back to article Win XP holdouts storm eBay and licence brokers, hiss: Give us all your Windows 7

PC users are scouring auction sites and licence brokers to obtain copies of Windows 7 for their upgrades to Windows XP, rather than buying Windows 8. Sales of Windows 7 on eBay have more than doubled during the last seven months as people scramble to beat Microsoft’s 8 April cut-off for Windows XP support. Anybody running …

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  1. bob, mon!
    FAIL

    It's not a "Windows 7 downgrade"

    It's an UPgrade, from Windows XP.

    Whether Win 8 is an upgrade or a downgrade is the issue.

    All in all, the FAIL icon just seems appropriate.

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: It's not a "Windows 7 downgrade"

      Many regard XP as the best, and Windows 7 as a small downgrade (compared to Windows 8 which is a large downgrade). This based on the UI experience.

      If the hardware is old, then both 7 and 8 may take an elderly PC from usable to useless, in which case it's hard to argue that either represents an upgrade rather than a wrecking ball.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: "Many regard [..] Windows 7 as a small downgrade"

        Not to dispute what many regard, but Windows 7 is not a downgrade at all (unless many confuse Office 2010 and the Ribbon with Win7 - entirely possible, I agree).

        Windows 7 is much more stable than XP, doesn't freeze annoyingly when you accidentally click on an empty optical unit (although that issue is still not perfectly dealt with) and generally is much better at keeping one programs' issues away from the rest of the system.

        Additionally, the 64-bit environment works much better than I thought it would. I can use all of my application library without trouble, almost all of my games, and with 16GB of RAM, I practically never run out of memory anymore.

        So Win7, especially the 64-bit version, is a great improvement over XP - now that all my hardware has the proper drivers, of course.

        That said, I would never install Win7 on a PC specced for XP. I'd rather get Ubuntu on that.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: bob, mon Re: It's not a "Windows 7 downgrade"

      "It's an UPgrade, from Windows XP....." Actually it's both. The official M$ upgrade from WinXP is to Win8.1, not Win7. You have to buy a Win8.1 Pro license, upgrade to Win8.1 and then run the downgrade to Win7, unless you can get a secondhand Win7 license and have Win7 install media, so it is MORE expensive to upgrade to Win7 than Win8.1 due to the additional cost of the Pro license (which is what the article seems to be pointing out). M$ very obviously want to push users to Win8.1 rather than Win7.

      "..... the FAIL icon just seems appropriate." Something about a petard springs to mind.

  2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Viruses and malware

    If you browse the web logged on as Admin you deserve everything you get.

    1. Anonymous Bullard
      Coat

      Re: Viruses and malware

      If you delete someone's site by accident?

      1. Peter Storm

        Re: Viruses and malware

        "If you delete someone's site by accident?"

        Ah, so that's what happened to the NATO site

    2. Lusty

      Re: Viruses and malware

      Viruses and malware aren't even an issue since updates for Defender will be released for another year anyway. The issue is operating system bugs which can be exploited, these may well be used by someone writing a virus but they are far from the same thing and it's disappointing to see Reg reporters fall for this in an obvious attempt to start an argument here about Windows 8 vs Windows 7.

      Those buying Windows 7 probably aren't choosing it over Windows 8 because it's likely they have never even seen Windows 8 if they are in fact still running XP. Even if they do make a conscious choice for Windows 7 it's probably due to advice from a misguided techie friend telling them to do so either because that techie doesn't want to explain a mildly different interface or because they don't understand the mildly different interface themselves. Changing to 7 solves very little because it only has a year of mainstream support left itself while being basically the same OS as Windows 8.1 which has many years of support left.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Viruses and malware

        advice from a misguided techie friend

        And what about those who have actually tried it themselves, and still don't like it?

        Are they just holding it wrong?

        Win8 having a longer life time isn't a good enough reason for people to use it. They will use whatever they feel is best for them... until Windows "Silver Bullet" 9 comes out (which will only be more "windows 8ish").

        People really need to drop Windows all together, if they don't like 8 - not use ageing software. MS wont change. Devs have been aggressively complaining about Visual Studio, but they're not budging. They knew there'd be back-lash, and they know where they're going.

        I switched to Linux Mint on the weekend, and it's not difficult!

        (anon because I've trolled Linux in the past - sorry, I take it all back now)

        1. jonathan donnelly

          Windows 8 Survival guide.

          When native Adobe photoshop, and Sony vegas are available for Linux I'd probably switch for now Windows 8.1 is fine.

          Don't like Metro/ModernUI?

          Step 1.

          open powershell and remove the apps.

          Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage

          Get-AppXProvisionedPackage -online | Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage –online

          Step 2.

          install start8

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Viruses and malware

        Yeah 'cause Windows (h)8 is just so great with its Touch ONLY Interface, and no one has really ever given it a fair deal. And 'cause of a few misguided souls have frowned upon it. The World just hasn't really given Windows (h)8 the attention it so richly deserves.....

        Brother go peddle your Warez someplace else we're not buying anything from MicroSoft today...

        1. dogged

          Re: Viruses and malware

          > Yeah 'cause Windows (h)8 is just so great with its Touch ONLY Interface,

          Win8 has no Touch ONLY interface.

          You have just disqualified yourself from any claim to knowledge of that OS and thus, any credible opinion of it.

          Please feel free to post your ignorance to the Verge where they love that shit.

          1. VinceH

            Re: Viruses and malware

            "Win8 has no Touch ONLY interface."

            Quite correct.

            It has a Touch-only-with-a-barge-pole-unless-you-have-no-friggin'-choice interface.

      3. Steven Raith

        Re: Viruses and malware

        "Viruses and malware aren't even an issue since updates for Defender will be released for another year anyway. The issue is operating system bugs which can be exploited..."

        So you're telling me Windows Defender will modify the core network/graphics/kernel stack to prevent an exploitable buffer overflow? Because normally that requires the network stack to be modified, and, oh, that's a problem.

        All it takes is an exploit that kills Defenders scanning modules (or one of their dependancies) and you're dead in the water as far as protection goes - any old post-support exploit will then work. Antivirus software is not a panacea to an unsupported OS that will no longer get patches and should never be suggested as such by anyone who is familiar with these things.

        Changing to 7 solves very little because it only has a year of mainstream support left itself while being basically the same OS as Windows 8.1 which has many years of support left.

        Windows 7 may have support for a year, but Windows 7 Service Pack 1 has support till 2020.

        By your rules, XP support ended nearly ten years ago (SP1 support ended in 2006).

        Hope that helps.

        Steven R

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Viruses and malware

          The only way to really to secure an install of XP on a physical machine is either to install SteadyState or if you want a supported solution Deep Freeze or similar.... I've yet to come across an attack that has successfully circumvented either of these tools...

      4. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Viruses and malware @Lusty

        I was going to up vote your post based on the first paragraph of your response. Then I read the second paragraph and decided to down vote...

        1. Lusty

          Re: Viruses and malware @Lusty

          Fair enough, the first half was serious the second half was bait for the inevitable Windows 8 bashing the story was always designed to generate. The responses show that even reg readers are still avoiding updating their skills with some even thinking its touch only!

      5. Hairy Spod

        Re: Viruses and malware

        Anyone remember the updated mini clubman.....

        At least British Leyland had the sense to continue updating the mechanicals of their original design along side that 'update'. Infact the original outlasted is successor by 20 years.

        Does this make Microsoft bigger lumbering giant than BL?

        Fact of the matter is that the UI used by XP and many of the non Unity/Gnome3 Linux desktop environments are pretty much close to the optimal for getting work done with a mouse and key board, if it aint broke dont fix it.

        Give us something newer that appears a bit older please.

        1. El Andy

          Re: Viruses and malware

          @Hairy Spod: "Fact of the matter is that the UI used by XP and many of the non Unity/Gnome3 Linux desktop environments are pretty much close to the optimal"

          That's what people used to say about DOS. And then Windows 3....

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Viruses and malware

          While it's perfectly ok for generic web surfing and office work etc, I think that the desktop metaphor for the GUI is tired and in despeate need of overhaul. We no longer need to think that the monitor in front of us is a shiny graphical version of the desktop, it is limiting in what can be achieved (because it's not open to treating anything like it's not a desktop/document) and the people working to advance GUIs should be cut a bit of slack. However it's always the same, any change is heavily objected to and rubbished, the oft used accusation of "this is just change for the sake of change" rolled out to justify resistance to change.

    3. Maty

      Re: Viruses and malware

      Of course I don't browse the net as admin. That would be silly. I browse the net as root.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Vociferous

      Re: Viruses and malware

      > If you browse the web logged on as Admin you deserve everything you get.

      So in other words nothing at all?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Classic Shell - I've been beating the drum for a year now

    Our office has quite a few instances of Win 8.1 running now, and has been running Win 8 since it was officially released. The free Classic Shell has handled over 99% of our user's problems with the new interface. The other 1% is handled by training users how to exit a Metro full-screen program if they get stuck in one (grab the top of the screen and swipe down to the bottom with the mouse). We also have several Win 7 PCs running, and users still like it, but I can't think of any problems for users who have been going from one to the other. Classic Shell seems to handle nearly everything.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Classic Shell - I've been beating the drum for a year now

      And I've always retorted to Trolls such as yourself. That its NOT THE JOB OF STARDOCK TO FIX THESE THINGS... Much less to line their own Pockets form the misfortune of others. Please don't bring up that you "Flavor" was Free and didn't cost you a Dime. It doesn't really matter Point 1 still stands. Its wasn't their job to correct this um... Bug. That Job belongs solely to the Boys in Redmond!

      1. dogged

        Re: Classic Shell - I've been beating the drum for a year now

        1. Stop shouting.

        2. Stardock haven't "fixed" anything. They've simply made life easier for those (like yourself) who are too stupid to use a launcher.

        Actually, can we have that /Ignore function now please? You're the first person to make me think that that since Eadon got nuked.

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: Classic Shell - I've been beating the drum for a year now

          1. Stop shouting.

          Then stop being daft... Everyone here has heard about the all the flavors of Startdock's Products by now! The fact that nobody cares is telling...

          2. Stardock haven't "fixed" anything. They've simply made life easier for those (like yourself) who are too stupid to use a launcher.

          No I'm just smart enough to either stick with Windows 7, 'cause it still works, and is the defacto OS now. Or I use Cinnamon Mint Linux when I need a rest from all thing MicroSoft.

          Actually, can we have that /Ignore function now please? You're the first person to make me think that that since Eadon got nuked.

          I actually miss Eadon he was a voice of much needed wisdom and sanity 'round these parts.

          1. dogged

            Re: Classic Shell - I've been beating the drum for a year now

            > I actually miss Eadon he was a voice of much needed wisdom and sanity 'round these parts.

            Now I REALLY want that /ignore function.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Eadon

          Did Eadon get nuked? OK he was tedious and predictable but I'd assumed he just gave up or died or got a life.

          If they did nuke him what was it for?

          1. dogged

            Re: Eadon

            I think he was just proclaiming his own godlike genius again or calling people shills (which is against the House Rules) or maybe he decided to fling shit at an article for mentioning Microsoft without adding thirty four pages of hate-filled rant.

            One of those.

            Anyway. Definitely nuked. I think Drew got him.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @dogged

              Thanks for the info.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Classic Shell - I've been beating the drum for a year now

        its NOT THE JOB OF STARDOCK TO FIX THESE THINGS

        I agree with that - but what do you recommend people should do in the meantime?

        Ask Microsoft to fix it? Put up with it? Continue to use older OS? until when?

        Drop Windows completely?

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: Classic Shell - I've been beating the drum for a year now

          agree with that - but what do you recommend people should do in the meantime?

          Isn't it obvious? Use Windows 7 hurr.... As to the eventual downfall of MicroSoft I for One, wont be crying at their Funeral. MicroSoft have gaffed it up BIG TIME on Windows (h)8, and no amount of .x's are ever gonna fix it now. Microsoft need to sh--can TIFKAM, and return us back into a more Areo-like GUI that everyone doesn't need to spend the bulk of their free time on For Dummy Book's just so as to figure out how to... Hit the Start Button mouse over to "Shut Down" "->" to either shutdown or to simply log off.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. 20legend

        Re: Classic Shell - I've been beating the drum for a year now

        How the fuck was the OP Trolling?

        They made a valid point about Classic Shell - and whilst I agree it should have been MS who made good on the issue, they didn't - so it's a good job someone did (for free)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Holmes

          Re: Classic Shell - I've been beating the drum for a year now

          @Michael Habel -

          What the hell is "Stardock" anyway?

          I'm talking about Classic Shell. It's free, and it's supported by a community of users. Works fantastic too.

          Jesus - if you people are going to scream and yell about what a troll and shill I am, can you f***ing try to read what I'm saying for half a f***ng second? WTF??? Asshole.

    2. Scoular

      Re: Classic Shell - I've been beating the drum for a year now

      So by using a third party add on, which Microsoft could decide to disable at any time, you can get a machine almost as easy to use as Windows 7. Hardly a great business decision when Windows 8 offers no compelling advantage is it.

    3. Tannin
      Thumb Up

      Re: Classic Shell - I've been beating the drum for a year now

      Two things are quite extraordinary about this post:

      (1) The number of nonsensical downvotes for a perfectly reasonable, not-in-the-slightest-controversial post about a very, very useful bit of software. So you did not bother waffling on about how stupid and/or evil Microsoft's brain-dead decision to ship a terrible UI that needs Classic Shell (or other similar software) to become decently usable was. Is that reason enough for the multiple downvotes? It's the only reason I can see, and it's absurd - plenty of other people have been making that point for a very long time (me amongst them), so much so that, in civilised discussion, it can usually be taken as granted, and it certainly doesn't need to be repeated in every post on every topic.

      (2) The sheer ignorance of several posters flaming you bitching about Stardock! What has Stardock got to do with Classic Shell? Ans: nothing at all. As you know (but these clueless flamers don't) Stardock did not write Classic Shell, does not sell Classic Shell, and doubtless fervently wishes Classic Shell did not exist because it must be hard making a living selling the second-best fix for the Windows 8 UI disaster at $5 a pop when the best fix (by far) is free.

      Could Microsoft disable Classic Shell? Presumably it would be fairly simple in technical terms. But would they? Surely not. Classic Shell (and to a lesser extent Start8 and a few lesser-known others) are the only things between Windows 8.x and utter market failure. Without Classic Shell (or one of the various others) Win 8 is effectively unusable and sales, already very bad, would go to much, much worse. Breaking it would be egregious commercial suicide of the most stupid imaginable kind, and despite all their many faults, Microsoft are not that stupid.

      Um .... what did I just say? Oh dear. Well, maybe in this post-Vista, post-Ribbon, post-Metro world they aren't still that stupid.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Oh Microsoft is still that stupid, don't worry.

        The thing is, even a complete moron can spot a train barrelling down on him while he's tied to the tracks, and when he does, he will start wriggling and squirming and attempting to break free.

        Microsoft is tied to the PC world track, and the browser train is due to pass any time now. I call it the browser train because every pad, tablet, phone and whatnot that people are using today to do what they did - and more of what they didn't - on PCs, every thingamabob people are sticking their fingers on now has an HTML-type interface to the various walled gardens Apple and the rest are trying to herd them in to.

        PCs are going to back to a minority position for the simple reason that they got foisted onto everybody only because there was no other choice. There is choice now, and people are choosing, and they are not choosing PCs because those bloody things are complicated to understand and maintain. A tablet, on the other hand, is simplicity itself - or so the marketing department would like us to think.

        So the threat is looming, casting a shadow over Microsoft headquarters, and there is panic in the upper spheres. And Microsoft does what it always has done : create a new One OS for everything, this time touch-enabled because the future is very much to do with touchscreens, whether or not said screens are attached to a PC.

        The Start button, not-Metro issue is Microsoft squirming and wriggling and not getting out of its situation. It's not getting out of its situation because there is a mindlock at the MS board : it's Windows or nothing.

        No problem guys, it'll be nothing then. When consumers will have entirely moved to the next generation of whatever we'll call a computer at that time, Windows will be a dead dodo for the public, good only for programming, heavy-duty data management and business applications.

        I'll be curious to see how MS manages its situation in the coming years, when a generation that has not grown up on Windows starts entering the job market. I think that is when MS is going to start seeing a growing dent in its money tower. Because until then, MS has more money than it needs to weather the situation - well, unless it goes on gobbling useless startups at billions in costs which, in its current state of near-desperation, it is entirely capable of doing.

  4. Chris Gray 1
    Meh

    A different perspective

    Since I'm in a position to do so, I thought I would give a different perspective here. I've been a Linux user ever since moving up from my Amigas. I'm currently on KUbuntu because I didn't want to go with Unity. A few months ago, I decided to buy a laptop, to take to some meetings and to try to get my software running on (Cygwin made it trivial!). The machine (a low-end from HP) came with Windows 8, which I upgraded to 8.1 when it became available.

    I curse whenever I use the machine. But, the main curse is for the laptop keyboard with its poor feel, changed layout and narrower spacing. I cannot type reliably on it. Now that I always plug in a USB mouse, I can avoid the detestable trackpad thingy. That leaves my next curse being for not being able to set it up so that windows select when the cursor is over them, but *do not raise*. Anyone know how to make Windows do that?

    Going from 8.0 to 8.1 simply meant that I've told it to start in the usual desktop mode instead of the Start Screen mode. I never use the Start Screen mode, and I dislike the model of applications taking up the whole screen. I use LibreOffice on it (didn't come with MS Office), and I loaded FoxIt for PDF's to avoid the full-screen-only PDF reader app.

    I have a horrible time finding settings, but I expect I would on any Windows machine. I also am quite frustrated by the lengthy update process (especially for HP stuff), compared to what I am used to on Linux. So, for me, the fact that it is a laptop and not a real computer is the biggest problem. The second is that it is the very unfamiliar Windows instead of Linux. The fact that it is Window 8.1 is actually fairly minor after those.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: windows select when the cursor is over them, but *do not raise*.

      Don't believe windows can do that out of the box. You may be able to find a third party extension that does that, but by default in Windows if you want to click it it has to be on top.

      Happy to be proved wrong though if anyone knows any better!

      1. Anonymous Bullard

        Re: windows select when the cursor is over them, but *do not raise*.

        It was in the Windows 9x PowerToys - "xmouse".

        In 7, it was in the "make the mouse easier to use" section, somewhere in control panel. I don't know about 8.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: windows select when the cursor is over them, but *do not raise*.

          Well, 8 has "Activate window by hovering over it with a mouse" in "settings" then "change how your mouse works", but that doesn't do what the OP wants. It brings the app you hover over to the top (and makes task switching with alt-tab impossible as the mouse just grabs focus back! Ewww!).

          Still, I've learned something there! Pity it's not more useful....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A different perspective

      Control panel -> Ease of access -> Ease of access centre -> make the mouse easier to use -> check "activate a window by hovering over it with the mouse"

  5. tkioz

    I've been running Win7 for a few years now, and frankly there is no way in hell they are getting me on the abortion that is Win8, I've tried it, both with the 'metro' and with the 'classic' and it's horrible.

  6. Pirate Dave Silver badge

    OEM?

    "Downgrading can also put you in a shaky position with the PC maker: OEMs vary in their willingness to support and maintain PCs that have been downgraded"

    Maybe it's just me, but I would think if they are still running XP, especially in small Mom-and-Pop shops, then the OEM's warranty ran out many years ago...

  7. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Lenovo?

    Did I not read on El Reg that Lenovo, one of the few PC makers to grow in market, are offering Win 7 machines?

    Coincidence?

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Lenovo?

      Yes and my local small system builder has overhauled their pricing, making an install of Win7 the same price as Win 8.1 Pro - there was a time when they charged a premium for Win7 over Win8.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Lenovo?

        Surely the fact he can't charge a premium for 7 means people aren't that bothered by 8?

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Lenovo? @Sabroni

          I haven't asked why they have decide to no longer charge a premium for 7, but knowing the system builder, I suspect the reason isn't because they can't charge a premium but because it isn't working to their benefit (I note they have also increased their prices for Win8).

          From my perspective, I can say, I've received in total more support calls concerning the handful of Win8 laptops I've sourced than for the dozens of XP and Win7 systems delivered over the years, hence I can see part of the decision to remove the Win7 premium could be down to removing a price incentive for customers to opt for Win8 that could be resulting in a higher than anticipated level of support calls and returns during the warranty period (and hence have to be resolved either at no charge to the customer or by way of a refund etc.).

  8. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Maybe I'm missing something here...

    This is a question asked out of genuine curiosity - what exactly is it people find so bad about Windows 8?

    Surely it can't be all about Metro and the lack of start menu? Or do I use Windows in a fundamentally different way to everyone else, with shortcuts to pretty much everything I use on my desktop?

    Metro is horrible, I agree. But I have one tile on my metro interface - "desktop". And the first thing that I do when my laptop boots up is hit WindowsKey-D, so even that doesn't get used. On average, I'm looking at the Metro UI screen for a couple of seconds.

    Start menu? Yeah, it's handy, but I used it about as regularly as I use the Metro UI, even for previous versions of Windows.

    Now, I fully expect there to be the usual problems and patches that accompanies any Windows version - but Win8 does have various improvements under the hood to improve security etc. And on balance, I'm willing to look at a horrible UI for all of two seconds and every once in a blue moon (ie: when I would have used the start menu) faff about trying to find what I want in order to a) continue developing what I'm working on and b) do so in a more secure environment.

    So am I missing the point? Is it that the vast majority of people use the start menu on a daily basis? Are they forced to use the Metro UI to get at the tools they normally use, and I don't use these tools? Is it some other feature that I just plain don't use?

    Can someone explain this to me?

    1. Ian K
      Trollface

      Re: Maybe I'm missing something here...

      Seriously? You've never seen anyone on El Reg or elsewhere explain (often at great, frustrated length) why they don't like Win8?

      Do a quick search and I'm sure you'll find lots of posts covering exactly what you're looking for...and I have a feeling that now you've pushed the button there'll be a few along in this thread too. :)

      Icon because, well, one suspects...

      1. RyokuMas Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Maybe I'm missing something here...

        "Seriously? You've never seen anyone on El Reg or elsewhere explain (often at great, frustrated length) why they don't like Win8?"

        I've seen plenty of "Metro is horrible" (which I agree with!) and "What no start button?" posts. I've also seen a shedload of "It's crap because it's Microsoft" posts.

        I'm interested in technical reasons. So no, not a troll. Although I can't blame you for suspecting...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Maybe I'm missing something here...

          I'm interested in technical reasons

          But the target user of Win8 isn't.

          1. RyokuMas Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Maybe I'm missing something here...

            "But the target user of Win8 isn't."

            So basically, it's mostly down to the UI, Microsoft's insistence on trying to prioritise Metro, and people not thinking to click on the "desktop" tile when their PC first boots?

            ... not that this would surprise me - I've got more than a couple of low-scoring reviews for my games where the platyer has left a comment starting with "crap controls!" - then goes on to show that they never bothered calibrating said controls, despite the fact that the game walks you through the process the first time you play it...

            1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

              Re: Maybe I'm missing something here... @RyokuMas

              "So basically, it's mostly down to the UI, Microsoft's insistence on trying to prioritise Metro, and people not thinking to click on the "desktop" tile when their PC first boots?"

              Well, it may be me that is unusual, but I rarely, if ever, see my desktop from boot to boot. I actively tell new installs not to put shortcuts on the desktop (I'm on Win7 now). When I want a program that isn't pinned to the taskbar, I pull up the statr menu and find the program in the list (either in the favourites list, or the "All programs" menu). That Win 8 wants me change that way of working put me off. With regard to maximised windows, it depends which computer/screen combo I'm using. On the laptop, maximised is the default, on the desktop with 24" screen, I can't think of many programs I'd use in full-screen. I haven't tried Win 8 on the desktop, but I'd assumed that it would have the same function as previous versions, in which the window would open in the same format you last opened it. If Win 8 doesn't, then that is another reason to dislike it!

            2. Tom 13

              Re:So basically, it's mostly down to the UI

              No, its not. It's much deeper than that but it's easy to get fixated on the UI.

              Windows 8 is a hash from every perspective. First off you have RT and desktop. That's a mix that should never fall under the same name. Next up you've got the half-hearted attempt at the walled garden. It might work for Apple, but at MS it's a no-go. Then you have them repeatedly sticking their fingers in their ears on customer feedback. Tablets might be close enough to phones to mimic them, desktops are a whole other story. Two different pieces of equipment for which users have completely different expectations. Balmer out bastarding Jobs on insisting it was better for everybody didn't help matters any. And effectively killing 7 with 8.1 was beyond stupid.

          2. Vociferous

            Re: Maybe I'm missing something here...

            > But the target user of Win8 isn't.

            A fundamental truth.

            The disconnect is between the target users of Win8, and the actual users of Win8.

        2. User McUser

          Re: Maybe I'm missing something here...

          OK, I'll bite...

          I don't like the ModernUI look and feel; the flat shaded graphics are unattractive, the color schemes are similarly off-putting, and I despise the full-screen Metro apps and Live Tiles which pretty much makes all of the new Windows 8 stuff either irritating or useless to me. I've used it both on a Surface Pro 2 and a desktop PC. The Surface Pro 2 was slightly more usable given its touch interface, but even then the controls are still pretty goofy IMHO (like the way you're supposed to close Metro apps - drag down from top, pause for iconification, then drag off the bottom to close; works for me about 1/3 of the time - this is better in 8.1 than in 8.0.) Combine that with the jarring modal switching and poor support for multiple monitors and you'll see that Metro is just a bloated full-screen task launcher.

          You know where Metro would work great? On the Xbox with Kinect. I can see someone sitting on a couch and bringing up Metro, gesturing through the tiles to quickly check the weather, sports scores, or their Facebook wall or whatever before starting a video game or watching TV. It's rather pointless on a desktop PC where I'm going to be running Office apps and/or a lot of windowed apps simultaneously.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe I'm missing something here...

      Lets try this one.

      The seemingly insatiable urge for everything in Windows 8.* to open up in FULL SCREEN mode is totally beyond me. Yes, I've set the config to try to stop it but every it seems that after Patch Tuesday, it has been reset.

      Whilst this might be ok on a tablet or on an small screen laptop on a Desktop with two 24in 1920x1200 monitors is is just silly. Actually, it is beyond silly, it is stupid.

      At the moment on my i7 Laptop (1920x1080 screen) I have 16 applications open. I'm debugging a thorny problem in a complex industrial plant setup. Thankfully, It dual boots with Windows 7 because that is where the real work gets done.

      At the customer where this plant is operating a lot of the staff use Windows 8 displaying on 23in+ monitors. These are all recent graduates with 20/20 (or as near as) vision yet they insist in opening everything full screen. If gets really tedious to have to switch through 10+ apps to get to something that you want to refer to in another window when running decently sized windows (i.e. not full screen), for example a PDF manual. The moan like hell if they leave me alone at one of their desktop because I'll usually leave it with most of their full screen apps decently sized.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The seemingly insatiable urge for everything in Windows 8.* to open up in FULL SCREEN mode

        EVERY non-metro app opens in a normal window, not FULL SCREEN mode.

        Have another go!

      2. Belardi

        Re: Maybe I'm missing something here...

        What? Today's techs have gone stupid? I understand that for typical people it maybe hard to deal with more than one thing at ba time... But geez. I guess it is todays iPhone generation that cannot coup.

      3. El Andy

        Re: Maybe I'm missing something here...

        @AC: "At the customer where this plant is operating a lot of the staff use Windows 8 displaying on 23in+ monitors. These are all recent graduates with 20/20 (or as near as) vision yet they insist in opening everything full screen. If gets really tedious to have to switch through 10+ apps to get to something that you want to refer to in another window when running decently sized windows (i.e. not full screen), for example a PDF manual. The moan like hell if they leave me alone at one of their desktop because I'll usually leave it with most of their full screen apps decently sized."

        So Windows 8 is crap because it opens apps full screen, which the staff at the company all seem to prefer? Do you even realise how dumb that sounds?

        In my experience, most non technical people use their computers with apps maximised. They always have done and generally always will. And I don't believe apps being full screen is nearly as problematic for the average user and some of the other interface changes have proven to be, despite what some of the internet rants would have you believe.

    3. Longrod_von_Hugendong

      Re: Maybe I'm missing something here...

      You can boot straight to desktop, right click on the task bar (or what ever its called these days) and look in the options, i think its on the 2nd tab.

      I am being forced to look at windows 8 at the moment.

    4. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Maybe I'm missing something here...

      This is a question asked out of genuine curiosity - what exactly is it people find so bad about Windows 8?

      Genuine answer....

      The fact that it kills nearly 20 Years worth of what could only be termed as Muscle Memory. Might be considered a starting point. The fact that they left their users to go, and find the soapy submarine with something as trivial as shutting the PC down. Probably hasn't done much to help either.

      If People will bitch about how bad Vista sucked. 'Cause MicroSoft never felt compelled to enforce more moderate standards on what it could run on, or with. (and they had!). Most of those bumps were at least somewhat correctable with better Hardware. I suppose One could make the same argument for Touch Screen Displays. But lets not kid ourselves and, think that this was some Windows 8 thing. Touch Screens were already 'round during Vista, and 7. If People wanted that kind of Tech.. It would have presumably sold better then it has. Which it hasn't 'cause presumably nobody WANTS IT on the Desktop. And, Windows (h)8 or Ubuntu Unity are not gonna change it.

      Touch is fine on Phablets, and perhaps on newer Laptops. But, touch DOES NOT BELONG ON THE DESKTOP EVER!

      1. Tom 13

        Re: somewhat correctable with better Hardware.

        No they weren't. It took a service pack before it became manageable and even then it continued to be a pain. I had more than enough hardware for the OS when I built it. Instead I regularly used the XP partition I'd installed planning to use it only for gaming. The XP partition couldn't maximize the resources on the PC. When the Vista drive failed I replaced it with Windows 7 without batting an eyelash.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Maybe I'm missing something here... @AC

        Re: nngroup "windows-8-disappointing-usability"

        Good and still relevant critique of Win8, shame they don't seem to have done a similar take down of Office 2013 - my users just 'love' [sarcasm] the grey on grey flat colour scheme...

        Interesting, also reread this article: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/26/civilians_test_windows_8/ which was an El Reg test the water sample...

    6. Nigel 11

      Re: Maybe I'm missing something here...

      It's that people are used to a UI which, as far as they are concerned, defines Windows. Microsoft comes along and tears it up. Yes, it's possible to learn to use the new heap of shite. It may even be possible to become as fluent in it as one was in the old one, after spending many hours of one's life on it. But it's most unlikely that the hatred this incurs will ever blossom into love.

      Not everyone learns the same way. I'm one of the 8-haters. XP was in my fingertips, and I just used it while thinking continuously about the real work. I (still) can't do that with 8. I still find the enforced mental context-switching stressful and damaging to my productivity (in a way that XP to Win 7 or Gnome-2 or even Cinnamon is not). I also dislike KDE and Gnome 3, but Linux gives ne freedon to choose so I'm happy that other people like the alternatives. On Windows, there's no fscking choice, just Microsoft shafting us.

    7. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Maybe I'm missing something here...

      "Surely it can't be all about Metro and the lack of start menu?"

      Mostly it is, and the general buggering about of where thing are.

      Technically using Win8 is a good idea, but myself (and a lot of other El Reg commentards) just find the UI a horrible experience and life simply too short to put in the effort work around it when there is Win7 and various free Linux distros as alternatives.

    8. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Maybe I'm missing something here... @RyokuMas

      >Can someone explain this to me?

      So how long did it take you to get your installation of Win8 how you wanted it? Now convert that into a price that someone would realistically pay for that service where the typical customer is wanting 1~2 systems. Now compare that with a WinXP and/or Win7 install and you will start to see why I dislike Win8 and tend to advise clients on XP to avoid it. I like to install a system and not then get lots of calls about "odd things that keep happening" - it is nice to call a client every few months and for them to not comment upon the IT I've supplied, it means they are more likely to trust my opinion and give me further work.

      Yes support for Win7 will end in January 2020, however for many the systems they purchase today will be coming up for renewal about then, just like all the systems I installed in 2007~2008 are being refreshed now.

  9. Not That Andrew
    Thumb Up

    Best Headline So Far This Year

    (body)

  10. spidercrab

    "Anybody running Windows XP after that date will face malware and virus writers targeting the OS alone unless they pay Microsoft for custom support."

    Really?

    Firstly, everybody using all versions of Windows can and often does, experience malware and viruses. Microsoft have been supporting all of these versions with updates and this has not stopped infection with malware and viruses.

    Secondly, if you pay Microsoft for XP support will they refund you if you get attacked by malware and viruses? I really doubt that very much.

    There is a great deal that is yet unknown about life after XP support stops.

    This article is very poorly written and I am most disappointed at The Register for including it. Shame.

    1. Turtle

      @spidercrab

      "Firstly, everybody using all versions of Windows can and often does, experience malware and viruses."

      I don't. My friends don't. My sister, an extremely not-technical computer user, has experienced a total of one incident in the last nine years. My mother, on the other hand, gets her browser homepage and search engine prefs hijacked on a fairly regular basis because she refuses to not install discount-coupon apps or toolbars. (All the aforementioned users run XP.) So, yeah, if you're 80+ years old and using Windows, and simply must install smiley and coupon crapplets, then yes, you could well experience malware problems.

      Which, if you think about it objectively, is still better than having one's head as far up one's ass as Spidercrab.

      1. spidercrab

        Re: @spidercrab

        @Turtle

        Sorry to hear that you don't value the experience of your closest relatives or those who are 80+. On the other hand, good to hear that both you and your friends have no malware problems.

  11. frank ly

    I have an 8 year old XP-SP2 retail disk - never been activated

    I wonder what I'd get for it on e-bay?

    1. dogged

      Re: I have an 8 year old XP-SP2 retail disk - never been activated

      Ignored, probably. The article is about people (finally) getting away from XP.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: I have an 8 year old XP-SP2 retail disk - never been activated

      >I wonder what I'd get for it on e-bay?

      I'll buy it off you!

      A retail version of XP (any SP version) is worth something because it can be installed into a physical machine independent VM, unlike an OEM version.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is another EOL on Apr 8 that is far more painful than XP, Office 2003. Win 7 is a perfectly good upgrade from XP, 8.1 may be too but with office 2003 no longer safe to use I cannot avoid the goddamn ribbon any more.

    Before anyone jumps in to advocate Libre, I have a large back catalogue of VBA that I do not have time to reengineer.

    1. Anonymous Bullard

      Office 2003

      Are you serious? Just continue to virus check everything you give it, like you normally do.

  13. Steve Knox

    Nope

    a Window-8-capable PC requires beefier hardware – to handle touch – than a machine for Windows 7.

    Wrong.

    If you want to run Windows 8.1 on your PC, here's what it takes:

    Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2 (more info)

    RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)

    Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

    Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

    Source: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/system-requirements

    If you want to run Windows 7 on your PC, here's what it takes:

    1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor

    1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)

    16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

    DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

    Source: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/system-requirements

    The only differences are in the CPU area: PAE (for RAM > 4GB on 32-bit systems), NX (for security), and SSE2 (for graphics, primarily). I believe some if not all of those are actually required by Windows 7, but just not listed explicitly on the page.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Nope

      "The only differences are in the CPU area: PAE (for RAM > 4GB on 32-bit systems), NX (for security), and SSE2 (for graphics, primarily). I believe some if not all of those are actually required by Windows 7, but just not listed explicitly on the page."

      I'm running Win7 on a machine without NX. I'm almost certain that PAE and SSE2 aren't necessary, but won't swear to it. There are applications out there that demand SSE2, mainly because SSE2 marked the point where one could dispense with the old x87 FPU entirely, so for many folks it is just a compiler switch.

      It is probably worth pointing out that all new processors announced by AMD and Intel since about 2003 have had all three. They may have continued to sell older designs for a couple of years, but I'd be surprised if *any* machine bought new since 2006 doesn't have all three.

    2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Nope

      Saw this and slapped my head as well, with serial and usb adapters it doesnt require much overhead from standard hardware.

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      @Steve : Microsoft system requirements, really ?

      You justify your argument by using Microsoft-supplied system requirements ?

      Please. Everybody knows that Microsoft system requirements are the minimum resources needed to BOOT a PC, not USE it.

      4GB and oodles of disk space (preferably more than one disk) are needed to USE Windows (whatever version). Having only 1GB on Win 8 is going to impose vast amounts of swapping time and generally crappy PC responsiveness.

      I use Win7/64 with 16GB of RAM, an 8-core CPU and almost 5TB across 7 discs. It runs fine. Use a PC with 1GB of RAM ? I'd rather go watch a film on TV - the framerate will be smoother.

      1. dogged

        Re: @Steve : Microsoft system requirements, really ?

        > Please. Everybody knows that Microsoft system requirements are the minimum resources needed to BOOT a PC, not USE it.

        As with so many things that "everyone knows", this is wrong.

        I actually had an ExoPC tablet (eventually the cat knocked it off the table and the screen shattered but there you go) with a 32GB HDD, an Atom chip and 1GB of RAM. Basically a netbook with no keyboard.

        It ran Win7 like molasses but Win8 ran really well on it.

        Bloody cat.

  14. Creamy-G00dness

    El Reg, Tech site?

    I always considered the Register to be a site where the technically capable or 'people in the field' gathered to read tech news and discuss technical entities or whatever is the soup of the day.

    As such I derive great entertainment from the commentards above who are still (after soooo much time) having a nightmare with what is essentially a shell over a normal desktop O/S.

    I could understand the whining and moaning from users who TBH are expected to have issues using a new ecosystem, not the SYSADMINS and SUPPORT TECHS who appear to have been doing all of the bitching since I started to read here. Come on guys, surely you can navigate anything after some time in the job??

    As it stands, everyone has had the opportunity to gain experience and make this O/S useable. When I first entered the IT sector, learning to use and navigate a new O/S was fun and a challenge.

    I did mine (win8) and others (with the help of freeware) within minutes, once you start to use it as an actual desktop it is fine, even faster and more reliable than 7 in instances.

    If you don't like it well then fair enough, don't use it. The more technically adept will give it a go, learn how to support it and then leave it alone.......without all the bitching.

    That Bandwagon is looking a little full methinks, allow me to carry some down votes for you all. You may be able to fit another person on there ;)

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: El Reg, Tech site?

      I understand your confusion, but would make two points.

      Firstly, it is a very bad user shell. It has almost zero discoverability and has dropped various features of its predecessor that many people used. These users are therefore left with the double whammy of "it doesn't work anymore" and "there's no clue for what does work in its place".

      Secondly, those sysadmins and support techs are exactly the ones who get all the grief from the users who have been dumped in a new ecosystem. I bet Steve Sinofsky never spent time on the helpdesk explaining to grown adults why they should have to relearn everything they know about the computer simply to carry on getting their job done.

      1. Creamy-G00dness

        Re: El Reg, Tech site?

        Two very well thought through and put together points, have an upvote ;)

      2. Wensleydale Cheese

        Re: El Reg, Tech site?

        "Firstly, it is a very bad user shell. It has almost zero discoverability"

        That zero discoverability was my main problem with Win8.

        The earlier versions of Windows (Win98?) had excellent tutorials on using both the keyboard and mouse.

        The whole Windows 8 experience would have been less frustrating if they had done the same.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Never ease up on pressuring Microsoft

      There will never be enough people on the Bandwagon, given that we're dealing with a company that has a history of doing what it wants and not noticing user backlash.

      Nobody can "make this O/S useable". It isn't. It was designed not to be.

      We don't like it and we won't use it, thank you. We didn't need your permission anyway.

      Oh, and I have a new car for you. Here, take a seat. There you are. What's that ? No steering wheel ? No, I've removed it. No clutch either. At least, not visible. The brakes and accelerator are hidden as well. Look how streamlined your car interior is !

      How do you get somewhere ? Well I'll just let you discover that on your own. Have fun !

    3. Belardi

      Re: El Reg, Tech site?

      Win 8 is no faster than 7. Sure it boots faster with hybrid boot, but Linux boots just as fast with a normal boot. If you mean the ui... I guess, since it mono chrome and ugly as skin job, throw back to the 80s... Point remains why the hell should I and others spend time and money on an ugly os to make it work like windows 7??! Especialy since win7 will do everything that is needed. Win 8 is such crap that I wouldn't install a free version... Ever. I installed Linux mint on one of my notebooks because of w8... Formatted and installed on top of 8 in fact. Linux was easier to use and just as slick as w8 and for a much better price. It has nothing to do with win 8 being hard to use.... Its because it's shit.

  15. Yoru

    The alternative way

    If MS can rise above corporate stubbiness, they should have concluded without any shadow of a doubt by now, that their present business model for selling operating systems just isn’t going to work in the future.

    For most MS users this means forking out a lump sum every few years. For this you likely get something looking completely different, which of course is in large part meant to justify the lump sum. After all, how many people would pay such a lump sum, for an operating system that looked exactly the same, even if it did have many improvements under the hood.

    The obvious problem with this model is that it leads to disruptive innovation, which have substantial cost implications. Rather than progressively refining and improving on a baseline operation, with corresponding improvements in reliability, major changes to interfaces mean retraining users, redesigning system connections and data processing. Instead of maximising the reuse of knowledge and minimising the need for retraining, in order to actually get the job done in a cost effective way, business systems can easily be driven into a constant state of flux, as a new wave of upgrades commence.

    The alternative would be for MS to rent the operating system on say a monthly basis, say 4 pound a month. The advantage to MS would be the steady income stream, without the big bang role outs of recent years, replaced by updates that are focused on reliability and mainly under the hood improvements. Changes to interfaces, including the GUI would no longer be made purely on an arbitrary basis, but in consideration of the degree of change and the consequential user impact.

    This of course would bring MS more in line with the Linux alternative, which if you include professional support, rather than just free, would probably be comparable on cost

  16. connermac725

    it is not a downgrade if you know what you are doing

    turn off metro and delete the apps then set your file associations away from the apps

    runs better and faster than windows xp or 7

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, ignore Windows 8 already

    It is a colossal flop, worse than Vista and WinMe.

    And for the first time ever:

    Windows 8 (and its ecosystem of 'devices and services') royally pissed off the OEMs.

    Windows 8 was the proverbial straw that broke the back of the fat, bald camel called Steve Ballmer.

    Windows (Phone) 8 had indirectly destroyed Nokia.

    Next year, Windows 9 will be out. Existing users will hang on to Windows 7 or XP, or switch over to a Mac, or switch to Linux.

    I'm still using Vista. Fully patched, Vista is quite decent... still better than that schizophrenic mess of Windows 8.

    In fact, for Windows 9, I'll pay extra money to have all that Metro code removed from the operating system: no tiles, no full-screen weather and news apps powered by Bing, no Charms bar, no lockscreen, no cloud (Skydrive/Onedrive) integration, no Microsoft account sign in.

    I don't want a Start menu/button or a boot-to-desktop option: I want all traces of the Metro code removed.

    Good luck Microsoft!

  18. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Meh

    so when

    are the activation servers being switched off for XP?

    Imagine that, you pay for a car, you drive it for 10 yrs, keeping it nicely serviced , the Ford come along and say "buy our new noddy car"... oh and by the way we're turning off your old car to force you into a noddy car.

    But since I still have a valid XP licence, I'm left wondering how much long it will be valid for, even if the thing lives in a VM on my linux box... and do people upgrading want to sell me their winxp licences so I can have a back up for the XP boxes at work in case they go belly up..... after all... us industrial users expect a bit of lifespan to our machines.... like at least 10 years.

    (and yes I know I could d/l a cracked version... but I prefer my OS's with only the bugs put in by the manufacture )

    1. dogged

      Re: so when

      Happens all the time.

      Quite a lot of the parts for the old piece-of-shit Mondeo I'm driving can only be found from scrap merchants. It's not just cars, either. Everyone stops supporting their stuff eventually except for a few very rare and very, very expensive outliers like Aga, Zippo and Aston Martin.

      Even operating systems. OSX Snow Leopard is no longer supported. RHEL deprecates old code every three years.

      Sounds to me like you just want extra special service from MS because wah wah wah M$.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: so when

        The car analogy is long known to be badly broken, but your example, it's even worse. This isn't "I can't find the part," this is "I found the part, fixed the car, but the petrol pump won't let me add any fuel."

        And no, it can't be compared to RHEL deprecating their code. If you've got a copy of the deprecated code you can still LOAD it. If you have the money and/or talent you can even theoretically support it. Most of us would probably think you were bonkers for doing it, but you COULD. MS aren't giving you that option with XP.

  19. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    2014 is the year of Linux on thr desktop...

    ... at least in my business.

  20. Peter2 Silver badge

    And did you know that you can pick up a HP DC7800 computer with Win7 installed by a Microsoft Authorised Refurbisher with a lowish end C2D processor for about £80, with a copy of Office 2007 from discount licensing for a broadly similar amount?

    Old, yes. Better than XP machines from 2002? also yes.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Yes. I recently got a similar system (not HP though). :)

      Others have been suggested the Windows 8, as I'd assumed for those new to PCs it would make no difference learning a new GUI. Problem being, it's not the newness of Win 8 that is the problem, it's the brokenness of the GUI. :P

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        In my eyes, the advantage of doing this is not the single PC cost, it's:-

        1) Being able to toss winXP P3/P4 systems.

        2) Having a standard set of PC's across the business.

        3) Bulk cheapness, I can actually afford to replace every PC this year with cash left over in my budget.

        4) As i'm buying VLK's, I can reuse them when I finish my replacement program and then need to put a longer term equipment replacement program in place.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          @Peter2 Re: As i'm buying VLK's

          Yes this is one of those little irritations that many overlook - as a VLK user, you will continue to pay MS for the privilege of running an unsupported OS of theirs.

          1. Peter2 Silver badge

            Re: @Peter2 As i'm buying VLK's

            Besides the purchase price you don't pay a penny.

  21. Wensleydale Cheese
    FAIL

    You can downgrade to Windows 7 Pro and Windows Vista Business

    "Windows 8.1 is priced £86 versus £171 for Windows 8.1 Pro. You can downgrade to Windows 7 Pro and Windows Vista Business."

    Ah, but not to Windows 7 Ultimate, which is the only one of the Windows 7 range (apart from Enterprise) to support multiple interface languages.

    I'd love to know what it is that Microsoft hates about multi-lingual setups.

    Hint: supporting more than one user interface language on a single system is what the competition have been doing for years now.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: You can downgrade to Windows 7 Pro and Windows Vista Business

      Possibly to dissuade grey market sales?

  22. Alex Trenchard

    My issue, and I'm aware it probably puts me in a minority, is that I just find Win 8 so ugly. Flat, angular tiles really feel like a step back to the days of Windows 3.1, which (as a comparative young whippersnapper, my colleagues like to remind me) was some of my earliest GUI computing experience.

    I've no doubt it is faster, and more stable, and many other good things besides, but the supposedly-modern UI just leaves me cold.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: feel like a step back to the days of Windows 3.1

      Not so sure about that, to me the tiled UI it reminds me of the Lotus Notes desktop (on win3), just not as functional or useful.

    2. Tom 13

      Re: days of Windows 3.1

      No, not Windows 3.1 which for the time had relatively clean lines, but AOL 3.0. Remember that thing that looked like a badly made WB cartoon? Yeah, that one. And every bit as out of place as a silent film in a full IMAX theater.

  23. Mage Silver badge

    Oh stop!

    "Anybody running Windows XP after that date will face malware and virus writers targeting the OS alone unless they pay Microsoft for custom support."

    Enough of the misleading propaganda.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Oh stop!

      Edit time ran out ...

      Not much more so than Win7 /Win 8 users.

      If un-needed services off, stupid plug-ins on browser disabled, separate firewall on Router (use a WiFi/Ethernet Sharing box/router for a 3G/4G dongle, don't plug in direct), sensible usage, no Outlook, MS IE etc then less likely in next 10 years to get malware than 8.1 or later Windows users.

      Check with silentrunners.org and gmer, maybe even booting to safe mode, periodically.

      MS though should consider Win 7 demand and amount of XP that their whole strategy stinks now.

      I'll use Libre Office rather than any version of office after 2003, and Linux with WINE if I can't use the Win98, Win2K and WinXP laptops I have any longer. Unless MS swallow the Ego and make a fixed version of XP. as alternative to Win 9 for users that want it.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UUUUUuuuuummmmmmmmmm.........

    I quite like windows 8..........yeah.....take that, biatches.

  25. swampdog

    Windows 2000

    Wouldn't surprise me in the least if the real reason MS have been so stubbon regards changing the UI is they can't. It's been written from scratch so it runs fast on lower-end touchy devices. The XP GUI has had donkey's years of patches & general crud added to it: I bet few, if any, of their devs truly understand it so they've no choice but to dump it.

    Win7 is the same. It only pays lip-service to the XP GUI. Heck, a GUI that can't even remember individual window positions without 3rd party help is nothing more than a toy. They may as well have just written the OS then slapped a full-screen "silverlight" thingy on top to draw on!

  26. Dinky Carter

    Reformed Luddite

    I really liked Windows 7. Then I had to get Windows 8 at work, and my first reaction was to gaze into the middle distance mumbling "but why? why did you do this? "

    But I stuck with it. I rigged up a psuedo-start button, then soon found that I didn't need it - instead I began to flip into the Metro desktop (by the incredibly arduous method of pressing the Windows key) and use the app finder there, which is powerful and fast. Then I slowly started appreciating the Metro desktop- a bit of pizzaz in the morning when I turn the machine on, and I actually started using some Metro apps (simple things like weather. Of course I don't use the Metro Email app because it's complete sh!t on a desktop) Then I realised that my PC hadn't crashed for weeks., unlike the shiny Mac next to it.

    Now I've changed jobs to a bigger, much more conservative company who simply won't touch Windows 8, and I'm using Windows 7 which seems tired, old, slow, muddled and unreliable. I run XP in a VM too, and that seems pretty solid but very dated. When I get home and fire up my Windows 8.1 laptop it feels like being whisked back to the present.

    1. Belardi

      Re: Reformed Luddite

      Funny, I find 8 to be the opposite. All metro apps are bulky on a 24" display. I'm using some metro-ized web apps that is a bit of a pain to use. A bit pretty, but a whole screen of my files requires more scrolling than the "old tired" window that took up 1/4 the space. So I always have to scroll and look for my stuff that used to fit and not bloody move... Working in metro is unproductive. Not for a desktop. And the desktop mode is 1980s ugly. Linux should be the future.

      Only thing that keeps me from going to Linux full time is the lack of intuit software and Photoshop. Kings office or open office are quite good for the price.

      Windows PC has no future. MSb knows this. Hence they made it worse by panicking into making win8 into the turd it is. Rip out metro, put back the win 8 preview skin (it's slick) and they will make many people happy... In the work market. For home /casual use, Android and iOS .

      I typed this whole thing from my android moto X phone... I have a PC 20 ft away...

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's been a long time, maybe since Win95

    that I've heard of people scrambling to get hold of a Windows licence.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "There are other issues, too: a Window-8-capable PC requires beefier hardware – to handle touch – than a machine for Windows 7. And with the latest OS, staff need retraining, adding to the costs."

    What is wrong with people? Are they really so stupid that they can't adapt to change?

    Learn Windows 8 in minutes, look for one of 1000's of you tube videos. Takes 10 mins to pick up the changes. But people would rather winge, moan and complain! Hardly your top performers.

    I hate learnophobes.

  29. zen1

    It's a shame Balmer can't be charged with crimes against humanity, for subjecting the world to the horrors of Windows 8. I would even go so far in recommending that the people who uttered the words "That's a great idea" be named as co-conspirators.

    It's either windows 7 or *nix for me.

  30. Bootman

    I am surprised there are still people defending the Windows 8 interface. Metro / apps are a joke on the desktop, and evidently aren't that popular on the Surface Pro either. Surface RT has been an utter failure. Hints from Microsoft themselves suggest Windows 9 may revert back to something more sensible.

    Windows 8 belongs in the same bucket as Windows ME, something that in ten years or so, we will smirk at briefly. The public hate it and business hates it, and its defenders now resemble King Canute ranting on at the sea.

    Microsoft did the job spot on with Windows 7 in my opinion. And that's an opinion generally shared by most. Windows 8 managed to achieve the unthinkable, in that I actually recommended casual users to choose Linux (Mint) over it, if for whatever reason they didn't want to or couldn't migrate to 7. If you had told me five years ago I'd be doing that, I'd have thought it a nice idea but would have laughed.

  31. WereWoof

    Confession

    When my one of my ancient XP systems died I bought a brand spanking new on that came with Windows 8. I had read all the hate aimed at it, and I did try TIFKAM and no, I did not get on with it. Being prepared, I installed classic shell and was so pleased at the improvement I then installed classic shell on my windows 7 laptop. My other 2 XP systems have just been upgraded to Windows 7 as it seems according to the W8 advisor that they wouldn`t run windows 8. To be honest O try to get the UI as much like Windows 98 as I can as for me that is the perfect UI (except W98 used to crash a lot).

    I used to use Xandros Desktop 3 on one of my old systems which oddly is another OS that seems hated by both MS and Linux fanbois. I would still be using it if updates ere available for it. As for MS Office I haven`t used it since office 2000 (I did try office 2010 but waiting minutes for a document to open only to have it then stop responding was just too annoying.

    I tried Zorin OS on another old XP machine I had which I liked, but it was a PITA refusing to see shared drives, my NAS and crashing while installing the printer. Put windows 7 on it and *shock horror* it just worked. Upgraded my last XP machine to Windows 7 last week with no problems apart from the lack of Outlook Express Thankfully Thunderbird works well and could import all my files and settings. Mozbackup works a treat for backing up and restoring bookmarks etc for Firefox too.

    Yes I like Windows 8, it`s fast, stable quick to boot, No I don`t like Metro. *rant over*

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