able to run outlook on linux, and there not being a user acceptable piece of software to replace it.

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FAIL

naked???

'meaning customers will be naked and vulnerable to hackers and viruses'

How is that different to running Vista, windoze 7 or 8???

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Anonymous Coward

Natwest ...

still running XP as per this Saturday. How is this not surprising?

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