back to article Windows XP market share GROWS AGAIN, outstrips Win 8.1 surge

If you don't believe in the undead, think again: Windows XP may be just over a month from its much-publicised demise but is now Microsoft's fastest-growing operating system in terms of market share. For that zombie-like assertion we can thank Netmarketshare's new data about operating system market share. As we reported in …

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  1. ITS Retired
    WTF?

    That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

    Killing their most popular operating system because their latest replacement isn't cash cowy enough.

    1. Gray
      Devil

      Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

      This is truly a monumental achievement for Microsoft. In less than a month, this corporate behemoth will tell a significant portion of humanity around the planet to go fuck itself, while feeling omnipotent in its power as King Rat, gazing scornfully down upon the wretched masses scrabbling among the little black turds at its feet.

      Ignore the Rat's words; focus on its actions.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

        Not wanting to appear a Microsoft appologist, they have extended the deadline from 2010 and users and companies have had over half a decades warning that they need to look for an alternative to XP. It isn't as if this date appeared out of nowhere at short notice (unlike Snow Leopard being put to sleep without even informing users).

        1. HollyHopDrive

          Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

          @big_d yes, but that's because nobody wanted their new OS. And they have had 3 years to fix that and still nobody wants their new OS.

          As I see it Microsoft have a very embarassing situation on their hands.

          If they let XP support expire and the world becomes one big virus ridden botnet then its their fault. Even though they gave fair warning that will be the perception. But a u-turn would be seen as "oh they'll keep extending it". So that's not a winable start point either way.

          I reckon they are hoping that they can drown out the bad news with the hoped good news of the big rush of sales on windows 8.1. I don't think this will happen. People don't want to do that kind if thing. You don't replace your washing machine if it still works because zanussi stopped making parts for it. Especially if there is no material value in a replacement. (i.e. Spare parts doesn't count). And remember most of these people won't be techies and understand the value of patching.

          What Microsoft should have done is reskinned windows 8 with an alternative XP style(a bit like Linux has with gnome,KDE etc) and made it cheap (Like 19.99) and less resource hungry to run on older kit. People like the XP/windows 7 experience and making them not have the choice is the mistake.

          This isn't going to end well for anybody on either side of the fence.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

            What they need is another FLP.

            FLP was XP-lite for old Pentium 2s etc. that were running Win 9x to bring them up to the NT/XP line.

            An FLP2 based on 8.x, with TIFKAM nonsense removed, but which runs on anything from a 1.5ghz atom up, would be useful in getting people off XP.

            1. Michael Habel

              Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

              Wow this is the first time I ever heard of this version of XP. I bet this would be so awesome on that old ass P1 Noteblock I have somewhere in cold storage. It runs XP now more or less. Actually less, but then not as badly as say my more thoroughly modern Netbook with its Windows 7 Starter Edition. I would suspect both of these Machines could have benefited greatly from this OS Version.

          2. Tom 13

            Re: Microsoft should have done is reskinned Windows 8

            Yes, except for one tiny little detail.

            Windows 8 wasn't about re-skinning Windows 7, it was about shifting the market dynamics so Microsoft has a reliable future revenue stream. And you can't really re-skin that.

            There's really only one was for MS to displace their entrenched XP users, and in 12+ years they haven't been able to do it: Make an obviously superior OS that people want to buy.

            If you look at those numbers I think what you see is enterprise has adopted Windows 7 because they needed the support contracts while consumers mostly stayed on XP. The other people you have moving to Windows 7 were those foolish enough to have tried Vista. And old the committed Kool-Aid drinkers are adopting Windows 8.

        2. CowardlyLion

          Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

          True, but our Intellectual Property laws are such that no other company can take on support for Windows XP until 2096 or thereabouts, even though Microsoft don't want it. They should either support it, sell it to a willing third party, or open source it so we can all support and develop it collaboratively.

          1. Michael Habel

            Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

            True, but our Intellectual Property laws are such that no other company can take on support for Windows XP until 2096 or thereabouts, even though Microsoft don't want it. They should either support it, sell it to a willing third party, or open source it so we can all support and develop it collaboratively.

            Open the XP Source Code FECKING LOL..... Oh yeah that's soooo gonna happen... And MicroSoft will bring back the Start Button in Windows 8 SP1 too.....

        3. Michael Habel

          Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

          Not wanting to appear a Microsoft appologist, they have extended the deadline from 2010 and users and companies have had over half a decades warning that they need to look for an alternative to XP. It isn't as if this date appeared out of nowhere at short notice (unlike Snow Leopard being put to sleep without even informing users).

          One MicroSoft should have been an**r**ed by the DOJ, and European Courts for interfering with the development of the Netbook, and consequently destroying that concept. By shifting the only half-decent OS MicorSoft, had at the time for it. Before gracing us with Vista Duce (a.k.a Windows 7 Starter Edition), Which I gathered runs in much the same way as Vista on a sub 1Gb RAM, and no Video Acceleration did.

          As to this "Alternative" please enlighten us with your great wisdom? The only natural successor to XP really is Windows 7, and MicroSoft has already struck that Stake though the Heart (of it). By completely removing Windows 7 from the Channel come by October at the latest.

          I hate to be the One to break this to you, but Windows 8 is a non-starter. Unlike Vista, which was at least fixable, with a decent Video Card, and some Cheapo RAM. You can't fix that broken Interface FKAM. Perhaps this new 8.1 Update will yet prove me wrong. But, the damage is done. If Windows 8.1 really is such a great diversion back to the 7/Vista/XP way of doing things. Then they could do worse then rename this OS to Windows 9. As no One with a free floating Brain Cell would want Windows 8 now, if they didn't already want it, or have it.

    2. Bob Vistakin
      Facepalm

      Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

      And it's about to get a whole lot worse in mobile. Spot the pattern: Microsoft write new OS, which is shit. Users avoid it. Microsoft spends zillions marketing it. Users still avoid it. Microsofts last resort is to go nuclear to force users to use it.

      Now think about mobile. Microsoft launches shit OS ... repeat as above, except the new popular OS everyone wants is Android on Nokia kit. Android on Nokia proves a massive hit so Microsoft then ...?

      1. John P

        Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

        The writing was on the wall for XP regardless of whether or not Windows 8 was a success.

        The double standard here is that no one seems expect any other company to support a 12 year old operating system, it's only MS who must have some devious master plan behind dropping support for XP, other than it being 12 years old of course.

        It's not reasonable to expect any company to support a product that is more than a decade old when they have released 3 major versions in the meantime. Exclude Vista for a moment as it is pants, and even if you don't like Windows 8, Windows 7 is far superior to XP.

        No one seems to expect to be able to buy a phone with Cupcake on it, why on earth are they so attached to XP? I liked XP in the day but Windows 7 is far better.

        The end of life for XP isn't news and MS have given everyone plenty of time to move over.

        1. P. Lee

          Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

          Is even W8 a new OS? A new product, certainly, but how much of the kernel is new code?

          Is it just a new GUI slapped on top of the old product with a new price tag attached?

          Did anyone actually ask for something new?

          1. John P

            Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

            You could say this for almost every software product in existence.

            The software industry is built on incremental improvements to an existing code base until supporting that legacy becomes too much, at which point you get yourself on to a new more modern one. No one rewrites the product on every version, nor should they.

            If you're coming from XP, I would say 7/8 is a significantly new OS in terms of features and architecture. Going from 7 to 8, it is more of an incremental change.

            1. admiraljkb

              Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

              @John P " Going from 7 to 8, it is more of an incremental change."

              True. Vista/7/8 are all the same underlying architecture with different UI elements so its minor updates from that perspective one to the other. With the massive UI swap - 8 becomes a defacto major upgrade, but underneath its essentially 7.1 for the "meat and potatoes" of it.

              NT4/2K/2k3/XP are significantly different underlying architecture which makes Vista/7/8 a significant upgrade from an architectural perspective.

              1. Tom 13

                Re: Vista/7/8 are all the same underlying architecture

                Actually no. MS really muddied the waters here because Windows 8 has two underlying architectures. One is similar to 7, the other is radically different. We tend to overlook it because one of the architectures, the one not like 7, is selling to the one for 7 like Windows 8 total sales compare to Windows 7.

          2. Tom 13

            Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

            Yes there is a new kernel underneath, or at least a new proprietary lock in, which is an even bigger reason Win 8 has such lousy uptake. It's not just the lousy new skin.

        2. Jess

          Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

          Because it was close enough to being a monopoly to make little difference.

          Because the replacement was so poor and so incompatible (you couldn't install a vista machine on an AD with lots of policies and expect it to work properly without a lot of changes) that users avoided it.

          The replacement for Vista, although a good version of windows, still had the same issues with migration.

          And the replacement for that, although probably the soundest core ever for windows, had a UI that was a showstopper.

          My opinion is that whenever they fix a bug that dates back to XP, they should fix it for XP too.

          If it has a bug then they have sold a faulty product, and should fix it. If they fix it for other versions of windows, then they are pointing out a hole for malware authors to use. This is very close close to blackmail. (Of course many domestic users will just say sod Microsoft and buy an iPad or Nexus)

          1. John P

            Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

            Sometimes you have to make big changes in your product that necessitate a more involved migration process.

            Microsoft's failure is in not going to the effort to make the migration path smoother. You can go from XP -> 7, but not XP -> 8, but you can go 7 -> 8. MS would be in fewer admin's bad books if they automated these processes so even if it is 2 separate steps, you do it in the background thus making the choice of migrate or not that much easier.

            Having said that, I don't think not migrating because it is hard is sufficient excuse. Have a go at MS for making it difficult by all means, they deserve it. That, however, doesn't stop it needing doing, even if it is harder than you would like.

            You shouldn't be running 12 year old PCs, so why is it okay to be running a 12 year old OS?

            1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

              Re: why is it okay to be running a 12 year old OS?

              Uh, because it works ?

              You people banging on and on about how Microsoft has alerted people for years and so on really should get a reality check.

              Rule #1 : The Customer Is Always Right

              Rule #2 : Getting Money From The Customer Is Hard To Do

              Most importantly :

              Rule #3 : A Customer Will Not Replace Something That Works Fine

              The vast majority of customers are not PC fans, OS adulators of any side, or actually care about PC stuff in any way. They are much more involved with their personal lives/hobbies/problems which can be in activities ranging from caring for actual, living people to going fishing or watching football with friends and a beer (or three).

              There is only a tiny percentage of PC users (of which I am part) who truly care what the OS they run is doing on their hardware and ensure that the thing is optimized and running properly.

              Now turn the problem the other way around : how many of you who berate users for not moving to at least Win7 are out every weekend polishing their car ? Because car polish is essential for the proper preservation of the paint color and general durability. And you should use <insert brand name> products only, because they have a proven history and have never used <insert chemical product> at any point in their production history since it is proven that <insert given adverse effect>.

              So all you XP-demonizers out there need to pull your own heads out and realize that a PC is not the most important thing in most other people's lives.

              The customer is always right. Deal with it.

              1. electricmonk

                Re: why is it okay to be running a 12 year old OS?

                Meanwhile in Redmond:

                "Hey, this Pascal guy is right! Our customers won't replace something that works fine. What we should do is, we should screw up XP so it doesn't work any more! Get me the dev team, I feel an urgent "security patch" coming on..."

              2. ElReg!comments!Pierre

                Re: why is it okay to be running a 12 year old OS?

                > Most importantly : Rule #3 : A Customer Will Not Replace Something That Works Fine

                That's so wrong it's not even funny. The person sitting right next to me in the office has had all incarnations of Apple's phones sequentially; they all still work fine. She's far from an exception: the person sitting on the other side of my desk takes 1-year phone subscription so he can get a new phone every year, despite the old one still being fully functionnal. We are putting in a lot of purchase orders for the latest version of MSOffice this month, despite all the old installs that they are meant to replace still working a charm.

                So, Rule #3 is really "Given the Chance a Customer Will Replace Anything and Everything With a Newer Version Without Thinking Twice, Even When They Really Shouldn't"

                I gladly disobey this law (in fact I'm posting this from an XP machine), but the vast majority of users just want the latest shiny-shiny. Which makes MS' failure to get wide adoption for Eight all the more worrying.

        3. Juillen 1

          Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

          It'll be because most of the world don't really care about OS. They've bought a PC back in the days that XP came with it, and it's been doing sterling service for them since. It works on the old machine they've had, and now they're being told that they need to spend about 20-25% of the cost of a new PC just so that they can carry on doing what they already do? They have no interest in Win7 being good. And from the ones I know, they have absolutely no intention of moving anything to windows 8 (some are actively avoiding getting new hardware because it comes with Windows 8, because it just irritates them to use it, and they have better things to do than be irritated by something that's just supposed to work for them, not dictate to them.

          This is the idiocy of MS Marketing. Technically, 8 is a good move forward under the covers. Forcing that ridiculous new interface (that pisses off an awful lot of people) on everything just for the sake of politics (which it was) is insanity.

          When I first heard about Windows 8, it was supposed to be one API for everything (code once, run on any device). That would have been great. Especially if they'd allowed a GUI to be alterable (so you could have Win7/XP lookalike if you wanted), it just ran Win 8 apps. That would have really had people jumping up and down with enthusiasm. Instead, they fragmented the devices (code once for each OS type), and forced the GUI to be the same in all use cases..

          That, guys, is why you don't let Marketing make the tech calls.

          1. Tom 13

            Re: It'll be because most of the world don't really care about OS.

            Actually I think they do. Not so much because they want to, but because they have to. I very much doubt all of those systems that are still running XP are 12 year old (or more) systems. I think half of them were people who specifically bought an XP system right before MS pulled the OEM licenses. They bought it because they wanted hardware they knew was going to be good for another 4+ years while they could still get the OS all the rest of their software runs on. Think about it. How much do you spend on the PC, and how much do you spend for the rest of the software that runs on it? In most cases you have more invested in the software than you do in the PC, even if you consider the OS part of the PC when it is properly part of the software. People are tired of spending that much money on all that additional software every time an MS CEO sees his shadow.

          2. Tom 13

            Re: one API for everything

            Yeah, yeah. Everybody is always looking for the One Ring.

            Louis Sullivan coined the phrase "Form follows function" to describe architecture, but its even more true in computing. While it is true that both ranch houses and skyscrapers have walls and windows the infrastructure supporting, and even the nature of the walls and windows built into the structures is completely different. In the same way, the needed light weight, low memory requirements of a phone or a tablet are different than the needs of a workstation or server. There's no need for the OS on the phone to support the overhead necessary on the server. Therefore the OSes which optimize for the two systems will always be different, sometimes radically so. This is true even with Linux. The difference with Linux is that since it has a modular approach to its construction, even though the loaded OSes are radically different for the different devices, it has a commonality that makes it feel the same. And despite all their press releases, MS still haven't learned how to do that.

          3. Michael Habel

            Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

            It works on the old machine they've had, and now they're being told that they need to spend about 20-25% of the cost of a new PC just so that they can carry on doing what they already do? They have no interest in Win7 being good. And from the ones I know, they have absolutely no intention of moving anything to windows 8

            This explanation ^right here^ has my Parents down to the Tee.... I had do deal with so much bitching when I wanted to switch them off to Cinnamon Mint. Sadly their POS Shuttle with its shi-y Windows ONLY S3 IGP. made this change untenable, no Linux Drivers were to be had unfortunately. So I had to break down and get them a Windows 7 Disc off of Fleabay. Which to their credit they weren't to keen on either cause it wasn't XP. At which point I just said either deal with it, or install bloody XP yourself! I'm still not quite sure what their opinion of Windows 7 is, but I gather they we're bemused by the rotating Desktop Screens.

        4. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

          "No one seems to expect to be able to buy a phone with Cupcake on it, why on earth are they so attached to XP? I liked XP in the day but Windows 7 is far better."

          Because it works, and their experience of upgrades is finally sinking in : upgrades are OK if you're starting afresh with a new machine but the cause of inevitable problems for your older software.

        5. radar94

          Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

          In my opinion Microsoft should not be required to support antique operating systems but should be leaving Win 7 on the table as an option. However there are ways to make Win 8 and 8.1 look and feel a lot more like Win 7 and thus XP. The solutions are free or cheap; search for Windows 8 /Windows 8.1 Start menu apps IE Classic Shell ("free") , or Start8 ($4.99, US).

          Win 8.1 update 1 is out in RTM now to be released on April 8th for the rest of us and is supposed to give back a few features and Win 7 like defaults (not enough for me). Hopefully this will not become an argument for or against Win 8 since I respect all of your opinion please respect mine. Michael

          * XP has been around since 2001 (out April 8th), Vista since 2007 (out in 2017), and Windows 7 since 2009 (out in 2020).

          **From microsoft.com/gp/lifepolicy

          ”4. Will Microsoft offer support beyond the Extended Support phase?

          Microsoft understands that local laws, market conditions, and support requirements differ around the world and differ by industry sector. Therefore, Microsoft offers custom support relationships that go beyond the Extended Support phase. These custom support relationships may include assisted support and hotfix support, and may extend beyond 10 years from the date a product becomes generally available. Strategic Microsoft partners may also offer support beyond the Extended Support phase. Customers and partners can contact their account team or their local Microsoft representative for more information.”

          13. How does the Support Lifecycle policy work with Premier support agreements?

          In the Mainstream Support phase, customers receive the same support as they do today with no additional contracts or agreements. In the Extended Support phase, paid assisted support and security update support is provided. An Extended Hotfix Support contract is required to receive the ability to request non-security hotfixes for products in extended support. Premier Support is a prerequisite for Extended Hotfix support enrollment. Customers with existing Premier support contracts can work with their technical account manager (TAM) or with their technical account specialist (TAS) to determine the options that are available for their specific circumstances.

          Note A hotfix is a modification to the commercially available Microsoft product software code to address specific critical problems.

          1. Michael Habel

            Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

            In my opinion Microsoft should not be required to support antique operating systems but should be leaving Win 7 on the table as an option. However there are ways to make Win 8 and 8.1 look and feel a lot more like Win 7 and thus XP. The solutions are free or cheap; search for Windows 8 /Windows 8.1 Start menu apps IE Classic Shell ("free") , or Start8 ($4.99, US).

            Again my Padiwan you fail to see that People will refuse to pay others to fix injected "problems" that nobody wanted in the first place. The ONLY People who need to fix this are none other then MicroSoft themselves, and to do so would undermine their whole Metro World. Sadly reality is finally starting to sink into those thick Skulls over in Redmond that TIFKAM is an utter failure, and a return to some kind of sanity, is the only way to possibly save it from itself. The only probblem is they should have read this Memo, back when the Beta Testers we're all like HELL NO WTF IS THIS SH--!?

            At this point the best thing to do is to just give everyone what they want, an XP/7 eXPerience, and quickly burry the Turd known as Windows 8 ASAP!

        6. Tom 13

          Re: devious master plan behind dropping support for XP

          Not so much a devious plan as a grave of their own making. Windows 7 may actually be superior to XP, but the average consumer can't buy it right now. Every time I look at an add for consumer level hardware here in the US the OS is Windows 8*, which is even more pants than Vista was. So the consumer is stuck between using a functional but unsupported OS or a piece of crap they don't want. Of course they're opting for the unsupported OS.

          *The sole exception to this seems to be Lenovo, who sell Windows 7 and had solid earnings numbers for hardware last year. Of course, being based in China sort of proves the point about US manufacturers.

        7. Mag07

          Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

          For a very simple reason - noone pays a licensing fee for a new os on the phone, every corporate identity out there paid for many years for XP support and the migration involves massive costs, more often then not associated with lack of specialized software compatibility, hardware upgrades and staff training.

        8. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

          >The double standard here is that no one seems expect any other company to support a 12 year old operating system

          Depends upon what you mean by 'support'.

          Yes Microsoft's chosen business model is to offer free support for n years, where 'n' is determined by either the original release date or the last service pack date.

          However, actually other companies do 'support' 12+ year old OS's! albeit not for free.

          AIX 7.1 (released 2010) is binary compatible with AIX 5L (released 2001) and IBM will support me today using 5L compatible applications running either directly on 7.1 or within a "workload partition" (a type of virtualised container). Where this differs from MS is that as from April 2014, MS will no longer support XP-mode within Win7.

          Personally, I think MS scored an own goal by not ensuring Win7 was binary compatible with XP and by withdrawing support for XP-mode now rather than when Win7 reaches end of extended support. Binary compatibility would of helped to decouple Windows upgrades from third-party application upgrades, reducing the resistance to a desktop refresh.

        9. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

          The double standard here is that no one seems expect any other company to support a 12 year old operating system

          They do when it's an OS for serious business computing.

          IBM still supports VSE, an OS that first came out in 1965. They released a new version last year. Of course mainframe OSes are a continuing revenue stream for IBM, since they're generally leased and/or have attached maintenance charges.

          If XP were purely a consumer OS, that'd be one thing. But Microsoft wanted to own the corporate desktop, they got it, and then they weren't able to demonstrate sufficient value in any post-XP OS1 to get their reluctant/conservative/cheap customers off it. They bought that problem.

          Microsoft has two choices (and has had since 2005): support XP, or create incentives to get customers off XP. (Well, they have a third choice, which is to ignore XP holdouts. That's not likely to pay off.) They've consistently failed to be sufficiently successful at the latter, and so they've been forced back to the former. At this point it's too late for further positive incentives - new features, performance and stability improvements, etc - before the current XP deadline, so they're stuck with negative ones, chiefly nagging and threatening.

          1Personally, I thought some of the improvements in Vista alone justified the move from XP - including the unfairly-maligned UAC (though the "over your shoulder" heuristics were an abomination that should have been clubbed to death long before Vista was released) and LUA token-splitting. But of course my risk and cost models and experience preferences are by no means universal.

        10. J__M__M

          Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

          "Windows 7 is far better"

          Hey John, how's the weather in Redmond today?

      2. Robert E A Harvey

        Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

        It is quite interesting that Garmin are still selling a phone with WM6.5 on it.

    3. NeverMindTheBullocks

      Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

      This isn't embarrassing for MS at all.

      They announced end of life of XP in 2002. 12 Years ago. They refreshed the date in 2008, 6 years ago. The only people this is embarrassing for are the ones who have sat on their hands for over a decade and done nothing to plan for the change.

      2002 - Windows XP EOL announced as 2010

      2008 - Windows XP EOL extended to 2014

      2009 - Windows 7 released

      2011 - Windows 8 released.

      2014 - Windows XP EOL.

      So EOL on XP was announced 7 years before Windows 7 was released and Win8 hadn't even been announced. Windows 7 has been available for 5 years and Windows 8 (for all it's issues) has been available for 3 years.

      So again, how exactly is it embarrassing for MS that end customers haven't pulled their heads out of their arses and done something about it in spite of having 12 years to plan for it?

      1. Tom 13

        Re: end customers haven't pulled their heads out of their arses

        I'd try to explain it to you, but it is beyond the ability of mere mortals to explain it to anyone who can write the above line with a straight face. If you can't be arsed to remember rule #1, you are a lost cause:

        Rule number 1: The customer is always right.

        Rule number 2: If the customer is wrong, refer to rule #1.

        1. NeverMindTheBullocks

          Re: end customers haven't pulled their heads out of their arses

          Except they aren't.

          Rule one only applies when your customer can go elsewhere. Like it or not, there are no practical alternatives for enterprise class operations who want to maintain continuity for their desktop environments. Despite all the discussion about porting to Linux or use of VM's or compatibility modes etc, in practical terms these are as much if not more work to implement in the current timescales than going down the MS upgrade path.

          Realistically, if you wanted to get of the Windows merry-go-round you should have started planning the jump 5 years ago when MS extended the end of life to 2014. You'd be about ready by now if you had.

          As far as MS are concerned in this, Rule One can go screw itself.

          You can whinge all you like about whether MS is right or not to do this, it doesn't change the fact that they are doing it. They told the world they were going to do it, gave the world an extra FOUR YEARS to deal with it and now everyone is getting all upset that they are actually doing what they said they were going to do 12 years ago.

          The numbers of XP desktops out there, still in daily production use indicates that the IT world has had it's head up it's collective arse the whole time.

          Whinging about it and claiming the customer is always right is just the verbal equivalent of ramming it that bit further up there, when push comes to shove you're still going to end up eating shit.

          1. Tom 13

            @NeverMindTheBullocks

            Please read Rule Number 2.

        2. Mark 65

          Re: end customers haven't pulled their heads out of their arses

          Whilst some have noted that people won't upgrade what already works and has been working since they bought the machine it resides on another thing worthy of note is that, when upgrading an OS, 3rd party software manufacturers normally take the opportunity to fleece you for a new version of their product and everyone knows this. Just one more reason not to bother.

      2. JX
        Thumb Up

        Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

        This is a positive for MS. The ad slogan in their future will be: "The OS experience you'll refuse to leave behind, even for us."

        I remember when XP first arrived and people preferred Win 98. People will upgrade when forced to do so. Have to say, think I still do prefer 98 as a Windows flavor.

        1. Tom 13

          Re: think I still do prefer 98

          98SE was the sweet spot for non-secure MS OSes.

          XP is/(was?) the sweet spot for secure MS OSes.

          And I think NT4 sitting in a room and not connect to another PC or the internet is still the only one that was Red Book certified.

        2. ElReg!comments!Pierre

          Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

          > I remember when XP first arrived and people preferred Win 98

          When XP arrived a lot of people preferred 2000(me included; in fact I still do), not 98.

        3. Michael Habel

          Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

          Windows98 SE probably was their finest Hour. Well that and XP SP2....

      3. Michael Habel

        Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

        They announced end of life of XP in 2002. 12 Years ago. They refreshed the date in 2008, 6 years ago. The only people this is embarrassing for are the ones who have sat on their hands for over a decade and done nothing to plan for the change.

        Your missing the point. Its not so much about the EOL of XP, as to what do I replace it with? Thankfully OEMs like HP have bought back Windows 7 as an option. Well until October anyway... I wonder why this isn't being plastered just about everywhere, any why MicroSoft are so damned incessant on shooting themselves in the Foot with Windows 8?

        People like to bitch about how shi--y Vista was. But unlike Windows 8, you could at least fix Vista with some better Hardware. (e.g. With Video & RAM Upgrades.), Sadly such Upgrades can't fix that broken pile of fail a.k.a TIFKAM....

    4. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

      I think XP is an embarrassment for MS! and will probably go down as a text book case study in how not to do things!

      One of the big factors in the success of XP in the market and why we are largely talking about it as a current issue, has been Microsoft's good performance in releasing patches etc. and poor performance in delivering a sufficiently compelling replacement and for that replacement to be in the market for a sufficient length of time to gain traction, particularly in the enterprise space.

      Reading the long-term trend graphs it would seem that MS might of done better by simply releasing W7-SP2 and forgetting about releasing W8 on anything other than a phone and tablet.

    5. Michael Habel

      Re: That has got to be embarrassing for Microsoft

      Well it seems to be a working scenario shared by other Publishers. I wouldn't care to draw parallels to Polyphony Digital (i.e. Of Gran Turismo 5 & Academy fame), with MicroSoft. That would just be plan silly. They have however nonetheless have decided to can the On-Line Support for GT5 come May though. This in-and-of-itself isn't nearly as infuriating (to me), as much as that they will also be pulling all the additional DLC Content from the PlayStation Network at the same time.

      In the hopes that this will get everyone to move onto GT5.1 *cough* GT6 *cough*...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Developing nations

    Anecdotally, a great many XP machines reside in developing nations (...)

    A multinational company I worked for – which by revenue and head count could well apply for recognition as its own country, albeit a "developing" one – still used Windows XP in all employee machines by the time I left late last year, without any update plan that I'd heard of. Said company markets Windows 7 PC's and has warehouses full of them, but every time one is allocated to internal staff, it is promptly wiped and reformated with Windows XP by the sysadmins.

    Come April I'll get in touch with some of my former colleagues and ask how they're faring. I just don't have the heart now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Developing nations

      The big uns like that will continue to receive help/updates from MS even when it goes EOL, for as long as they want to pay for it!

      1. xperroni

        Re: Developing nations

        The big uns like that will continue to receive help/updates from MS

        I doubt it. Enterprise has become MS's most important market, so it is in Redmond's best interests that the "big uns" let go of XP. And those are pretty much the clients that need to be prodded: ordinary consumers will upgrade automatically the next time they buy a PC, but big companies with IT departments can always get new machines wiped and refitted with Windows XP, for as long as the drivers remain compatible.

  3. gregthecanuck

    It would be interesting to see some sort of geographical or national breakdown.

  4. Mikel

    Windows 8.x shrank

    Shrinkage? Unpossible! But there it is in black and white.

  5. Goat Jam

    It would seem to me that the miniscule 0.15% growth by Win 8.1 is entirely offset by shrinkage for Win 8.0

    ie: it is just existing Windows 8 installations being bumped to 8.1, not much new stuff coming through.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    So XP becomes abandonware in a few months

    Does that means my copies of TinyXP will become legal??

    (TinyXP - XP with all the crap removed)

    1. Chad H.

      Re: So XP becomes abandonware in a few months

      No. Abandonware is a myth. XP won't become public domain for decades.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: Abandonware is a myth.

        And right there is the real fix for the consumer OS problem: Change copyright/patent law so that software has its own category with different protections. I'd opt for copyright only, good for 7 years or as long as you support the OS, whichever is shorter. Maybe an option to re-up for an additional 7 years as long as you are supporting it when you re-up. But whenever you EOL the software, the code becomes public domain.

        It will never happen of course, but it would fix the problem.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: So XP becomes abandonware in a few months

        XP won't become public domain ever, because Congress will keep extending the term of copyright.

        When the public start bearing most of the cost of reelection campaigning, we'll get the public domain back. Of course it is vanishingly unlikely that will ever happen in the US. Copyright will effectively be forever, at least if you're a wealthy corporation. (And if you're not, you don't count.)

  7. illiad

    wait for Nokia X...

    when it is *actually* in the shops, we will see how 'hackable' it is... could be disappointing though, it may not be as good as reputation says.... :/

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like there were a whole lot of XP machines idle during the holiday season, now the working world is back to normal and XP "gains" at the cost of all other Windows versions.

    1. Patrick R

      Or Vista machines that die are replaced with they little brother in the cupboard that was still working at the time, rather than with a new shi*y Win8 machine (replace * with "n" or "t"). Or XP gets installed on new machines as it's easier to work around the oem limitations.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Piss poor data?

    The simplest explanation for the weirdness being deduced (does anyone really believe that XP usage is growing?) is that the methodology used and the resulting data is nowhere near as accurate as implied by the two decimal place precision used in the table.OS installations are hardly likely to go up and down like that from month to month.

    1. Chemist

      Re: Piss poor data?

      "is that the methodology used and the resulting data is nowhere near as accurate as implied by the two decimal place precision "

      Agree - and where there is this sort of time-related data (and possibly very noisy data ) where there might be a trend then the use of moving averages helps to clarify any such trend

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Piss poor data?

        Yep, but when has a Reg journo let something like facts get in the way of an eyeball-grabbing headline?

        I mean, El Reg could actually run a comparison of different aggregators (Net Applications, StatCounter, Akamai, et al.) But that would be work and require thinking.

  10. No Quarter

    I worry about the squirrels and otters

    There's going to be a lot of perfectly good computers going into landfill next week. It's such a waste.

    Meanwhile, looks like I am spending March installing Ubuntu.

    1. Jonathan Richards 1

      Re: I worry about the squirrels and otters

      > a lot of perfectly good computers going into landfill

      Actually, that could be a source of the apparent growth, if you think about it. If large numbers of corporations are finally biting the bullet and replacing their XP installations by upgrading both hardware and software, lots of re-purposed XP machines might be coming out from behind NAT curtains and appearing on the interwebs? Just a thought...

    2. HollyHopDrive

      Re: I worry about the squirrels and otters

      Have you been reading Linux fud because Ubuntu doesn't take a month to install ;-)

      Go for mint, quick install (about 10-15 mins) and a nicer look a and feel than Ubuntu (my opinion) - all the same Debian underpinnings either way.

      1. ITS Retired
        Unhappy

        Re: I worry about the squirrels and otters

        Linux Mint 16 works great for several weeks.... Until the Network Daemons refuse to start and nothing you do can get networking to work properly again, except a reload - that works for several weeks, until the next time it quits working again...

        1. Chemist

          Re: I worry about the squirrels and otters

          "ntil the Network Daemons refuse to start and nothing you do can get networking to work properly again,"

          Have you got a ref. to that being a common issue ?. I don't use MInt but I have used Linux since ~1995 without an serious * network ( wireless or otherwise ) issues.

          * occasionally with wireless I've had to use a different adapter until the drivers 'caught up' with the built-in chipset

  11. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    XPocalypse soon.

    Tin foil hats all round. Don't panic, don't panic. I'm assuming we've all moved on, but HAVE OUR BANKS?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    only in the warped reality field of the Register...

    ... could a rise from 29.23% to 29.53% be considered 'faster growing' than 3.95% to 4.1%.

    1. Jonathan Richards 1

      Re: only in the warped reality field of the Register...

      Wait a minute... 29.53% - 29.23% is 0.30%, while 4.1% - 3.95% = 0.15%. So the growth in the former is indeed higher. Uh, tell me you wouldn't be tempted to work out the percentage difference in the percentages... because ratios of ratios are Math Abuse of a high order!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: only in the warped reality field of the Register...

        Please, nobody, I repeat, nobody look at their figures for linux:

        http://www.netmarketshare.com/report.aspx?qprid=11&qpaf=&qpcustom=Linux&qpcustomb=0

        Now, that is what 'no future' really looks like on a graph.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: only in the warped reality field of the Register...

        If your stockbroker tries to tell you a company increasing market share from 50% to 55% is faster growing than one increasing its market share from 2% to 6%, I would suggest you get a new stockbroker.

        Each % point of market share translates to a number of PCs. Let's keep it simple and say the market is 100 million machines (of course the market is considerably bigger, but you get the point).

        So 29.23 million machines up to 29.53 million machines vs 3.95 million to 4.1 million

        Which is faster growing now that it is no longer a ratio of a ratio?

        If you actually believe the answer to this question changes depending on whether you quote the original number of machines or a % of the total, then that really is maths abuse.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: only in the warped reality field of the Register...

          cap'n, the flip side to that argument is that the total of 8 + 8.1 has gone down from the previous time period - implying that a large proportion of the 8.1 growth is conversions from 8 rather than any other OS.

          And if one takes the line that 8.1 would normally have been called 8 SP1, it seems to make sense to treat all variants of 8 as the same thing.

          That kind of reduces the "8.1 is growing fastest" argument to the "angels-dancing-on-pinhead" class - while it may _technically_ be true, it is not going to set the world alight.

          And the bottom line is that the total share of all kinds of Windows 8 has dropped.

          The more interesting question is how this compares to the Vista share 18 months after release... better, or worse?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @cap'n - Re: only in the warped reality field of the Register...

          Hold on here! We all know that stockbrokers and financial world in general have nothing to do with good old mathematics. In math, 1+1=2 but finance guys can't really tell the result 'cause it depends on the market conditions.

        3. Jonathan Richards 1

          Re: only in the warped reality field of the Register...

          > Which is faster growing now that it is no longer a ratio of a ratio?

          Ummm... the one that is adding the most machines per year, maybe? The one that's added 300,000, as against the one that's added only half that?

          I see what you're driving at, that a small company growing its market share by half as much as a big company would be impressive, but in this case both companies are Microsoft.

          If you plot the data El Reg is punting, though, it becomes clear that the Jan-Feb changes don't support drawing any conclusions at all.

  13. Ketlan
    Windows

    Mostly W7 with patchy XP

    Most of the people I know either bought a desktop/laptop with W7 on and intend to keep it or bought a W8 machine and promptly upgraded to W7. I only know one person who is happy with W8.1 but she's pretty weird anyway. On the other hand, at least half a dozen people I know are happy to stay on XP and aren't in any way fazed by Microsoft removing its support. I don't though, know a single person who has actively bought a new version of XP. Is this purely a developing nations phenomenon or are there such people in the UK/US/EU?

  14. Chairo
    Facepalm

    As we are talking about anecdots...

    my aunt bought a brand new laptop in January, after she heard that "Windows XP will be stopped". Last week she told me the following story:

    - She turned it on and got completely lost how to use it. The book about using Windows 8, she bought with the laptop was no big help, apparently.

    - She asked some PC support guy to help her. He updated to Windows 8.1 and took some 200 euros for his efforts. 8.1 didn't help, however. She was still lost.

    - She took the whole thing and gave it away to a friend as a gift. She told me, her Windows 8 experience was so frustrating that she really wanted to smash that laptop with an axe. Unfortunately that laptop was relatively expensive, so she didn't do it.

    - Now she is back, using her old XP laptop until it "stops working".

    That means at least one WinXP PC is back now. It will probably turn into a troyan infested zombie, as soon as the first security hole goes unplugged. Not that it would make a lot of difference for her.

    Yes, I proposed installing start8 or switching to a tablet, but you know how these old people are. They don't want to listen - reminds me of some software company.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: As we are talking about anecdots...

      "- She turned it on and got completely lost how to use it. The book about using Windows 8, she bought with the laptop was no big help, apparently.

      - She asked some PC support guy to help her. He updated to Windows 8.1 and took some 200 euros for his efforts. 8.1 didn't help, however. She was still lost.

      - She took the whole thing and gave it away to a friend as a gift. She told me, her Windows 8 experience was so frustrating that she really wanted to smash that laptop with an axe. Unfortunately that laptop was relatively expensive, so she didn't do it."

      Well, there's a surprise -- a user who gets something new, doesn't like the 'newness', expects it to work exactly like the old one and 'doesn't like it'.

      Took me very little time to get used to 8.

      There seem to be many people who don't like 8 because that's what they are supposed to do. Can't be liking 8 down the pub, oh no.

      1. Chairo
        Windows

        @ Elmer Phud: Re: As we are talking about anecdots...

        Well, there's a surprise -- a user who gets something new, doesn't like the 'newness', expects it to work exactly like the old one and 'doesn't like it'.

        Did I mention, she bought a book and tried to get into "8"? Also she has lots of time on her hand.

        Anyway - good for you that you got used to it quickly. I suppose you are also a 80 year old lady. If not, I would like to remind you that she got into XP when she was around 70 years old.

        You do understand, that El Reg commentards are not the only ones that have to get along with "8", do you? After all it is preinstalled on pretty much any PC, sold on this planet. With a monopoly comes responsibility. A responsibility Microsoft failed to abide IMO. Personally I think it doesn't matter, as there are now tablets on the market that are easier to use than PCs ever were and will do everything the average user needs.

      2. Uffish

        Re: As we are talking about anecdots...

        The new laptop for my wife came with Win 8 but I buckled down and got it to work with the languages and other stuff that she uses. I wouldn't get the same functionality out of Win 7 (or Win 8.1) so it stays un-upgraded. The laptop itself is nice and Win 8 has been mangled enough to be useable, but neither of us actually likes Win 8. XP simply worked.

        I don't like it because the change from XP was imposed by MS and the imposition of gratuitous extra costs and extra configuration time is annoying, my wife doesn't like it because TIFKAM is an annoying popup stupidity. We both are simple consumers of a tech product and as consumers we will change allegiances for the most fickle of reasons. Win 9 ... pfft.

    2. Ole Juul

      Re: As we are talking about anecdots...

      ". . . but you know how these old people are. They don't want to listen - reminds me of some software company."

      Do I know how old people are? As a matter of fact I do. I'm an old fart and I don't intend to listen you young fellows any time soon. I'm going to stick to my FreeBSD. Now get off my lawn.

    3. Ken Hagan Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Re: As we are talking about anecdots...

      "She asked some PC support guy to help her. He updated to Windows 8.1 and took some 200 euros for his efforts."

      Two hundred euros for a free upgrade that was never likely to address the problem? What a scumbag!

  15. Martin Taylor 1

    Those who sow...

    Microsoft are now reaping the results of the decision they made back in the 90s to eschew the traditional software upgrade model of major and minor version releases in favour of presenting the world with a brand new (apparently) product every few years, and thus forcing users to shell out for a complete new product, rather than a more moderate price for a version upgrade. If they had taken a staged approach with the WInNT development stream, we might have seen:

    Windows 5.0 - 5.4 (aka Win2000)

    Windows 6.0 - 6.x (aka WinXP)

    Skip Vista entirely

    Windows 7.0 (Win7) - Windows 7.5 (perhaps) (Win8).

    What we know as XP would by now be only one major version behind, and open to additional development and/or maintenance, rather than three products behind, and politically embarrassing to develop further.

    Microsoft has sown the seeds of its own decline with its grasping business practices, of which this is only one example. Similar comments apply to the Office range of products.

    1. John Tserkezis

      Re: Those who sow...

      "Windows 7.0 (Win7) - Windows 7.5 (perhaps) (Win8)."

      v4.0 build 1381 Windows NT SP6 (windowsnetworking.com)

      v5.0 build 2195 Windows 2000 SP4 (netfaqs.com)

      v5.1 build 2600 Windows XP x32 (Windows XP Mode in Win7).

      v5.2 build 3790 Windows Server 2003 SP2 R2 (blogs.msdn.com)

      v6.0 build 6001 Windows Server 2008 SP1 (windowsreference.com)

      v6.0 build 6002 Windows Vista SP2 x32 (wikihow.com)

      v6.1 build 7600 Windows 7 x32 (One of my boxes)

      v6.1 build 7601 Windows 7 SP1 x32 and x64. (More of my boxes)

      v6.2 build 9200 Windows Server 2012 (petenetlive.com)

      v6.3 build 9431 Windows Server 2012 R2 (enterpriseserver2012.blogspot.com )

      v6.3 build 9600 Windows RT 8.1. (Tablet)

      Microsoft lesson # 1: Never assume a number on a microsoft product reflects the actual version number and progress of the underlying code. Don't believe me? Have a closer look at Microsoft's Office numbering: There are leaps and bounds - and yet, not really.

  16. Pete 2

    The secret is in the name

    Since everyone loves XP, why don't MS do the obvious and rename Windows 8 as XP2?

    "On yes, unknowledgable customer - it IS Windows XP, only better!"

  17. Hairy Spod
    Windows

    Or....

    Could it just be that everyone is just dusting off their old laptops, reformatting and reinstalling them to factory fresh states and flogging (or trying to flog) them off quick on e-bay before the average punter on the street finally understands what is happening?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does this count too?

    "Anecdotally, a great many XP machines reside in developing nations: your correspondent certainly saw a fair bit of XP in places like Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam last year."

    I run XP, and I live in Chinatown, so that counts too, right?

  19. JMPiggy

    The only reason big companies (and our very own government) still use XP in large swathes across the country is due to the cost of upgrading, and that cost is not because Win 7 is rubbish, it's because for years lazy dev's have been writing applications without following Microsoft's guidelines. Win7 is a much more secure O/S than XP, that security though comes with challenges for developers to work around, but as long as they follow guidelines that MS published about 15 years ago they won't have a problem.

    I totally understand peoples issues with Vista, but Windows 7 is a great O/S that stable and has many great features! Why would anyone prefer to use XP?

    1. Chemist

      "Why would anyone prefer to use XP?"

      One very common reason is that large businesses have standard desktop builds that support a vast array of programs, standards etc. They need a great deal of time and effort to certify a new build will support all their existing desktops. This certainly was the case at the pharma (70000+ desktops) I worked at before I retired where W2000 was the standard even in 2008/9. Not everyone can get by with Office, Exchange and a browser - we had a vast array of supported programs and that was just in the scientific areas.

      1. Robert E A Harvey

        well quite

        $MEGACORP migrated me to W7 and Office2007 last month.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: well quite

          ...and at least three $county_council with estates of 2-5000 desktops are in the process of upgrading to win7 with 2-3 years rollout plans. Win8 is not in any of the plans.

  20. Tony Paulazzo

    So, when the great central update machine is finally turned off, will Microsoft be removing their DRM (Windows Genuine Advantage) off every copy of XP out there, or when you reinstall XP on an old machine will the activation servers still be running?

    1. Uffish

      Re: reinstall XP

      Isn't it a case of "All your software are belong to us".

  21. Havin_it
    Trollface

    "Death wow OS"?

    Centurion: "...And, er, thwow 'im to the floor again, sir?"

    Pilate: "Oh yes please, thwow him to the floor again."

  22. cs94njw

    I'm surprised Windows 7 market share is so bad. I do like it - it is a better XP.

    Windows 8+ is a Toy OS for consumers. Where's the version for workers/professionals/developers?

  23. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    > Anecdotally, a great many XP machines reside in developing nations:

    And labs. Here we still operate a couple Windows2000 machines; and even a Windows95 one, connected to an old spectrophotometer; as for our scintillation counter, it predates even Windows 3.1.

    Of course these don't get counted; the Red One will need mittens before we expose them to the wild wild web.

  24. Mage Silver badge

    It's simple

    Here MS, is how you make lots of money.

    Release XP SE. (Special Edition).

    Works as an update.

    Makes all versions of XP be same as XP Professional SP3, but with all bugs and inconsistent behaviour fixed. (Everything that REALLY annoys me on XP GUI is the SAME or SIMILAR in Vista, Win7 and Win8!)

    (Explorer moves or copies? Icons in some Desktop folders insist on list display)

    Extra features:

    Check box to turn off Autorun on everything

    All Server type services off (disabled) by default

    Built-in install time SATA support (I have a slip streamed XP pro install disc that supports sata)

    Allow PXE (Up to 16G RAM) and more than 2G application space. Like NT 4.0 Enterprise and Server 2003. The current XP memory limitations are a deliberate change. Not because it's 32 bit.

    All current patches etc as SP4

    Lots of sales.

    Offer 50% discount to genuine validated XP Users.

    Most users just want a less buggy version of what they have. Not something with gratuitous OS GUI changes and new shiny shiny with new bugs.

  25. b166er

    Growth being XP Mode on new Windows 7 roll-outs?

    1. BigAndos

      I wondered this. Some third parties we work with are a bit behind on upgrading so we still have to support a handful of applications that need XP to run. We completed our own Win7 upgrade late last year so could be more people using XP mode.

  26. Titus Aduxass
    Meh

    XPs in developing nations?

    > Anecdotally, a great many XP machines reside in developing nations:

    And here we still have 10,000 XP desktops (and 3,000 IE6s for god's sake) and we're NOT in a developing nation.

    The IT triumph that is the "PC refresh program" has just been put back. Again.

    -sigh-

  27. Ian Ringrose

    Click on start

    Click 4 from the top

    Move pointer 1 inch to right

    Click again.

    This is how a lot of people have learned to use computers, most real life users don’t even know the difference between the OS and some bit of software that come freely installed with the PC, or was installed from a cameras setup disk (that they no longer have) 3 cameras ago.

    So even giving them a new XP machine will totally confused them, as something will be in a different place or will not be the same.

    However give them an apple tablet and they understand that as it is not “windows” they will have to make an effort to understand how it works. As everyone tells them how good apple is they will also be more likely to want to learn it.

    1. revdjenk

      So...when MS had the chance to do things differently on different hardware, when they released their first tablet in 2002, they absolutely missed it. The motion for opening menu and clicking on sub-menus, as you so succinctly shared, was brought over from the desktop...

      ...and we saw how great that worked!

    2. Darryl

      I find a lot more users are of the "Click the 3rd icon in the 2nd row of icons on my desktop" variety. The ones who complain that they don't have such-and-such program on their computer if they don't see a shortcut to it on their desktop. People like this could probably work quite well with a properly organised Win8 Start page.

  28. weenoid

    At home I have an 8 year old PC running Windows XP that I have absolutely no intention of replacing/upgrading any time soon. If need be I'll disconnect the thing from the internet seeing as it's mainly used for developing, listening to music and watching videos anyway. I'll just use my netbook (running Windows 7) for web browsing/downloading.

    To everyone wondering why people with ancient hardware don't simply upgrade - my answer would be that I can't justify shelling out for functionality I either already have or don't need.

  29. Jeff Green

    It is high time that companies were required to provide access to software maintenance for as log as a product is in use, this could either be inhouse or they could simply publish the source code and allow others to do the job for them. It would be interesting to see which way Microsoft jumped.

  30. Ramazan

    Only yesterday night I managed to reset password for my WinXP JP edition using live-build, ntfs-3g and chntpw, and today I get the news that "Windows XP market share grows again"

  31. AstroNutter
    Happy

    XP isn't dead as much as MS would like to say

    I honestly don't care if MS stops supporting XP. I currently have two machines that use Windows XP. One is a laptop that I use for Astronomy, my answer for that machine is to shutdown the networking stuff, and use a USB stick to copy files on and off if required (which isn't often) It doesn't need to attach to a network for anything other than patchs, so it really doesn't need networking features.

    The other machine is currently being used as a Server for my home. Lots of movies on file shares, CCTV running and a personal SVN repository. The CCTV software isn't compatible with a newer windows release, so would have to go out and replace that part of the system before I can upgrade from XP. This machine is sat behind a firewall, and there are pinholes for very specific purposes. I might end up doing that if/when I decide to upgrade the hardware. Or just drop the CCTV functions and install linux. That has all the other features, that I'd need so not really a big deal.

    From my perspective the thing about MS not producing patches anymore isn't really a problem, I'd need to do something silly to expose that xp machine to attack. If I completely stop using it for web browsing, that will limit the potential for attack even more.

    I wouldn't mind betting that there are a huge number of Windows XP installs that are in similar situations, and just before MS are stopping the support for them doesn't mean that anything is going to suddenly stop working on them. Just means that as time goes on the likely hood of being able to update them for 3rd party software will go down also.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What are the other 10% not shown in those stats?

    Server versions I suppose?

    Or quite a few people on older than XP still?

  33. This post has been deleted by its author

  34. Tank boy
    Unhappy

    Microsoft missed the boat, as per usual

    MS could be printing their own money if they had come out with even a modest upgrade to XP (for a nominal fee of course) and keep it afloat for a couple more years. Call it XP2014 or V.2, whatever, just let people keep what they got and more importantly, what works.

    Win 7 isn't awful, but they really went off the rails with 8. So now I have to wait around for a new sucky Win 9 (codenamed; Aw fuck it, we just want your money), and deal with this mess that is 8.1 until they can work the kinks out. I didn't know what all the fuss was about until I got my new laptop, now I do. I'm sure 8 is great on the billions of tablets that they've managed to sell, doesn't translate to a laptop, and for my old ass, I really don't want to learn how to use a new OS.

    Now get off my lawn and give me something good!

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hoorah for Linux!

    http://www.netmarketshare.com/report.aspx?qprid=11&qpaf=&qpcustom=Linux&qpcustomb=0

    Oh dear. It looks like their home-made hobby system is even more fooked. 1.48%, down from 1.7% a couple of months back.

    No doubt the Reg commentard zealots will be explaining this away as bad data.

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      Re: Hoorah for Linux!

      Linux types all use "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; InfoPath.1)"as their useragent just to annoy MS.

  36. James Loughner
    Thumb Down

    Hardware hardware hardware

    It is all about the hardware. Many machines that run XP just fine won't run 7 and above. I have a nice IBM Celaron 512 meg machine, perfectly fine hardware. No way you can install 7 on less then 1 gig and expect it to work and totally forget 8 for the same and so many other reasons. So I'd have to buy new hardware just to run something I really don't want. Maybe put Puppy on it :)

    I run openSUSE on my main machine with XP in a Virtual Box using 512meg. That is about the max I want to take from the host. I only have 2 gig on that machine so to go to 7 I'd have to drop at least a gig if not 2 into that machine. Since all the mem slots are taken that means totally new RAM.

    It is all about the hardware

  37. Daniel B.

    Easy fix MS

    Kill TIFKAM. You'll get a lot of XP holdouts to jump. As it is, they're going to 7 if they can, staying on XP if they can't.

    Windows 8.x is a disaster. Kill it.

  38. russsh

    The final update

    ...to Windows XP will just disable all your networking. Nice incentive to upgrade. And, sure, there were viruses long before the internet, but I don't recall any botnets from that era.

  39. JX
    Devil

    Somewhere, in a dark corner of the world, an army of pips from the Apple Orchard..

    ..is sending gazillions of Apple bots with spoofed XP IE6 user agents to hit up the (s)interwebs.

    "Mwahaha... we'll force MS to spend billions on 'educating' computer users..."

    Cue cat, glove, stroke, evil snigger

  40. Ray Foulkes

    Not much to do with Windows 8 (or 8.1)

    I mostly use Linux. However I have Windows 8.1 for my CAD machine. I also look after Windows XP which runs Windows games and graphics software, mostly for my Grandson. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing wrong with Windows 8.1 as long as you configure out the MS GUI and put on Start8, Firefox, Thunderbird, GIMP etc. So why am I so reluctant to either ditch the £1000 computer running XP or update it to Windows 8.1?

    Because of course there is no upgrade from XP, it is erase everything and start again. I have been putting off the hassle of re-installing dozens and dozens of games and other software (e.g. Paint shop pro) for months (years?). I suspect I will need 3 or 4 weeks of solid work to get back to the same state where most software runs smoothly on Windows 8.1 and some software not at all. I think I will put it off until June, (August?).... I know I cannot escape for ever as games manufacturers abandon XP totally. Apart from the security issue I see absolutely NO advantage to me or my grandson from doing all that work - it is just a Microsoft tax. Maybe I will put it off until Windows 9 is on offer to put off having to do it all again by a year or two.

    Had MS made an upgrade path, maintaining installed software, I would have done that in a flash.

    1. Tank boy

      Re: Not much to do with Windows 8 (or 8.1)

      "Had MS made an upgrade path, maintaining installed software, I would have done that in a flash."

      Dare to dream.

  41. Mr. Chuck
    Mushroom

    And now a message from Sirius Cybernetics

    As a Linux user I'm just going to sit here and radiate smugness.

  42. PixelPusher

    Measurement Error, guys

    At best these are very scientifically calculated estimates based a sample of machines, not by measuring every machine in the world. If we new the sample size and/or measurement methods we could get the measurement error, likely to be more than 0.5%

    Anyway, if Microsoft had any real sense they would just branch off XP. It makes sense. First we had Windows-NT ("New Technology") now we can have Windows-OT ("Old Technology")!

  43. Bill Fresher

    XP is the number 1 selling item of Office software on amazon uk....

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Microsoft-Windows-Professional-Service-OEM/dp/B000JTDV6M

  44. David McCarthy

    Just a long line of (arrogant) mistakes from MS

    We all took to XP because it was a dependable, reasonably reliable OS to replace 95/98/2000/NT ... and it still is.

    Then they brought out Vista. Vista didn't support all the existing hardware ("Not out fault", MS). It was buggy and resource-hungry. The effect on productivity & cost meant the business world largely ignored it. Only consumers were duped. If you don't like the look of the bus, wait for the next one.

    Windows 7 arrived. A much better OS than Vista, but still didn't address the XP legacy ("Not our fault", MS). With a bit of fiddling, it can be made to look enough like XP that there isn't a signifcant re-learning effort. But, oh dear, there's still the hardware issues ("There isn't a driver for your hardware? Tough - buy a new computer", MS). And suddenly, some of my applications won't run (even in any compatibility or virtual mode).

    For at least 90% of business tasks, an older PC with XP is more than adequate to do the job, especially with so much stuff moving online.

    Next, Windows 8 comes along ... huge interface changes ... the world is up in arms ... MS backs down (a bit). Why do they want to change the look so dramatically (with no 'legacy' skin), when they should be concentrating on functionality, security, and making it easy for folk to upgrade?

    All the while (Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8), the world is in an extended economic slow down. Result? People don't want to spend on new kit, the installation costs, and re-training staff to do the same thing with a different version of Windows.

    Everyone leading MS's marketing since 2007 should be forced to use Windows 2 (in 640kb). Or even MS-DOS.

    Instead of leading us by the hand, helping us move from one version to the newest, removing obstacles (surely what any company would do if it cared about its customers) ... MS have at every stage ignore its customer base and tried to force us to move up and buy again.

    It's sad there isn't a viable alternative - I'd love to install a non-MS OS which would run all the apps I've accumulated and rely on.

    Do we use XP? Yes, and Windows 7. Are we going to rush out and upgrade? Oh, we can't - we have to buy new kit, each with a new OS, and new versions of Office (and a few other things). This is an expense we cannot afford, not at this time.

    Are we worried XP is no longer going to be supported? Not really. We protect ourselves and we're careful what sites we visit and emails we open. It's not as if moving to Windows 8 would improve our security more that just a bit.

    Dear Microsoft - if you'd like to talk to us about your marketing and customer care strategies, our rates are very reasonable.

  45. Col_Panek

    If every geek just pitched in...

    ...and installed Linux on a couple dozen PCs, this nightmare would be behind us.

  46. Wobbly

    What is a good Android tablet, so can use instead of Windows XP?

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