back to article XP? Thanks for the memories

Windows XP has been a spectacular success for Microsoft. Many companies avoided moving to Vista as it was such a big change. Radically different hardware requirements and massive compatibility issues, coupled with a thorough overhaul of the user interface, intersected with the global economic meltdown. The end result was that …


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  1. The BigYin


    ...the whole estate is going to 64-bit Win7 from 32-bit XP, you will need to do a pretty major re-training program.and a massive purchase of new licenses, hardware etc.* That's a big shake-up!

    This would be the perfect time to take a small test group and try them out on a Linux distro (perhaps use one that can be skinned to look like XP). You'll still have training to do, but hopefully less than Win7.

    The savings? Potentially: licenses, hardware, downtime etc

    I am not saying it's an answer that will fix all problems, but where is the harm in trying?

    *I have moved from 32-bit XP to 64-bit Win7. Win7 gives me pain (mostly poor performance) every single day. For want of a few minor features, I'd go 100% Linux in a heartbeat. The missing features are: RDP - Linux does not have a decent remote desktop server, VNC sucks; and OCS - there is no client that can fully connect (audio, video etc). Everything else is equivalent to or better than Win7.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Lets try...

      ..Core App one...Ah no Linux version

      ..Core App Two..Nope..

      Core App Three...yes, well kinda, in a fashion.

      ..Core App four. Nope.

      ..Core App Five YES!

      ..Core App Six..Nope

      Well that's our testing complete.

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        Lets try Win 7 64-bit

        ..Core App one...No, not under Win 7

        ..Core App Two..Nope..not with 64-bit

        Core App Three...yes, well kinda, in a fashion.

        ..Core App four. Nope.

        ..Core App Five YES!

        ..Core App Six..Nope

        Oh well. XP it is :)

        1. C 2

          We've got about 30 Win7 machines at work...

          Win 7 is nearly as big of a POS as Vista, it just has more shiny. Also it seems MS has found ways to break yet MORE apps, and who is the sick bastard who keeps 're-designing' the UI?!

          Seriously, I'm pretty sure it takes about 4 times as much clicking and twice as much thought to get anything done!! You'd think MS doesn't WANT anyone to get things done with windows.

          It bluescreens more than XP ever did, at least they don't take as long to boot up as Vista does.

          From the perspective of our IT dept, Linux is starting to look more attractive for many functions, especially ones where functionality, stability or security is needed.

          1. The BigYin

            @C 2

            I hear yah, my P4 Ubuntu box can boot from cold and be ready to go in less time than it takes for my much bigger Win7 box to simply log-in (never mind boot).

            As for those who seem to be getting the wrong end of the stick - I am *not* saying that Linux is the perfect answer for everyone in every situation. All I am saying is that it could be for some. The shift to 64-bit Win7 is huge, especially if moving from XP (software compatibility, complete UI changes etc); so not would seem to be a good time to look at see if Linux can ease some pain. Unlike Win7, Linux can at least be "skinned" to look like XP. It's not Windows, I grant you, but to the non-IT literate the UI is a big, BIG deal. To not even look is IMHO, sheer idiocy.

          2. Al fazed

            @C 2

            Just as long as you don't want to work on a MS Word .doc in Open Office, you'll be fine.

            However, if you don't believe me, you are gonna have to proof read every line of every doc to make sure it ain't been mangled.

            In particular look out for fucked up tables and formulae.


            1. The BigYin


              Yeah, like Word *never* gets it's own panties in a bundle over formatting...

              I will agree that OpenOffice is less, err, feature rich than MS Office; but this does not mean it is a bad tool, only that it won't work for some people.

              If you are one of those people, then use Office or whatever works for you.

          3. Anonymous Coward

            @ C2

            LOL - Windows - it's much like changing from using a finger to scratch your haemorrhoids to using an entire pineapple - rough end first.

            "Ooooooooooooooo JUST Gotta get that scratch on"

            Pass on all Microscoff stuff - Linux it is, my nice little medicated suppository.


        2. Mark 65

          Re:Lets try Win 7 64-bit

          Core app one...compatibility mode/native

          Core app two...compatibility mode/native

          Core app three...compatibility mode/native

          Core app four...compatibility mode/native

          Love 'em or loathe 'em MS did actually put some thought into Windows 7 and seem to have made it very difficult to legitimately not upgrade (providing you're a windows shop). I speak as someone working for a company that couldn't find their arsehole from a hole in the ground but are happily (and successfully) rolling out Windows 7 64-bit enterprise version.

          As for those stating license cost issues I'd imagine MS would be very amenable to you moving off of XP onto 7 so the initial costs would be very accommodating.

      2. Blue eyed boy

        So let's see what happens under Win64:

        Core 16 bit DOS app 1: Contact the vendor for an updated version

        Core 16 bit DOS app 2: Contact the vendor for an updated version

        Core 16 bit Windows app 3: Contact the vendor for an updated version

        Core 16 bit Windows app 4: Contact the vendor for an updated version

        Hang on a minute, that's our own f'ing software that won't go under this new 64-bit thingy. Back to Status Quo to avoid getting into Dire Straits :)

        Over to you Bill. Once Win64 can run Win 16 (not forgetting DOS 16) apps there might be a greater takeup.

      3. The BigYin

        Dear Anon

        What part of "I am not saying it's an answer that will fix all problems" do you not understand? As much as you may wish it to be otherwise, YOU are not the centre of the universe. What does not work for you, may work for some and vice versa.

        As you clearly have nothing of value to add, perhaps it would simply be better for us all if you remained silent.

    2. Antony Riley


      Either over ssh using SSH -X or via XDCMP is an alternative.

      Pity Ubuntu / Gnome (gdm) seem to have recently made XDCMP harder to configure.

      Gotta love those guys at Gnome, keep rewriting stuff and removing features, why don't they just call it windows.

      1. The BigYin


        "Either over ssh using SSH -X or via XDCMP is an alternative."

        No, it is not (not for me anyway). Windows does not come with SSH or XDMCP support and I cannot insist that clients install random software. Also I find that XDMCP is a bit slow with graphical data and security is a concern as (IIRC) SSH cannot be used to fully secure the network traffic (it does encrypt UDP or something).

    3. Reg Varney

      Massive retraining??

      It's Windows before, it's Windows now (and probably more like the version they're using at home) - where is the retraining?

      1. The BigYin


        Because it looks and behaves radically differently. And you must remember we are talking about non-IT literate people. People who think that Google an application and don't know what the internet is.

    4. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      A few assumptions there.

      1) Retraining users to use Linux (a whole different UI) would cost less than retraining to use Win 7.

      2) That any company systems in use will both work in Linux and require little testing or alteration.

      3) Any applications the company uses either have linux versions or good equivalents..

      4) Retraining users to use Linux versions of Applications will not cost a lot.

      Regarding point 2. This applies in Windows as well, but a windows based company system is more likely to work in a new version of Windows. I work in an Enterprise. When you are working with software and os installs that will be deployed to over 500 machines, you test extensively, and spend a lot of money doing so.

    5. Al fazed
      Thumb Down

      @The BigYin

      In that case I'll stay with Windows 2000 off line and XP on line.

      I've been through three Linux distros in the last year and none is ready for replacing XP.

      If you think otherwise then you ain't tried the same Office and Comms applications.


      1. The BigYin

        I am tied to OCS...

        ...VPN and few other things which are Windows specific. OpenOffice works well enough for me. The VPN is not such a big deal (it will be changing soon for a host of reasons) the killers are OCS (Office Communicator) and RDP (remote desktop). Nothing can interact with OCS fully (IM, audio and video). This is not the fault of Linux, but the fault of MS for applying the proprietary poison-pill; but I am still stuck regardless of fault.

        VNC is not up to the job of blasting a desktop around the globe and this is the fault of the Linux community, it should have been deprecated years ago. XRDP is a friggin' joke.

        I have solutions to these problems that should suit me fine (virtualisation of Windows - yes, I have the licenses) but that is not going to work for everyone.

        It staggers me that for all their innovation, the distro makers let such simple things slip through the cracks. Empathy and Pidgin can (almost) work with OCS; fix them! VirutalBox OSE can act as an RDP server, why not tear the code out of that?

        Still, this list of bitchy-gripes is a lot short than my gripes with Windows!

  2. Josh 15
    Thumb Up

    I Made The Switch Already

    ...From an XP-based machine straight to a Win7 Professional 64-bit machine. have to say I'm loving it. I did spend a lot of money on a very powerful PC (graphics and DAW), admittedly (this thing has frankly ridiculous 12GB of RAM as well as one of these: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 930 @ 2.80GHz, 2801 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s) according to my system information. It is amazingly fast and powerful compared to my old XP machine.

    I haven't stumbled across very many compatibility issues at all. All my Adobe software works just fine (and now Photoshop runs in spiffing 64-bit mode - yay!) and my MIDI software, indluding VSTi plugins for 32-bit, have just about all been absolutely fine.

    All in all, for me, migrating to a hugely more powerful beast has been very painless and - so far - most enjoyable. For me, Win7 feels like a very much more faster, more powerful XP. BTW, I'm running Win7 off of a dedicated 32GB SSD. I know. Even that's too small (just 7GB free). Still, I have 2TB of internal storage. Nice!

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      You made the switch...

      ...but it was from a old box small enough that XP could drive it to a machine with 12GB of RAM, more cores than XP was ever licensed for, and an SSD. You've probably gained more than an order of magnitude in raw performance on almost every common benchmark, so I'm not surprised that it feels faster, even with Win7.

  3. Adam Salisbury
    Thumb Up

    A Long Time Coming

    Bearing in mind 64bit hardware has been with us for years now anyone upgrading to Windows 7 should most definitely go 64, we're doing it now and haven't had any problems in so doing. While it's still not yet essential it soon will be if you consider all the new technolgies being developed today; UEFI, 3+ TB hard disks and ever increasing memory requirements mean making the change now will be more cost effective than waiting until you're pushed to do so.

    Not only that but the more people who switch the more incentive there is for developers to finally moveto the world of 64bit too. The general concensus amoung our beloved code monkeys seems to be the inherent difficulty in writing much more expansive and multithreaded code, furhter uptake will bring us better tools to overcome this.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      A lot longer time still to come

      "UEFI, 3+ TB hard disks and ever increasing memory requirements mean making the change now will be more cost effective than waiting until you're pushed to do so"

      How does that work, then? If I defer the change, I get to keep my money in the bank and the shiny toys are much cheaper in real terms next year anyway. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Once it is broke (or no longer meets your requirements) *that's* the "push" you referred to.

      "The general concensus amoung our beloved code monkeys seems to be the inherent difficulty in writing much more expansive and multithreaded code"

      Either you haven't understood your code monkeys or they really are monkeys. Porting to Win64 has nothing whatsoever to do with multi-threaded code. On the other hand, it will require an expensive re-write that adds no new end-user features (unlike the Win16->Win32 transition, where the 32-bit APIs had loads of new stuff you could play with) and quite probably slows the machine down. (To a first approximation, going from 32 to 64-bit halves the effective size of your memory sub-system, unless you are doing heavy numerical work, in which case you are probably already running on 64-bit Linux.)

      There is no business case for porting 99% of native mode apps.

  4. John Tserkezis
    Thumb Down

    64 bit *can* be an issue.

    If you're lucky enough to be rolling out new hardware, it's likely the PC vendor is going to supply Win7 64bit drivers too.

    However, if you're upgrading the OS on existing hardware, good luck with that. And don't bet that Microsoft will "magically" have those drivers too - you REALLY need to do some homework first.

    Let alone card and peripherals without 64bit support. Again, good luck with that.

    All the hardware I have at home, and what I use at work are all 64bit capable, but I'm still running 32bit simply for this reason. Till the vendors pull their thumbs out and start writing drivers for the 64 OS we're ALL going to be running in the near future, I'm staying where I am thanks.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe Vista had to happen ?

    It's worth bearing in mind that even if Vista had been a success, it would still have had issues with rollout, as the look and feel was too different.

    Windows 7 isn't perfect, it still has issues with Wireless routers due to IPv6 being enabled by default, and the uPnP flooding caused by Media Centre.

    People are afraid of change, but when the need is there, issues can be worked around (upgrade router, disable IPv6 temporarily, disable uPnP on the router). There was no need to move to Vista as XP was still pretty fresh, now XP is starting to look pretty long in the tooth, and it's time to move on.

    1. MnM
      Paris Hilton

      tell me more...

      'uPnP flooding caused by Media Centre' - can you post a link or two about this? Interwebs are unresponsive to my cursory searching.

  6. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    64-bit, a-okay!

    I am rolling out 7-x64 to all of my managed sites with little issue. Legacy software which has refused to run operates just fine in XP Mode, and the integration makes the users happy as well. I have to say Microsoft did a really good job with this.

    My biggest issue is Microsoft's middle finger to all those who did not "upgrade" to Vista. By not providing an upgrade path directly from XP to 7, it has made the chore a major PITA for upgrading the OS. In most of my cases we are moving to new hardware, anyway, so the only migration we worry about is profile (USMT works wonders for this) and software installation. In all, it is a great opportunity to flush out old software installations which may be stale or illegitimate.

    Second issue is drivers. While Microsoft has required both 32- and 64-bit drivers for WHQL qualifications, not all 64-bit drivers are sane. Printer drivers have been the absolutely worst for me in a couple of situations, especially when trying to network to Server 2003 print services. Take the server out of the picture, and even direct printing to a network printer can be sporadic.

    For myself, I have been using XP x64 Edition for a couple of years now, and me likey. The primary issue holding me back for myself will be to reload all of my programs and data, and that I absolutely abhor and despise the Vista user interface. It is not just about being different than what we have been using for over a decade, but having to navigate a phone tree to get to "advanced" system options.

    For all the benefits it provides, 64-bit is IMNSHO definitely the way to go. I feel we should have been here many many years ago.

    Paris, doing everything the same way for over a decade.

    1. david 12 Silver badge

      driver support

      > not all 64-bit drivers are sane. Printer drivers have been the

      > absolutely worst for me in a couple of situations, especially

      > when trying to network to Server 2003 print services.

      No Windows 7 Canon printer can be shared from Server 2003 to Win 7/64, unless you personally modify the printer drivers on Server 2003 (making them unsigned). You can't fix the Win7/64 drivers, because Win7/64 requires signed drivers.

      Canon Printers blamed MS for this, (although the only problem is the re-naming of the printers) but who-ever the fault belongs with, Canon categorically refused to support shared printers. From Server 2003 or any platform. As:

      "Do you have a printer than can be shared?"

      "You should use a networked printer"

      PS, the Pentium Pro was 64-bit capable, and that was 1995 - rather more than the "half decade" associated with the "hidden advantage" in this article.

      1. L.B
        Thumb Down

        Your PS is complete cobblers.

        The Pentium Pro was not in any way a 64bit processor.

        It had 64/80 bit Floating Point, but that is nothing to do with the process address space that can be used.

        With the right chip set some could have more than 4GB of physical memory, but that was effectively paged in using special extensions in the OS, this was similar to the flipping of 64KB memory regions on the 16bit machines, but at no time could a process see more than a 32bit address space.

        If you think the Pentium Pro was 64bit, using the similar logic I could claim the VAX 11/780 (1977) was a 128bit machine as it had both FP and Integer instructions for manipulating 16byte structures.

        The VAX was 32bit, and so was the Pentium Pro.

  7. Sooty

    i made the swicth a long time ago

    from 32bit xp, to xp x64. which was pretty painless. There was no end user difference at all, only a few bits and pieces around drivers. If a company needed it, they could have switched with no user re-training.

    The only difference between xp, vista 64bit versions and widows 7, is that you don't have to buy them separately!

  8. Mage Silver badge

    Warning: May contain traces of nuts

    There was a 64 bit version of NT4.0

    Most ordinary people don't need 64bit windows. It's less efficient.

    XP support possibly till 2020

    Ubuntu is a more interesting upgrade for XP users than Win7 unless your PC is an expensive game console.

    I know one guy with XP + 1G RAM for real work and 8G RAM and 64bit Win7 solely for games.

    1. Cameron Colley

      But we're talking *enterprise* here.

      "Ubuntu is a more interesting upgrade for XP users than Win7 unless your PC is an expensive game console.". But this isn't about being interesting it's about getting your work done.

      If you run an enterprise estate based on MS technology you *have to* upgrade from XP soon or you'll run into support and possibly even regulatory problems. That means going to Windows 7, if you're replacing your PC estate, and so it makes sense to go 64bit so that, in five years time when you're still on the same hardware, you'll be able to whack 4GB or more RAM in if needed to get a bit more time out of your kit.

      I keep seeing this "Most ordinary people don't need 64bit windows. It's less efficient." in relation to Linux as well -- but I'm not sure I've seen any figures to back it up. Though I'll admit I found it odd that the article suggests 64bit is *more* efficient.

    2. David Neil

      XP support will not run until 2020

      It goes out of support in 2014, and no business will (should) take that risk.

      Been a decent run for an OS that shipped in 2001

  9. Mage Silver badge

    Win7 64bit

    Don't upgrade. Only buy new Laptop.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Did that

      Old laptop couldn't handle company-mandated McAfee crap (CPU pegged out at 100% every couple of minutes). Boss authorized a new laptop, which came with company-standard XP. I trashed that straight off, put Windows 7 64-bit on it. No problems so far, much better experience than Vista.

      Linux? Sure, when it's useful. My home desktop triple-boots XP, Debian and OpenSolaris, my home server runs OpenSlug, my office desktop/server runs Solaris (I develop on Solaris). There's no point in being dogmatic about any one OS, any more than there is being dogmatic about any one programming language. Use the one that's appropriate.

  10. Red Bren
    Gates Horns

    Any OS you like, as long as its Window 7

    "Windows 7 has had a very positive reception, and it has quickly become the operating system (OS) of choice for consumer and SMB PCs"

    As in the Hobson's choice of "Buy a PC with Windows 7 pre-installed" or "Don't buy a PC"?

    Yes I know you can mail-order or build a bespoke PC with an alternative OS if you really want. What you can't do is walk into PC World, Tesco or any other High Street seller of branded PCs and buy a one that has an alternative OS (or no OS at all) pre-installed. As that's how the majority of consumers buy a computer, it's stretching the truth to say they chose to buy Windows 7 when it is the only option.

    1. DT

      so rather than give Microsoft any credit for being the customer's choice...

      you'd rather stretch the truth by saying Windows 7 is the "only option"

      Which is an accidental compliment to M$ and an accidental insult to Apple as it infers that a Mac isn't substitutable for a Win7 offering, or that for some other reason isn't a viable alternative to consumers. Why wouldn't it be?

      Yes, it's Hobson's choice...Mao Microsoft or Stalin Apple.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Windows 7 is the only Windows option

        If that Mac runs all your apps, that's great. But I think the focus of the present discussion is a corporate environment where all the apps are Windows apps and hardly any of them have Mac variants even if you have no budgetary constraints.

      2. Red Bren


        For the purpose of this argument I'm treating PCs and Macs as different, in much the same way that Apple did in their advertising. So for the purpose of this discussion, Windows 7 IS the only option as you cannot buy a branded PC from a High Street store with any other version of Windows installed.

        I'm not suggesting that companies are not within their rights to only sell the latest version of their product. I am saying it is stretching the truth to claim the new product "has quickly become the <product> of choice" when the old one is no longer available.

    2. a .de surfjunky

      Good to know not to be the mayority of the consumers

      I will not buy a next PC, I will buy:

      Motherboard, CPU+cooler, Graphics-card, RAM, drives, power supply, case.

      If I will use Win 7, I will buy the cheapest 64 bit

      System-Builder version (when possible US english -> GAMES!)

      (in ordinary brown box) for gaming only.

      I slowly change to Linux mint 9 (gnome) for the rest.

      (* first version with my upgraded PC originally from 2001/2002.)

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Ah the race, I remember it well!

    I have to have a faster machine 'cos the O/S needs it. I have to have the latest O/S, cos the hardware is too new for the older O/S I did like.

    I stepped out of the home PC arms race and got a life with some real hobbies outside in the fresh air. I now make do with a 2 year old machine that still chugs along and will be replaced when it croaks out it's final death rattle.

    Don't get me wrong, if you have need for a powerhouse to get something useful done like computing huge prime numbers or some serious CAD work, go for it, but just for bragging rights and signatures on some forum full of other saddos, no thanks. Need to answer a few mails, look up the local Sainbury's opening times and play the odd game? I have a ASUS notebook dohickey for that.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Ha ! The only time I tried to upgrade a PC to Windows 7 the boot sector of the disks were a problem as the motherboard/CMOS/whatever didn't like them ! Immediate fail on M$ part. When the data was copied and a bootable disk made, the PC/processor couldn't take 64 bit anyway. If you have XP, stick with it for now. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Your attempt at installing a 64bit o/s on a 32bit computer? That's Microsoft's fault?

      Not think of doing some h/w first?

      Classic PICNIC

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Windows 7 64 Bit Ultimate

    I upgraded my old quad core to Win 7 when it first became available through the MSDN subscription. After a couple minor upgrades ( more and better drives and memory ) , it's much faster and more stable than my xp installation was, and allows me to run multiple concurrent virtual machines under virtualbox.

    Q9550 with 12Gig, a pair of striped 15k drives for onboard 300GB of storage, with ~20 TB of NAS connected storage on my home network.. I literally can do everything I want from one machine.

    I have to say I haven't enjoyed a windows upgrade this much in a decade or so.

    1. Ammaross Danan


      So, your new Win7 is "much faster and more stable" once you did a few simple things. Nothing big. Just added loads more RAM and a pair of 15k drives. No big change compared to the old XP system I'm sure....

      Also, the biggest thing I've seen is "just use XP Mode" for those "legacy" programs. It will work fine! Well, not in this case: "and allows me to run multiple concurrent virtual machines under virtualbox." Sorry, XP Mode is Virtual PC with a shiney wrapper, and guess what? Virtual PC doesn't release hardware locks properly and thus, doesn't play well with other VMs. I ran into this problem on my Win7x64 system at work. Have a couple legacy apps, so I opted to try XP Mode. Boot up the legacy app and VMWare crashed. Haven't tried on Virtualbox since the VMs are already built in VMWare. Back to using legacy apps in an RDP session. :( And no, the legacy apps won't work in compatability mode. One in particular uses some 32-bit DLL for image handling...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      1000's of programs

      When you have 1000's of programs, the first thing which stands out about win 7 is the HORRID interface. Yeah I know there's classic menu now. There's a ton of things I can spend time "learning about" instead of actually "producing and getting work done"

      And as far as "faster"

      I'm not convinced. Yet I can't prove anything.

      However if it works for you, great.

      I use netbsd, linux, win 7 and XP - Tried migrating to win 7 64 bit and it was a MISERABLE FAIL, but I have a cloned backup, so no problem.

      Win 7 / 64bit's good for grandma just like ubuntu is. BOTH work equally wonderful for grandma.

      One is oligarchy priced into off the shelf computers, the other is a Download.

      1. Al fazed


        Your granny must have a BSc in computing then.

        I thought of putting my 84 year old father onto Linux after Win 2000 became NOTsecurable.

        However, considering the amount of programs he uses and the amount of confusion this would cause him, I'll just monitor the Win 2000 a bit tighter. He does no banking, shopping, facebook or anything other than eMail and Solitaire.

        The same goes for my other clients who are past 60.

        Why cause them a problem they can't live with.

        It wouldn't do my business any good at all.


        1. Chemist

          @Al fazed

          You have a business - people pay you !?

          My experience is that anybody can use a Linux installation that's been set-up for them. Age doesn't come into it.

      2. Al fazed


        PS, even the bug reporting tool doesn't work under Mandriva, it keeps crashing, what a laugh !


  14. Lottie

    From the success stories

    I might see about Windows 7 when I build a new box. Seems like it's come along quite nicely

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Skip
      Thumb Up

      LIDE scanner in VM

      Just moved my parents from XP to Win7 x64 (new hardware) and also had the question of what to do about the LiDE 30 scanner which had no Vista/Win7 drivers of any description. Solved with Windows Virtual PC running XP (not in XP Mode but might have worked that way as well). Was quite impressed as I thought it might need drivers of the host OS too...

  16. Steven Jones

    Windows 7

    I have 32bit Windows 7 on a work laptop, the same on a personal laptop and Windows 7 64bit on a home quad-core desktop. All three machines had XP on before, and are all a couple of years old, or a bit more. I've yet to have a single system crash on any of them in about 8 months of total (adding up all three machines). Fortunately I've found drives for all my peripherals.

    In essence, the stability and time to boot and responsiveness is a huge improvement and I don't think it is down to just clean builds, but we'll see as the patches build up. Don't have less than 2GB or 2 cores and there's a few changes for changes sake, but basically it is all good. On the basis that Vista was a beta, Windows 7 for, the first time, feels like I could live with it for ever.

  17. henrydddd

    Chicken or the egg

    Reading about all the nice people who are having a great experience with Windows 7. I wonder if it is a chicken or the egg argument. I see people who buy computers with Window 7 and the computers have a large increase in processor power over their old computers. For most users, the people with Win 7 run the same programs as they did with Windows 98. So is it that Windows 7 is a step up for the user or another step in the Wintel cycle? Is the eventual goal of this never ending cycle of software-hardware upgrades every 2 to 4 years going to give people more things that they can do with their computer,,,,,, or will we have computers with the power of the computer on the Star Ship Enterprise running Windows 666 taking over a minute to bring up a Word document? Only the future knows for sure.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Chicken, definitely

      As a software developer, I've had ample opportunity to compare XP, Vista and 7 in both 32 and 64-bit flavours on the same hardware. Obviously this penalises the later OSes because the hardware is restricted to something that XP can deal with. On the other hand, if you are a corporate IT manager with an installed base of XP machines, this may be the hardware you are starting with. With this caveat in mind...

      7 is fairly usable on XP-level hardware. That makes a wholesale migration of a corporate environment from XP to 7 possible. Whether it is actually worthwhile depends on how you rate the cost of supporting a mixed environment, but the choice is yours.

      Vista offered no such choice. It is unacceptably slow and unstable on anything that XP will run on. (It has about twice the disc footprint after installation, about twice the RAM footprint after boot, and everything goes at about half the speed.) If you are unfortunate enough to have been lumbered with it, you should definitely consider paying for the OS upgrade because it is probably cheaper than any hardware upgrade that would deliver the same performance improvement.

      The 64-bit versions of each platform feel essentially the same as the 32-bit ones. The difference in performance between the two is much less than the difference between XP, Vista or 7.

      Now let's consider that caveat. It is sad that 7 can't match XP on XP's own territory, but I have no doubt that 64-bit 7 will knock the stuffing out of 32-bit XP on a machine with over 3GB of RAM and that's probably what it should have if you buy the box today, so for new purchases I think 64-bit Win7 is a no brainer unless you need unusual device drivers. (BTW, if you do need unusual device drivers, do not assume that the 32-bit driver you have right now for XP will run unchanged on 32-bit Win7.)

      As a software developer, I expect most of my customers next year to be running XP32 or 7-64. I'll support the other 4 permutations, simply because once I've covered these two, the others come pretty much for free, but I'll feel sorry for anyone lumbered with them. Especially Vista. Comparing Vista and 7 on the same hardware is truly shocking. How could they have let it out of the door?

  18. Nazar

    Windows 7 vs Virtualised MicroXP

    Sorry.. I am too much in love with MicroXP (boots up to around 40MB and around 1GB install). I have about a dozen Virtualbox machines catering for my Windows development needs on my Linux metal box.

    Windows 7? No thanks!

  19. John Munyard


    I doubt if a more glowing article about the reasons for dumping XP for Windows 7 could have been written if Steve Balmer had done it himself.

  20. BigSteve

    New OS & hardware or a night out?

    After using XP for some years I wanted something more up-to-date & some new software too, the problem is I'd probably need to upgrade my 2gig cpu & 1gig memory system.

    So with Windows 7 & new hardware around £350 at least! it wasnt looking good Then I found Linux Mint for free! (the software for its up-to-date & free as well) - and now my oldish system works & looks better the my brothers brand new Win 7 system.

    A potential saving of £349.80 as I download it at work then wrote to DVD - just think how many pints that could buy ( 120 & half pints of Guinness!)

  21. JaitcH

    Win XP, 64 bit, now reliable why change?

    We always wait at least until SP 1 before changing to a new OS but why bother if XP64 is doing it's thing reliably?

    So for the time being we shall live happily in the past whilst others figure out the nigglies with a new OS. Chances are we will switch to Linux for most of our machines in line with our countries government who is steadfastly only installing Linux for government offices and school systems.

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. Big-nosed Pengie

    Windows 7 Migration – is it time to move to 64-bit Linux?

    I fixed that for you.

  24. A B 3

    Linux plus wine plus...

    Virtualbox plus dosbox,

    you've got all your Windows Apps and games back. Give it a try if you're sick of forking out money for OS upgrades.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Agree with article

    when the time comes to upgrade from XP to Windows 7, I would think that most companies would consider the 64bit version simply for adding additional memory in the future. adding more memory has always been the easiest, cheapest way to gain performance from older PCs.

    I think with the economy the way it is, it may take some time for companies to make the plunge.

    There is no need to simply upgrade the OS without upgrading the machine. some PCs are several years old running XP, simply upgrading the OS without investing in the hardware is foolish and gains nothing. A new PC with Windows 7 64 will be required, and cost of replacement can get high. Many companies are still trying to ride out the storm, so purchasing equipment to do the same job just doesn't make sense right now.

    Windows 7 seems to be a success, but I think it could have been better if the economy was better.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Migration was a failure here.

    Windows 7 Migration – is it time to move to 64-bit?

    NO. Too many apps don't work with EXTERNAL NON COMPUTER (I guess ya call it 3rd party) hardware, and have no equal. When I have no job, and need to toss out $10,000+ of rack effects and other hardware, and then BUY $2000 new hardware and the OS for $250 (rounded)... and then spend MONTHS tweaking the system and debugging..all while no production..


  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Also ....

    Also, I forgot to mention, I WOULD be willing to PAY for Security updates beyond the EOL

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What would the team think about a corporate that was

    about to upgrade from Windows 2000 and XP to Vista 32?

    Would you be any less surprised if the IT outsourcerers name involved the initials E and S and D (not necessarily in that order)?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: What would the team....etc

      I think I speak for all of us when I say the following:

      We'll get back to you in a few days when we've stopped pissing ourselves with laughter.

  29. Smokey Joe

    Can't wait!

    All those improvements. Sounds good. Where do I update this pile of cra... Oh!


  30. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Is win 7 64-bit built by Jobs?

    A productivity win? No Flash support in IE8 = no youtube.

  31. Bob. Hitchen
    Thumb Down


    There are a lot of people here with little or no understanding of legacy systems. These are either bespoke or modified(sometimes heavily) standard packages for business needs. Having spent a great deal of time, effort and money getting these things working why would a business want to throw that away for new anything. If it was 2000 so what? It costs a small fortune to buy in vast numbers of new machines and licences. From a business perspective it is about having something that does the job.

    I only use Windows these days for satellite TV and the odd photo editing which picasa3 won't do. Oh and some games. Every thing else is done with Linux. There really is no contest on timing Linux wins every time 20-30 secs and browsing against 5mins plus on XP from pressing the on button. Windows 7 is no better I had a laptop running a game on holiday - no shortage of blue screens. I don't really care about an OS it is not the reason for having a computer the Applications are what matter. Guess what most of those are 32bit because the developer needs to produce for the lowest common denominator. 64bit hardware has been around for yonks but progress towards compatible software has gone at a snail's pace.

  32. Mostor Astrakan

    With all the people gushing about XP

    XP sucks. It's just that it sucks in ways that users throughout the last ten years have gotten used to. For crying out loud, I had to do a complete OS reinstall this month because a game misbehaved, and hosed the entire box. Thing is, when XP goes Windows and needs a wee re-install, I'm fairly sure I know the voodoo to fix it. When 7 goes Windows, I haven't a clue. Chances are, neither does your IT department.

  33. cmaurand

    Most XP apps run in the compatability layer

    At some point, Microsoft will have to abandon backward compatability to older versions of Windows. Apple had to do that when they changed architectures to go to OSX. Its too much to support all that backward compatability. They do provide the XP compatability layer and it runs your stuff seemlessly on the Vista Desktop. Its a Hyper-V virtual machine. It works pretty well. I've tried it with a application here at my office that won't run on Win 7.

    Personally, I use VMWare Server and run an XP virtual machine there. I hate to say it, but we still have machines running Windows 2000. Say what you want, but it gets the job done.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Economic uncertainty

    I recently had an XP box die and faced this choice : spend money I cannot afford on new mobo/RAM/CPU/GPU/SATA and reconstitute the XP32 system, or spend 3x as much on a spiffy Win7-64 ditto with more cores and more RAM.

    In the end poverty won. This isn't lack of foresight, it's just the math of survival in a stagnant economy that is unlikely to improve much. I would, by the time I'd upgraded apps, peripherals, and wasted weeks learning, have spent 10x as much, to basically stand still. I just don't have it, and the banks won't lend it, and even if they would, I don't know that I'll be able to repay it.

    XP performance isn't the productivity bottleneck in my business, it's lack of customers with budget. If they won't spend, I can't spend. And that's the problem facing much of UK PLC as well as SoHo's like me, and we will delay IT upgrades for as long as possible as a result. Just like the car industry, many fewer people will be able to buy new every few years. And yes, Linux might make some gains in this environment as a way of extending the life of old clunkers - but the learning curve is where Linux costs are hidden.

    Posted from my Nokia 6310i.

  35. Martin Nelson

    Multi Core has been around for a lot longer than we remember.

    The first mass-produced multi-core device was in fact the Sega Saturn....with a quad core (or close approximation) it's taken almost 15 years to get to that point again.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Hmm yes some programs will never work with Win 7 in 64-bit mode. Classic example of this is some software we want to use it's an overlay program for something the program underneath will run on Win 7 x64 but the overlay doesn't and the overlay is the only one that supports the newer hardware we want to interface with - Classic Fail and once we had a win 7 32-bit pc built the other piece of software that links into this to give us the full system layout view doesn't work with the new software yet - so total failure of the software in essence.

    I mean what is the point of putting nice shiny hardware out if you've not got the software to work with it in the environment your customer is going to have which is Win 7 x64bit we don't have the need for Professional can't really see the upgrade we'd get from Home Premium but hey bet this is happening a lot where there is specialist software that does a specific task that no-other software out there can replicate since it doesn't know how to interface with the hardware - almost makes me want to break out the programmers guide and write the software myself which I could probably do given a few years.

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