back to article Windows XP fixes flaws for free if you turn PCs into CASH REGISTERS

A German web noticeboard has published instructions on how to keep getting the free Windows XP updates that enterprises are having to pay for. According to this thread at Sebjik.com, all that's needed for 32-bit Windows XP installs is to edit the registry so that it tells Microsoft you're using POSReady 2009. As Betanews …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Personally I think

    Personally I think that Microsoft should be made to continue to release updates until they have fixed it.

    All versions of Windows are/were sold faulty and insecure, why are they allowed to just walk away from the mess they created.

    Don't talk to me about software life span if people are still trying to use the software, there wasn't an expiration date on it so it should be repaired free of charge until they do the job right, it they cannot/willnot then the source should be made public

    1. Mad Chaz

      Re: Personally I think

      You make it sound like software should be held to the same standard of quality physical goods have to follow.

      Like that'll ever happen.

      1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Personally I think

        Or release the source on 'out of warranty' products and let us fix them ourselves.

    2. razorfishsl

      Re: Personally I think

      Using this logic, my house alarm that was fitted 10 years ago would need to be replaced for free due to the progress made in electronic hacking systems

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Updates for free ? Maybe not. But I certainly do not think that Microsoft has the right to arbitrarily decide to no longer support a product that millions of customers are still using.

        The proper lifecycle of a product is that it is retired when its market share becomes negligeable. Millions of customers are not negligeable. Software, as it has been said, has no date limit, so Microsoft should continue and support its product until at least 90% of XP users have switched to something else.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          It hasn't stopped, you can still pay for it.

        2. Vince

          It's Microsoft's product, they specify you have a perpetual use license, they don't specify you'll receive perpetual updates, many of which address issues that weren't even likely to be an issue or even known about in any real sense over a decade ago.

          Presumably Apple should also still be providing updates for OS 9? Are they?

          Are they even providing updates for older than 10.6 in any meaningful way? Nope...

        3. rh587 Silver badge

          @Pascal Monnett

          "The proper lifecycle of a product is that it is retired when its market share becomes negligeable. Millions of customers are not negligeable. Software, as it has been said, has no date limit, so Microsoft should continue and support its product until at least 90% of XP users have switched to something else."

          Would that be until 90% of the current users have moved to something different, or until 90% of the people who used XP in 2005 have moved to something different?

          90% of people still using it is somewhat of a moving target!

          - XP market share is down to between 8-20% depending on who you believe and how those stats are collected.

          - Given that a proportion of those are either:

          > Pirate copies (80+% of XP machines in China are on pirate copies)

          > Embedded XP (which is still officially supported for most of this decade)

          > Desktop XP being supported past EOL by the NHS et al paying M$ many dollars

          (None of which count for the purposes of this discussion since freetards get what they deserve and the other two are supported).

          It is entirely reasonable to suggest that actual legitimate desktop XP share is well below 10% as people have moved to Linux, OSX, or their laptops have died - whether by baking, battery dying or hinges cracking off and have been replaced with Vista, 7 or 8.

          Therefore by your own criteria, MS are well within their rights to drop it as usage is below 90%.

          It's no surprise that the big holdout for IE6 usage is China, still running hooky XP with the original browser and no updates.

        4. Keith Langmead

          "Updates for free ? Maybe not. But I certainly do not think that Microsoft has the right to arbitrarily decide to no longer support a product that millions of customers are still using."

          Hardly arbitrary, MS have documented their life cycle policy for years, and in the case of XP they've already extended it far beyond when support should have ended.

          It's interesting that people only seem to get worked up over MS stopping support for one of their products, but no one seems to put it into context. They're no different than other OS suppliers. Apple stopped support for OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard) last year (original release date 2009). RHEL 4 stopped being supported two years ago after only 5 years. Debian 5 after only 3 years.

          1. asdf

            >It's interesting that people only seem to get worked up over MS stopping support for one of their products

            And where do you get your data from on that one? I have been ripping quite vocally on Apple's business model of forced obsolescence of hardware (where they make their money) through pulled software support for years on these forums. Yes Apple is actually worse but that doesn't excuse Microsoft and in fact due to their still near monopoly on the desktop one could argue they have more of an obligation. Nobody rational is asking for new features but considering in as many places as XP is running that people don't even realize I think even as a matter of national security obvious serious defects should still be being patched (which they do seem to be doing for industry so kudos at least there). The biggest problem is probably going to be all the Asian pirated XP installs contributing to even more enormous botnets soon but obviously most of that is not on Microsoft except for making it easier now. As for the Linux examples due to the source being available for anybody to patch or backport fixes they make for poor examples.

            1. countach

              Pulled software support? If you mean new software doesn't support old hardware, everyone does that. You think NVidia is actively writing drivers for 4 year old cards?

        5. Uffish
          Linux

          Lifecycle

          The problem being that the definition of lifecycle for Microsoft includes direct and indirect profits generated. XP is truly dead; it is an ex-OS.

          Icon - because.

      2. asdf

        Re: Personally I think

        >Using this logic, my house alarm that was fitted 10 years ago would need to be replaced for free due to the progress made in electronic hacking systems

        How so? You might be able to make this case if he asking for new features but if all he is asking for is bug fixes then it would be more like your car being recalled in the US even ten years later.

      3. billdehaan

        Re: Personally I think

        Using that logic, your 1965 RCA television would need to be retrofitted by RCA to support digital signals.

        Using that logic, your 1976 VHS player would need to be retrofitted by the vendor to support HDMI.

        Using that logic, your 1903 Model A would need to be retrofitted by Ford to add seat belts, airbags and meet current emission standards.

        That logic assumes an unchanging world, with no advances in technology, laws, or social behaviour. That logic isn't all that logical.

        1. Tom 35

          Re: Personally I think

          You need to think some more.

          All your examples are for new features, not safety fixes.

          If you want a valid non-software example look at recalls. I had my 11 year old cars airbag and some wiring replaced for free do to a recall. That's FAR past the warranty. They can't just say, your cars is old, go buy a new one.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Personally I think

          > Using that logic, your 1965 RCA television would need to be retrofitted by RCA to support digital signals.

          Why? As long as your RCA television was able to receive RCA broadcasts the manufacturer has fulfilled their obligation. You might find it difficult to source broken down parts though

          > Using that logic, your 1976 VHS player would need to be retrofitted by the vendor to support HDMI.

          As long as my VHS player plays VHS videos I am happy.

          > Using that logic, your 1903 Model A would need to be retrofitted by Ford to add seat belts, airbags and meet current emission standards.

          True, but not by that logic. Current regulations might force you to retro fit seat belts but as long as your car complies with the specification of the 1903 Ford Model A there is nothing for Ford to do.

          I've got one copy of XP running on one VM so I pretty much don’t care about it but ... When I purchased it it was supposed to, as an example, safely display images conforming to the JPEG 2000 standard, If, at some future date, it is discovered that it does not safely display images conforming to the JPEG 2000 standard then MS should fix it. However, MS should have no obligation to ensure it displays images conforming to a future JPEG standard as that is not part of XP.

      4. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: Personally I think

        > Using this logic, my house alarm that was fitted 10 years ago would need to be replaced for free due to the progress made in electronic hacking systems

        Nope. This isn't about "progress". This is about suitability and fitness for purpose.

        This isn't about "new features". This is about security patches.

      5. Steve 129

        Re: Personally I think

        Well, if the alarm system decides that it will turn off every Thursday afternoon for 20 minutes due to a bug, then yes, they should fix it.

        The issue here is that there are flaws in the software. 'Progress in hacking systems" has nothing to do with the fact that the software was 'broken' right from the start. Just because someone managed to find the fault is irrelevant.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Personally I think

      "Personally I think that all software vendors should be made to continue to release updates until they have fixed it."

      Fixed it for you. Though still ridiculously unrealistic.

    4. jb99

      Re: Personally I think

      They did fix it, you can just upgrade to a newer version.

      People seem to want the fixes without installing the version with the fixes in...

      1. Steve 129

        Re: Personally I think

        No, they didn't 'fix it' with a new version. They learned from it and released a NEW version with it fixed, and charge for the new product. This is completely different.

    5. Gis Bun

      Re: Personally I think

      Errrr. Windows will never be fixed.

      Face it. you want Win XP to run forever.

      1. Mpeler
        Coat

        Re: Personally I think

        But....wait....the answer is hidden in the reg key...

        P iece

        O f

        S hite

        Ready

        (so someone obviously thinks it's finished....)...probably that ribbon crew again :)

    6. cortland

      Re: Personally I think

      Unbribed-Argh News Service: A little known turn of the century (not this one) car-maker recently lost -- if that's the right word -- a recent lawsuit alleging neglect, misfeasance and knowingly marketing an unsafe product. Despite a summons posted at the firm's last known site in Dunbarton, South Carolina*, none of its officers or their heirs or counsel appeared, leading to a default judgment retroactive to the date the product was sold.

      Industry watchers -- after they stopped laughing -- said the case sets a precedent for firms such as Abble, Mcirosoft, and others whose obsolete products continue to cost their users.

      *Dunbarton, SC is inside the boundaries of the US Atomic Energy Agency's Savannah River nuclear processing site. The process servers are expected to make a full recovery after bone marrow transplants.

  2. razorfishsl

    worked for me

    1. mourner
      Thumb Down

      Did it?

      Or did you just enable some patches for the subset of full blown XP components that comprise the POS version. Meaning that vulnerabilities present in some desktop XP OS components go unpatched.

      This is irresponsible journalism without digging into the nuts n guts of the differences between POS and desktop XP - it could very well leave a lot of people with an invalid sense of security as they see ~some~ updates come through.

      Shame El Reg. Shame.

      1. Purple-Stater

        "This is irresponsible journalism..."

        You want journalism from a blog?

  3. Mark McNeill
    Linux

    And so the countdown begins

    "... it'll keep desperates getting XP updates until 2019."

    Ladies and gentlemen: I give you 2020 - the year of Linux on the desktop.

    1. RAMChYLD

      Re: And so the countdown begins

      Not if ReactOS beats Linux there first ;)

      Honestly tho, I think the year of the Linux desktop may come sooner with the SteamBoxes. But unless WINE improves to the point that it can run all Linux software effortlessly (I keep seeing regressions- one version runs a particular game fine, the next version would break support for a game while fixing a issue with another game that was broken several versions ago), there will always be a place for XP. Heck, the 2013 SimCity was supposed to run in WINE, but when I tried to it gave me some stupid message about activation failing...

      1. Bitbeisser
        Devil

        Re: And so the countdown begins

        >>Not if ReactOS beats Linux there first ;)

        As if! That will be the day that pigs fly and hell freezes over!

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: And so the countdown begins

        Not if ReactOS beats Linux there first ;)

        Honestly tho, I think the year of the Linux desktop may come sooner with the SteamBoxes. But unless WINE improves to the point that it can run all Linux software effortlessly (I keep seeing regressions- one version runs a particular game fine, the next version would break support for a game while fixing a issue with another game that was broken several versions ago), there will always be a place for XP. Heck, the 2013 SimCity was supposed to run in WINE, but when I tried to it gave me some stupid message about activation failing...

        Now I might be wrong here... But, I thought the whole point of running the SteamBox was so that the Developers WOULD HAVE TO CREATE NATIVE LINUX APPs! Thus avoiding all that needless mucking about with WINE. Sure I suppose their may be some teething problems with which they (Steam), may have to begrudge to WINE. Assuming that they even can. But even Valve seem to get it that WINE is not going to be the way forward.

        The only question left is are SteamBoxes even available, and are they worth the money over a PS4 or at worst an XBOne? For the moment I'd say no....

        1. RAMChYLD

          Re: And so the countdown begins

          I need to be clearer, sorry. I was actually talking about two different things. SteamBox and the stream of Linux games from Valve is nice and all which I wholly support.

          Then you have evil developers like EA who for some reason doesn't want to support Linux directly (they will only support Linux if it's a casual freemium game for Android, or if someone forms a partnership to port their game to Linux ie Loki Games' scenario), or ActiBlizz who refuses to support Linux outright and has been said to even bans accounts from Battle.Net if they catch you running the game in WINE (although how they find out if you are indeed using WINE is a puzzle to me).

          1. RAMChYLD

            Re: And so the countdown begins

            One more thing I forgot to Mention- Bethesda is another one of them evil developer. In fact, I'd think they're very evil since Fallout 3 and New Vegas are Windows only where PCs are concerned. It even uses the Games for Windows Live framework, despite already being on Steam.

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: And so the countdown begins

      By 2020 will anyone still be using desktops? The majority of computing devices are already phones and tablets, and you could argue that Linux is already dominant there in the guise of Android (depending on whether you think that android == linux I suppose)

      1. Vince

        Re: And so the countdown begins

        "the majority"

        Care to back that figure up with anything meaningful, like facts?

        1. BubbaGump

          Re: And so the countdown begins

          I agree. Smart Phones are virtually ubiquitous. I encounter very few, and far in between, people using tablets. Most of those have a tablet as an accessory, not a replacement. There is NO tablet currently or in the foreseeable future that can come close to competing with my high-end laptop. At work, the PC and Workstation will continue to dominate. There are different markets out there and one size fits all will not be attainable. For people, like myself, who are not screen zombies, have no need to be connected 24/7 nor have a higher end computing device with them everywhere they go. The hype needs to stop and the individual markets addressed.

          1. JDX Gold badge

            Re: There is NO tablet ... that can come close to competing with my high-end laptop

            Hardly anybody, even in enterprise, needs a high-end laptop. Windows7 and Office will run OK on a laptop costing £400 when W7 came out, they'll run well on one costing £600 at that time.

            Most people using a PC even for work, are not running a compiler or PhotoShop etc. I totally agree that tablets/phones will not replace PCs because you need a decent screen and input method for writing documents or doing spreadsheets, but in terms of sheer power we're there already.

            1. JEDIDIAH

              Re: There is NO tablet ... that can come close to competing with my high-end laptop

              > Hardly anybody, even in enterprise, needs a high-end laptop.

              Even for "secretary terminal" work, there is a noticeable difference between using cheap underpowered hardware and decent kit. The fact that many people have meager requirements still doesn't negate the overhead of the OS or the problem of parts that are just crappy (like Intel GPUs).

              If you are the least bit creative, you will find something to do with extra capacity.

              Voice recognition is an obvious one. This common use case is one for which ARM devices need to "outsource" computation.

              1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

                Re: There is NO tablet ... that can come close to competing with my high-end laptop

                "Voice recognition is an obvious one. This common use case is ..."

                Have you got stats to support the view that voice recognition is "common"? It has been around for a decade or more and never caught on. It has always been my understanding that sound (either from the PC or the user) is such an utterly dreadful thing to encourage in the average working (and, frankly, home) environment, that it never will catch on. The only use-case that I'm aware of with any kind of market share is talking to your phone. That works because phones are things you talk to anyway (*) and because they are such poxy little things that they can't support a proper UI. Neither consideration translates to the wider PC/tablet market.

                (* And even there, "Honey, I'm on the train..." is considered anti-social.)

              2. JDX Gold badge

                Re: There is NO tablet ... that can come close to competing with my high-end laptop

                >>Even for "secretary terminal" work, there is a noticeable difference between using cheap underpowered hardware and decent kit.

                You struggle to buy anything "underpowered" these days. The bottom-end laptop these days is comparable to a mid-range laptop when W7 came out. Since W7 doesn't need more resources now than it did then, a cheap laptop is quite adequate these days.

                We've finally escaped the days when business laptops had the Intel 940 graphics chipset, now even cheap laptops with integrated GPUs support DX10 properly... I work developing 3D software for business clients so this is something I am sadly rather well acquainted with :) Low-end tech these days is not only powerful, but far more consistent than it was even 5 years ago.

              3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

                Re: There is NO tablet ... that can come close to competing with my high-end laptop

                "Even for "secretary terminal" work, there is a noticeable difference between using cheap underpowered hardware and decent kit. The fact that many people have meager requirements still doesn't negate the overhead of the OS or the problem of parts that are just crappy (like Intel GPUs)."

                That says more about increasing OS software bloat than anything else.

                1. JDX Gold badge

                  Re: That says more about increasing OS software bloat than anything else.

                  Except that W7 is leaner than Vista (OK that doesn't take much) and W8 is leaner than W7.

                  1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
                    Happy

                    Re: That says more about increasing OS software bloat than anything else.

                    "Except that W7 is leaner than Vista (OK that doesn't take much) and W8 is leaner than W7."

                    .... hence backing up your point earlier! :-)

                    My point wasn't aimed at anything specifically - just responding to the previous poster by pointing out that if even if basic requirements can't be met on a current baseline system due to 'OS overheads' (his words) then there is still too much bloat.

                    Fair enough for you to point out that windows is getting leaner, seeing as I wrote 'increasing OS software bloat', but my original intent was to agree with you . Baseline systems these days have more than enough power these days to deal with the basic duties, and if the previous poster finds this isn't true due to OS overheads, then it's the fault of the OS more than the hardware spec.

                    Sorry I wasn't too clear. Have an upvote !

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And so the countdown begins

          ""the majority"

          Care to back that figure up with anything meaningful, like facts?"

          Well, to be blunt, the writing is rather on the wall; there were on the order of 1 billion smartphones in use in 2012, with projections along the lines of 1.4-1.5 billion by the end of 2014 as prices continue to fall and the developing world sees smartphones drop into the affordability bracket currently occupied by feature phones.

          210 million tablets were sold last year, and are expected to overtake notebooks by 2016. In 2008 Gartner predicted a maximum of 2 billion PCs in use by 2014. Either the combination of tablets and smartphones has already overtaken PC sales, or it will within months or a year or two at the outside.

          People will always need something resembling PCs to create - but you only need a tablet or phone in order to consume, and there are far more people doing more consuming than creating.

      2. RAMChYLD

        Re: And so the countdown begins

        Gamers will still be using desktops for whatever reasons. Thing is, while tablets are nice and all, some still prefer the classic WASD + mouse . I tried playing Sonic 2 on my iPad for 5 minutes and gave up because of the lack of tactile feedback made it difficult to find the jump button if I'm not looking at the position of my fingers. That, and the fact that it's a thin, unegronomic slab makes my hands ache if I attempt to hold it like a Game Boy for more than 5 minutes. I'd rather play that on a proper gamepad and with a decent screen any day.

        Also, tablets are not intuitive for office work unless you buy a bluetooth keyboard.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Gamers will still be using desktops for whatever reasons

          Yeah, gamers are a bit of a special case. There are a massive number of PC gamers but they're still only a minority of PC users.

          PCs aren't going anywhere, the "PC in every home" vision is still real but the thing was before tablets it was more like 2-4 PCs in each home. Now tablets and phones are cutting back, a household still probably needs a PC but only one.

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    1. RAMChYLD

      Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

      Honestly, unless M$ uses BOFH's cattle prod on several software developers so that they fix their software and let it run properly on newer versions of Windows, there will be a market for XP.

      Case in point: Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas. Runs like pants on Win7 and newer systems with the random freezing and stuttering radio music. Bethesda seems to not only not want to release a fix for these games, they're actively issuing takedowns to file hosting sites hosting fan-made fixes for it. Honestly? I paid 60 freaking Malaysian Dollars for my copy of Fallout 3, and that's even during the Steam sales. And they did not offer me the experience I desired because of the freezes and stuttering music.

      And the kick in the nuts is that the game was released when Windows Vista is already released and the problem should've been noticed and fixed.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. G Dee

          Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

          "freetards who expect free software and upgrades to an OS over ten years old"

          Except that MS continued to sell new copies of XP (for netbooks) until late 2010. That's not 'over 10 years old' (even if you use Excel for the calculation).

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