back to article Win XP alive and kicking despite 2014 kill switch (Don't ask about Win 8)

Uptake of Windows 8 for desktop computers – which was never particularly fast – has slowed, according to stats for July from web traffic pollsters Net Applications. Microsoft's latest operating system held a 5.4 per cent of the global desktop OS market last month, up 0.3 points on June which was up 0.83 points on May. A glance …

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Re: Why are we throwing this away?

I'd cheerfully pay MS another $130 to keep Windows XP in support for another 5 years, as long as I get to keep my "you don't have to count remote endpoints and license them at $100 ea PER YEAR" remote access rules. Fuck anything past XP until that rule changes. I'll just get really good at reloading my XP VM until a viable remote protocol turns up for Linux.

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Re: Why are we throwing this away?

Nobody is throwing anything away. All the poking, prodding and patching of XP went into the development of Vista and all the poking, prodding and patching of that into 7 and likewise into 8. Windows is, like any major software development, a continual and incremental development.

At some point people do have to pay again for continuing improvements and that's really the only reason new "versions" exist.

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Re: Why are we throwing this away?

Because that's how IT in large organisation, especially government works.

I just bought a used Dell optiplex for my parents to do email - it's a nice 17in LCD with a tiny PC mounted on the back - it runs Vista

It has a sticker from a local higher education college, and from what I paid they obviously sold them all for the price of a new keyboard to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8.

These machines were being used for web browsing/email, they weren't running protein folding or hydrodynamics simulations - they were perfectly adequate. But were dumped because you HAVE to upgrade

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Re: @Mephistro - Yeah, but why should he have to?

Hyperterm was bought in from an outside company.

MSFT didn't want to pay for an app that was a decider for 1 in a million customers.

Although they could have had an intern knock up a good-enough replacement in a day

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@Yet Another Anonymous coward -- Re: @Mephistro - Yeah, but why should he have to?

What you say about Hyperterm is absolutely correct.

Nevertheless, my comment was meant in the generic sense--and that's true too.

;-)

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FAIL

By coincidence

The Irish Government's newly-appointed CIO made the papers today - his strategy for the 2014 deadline is to ignore it, as he thinks MS are bluffing and won't *really* end support for XP.

“You’d have to ask whether Microsoft really will turn off their support,” said Mr McCluggage. “There are organisations larger than us [in government] that won’t be fully switched over by then. So the question is whether they mean what they say.”

http://www.independent.ie/business/technology/governments-information-officer-dismisses-microsoft-warning-over-vulnerable-computers-29465387.html

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JDX
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Re: By coincidence

MS can extend support, but at an extortionate rate for individual clients only.

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Anonymous Coward

"he thinks MS are bluffing and won't *really* end support for XP."

He's probably right, if MS are to be believed.

MS themselves have said Windows XP will continue to be supported until 2016.

You just have to be using the flavour of XP which is sold/licenced as "Windows XP Embedded".

Same OS, same security patches, different label, different EOL?

http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/search/?sort=PN&alpha=Windows%20XP%20Embedded

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Re: By coincidence

That sounds like a sound strategy that couldn't possible backfire.

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Re: By coincidence

Actually, on second thoughts, it might be a sound strategy if played correctly.

Microsoft - "We are absolutely 100% certainly ending support for XP in 2014"

Irish Government - "How are ye liking that tax rate there lads?"

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Do we actually need MS's support?

If MS walks away from this, it sounds like a potential for some other service provider to step in and make a lot of money.

Sure, you would not be allowed to sell more licenses, but there has got to be a market for keeping the current user base running.

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Re: By coincidence

Many said exactly the same about NT4. And Microsoft ended support for it regardless of the big customers who were trying to avoid change.

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Re: By coincidence

And some of those big customers had NT replacement programs running in 2010 that probably still aren't finished.

Just saying.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: By coincidence

I still support customers with NT4 boxes.

Remember, that upgrading to W8 isn't just simply swapping boxes that cost £100 or so.

There are all sorts of bits of application software running on it that cost in the thousands.

Then there is porting the code to run on those applications, testing, etc.

Downtime to replace them, etc

The final bill can easily be in the 100k+ range

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Re: By coincidence

Exactly. There is a far bigger functionality gap between NT4 and XP than there is between XP & 7.

Personally I suspect that there are going to be a lot of places still on XP in ten years time.

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I think a large proportion of end user customers have no idea that XP will be end of life in 2014, when i mentioned it to a friend who has a few business PCs with XP on them that there would be no security updates from MS after next April they just said they were ok because they had just renewed their Norton subscription for another 12 months!!!!

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JDX
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Technically small businesses don't count as Enterprise but it would be interesting if there were a way to break down the figures based on numbers of PCs per company/location somehow. Any medium/large company - any company big enough to have an actual IT team - WILL be aware of 2014.

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Anonymous Coward

not statistically relevant

.02 of a percent is within the error margin of any survey.

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8, humbug!

Microsoft is trying to control *us*, not our computers. Let them try. They will get more pushback over this than they already have -- and they've already gotten quite a bit. But when the computers I have are already doing the jobs I want, why should I buy (and learn) their "improved experience", let alone buy new programs to replace the ones the improved experience won't run?

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XP "Just Works" and is "Good Enough"

Windows XP just works for many business and people. It is stable and loads fast on later processors. Many people also have a lot of many invested in software and business systems that are set up or do not work on later versions of Windows. Also it runs older pre2007 versions of Microsoft Office that many people like. People are also starting to look at computers as a mature thing until they need a new one when their computer dies. Also with many of the new approaches to technology being tied to "the cloud", XP still lets the stuff stay on my machine in my own space. Windows XP was also the last "must have" Windows upgrade. Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 weren't all that exciting to people. Even though 7 works well. XP is still "Good Enough" for many!

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Re: XP "Just Works" and is "Good Enough"

Good enough for me!

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@izntmac - Re: XP "Just Works" and is "Good Enough"

Exactly--'tis more concise than my earlier comment which essentially made the same point.

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This post has been deleted by its author

WTF?

Re: 37%

How long do you think MS should support an OS for? 12 years not enough?

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Re: 37%

If any of my customers PCs are anything to go by, they're not installing the XP updates anyway! Still see a hell of a lot of XP machines in for repair and I'd say 90% of them are at least a couple of months behind on updates, if not more.

I've had 2 in the last month that didn't even have SP3 installed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 37%

And they will fail.

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Re: 12 years not enough?

You should be counting from when they stopped selling licences, not from the launch date. It's not so long ago that new PCs were being offered with Win7/WinXP 64/32bit licences and media from the likes of HP.

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Re: 37%

Unlikely. If it was used for over 10 years, then surely was fit for the purpose.

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Re: 37%

XP was the current Windows product up until 7th November 2006. At that time, Tiger was the current shipping OSX release. The last security update from Apple for Tiger was on 10th September 2009. The 9th November update was Leopard/Snow Leopard only. I think 7-8 years support from Microsoft is pretty reasonable.

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Re: 37%

"Still see a hell of a lot of XP machines in for repair and I'd say 90% of them are at least a couple of months behind on updates, if not more."

If your customers are anything like the people I deal with (mostly relatives and friends, mostly non-tachies who don't change the auto update settings) that's because they broke a couple of months ago or more, and they had another working machine to be getting on with, making fixing it a low priority.

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Gav
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FAIL

Re: 37%

I have a rotary trim phone, and I'm going to sue the Post Office for providing a product not fit for purpose.

They provided it in 1971, but that's not going to stop me.

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Re: XP was the current Windows product up until 7th November 2006

@jonathanb

But OEMs were still selling Win7/WinXP Professional licences up until about March 2011.

I purchased an Acer laptop in October 2010, and from memory it originally came with HP branded media to install Windows 7 and Windows XP. I think that it was sold as a Win7 machine with a "downgradeable" licence.

Sorry, but I can't check as I refused the media and licence, then made a futile attempt to claim the MS promised refund. In the end I was ground down by the retailer's intransigence.

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JC_

Re: 12 years not enough?

You should be counting from when they stopped selling licences, not from the launch date. It's not so long ago that new PCs were being offered with Win7/WinXP 64/32bit licences and media from the likes of HP.

The end of support date was no secret when the buyers chose XP; if companies want to give MS money for a soon-to-be-unsupported OS, superseded twice, then they can hardly whine about it later.

My partner just got a brand new laptop from her employer (a large airline) and it came with... XP! You'd think that their IT department would have got on with certifying/porting applications for Windows 7 by now, but apparently not.

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Re: 37%

Not so likely, the cutoff date has been publicized for a few years now.

Time limited support is part of Microsoft's business model.

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This post has been deleted by its author

@ JAK 1 - Re: 37%

Seeing that the XP licence--Microsoft's own licence--is indefinite, try indefinitely.

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Flame

@JC_ - Re: 12 years not enough?

"The end of support date was no secret when the buyers chose XP; if companies want to give MS money for a soon-to-be-unsupported OS, superseded twice, then they can hardly whine about it later"

For heavens sake, the only people who give a damn about the end of support are M$ and those who read El Reg tech pages such as this.

The rest don't even know about the end of support, and even if they did they wouldn't give a damn either!

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Re: 37%

I'm still seeing some people not even having SP2 installed... "what's that?" "oh, just an update from 9 years ago that you didn't do, probably because it wasn't automatic"

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Gimp

Re: 37%

Difference with Apple though is they incrementally update their OS every year or so and make it easy and cheap to upgrade, How much was the last update, something like 20 quid and simply done via a download?

Microsoft go for the big upgrades every 3 or 4 years but they get users pushing back because upgrading is a hassle and expensive.

If Microsoft turn around and said "20 quid for an upgrade to the next version of windows and you can do it via download", they might get more people upgrading.

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Re: 37%

Yep, ive also seen quite a few machines recently that only had SP2.

Thing is, XP will NOT pull in any security updates unless it has SP3. Since support for XP SP1/SP2 ended a long long time ago..

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It doesn't matter...

MS Support for XP is less important than MS wanting us all to use that smoking pile of cow heap, known as Windows 8. I'm happy to be working for a tech support firm who has deployed Windows 7 64 with 8GB of RAM on Core i5 3.2GHz Dells.

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just a thought....

...but maybe the dip could be

a) it's the summer, a less popular time to buy pc's

b) people waiting for 8.1

c) people just aren't buying pc's as much at the moment, regardless of OS.

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Re: just a thought....

I like a and c. Over the years, I've come to believe the os version does not sell the computer. The os only matters to the degree that the user's applications may continue to run.

Here's a loose proof. Microsoft has telegraphed its release of the next Windows versions 12-24 months in advance. If there was a wait-for-it phenomenon, Microsoft's ears would be scorched by the language the OEMs—Microsoft's true customesr— would use on the phones and in memos every month that release didn't follow pre-announcement. Also, Vista, Win7, and Win8, according to some circles, were likely to boost pc sales growth, but I don't think the effect, if any, could be shown to be significant.

Still, in June/July 2012, we had Win8 on the way, less employment (I write from the USA), and summer was still summer. Did we see a diminishment of the fall-off in XP and a flattening of Win7? I don't recall as we did, though to be honest, while these usage stats do arrive monthly, the reporting on them is a tad scattered as writers cherry-pick moments in order to the use the snapshot, rather than the trend, in order to make some case that Microsoft has [the mojo | the curse] with regards to a new or old os.

The key points, and these have been clear for a few months, Win8 is not growing as fast as it should (and most of the causation goes to the pc market) and XP is not declining as fast as it should—from Microsoft's perspective, of course. If one is using XP securely, well, why care that Microsoft thinks it really, really important that one gives it a couple of hundred dollars for a new os and half a day towards reinstalling applications, tracking down license keys, sorting through activations, etc., all done with some risk that key applications from minor or aggressive vendors do not run on the new shiny, now with Start button restored (!!!!! - LIstening!), as soon as it's released, any day now, no really.

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We have several PC's here still running XP, and we bought about 10 copies of XP Media Center edition just before they stopped selling them - so we will still be running XP for some time to come.

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Interesting comparison to Steam Survey for July 2013

Windows 7 64 bit 52.39%

Windows 8 64 bit 13.34%

Windows 7 12.52%

Windows XP 32 bit 7.12%

Windows Vista 64 bit 5.31%

Windows Vista 32 bit 2.46%

So even amongst users of Steam XP is still holding out.

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Re: Interesting comparison to Steam Survey for July 2013

You do realise those Steam figures place XP *below* even the massively hated Vista, right? If that isn't a sign it's dying out, I'm not sure what would be.

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Anonymous Coward

I traveled around India for a month or so in 2008 and every internet cafe I used across the entire country used the same XP licence key. Updates were barred by MS and I had to spend 10-15 mins or so destroying viruses each time I used them. I really can't imagine that situation's changed much.

Yeah, so MS are obviously not going to support them, but they're going to account for a hell of a lot of statistics on the web.

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@AC - Normal upgrades barred - yes, security patches no!

That was the point about Win XP service pack 3 - it was supposed to install on all those crappy machines with questionable licences.

No new functionality as with licenced product, but M$ deemed that security patches going to all was a good idea.

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I like XP apps, they run under wine just fine.

I can happily report that I have not used a Microsoft Operating System since 2002, and at home since 1997. Linux just works, and besides it's free. It takes a bit of ingenuity to avoid vendors putting Wonkydoos on their boxes, but it can be done.

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Re: I like XP apps, they run under wine just fine.

This old fellow has Linux Mint 13 MATE, personalised to look very similar to WinXP, pop out toolbars (LInux panels) and all (yes, it's a foolish and sentimental thing). MS Office 2000 and a couple of other things run fine under WINE, as you say. The great thing about MInt-MATE is that you can have genuinely separate workspaces, selectable on the system bar.

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