back to article Microsoft gives XP another four months to live

Microsoft just can't quit you, Windows XP. The final shipment date of Microsoft's aged, yet distinctively non-Vista operating system has been extended yet again. System builders can now obtain Windows XP until May 30, 2009. Windows XP was originally scheduled for OEM extinction on January 31, 2009. That deadline was given …


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  1. Joe Earl

    XP is Aged.

    I hate to say it, but M$ should probably just can XP. It was good, but half the people who want it now haven't actually really tried Vista, they just like to insult it. I'm not saying it's brilliant, but certainly better than using an OS that's 7 years old. More secure, more stable with SP1 providing you don't run a load of legacy apps, and it actually uses your GPU.

    Also another comment I've heard about Vista is 'it's different' - well what do you expect, it'd be pretty poor if Microsoft came back after 5 years and gave you XP with a new name. Things have changed to make it better people.

    Not worth upgrading if you're running an ancient comp though.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    MS will have to pry XP Pro from my cold, dead hands!!!

    Dear Microsoft marketing mavens,

    Take it from one of your loyal, LEGAL retail customers; the day I can no longer get XP Pro from legal sources will be the day that I find a key generator so I can continue installing the only good operating system you have produced (besides Windows 98SE SP2).

    Exactly what kind of damn fools are you people?

    I bought Vista Ultimate and it screwed up my NEW, NEW, NEW, high spec home PC to the point that I reformatted and installed XP Pro again. Let's not even talk about the weeks of lost time trying to figure out how to fix it until I just gave up!

    Millions of people have done the same thing and you blathering idiots think that some Vista Service Pack is going to make them come back to Vista???? Can you say Windows ME? Have you pulled your head out of the sand from that fiasco yet? It doesn't look like it!

    PLEASE for your own good, fire your Vista code review/quality team and their managers; delay the EoL for XP Pro by two years and PUT ALL YOUR FRIGGING RESOURCES INTO MAKING SURE THAT WINDOWS 7 WORKS PERFECTLY (with everything) WHEN IT IS RELEASED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This means sitting down EARLY with Intel, NVIDIA, AMD/ATI, Creative, Etc Etc. to make sure their hardware drivers are properly recognized and installed EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT SIGNED BY YOUR MISERABLE WHQL SYSTEM!!!

    Honestly, this is the ONLY way you will ever regain the respect that Microsoft once had and likely the only way that MS will survive the next decade. Real customer friendly Linux is looming in the background just years away.

    Finally, remember that the customer is ALWAYS right. When he or she sets up their own PC with administrator rights, by God then give them full admin rights and don't EVER put something like UAC on a homeowners PC again!

  3. Roger Williams

    Re: XP is Aged

    Yeah... I've also been disappointed that they keep pushing out the XP EOL. But we can still hope for another train wreck with Windows 7.

  4. Suburban Inmate

    @Joe Earl

    I run XP Pro. I've used Vista, and it was shite. Well I say "used"... The machine in question only had a mere half gigabyte of RAM.

    Remind me again why security and stability cannot be achieved in slender quick-running code? 'Cos I met this bunch of Penguin fanciers that said otherwise.

    Oh and I have games to actually use my GPU.

  5. Ryan
    Gates Horns

    Why Bin XP

    Why is microsoft binning xp any way xp pro is 10times betta tham crappy vista. and also what that guy said under me

  6. Robert Moore

    MS convinced

    me to upgrade. To a Mac.

  7. Chika

    @Joe Earl

    Sorry, Joe, but there's no smoke without fire. In some respects, Vista is suffering the same problem that XP did, a problem that existed also as far back as W95, in that the OS could not handle some devices because drivers just weren't there or, if they were, they didn't work. Besides that, Vista is bigger and more bloated.

    It's something that M$ have been warned about for years, with each successive release adding more and buggier code on top of what came before, expecting the hardware to take the strain. With the onset of the credit crunch and the increasing popularity of the small, cheap computer which just cannot run something as bloated as Vista, M$ has been caught with its pants well and truly down and, given that they have killed off much else that could have done the job, all they have left is XP.

    I grant you that XP is old. That doesn't necessarily mean that it is useless. Given that the underpinning of XP is the same as its predecessor, Windows 2000, and that a fair amount of the code there is still to be found in Vista, the idea that XP should be canned just because the marque is old makes less sense than you might think, especially given that the rival Linux distros being used aren't as user unfriendly as they once were (there are enough Ubuntu enthusiasts out there, not to mention openSuSE users like myself, who can put you straight about the many myths there are about Linux being only for geeks).

    Yes, Vista is different. Is it better? The question to be asked here is whether the difference is actually something that the users want. To be honest, I like the front end of Vista, but that's something I can apply to XP without the need to upgrade. On low end computers, Vista just doesn't cut it and on high end computers I'd rather the extra power be devoted to what I want to run, not have that power eaten up by extra features that I never wanted in the first place. That's the reason why even M$ have capitulated in their recent press releases about Windows 7, saying that it will be leaner and faster. It's also why they are pushing this whole cloud thing, where a computer becomes little more than a terminal, with little need for any more power than you might need to push pixels around a screen and sling data up and down a net connection.

  8. Matt Hawkins
    Thumb Down

    Vista Sucks ... Your Resources

    "It was good, but half the people who want it now haven't actually really tried Vista, they just like to insult it"

    I've tried Vista. It offers almost nothing over XP except that it used twice as many system resources. On my mates PC it uses 40% of the CPU just to run the desktop.

    Why would you want an operating system that sucks the life out of your PC just to give you a few transparent windows? More secure? I've had XP for years and had no security issues. Vista isn't exactly without a few security holes.

    "Not worth upgrading if you're running an ancient comp though."

    So best to buy a new PC, double your CPU and memory, pay for Vista Sucker Edition and get the same performance as your old PC ... but with a few fancy tweaks to the interface!

    Go on you know it makes $ense. To Microsoft's balance sheet at least ....

  9. vincent himpe

    @joe earl: vista has annoyances

    every frickin 5 minutes the screen dims and that uac pops up. 'wa wa wa wants to perform an update check allow-deny' ( replace wawawa with adobe acrobat , hp printer driver , java , flash , and a ton of other things. )

    Every time i boot the computer i have to sit through that. and then when i am browsing the web the adobe and flash things come to annoy me too. There should at least have been a button ALLOW-ALWAYS. Just like on a firewall. you set the rules once. But no , you have to be bugged contonuously by this pest.

    Apart from that. Vista is pretty stable.

    Just file copying could be a lot faster. it takes forever to move large files. I have 2 identical machines ( one with vista one with xp. copying a memroy card from my camera. is 3 times faster on xp than on vista. Vista absolutely wants to catalog , extract exif data , prepare thumbnails and all kinds of other stuff i do not need right at that moment. just copy the bloody files and get it over with. i have work to do.

  10. JT2008

    @joe earl

    Joe, are you serious?

    As a Sr. Network Engineer with well over 17 years of IT knowledge at my disposal, I can honestly say one thing: Vista, any flavor/service pack, is crapware. Do note that I am indeed a MS fan, am MCSE certified (for all that is worth), and run MS servers and desktop systems. For someone to even start to think that Vista is in any way a real improvement over XP, they would have never ran the OSs head-to-head against each other in a real-world network. I have, and Several COMPANIES (not just one person) have ripped out Vista to rollback to XP.

    When the dislike is this overwhelming, there is usually a good reason. Get real and stop being a MS shill.

  11. Euan Johnstone

    Get a Mac

    Get a Mac

  12. Anonymous Coward

    @Joe Earl

    "half the people who want it now haven't actually really tried Vista, they just like to insult it"

    Perhaps you could let the other half of the people (who have really tried it - where's your evidence for that stat BTW?) have a say rather than trying to put words into their mouths.

    I have three machines, two on XP and one on Vista. Vista works fine, that isn't my problem with it. The problem is that I didn't need it in the first place. I refuse to have my hardware requirements dictated by something which is, after all, supposed to be JUST an operating system, not the bloated piece of puffery that is Vista.

    Let's face it, as soon as the games makers kill off PC gaming (as they seem to be attempting to), I won't need any crappy Microsoft OS anyway. I'll be off to open source.

  13. Miladin Miladinoski

    Just use Linux

    The community is a lot friendlier and with support from those many people you can just call 1-800-SCREW-MICROSOFT and get rid of the horrid OS ;)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The throwaway society?

    Yes, Vista is pretty good if you've got the right hardware for it, and yes, the latest hardware off the shelf is probably good enough to run it. However I've still got a pretty good machine which although several years old, still runs XP extremely well and Ubuntu even better as I don't have to slug the operating system with malware prevention measures but it doesn't run Vista.

    I work for a government organisation that has hundreds of user PCs on-site, all of which run XP. They are all about the same spec as mine so what would moving to Vista mean? Well, scrapping perfectly good working machines for a start.

    I am sure the tax-payer would be pleased to fund a Vista roll-out and pay for shiny new machines for everyone and put all users on a Vista orientation course (sarcasm in case you missed it). You could say that if Microsoft pulled XP and we went to Linux instead of Vista, we would still have to go through this expense, but the savings on the cost of hardware alone would swing it in favour of Linux. And the Earth would probably appreciate the choice too.

  15. frymaster

    For all Vista's alleged faults...'s still a helluva lot better than XP. Does it solve world hunger? No. Does it prevent global Warming? No. Is it better than its predecessor? Yes. So what's the problem?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    But there again ... ?

    Maybe it is the user base that is unhappy about switching?

    IE8 in beta yet IE6 still ranking in popularity. I wonder what that means and how it can be interpreted?

    PC World netbooks new with XP might be an appeal to that same user base?

  17. Jonathan McColl

    @ Joe Earl: Aged?

    We're using value-laden terms here: 'XP is Aged' I am aged but I still work. I don't care about OSs, I care about doing stuff with computers.

    My computer is ancient, well from waaaaay back in 2006 anyway, and XP works just fine in it. I like things that work just fine. I 'run a load of legacy apps' because they cost me a load of money to buy to do jobs that I still do, and they work fine. My three-year-old scanner works fine. My 5.1 sound system works fine. My internet access through a wireless router works fine. I'd like 'em to stay working fine.

    Perhaps Joe downloads all his software for free and gets new versions every month or two because he can, I don't know, but I see no reason to change something that works fine for something expensive that promises sod-all new and wonderful experiences for me. I certainly don't need flying Windowy glitz like a stupid CSI computer screen.

  18. Jonathan McColl

    And another thing...

    Talking about value-laden words, I think 'upgrading' to Vista and 'downgrading' to XP are not the words to use. I suggest 'foregrading' and 'backgrading' although perhaps you'll have even better ideas. Sidegrading? Sideslipping?

    Do I need to get my coat or can I stay?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good by Microsoft

    The deal for me is either XP or Linux. If I can't get XP, Linux it is.

    I wouldn't touch Vista on a laptop. Over hyped rubbish IMHO,Vista = bloatware :- one step forward but two steps backwards.

    Microsoft should either wise up or give up.

  20. Jon

    @XP is Aged.

    > providing you don't run a load of legacy apps

    What other kind of apps would I want to run? I use my PC for games, Firefox, Thunderbird, and OpenOffice. My games are of varying ages and obviously the game manufacturers don't update their 3-year-old games just cos MS release a new OS. And any (non-MS) new game will run just fine on XP.

    At this point I'm wondering if Crossover Games (a Wine variant) on Linux would have better compatibility than Vista / Windows7.

    > it actually uses your GPU

    Games use my GPU just fine thanks. Oh, you mean Vista uses my GPU to display a lot of bling that I'm going to turn off? (I have XP's Theme junk turned off too, the Windows 2000 look & feel works fine on XP tyvm).

    > More secure

    How? I'm behind a hardware firewall so I don't care about the Windows firewall or remotely-exploitable windows services; I use Firefox so I don't care how buggy Internet Explorer is. And people have been trying to hack XP for years, so most of the security bugs have been found and fixed already.

    > more stable

    My PC is perfectly stable thanks. Therefore it can't possibly be "more" stable (but it might be less).

    > certainly better than using an OS that's 7 years old

    To a normal consumer, you can say "its old" and they'll think it's gone rotten or something. Software's not like that. To a Reg reader, "its old" means "its well tested and most of the problems have been found and fixed". An OS being old is only a problem when hardware manufacturers stop writing drivers, software manufacturers stop writing compatible software, or the OS vendor stops providing security fixes.

  21. Iamfanboy

    MY problem with Vista is simple...

    I go to look at the system requirements on new games. "1 GB RAM minimum on XP - 2 recommended. 3GB RAM mimum on Vista."

    What. The. Hell.

    When the SAME GAME needs THREE TIMES AS MUCH resources to run on one OS versus another OS, there can be only one pointer as to the problem - you're using the wrong OS.

    Even discounting legacy apps (What do you mean I can't play Masters of Orion II on Vista if I get the urge? Or more serious apps...), the fact that it uses up so much more system resources is insane.

    Even aside from RAM and CPU, did you know that you need (at least) more than a 20 gig hard drive in order to even install Vista? SERIOUSLY. I have an acquaintance who is a hardware fanatic but never updated his 20 gig HDD because he didn't need to - until he tried to install Vista.

  22. Kanhef

    reasons not to switch

    There are similarities with Apple's transition to OS X. One reason for slow uptake is that it's different, and people are always resistant to change. Another is that there were very few programs written for the new OS. Many people didn't upgrade until new versions of the programs they used came out. And it took two revisions to become stable enough for widespread deployment. Vista had/has similar problems, such as shipping without working drivers for many devices. Especially graphics cards, due to the insane DRM system that can prevent people from playing their home-made movies because they're high-definition. It creates SSL connections between software components – and people wonder why it's so slow. (Detailed analysis of the DRM here: )

    Maybe some of the problems have been dealt with in patches and SP1, but it deservedly earned a horrible reputation when it was released. (I'm still dumbfounded that it shipped with the 'takes forever to copy/delete a file' bug.) Microsoft has not convinced us that Vista has significantly improved, and has not given us a compelling reason to switch to it. If they do Windows 7 right (a real focus on security, efficiency, just one version, not five), people will be willing to give up XP. Unfortunately, it's more likely that they'll release some pay-per-component software-as-a-service monstrosity.

  23. Anonymous Coward


    For all Vista's alleged faults...

    By frymaster Posted Monday 22nd December 2008 23:47 GMT's still a helluva lot better than XP. Does it solve world hunger? No. Does it prevent global Warming? No. Is it better than its predecessor? Yes. So what's the problem?

    how is it better than xp?

    can you tell me?

    vista killed every app i had crashed my hd nearly burned my vid card to cinder.

    (specs here: intell core2 quad cpu q 9300 2.5 gh on intel mother board with 512mb nvidia 8600gt pci express with 2gb ram along with 600watt power supply whole thing is liquid cooled too and specs are as of dec 2007 oohh to top it all off they are all on oel that can run vista and are recommended)

    ohh yes i reeeeeeeeealy loved my vista expiriance.

    and why is it that i had to wipe it and do clean install for nearly every friend that had vista pre installed had begged pleaded and even cried and bribed me to either downgrade them to xp or reinstall the windows xp?

    while you cry to heavens about the virtues of vista os kiss bill gates bunnions on his back passage.

    vista is a virus! mmm ohh wait i forgot all ms os are viri. but hell i rather work with something that actully works in bussiness environment than with something that tends to kill that environment and at this time majority of people that i deal with use xp and curse vista for not working as well as it should.

    but getting back to point how the hell is vista better than windows xp?

  24. vincent himpe

    @get a mac and 'just use linux'

    maybe that's what ill do .. once there is actually software for it. None of the software i use runs on those platforms. I pick the OS in function of the applications i run , not the other way around...

  25. Rob


    actually Joe Earl most people have tried it. Why do you think it has such a bad reputation. And why do you think you don't see it installed anywhere other than on the machines of first time computer users. Unfortunately they haven't had their eyes opened yet. And I bet (assuming windows 7 doesn't suck royal camel nuts) they will all be saying "holy fuck, this is a lot better than that Vista shit i've been using".

  26. Greg


    What software *do* you use? Saying there is no software available for Linux is one of the most laughable things I've ever heard. Never mind that most programmers I know prefer it - have you seen the size of the Ubuntu repositories?

    I'm a coder, so I need quite a bit of decent software, and there's more and better kit available for me on Linux than on Windows. My buddy, who's a graphic designer, recently saw Ubuntu on my PC and was mightily impressed. "But it won't run my graphics apps." Wanna bet? I took his CDs and installed them on my machine. He started laughing his ass off when Photoshop booted perfectly on Ubuntu 8.10. It really is that good.

  27. Tom Silver badge

    Vista is a great step forward in computing.

    Its taught people to do things to computers that 3 years of university IT failed to do! Thats quite impressive as an educational achievement.

    Unfortunately for MS Vista has actually encouraged people to try installing another operating system on their pc!

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Vista is a pile of crap and everyone knows it.

    I'm not going to go into a big rant explaining my reasons for hating it. I might as well be ranting about the congestion charge, everyone knows it's just a "drive to the city" tax and everyone hates it, so what's the point?

    Vista is rubbish, most people in the know agree and we'll all avoid it until windows 7 comes out and the whole party begins again because we can't avoid using M$ operating systems, lets just leave it at that shall we.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amazing that people forget ...

    .. that XP had nearly excatly the same sort of comments when it was released.

    "Why do i need 128 MB ram (this was before sp2, of course when sp 2 came out it was why do i need 256 ram)" etc etc

    also remember that a fair few of the problems back there was hardware not working, due to drivers, sound familar with the vista issue. Oh adn thats not really a MS fault, thats a lazy hardware makers fault for not making drivers before OS release (other than Nvidia anyway)

    "vista killed every app i had crashed my hd nearly burned my vid card to cinder."<--- wow really, sure vista did that ? any proof other than "the gfx card got hot", my gfx card gets hot as well , while playing a game, on xp adn vista, its called "being used".

    "go to look at the system requirements on new games. "1 GB RAM minimum on XP - 2 recommended. 3GB RAM mimum on Vista."

    Wow wth game are you looking at , even GTA4 a game that is developed with future computers in mind (cause no-one atm can run it at highest settings) only needs an extra 512 on top of the recommended for vista , so i call bs on that one without a link (and i guess if we do get a link, the 3gb will be a recommended ammount not a min anyway). Oh btw anyone remember seeing system resources for old games, where the xp system resource was higher on the ram that 98/me as well?

    Seriously people vista may have had its faults, but it is nowhere near as bad as most of you make it out to be

    oh to all the people below who say get linux/get mac, i would get a mac if not for the apple hardware tax and linux just doesn't work without lots of hassle and even then games won't work anyway!

  30. Glyn


    I'm trying to get why people say Vista is different. Not wishing to sound like I've used Joe's pluck-a-made-up-stat-from-the-air-ometer, I say most users don't give a tinker's wassit about any internal changes, nor would they notice them. All they have access to is the UI which is taken from 2000 via XP. It looks the same but with poorer functionality and ease-of-use.

    This is bad

    The exception to this is as someone has mentioned, the abysmal file handling. I've got a testing website project I made at home on my flashcard. From the card, at home on XP I can edit the files, save, copy, etc. pretty much instantaneously, at work on Vista saving the same file takes it 30 seconds and copying is a "start it off, go and make the tea" job.

    This is bad

    Despite the popular misconception, held by the kind of people who listen to Radio 1 where anything in the universe 3 weeks old is outtadate, old != bad

  31. michael

    @Amazing that people forget ...

    yes I got thouse sort of coments when I started my internet cafe and decided to use xp pepol said I was crazy


    I could point to a lot of the features in xp that made the computers SOO much better and easer to use the improved multi user and networking suport for a start was almost worth the hassle we had with leagcy games and the usb suport in xp was a vast improvement where are these "killer apps" in vista? I have not found anything to make me take the pain of the switch

  32. kenzie


    People still need XP. I have kept Vista on my latest greatest machine, and am surviving ok with it. Can't run GTA IV but i guess the spec just isn't high enough. I'd love to see it run XP though, I'm all for smaller OSs really - but I'm quite cozy with windows for now.

    I don't think that Vista will ever be as good as XP, however it isn't quite as back as you all make out ;)

    I just hope that Windows 7 is more than a backwards new UI....

  33. Vladimir

    OS's compared.

    I repair PCs and see lots of M$ operating systems. "Vista" is crap in every version EXCEPT the most expensive "Ultimate" version.

    IF your hardware can run it, and IF you buy the Ultimate version, there are two things M$ has done right in Vista.

    1) Security is improved. My firewall and antivirus tools don't have much to do in Vista Ultimate.

    2) It looks nice...finally.

    I don't consider these two gains to be worth the price of "upgrading" even to the cheapest Vista, and certainly not at Vista Ultimate prices. Instead of buying Vista Ultimate and hardware upgrades to properly run it, I'd save money buying Mac.

    Both security and looks are better in OS X...and cheaper. Both are better and far cheaper in any modern Linux distro.

    When I set up dual boot of both Kubuntu Hardy and XP on a new HD recently, I was reminded of all the irritating things M$ KEEPS doing, and other OS's have outgrown.

    a) ease of install:

    OS install is not easy or simple for ANY computer NOVICE. However, linux is simpler, easier, and better explained. Hardware autodetection not only worked, but the drivers installed automatically, or after asking if I minded using a proprietary (nVidia) driver. I needed one reboot after copying the files and everything worked. Additional drivers (nVidia, and my scanner/printer) did not require any reboots. By comparison, I had to reboot my XP box after installing sound, graphics, network, printer/scanner. The NIC was the onlything that XP detected and installed on its own...but of course, it required a reboot anyway.

    b) speed of install:

    Even without all the time-wasting reboots for every 3rd party hardware driver, the Kubuntu Linux OS installed in half the time it took to get a grainy, VGA 640x480 XP screen so I could begin installing all the other drivers and software.

    c) functionality out-of-box:

    Installing XP I got: Wordpad, Paint, and of course Internet Explorer to make sure my PC did it's part in propagating viruses around the world. That's it. I lost count of how many 3rd party software installs required a reboot...

    My Kubuntu install defaults with several (less vulnerable) web browsers, a choice of professional-quality office suites, security tools, encryption apps, multimedia playing and authoring tools, programming languages and editors for everything from C++ to HTML, and a wonderful software package handler that let me find, install, and upgrade anything the Kubuntu lads/lasses may have left out. NONE of these programs required a reboot on installing.

    The software (both user-installed and out-of-the-box) is intelligently organized in the menus. All Office stuff appears in "Office." Ditto with Multimedia, Internet, Games, etcetera.

    d) maintenance:

    Kubuntu's package manager tells me when updated versions are available for ALL my software, not just OS service packs. I don't get pestered by every plug-in, the OS, the anti-virus, and every other piece of software one-at-a-time. It's all handled in the OS package manager. I can "hold" packages if I don't want to upgrade from a certain version...and never get pestered about that packages until I release the hold.

    e) upgrades:

    I've never seen a software upgrade from M$ or any other Windoze developer that was smaller and more optimized. They're always more bloated. It's rare to see upgraded Kubuntu packages take more space than the previous version. Often, the Kubuntu upgrades take LESS space. The difference is usually a matter of kilobytes rather than megabytes.

    Recently, I replaced KDE3 (the desktop GUI) with KDE4. The new, slicker, transparent desktop interface is FASTER than KDE3. There are things I miss with KDE3; things I'm still getting used to in KDE4...and may NEVER prefer. It's different. Not all different is to my liking. But it's coded tight, and it runs faster even on my old 128m nVidia card when I've got most of the eye-candy turned on.


    Micro$oft is losing all these areas. With the M$ money and influence there is no reason is should be lacking any ANY. While M$ bloats its code bigger and slower, Linux is optimizing and improving. Linux based netbooks recently achieved a 5-second boot ( on some of the cheapest low-end hardware currently selling. I much prefer this direction, rather than Redmond's mantra of "If we code big, they will (must) upgrade." Unless Windows7 starts to address all these flaws, Linux will erode more and more market share. As far as I can see, games like Grand Theft Auto are the only advantage Micro$oft still has.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    To conclude...

    ...are we to take it that Windows 7 will not be coming out on time then?

  35. Chris Bradshaw

    @ Vladimir

    Beautifully written and thought-out comment - I absolutely agree with the entire thing...

    The only reason I even have Windows installed is for games and sometimes I need to test a web page in IE :-(

    Otherwise, Linux is easier to use, faster, more compatible, and runs fast on lower spec machines.

  36. Leo Davidson
    Gates Halo

    Hate Train to Nowhere

    Sigh, another Register article about Vista, another stream of comments from idiots whose S key seems to be mapped to the $ symbol, all complaining that Vista, which they have barely used, apparently did inappropriate things to their dogs' behinds and constantly displays UAC prompts (hint: you're doing it wrong, and you can always turn off UAC if you insist) and that it needs more than £5 worth of RAM (oh, boo f***ing hoo!).

    Oh, and that, "maybe it's okay if you buy new hardware," in an article that is about XP being offered to OEMs for use *on new hardware* for a few more months.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Just to join in...

    I bought a new laptop last year, and the first thing I did was format the hard drive and install XP SP2. I have to use Vista at work, and while it's not as unstable as it was, it reduces me, without fail once a week, into blind wordless rage at just how awful it is.

    I guess 90% of the time, it's acceptable - it does what it's supposed to and doesn't break. But there's no doubt that it's slow - on comparable hardware, XP will shut down in 20 seconds compared to 2 minutes plus for Vista. And with a decent free firewall and/ or security suite such as AVG free, the security comparisons are moot.

    The thing is, we're not representative of consumers. We're tech geeks, and we know how to install a security suite, turn off UAC and get rid of 50% of the pointless processes running in the background. The average consumer knows none of those things, and hence has to labour along with this piece of bloated garbage, and hence hates it.

    As for businesses, I can only sympathise with the average IT admin having to support Vista across an entire company....

  38. Giles Jones Gold badge

    XP was hated

    At first, but remember that in those days PCs had 128MB to 256MB of RAM and clock speeds of about 1GHz.

    Finally PCs are running smoothly with 1GB and multicore CPUs and Microsoft has to go and ruin it by releasing yet another sluggish OS.

    Contrast this with Apple and OSX, that runs well on their lowest hardware platforms and guess what Apple are doing next? their next OSX release is focussed on cutting bloat, improving performance and adding multicore programming APIs to further speed up applications running on the OS.

    What is weird is Apple are a hardware vendor and you would think they would be the ones slowing down the OS to get new hardware sales!

  39. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    (Un)balanced view?

    When they announced Vista I said give it at least a year and then look at it after the bleeding edge users have suffered the pain and found all the bugs. Well, several friends ignored the advice and I had to help them downgrade to XP. Now, however, I have several friends that run and like Vista, especially the Ultimate version. The occurence of driver issues seems to have dropped right off, and it does seem at least as stable as XP. Having said that, I see no reason to upgrade my home systems from XP yet, it simply doesn't give me anything new. And don't get me started on the awful FUBAR of Office 2007 - the ultimate "change-for-change's-sake" bloatware!

    At work though, I was sorely tempted by a single feature - power efficiency. We have some well-specced "workstation" laptops, they boot quickly to login, but after login we have an age whilst assorted security and other standard build junk loads. To get round this, it is common for many of us to hibernate the laptop rather than power them right off. With XP, this kills the battery in less than a day, but some test units with Vista will go three days in hibernation! I have no idea how Vista does it, it's just much better at power management. And our laptop build for Vista is stable. There's some testing to do, but I'm actually tempted to go with Vista on my work laptop.

    Of course, I'll be keeping it dual-boot with Linux.... But then I've noticed for years that Linux is happilly falling into the Vista trap, and each release needs more and more resources. Sure, I can still roll my own or get a minimalist version, but if I want to match the capability of Windoze then the Linux system is now not so far behind the M$ in requirements. Yes, the releases are much more user-friendly, but Linux is also creeping up the requirements ladder, and it won't be long before a system that runs XP Pro won't be powerful enough for Ubuntu with all the bells and whistles. I worry that M$ might pull a fast one and actually release Windows 7 with less of a hardware requirement than the major Linux desktops.

  40. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    I have upgraded from XP

    I have upgraded from XP to OS X

  41. Alan Fisher


    you're telling me that a lot of the legacy apps I paid for would not work on Vista?? So I would have to wait for "compatible versions" to come out and pay for them again?? Why?

    If I shelled out a few grand on apps I use just fine now, why should microscoffed tell me that I need to ditch my (admittedly) old rig to pay out not only for a new one but also to be unable to use my apps because they don't want me to anymore?


  42. Joe M

    A far far away Vista

    There is a lot of heat and smoke generated by this Vista vs. XP argument but at its heart is a simple truth.

    Most users are like me. We don't want Vista because we don't need it! XP does everything we want. It does it securely and it does it fast. My tools, utilities, apps and games run just fine. My net connection and browsing is OK too. I don't need anything in the OS that I don't already have. In time I may, but right now I don't. I have three unopened XP Pro licenses on the shelf ready for any new hardware I may buy - just in case MS decides to become SS.

    Vista may be the ants pants but so what. I don't change cars every couple of years just to get the latest gagets. My Lancer is safe, comfortable, economical and gets me there in quick time. When I'm good and ready I will update my car and I may update my OS.

    Meanwhile my message to MS is simple: Stop pushing you fools. Listen to your customers.

  43. Chris Byers

    Breaking Vista to make it work

    I've been using Vista as my media centre at home for the past year or so, and right up until I got my LG Blu-Ray ROM drive it performed flawlessly.

    My pC sits in a very svelte case under a TFT TV and connects via a HDMI cable to an Onkyo AV amp and from there to the TV. As Vista Media Centre does not support HD DVD\Blu-Ray natively you have to download third party patches to enable it to recognise the disk and fire up whatever HD disc content you want to play. Fine I thought. Microsoft are a little behind on this. It was the part where I tried to play a disk and Vista threw up a message claiming that my amp was classed as a HD repeater device and will not play DRM content through it. WTF!!!

    So to actually use Vista Media Centre is any reasonable way I had to download Slysoft's AnyDVDHD which basically turns off the highly restrictive DRM content in Vista just so I can play my legally purchased media over legal connections! Many aspects of Vista are poorly thought out (as a sysadmin, the frustration of actually trying to access network card properties in a quick way is something to behold!) and lac of new 'useful' features show that Windows 7 needs to be re-worked in a major way.

  44. Sooty

    I'm a vista user

    i know, but now that you've gotten over the shock...

    Actually, there's nothing really wrong with it, but, conversely, there's nothing really right with it either. There are no tangible benefits from using Vista over xp, the only reason i have it is that i bought a copy to try and that my new laptop came with it. If my pc goes wrong and needs a reinstall i will probably put xp back on, but can't really be bothered to go out of my way to do it.

    There have been a few annoyances, as it seems to have done it's best to hide or remove advanced functionality, i'm all for simplifying interfaces, but allow the mopre advanced people to use an advanced interface if they choose, don't just completely remove it. File types setup functionality springs to mind, in xp i could manually set up different applications for different actions, customise file icons etc. in vista all i can do is say this file opens in this app, and i have to leave the rest up to the app. much better for a new user who doesn't know what they are doing, but a massive loss of functionality for an advanced user.

    There are a couple of nice features too, file management for example. I know it's slow, but if i try to delete a folder and it finds a locked file it doesn't just stop with an error, it asks me what to do and then continues (i love this feature! admittedly it should have been included since windows 95 though).

    the main problem is the bloat, and a few access issues, a questionaire on first use would solve some of the bloat, ie is your pc a tablet, no then i won't automatically run all of the tabletpc specific junk everytime you boot your pc. Are you a complete fool, no then i'll disable remote registry manipulation .Are you ever likely to connect this pc to a large network etc. There is a lot of stuff running by default, just in case you ever need it most of which you don't need, nor will you ever use.

  45. Kevin Thomas

    @Joe Earl

    WTF kind of comment is:

    "More secure, more stable with SP1 providing you don't run a load of legacy apps,"


    Surely every application you have will be legacy if you're upgrading to a new OS. You mean to tell me that every application you have running on your PC with windoze has an upgrade path to must be the only one.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Retro but fast

    My girlfriend's 900MHz / 256MB Compaq Evo laptop is pretty slow with Win2K, never mind XP or Vista - but it runs a standard install of Ubuntu 8.04 smoothly and snappily. We bought the Compaq on eBay for £47, plus £3 for a PCMCIA wireless card. A Vista laptop costs £400 and does the same web/email/office thing, but slower.

  47. Chris Smith
    Jobs Halo

    Stop complaining

    People seem to compeletely forget the realistic side of things and quote monsterous performance complaints without any real figures. I offer a counter-claim:

    My £60 ebay purchased, P4 3GHz, 1Gb RAM, ATI Radeon 7500 runs Vista Home Premium SP1, with Avast!, Visual Studio 2008 Professional, SQL Server 2005 developer edition AND Outlook 2007 for 8 hours a day. That is all out of the box. It performs very well.

    I don't get Aero - so what - if I want that, it's a £10 NVidia 7100GS card off ebay and it'll work nicely! Speed issues, I'll spend £25 on another 1Gb of RAM from somewhere.

    Putting that pricing into perspective, quit complaining. It's the software that costs the money. The hardware is an incidental cost.

    Ballmer because he's actually trying to fix Windows's public opinion.

  48. Remy Redert


    I'd say that programming is quite a lot like engineering in terms of what you're (trying to) achieve.

    Specifically, you achieve basic functionality, then expand functionality until you've got the kind of tools and capabilities that you were originally aiming for. At this point, your program should be fairly stable and would be considered a release (candidate).

    From there, most vendors start adding patches, additional eye candy, functionality and all without removing anything. The program starts to bloat.

    What they should be doing is focusing on streamlining and removing code you (no longer) need. Make your program smaller and faster to run. An engineer (and thus a software developer) is done not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to remove!

  49. Dale

    Win 3.1

    And to think I once actively avoided upgrading to the new-at-the-time Windows 95 because Windows 3.11 did everything I thought I wanted it to.

    In some respects, however, even XP still does everything I expected Windows 3.11 to do... for example locking up the whole GUI for several minutes at a time because a network connection has failed.

  50. Elmer Phud

    @ Vincent - not necessarily a Vista thang

    " every frickin 5 minutes the screen dims and that uac pops up. 'wa wa wa wants to perform an update check allow-deny' ( replace wawawa with adobe acrobat , hp printer driver , java , flash , and a ton of other things. )

    Every time i boot the computer i have to sit through that. and then when i am browsing the web the adobe and flash things come to annoy me too."

    Can I suggest using CCleaner and just stopping the buggers from running at startup.

    That and using a firewall where you just go "Oi, you! no you can't access the web until I tell you. Now shut up and don't bother me again"

    There are those who swear at Vista and those who swear by it - me, I'm on a new machine with XP. another one waiting until Windows 7 Service Pack 2 comes out.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    MS would have been.....

    better spending their money further developing XP than wasting it on a system that only newbies

    take in ignorance . It will be a tragedy if they stop supporting XP and lets hope some enterprising person takes it over and gets the source code.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Amazing that people forget ...

    > .. that XP had nearly excatly the same sort of comments when it was released.

    And then in 2006 MS showed that they can do better and released WinFLP

    (but only for those who weren't as clueless as an average consumer):

    [min: 233 MHz/64 MB/610 MB; rec: 300 MHz/128 MB/1 GB]

  53. Paul Donnelly

    @Matt Bryant

    Weeeeeelll.... not strictly speaking true. There isnt a chance in hell that I'll ever get Vista working on my old pc (Athlon1800, 512mb ram, onboard graphics with no 3d)... I'd even been avoiding upgrading my linux distro as I dont like to bother learning new OS's.

    So from SuSe 9.1 (and yes, back in the heady days of SuSe!) I tried Ubuntu 8.10. Didnt like it. It did however, enable me to burn a CD for the latest OpenSuSe build, dated October 2008. I booted the live CD, clicked install, and was immediately presented with a box saying 'You have less than 1GB of Ram, This install might not work correctly. Blind faith, and knowledge that I had Ubuntu 8.10 as a fallback, I clicked ok.

    This distro is bang up to date, looking pretty swish, and will install on a 5 year old machine. I'm not as fond of it was I was of SuSe, but I'll live. Especially now that some of the old bugs have gone :)

    Vista is for fools - who would pay money for an OS?! an OS is part of the computer - not really software, as you cant run any software without an OS... computers have always come bundled with OS's, but the free ones have only become simple enough for home users recently... your time is coming MS!

  54. vincent himpe


    Stuff i use at home: Adobe Premiere in conjunction with a Matrox RTx2 for video editing .

    Various microcontroller devtools that use USB based JTAG probes. None of those work right (under wine). Altera Quartus.

    Stuff i use professionally: Various high end cad software. Some variants are flavor x of linux only, others are flavor y only. Others are windows only. I would need at least 3 different Os's to keep everything running. Same software is all available for, and runs happily on win XP. And the really high end stuff i use is solaris-only anyway. Simply run an xterm on win Xp.

    There is a wildgrow of linux distros these days. It's almost monty pythons twit race... They all take off in different directions. It is too much hassle to keep everything running and in working order. The computer is a tool for me , just like a screwdriver and a soldering iron is. some people like making their own screwdrivers and soldering irons, or making adapters to fit a tip from manufacturer x on an iron from y. That's all fine. I am not interested. I just buy the tool i need. Right now , linux and MacOs have nothing to offer that i can use. ( Yes, i have 2 linux boxes. One is a lamp server to run a documentation wiki. Fine. works flawless. The other one is the 'toy' machine. But for everyday productive usage ? sorry its XP.. ( And maybe in the future win7. Vista i am not interested in. I have a lpatop with Vista and a media centre running vista. and that is fine. But there is too much annoyances in vista like dimming screens every time some stupid program wants to poll for an update.

    I wish they would make a univeral updating mechanism that every program has to adhere to. A program would simply enter the URL where the ehceck has to be done. A central updater can then go and grab self deploying updaters from those URL's. There would be 1 little icon in the system tray 'there are updates available'. When you click it opens a box that show the list of avaialble updates. Like the updater in ubuntu. That is actually a useful tool.

  55. James O'Brien


    I have said this again and again, XP on my gaming system was unstable as all hell. Now I work in tech and see the short comings with Vista but I will agree with the poster who said it seems like alot of peoples S key gets remapped to the $ (myself included sometimes) but Vista on my gaming rig is rock solid stable. For the one with the "vid card frying itself" post wtf were you trying to do with it? I run a GTX 280 that never climbs over 65 cel. On the driver issues, those who mentioned it, do you really expect MS to be responsible for other companies products? Drivers are the problem of the hardware manufactures (ie: Creative and so on). So why do you blame MS for these problems? Get a life for that comment. I am not trying to defend MS here but please people, take a moment to look at the arguements and then look back in time to XP, 2000, 98 launch and realize this has happened ALOT. Old arguements, new reason.

    /sighs flames cause I know im going to get them

  56. JT2008


    " Is it better than its predecessor? "


  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Chris Smith

    "Stop complaining"

    Did that. Bought a Mac. No complaints.

    Even ran Kalyway OSX on a Thinkpad T60 just to get away from the horror that was Vista.

    Kalyway is the only way.

  58. Anonymous Coward

    Vista ate my cat!

    And drunk all my beer and trashed my car!


  59. James Gibbons

    Drivers and Bloat

    Can't copy network files fast because the network stack is throttled so not to break up audio playback. Sounds like driver and kernel bloat to me. XP can do audio quite well and is not throttled, thank you.

    What MS needs to do for Win 7 is release an XP level for business without all the disk indexing and other services that cause slow operation. They had to disable all this junk for Server 2008 because MS must not let the new server run slow like Vista.

    And I'm still waiting for Matrox MIL 9 with Vista drivers. Many large companies are just now releasing official Vista drivers. The driver SDK model changed from XP to add to the delays. Whole new TCP stack.

    Good news is Linux will soon run standard GigE machine vision cameras (see

  60. g00p

    Quit whining...

    ...use *nix.


  61. scott

    Thankyou MS

    I was part of the Vista rollout team for one of the world's largest corporations - the small team whose job it was to evaluate and implement the thing. We had some of Redmond's finest in our midst, and there are features in Vista that are appealing to large corporates.

    However, at home I thought I'd give it a bash - as a genuine bog standard user.

    After 1 month (of a trial Ultimate version), I decided to move almost all my home desktop operations to my neglected Mac Mini. For the cost of one Ultimate license - I had the hardware *and* OS. That was 2 years ago, not looked back since! I do use XP on a laptop for some things - but my main desktop is an almost silent 4 yr old itty bitty white box with PowerPC technology, 512MB RAM and does a great job.

    So, well done Redmond - Vista"switched" me to Mac!

  62. Anonymous Coward

    As a small time PC seller

    I am self empoyed and my job is to fix the publics screwed up computers which isnt too bad on computers running XP, Everything is nice and quick and things go as I expect them to 99% of the time. With Vista I find myself taking 20 minutes to do simple tasks that would take only 3 minutes with XP and with Vista the chances of unexlained failures/events are quite high. And how many times has this though gone through my head "Has it locked up or is it just going slow again". I find it hard to hide my frustration from customers when working with Vista.

    As for new build computers I only sell about 20 a year to customers that I know and trust from doing previous work. If the option of buying and installing XP is removed I will simply stop selling computers as unlike the big retail stores I have provide proper support to the customers I sell to. I cant just say "Yeh, Vista does that sometimes, Just run your full system recovery. No it wont erase all your photos, Trust me."

    Fortunately I should be making an exit from working with computers late next year :)

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Had it for 3 days on new laptop, too slow, no perceivable advantage.

    Went back to XP, works great, stable and fast.

    As for mac I am using one now, but it is less stable than XP so far.

    Will never use at work.

  64. Ed

    Why Change From XP

    It took me years to switch from 98SE to XP...

    In the end my SE install just died and I upgraded..

    I have grown accustom to XP and cant see any logic in "upgrading" to vista, I think untill such a time that XP stops running the software i want I wont be changing...

    In truth i really cant see a point in reinventing the OS I mean it XP does everything you need and seeing as 90% of ppl either play games or surf the web how is vista going to make that experience any different...

    Someone should just write a vista looking shell for XP, I bet it would be faster than running vista itsself and I bet 90% of people could not tell that it was XP.

    All this time and money for some bells and whistles seams a big waste to me.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    another new laptop, another downgrade

    I used to post every few months about running a dual-core, 2gig of RAM laptop, and being unable to play video on VISTA without it cutting up.

    This xmas, daddy got a new laptop (£400 DELL, 3gig RAM, dual core, 250Gig HD); and yes, video still does NOT play reliably.

    XP discs out you come ... why has nobody been executed at M$?

    " .... I just want to do what I could do 5 years ago "

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