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Microsoft wants to get Windows XP below 10% by April 2014

Microsoft has hatched a plan to get resellers to help wean customers off Windows XP by April 2014. Windows XP currently holds the second largest percentage of the computer operating system market right below Windows 7. According to Net Applications, Windows XP holds 37.17% of the operating system market while Windows 7 holds 44.37%.

Microsoft is reminding resellers and customers that there is less than a year left until all support for Windows XP is stopped. On April 8, 2014, Windows XP will no longer receive patches or updates including critical security updates. Moving consumers from Windows XP to a newer version of Windows is reportedly one of Microsoft's top priorities for its fiscal 2014, which began on July 1.

That could be a tall order for Microsoft since the software giant and its partners would reportedly need to migrate 586,000 computers per day over the next 273 days to eliminate all machines running Windows XP.

Microsoft is rolling out several programs, offers, and tools to encourage users to leave Windows XP behind. Those programs include Accelerate where Microsoft will pay some reseller and integrator partners to create a proof of concept Metro-style apps to help lure customers to Windows 8. Microsoft is also going to extend the program call Get to Modern aimed at small and medium businesses.
It was reported earlier this month that Windows 8 market share just finally crept ahead of the unloved Windows Vista operating system.

Source: ZDNet

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RE: Updating to Win 7
By Argon18 on 7/10/2013 11:45:58 AM , Rating: 1
Why is Microsoft so late to the 64 bit party? Apple went 64-bit in 2006, and then 64-bit-only in 2009. Linux has had 64 bit builds since the 1990's, on the DEC Alpha, and while 32 bit Linux is still offered, 64-bit has been the defacto standard for years.

Also, OSX and Linux have no trouble at all running older 32 bit software. All the old 32 bit libraries are included to make it work smoothly. Why is 32 bit apps on a 64 bit OS such a problem for Microsoft??

RE: Updating to Win 7
By Jammrock on 7/10/2013 1:51:53 PM , Rating: 3
You're not entirely accurate, Argon18.

Windows XP and 2003 both have/had 64-bit options. 2003 64-bit (AMD64 or x86-64) was launched in April 2003 and 64-bit XP was launched in 2005. Long before Apple went 64-bit. Linux technically beat Windows to market with x864-64 support, but considering the first x86-64 processor was not released until Server 2003 hit the market it is kind of a moot point.

Every consumer Windows OS since (Vista and newer) has had a 32-bit and 64-bit option at launch. The only common issue with 32-bit applications on 64-bit Windows these days are rare cases where a program requires a driver that is 32-bit only. And of course legacy systems that don't support x86-64, but that effects every OS. All new OEM systems have been required to install 64-bit by default for some time now as I recall.

Starting with Windows Server 2008 R2 the entire Microsoft server environment went 64-bit. Other people can make 32-bit apps for Server 2008 R2+, but Microsoft server products are 64-bit.

If you want to go back to the pre-x86-64 days, there are 64-bit Intel Itanium builds of Windows Server 2003 as well. 64-bit DEC Alpha builds were scrapped in favor of Itanium support. There were 32-bit DEC Alpha builds for Windows though.

The main problem with migrating from XP/2003 to 7+/2008 R2+ has to do with cost. Many companies have to certify applications for new operating systems in the business and government worlds. Validation and certification takes a huge amount of time and it costs tons of money. If a lot of code updates are required to make an app certified for a new OS it costs even more money.

On top of that you have the cost of deploying the new OS. Upgrading the hardware to support the new OS. Migrating data costs. Learning curves that incur training costs. New license costs. And all the labor costs, both in IT staff and lost productivity, it takes to make that happen.

Take in to account that many enterprises have dozens to hundreds of different applications in use across their business divisions, and tens to hundreds of thousands of employees, and it can costs tens to hundreds of millions of dollars to change an operating system. It's a cost no business wants to incur.

This is one of the reasons why XP has been so prominent in businesses for so long. And to be honest, 11 years of support for an OS is a long time. Think of what kind of hardware you were running in 2001 and 2002 and you'll realize a lot has changed since then. Most OS makers stop support after 3 to 5 years, or less. Ubuntu is 5 for LTS releases I know. Not sure what the other support models are.

Disclosure: As many DailyTech users know I am a Microsoft employee. The above post is not an official PR spiel, just my personal opinion. I've been in IT for over 15 years and very little of that with Microsoft.

RE: Updating to Win 7
By retrospooty on 7/10/2013 4:47:31 PM , Rating: 2
"You're not entirely accurate, Argon18.

Windows XP and 2003 both have/had 64-bit options. 2003 64-bit (AMD64 or x86-64) was launched in April 2003 and 64-bit XP was launched in 2005. Long before Apple went 64-bit. "


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Gondor on 7/10/2013 5:58:24 PM , Rating: 2
Some might argue that Linux was able to beat Windows to 64-bit release due to its support of other 64-bit architectures a decade earlier (once the code is cleaned up to compile correctly on either 32-bit or 64-bit platform it is much easier to port to any other 64-bit system) ...

But Microsoft had their opportunity to support 64-bit hardware as well when they went ahead with Windows NT/2000 ports for Alpha, MIPS, PPC and other architectures, they were just too daft to seize the opportunity, as always.

RE: Updating to Win 7
By greenchinesepuck on 7/10/2013 2:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
Hey idiot, did you know that Windows XP 64-bit for Itanium has been released in 2001 when your poor 32-bit Linux sucked off everyone else?

RE: Updating to Win 7
By Gondor on 7/10/2013 6:03:01 PM , Rating: 2
Linux had support for 64-bit Alpha AXP since 1994 and a distribution available for this same target since 1995. Many other 64-bit platforms were supported by 2000.

RE: Updating to Win 7
By aicom on 7/10/2013 3:02:57 PM , Rating: 2
32-bit applications run perfectly fine on 64-bit versions of Windows (assuming they don't do stupid undocumented s*** and even then they still may work). Microsoft includes both 32-bit and 64-bit libraries in 64-bit builds of Windows as well. It's the DOS and 16-bit applications that are the problem.

NTVDM (which handles 16-bit executables) heavily uses a feature of x86 protected mode called Virtual 8086 mode. This is essentially like a hardware-virtualized 8086 real-mode CPU that retains support for many protected-mode features like memory protection (invisible to the real-mode program). This is much lighter weight and easier than doing full software emulation (like DOSBox), because the hardware handles most of the overhead for you.

When AMD was designing the x86_64 specification, they purposefully left out support for virtual 8086 mode in long mode. This meant that 16-bit compatibility would have needed to be rewritten for 64-bit versions of Windows.

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