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Windows XP served Microsoft well for over 7 years. Now the first phase of its retirement is being set into action, with the end of mainstream support. Security fixes for the OS will continue until 2014.  (Source: Microsoft)
A venerable OS is laid to rest -- sorta

Windows XP in its early years started off ambitious and enterprising.  However, in those early years (2001 and 2002), it also gave many a headache and received ample criticism.  With time (and Service Packs) it matured into what is today regarded as one of Microsoft's best operating system efforts of all time.

Now the time has come at last to take the first steps towards laying the OS to rest.  While sales of XP-downgraded computers will continue after July in the case of HP, and XP will still be installed on some netbooks until 2010, Microsoft is ending mainstream support for the OS on April 14, 2009.  The first phase of the retirement comes over seven years after the first Windows XP shipped.

The fact that it will still be selling XP machines after this discontinuation is a testament to the OS's strong public image, but it also puts Microsoft in a strange position.  Aside from new sales, an estimated 63 percent of internet-connect computers have Windows XP installed (as of March 2009), versus a mere 24 percent with Windows Vista.  In short, Microsoft is in the curious position of ending support for its most widely used product.

Laurence Painell, Windows marketing manager at Microsoft UK reassures customers that while the majority of product-related (i.e. mainstream) support will be ended, key security updates will not.  He states, "We will provide critical security fixes via Windows Update for all editions of XP until 2014."

However, Microsoft will no longer have the burden of answering any non-security issues, except for those users with an
extended support contract with Microsoft or one of its channel partners.  Microsoft says that the familiarity in the tech community with XP, should limit this becoming a problem.  It argues that customers have plenty of support resources to turn to online.

Gartner analyst
Michael Silver praises the move.  He states, "The only thing extended support buys you is creation of new non-security fixes, at a hefty fee for each one. After all these years, most people figure that most of the functional bugs [in XP] are already worked out."

Microsoft is encouraging XP customers to switch to its upcoming OS, Windows 7, particularly those who skipped Vista.  One curious aspect of Windows 7 is that it comes with an offer for an XP downgrade, again throwing a bit of a wrench in Microsoft's retirement plans.  The downgrade is a quick process, but ironically an upgrade from XP to Windows 7 requires a full install. 

Describes a Windows Team blog post, "There are simply too many changes in how PCs have been configured (applets, hardware support, driver model etc) that having all of that support carry forth to Windows 7 would not be nearly as high quality as a clean install." 

Microsoft encourages XP customers to download the Windows 7 beta to ease the transition.

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By Innocent Hawk on 4/8/2009 9:32:21 AM , Rating: 3
I love Windows XP, but I do think it is time to let it go. I'm excited for Windows 7, and the Beta has been awesome for me.

By Oregonian2 on 4/8/2009 10:32:46 PM , Rating: 3
For me it matters little. For me the OS is just a support vehicle for the applications that I use. Applications are what I use the computer for. When there's an application that I want or need to use that can't run on XP I'll need whatever it requires, but if it'll work on XP there's no reason to change.

For me.

By mindless1 on 4/9/2009 4:38:24 AM , Rating: 3
... and to anyone that's sane.

Some people try to view using a newer os as some kind of personal statement about themselves, but they utterly fail when they end up trying to claim an OS they've used for years is a problem, that after all this time they can't even sort out basic usage with something they had so much time to get to know.

Being smart is about making use of the tech available to do something useful, not always longing for something new. A computer is a tool, a means to an end not the end itself.

By ggordonliddy on 4/8/09, Rating: 0
By bodar on 4/9/2009 6:15:38 AM , Rating: 2
You ate a lot of that candy that peeled off the radiator when you were a kid, huh?

By ggordonliddy on 4/14/2009 1:09:30 AM , Rating: 2
You are obviously almost completely clueless about navigating Windows without a mouse.

By bodar on 4/21/2009 7:22:18 AM , Rating: 2
I'm on Vista right now, and it's not really harder than older versions to browse windows using only the keyboard (Windows key, Alt, arrows, Tab, context menu key, etc.) Hell, most apps can be launched from Start > Search. I just type "fire", and I can use arrows to select Firefox. WTF else would you like it to do? And Win7 has EVEN MORE keyboard shortcuts, for example, to quickly move a window into a particular quadrant of the screen. But clearly you've won this argument without actually saying anything...

By Proxes on 4/8/2009 9:55:18 AM , Rating: 4
It was once said that 640k was enough for anybody. The memory limitation of XP is becoming a problem. The poor support for Windows XP 64bit means we need to move on to better 64bit operating systems.

RE: Memory
By GaryJohnson on 4/8/2009 5:41:58 PM , Rating: 3
I've said some stupid things and some wrong things, but not that. No one involved in computers would ever say that a certain amount of memory is enough for all time. -Bill Gates

RE: Memory
By Oregonian2 on 4/8/2009 10:26:38 PM , Rating: 3
First of all, Gates didn't say that. Secondly within the context of the quote, 640K was way more than enough for anyone at the time anyway.

RE: Memory
By mindless1 on 4/9/2009 4:34:09 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, for a PC (versus a workstation), the memory limitations of XP 32bit effect less than 1% of the population.

Nice try, come back when you have a point.

Today 3.n GB _IS_ enough for the vast majority of personal computer users. If you have a special app that needs more, by all means you should have more, that's what is great about an open market where buyers have a choice.

There's a vast gulf though, between these uses, or maybe mostly techno-whores who pretend they need more as if it's an ePenis, and the real-world computing needs of the majority buying a PC.

Give us a break, or really I mean get a clue, browsing the internet, office, email, does not need more than 1.5GB of memory and even that much is only due to Vista's bloat. Maybe you edit video, ok it's a linear process that isn't all cached. Maybe you do photoshop, ok, if you have extremely large images unlike most people then you need an extra couple GB. Maybe you only want to point to some benchmark where someone purposefully tried to show a difference instead of accepting that most people still have no need whatsoever for even 3GB of memory.

That doesn't mean other people shouldn't have an option for more, it only totally invalidates your claim that it's a problem when we have had and still do have, multiple choices for which OS to use.

Choice is good. Be objective instead of subjective.

Let market decide
By androticus on 4/8/2009 9:51:14 PM , Rating: 2
If Microsoft management were smart, they would always actively sell and support at least the last 1 or 2 generations of their OS -- this would provide the maximum incentive for the Windows team to release new versions that are so much better than the previous ones that people want to upgrade. Vista was so slow and bloated, and its technical requirements so high, that only a fraction of the installed XP machines could even consider an upgrade, and even if it was a new machine, it would perform slower -- how lame is that? (And I have Vista 32 and 64 dual booted on a modern machine, and 64 is decidely much slower; conversely, I found my Linux box got faster with Kubuntu 64 on it.)

Corel used to sell two or even 3 versions of Draw at retail at any time -- they'd discount the earlier versions. It was a great marketing ploy, because it covered a larger part of the market, pricewise, and also gave the Draw team competition (even if it was only a previous version of the same product.)

I can't remember the last time Microsoft did ANYTHING original -- can anyone else? Either in terms of products, marketing, management, anything.

By teohhanhui on 4/9/2009 1:48:11 AM , Rating: 2
"The downgrade is a quick process, but ironically an upgrade from XP to Windows 7 requires a full install."
How "quick" is the downgrade process? Do you not still need to perform a clean install of XP?

"Microsoft encourages XP customers to download the Windows 7 beta to ease the transition."
No where is this mentioned in the E7 blog post. Quote your source, please?

By Danish1 on 4/9/2009 5:53:35 AM , Rating: 2
If you upgrade to a 64 bit system now then it will be obsolete by the time you will actually need it to run something 64 bit only (several years from now).

"Upgrading" your 4 GB memory 32 bit XP system to a 64 bit OS may also likely turn out not to be an upgrade. First of no MS 64 bit OS I'm aware of can run reliably without a swapfile which is the key selling point of 32 bit XP + 4 gigs of ram, windows just doesn't get any faster than that.

Also, 64 bits means more overhead so the ~500 MB of ram you look to gain on paper going from 32 to 64 bit wont give anywhere near 500 MB in reality.

ye sure we'll all need 64 bit systems eventually, and we'll also need whatever comes after that at some point etc. but unless you have specific needs there's no good reason to upgrade XP systems atm.

By pdoliveira on 4/14/2009 7:10:35 AM , Rating: 2
I Think what Windows XP are a good system operation, and in my opinion Windows Vista isn't good to replace it, in big companies Windows XP are present and this don't think to change this, in my opinion is better wait Windows 7 because this system are better than Vista, i used this once and i see that Windows 7 have better performance and compatibility with other softwares.

By Chernobyl68 on 4/8/2009 2:20:49 PM , Rating: 1
I'd rather they kep a continuity of support, after all Win 7 isn't even out yet...

They do not want to admit
By Insomniator on 4/8/09, Rating: -1
By Elementalism on 4/8/2009 9:42:16 AM , Rating: 5
I wouldnt upgrade on a machine that already has XP. But all new machines benefit from Vista\Win7. Better security model, better graphics model, better memory subsystem. The UI can be customized to look like XP if one desires. But the underlying OS is superior to XP.

Frankly I am surprised Vista holds 24% of the user base this early into its life cycle. Especially when you consider the hundreds of millions or possibly over a billion XP machines out in the wild.

RE: They do not want to admit
By SavagePotato on 4/8/2009 9:49:04 AM , Rating: 5
There is no reason not to upgrade either.

Contradictory, you say people don't want to learn new stuff, in the same breath as saying they have the same interface since Windows 95.

Which is it? nothing new and not worth it, or too hard to learn so stick with xp, you don't get it both ways.

It is my opinion that there is seldom a need for anyone to buy a boxed OS and upgrade their existing computer. It's running and working, then use it. Vista/7 however is the future for new computers, and now I will give you one of the main things for me that it pushes that XP does not.

64 bit support.

Do you really think the world of PC's can limp through ten more years on a three and a half gig ram limit? No, there are many users outside yourself that wish 64 bit had been pushed sooner, or at least been pushed properly with the defunct XP64.

One thing you can be sure of is that if you let the computer illiterate masses dictate what is best for the industry progress stops. Like it did with XP 64, they did it that way, it was optional, and it got ignored. People get stuck in what's comfortable with computing and they need to be forced to change for the good of the industry.

RE: They do not want to admit
By elFarto on 4/8/2009 10:03:06 AM , Rating: 1
It's a shame that XP64 isn't more widely used. I've been using it for ages without any problems.


RE: They do not want to admit
By SavagePotato on 4/8/2009 10:11:17 AM , Rating: 2
The driver support for XP 64 just isn't as good as it is for Vista. I have used XP 64 in the past but Microsoft did much better by forcing driver makers to make both to qualify for whql approval in Vista.

My current system, which is 2 years old I might add, would be a waste without a 64 bit option, and that's 2 years old mind you.

I have 4gb of ram and a 2gb 4870X2, nothing all that extreme compared to the I7 systems enthusiasts are running now but still I would be way beyond a 32 bit systems capabilities.

RE: They do not want to admit
By Aloonatic on 4/8/2009 10:19:04 AM , Rating: 2
I must admit, I don't really know a great deal about the advantages of a 64bit OS over a 32bit OS, other than the 3.2GB (or something, always seems to be an argument about it) memory limit for a 32bit OS.

Are there any other areas that benefit form a 64bit OS?

4GB hardly seems way beyond 3.2GB after all.

With RAM as cheap as it is I can see why it would be tempting to have a lot more RAM, but is >4GB really that much use to average day to day users or likely to be any time soon?

Thanks for your time :)

By SavagePotato on 4/8/2009 10:39:34 AM , Rating: 4
That limit doesn't apply simply to your main system ram, your video cards ram is a factor as well. So for myself with 2 gigs of video ram and 4 gigs of system ram, It becomes a problem.

There are security improvements to Vista64 as well.

When you look at the fact that 4 gigs of ram costs as little as 50 dollars or less depending on the type of ram, and the fact that most new systems ship with a minimum of 4 gigs, yes, it is very much something a day to day user will benefit from.

When I used to repair computers for a living, most if not all of the mainstream users machines that were brought in were a combination of horrendously under equipped, old, slow, virused crap. Now obviously you speed up alot by cleaning them up, but even still you have so much more overhead for Windows use with a nice fast system with alot of ram. And you don't have to pay much more for it either, the days of the 3000 dollar 486 are long gone.

Why would anyone NOT want a better Windows experience is what I don't get. Being able to open tons of windows, multiple programs and multitask with ease, this is something a fast system with tons of ram allows. And like I said contrary to belief it does not cost alot at all.

Plus, you are going to get more life out of that system. When you buy a piece of crap that can just barely start up and browse a few web pages, it's lifespan is going to seem so, so much shorter. I mean, I game and I am still getting great use out of a two year old system because it was high end when I bought it.

If you are a casual home user, you are going to get an amazing lifespan out of getting a fast machine with say 4+ gigs of ram and a quad core processor. And to be honest you are not going to pay alot for it. This is the benefit to the casual user in NOT lowballing it, and in 64 bit.

RE: They do not want to admit
By elFarto on 4/8/2009 11:32:46 AM , Rating: 2
Well, the memory issue isn't really that important for home users. The main advantage for using a 64-bit OS and applications on a x86-64 CPU is the extra 8 CPU registers you get. It might not sound like much, but it can really help with performance when the application doesn't have to keep pushing values in and out of RAM.

But there isn't much advantage, but if you've got a 640bit capable CPU you might as well make use of it.


By SavagePotato on 4/8/2009 12:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
Thats the thing though, Vista will use your ram if you have it. Caching all the possible stuff you may use, thus giving you a better experience. So you can open many different programs at once, faster, because super fetch has learned your habits and cached them so they are ready and waiting.

The benefits of super fetch are profound in app start time, for someone that uses multiple apps and opens and closes them frequently this is great.

One thing I came to find in the course of servicing the general publics computers, is that they were more bogged down with crap than my system and I am an enthusiast.

Because what do those users do? they install everything under the sun, pmp software, camera software, printer software, multiple applications that do the same thing often...

More ram is good, no matter who you are or what you use your machine for.

RE: They do not want to admit
By MrPickins on 4/8/2009 1:29:24 PM , Rating: 2
Having done a bit of x86 assembly programming, I definitely agree that 8 extra registers would be a godsend.

RE: They do not want to admit
By tastyratz on 4/8/2009 11:44:50 AM , Rating: 2
>4g total addressable is definitely usable these days. While many people don't use over 4gb of memory, they are running dual or triple channel motherboards. That means either 2x1, 2x2 or 2x4 for the dual channel setups, and 50% more for triple to take advantage of the bandwidth and proper size. That considered and you are already bouncing off the limitations. Match that with not being able to find a decent gfx card these days with less than 512mb of ram - and you are looking at a limitation. A decent video card will take away from your total ram and that's where you hurt' the most. ~3.x gb limitation wouldn't be as bad now if gfx ram wasn't factored. Throw a 1 gig gfx card on and see your limitation drop under 3gb.

People are increasing the ram they run at a pretty fast pace now, so newer programs are taking advantage of this and paging less.

64 bit is also a larger chunk of information to process at once. A program PROPERLY designed to operate on a 64 bit system will run faster than the 32 bit equivalent.

Think of it like trying to eat cookies by the crumb or by the half as you start from being a kid to getting older. Eventually you can shovel in cookies by the half faster than you can grab all of the crumbs. as programs have become increasingly more complex, and computers have become increasinly faster - they now benefit from "bigger cookies"

RE: They do not want to admit
By EasyC on 4/8/2009 12:52:14 PM , Rating: 2
64 bit OS's offer almost identical performance to their 32 bit counterparts when running 32 bit applications.

For example, Vista x64 offers pretty honorable execution for x86 software. At the beginning of its inception, Vista was highly criticized for its performance hit over its predecessor XP. With that said, I've done comparable benchmarks in performance between a Pre-SP1 Vista x64 and XP SP3 x86 on the same machine. The results were nearly identical. Of course with the release of Vista's SP1 (and its kernel enhancements), the performance exceeded that of XP by a small margin.

The only x64 architecture that required properly coded applications was Itanium, but for all intensive purposes, a huge portion of the market is AMD64/EM64T. This is nothing more than an extension of the x86 architecture to handle 64 bit CPU registers in addition to adding more of them. The amount of addressable memory has nothing to do with x64/x86 CPU performance, since you are using 4GB in your point.

To use your own analogy, 4GB is becoming less and less of a cookie jar. I run 12GB's on both my work and home machine and find myself utilizing an average of 4-5 GB's with a normal amount of windows open. I've hit peaks when diving into obscure projects of up to 7 GB's of ram usage. Even with all that memory usage, none of my programs used more than what a 32 bit OS could address on their own.

I've veered off track a bit. My point is unless you're running Itanium hardware (which a completely different 64 bit architecture), you don't need specially designed applications within the current market. Also, with 4GBs becoming a minimum for an average workstation, having the x64 bit version of an OS to handle addressing ALL of your memory should be standard IMO.

RE: They do not want to admit
By TomZ on 4/8/2009 1:32:31 PM , Rating: 3
The problem with 64-bit Windows IMO is that it doesn't support 32-bit device drivers. I have a number of devices (engineering-related) that don't have 64-bit drivers available. I have 64-bit Win7 on my desktop and 32-bit Win7 on my laptop, and consequently, I end up doing much of my work on my laptop because I've had to plug in hardware that only has 32-bit drivers. Now I have to decide whether to downgrade my desktop to 32-bit...yuck.

I wish Microsoft had found a way to support 32-bit device drivers within 64-bit Windows.

RE: They do not want to admit
By Master Kenobi on 4/8/2009 3:42:22 PM , Rating: 1
That would not be possible given the driver models.

RE: They do not want to admit
By TomZ on 4/8/2009 9:19:56 PM , Rating: 2
It's software - anything's possible - the only question is, what are the tradeoffs and costs?

RE: They do not want to admit
By Pirks on 4/8/2009 9:22:30 PM , Rating: 2
It's possible on Mac OS X tho :P Kernel (and drivers) is 32 bit and apps are 64 bit when necessary, i.e. when developer decides to compile them for x64. Definitely much more user friendly model. I wish MS would do the same.

RE: They do not want to admit
By tastyratz on 4/9/2009 1:34:08 PM , Rating: 2
Yes a 64 bit os running a 32 bit application is not faster than a 32 bit os running a 32 bit application... but that was not my point and invalid here. Its arguing legacy when I talk about pushing forward. a 32 bit program on a 64 bit os is "legacy"
a 64 bit application on a 64 bit os runs faster than a 32 bit application on a 32 bit os (all things being designed properly).

The switch 64 bit is important - not to run your 32 bit apps faster, but to stop running your 32 bit apps and going 64 altogether.

The 32 bit limitation is total addressable memory, not addressable memory per application (which I believe is what you are implying in your post)

RE: They do not want to admit
By Aloonatic on 4/8/2009 10:06:18 AM , Rating: 2
I think you and the OP are both right, in your own ways.

We are seeing a divergence in the computer user as PCs become as powerful as people need rather cheaply and OS software, namely XP, has become easy to use for the everyone, with the option of very powerful hardware that would be wasted on most. There is no such thing as "the typical" PC owner for OSs and PC manufacturers to aim for.

I would wager that my mum and dad would quite happily be able to "limp through" quite a few years on 3GB and plenty of users will too, who have "lifestyle" PCs for light general everyday facebook, e-mail, e-bay use.

People reading this however are probably going to be doing a lot of video/photo editing and encoding, along with gaming and perhaps some serious actual work too, from time to time, stranger things have happened.

It seems that Win 7 may be able to tap into both segments more clearly/distinctly than Vista managed to, or at least they will market it this way much better than they managed to with (the now forever tainted in the minds of the masses) Vista.

Essentially, there's no reason to upgrade and no reason to not upgrade, it just depends on who you are.

RE: They do not want to admit
By Oregonian2 on 4/8/2009 10:29:56 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you. I think the success and rapid expansion of "netbooks" is a demonstration of your main point that for a lot of people, we're already "good enough" if not past that point.

RE: They do not want to admit
By Suntan on 4/8/2009 1:09:20 PM , Rating: 2
One thing you can be sure of is that if you let the computer illiterate masses dictate what is best for the industry progress stops... ...People get stuck in what's comfortable with computing and they need to be forced to change for the good of the industry.

I'm glad I don't live in a country where you are in charge... ...Something tells me you'd be itching to round up one to two different types of people and "force change" for the "good of the country."

Anyway, we'd hate for people's preferences to get in the way of what's "good for the industry." ...Carry on.


RE: They do not want to admit
By SavagePotato on 4/8/2009 3:00:30 PM , Rating: 3
There are some things where consumer preference is important, and there are some things where it has to be ignored in the name of progress.

Such as 64 bit progression. The majority may not know or care what 64 bit is, but it is and extremely important step to get things moving in hardware. Without it were stuck, going nowhere at this point, done.

The industry cannot sit on what people are comfortable with for the next 10 years like people suggest. They just have no idea, no grasp of where things are at and where they need to move for progress to occur.

When I see someone come out and say XP would be fine for another 10 or 15 years, I see someone who has no grasp of things. So no, I wouldn't put much stock in that persons preference, and I am glad Microsoft didn't either.

RE: They do not want to admit
By Pirks on 4/8/2009 9:28:09 PM , Rating: 2
there are some things where consumer preference has to be ignored in the name of progress
You sound like Steve Jobs :)

RE: They do not want to admit
By Belard on 4/9/2009 1:52:19 PM , Rating: 2
omeone come out and say XP would be fine for another 10 or 15 years, I see someone who has no grasp of things.

Even thou I have posted my opinions (and facts) about Vista as a negative. Which means I get voted down by visa lovers/MS employees - they are not understanding the issue.

Its not that I (and others) are not against progress. But that what is replacing the OLD has to be an obvious improvement. Originally, Vista didn't have the stability, performance and functionality over XP. Sure the eye-candy is "new", but thats about it. Also, vista's use of the GPU means more power was needed from the chip (more heat) - hopefully Win7 improves on this as well. My remaining issue with vista is still the heavy DRM and privacy. Imagine how much faster an OS it could be without that junk.

Many of issues with vista are resolved, not all - and I dont see MS putting much effort when Win7 is their goal.

If someone wants to use XP for the next 10~15 years, sure - let them, but thats horrible. We have Amiga users still plowing away on their 15+ year old computers (I have two of them) and to their credit, its a very good system - but still a dead platform. The advancement of Linux (and windows - even thou its bloated) surpasses the abilities of 20+year old tech. Truth, until Win2000 - MS had not caught up with AmigaOS 2.0 from 1989. SAD. Oh, yeah - I've seen this stagnet problems with Amigas myself; thats why I knew they were going to die back in 1992/3... where you can go to a store and buy an Amiga computer with 3~4 different OS versions. 1.3 was 100% game compatible, 2.0 older office models (3000), 2.1 some models, 3.0 latest. WTF?! 1.3 came out in 1986! Back in 89 when 2.0 came out, they should have "forced" developers into the concept "The OS changes - patch up your games or learn what areas to not dig-into" We didn't have the internet back then, so updates just didn't happen... but by selling computers with OLD OS - they hurt themselves. Productivity software and tools worked fine in 2~3.0 and half the games worked okay. So it was a matter of GAMES. All they had to do is what we the users HAD to do... softboot into 1.3. Amigas were excellent multitasking systems, but for game performance - that was all that ran (no desktop GUI). A reboot was required to start a game with a bootable floppy.

So my $2500 25mhz with Hard Drive computer with 3.0-OS had to use a "pirated" like tool, to boot into 1.3-OS and "pretend" to be a 7mhz HD-less $300 computer. Imagine what games would have been like to actually run in 25mhz! This is how Amigas were like game-consoles, all games expected specific hardware/software.

Crap like that drove me nuts. And I upgraded to every new OS because they were better than the last. So yes, even my 1985 Amiga computer was running the 1992 3.0 OS.

With the PC, the hardware was open, the graphics went from mono to color to higher res to 3D with no minimal standard. It was a horrible design that took 20 years to be a good system.

Windows7 should be the OS that advances the PC and put XP to rest. And if someone wants to use XP well into 2020... so be it. ;)

RE: They do not want to admit
By Fireshade on 4/8/09, Rating: 0
By SavagePotato on 4/8/2009 9:55:24 AM , Rating: 2
At least until 7 comes out that is.

RE: They do not want to admit
By fatedtodie on 4/8/09, Rating: -1
RE: They do not want to admit
By SavagePotato on 4/8/2009 10:19:26 AM , Rating: 5
Please don't get into comparing cars to an OS, that's a slippery slope that leads to becoming a paranoid one trick pony with an average post rating of 0.9...

RE: They do not want to admit
By fatedtodie on 4/8/2009 1:33:20 PM , Rating: 1
If the response requires a car comment it gets a car comment. My goal isn't to give a crap about my "rating" that is derived by a bunch of loons and fanboys.

RE: They do not want to admit
By JediJeb on 4/8/2009 12:05:35 PM , Rating: 2
So lets take another example, Office v14 (whatever they call the next one after 2007). Mrom Microsoft's past they don't normally have too many versions of their Office product work with the same OS. Like Office 2007 won't install on Windows 2000 (for obvious reasons) so wouldn't it be funny if Office 14 didn't support XP?

Here at work we have just the opposite problem. We have equipment right now with software that will only work with XP SP2 or below, if we try to install it on a computer with XP SP3 or Vista the install won't even run. The equipment is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars so we can't just replace it because a $500 computer decides to die, but it is also next to impossible to find a new machine with a copy of XP SP2(we finally found that HP will sell us one). There are many many manufacturing facilities and Laboratories out there in this type of situation. For us Legacy items are those over 15 years old not 3 or 4 years old like in the computer industry. Our IT department wants to upgrade everytime MS offers it, but when they do they leave more and more of the Laboratory behind, and then get upset when Management tells them that they have to make the new stuff in the server room talk to the old stuff in the lab. But if they don't then we are back to entering all our data by hand and our efficiency would be worse that it was 20 years ago.

They want to upgrade to the new Office, but our workstations are running W2K so in the Lab we can't upgrade. Then they send us documents in the .docx and get mad because we can't open them. I have had classes on the new Office and really it doesn't offer me anything over what Office 97 did. Just has all the menus rearranged and is incompatable with my equipment.

Keeping up with technology is ok, and the OS upgrades are good for that. But in situations like where I am, OS and hardware advances only mean larger expenses, far beyond the cost of a new computer or OS or Office suite. It would come to millions of dollars to make the Lab totally compatable with the replacement of about 30 computers.

By SavagePotato on 4/8/2009 12:18:59 PM , Rating: 2
Having read this my question to you would be, how is it Microsoft's responsibility to pick up the slack because your software vendor is so ridiculous that their product will not work on anything but sp2 XP?

Get after your software provider to get off their ass and update their product. If this equipment is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, they damn well should be able to manage having a competent software team.

RE: They do not want to admit
By Penti on 4/8/2009 12:24:35 PM , Rating: 2
I feel for your situation but wouldn't volume license agreement with Software Assurance take care of it? It allows you to run older versions of Windows on a licensed computer. MS must have SP2 isos to download? I guess a lot of medical equipment will hit the same problems, though XP-e is still supported so embedded devices should do fine for some more years.

You can install the compatibility pack for Office 2003/XP/2000 btw, and you can also try to run those apps on a application server and RDP into it. If your really need Office 2007. Should work for 2000 SP4 -

RE: They do not want to admit
By omnicronx on 4/8/2009 12:35:44 PM , Rating: 2
No offense but if your company made software without upgrade potential, the fault is on them. There is no reason any software should be so integrated with the OS that a service pack will make it unusable. By that I mean, you have programmed yourself into a hole that you cannot get out of. Don't get me wrong service packs have wreaked havoc on my company's in house software before, but it was nothing we could not fix overtime. Usually we start testing from the first beta release of the next service pack, and we usually deploy within 6 months after the release, which gives us up to a year of breathing room.

RE: They do not want to admit
By fatedtodie on 4/8/2009 1:45:59 PM , Rating: 2
There is a microsoft office 2007 compatibility pack that allows ALL microsoft office 2007 files and extensions to be viewed (though I don't think you can edit them you can at least view them) so that is just a failure on your IT department to educate its users.

I do feel for your situation but, look at my car example that was rated down then apply it to your situation. Or look at it without analogies from a business perspective. Vista (and Windows 7) is BETTER. Yes it had initial problems due to having a different look and feel, and manufacturers screwing up, that is not Microsoft's fault or really their problem.

If you bought a lexmark 20 dollar laser printer that doesnt work? who cares. Go sell something on Ebay and then user the money to buy that new printer for 20 bucks that WORKS. If that "lexmark printer" is a $300,000 dollar molecular scanner/brain surgery laser, either don't update and don't whine or... upgrade and handle it. The world moves forward. It is technological evolution, the newer varient of the animal called windows left behind the older not willing to adapt version (Yeah I used another analogy so apperently this will get marked down by more whiners). Sometimes life continues on without giving a crap about the old stuff.

While it may take millions of dollars to update your system, what about looking at it from a smart IT standpoint? If you got a 400-500 dollar 3ghz core 2 duo, with 500 GB sata 2 hard drive, you could put a Virtual PC setup that can run that XP SP2 while not leaving your company or your department vulnerable and you can gain the advantages of SP3, AND office 2007.

RE: They do not want to admit
By Belard on 4/9/2009 2:17:35 PM , Rating: 2
he equipment is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars so we can't just replace it because a $500 computer decides to die, but it is also next to impossible to find a new machine with a copy of XP SP2

Does your company have what is called an "IT Department"? While I do feel for you, there are some solutions that anyone who knows about computers should be able to fix.

Your IT is crap... As long as your hardware works with XP, it'll be good to use to at least 2014 - but XP shouldn't stop functioning just because its EOL.

Here is what you do, your company buys up about 5~10 or so copies of XP-PRO SP2 retail for $250 each:
(OEM version is cheaper at $110 - but its Media Center, which only lacks VPN)

Then when you need to replace a computer, you can BUILD it yourself and install the OS.

Whoever developed your hardware that hasn't/can't make it work in XP - are they still in business? Seriously, hardware companies update their drives for $30~3000 printers. For SUPPORT, that builder needs to make it work with XP/Win7... especially for XP. And besides, that software that is running on Win2000 should work on XP.

While some have commented on security issues, I am assuming that your lab computers are in a closed system.

Seriously, your IT (which doesn't sound that good), your lab techs and other employees need to get together. And then go to management and discuss modernization. Money speaks... and if you explain to them "It takes us X amount of time because this crap is old and incompatible vs. spending $$ to resolve the problem and speed up lab work" will be more understandable than your idiotic IT that is justing crying about it being a pain in the ass.

Your IT needs to develop plans. One of my clients has 20 PC systems, all on XP with Office 2002~2003. Vista isn't going to be installed on any computer. Every once in a while, someone will say "Lets put on vista or Office2007 - we need to be updated"... and I explain for compatiblity with everyone on the network and their files - it'll mean having to upgrade everyone. (Thats how MS works) One worker doing work in Office2007 becomes incompatible with others... So we skip this version of OS/Office - save $$$, buy hardware for Win7. We'll buy new hardware that isn't going to handle Win7/office2010 in 2010.

RE: They do not want to admit
By fatedtodie on 4/8/2009 1:47:43 PM , Rating: 1
Hmm I have more typos than a first run article here.

RE: They do not want to admit
By atwood7fan on 4/8/09, Rating: 0
RE: They do not want to admit
By fatedtodie on 4/8/2009 2:54:48 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot "does it blend" and "yeah but how fast can it play crysis"

RE: They do not want to admit
By mindless1 on 4/9/2009 4:41:08 AM , Rating: 2
In soviet russia, windows frame YOU.

Kind of a mixed opinion here
By Nighteye2 on 4/8/09, Rating: -1
By inighthawki on 4/8/2009 10:15:53 AM , Rating: 2
Nobody is forcing you to update, you just won't see new computers with XP on them. In this scenario then, the only time you would need a new OS (if XP is ok with you) is if you hit the 4GB mark, which means you have a high end system to need 4GB, and thus you probably have extra money to be buying upgrades. If you don't plan on touching your computer, then there's no reason to upgrade if you don't want to.

You had to buy the 32-bit version, and then pay shipping costs on top of the purchase price to get the 64-bit version send to you by mail.

Not sure where you were looking but i saw 64-bit versions freely available and boxes containing both discs in them for full versions.

RE: Kind of a mixed opinion here
By SavagePotato on 4/8/2009 10:16:04 AM , Rating: 2
You have to understand the key way in which Microsoft made 64 bit viable on Vista which is to force both driver sets for whql certification. It's not perfect but it helps.

As far as not being able to buy Vista64 huh? I bought Vista 64 on day one of release. My new notebook I purchased in January came with Vista64 as the default option.

Microsoft has to constantly dance back and forth between the people that want progress and the people that still think it's a good idea to use dos apps. That's why you still have a 32bit version.

RE: Kind of a mixed opinion here
By Nighteye2 on 4/8/2009 10:36:49 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe it was different where you live, but here only the Ultimate edition had the 64-bit disc in the box. For all the other Vista versions, you had to contact Microsoft and ask for shipping. (in the Netherlands, and most likely the rest of Europe as well, at least)

As for using DOS apps, emulation works well enough for those. Or Microsoft could ship windows 7 64-bit by default with VM software installed and virtual machines with all previous windows versions - or at least enough to run all programs.

By SavagePotato on 4/8/2009 10:49:05 AM , Rating: 2
Eventually that is the only hope, for getting away from the registry, dos, legacy support in general.


Vmware is not a viable solution to me. Eventually when 32 bit support and all legacy support, (and hopefully the registry too) gets dropped. There has to be a very seamless integrated way to run legacy apps.

Purchasing a 3rd party program like vmware, or even using something like windows virtual machine is not a good option to me. It has to be built in, easy, and fast, because these people clinging to ancient apps are not known for their technical ability. Convincing a technically inept user to pay for yet another app to run their legacy crap they refuse to let go of doesn't sound like fun does it?

We have to reach the point where computers are powerful enough that Microsoft can build some form of quality virtualisation in and truly innovate on the OS itself.

Of course being Microsoft, you know they will just get sued so it's a catch 22.

By Ratinator on 4/8/2009 11:10:29 AM , Rating: 3
Let's put it into perspective: $200 over 7 years doesn't seem too bad to me. Some people spend that on their antivirus over that period of time.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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