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Print 59 comment(s) - last by Just Tom.. on Mar 11 at 3:44 PM

Site functions as advertised, is built on Metro

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is pushing hard to try to get customers to stop using the 13-year-old Windows XP.  Ahead of the April 8 end of support date for the aged OS, Microsoft this week announced that it would be rolling out popups to XP installations to warn users of the impending demise of official support.

It also launched a new site called AmIRunningXP.com, which as the title suggests is aimed at educating confused users about whether they are running Windows XP or some other operating system.

Here's what I got on one of my Windows 7 systems:

Windows XP am I running?

The site is styled with everyone's favorite Modern UI -- aka "Metro".  It contains a colorful count down to the Windows XP end of life on April 8, and text informing you:

Keep your OS up to date and running smoothly.

Windows XP am I running?

That text does not take you to a page about the well-reviewed Windows 7 (which beat Windows XP in sales pace and passed it in adoption), but rather to a page about that OS's controversial successor, Windows 8.  With Windows 8.1 Update 1 around the corner, Microsoft is hoping customers will choose to migrate to its latest Metro-rific platform when they press the off button on Windows XP.

That way it doesn't have to repeat this process all over again.


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I understand why MS is doing this but...
By Just Tom on 3/3/2014 12:41:46 PM , Rating: 3
I have a number of elderly relatives that are very very comfortable with XP. Moving them to 7 - let alone 8 - is going to entail an awful lot of hand holding.




RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/3/14, Rating: -1
RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By Belegost on 3/3/2014 12:59:04 PM , Rating: 5
That will go over so well when Uncle George picks up a copy of TurboTax at WalMart and can't get it to install. And Aunt Suzy can't figure out why her 10 year old CardMaker Super Pro Plus won't work, because it's just the best ever for making christmas cards.

Windows 7 or 8.1+Classic Shell at least would provide backward compatibility with most of their stuff.

End of the day though, you're going to have to deal with issues no matter what you upgrade them to. Not much you can do about that - and after 13 years I think it's reasonable for MS to end support.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By Just Tom on 3/3/2014 1:47:11 PM , Rating: 3
The problem is not whether Chrome is a viable replace for XP, a lot would depend on usage, but the fact that the UI is completely different than XP. My 78 year old mother, a really bright woman, is frustrated by any change in layout of any software. She does not want to relearn how to load her solitaire or quicken, she just wants to do what has always worked. I am not sure Chrome is a suitable replacement in situations like this.


By Dorkyman on 3/5/2014 11:01:55 AM , Rating: 3
I find it amusing that MS gets away with this.

There is nothing "wrong" with XP, which is why it's still on a very large percentage of the world's PCs. It's just that MS doesn't make money on XP, they make money on selling a new OS. So they force the issue.

It's like having a classic 20-year-old Swingline stapler. Works great, very few issues. But Swingline wants me to buy a new stapler (with a new staple size), so they intentionally dry up staple supplies that fit the old stapler. Mind you the old stapler still works great.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By Flunk on 3/3/2014 1:55:31 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Derp, they can still use TurboTax perfectly well in cloud app form.


Really? I didn't realize that TurboTax supported Internet Explorer 6. Seriously, these are the same people who are still running IE 6.

They're going to have to upgrade sometime and it's better now than after Window XP is no longer updated and someone exploits the flaws in the OS to add it to a spam email botnet. Yes, that's really the most common thing I see on elderly people's computers, that it's part of a spamming botnet.


By Solandri on 3/3/2014 2:17:56 PM , Rating: 2
Software which must be updated regularly to continue to operate (like tax software) is actually pretty much the ideal use case for a cloud app. You have to buy a new version each year anyway, so the subscription model actually fits. And by only offering a single cloud app you avoid the failure case of people in 2014 accidentally trying to file their 2013 taxes with 2012 software.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By JediJeb on 3/3/14, Rating: 0
By lagomorpha on 3/4/2014 8:05:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I can't even type a web address directly into the url bar without it doing a search instead of just going to the address. Who was the brilliant software engineer that thought that up?


Unfortunately most people actually don't know the difference.


By Fritzr on 3/5/2014 1:23:46 AM , Rating: 2
To allow the browser to finish the address and just go to the page.
1) Click on the gear wheel icon in the upper right
2) In the drop down menu that appears click on Internet Options
3) Now click on the "Advanced" tab
4) At the top of the panel now is a scroll window with a lot of options you can turn on or off. Scroll down to "Use inline autocomplete in the Internet Explorer Address Bar and Open dialog". Click on this option so that a checkmark appears in the box at the left.
5) Click the okay button at the bottom of the dialog box.

You have now turned off the feature you dislike.

Go to the turbotax website for the current free version and offers for the various paid versions if you do not qualify for no-cost efiling.

Always start with IRS.gov when filing taxes with software :)
http://www.freefile.irs.gov


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By Belegost on 3/3/2014 2:55:35 PM , Rating: 2
This is definitely a case of missing the forest for the trees. The point was not specific software examples (the second is a completely made up name that was sarcastically long and ridiculous) but instead the fundamental idea that we are talking about people who have long ingrained ideas of how things work, and ChromeOS doesn't fit within it.

For all the elderly I have worked with the idea of the cloud is uncomfortable, and for many it brings up an automatic distrust. They have a model of the world where they buy a thing, they own that thing, it goes on their shelf, and in their computer (that they own.) The idea of putting their valuable things in some virtual location that exists completely outside their control is not one easy for them to swallow. Just getting my grandmother to use gmail to make it easier to keep her iPhone synced with her PC was a rough one. (You mean my emails aren't on my computer? No. So they put them all on my phone and the computer calls it to get it when I want it? No, it's stored on Google's computers and your phone and your computer both look at it there. But what if Google deletes something important? ...)

This year I had to deal with my grandfather complaining about installing Turbotax (again) and I offered him the option of returning the box and just using the online system. He was appalled at the thought of trusting his important tax documents to be stored in some unknown location by a company he can only talk to through phone reps half a world away.

The old software was just one example, and whether or not it would work is iffy (I've really not had problems though, the Win7/8 printer driver model interfaces pretty compatibly) but it comes back to the same idea - they bought something, it should work.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By Jeffk464 on 3/3/2014 3:36:53 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not elderly and I really don't feel super comfortable trusting my assets to the cloud. It has been pretty much shown over and over that it isn't truly secure.


By sorry dog on 3/3/2014 11:11:17 PM , Rating: 2
Whadaya mean?

If I can trust healthcare.gove to keep all my most personal financial information (that could be used to destroy my life) safe and secure then why can't Turbotax do it as well?


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/3/2014 1:46:48 PM , Rating: 1
Elderly people generally don't do their own taxes. Are you serious?


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By atechfan on 3/3/2014 1:56:35 PM , Rating: 2
I know more elderly who know how to do taxes than I do young people. They grew up in a time before the dumbing down of the education system. They are literate, and are used to doing things by hand without computers doing it for them.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/3/14, Rating: 0
RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By atechfan on 3/3/2014 3:44:52 PM , Rating: 2
No, most of them still do it by hand. So whether or not they can run that specific program was not really relevant. I was just responding to your implication that elderly people could not do their taxes.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By carniver on 3/3/2014 2:17:52 PM , Rating: 2
It's possible to do your taxes with a pen and calculator. Not that I'd recommend it but it's possible


By JediJeb on 3/3/2014 3:21:44 PM , Rating: 2
I never have enough deductions to itemize anyhow, so I could do mine that way on the short form with no problems. I miss the days when I could spend 5 minutes phone filing honestly.


By Flunk on 3/3/2014 1:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
My elderly realities do.


By Jeffk464 on 3/3/2014 3:33:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Elderly people generally don't do their own taxes. Are you serious?


My 90 year old uncle still runs his own tax preparation business. It depends on the elderly person, some are still very sharp and some not so much.


By inperfectdarkness on 3/4/2014 2:17:21 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. And at this point, you might as well push everyone directly to 8.1 instead of 7....you can squeeze a few more years in before you are forced to upgrade yet again.

My only beef is why didn't MS schedule XP to die off 1 month after the debut of Windows 9? I mean, I get it...I've been running 7 for years now, but MS killing off vista & 7 can't be too far behind. IF 9 works as promised...it will make sense for everyone to migrate directly to 9 instead of stopping at the half-baked 8.1 solution.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By retrospooty on 3/3/2014 1:39:14 PM , Rating: 2
There is no good answer for old people and computers. Even if they got a brand new fresh Windows XP image they would be in a world of hurt, not knowing how to transfer stuff, install their old apps etc. Any change of a computer is a nightmare for old people even if going from same to same. They would be better off to be left to linger and die off with their current XP.


By JasonMick (blog) on 3/3/2014 1:44:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They would be better off to be left to linger and die off with their current XP.
Ouch, harsh!

Reminds me of this, though:
http://theoatmeal.com/comics/computers

"Captain Miffles ate my only HD cable. Do you think if we got him to vomit it up, it'd still work with my Xbox?"


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By retrospooty on 3/3/2014 5:19:22 PM , Rating: 2
LOL... Harsh Yes, but spoken from experience. And it isnt personal, even my own mother has this "senior lack of brain". A few months ago, she "broke Google". So she did a search, and found a # for tech support. She then called the # (I have no idea who) and a tech connected and proceeded to "Fix her Google" Then she was amazed when this anonymous tech from the internet wanted her credit card to be paid for his 5 mins of work. I don't know what was said from there, but she refused to give her cc # and he then locked down some functionality on her PC, hid a bunch of crap and made it basically useless. On top of that, I cant tell you how many times she has been infected and/or otherwise corrupted her OS. Freegin amazing. Same story with any # of old people at work. Completely brain dead, every last one of them. REALLY? You have been working at THIS SAME company for 15 years using Windows every day and you REALLY dont know what the start button is or where to find it? Are you f$%king kidding me?

I have had it.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By atechfan on 3/3/2014 8:57:27 PM , Rating: 1
I bet there are tons of things that your mom or the people you work with know how to do that you do not, but I doubt she calls you braindead. But like most kids, you seem to think you know it all.


By retrospooty on 3/4/2014 7:06:15 AM , Rating: 2
The subject matter here is computers, and how many old people cant manage, my comment is to that point. Like I said, we have several at work that cant even find the start button after using Windows for over a decade. Same in the last 2 companies I was at. Many of them are just completely clueless.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By Jeffk464 on 3/3/2014 3:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
You shouldn't be going online with a computer that isn't receiving updates though so sticking with an XP machine is not an option.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By retrospooty on 3/3/2014 5:11:51 PM , Rating: 2
Dood, we are talking old people. They somehow manage to get virus and every malware in the book even on Win8 with the best AV around. If you want to talk "should" they "should" not be using any computer.


By StevoLincolnite on 3/3/2014 5:32:32 PM , Rating: 2
Hows about this, instead of people dictating on what they should and should not do, just let them decide?

Personally, my granny is on Windows 7, the transition from Windows XP was actually an easy one, moving to Windows 8 however would be an entirely different kettle of fish... Then again, she has a Windows Phone so Metro might not be so much of a headache.


By retrospooty on 3/3/2014 6:05:01 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, if they can decide and then do it for themselves without 20+ support calls disrupting my (or on your case your) life them go for it. And hats off.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By atechfan on 3/3/2014 8:59:03 PM , Rating: 1
I see way more 20 somethings screwing up their PCs with malware than older people.


By sorry dog on 3/3/2014 11:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
Unless Viagra is involved, that's not too hard to figure out why...


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By sorry dog on 3/3/2014 11:25:14 PM , Rating: 2
Ain't that the truth.

Seen my dad louse up a new install of Win7 in one week and not even open up IE. Still not sure how he pulled that one off.

I'm wondering about a remote machine virtual that I administer and his machine is locked down to remotely browse through, so that if he boogers something up then to only harm done is done to the VM which resets. Biggest problem is making email attachments work in a way he understands...


By retrospooty on 3/4/2014 7:09:32 AM , Rating: 2
"I'm wondering about a remote machine virtual that I administer and his machine is locked down to remotely browse through, so that if he boogers something up then to only harm done is done to the VM which resets"

Yup... Been there. The problem with that is every time they muck it p you need to connect and restore. THe other option is make them a standard user, and you remote in and handle it when they need admin access to install anything. The problem there, is instead of one pain in the ass restore every few weeks, you have several smaller easy task calls every week. You cant win.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By atechfan on 3/3/2014 1:54:13 PM , Rating: 1
If their XP system is doing the job, why get them anything. Let them stick with what they know. ChromeBooks are going to have a learning curve too, and won't run the stuff they are used to.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/3/14, Rating: 0
RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By Just Tom on 3/3/2014 2:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
I am no fan boy of MS - the last OS I was a fan boy of was AmigaOS 3.1 - but using XP forever and ever might be the right choice is some situations, if one did not have to worry about unpatched vulnerabilities. I'd not hesitate to recommend Chrome to someone if I felt it matched their requirements, in fact I have, but my MIL would be even less comfortable navigating Chrome than she would Win7.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/3/2014 2:44:49 PM , Rating: 1
Leaving a defunct Windows version connected to the Internet, having it being operated by less tech savvy elderly, is a big concern.


By Belegost on 3/3/2014 3:00:04 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Even when it was supported it was an effort to keep it free of malware. But an unsupported XP box on the internet with a user who has only a rudimentary understanding of how to use it will quickly become a battleground for different botnets trying to overrun each other.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By atechfan on 3/3/2014 3:52:45 PM , Rating: 1
Not the least bit threatened. You are the one who got defensive. I am just questioning the need to get any new device for someone who is still served by what they have.

Yes, my advice is to keep using their current machine if it serves their needs. If their old PC dies, then whether to buy a Windows PC or a Chromebook is up for debate. Depends on what they do and if they need legacy software support or not.


By Reclaimer77 on 3/3/2014 4:13:26 PM , Rating: 2
The OP doesn't sound as if they're "well served". I was responding to his concerns, not yours.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By Just Tom on 3/3/2014 8:05:50 PM , Rating: 3
In isolation using XP would make sense; the problem is MS is - probably correctly - dropping support for XP. Which means in the future any vulnerabilities that are unearthed will not be patched. XP is still the second most used OS, so it is an attractive target for exploitation. More so now since those holes won't be plugged.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By Dorkyman on 3/5/2014 11:15:27 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, please. I have no doubt that any possible future "vulnerabilites" will be fixable by nerds that know the system as well as MS.

I use XP. My PC is a tool, nothing more. I have an engineering degree and think I can pretty much think for myself. The PC runs great, has antivirus, periodic bare-metal backups. Lots of software installed, including some applications that render for many hours.

I will "upgrade" when I see an obvious advantage in doing so, not just so that MS can sell me something. I am not a sheep.


By Just Tom on 3/11/2014 3:44:31 PM , Rating: 2
Did you follow this thread at all? I am not talking about you and your engineering degree. The thread started as a discussion of elderly relatives who are resistant to change. My mother, despite being very bright and accomplished, is not a computer nerd. And no, she will not be able to fix whatever vulnerabilities that arise. XP users, most of whom are not nerds, are going from a system in which vulnerabilities were patched by MS through automatic updates to a system in which they must rely on third parties to do so.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By Motoman on 3/3/2014 1:00:55 PM , Rating: 2
As well they should be...the only thing "wrong" with XP is that MS is ending support for it.

Win7 can basically be made to look and work just like XP, with some pretty minor differences in UI. That step isn't that big a deal.

Win8, of course, is a hideous monstrosity...but can be made usable with the oft-mentioned 3rd party utilities to restore the normal Start menu and desktop. I've been using Pokki a lot lately, since it's free...but for the most change-averse, probably something like Start8 or maybe ClassicShell is better, as it more closely apes the XP/7 style Start menu.


By sorry dog on 3/3/2014 11:34:05 PM , Rating: 2
I've been putting XP and 7 users on ClassicShell and all have been happy.


RE: I understand why MS is doing this but...
By Arsynic on 3/3/2014 2:47:43 PM , Rating: 1
Do they still own Model T's and rotary phones?


By Jeffk464 on 3/3/2014 3:46:35 PM , Rating: 2
Thats not the same argument a 2014 car is undeniably incredibly better than a model T. You cant say that the win8 UI is better than the XP UI for a desktop, which is a pretty sad statement.


By EricMartello on 3/3/2014 3:53:36 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever they can do in XP can be done just as easily in Win 7. It's too bad that's not the case with Win 8, but the learning curve from XP to 7 is minimal to non-existent. All their favorite programs (or versions of them) like the 1001 fonts CD and toolbar master pro are available for Win 7.


By glenn8 on 3/3/2014 6:55:28 PM , Rating: 1
WinXP machines will still keep working. There is no need for anyone to upgrade just to install legacy software. They just won't getting anymore updates or support which is reasonable for such an old product.


I've been married longer than that
By HoosierEngineer5 on 3/3/2014 3:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
Think it's time for an upgrade?




RE: I've been married longer than that
By Jeffk464 on 3/3/2014 3:48:24 PM , Rating: 2
It all depends, a tech savvy person could run a light linux distro and still have a functional machine.


RE: I've been married longer than that
By Belegost on 3/3/2014 4:44:04 PM , Rating: 2
I think you need to be a bit more than "tech savvy" to get any sort of linux distro running on anyone's wife.

And I rather expect after attempting such a thing she would not be in a mood that would be appropriately described as "functional" especially if you called her a machine within range of her hearing.


By sorry dog on 3/3/2014 11:54:03 PM , Rating: 2
most distros even easier than Windows to get up and running and browsing the internet. Problem is when any programs not in the original install are needed. Maybe I'm just dumb, but I have yet to figure out any unpackaging and installation console commands on my own. I use Ubuntu 12.10 and have look up the string to type even for common programs like Opera. I have this older extra dual core pentium Vaio laptop with Ubuntu on it for the last year to kick around with, but added dual boot last week to see how it compares...

Granted the computer is on the lower end of power, but I was surprised that the Win7 GUI performed much snappier, boot was faster, and battery life doubled.


By EricMartello on 3/3/2014 3:56:35 PM , Rating: 2
If there are no kids and you're no longer satisfied then sure, why not? Get a YOLO! tshirt and be tell her you got more ladies to please.


Lmao
By Argon18 on 3/4/14, Rating: 0
"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein














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