back to article 'We could wake up smarter' - Ballmer hints at Win XP reprieve

Windows XP could yet be reprieved from end-of-life, if enough customers demand it, said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today. Speaking at a news conference in Belgium Ballmer said: "XP will hit an end-of-life. We have announced one. If customer feedback varies we can always wake up smarter but right now we have a plan for end-of- …

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  1. Pete Silver badge

    wake up Smarter? he's been asleep for years

    So they're eventually going to wake him/her up? I doubt if they'll recognise the place after the length of time they've been gone. it must be at least 7 years: 2 years of Vista and 5 years for it's development, with not a sight of "Smarter" during the entire time.

    Given the rumoured $10B that vista cost, it is hopefuilly a lesson that MS won't forget in a hurry.

    Funny thing: XP has just had it's new service pack released - not the kind of thing you'd do for a product that was going to be dead in a few months. Makes ya' kinda' think they've been planning this for some time.

  2. Nazar
    Linux

    Ubuntu over Vista

    Today sees the release of Ubuntu 8.04.

    Balmer. Do us a favour and discontinue ALL XP sales ahead of end of the June deadline. Infact, do it tomorrow!

    MS... all your desktop are belong to us.

  3. Nick Palmer
    Thumb Down

    He's not getting it, is he?

    What he's failing (apparently) to grasp is that a lot of their APPARENT Vista sales in the business arena are people buying machines w/Vista Business OEM and exercising the downgrade rights to drop 'em back to XP Pro.

  4. Matthew
    Unhappy

    Finding SP3

    Is it just me that is having trouble finding the download for SP3? All I can find is release notes...

  5. Chad H.
    Joke

    dontcha just love weasel words

    of course vista is selling in numbers, heck, the concorde is still selling in numbers... 0 is a number just like any other!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Dusty old kit?

    You must be kidding, we're still buying brand new machines with XP on them, and if we can't get them with XP, we format them and put XP back on.

  7. Jesse
    Coat

    Well

    They sure couldn't wake up any dumber.

    Mine's the one... Hey wait! Give me back my jacket Microsoft!

  8. Henry Cobb
    Flame

    eXtra Painful and adrift

    Microsoft has always known better than their customers.

    That's the way the company has always operated and apparently it's the way it will always operate.

    It remains to be seen what percentage of their base will graduate and start knowing better for themselves.

  9. Don Mitchell

    Microsoft Culture

    I run XP x64, which I think is a fine OS. But as support for XP wanes, support for the 64-bit version disappears even faster. Vista has some good features, but most people are somewhat disappointed, especially those who saw what it could have been.

    Microsoft used to know how to turn the crank on big systems, better than anyone else in the industry. But they are making mistakes. Internally, they have underminded the testing organizations by trying to force them to program and automate testing instead of the good old fashion sleuthing that a good tester used to do. In general, there has been a breakdown of their traditional culture three-way checks and balances among developers, testers and program managers (who advocate for the user).

    Executives lack the tradition technical knowledge that used to pervade Microsoft's management. A bad idea, like Avalon, gets sold to Alchin while the developers groan and roll their eyes. Then it gets yanked when everyone realizes it won't work, and the whole project gets delayed. That kind of stuff is what caused Vista to be so late.

    There is some good work in Vista. The new device driver interface is great, the kernel refactoring project was almost finished and should be done for Win 7. A lot of the most impressive engineering in an OS goes unseen by the user, but it does ultimately improve his experience.

    Hopefully MS has realized that it made some mistakes. Ballmer has more or less admitted that, but does he know how to fix it? Maybe the most important thing he could do is restore that old Microsoft culture under Bill Gates, where a developer could go to a meeting and tell a vice president "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!". Today, he'd get fired for that.

  10. The Other Steve

    Ha!

    "“We'll be distributing the service pack slowly so that we can help Windows users have a good experience,”

    More like "so that we can roll it back when we FUBAR the first thousand users"

  11. Malcolm Hall
    Go

    yeh

    But even with SP1, Vista performs 50% less than XP. XP reprieve is a must.

  12. Dick Emery

    If it ain't broke...

    ...don't install it. Seriously I have just installed SP3 and noticed little improvement. I was expecting a speed boost but that did not happen. If this means XP is more secure and stable and does everything I need why bother with Vista?

    It's like trying to upgrade the tyres on your car. You can get those fancy tyres and notice little difference to the standard set.

    The only advantage is in the 64bit arena because they totally screwed up on XP 64.

  13. Tom

    Dusty old kit?

    My employer is still specifying XP on all new PCs. This is a site with over 2000 desktops and Dell is the monopoly supplier. Corporate policy is strictly no Vista, so I am curious as to what will happen come 30th June.

  14. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
    Jobs Horns

    Hint hint wink wink nudge nudge.

    Revive XP?

    That's a joke. XP is all they have. Vista won't cut it and nothing else has got the attraction and the vendor lock-in.

    An upgrade to XP -a version with DVD say, would make it out of date. The only attraction XP has for the rest of us is that it isn't Vista or Linux.

    Most people view their coming upgrade as a computer that will run Linux, with XP for their games and stuff. MS have not only seen the writing on the wall, they've had it translated to them:

    No more lock-ins.

  15. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Alien

    Naked Emperors .... Executive Global Administrations ....

    ....Enhanced Graphic Adapters ... Spin Merchants

    How spookily bizarre..... the Parallels in U turnings .....with policies in meltdown ...... money-making collapse ......... Toxic Sub-Prime rather than Credible Fantastic Viable Imagination.

    "We could wake up smarter" would need Servering, Steve. Know of anyone who isn't Bought and For Sale? .......ZerodDay Traders with their Heads and Derivative Futures Hedged in the Cloud ..... Virtual Untouchables with AIMastery of Magical Mystery Turing Trips

    Are Microsoft Geared to Role Lead Humanity with a Holywood Following Move ........... with XXXXPerienced AIdDrivers Delivering VistaVersions of Life .... and for IPTV2?

    Or is Innovation Dead in the Land of the Free ...... Slave to Slave Drives rather than Global IntelAIgents Processor Units for EduTainment.

    This is AIMentored Monitored MuI7 Production ..... Proceed with All Due Care for Attention.

    And Yes, El Reg[ers], that is Perfectly Serious and QuITe Impossible for anyone Playing the Fool with Fools, to Plausibly Deny. They are Cordially Invited not to Try for that would be Foolish Squared.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's still a retail demand for retail pre-installed XP

    Mr Ballmer is stating the bleeding obvious, just a little on the late side.

    There are still retailers that will sell you systems with XP pre-installed (and not just small places either). They're only doing this because the demand still exists in the retail market, from people who have a clue, in significant quantity. In the corporate sector, no IT department with a clue is touching Vista, and the IT folks are perfectly capable (well, should be, BOfH's excepted) of re-imaging a corporate box desktop with an upgrade to XP, even if the manufacturer's volume discount deal with MS means everything must leave the factory with Vista installed (what proportion of Billmer's Vista sales numbers would that eliminate?)

  17. Angus Ireland
    Gates Halo

    *sniff sniff*... anyone smell the coffee?

    Well its about time!

    Have Microsoft at last woken up from the dream where Vista was actually a success?

    Paris because even she realised Vista was **** before Microsoft

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reality bending speech

    Someone slap a 6kgs frozen salmon across his face. Hard.

    It's called "reality check". The saddest part is that their billions in the bank allow them to live in such a far fetched private universe that they might actually believe the bullshit that spews forth with every breath.

    Comes the revolution, marketing "evangelists" should be the first ones on the wall, togheter with their circle-wank mates from the "legal team".

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Even if they don't make it official, you can still "exercise your downgrade rights" as expressed in the EULA. At least, the current EULA for Vista Business allows for it, I haven't checked any others.

    The problem at that point becomes finding drivers for your platform, which for certain OEMs (like Dell) can be an issue since manufacturer reference drivers often refuse to install and inform you they are not "certified" for the OEM version of the hardware. So, if your OEM doesn't produce XP drivers for your kit you are likely out of luck.

    Fortunately for us, Dell plans to offer Windows XP as a factory installation option until December 30, 2010. Therefore obtaining the proper drivers for future Dell models will not be an issue.

    The exact quote from Dell:

    "Microsoft has given us permission to ship XP from our factory using Vista Downgrade Rights (DGR) COA/license thru December 30, 2010 ... [it will] show the following sku under the operating system:

    Genuine Windows Vista® Business Downgrade, XP Pro Installed

    We will sell the customer the license to Vista ... but XP will be loaded as the OP."

    This is one of the few times I can say that I'm glad our company uses Dell!

    Paris Hilton because I'm sure she knows how to exercise her downgrade rights...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not just clued-up IT depts, either

    The one I work in has no Vista boxes either. This idea that people are running XP because their equipment is too old, and that it'll all turn around shortly, is frankly bizarre and slightly offensive.

    Anonymous for obvious reasons...

  21. Dale Loyd
    IT Angle

    @ Matthew

    XP Service Pack 3 is only currently available to TechNet subscribers, allegedly to be released into the wild on April 29 according to this link:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsxp/0a5b9b10-17e3-40d9-8d3c-0077c953a761.aspx

  22. Brian Whittle

    the problem is not vista

    the problem is until Vista came along programs could write what they want and where they want in all flavours of windows. Vista breaks lots of old programs because they don't understand about elevating permissions and the like.

    Businesses are not going to spend money on Vista PCs and money on getting their bespoke software rewritten

    Microsoft have had there head in the sand about security for year and now they have woken up to it they have been bitten in the arse

    Only way round it tith old software is to switch off UAC and then the only real advantage is the enhanced search function which is probably not enough for businesses

  23. Unknown_Noel
    Gates Horns

    Pathetic

    "If customer feedback varies we can always wake up smarter .. "

    Pathetic. Just like a performer begging the audience to ask for an encore.

    Or in this case, to dump the new material and go back to doing their greatest hits.

    Like PJ of Groklaw says, "People aren't as dumb as Microsoft needs them to be." Really starting to show, these days.

  24. Joe M

    I put my money where my mouth is

    Just got delivery of a nice shiny XP Pro OEM package from ebay. (Threw the 256Mb slice which came with it in the souvenir bin.) It's going to sit on the shelf until my new PC is selected and bought - about January if things go well.

    I don't like having to spend dollars on something I'm not using yet but I can't risk not being able load a brand new machine with my choice of OS.

    I have nothing against Vista or Microsoft and wish them both well. When all the volunteer guinea pigs are through, in about two years time, I might consider installing it.

    To anyone who is going to post the usual "don't know what you guys are all whingeing about - Vista works fine for me": put a sock in it! I spend my life with computers and have done so for decades. Take it from me. Vista is well and truly broke. Without going into anecdotes, I haven't yet seen a single installation which works as advertised, and worse, which hasn't annoyed the sox of its miserable owner. Early XP had it's moments and 98 made you hate the colour blue but they weren't designed to deliberately infuriate the user and waste resources.

  25. Lars Silver badge

    What else could he say

    Of couse he has to try to push Vista bye hinting to end XP.

    Of couse he will not.

    The life of XP will be extended, day bye day, at least until W7.

    And then we have this very Microsoft "like" promise about Windows7 soon or almost soo soon or later.

    MS good friend Forrester tells you not to wait for W7 but jump into Vista right now.

    So to make MS happy first jump into Vista and the as soon as it is possible into W7.

    Funny, bye the way how, fine XP has become in the light of Vista.

    And will MS actually loose any money if business pays fo XP instead of Vista as long as they stay MS, that is.

  26. Angus Ireland
    Paris Hilton

    Re: my comment above

    I've just noticed Paris has gone walkies to be replaced by 'him' in my above comment. Scary! Here she is anyway.

  27. Shabble

    Its a new OS? So what!

    I've recently had the chance to start using Vista, and I like it. Do I like it enough to spend £100 to upgrade from XP? Erm, nope! But then, would I make the effort to get XP on a new computer when Vista is no extra cost? Another 'nope'.

    The thing is, I've been using computers with a GUI fronted operating system for 15 years now - and I have reached the conclusion that I really don't care how the OS user interface looks or behaves. As long as my hardware works and my software works, and its pretty easy to get around and to tweak, then I'm happy.

    So, a question springs to mind. If the details of an OS don't matter, why should the release of a new computer OS be such a big deal? Aside from the continual security battle and the need to adapt to occasional new generations of technologies, we should have reached the a natural endpoint of OS development by now. Compare the different ways of controlling a computer back in the late 80s with todays current slew of OSes and diversity has significantly decreased.

    What I'm saying is that the OS should be seen as a basic component of a computer and is not worthy of huge sales figures or fanboy worship. The typical computer user should have no strong preferences between OSes because they all do the same rather basic things. Do you care about the interface of your car stereo? Or your phone, or your MP3 player? Do you choose a house on the basis of the way the lights turn on, or the direction the doors open in? Well, perhaps a little - but not enough to determine what you buy. So it should be with OSes.

    The public response to Vista isn't really a reaction to MS' incompetence, poor planning or mismanagement of the promotion. It isn't a response to the superiority of Linux or MacOS over Vista either, as there is now so little to choose between them all (if they are all set up properly and running on newish hardware). Basically, we have said 'meh' to Vista because we have all suddenly realised that an OS isn't actually that important - only MS hasn't caught up with reality yet and tries to promote difference when all we really want is consistency.

    You can't sell people change when what they really want is for things to stay the same.

  28. Graham Lockley

    Strange moment

    Got issued a nice shiny new HP Compaq laptop last week by my employers ( a well known telecoms company). On the underneath is a MS licence certificate thingy for Vista but what a suprise, it boots to XP !

    XP or Vista, I really dont care, its better than the Win98 laptop I had up till then :)

  29. Chas E. Erath

    To go, please.

    MS: "Welcome to McRedmond's - what can we get you?"

    Mark: "Uh, how about an XP-deluxe?"

    MS: "We're sorry, we no longer offer the XP-deluxe. You will have the McVista instead."

    Mark: "Thank you, no. They make me vomit."

    MS: "Too bad. You eat it!"

    Mark: "Maybe I'll try one of those other places down the street."

    MS: "Oh wait. I think I saw one more XP-deluxe back there somewhere. You wait there."

  30. heystoopid
    Linux

    Perhaps

    Perhaps the new darling on the block Eee PC along with the Corporate World's bulk steadfast refusal to say "No Thank You !" and the more astute wiser punters with Vista powered note books sold at high street stores demanding and getting to replace the currently unusable Vista POS with XP !

    Choices ?

  31. greg

    In this virtual money's world...

    I'd like to know how much Microsoft really has in fortune...

    The real money that is. The one that can't disappear in 2 days.

  32. Neil Greatorex

    @Finding SP3

    Matthew, it has already hit the Torrent sites. "google" it:

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=xp+sp3+torrent&meta=

    BTW I haven't installed a single update since early 2005, can't remember the last time I had to re-boot :-0

  33. Goat Jam
    Linux

    SP3

    @ Matthew

    They haven't released SP3 (despite what it says above) What they have done is a "release to manufacturing" which means they send it to their oems and whoever it is that prints their cd's so they can incorporate it into their product lines.

    The general release has yet to come.

    Tux, because Ubuntu 8.04 is born today

  34. Tristan Young

    Windows XP

    XP *NEEDS* to be kept alive. Everyone I know is bitching about Vista and how pokey it is. A lot of friends and family wish their machines came with XP.

    I'll be upgrading many machines from Vista to Ubuntu Linux 8.04 LTS in the next coming months (once Windows share browsing is fixed in Nautilus/gvfs). I'm not being given a choice - people need their computers to run well, and be easy to use.

    Loosing Microsoft compatibility doesn't seem to bother anyone anymore.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    demand... from people who have a clue...?

    Vista is so much of a joke that even low-clue users are demanding XP. We've now had a number of requests from retired workers:

    "can you help me with a new computer, dear? and can I have XP please not this new thingummy?"

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How do we let them know?

    Other than phone or snail mail, how do we let Microsoft know that we still want XP?

  37. Peter Gold badge

    He means: if we make enough money from XP

    I quite like that one. It's a quite sneaky, underhand suggestion that MS *may* just leave XP alive if they make enough money out of it.

    Quality.

  38. Joshua Fidel
    Unhappy

    A thousand times no

    Pleez Mistuh Ballmah, suh, don't force no vista on me.

    savexp.com (yeah, it's infoworld, but so far over 170k have signed the petition- is that enough yet?)

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two XP reinstalls and two Vista downgrades today

    XP's here to stay, MS. At least while the only MS upgrade offered is Vista.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Dusty old kit?

    ???

    as customer I do not mind running any new and shiny kit with XP. Only trouble is getting hold of a new (legal) copy of the operating system for state of the art hardware now days... Personally I would like MS to continue to sell XP without further support for a while longer - it works very well indeed with plenty of RAM and any of the latest processors of choice.

    If Vista is soooo good - surely MS can continue to allow sale of their XP through normal channels to all. Surely - people will quickly realise the great benefit of Vista and there is no real need for MS to dissallow sales of XP. Or is there?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    @ Microsoft Culture

    Back before the internet and downloadable bug fixes, I remember a reporter asking BG if they ever thought about a version release that just fixed the problems without adding more. "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard" was BG's response.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE How do we let them know ?

    Easy by not buying Vista, not even with a downgrade to XP option.

    It is called voting with your wallet and something that should be done a lot more. Just demand your retailer to have XP or something else (Linux, Mac) instead of Vista.

    RE: Its a new OS? So what

    The problem is that the majority of the users don't even know they can get PC's with a different OS. What stores do you know that sell PC's without OS or PC's with an alternative to MS. The only option I have is Mac and that is something I never tried and probably will not try in the near future. I still think that Mac is overpriced.

  43. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Alien

    Get your Acts Together for IT can Sort IT Transparently ....No Problem.

    "I'd like to know how much Microsoft really has in fortune...

    The real money that is. The one that can't disappear in 2 days." ..... By greg Posted Thursday 24th April 2008 22:48 GMT

    Now, now, greg, behave yourself. Everyone knows that if it's in the Banking System, it isn't real money and can instant disappear/be written off/be transferred to Beta accounts. It's the Great Game that they Play with IT although they've been losing badly and rather heavily recently, with their own gambling decisions, and that has exposed their position and leaderships to be unfit for Future Purpose. After all, a Bank is only rich by Virtue of those who would share/do business through it....... and if they have dodgy customers they lose their money, for the money is siphoned off, quite rightly, by the System and deposited elsewhere for a rainy day.

    Let's get virtually Real here, Wealth Created, doesn't just disappear, its Value is just transferred to Pay for Warrior Projects and Black Ops. After All, when have you ever seen a Prospectus promising a Return on an Investment for a War Started for Business Reasons. That would be outlawed and condemned as a War of Terror and a Crime against Humanity so it has to be stolen stealthily for how do explain the huge cost of going to war and waging it for years and decades, if there is no huge cost to the economies and businesses at home.

    Which makes it the dumbest virtual business imaginable [and yes it is Run with IT Systems from War Games Rooms] with everyone a real loser. IT Offers Command and Control with Words of Encouragement and Clarification/Death and Destruction/Simply Complex BrainWashing and Perceptions Management.

    QuITe why it is tolerated and accepted can only be because of a Lack of Intelligence or a Block on Sharing Intelligence because surely Man is not so Stupid, is he?

    Does he just need Education/Enlightenment/a Beta Plan to Follow religiously? Or is that too Imaginative for Words whenever IT is Simple Common Sense available to everybody.

  44. Matt Roxburgh

    If Microsoft ran a Vista to XP downgrade programme ...

    If Microsoft announced an OS downgrade program tomorrow I would jump at it.

    One of my machine came only with Vista .... its pants. The worst OS ever. Its even made Mac OS X a very viable proposition.

    XP was simple, fairly intuitive with SP2 and just worked and was fairly compact and rock solid when it had the right drivers.

    Vista is buggy, slow, HUGE, counter intuitive and plain terrible.

    Mac OS X is light, simple and, apart from not being as intuitive as people claim, not bad although ... 2 mouse buttons please, let me ALT-TAB my windows not just my applications and let me resize windows from everywhere rather than just the bottom right. Oh yeah, maximise windows should maximise windows :)

  45. Andy Worth

    @Finding SP3

    "BTW I haven't installed a single update since early 2005, can't remember the last time I had to re-boot :-0"

    On the other hand you are probable vulnerable to just about every exploit in existence.

  46. dervheid

    You what?

    "Windows XP could yet be reprieved from end-of-life, if enough customers demand it"

    Is the man DEAF, or just suffering from selective hearing.

    Need to replace Gates Icons with Ballmer Icons, I believe!

  47. paulc
    Alert

    XP needs putting out to pasture

    terminate all downgrade rights... push users onto Vista... you have to be cruel to be kind... only then will the true reality of the horror show that is Vista will be revealed... the Vista sales figures are apparently good, however, the reality is most of those are being downgraded back to XP...

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    XP done, Ubuntu arrived

    I am two companies, I work from home. Just downgraded my new Lenovo with VB to XP Pro, easy peasy with the supplied discs. Also got the Ubuntu CD in the post today for the old Thinkpad, should be fun too. Who needs Vista?

  49. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Vista is rubbish

    Not my words, the words of my Father after he bought a high end laptop with Vista on it.

    He wants XP back as he says nothing works with it, his printer won't work, software won't work. He's not a Windows expert and just wants his hardware to work.

    Why should people have to go out and purchase new hardware to replace perfectly good hardware that is only a year or two old? I'm sure he wouldn't have to do this with Linux or Mac OSX.

  50. Guido Brunetti
    Paris Hilton

    I also bought a Vista recently

    Dell just won't sell you an XPS Laptop without at least Home Premium.

    About 10 Minutes after the package was delivered, Vista was gone and is now replaced with an actual upgrade: Windows Server 2008 Standard x64.

    Thanks to El Reg for pointing me to the relevant blog article.

    Paris, because she's as cute as my M 1330.

  51. Chewy

    I quite like Vista

    But then it's the Ultimate edition that I'm running. The main problem with Vista is as far as I can see is that it doesn't offer much beyond what XP does, it's seen as just offering eye-candy, and that the Ultimate edition is way too expensive beyond an OEM install.

    Anybody who is a web developer will tell you XP is pretty horrible for developing on. Also XP doesn't have the hardware support that Vista does. And finally you don't get Mahjong on XP.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Joe M

    'To anyone who is going to post the usual "don't know what you guys are all whingeing about - Vista works fine for me": put a sock in it! I spend my life with computers and have done so for decades. Take it from me. Vista is well and truly broke. Without going into anecdotes, I haven't yet seen a single installation which works as advertised, and worse, which hasn't annoyed the sox of its miserable owner'

    Feel free to come and inspect my Vista Business x64 box which has worked perfectly since it was first installed 10 months ago. Everything works, no hassle, no incompatibilities and has NEVER crashed. According to my benchmarks it is running around 25% faster than XP64 did on the same system. So no it hasn't annoyed me, no I am not miserable but no I can't yet see enough benefits to migrate all our systems to Vista yet so they are staying as XP.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista or Linux ?

    from my point of view it will be as easy to adjust from XP to LINUX as it will be from XP to Vista. With so much being offered in LINUX these days, including (I have heard) more device drivers as in Vista and at a more affordable price I don't expect to be migrating at any time to Vista.

  54. glenn
    Pirate

    @ Matthew

    http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/Windows-XP-SP3-Download-90001.html

  55. Slaine
    Linux

    Just a little 'wine' with that

    I noticed a lovely little throwaway comment... thought I'd just re-iterate after doing the linux (ie ubuntu) as an office/internet system installed almost by accident on the arse end of my lappy drive... it was so easy... so dual OS systems do work... leaving the bulk of any "Mr 'Pooter" free and unhindered except for running XP and directX9-0c for games.

    Anyone who tries to tell you that computers are for work are completely deluded. 'Pooters are for games, first and foremost... they also make nice video media, good audio media, fairly complex databases, handy typewriters and web browsers.

    Shirley Somephuker within the M$ empire knows this fact, but the bulk of them seem to have decided to go with the (I can't be sacked for going with the majority rule option) committee solution - hense no common sense, all profit-orientated, no realistic support, phuk all for 64bit XP and all hail the good ship vista(titanic).

  56. Schultz
    Alien

    The real money

    @AManFM, greg

    The money is real, as long as someone is willing to accept it. 40 billion for that yodeling company -- will you accept stocks? Sorry, can't accept that 100 $Eur bill for a 'burger, why don't you come back with some pieces of copper?

    So the smart man will convert his virtual assets while/when they are valued - every chick will see that the Porsche is real. But then, why not replace that deprecating car with some stock, virtually unlimited growth, fantastic returns, ... IT's a no-brainer.

  57. Andy Tyzack
    Pirate

    downgrade your upgrade

    well lets see, if something is better its generally called an upgrade.

    xp=better than vista

    xp=upgrade.

    you are all required to use the correct terminology in that the shift from vista to xp isnt a downgrade, its actually an upgrade!

    mines the floppy with fdisk on it.

  58. alistair millington Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    remember people

    Vista isn't new anymore. It is one and a half years old with it's first service pack. (bless it's little overpriced cotton socks) in that time we have had a smorgess board of linux releases and some Mac OS's released. So we have to relable it as something else.

    Perhaps the overweight loner in the corner with no friends, or perhaps the mentally challenged new kid that started term and people just look down upon with sad indifference?

    After all is it is bloatware ridden, not liked and functionally limited by some deep ridden error.

    @Chewy.

    Come on be serious, after 8 years in the shops and you say developers can't develop on XP, then they aren't very good devlopers are they?

    And after reading the padding from MS about the Vista sp1 it says the number of supported drivers has jumped from 15000 to 54000. Which means the bloat of vista which preloads them anyway will be even larger. That is 54000 drivers that Xp and the suppliers already have out there for use. Vista is playing catch up just to come level with Xp. I have Vista ultimate as well, it stinks. Got it OEM as I can't afford the second mortgage it would cost otherwise.

  59. Matt Hawkins
    Gates Horns

    Vista slamming on the performance brake ...

    Even if you had a new PC why would you want to take a 50% performance hit just to run Vista? MS are crazy if they think transparent windows are that important.

    Why pay for multiple cores and multiple GBs of RAM when half of it is going to used to display a desktop and handle some file operations?

    I'm sticking with XP. If I want the Vista experience I will pull out a stick of RAM and underclock my CPU!

  60. Neil Greatorex
    Pirate

    @By Andy Worth

    "On the other hand you are probable vulnerable to just about every exploit in existence."

    Certainly not mush! - I'm quite capable of securing my own network, thank you.

    Anyone who connects _any_ Windows machine to the internet, updated or not, without external protection is a tw@.

  61. Dave K Silver badge
    Happy

    Windows sales down by 25%?

    According to PC Pro:

    "Microsoft has seen a substantial drop in profits in the first quarter of 2008, with income for the period falling by more than a tenth.

    The news comes as the company releases its first-quarter financial figures, showing that profits have also declined by 11%.

    A slowdown in Windows sales contributed strongly to these falling figures, as Microsoft announced a drop of nearly a quarter in the number of operating system licenses sold."

    Fancy that...

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    @ all the Vista knockers!

    For Gods sake stop whinging!

    You're the people who slagged XP (which is real crap) saying it's bloated, needs new H/W etc and how W95/98/2000 is great. When W7 comes out you'll slag that as well, 'coz it'll need new, high spec H/W!

    I've install Vista at work, at home and recommend it to anyone who wants a decent operating system.

    In my experience it runs quicker than XP, is more stable than XP, and looks much better as well.

    I'd guess that most of the knockers (aka tits!) have never installed Vista or tried it on a min-spec machine - P4 Dual 2GHz, 512MB RAM works fine, systems doing more (i.e. video editting - upgarde to 1GB RAM and working fine)

    @the Linix twerps - when there is easily available, professionally written and supported software, then brag about how good it is. Until then accept that most companies will not use something that is only supported by a bunch of geeks who have no idea what is happening in the real world.

    I've been working in IT for 25+ years and supporting Windows since r2. Vista is the best thing to come out of MS since 1995.

    Flame away!

  63. Chippy-Minton
    Thumb Down

    Disk performance

    I'm in two minds about Vista.

    I don't think it's unreasonable to up the ante on hardware specs. CPU and memory have never been cheaper.

    However the bottle-neck in most systems is hard-disk performance and it was the worst possible thing MS could have done to hit this as badly as they did. On my wife's 2*1.8GHz home Vista machine, disk transfers take around 60% longer (especially from within the same physical disk to otherr folders or partitions) than my similar notebook with XP pro. This isn't acceptable.

    I wonder what server versions of Vista are going to do to database performance and the like?

  64. Tom Kelsall

    Vista?

    Vista = M.E. 2008. I will never install it. Simply because of what I read here and elsewhere. I will never "Exercise my downgrade right" either. I will simply buy XP.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    VISTA v XP Pro Could prove to be an interesting war.

    Problem = Vista has not made the mark to cover the massive investment in its creation. This is because XP has matured into a reasonably stable OS for most.

    Solution = Create an un-necessary SP3 that basically rolls up all previous SP's and fixes, but add a well buried little blighter that will terminate the reliability of XP, as and when the shareholders start twitching.

    SP3 with Covert 'Terminator' switch for FREE. Ugh Ugh not for me thanks!!!

  66. Nicholas Wright
    Stop

    All I want...

    ...is my existing XP system which is good, to run on new hardware to make it even better.

    I want the new CPUs, harddisks, RAM, and graphics cards to continually enhance my good operating system/games platform.

    I want to spend my money on hardware over time to make the OS good, and not £1k each time a new OS comes out.

    If Vista was faster (surely things *improve* over time?), I'd be there like a shot. Why do I want to buy a downgrade?

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Ubuntu Linux 4.8 LTS

    Ubuntu is coming out soon and is said to be the best Linux enterprise operating system (EOS). So whith this in mind who needs Vista? I mean serously who needs Vista? I have never used it but from what I've seen it is so rubbish. Windows XP with its flower pot men icons is so much better. So who really needs Vista now Ubuntu is on the shelves ?

  68. Mat Diss
    Thumb Down

    Daft

    Just had someone external visit me at work. I noticed he was running Vista, so I asked how he was getting along with it.

    He said "It's OK since I installed 4GB of memory"

    Why on earth should anyone have to have this amount of memory to use an operating system?

  69. A J Stiles
    Stop

    It gets worse for MS .....

    Vista breaks backward compatibility because it forces programmers to do things properly and respect privilege separation (something, incidentally, which Unix in all its various guises has enforced since day one). All those "legitimate" Windows applications that break because of UAC are making use of exactly the very same "features" that are exploited by malware, viruses, spyware and so forth.

    How did all this happen? Probably because a whole generation of wannabe programmers have taught themselves, using knocked-off copies of Microsoft's expensive Visual Studio software development environment, and relying on trial-and-error and chinese whispers rather than official documentation. (Not that the official documentation helped very much if you read it, since it had various careless omissions and errors.)

    Microsoft have made a rod for their own back here. All those bespoke applications are going to have to be rewritten to make them behave nicely, otherwise all the security benefits of Vista are nullified. But if applications are going to have to be rewritten anyway, then there's no benefit in sticking with Microsoft and their extortion tactics.

  70. Michael
    Linux

    What I want to know is this...

    If/When XP does become unsupported, will we be able to download an activation key generator LEGALLY?......Will we be allowed to host the sp-updates on private websites for slipstreaming, etc?If not, how well will this sit with the EU antimonopoly witch -hunt against M$??? I run opensuse, but have XP for running some proprietary software not available on linux,(nor ever likely to be....too obscure).

  71. Pete
    Paris Hilton

    Swimming against the tide

    I suppose I've always liked being different, the sort of guy that ploughs his own furrow, but I've been running Vista (recently upgraded to SP1) for several months and I actually like it a great deal - great functionality, beautiful look and no speed problems. I keep my system lean and mean and it works well.

    Now I despise Microsoft as much as the next user, but recently I installed Ubuntu Hardy Heron, through Wubi, on my laptop. I spent 24 hours jumping through hoops getting my wireless card to be recognised (finally managed it) and connect to my wireless router (no success there, with much pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth involved). To be honest, I found Linux to be lacking in the intuitive stakes, with help and error messages doing little to help solve problems. To cut a long story short, I've now uninstalled Ubuntu. Maybe in a couple of years...

    Anyway, there's no argument - the best operating system of them all was the early 90's version of QNX. Now that was lean and mean...

    Paris - because everyone likes Paris in the spring.

  72. James Anderson
    Happy

    Have you ever tried getting support from microsoft?

    " @the Linix twerps - when there is easily available, professionally written and supported software, then brag about how good it is. Until then accept that most companies will not use something that is only supported by a bunch of geeks who have no idea what is happening in the real world. "

    Well there is it just happens to be UBUNTU.

    -- Just to correct some misconceptions

    Most of Oopen Source/Linux was written by professional programmers.

    IE. programmers who write stuff for a living. Furthermore they

    include some of the best programmers who ever lived.

    VIsta on the other hand appears to be written by amatuers with a faulty job desription.

    --- I have had excellent support experience the "ONE" time I have required it ( arcane JBOS bug). After hearing the varuous tales of Indian call centres and know nothing experts that the MS support team at work have to deal with I would never bother the MS support organisation

    -- By the way why did nobody warn me Ballmer is in Brussels? At least now I wingt call the Zoo when I see a ranting goilla in a suit.

  73. andy gibson
    Unhappy

    There are some real dicks on here:

    You have morons who *need* SP3 so badly they download it from Torrent sites. It's no wonder than Windows get slated for being full of holes. People like you should be banned from The Reg because you're no better than the numpties who buy computers from PC World.

    Then there are the Vista defenders. Its ok for your with your top of the line PC with hardware thats a fortnight old and a bottomless wallet to fund upgrades.

    I run a P4 2.4Ghz with 1GB of RAM and a 256MB graphics card. I don't need anything faster for the APPLICATIONS I run.

    The operating system is meant to be an invisible interface between the user, their computer, and the application they want to run. I don't want to shell out money to do something I've been doing all along with my existing OS.

  74. Dave K Silver badge

    Re: Anonymous Coward (10:38 GMT)

    Giggle!

    I have Vista and XP dual booted on my system (Athlon X2 4600+, 2GB RAM, GeForce 8800 etc). Vista SP1 is definitely slower and flakier than XP on my system (all latest WHQL drivers mind you) and even though I have both available to me, I barely ever boot into Vista these days because for simple working, gaming and entertainment, XP just does the job faster, better and in a more stable way - even if it does look a bit dated these days.

    Incidentally, no. I did not knock XP when it came out. Yes it used more resources and that was a negative, but it was definitely a far more solid and reliable OS than 98 and I promptly upgraded to XP back in 2001 and haven't looked back since. XP's advantages far outweighed its drawbacks back in 2001 when it came out. I also happily upgraded from 3.1 to 95 and 95 to 98 so I'm not someone who just knocks new releases of Windows all the time as you seem to think.

    The problem is that Vista takes a few steps forward and also a fair few back. It offers no real advantages to users like myself over XP (SuperFetch being probably the one exception) and just runs slower and more flakily into the bargain. I am looking forward to Windows 7 and hoping that it will provide the compelling reasons to upgrade that are sadly missing in Vista. Until then, I will continue to use XP and hope that MS will continue to sell me XP should I wish to buy a copy.

    In the mean time, stop thinking that everyone who dislikes Vista is some stick-in-the-mud bandwagon-jumping luddite with a 286 because that is definitely not the case. If you like it, fine. That doesn't make it perfect.

  75. Karim Bourouba

    @Microsoft Culture

    old fashioned sleuthing is better than automated testing?

    what planet do you live on? With out automated testing, MS wouldnt have released vista in 5 years time - let alone when they did!!

    I take it then you are automatically discounting the near industry standard of unit testing? as well as automated regression testing? As well as all the other types of automated testing that goes on...

    Its not the culture at MS that needs to change, its our expectations of software vendors. With the advent of high speed internet, everyone is going to expect updates via the internet. Not via physical media.

  76. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
    Boffin

    Relative Values.

    Given the rumoured $10B that vista cost, it is hopefully a lesson that MS won't forget in a hurry.

    So how much did it cost to run Bletchley Park over a similar time period:

    Current data is only available till 2006. In 2006, £10 0s 0d from 1943 was worth:

    £309.05 using the retail price index

    £334.63 using the GDP deflator

    £985.32 using the average earnings

    £1,037.88 using the per capita GDP

    £1,287.70 using the share of GDP

    http://www.measuringworth.com/ukcompare/result.php?use%5B%5D=CPI&use%5B%5D=DEFIND&use%5B%5D=WAGE&use%5B%5D=GDPCP&use%5B%5D=GDPC&year_early=1943&pound71=10&shilling71=&pence71=&amount=10&year_source=1943&year_result=2008

    paying 7766 people £10 a week to work there would have cost ten million pounds at an exchange rate of £1 in today's money to £128:15:6d.

    For 5 years that is a bill of £19,415,000.

    I have no idea how much they earned but some would have beenon senior college staff wages and some on senior civil servant's wages which I am guessing is about the same.

    And some would have been on girl's wages as school leavers. And I have no idea of the numbers involved. A factory worker would have been on good money. They would have had to come close despite any cachet working in an office would bring in those days.

    Current data is only available till 2006. In 2006, £19415000 0s 0d from 1943 was worth:

    £600,016,360.13 using the retail price index

    £649,688,122.50 using the GDP deflator

    £1,912,991,719.14 using the average earnings

    £2,015,036,809.43 using the per capita GDP

    £2,500,076,311.69 using the share of GDP

    Two thousand five hundred million pounds.

    All of it to be spent in Britain, the ultimate lock in.

  77. Tom

    @Pete, just released service pack

    They release SP6 for NT right before they killed that too. I think their intention was to do the same thing for XP: "Here's your service pack kid, now go away and don't bother me again!"

  78. Chris Williams
    Unhappy

    @Chewy

    > "Anybody who is a web developer will tell you XP is pretty horrible for developing on"

    I'm a web developer and have no problem with XP Pro. I have however had many and varied tribulations with Vista that go way beyond eye candy, and I am running Ultimate Edition (dictionary definition tells us this means it will be the last ever edition, but we know that's not true!).

    Examples of these problems range from the obvious and well-known trauma of file copying through the more curious, like incorrectly applying settings from a DHCP Server and showing the 'busy' pointer on a folder up to thirty seconds after an operation has completed, to the astounding, such as file attributes not correctly reflecting updates and file contents not reflecting changes that I know have taken place when a file is copied. In fact, 'bizarre' and 'freaky' would better describe some of these issues and, yes, I do have a list!

    I work with nearly all Windows versions, server and desktop, have worked with what's good and what's bad in each new version but have generally seen things heading in the right direction. I also work with Linux and OS/X (each not without its bad points) and am not any sort of fanboy ;-)

    Something really is up with Vista though. It's not that it can't be a good OS, not that it will never be a good OS, just that my work-critical laptop was running it long, long before it became a good OS.

    So, give me my old XP Pro machine to work on and keep Vista away from me until it does what it says on the tin.

  79. Neil Davies
    Unhappy

    Maybe I'll start using Vista again...

    just as soon as the mouse pointer reappears. I even tried plugging the thing into the PS2 port. It worked for about 4 days (without the scrolly button thing working, but usable all the same) and then disappeared again without warning.

    Failing that, I'll just reinstall the games I use Windows for into XP instead.

    I like XP - you can make a cup of tea while it boots up and everything. Who could ask for anything more?

    On a more serious note though - end of life usually means end of security updates. Time to start worrying, I think.

  80. Chris W

    Irritatingly weighted 'choice' already

    To date my office (15 people) have purchased one PC with Vista, which has been downgraded to XP. I'd much rather spend less and just buy XP, but we're tied into Autodesk subscriptions (seemingly the only way to buy their software these days) and I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if they pulled their support for XP before Windows 7 comes out. Autodesk seem to be bigger evangelists for Microsoft technology than even Microsoft themselves and their attitude towards their customers is lamentable.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista vs. XP vs. 2000 vs. Ubuntu

    I have far too many PCs kicking around the house, of various ages and OSes, and I find myself hopping between them.

    My main machine is XP. It's reasonably spec'd, and XP works nicely. No complaints at all. There's an old machine running 2000. When I find myself using that PC I don't yearn for something more modern - 2000, despite its age, is still fit for purpose.

    The best machine in the house has a processor that's allegedly twice as fast and has twice as much memory as the others. It runs Vista, and it is without doubt the most sluggish-feeling box of the lot - all guff and no grunt (to coin a phrase).

    I've toyed with various flavours of Linux in the past, but have got no further than thinking 'well fine, but I haven't got the time or the patience for this'. Downloaded the new Ubuntu last night just out of curiosity, stuck the CD in and tried the try-me-without-touching-the-hard-disk mode, and blow me, a fully working system in under a couple of minutes, which was usable without going to geek school, and seems to tick the browsing/e-mail/office apps boxes. Tied into too much Windows-only stuff on the main PC to migrate that one just now, but for the other boxes, perfect.

    So, for me, XP please for now. Even 2000 would be preferable to Vista. For the wife's PC, that will be turning Ubuntu very shortly.

  82. KarlTh

    Something is odd

    On the one hand, people are complaining about poor performance on 2GB RAM machines, and yet I'm having no performance issues on 1GB RAM. Discounting all the "I've never used it but I know it's crap" sheeple, and the "it must be crap because it's not Linux" bunch, that leaves a core of people who've found it runs slow on more powerful hardware than mine, which was budget a year ago.

    MS need to actually find out what the issue is. My suspicion is drivers.

  83. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    As I said before...

    5 out of the 7 machines in my office are running 98SE + AutoCAD R14!!!

    Some bosses can be quite fundamental on the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" principle.

    (The other 2 are on XP Home w/ R14, btw).

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Long URLs in comments make reading a pain the arse

    Please automatically edit comments with extra long URL's to cut them up over a few lines. It makes reading the comments a real pain the arse otherwise with having to scroll left and right all the bloody time.

    ta!

  85. Chewy

    @alistair millington

    my point is that XP only allows you to develop on one website at a time, meaning you have to resort to virtual directories - fine if you want to develop small scales sites but none of the companies I've worked for have developed directly under XP. Commerce Server does not work under XP which means you need a license for Server 2003 if you want to run it under VPC.

  86. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Long URLs in comments make reading a pain the arse

    I've mentioned before that it'd be courteous if people used tinyurl.com to smallify their inordinately long links. Because it would.

  87. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Long URLs in comments make reading a pain the arse

    Although I should take issue with your use of the word 'automatically'. All your witterings are painstakingly sifted and moderated by trained gibbons in cages i.e. us.

  88. Slaine
    Happy

    Dear Gibbon

    ... and what a lovely cage.

  89. John Dallman

    XPsp3 "RTM" doesn't mean what it used to

    Up until Vista SP1, "RTM" from MS meant that software was available for dowenload from MSDN, TechNet and so on. Now, they seem to have an extra delay.

    As for Balmer, this could well be positioning for a change of strategy. You know how political parties can't just change course; they have to lay the ground for saying that it isn't a change at all? MS have something of the same problem with Vista: lots of people in the MS food-chain who've been building their lives around "Vista is good" as the message for two years now. And they've taught themselves to believe that, in spite of the evidence from customers, because if they didn't believe it, they wouldn't be able to feel that they're making the world a better place. Marketing is like that, and it accounts for a lot of the strange behaviour you see from corporate marketing departments.

    Setting Vista aside would mean "abandoning all the sacrifice and effort that had gone into it". People really don't like being told that they've been wasting their time, especially when their managers have been telling them its was vital. If this discussion of MS internal politics seems irrelevant, consider this: How often does Steve Balmer have a non-scripted conversation with someone who doesn't either work for him, or feel scared of upsetting him?

  90. Gordon

    They should give it up...

    Even if Vista isn't as bad as it's reputation, it's reputation is bad enough in itself to cause problems.

    I'd have more respect for MS if they just said "okay, our bad".

  91. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Alien

    `What are we going to do now? What are we going to do now?

    At a conversion rate of $2/£1, that's Bletchley Boffinry being twice as Good as and offering a Uniquely Astute Magical Mystery Turing product to Boot over the Vista lemon, I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects. That must, being conservative in such matters, at least cube their performance over the Uncle Sam OS and set them light years ahead. QuITE AI Colossal Achievement for something which is always not there when you ask.

    If Yahoo has nothing to offer Bill/Steve/Ray, they could always buy into the System which "isn't at Bletchley and we know nothing about IT" and Create a Tempest Storm which will Virtually Rock the Planet and wipe out their Failure for they'll at least be on the Bridge of a SuperSubAtomic NEUKlearer ProgramLed CyberSpaceShip rather than being Buffeted and Hacked into Pieces out in the Open and all at C# in the Virgin Virtualised Jungle ....... the Amazons' Forests. For Venus holds the PerlyGatesPython Keys to Mastery in Universes and can only Deliver to EMPathetic Sympathetic SurReal Souls who can Push all the Right Buttons every Time for the Best of Times Servering to Base XXXXAlted Needs and Feeds.

    QuITE a Paradigm Shift in EMPhases 42 Deliver Real Change, Virtually, which is A.N.Other Property available with QuBits and Binary Digital Future Projection ProgramMIng.

    And the Egghead because they don't have any and they need one for they are too far behind to catch up on their own, hence the generous $ Lifeline to give them Mentored and Monitored Access to ITs Quantum Machinery, Virtual TelePortation Interface ....... their Missing Core VistAIdDriver. At least they know where to find it and how much IT will cost them although buying more of the same a la Yahoo, it most definitely aint.

  92. Mick Russom

    Windows XP or Windows 2003 as a workstation FOREVER.

    Microsoft, please work on XP SP4, and please make a 32 bit version of Windows XP "64-bit" Which is simply Windows 2003 rebadged Windows XP.

    Microsoft, your Vista and 2008 products suck so bad, its utterly pathetic and embarrassing and you are risking longtime customers to simply defect to something better.

    Solaris: opensource, Linux: opensource, Darwin:opensource, OS X, you name it, we are getting more choices. Stop trying to make them easier to make.

  93. Nick H
    Stop

    ROFLAO: MS... all your desktop are belong to us..

    RE: MS... all your desktop are belong to us.

    You wish!!!!! I despise Vista but XP is just fine, thank you. Gonna take a lot more than that for linux to gain desktop penetration.

    Grandma is't going to be using desktop linux anytime soon guys, sorry. The biggest chink in the linux desktop wheel is linux users. Way too many prefer that linux be the desktop underdog (they wouldn't be geek-elite if it had 50% of the desktop - of course, they aren't geek elite anyway so it's moot).

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Replace XP(c)(tm) with XP-like Open Source Operating System

    Well, a maybe-two-years-to-go before XP(c)(tm) is pushed aside for favour of Windows 7(c)(tm).

    Fine, two years and ReactOS might well be in the running as the replacement of choice for about-to-be-forced-out XP(c)(tm) fans.

    http://www.reactos.org/en/index.html

    Be a great hoot that. People abandon Microsoft for an open source incarnation of XP(c)(tm).

    Gets round all that argument over 'Microsoft v Linux' for people that rightly or wrongly don't fancy the notion of Linux (which is getting more GUI usable in leaps and bounds - or put another way, more Windows-like in leaps and bounds).

    Cheers Microsoft, good-bye to you, and good-bye to your shitty little 'You are licensed to use this operating system on 'x' number of computers...' stunts.

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    if 2gig of ram don't run it ....

    i recently purchased a dell £350: dual 64 core + 2 gig ram. under VISTA, video cut up and games are hopelessly jerky - and that was after disabling the search + other things that made it VISTA!

    there is no way VISTA can replace XP within 5 years. people actually have to DO THINGS on there PCs you know!

  96. Reid Malenfant
    IT Angle

    Back to the future

    Inexplicably, all this vociferous OS angst catalysed a serious nostalgic attack. So I went on a loft expedition and returned triumphantly clutching my old circa 1991 Amiga 500, all 4096 colours with 8-bit stereo audio, a 60MB external HD and just 3 MB of ram.

    Reminiscent of Woody Allen’s 200 yr old VW Beetle in the classic Sleeper, I hooked it up and the bugger booted first time; and surprising quickly too. Yeah the graphics are prehistoric but its relatively agile and Workbench still lets me navigate t’internet. Indeed, I easily managed to post this reply on it.

    This old Miggy was once a technological marvel; it certainly gave that Steve Jobs sleepless nights and knocked the then IBM PC into a cocked hat. However, poor decision-making and bad timing left the field wide open and the Amiga withered and died; the rest is, of course, history. The salient point being that, as decrepit as it undoubtedly is, the damn thing still runs efficiently, has never suffered a single virus or malware and is absolutely rock solid; certainly more so than certain other MS products I’ve used since .… ME anybody?

    What I would like to know is now that 17 years has passed and the IT industry has invested untold billions in R&D and development, why are we still wringing our hands in despair over allegedly poor OS stability and efficiency? Is it a case that, in trying to be all things to all men, Microsoft have ultimately shot themselves in the foot? Which ever way you look at it, it’s a pretty poor show.

    It certainly makes me ponder the inevitability of certain developments because, from where I stand, MS is increasingly displaying that particular kind of desperation brought on by self-inflicted wounds; either that or we’ve all been cynically played like suckers!

    No, surely they wouldn’t do a thing like that? …… well they wouldn’t would they?

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    IBM 300'000+ employees

    XP still, no plans for Vista, someone is fibbing :)

  98. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Pirate

    A Reactionary XPEditionary OS for Private Armies?

    If XP is not "officially" supported, does that mean that counterfeits are no longer counterfeits and are then legal tender to be traded/swapped rather than proprietary information to generate currency flow/ banked wealth from shared knowledge? No wonder it gets a new lease of Life whenever the Cash Cow/Golden Goose [XP] delivers a still-born/slow-witted Calf/barren egg [Vista]?

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    to the unpatched one

    The only protection you can afford is to disconnect from the internet...

    nature will always find a way.

  100. JC

    Ok Steve, if you hear from us WHERE EXACTLY?

    Steve, there may be 50 ways to leave your lover but are there 50 ways to get it through your thick skull?

    Carrier pigeon note?

    Smoke signals?

    Website link?

    Windows Popup Warning?

    Telephone?

    Telegram?

    Shout real real loud?

    Email?

    Morse code?

    WTF Steve, the discontent with XP is all over the freakin' internets, but you still need to be told by "customers"? If you woke up with it tatooed on your forehead would you begin to think something was up or would a voice from the sky have to tell you in each of the worlds 30 most popular languages in under 15 seconds while gypsys clanged bells and the wind blew from the northeast?

  101. Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge
    Jobs Horns

    Re: Vista is rubbish

    Giles,

    Actually that's exactly something you have to do with both Linux and MAC. On Linux some printers simply don't have drivers, but it's rair. However with MAC OSX upgrades you really do lose perfectly good printers. I had a customer who upgraded and they could no longer use their printer. Nothing we did would fix it except switch printers.

  102. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Extending XP? Who says?

    A spokeswoman from Microsoft's public relations firm said Thursday that there is no plan for a change in deadline, however.

    "Our plan for Windows XP availability is unchanged. We're confident that's the right thing to do based on the feedback we've heard from our customers and partners," the spokeswoman said, reading from a Microsoft statement.

    http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/145059/ <wrap here>

    no_change_in_xp_plan_despite_ballmer_comment_microsoft_says.html

    (or you could try http://preview.tinyurl.com/5pq2j3 ?)

    This kind of thing would never have happened if Saint Bill was still in charge.

  103. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    XP with Office 2007?

    If i buy a new lappie with VIsta and downgrade it to XP can i still run Office 2007 on it?

  104. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @James Anderson

    "Most of Oopen Source/Linux was written by professional programmers.

    IE. programmers who write stuff for a living. Furthermore they

    include some of the best programmers who ever lived."

    They may be good programmers but they certainly don't act professionally when it comes to OpenSource. I'm talking about annoying bugs/requested features in popular OSS apps that have been around for years and which none of these characters seem to care about. Firefox still has some peculiar CSS issues that Opera and IE have long since conquered, and AbiWord, which would otherwise be a nice little word processor, is a colossal pain in the arse due to the lack of certain basic find-and-replace features that were first requested in 2001. I don't mention OpenOffice because it was a laughable bloated wreck when it first appeared and it hasn't got much better since.

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