back to article MS to WinXP diehards: Just under 3 more years' support

Microsoft continued its campaign yesterday to convince stuck-in-the-mud Windows XP customers to upgrade to Windows 7, the company's current operating system. Windows XP is now 10 years old, and for some, it's still going strong. So Microsoft has reminded those users that support for the OS that refuses to die will end in less …


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  1. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Seems reasonable.

    Win7 /is/ better than WinXP. It's not perfect (what version of Windows ever was) but it's a more than capable replacement.

    1. mr.K
      Thumb Down

      Re: Seems reasonable

      I wouldn't say that Windows 7 (or rather 6.1) is awful, it is adequate, but I wouldn't say that I come close to XP or win2k (basically the same OS). I used the latter until I was forced to change last year.

      For the average user it might be better and more secure. For me it is not, until it can provide me with a volume control that controls the hardware instead of the software, a start menu that follows some basic menu guidelines and a search function with a GUI. As for security it is a big thing for me to know what my computer does most of the time. I no longer do, with a ton of extra services doing something, scheduled tasks hiding god knows where, auto-updaters you have to wrestle with on monthly basis, delayed start services that hide themselves etc. I constantly got this feeling that this is no longer my machine.

      I predict a duality of votes on this one. Seems to be the trend.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Someone please explain to me...

      ... what "extra" do I get from each version of windows ?

      - More secure ? Till it gets broken.

      - Better UI ? bah..

      - Support for latest silverlight/flash whatever ? That's usually doable on older OS.

      - New hardware support. That's drivers and is doable in new OS.

      So why am I forced to buy a new OS (not just a new version) every couple of years ? I understand they can't forever support XP, but what am I getting by buying a newer OS ?

      If I buy a newer version of adobe photoshop, usually it means that they have added some extra functionality like layer support (whatever).... I don't see it in windows (perhaps it's not obvious to me).

    3. Kevin Bailey

      I'm still puzzled...

      ...after all these years - I'm still puzzled.

      Windows 2000 was reasonably streamlined and could have been the basis for a reasonable OS.

      XP is bloated, slow and lacks anything useful by default.

      And as for Windows 7 - it's still a LAN only OS - the internet has been around for while now and you'd think they'd be able to seamlessly link to SSH shares at the very least.

      Sorry - it *can* connect to SSH shares all you have to do is...

      Download and extract mindTerm

      Run mindterm.jar (double click it if you can, otherwise in command prompt type in java -jar mindterm.jar)

      Type in the host you want to ssh into followed by the username and password

      In the menu click on Plugins>FTP To SFTP Bridge…

      Type in for the Listen address

      Type in 21 for the Listen port

      Select the Remote system type

      Click Enable

      Click Dismiss

      Next we want to install NetDrive

      Once netdrive is installed, open it up, and click New Site on the bottom

      Type in localhost (or whatever you want to call it) for the Site name

      Type in localhost for the Site IP

      Type in 21 for the Port

      Select FTP for the Port

      Select a Drive letter

      Check Connect as anonymous

      Click Save

      Click Connect

      Click the X to close the window (will minimize to system tray)

    4. Rattus Rattus

      Yeah, Win7 is kind-of better than XP...

      but for all the improvements, there has been plenty of regression too. The file browser, for example, is less flexible than it used to be in XP. It now takes multiple clicks to find out the size of a group of files, instead of just selecting them and looking at the staus bar. The right mouse button now sometimes works one way, sometimes another, depending on the phase of the moon.

      The new Control Panel is a nightmare. The new network interface management crap is shit, and takes far too many clicks to do tasks that were just two or three clicks in XP. The new search function is crap, I want my old, /functional/ search back. And the "libraries" can fuck right off, I don't need my OS obscuring the location of my data, I want to know *exactly* where my files are. If the concept of directories is too scary for you, then maybe you shouldn't be using a computer in the first place.

      Too many leaves taken from Apple's book, I reckon, trying to hide all the scary system plumbing away from the end user, which is exactly the opposite of what I want in an OS. At the very least, Win7 *Professional* ought to have an "expert user" mode where all the internal workings are exposed and easy to get at. [And yes, I know Linux will do that, it's why every other machine on my network runs Linux. My gaming (and therefore primary) machine, though, needs to run Windows because WINE is just not good enough yet.]

      Under the hood, Win 7 might have quite a few improvements (although it's far too RAM-hungry), but the interface designer should be shot. In fact, Microsoft shouldn't let a *designer* anywhere near their next version's interface. They ought to instead ask an engineer to design it, then we might get some useful functionality instead of bells and whistles.

  2. Tim Brown 1

    by 2014...

    I've be ready to move all my computing to Android I think :)

  3. Gil Grissum


    I suppose I'll replace my aging and yet durable Toughbook CF-29 by 2014 with a Macbook Pro. This Toughbook can't be upgraded above XP, but then, for a fully ruggedized Netbook, I don't need anything more than that at the moment.

    1. David Ward 1

      Toughbook-->Macbook, oh dear!

      you’ll be disappointed with the Macbook Pro if you are coming from a Toughbook, if any of mine are to go by it will fall apart or its video circuitry will fail inside of 3 years...

    2. Fuzz

      upgrade might be possible

      I managed to upgrade my CF-18 to windows 7, it was a fairly drawn out process especially seeing as intel never produced graphics drivers for it under vista or 7. I got there in the end with all functions working.

  4. bitmap animal

    If a tool works, why change it?

    XP works perfectly for my office, no need for anything else given how we work here. XP also runs well on the hardware we have and I don't want to have to upgrade them just for the sake of it. I've got Win7 on a couple of laptops and it is of no benefit as far as I can see.

    We are also running Office 2000 because it does what we need. I've looked at more recent versions and see no benefit upgrading there either. They stopped including updates automatically last year so I had to roll my own for post SP3 updates when I need to do a rebuild.

    I appreciate that they need to keep developing and innovating and can only spend so long supporting products that no longer being them income but as an end user I don't need to chase the latest version.

    If a tool works, why change it.

    1. geekguy

      A Couple of reasons actually...

      As a business it is indeed important not to waste money in areas that could be better spent affecting your bottom line, however to ignore advances in product version indefinately is foolish. Sooner or later you will come accross some add on or product which does office integration and you will not be able to use it and it WILL be beneficial to you.

      At that point you will need to upgrade machines, os, producitivity software in one big hit, seems expensive to me.

      Holmes.. because its not always obvious what the answer is but you'll figure it out in the end .

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Need not want

        As long as there is no business need, but they are proactive in dealing with the potential effects of forced hardware replacement it's better to wait.

        Not only do they make more on the money they hold back, but they will be making a larger purchase when they do upgrade and therefore should be able to get a better deal.

      2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        @A Couple of reasons actually

        If there is a good reason to change, then go for it. however, I doubt it is more expensive to do in one step, probably less in total, though a bigger expense at that point in time.

        However, if you don;t need to change, they why do it?

        Ah yes, security...more so after end of life. But then you could:

        1) Convert your working XP computer(s) to virtual machine(s).

        2) Run them on Linux host and deny XP internet access, so email/web must be on the safer platform.

        3) Profit!

        Training is needed, as it is with ANY change. Most users are not El Reg readers after all.

      3. Colin Millar

        "At that point you will need to upgrade machines"

        So leave it to that point and not before - in fact - do a cost benefit on all the options and see if you can do without the new add-on.

        MS point about time to replace something that is good enough with something that is better is not going to chime with how many businesses are feeling right now - in fact "good enough" would be a luxury to a lot of businesses who work with not quite good enough equipment and software because they can't afford even "good enough" never mind being amongst the aspirational acquirers of the latest and greatest.

    2. Mark Broadhurst


      New security holes are being found all the time. New versions of software get patched old ones dont.

      If you value your data then you keep yourself in the patching zone.

    3. Alan Bourke
      Thumb Down

      Why aren't you running Windows 3.1 then ?

      And Word 6 ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        They were cr@p !

      2. JEDIDIAH

        Why not Win 3.1 then?

        Windows 3.1 is a DOS shell.

        XP is a version of NT.

        Windows 7 is like BluRay. It's a product that represents a much smaller relative improvement than it's predecessor does. XP was the first consumer version of NT. The difference between it and it's predecessor was much more meaningful. (much like DVD)

        It's not about naievely whining about age. It's about actually bothering to consider the characteristics of the products in question.

        Plus, XP is really only as old as it's last service pack.

      3. Nuke

        @ Alan Bourke

        >> Why aren't you running Windows 3.1 then ?

        Otherwise known as "Windows for DOS". Because it crashed about 6 times every working day, as it did for the other guys in my office.

        XP does not.

      4. Dahak


        Win 3.1 doesn't support USB [3.15 did but there were IIRC problems getting that to install] and Word 6 won't read .ODF

      5. Anonymous Coward


        I prefer the interface of Windows 3.1 and Word 6 versus Windows 7 and Word 2010.

        Word 6 didn't have the sodding ribbon, and Windows 3.1 was not concerned with fancy 3D graphics.

      6. Old Handle

        @ Alan Bourke

        Because Microsoft has made honest-to-goodness improvements since then. But somewhere around XP and Office 2000 they apparently ran out of useful innovations and decided instead to make the OS more "secure" (read annoying and user-hostile), and make the interfaces more "transparent", both literally (which is *so* useful), and figuratively by hiding all the commands from us.

        To the best of my acknowledge, the only feature added since XP that I actually want is support for side-scrolling mice. But I think I can live without that.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      They call it capitalism

      "If a tool works, why change it."

      Because, its software, its 2011, and M$ is acting in its own self-interest. Today, that's what they call capitalism.

  5. Vic

    Which planet are Microsoft on?

    > "Things get better, faster."

    I've yet to see a Win7 installation running faster than XP on the same hardware...


    1. CaptainHook


      they mean the hardware gets faster allowing MS to bloat the OS even more in ways which just don't actually help the end user in anyway.

    2. Peter 48

      errr, pretty much every new machine out there

      Simple, run it on a machine that isn't steam powered. He is referring to the hardware capabilities and in that realm a current budget core i3 machine would run rings around a £2000 machine from 2001.

      1. Vic

        Errr - did you read my post?

        > run it on a machine that isn't steam powered.

        You missed the bit about "on the same hardare", then?


        1. geekguy
          IT Angle

          faster doesn't neccessarily mean os speed

          It can mean productivity... runing windows 7 on the same hardware as xp is pointless, as clearly xp will always win, doesn't mean things are faster.

          1. rototype

            Not necessarily...

            I got a machine recently that was a few years old, and was shipped with V***a (2 options were available from the factory, XP or V***a). Reformatted it immediately and loaded XP. I also had a spare HDD for it so I loaded 7 on that for comparisson.

            Bearing in mind that the drives are identical, 7 actually ran faster than XP, so on certain platforms an OS upgrade can actually provide a noticeable speed benefit.

        2. Mark Broadhurst

          Running XP on a current machine isnt normal

          If you bought a PC in the last 2 years it probally came with windows 7. if you bought a PC before that it had vista. unless you downgraded your OS you are running some seriously old hardware.

          Which is what the vast majority of people would have done.

          1. Anonymous Coward


            I strip the bloated crapware out of my new machines and install XP or buy them sans OS

        3. Semaj


          Maybe he did not read your post, maybe he did. His point still stands though.

          Clearly if you have an old computer and you stick 7 on it it will be slower than XP. But if you downgrade a new one and put XP on it, 7 will be faster (if not right away then definitely after a few weeks). Also as other people have pointed out - it's all about productivity and XP is crap compared to 7 for that.

          Whenever I have to go back to XP on someone else's machine it takes twice as long to do anything (even when I remember the exact convoluted way to do it).

          1. Vic


            > But if you downgrade a new one and put XP on it, 7 will be faster

            That's a strong assertion - and one that I've yet to see borne out. And I've seen quite a few machines that have been "downgraded".

            > XP is crap compared to 7 for that.

            My customers roundly disagree; none of them prefer Vista or 7 to XP. Not being a Windows user myself, I have no opinion on that.

            But judging by the number of downvotes my simple post has got, I'm not allowed to express an opinion anyway :-(


          2. Tom 13

            No, XP is still faster.

            I run a dual boot XP/Win7 system. XP is faster. Quad core 660, 8G of RAM. And it isn't that convoluted.

          3. Nigel 11

            Wrong to you, ya boo sucks etc.

            Whenever I have to go forward to Win 7 on someone else's machine "it takes twice as long to do anything (even when I remember the exact convoluted way to do it)." Proving what? ... that whatever we're most used to is easier. Meh.

            And my own opinion is that 7 is crap compared to XP for productivity. But apart from sysadmins, who produces anything with an OS? Users run applications and produce with their apps. Office 2003 or 2007 or 2010 looks much the same on XP or on 7 or on a Mac (yes, I know, it's 2011 on a Mac).

            The main reason for not upgrading is the cost of forced replacements. It's not just elderly PCs that are still OK for XP. It's also a host of printers, scanners and other useful gadgets that don't have Windows 7 drivers. Some places have "legacy" software that won't run under "7" and which will cost a fortune to migrate upwards or away from. Or even worse, software that has no migration path at all (vendor defunct, source code buried).

            The other reason is the retraining cost. Even if you and your staff are capable of retraining themselves, their productivity will drop while they are un-learning the old way of doing things and finding out what the new way might be. And if that's going to happen all over again with Windows 8, delay makes more sense than burning bridges.

          4. mr.K
            Paris Hilton

            re: wrong

            "But if you downgrade a new one and put XP on it, 7 will be faster (if not right away then definitely after a few weeks)."

            Does Windows 7 become faster over time in your world, or are you one of those users that manages to fill your computer with so many background applications, malware or otherwise, that your computer gets slower with time?

            My eight year old installation of win2k still boots in the same time as it did when it was installed. Interestingly enough it boots in about the same time as Windows 7 does on its new machine with twelve years newer hardware.

    3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      "Things get better, faster"

      Hardware yes - but not, it would seem, Microsoft operating systems - where "bigger and slower" would seem to be what he meant to say.

      Microsoft's idea of an "upgrade" involves buying a PC, a new operating system, new printers, scanners etc, and a whole new set of applications software - all because the old versions are not "compatible" with the new version. And to boot - I get a whole raft of features that I don't want, or use, from Microsoft too. Oh yes - and we all have to use that God Damn tool strip thingy that making my life miserable on the one application that I did upgrade.

    4. Greg J Preece

      Not faster, but not slower either

      My machine used to run XP x64, now runs Win7 x64 and Linux Mint dual boot. I can't detect any noticeable difference in speed between the two Windows versions. Linux is, naturally, faster than both of them. ;-)

    5. Russell Preece

      "I've yet to see a Win7 installation running faster than XP on the same hardware.."

      Strange. Every PC I've done a clean install on from XP to W7 has flown.... what are you doing wrong?

      DISCLAIMER: I am not a M$ or Apple or Linux lover, just stating facts....

  6. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    God damn it

    I better get a move on.... only 2 more years before I have to start looking at alternatives and see what's for sale then. Because unless you work in the largest of organisations, a year is a perfectly adequate time to do a serious amount of testing and then a massive one-off upgrade for something like that. And that's if I decide that we actually *need* to move to something else at that point, and that we will move to Windows, and that it will be Windows version X (whatever is best at that point).

    Shame, because if you'd sorted out your educational licensing, Microsoft, so that I didn't have to pay annually for something I originally paid for once and owned a perpetual license to, then I'd have been on Windows 7 last year.

    In the meantime? 3 years? That should see me into Windows 8 at least, by which time Windows 7 will be cheap and stable and I'll know all its quirks, and then extended support for that will last me until 2020 at least (assuming there isn't another endless deadline-slip like there was for XP). I'll set my calendar to remind me in 2 years to check the end-of-life date again, but that's about it.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      "a year is a perfectly adequate time to do a serious amount of testing and then a massive one-off upgrade for something like that"

      Yes, but who's going to pay for it? Why would my company spend vast amounts of money fixing something that ain't broke?

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Why would my company spend vast amounts of money fixing something that ain't broke?

        Because when MS stop doing security updates, the OS will become increasing vulnerable and the cost of having all your systems infected could be substantial.

        1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

          Why would my company spend vast amounts of money fixing something that ain't broke?

          What makes you think that having your systems infected is in any way a preventable thing, or anything more than vaguely related to the last OS security update you installed? If you're doing things properly, it doesn't matter what OS is in use - people can't open attachments with .EXE's or even HTML code in them that hasn't been scanned / sanitised already and they shouldn't be able to execute programs that haven't been authorised.

          Preventing malware infections is a way of life for IT guys, and we deliberately limit things as much as we practically can and spot suspicious activity. In a properly locked-down environment, you have no need to know what OS is running at all.

          MS stopped doing most security updates for Windows XP years ago, they only ever do the most serious now (i.e. ones that a huge, public virus exploits and causes millions of infections) so you've been in pretty much the same position for the last few years anyway. The point is that if you properly secure the points of entry, and properly sanitise anything passing through, and properly look for anything that's slipped past, what OS is on a desktop is neither here nor there.

          Having the latest OS software updates is a useful tool but it's not the be-all-and-end-all of security. For a start, you're vastly more likely to catch something through an application exploit than anything else. Having the latest OS software updates applied without proper testing is vastly more likely to end in tears, though, especially if you deploy them automatically to every machine. I've had more downtime because of Windows Update than I've ever had through virus infections on the networks I manage.

        2. Anonymous Coward

          Because when MS stop doing security updates

          So firewall it solid and allow no internet access or USB products, who needs MS lack of security on the new versions anyway.

        3. Colin Millar

          Security reliant on the OS?

          Anyone who relies on their OS for security is insane.

          1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

            This just in

            Even better now - is a quote from an MS exec that says that anything that runs Windows 7 now will run Windows 8 when it's released later this year.

            Next up from Microsoft: How to kill Windows 7 deployments with two simple steps:

            1) Announce that XP is support for another three years.

            2) Announce a new OS coming within the year.

            3) Announce that any investment in 7 will be the same as an investment in 8 a year later.

            If they are to be believed, I'd cancel all my Windows 7 deployment plans now... if I had any.

      2. Anonymous Coward


        Especially if, like certain companies I know, they'd already spent 9 months testing Vista only to find out that Win7 was annouced so all the Vista testing was a complete waste of time and money! The testing would have be done all over again with W7 but that won't happen until the budget allows, so XP is here...ahem, there to stay!

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Deploying Vista

          I once had a phone interview earlier this year for a contract with the DVLA, who were (are?) deploying Vista. I sniggered at that and commented how badly timed the project was!

          I didn't get the role ;-)

          Anon for career reasons obviously...

  7. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Dear microsoft

    Can I have some money to buy a PC capable of running windows 7 ?

    Oh well , guess I'm stuck running Linux then

    1. kevin biswas

      Whilst I appreciate your point

      I picked up a core2 duo desktop pc and a bit of extra ram from 'bay for my mum to run windows 7 on for about £60. That is hardly a deal breaker, is it ? But if I did not have a spare 7 licence from work to use then the cost of a retail Win 7 probably *would* have been a deal breaker.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    brass neck

    "glory days", "trophies" "records are broken" and "what it took to be the best "

    words almost fail me.

    obviously a graduate of the Ballmer school of bumptious, overblown shit-talking

  9. Peter 48

    I don't get why people still cling on to XP

    I wouldn't switch back from win 7 to XP if they paid me to. The fact that 7 crashes about 0.0001% of the time compared to XP alone is enough of a reason for me to roll it out in any professional environment. Seriously, if I was looking to deal with a company in 3 years time and they told me they were still running XP and office 2000 I would have serious doubts about their professionalism. If they can't be bothered (or afford to) to keep their IT up to scratch what does that say about their commitment to continuing professional development and training? As for Gil, how does switching from a tough book to a macbook pro make any sense, but going from a tough book to a comparable toughened Windows laptop doesn't?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What a flawed arguement.

      Thats like saying if a sales guy turned up in a 5 year old 150k+ Vectra, you'd consider him unprofessional? But if the same guy turned up in the latest £80k Merc, what would you think then?

      More money than sense maybe?

      You've been sucked into the hype.

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      I do get why

      I have machines with both Windows XP and Windows 7. Yes Windows 7 is much better, provided your computer is fast enough to cope with it, but Windows XP works perfectly adequately for what most people want to do. I've used XP since it first shipped, and I can't remember ever having it crash on me. On my last year's model Macbook Pro, Windows 7 on parallels is a bit sluggish, and Windows XP is much faster, so I run XP most of the time when I need to run Windows software. You really need 8GB Ram to run Windows 7, and that is the maximum my Macbook Pro can take; so Windows 7 would be fine on Bootcamp, but not on Parallels where I can't assign all of the RAM to the virtual machine.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        8GB RAM for Windows 7?

        I've run Windows 7 fine on 2GB RAM. Stuck in extra GB when some came spare and didn't get any noticeable difference (though I'm sure it did something!). Now run 4GB on 64-bit and no problem at all.

        No idea where your idea of needing 8GB comes from!

        1. Wibble

          But XP requires less resources than Vista/7

          XP runs perfectly well in 512Mb VMs. Not running Office bloatware helps. Similarly, not running anti-virus adds to the performance.

          The footprint of XP is MASSIVELY smaller than Vista/7; there's no winsxs directory at over 10Gb for a start.

          Running a stripped down XP VM is almost pleasurable when compared with the Vista/7 nonsense.

          1. Intractable Potsherd

            On the hardware point ...

            ... my starting point is "Why should I throw away working kit just because someone wants me to use their new software?" It is incredibly wasteful. Unless there is a real business need to be just behind the curve for some reason, keep adequate kit going as long as you can. I'll be sticking with XP for a long time yet on all the machines I am responsible for.

            To use the car analogy, I still prefer carburettors to fuel injection but there was a real need to get a car that was less than 10 years old, so I did. (I still get fucked off that I can't fiddle with things at the roadside without a laptop, cables, and software, though).

      2. PaulR79


        "You really need 8GB Ram to run Windows 7"

        You do? I guess my laptop is from the future then because it runs Windows 7 HP 64-bit with only 2GB RAM and runs it well. Just as it ran Vista before it (briefly) and will no doubt run Windows 8 as well when that's available. Except my laptop isn't from the future it's about 4 years old now and has a Core 2 Duo CPU running at a measly 1.5GHz.

        You say you run it in parallels and that it's a bit sluggish... Any virtual machine running a new (read: most recent) Windows OS will struggle for speed against an older OS in the same situation unless it's running on a powerful computer with plenty of RAM for the virtual machine. Sharing the system RAM with a virtual machine and expecting it to run as well as the host is stupid. You even shoot down your own claims by saying it would run fine on Bootcamp, just as XP would, but chastise Windows 7 for struggling on your Macbook Pro in a virtual machine.

        1. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: @jonathanb


          Windows 7 runs fine on bootcamp because it gets the full 8GB of RAM. On Parallels it gets 5GB because I need to leave some for the host. I've tried other amounts as well, that seems to be the amount that works best for me. In comparison, Windows XP gets 1.5GB on Parallels without any speed issues at all. So for me, XP is the better choice unless I really need to have a Windows 7 guest machine.

          I don't see how that shoots down my own claims.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Xp never crashed.....Bollox

        Hmmm I used Win2K and XP both off of the bat, win2k ran for 3 years without a crash, XP dual boot constantly had issues and several times required a reinstall to correct some bizarre issue, which could not be sorted in a reasonable time or simply fried the file system. Finally cured after SP2 or thereabouts.

        Vista.....rubbish, rubbish, rubbish

        Windows 7, liked it from the start and getting better all the time, even on my lower power CPU ultralight (1.33 Ghz low power Dual core pentium) So much that I installed another hard drive in the desktop and installed 7 as the main OS and dumped XP a few weeks later.

        If I had the choice it would be as follows 7, 2000, Linux, ........., ........., XP, ......, ........, ........., ........., ......., Vista (grudgingly)

        Only thing I wish is that Microsoft would get off their high horse and allow different soundcards to be set for different apps rather than claiming that the app needs to support it......Why why why? Simple - firefox - onboard sound, any media apps (which windows already categorises in its default app menu) high end sound card hooked to amp and quality speakers, Skype (high quality soundcard (better mic handling) ) etc.

        Heck even a 3rd party piece of software would be useful so I could override the default setting and create a more granular list by setting exceptions per application. Is there anything out there, which does that??

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      bothered (or afford to) to keep their IT up to scratch

      Fixed that for you.

      ...gullible in the extreme to give more money to replace what already works..

    4. Anonymous Coward


      It's not lazy-itus or being bothered, let me fiull you in on the reality of life in IT as you seem to be a troll living in Mum's basement!

      Promises were made that Vista would be the answer, lots of testing with it and W7 is annouced! Cap in hand to the CEO to ask for time and money for another round of testing. CEO wants solid assurance that MS are not going to **** us over again after the W7 testing is done, CEO also says that XP works and has been around for a while, wait a little longer to make sure. IT managers complain quoting support this and security that, CEO simply says that company is answerable to the shareholders so every penny needs to be checked before it is spent, especially on something with no real benefit, wait a little longer!

      1. Kool-Aid drinker
        Thumb Up


        Absolutely spot-on. You clearly work in the real world. This process applies to all hardware and software expenditure in all companies where I have worked. The only exception is that the veto occurs lower down the food chain in larger outfits (CIO rather than CEO for example).

    5. Semaj
      Thumb Up


      Don't know about the toughbook thing but totally agree with the perception aspect - if I went to be a dev at a new place and found them all on that old junk I'd not bother with a second interview that's for sure. It shows a very bad, backward thinking mentality and resistance to change that would almost certainly be endemic throughout the whole business.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      US Navy

      If you work for the US Navy, you will be provided with a NMCI (Navy-Marine Corps Intranet) computer. Running XP.

    7. Richard Jones 1

      Perhaps the Harware is also an issue?

      For many continuing to run hardware is an issue, scanners and printers do not like an operating system that does not have the right driver support to continue working with them.

      Some technical and scientific hardware is made in small amounts and drivers for that can also be a significant challenge.

      A £ 50 ~100 OS per machine upgrade is one thing, training and scrapping hardware for which there is no replacement available is quite another.

      In a few cases Windows 7 device support can be cobbled together using a mixture of non manufacturer software together with maker's software but how long does one have to spend inventing, 'just to make it hopefully work?

      So some of us have a mixed range of hardware, (yes fully functional legacy), something supporting this, something supporting that to allow work to continue to be done.

      And yes Windows 7 is better than the older versions but even a slow and cranky XP machine that does what others canno,t is still a machine that does what others cannot.

    8. mr.K

      re: I don't get why people still cling on to XP

      Windows crash? How does that feel?

      I can't really remember last time windows crashing on me, but I think it was around year 2000 when I ran with faulty ram settings causing a huge amount of ram faults. Last time I experienced a windows crash that I can not be sure was a hardware fault was on Windows 95, but I think that it is a safe bet that those also were due to hardware. It is very rare that faulty hardware isn't to blame in my experience. The biggest one after that is faulty drivers, which really shouldn't be the OS vendors problem.

      So for me at least it is very hard to tell if Windows 7 is more stable, since it can be hard to compare a fault free record with another fault free record.

  10. Miek
    Thumb Down

    Nice Try

    Windows 7 is poo

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    windows 7 superiour

    Windows 7 is a superiour operating system, just look at security and stability for one.

    1. Code Monkey

      You're right, but...

      But XP runs on my antique T43 Thinkpad - game, set and match for XP for me.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Security & stability

      IMO stability of XP and W7 is comparable if you treat them the same way, i.e. user does not run with administrative privileges. Neither of them is Unix.

      W7 is definitely better on security, however this shows mostly when numpty-user is left to look after their own security. If the systems are locked down, managed, and protected by a decent security package both XP and W7 go a long time between infections.

      Though my machine has W7 on it, I'm always amazed at how slick XP can be when it runs on modern hardware.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Milage may vary

      calling Windows 7 Superior (and that's how you spell it) is subjective at best, different users have different experiences with os's.

      I'm a hardcore enthusiast, having dual-booted my laptop a few years ago with Vista 64 and XP Pro, i had the best of both worlds, a 64 bit capable os with DX 10, and a nice stable 32 bit system for everything else, thus i avoided most compatability issues.

      fast forward to this year and my latest desktop has just win 7 64 (Ult) on it, and i'm afraid to say that whilst win 7 is a vast improvement over win Vista.. it's still not, in my experience, as rounded as win xp was.

      Win XP is direct and to the point, menus and options are there from the start.Vista and win 7 both guide you through a menagerie of screens to get to what you want.. network connections for example. Win XP has it accessible from control panel, Vista/7 you go through control panel and then through the network management screen, loading up all sorts of info which you don't want. each time you select anything you get that loading swirl as it does stuff in the background, you no longer feel in control as you did with xp.

      Win 7 isn't as resource hoggy as vista was, but it's still intensive on resources, add to that alot needs tweaking ( e.g, disabling pre fetch and super fetch etc which are redundant with modern hardware). That and even after several years of 64 bit computing flourishing, alot of software still isn't as efficiently supported as they are in 32 bit environments ( particularly games).

      Win 7 and vista does have its up points, from older inexperienced or more casual pc users, the new system is easier to navigate, its abundance of prebuilt drivers and such all eliminate alot of the needlessly complicated "computery bits" meaning computing is more accessible now than ever, but it is exactly this which frustrates users such as myself, and as far as corporate uses of the os, theres very little to entice them over (and i'm innately jealous of any business that has the hardware to make use of DX11 aspects of w7..) ideally they'd have an "advanced" switch to make it more barebones and open for advanced users (similar to xp where you have direct control of everything), and a simple mode (such as win 7 in its current form) for non enthusiasts, but alas, that'd be too simple to implement i assume and there'd be nothing left to entice us over to the next iteration of windows!

      Better than Vista? Oh yes, good for the majority of users? Of course, it's not a bad operating system in itself, but Superior to XP in every way? Absolutely not!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

        You know you can view control panel in icon instead of category view, right? Not to mention Win7 God Mode does exist -- though I haven't experimented with it extensively myself. Also, group policy editing has had some improvements since XP and -- if all else fails -- regedit still exists.

    4. Glyn 2


      Had office and games crash, don't ever remember XP itself crashing on me. Security? If they're still releasing updates for XP does it matter? If they stopped doing security updates for W7 you'd be as knackered. Is the kernel of the design more secure or is Windows 7, XP with a hideous iggle piggle interface and all the security patches installed?

      In 3 years time the next version of windows will be out with another massive paradigm shift in the interface...okay, they'll have switched back to the title bar being opaque again and called it a massive paradigm W7 will be service packed up, cheaper and have another 10 odd years of updates coming.

      Don't see the need to shift yet. As in W7 the Office paperclip has taken over the operating system and while there's stuff like ClassicShell and takeownership which replicate some of the nice XP UI stuff in W7 I can wait till other retrostyle apps get written. Give me back my folders button

      P.S. I love how people go on about how good Stardock's fences is when it just makes W7 more like Windows 3.11 :)

    5. Paul Shirley

      security is more than relying on cowboy programmers at MSFT

      If you're relying on the OS vendor for your security you've already lost. One of the most important tasks is protecting your system *from the OS vendor's mistakes*. Not waiting for them to try repairing the damage later.

      Paradoxically Microsoft make it easy, they're so predictably consistent in fucking up. Simply sandboxing or otherwise jailing all new stuff from them goes a long way to securing your system. Sadly it's usually impossible to delete their mistakes from systems.

      This is the company that thought embedding IExplorer - a 3rd party, buggy POS - deep in the OS was a good idea. Neuter that back when it launched and you neutered 90% of attacks on Windoze.

      The same company that thought running native code in the browser was a smart idea (ActiveX), still struggling to patch security over that colosal error. Disable that and you knocked out most of the rest of the risks.

      Proper security starts with the user and includes as many different sources of protection and fixes as possible. Do it right and Microsoft are the least part of securing your system, which is mostly securing it from Microsoft's clumsy grasp in any case.

    6. x4zYYvb3

      It is just a shame.....

      ...that they forgot to bundle a spell checker with Win 7.

      I'm on my way out.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Win7 all *that* better?

    I now use Win7 everywhere, and find XP feels dated when I do occasionally go back to it, but I'm no massive fan of 7: some things ARE improved, but they've also screwed up things like the Control Panel interface, Networking config is a pain in the backside (2 extra screens too many!), and I quite often get random Windows Explorer crash for no apparent reason (something I've not seen on XP for a loooong time).

    Likewise Server 2008 compared to 2003: the latter IS an undoubted technological improvement, but from a day-to-day support point of view 2003 is just so much cleaner, simpler, faster.

    Personally I can understand why a lot of people still stick with XP.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I tend to agree but then I wonder how I will feel when I have seven years of experience with Windows 2008. I'm just about the right side of senility to remember being annoyed at some of the 'pointless' interface changes from NT4 to Windows 2000 but I suspect I'd not want to go back now.

      (Although if we could return to WfW 3.11 I'd probably be happy - was about the last time I felt I knew the whole thing inside out).

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Win7 all *that* better?

      Couldn't have put it better.

      On one hand I utterly agree that once you have a tool that works well for you, why should you buy another one just because the manufacturer has released a new version. On the other hand, there's the constant security threat as old problems in old code get found and exploited, the continual improvement of systems (sometimes even to the perceived benefit of the user), and the need of a business such as MS who must introduce either a) churn or b) subscription / repeat charges in order to maintain their income in a market that in a lot of areas is saturated.

      Churn is easy - make the old stuff stop working.

      Subscription / repeat charges - this is harder if the company is so greedy as to charge to much that even the most maths-shy user can see the poor value in it or if there is no real or perceived benefits from a subscription model - such as extremely well developed code that is continually being improved both in terms of efficiency and new, useful (to the end user) improvements.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big Wow.

    Who actually cares if they end support for Windows XP? Does anyone actually phone Microsoft for XP support? I doubt it. The only downside is security patches, or rather the future lack of.

    I've used Win 7 on my main workstation at work, which is more than capable of running it. I found it much slower than XP, especially at processor intensive tasks. Which is odd as you'd have thought 64 bit Win 7 would run faster than 32 bit XP, but not for me.

    The thing is, Windows 7 tries to protect it's self from the user. I DON'T NEED THAT. If I shaft my install, I sort it. I don't need Microsoft to tell me how to. On any installation of Windows that I do, the first thing I do is go and turn off all the crap that Microsoft leaves on by default. For example, XP is 10 years old and by default 'Remote Registry' service is always on. What a pointless service when you are installing XP Home! It's just eating up resources.

    Give me a fast, stripped down, stable OS and I'll upgrade. Until then I will continue to use XP until the apps I need are no longer able to run on XP.

    MS have tried many tricks to get people to upgrade, like older IE versions only. Thats fine as Firefox is much better anyway.

    MS should go away and write a whole OS from the ground up rather than patching and make do attitude that is the MS product cycle.

    1. Nigel 11

      You got it

      "Give me a fast, stripped down, stable OS and I'll upgrade."

      It's called Linux.

      1. fishman


        We have a 7 year old laptop that ran XP. The CD drive started going bad, and the OS got corrupted. I was able to use the network install version of Ubuntu. Seems faster than XP.

  14. Neil 23
    Thumb Down

    Maybe more people would swap

    if Win 7 wasn't so "Noddy does an OS"

    I finally took the plunge to buy a new PC which came with Win 7 and have spent the first few weeks finding 3rd party packages that put the missing functionality back.

    1. Semaj

      Like what?

      What missing functionality do you mean? I'm not flaming here, I'm actually interested in what you've had to get that you think should be part of the OS.

  15. James Dunmore

    3 years to...

    ...learn how to use mac's on *nix or some very slim lightweight android/mobile/chromebook esk platform that's all the rage by then.

  16. Colin Miller

    Activation servers

    As long as they don't kill the activation server(s). Ideally they will either keep the update servers running (but not provide more updates), or release WinXP SP4 with all the patches.

    Including a small nag app "Update to Windows 9 for the bestest, securest ever Windows!" would be acceptable, as long as it can be turned off.

    1. Fuzz

      Activation Servers

      It'll be interesting to see what happens here. XP was the first Microsoft OS to require activation. When it came out Microsoft mentioned the possibility of releasing a patch to remove the activation requirement once end of life was reached.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Next time my PC hardware needs updating.....

    ...I'm sure I'll be using Win7/8/9 or whatever.

    Until then:


  18. Major N

    Yes but...

    ...does that include support for the virtual XP they've been shipping with 7?

    Also 1000 Days is less than 3 years.

    I'm David Beckham, and Harper Seven was my idea!

  19. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Three more years..

    .. to switch to something better. For me that was OSX, before that Linux but it didn't quite cover my needs.

    I still have a WinXP partition under Parallels, which I use maybe once every 3 weeks. It's an eye opener just how much patching and updating it needs to do before it's ready to run. I use it for testing and for one little program I like; I wish something like it existed as OSX freeware. I have Seashore but it's not the same, and the GIMP is overkill (but so again is running a WinXP VM for just one program :-)).

    I'm no longer a WIndows user, and even Office is out of use because OOo gives the same fidelity/layout across all platforms (not to mention its better price)..

    1. Miek

      Totally agree

      Sometimes, I have the audacity to run my XP installation to play games, but unfortunately it doesn't let me play any games until I have installed tons of software from various suppliers and performed a few obligatory reboots. unfortunately for XP my PS3 boots far quicker.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Well Said

      i did exactly the same. OS/X is so much better than Win 7

    3. Captain DaFt
      Thumb Up

      @ Fred Flintstone

      Have you tried mtPaint? There's a version for OSX:

      Just a suggestion. I like it, but your mileage* may vary, etc, etc.

      *kilometreage? Is that even a word?

  20. Pink Duck


    13 years of patches to XP and Microsoft still reckon it will need patching in 2014? Yet stopping the release of security patches via Windows Update will surely reduce the number of active exploits since there’ll be nothing to reverse-engineer.

  21. phuzz Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Good Timing

    I replaced our last XP desktop here this morning (with a machine running Vista as it happens, although we're gradually moving towards 7). The best bit was deleting all the patches for XP off our WSUS server :)

    Benefits for us include: offline files that actually work, much better image format on WDS, more secure, much more stable.

    @Vic I'm using Win 7 on a laptop that originally had XP on and as far as I can tell it runs about as fast. Of course, I'm sure Win7 would run like a dog on my previous laptop (now 5 years old), but then XP would run like a dog on my old P3, so what's your point?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Runs like a dog

      Depends on the dog...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        My current Windows XP laptop would run Windows 7 like a dog…

        …a quadruple amputee dog with severe scoliosis…

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Offline files that actually work?

      You must be effing joking! I have the misfortune of using Win7 at work. My networked home drive can be accessed via drive letter, UNC or the library. Win7 appears to treat this as 3 different locations and caches them separately. When the network went down, I suddenly found myself with inconsistent caches as different applications saved data via different access paths. I spent half a day undoing the damage when the network returned.

  22. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Make it easier

    1) Stop the stupid activation shenanigans. People will either buy it or they won't. I bought it, stop threatening me. If you won't give me an update because I haven't "activated" my install and I suffer as a consequence I'll sue you. In fact I might sue you for threatening me in the first place. Make it easy for people to upgrade and install and market share will drive the reluctant to catch up.

    2) Make the upgrade easier. AFAIK you can't go from XP to Windows 7. Maybe that has since been fixed but if not it is the best way to piss off your customers.

    3) Get out of the browser wars. Buy Mozilla Corp if you want but stop trying to peddle outdated software with proprietary extensions as state of the art. IE 9 is *okay* until you look at anything even slightly mobile. Dump "compatability mode" and offer to fix those websites that would need it.

    I like Windows 7 much more than XP - have it on bootcamp - but it still has some way to go in terms of usability. Am I the only one who suffers with windows that get moved to the top getting magically maximised?

    1. Alan Bourke

      Well ...

      2) It hasn't been 'fixed' because it was by design and a good idea. Disallowing upgrades from XP is a large part of why Windows 7 is more stable.

      1. Red Bren

        Let me fix that for you...

        Disallowing upgrades from XP is a large part of why Windows 7 is more expensive.

  23. Paul_Murphy

    I'm just waiting for a linux Steam client.

    Then all my personal computing can be done on Ubuntu.

    As for work I'll use what I'm given - it will be a version of windows between NT and 2008.

  24. bitmap animal


    At Peter 48 “I don't get why people still cling on to XP”

    “If they can't be bothered (or afford to) to keep their IT up to scratch ” is just wrong. I can be bothered as you put it when there is a need, equally when there is a good business case I can also justify the cost. We also have very very few crashes and that is one particular application that would still crash under Win7.

    At geekguy “A Couple of reasons actually...”

    Although upgrading slowly does spread the cost over time, I'd contest that it costs you more. If you need the hardware for X point in time then why buy it a year ahead? £500 a month for six months or £3000 at the end is the same amount of money. Plus your machines will then be six months old when you need them, It may feel like you are paying less, but that's just an illusion.

  25. James Hughes 1

    Would two years

    be enough time for Canonical (or whoever) to get Linux up to a position where it can replace Windows completely even in the corporate environment?


    LibreOffice is almost there (and is already good enough for most).

    Security, well, that's a given.

    Backoffice, hmm, some work to do there

    IE 6 compatibility, oh, damn.

    1. Alan Bourke

      All the ERP and payroll and other software ?

      Oh damn #2

  26. teknopaul

    Windows 7 does not let you install drivers

    provide an installable workaround so I can install my own software, then perhaps 7 does more that xp, right now for me it does less.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a mac user...

    I've got a five (ish) year old G5, running 10.4, it is out of support. Apple support their users for at most half the time as MS, less in most cases yet I rarely see people complaining about it.

    Having said that, they'll have to do something pretty special if they want any further custom from me, it's Win/Lin pretty much all the way for me now.

  28. Jon Press

    The only difference I've noticed with Windows 7...

    ... is that my TV tuner and scanner which worked happily with XP are no longer supported. Oh and you can see a sort of fuzzy shadow of the desktop through the top of the windows.

    So, an expensive upgrade when you factor in the new peripherals for a bit of window dressing.

    And if you happen to have a netbook, you'd be better off with XP than Windows 7 "starter".

    Which makes it all the more surprising that Microsoft are providing any support for XP at all - there's little incentive to move to Windows 7 on a feature basis.

    1. Fuzz


      If you have a decent scanner that you'd rather hang on to. Get yourself a copy of Vuescan, it's not a lot of money and is a far better scanning experience than the manufacturers software anyway.

      As for your TV tuner, that's a surprise, has the manufacturer gone bust? Did they stop making TV tuners? If you can find a BDA driver for Vista, install that and you will probably find it works fine under media centre.

  29. Southern


    Yes Windows 7 is a step in the right direction, but it depends on the PC, as many people have pointed out. My PC (primarily for gaming and folding) uses Windows 7 and as it goes like a rocket, I don't notice any degredation in speed from Windows bloat.

    Meanwhile Windows XP is great for relatively underpowered netbook computers. We know its ins and outs so we can optimise it with less fuss, all of our normal Windows programs run on them (not games, obviously), there are fewer hardware compatibility issues compared with Linux/other alternatives and it runs snappily enough for most office and internet tasks.

    I shudder when I think of trying to add Windows 7 to my little Samsung N-130, but more often than not, I wonder why I would bother reinventing the wheel when it suits this purpose.

  30. Fred Mbogo

    SimonT needs to...

    Do an episode about this.

    The number of stick-in-the-muds is astounding. Windows 7 has support for SSDs, better multi-threading support, acceptable "we have to save the users from themselves" security and a more responsive UI.

    XP was nice for its time but its starting to show its age. I worked client phone support and I remember the "privilege" of Vundo, Virtumonde, Blaster and Conficker support calls.

    This is the same whining that I heard when XP was released in relation to Windows 2000. I'm still hearing the same whining about the new Servers I support now not supporting Windows 2003 Server.

    Face it, if you want a prepackaged solution that is not the best, is not the fastest or slimmest or the most secure but the one that almost any idiot can use, you go with Windows and this includes migrating to the version du jour when they tell you to. If you work with an advanced user base, you can use Linux or Unix or whatever you want.

    We still have XP where I work and use about 3 different Java versions that hate each other. Why would someone do that, you ask? Because the ancient database that does all of our processing runs on a TANDEM server.

    Mines the one with the vomit stains.


      Microsoft is the great sand bagger.

      > support for SSDs, better multi-threading support

      Are you kidding? I was using both of these in 2001.

      Why is Microsoft so g*d d*mned primitive that basic features that have been in other operating systems since the 90s are treated like some great new ephiphany?

      Microsoft loves to hold back features so that you have to buy the next OS in order to get them.

  31. Eric Wilner

    For those of us who use computers in the lab...

    Windows 7 is abso-fraggin'-lutely unacceptable.

    OK, so maybe they've got it working for typical office users to do their word processing and pr0n browsing.

    But! Some of us need to talk to external devices. Like, over asynchronous serial ports.

    One of my clients uses Windows machines in the lab. The ones running XP work fine. The new ones with Windows 7? There are various problems with COM port handling... ranging from the API being intermittently broken (can't always set the Baud rate) to a can't-be-disabled Feature randomly stealing characters on the assumption that any COM port simply must be used to connect a serial mouse.

    And the latest development: one guy there got a shiny new Core i7 machine. Windows 7 consistently recognizes the built-in COM port, and could be persuaded to install the drivers for a USB serial converter... but, depending on its mood when it boots up, it may (around 10% probability) or may not actually deign to send and receive data on those ports. So, he's stuck with having an old XP laptop alongside the new machine, just to communicate with the embedded systems he's working on.

  32. Sureo

    @Eric Wilner

    What you describe is typical when the wrong USB driver is installed for your OS. Try something like FTDI with up to date drivers for WIN7 32/64 bit instead of that cheap no-name stuff you get at the store/internet. I have 4 USB/serial adapters on my Win7/64bit system that run different applications with not a hiccup in years.

    1. Eric Wilner


      Point 1: the USB serial converter had a perfectly normal chip, and the IT guy grabbed the latest, supposedly-correct driver for it. We also tried some different brands, including expensive industrial models snaffled from the lab. Same results.

      Point 2: it exhibits the same behavior with the *built-in*, non-USB, COM port, using the standard driver that came pre-installed. This is why we were trying the USB adapters in the first place: the built-in port wasn't being handled correctly.

  33. tonydisk

    It works

    Everyone knows Vista was a disaster and win7 is VistaSE. A semi interesting GUI hung over a bloated, Rube Goldberg system. For 96% of my clients you could run 98SE with a XP /Vista/ Win7 like theme and they would never know the difference. I'll keep running XP and if I have to box it into Linux for security I will.

  34. DJGM

    "Windows XP is now 10 years old . . . "

    I didn't know it was October already. I thought it was still July!

  35. Elmer Phud
    Thumb Up

    Three Years?

    Fine by me, I'll need to replace this four year old box of chips by then.

    W7 should be patched and sorted by then with Service Pack whatever.

  36. AJames


    I have dual-boot Win7 and WinXP on my computers. I use WinXP almost exclusively, except when I really have to run something on Win7, because:

    a) XP is faster

    b) It's more familiar - I hate the arbitrary changes in Win7 just to be different

    c) I have way more licensed software on WinXP that I would have to re-buy or replace for Win7

    d) There's almost nothing I need or want in Win7

    The fact is that everyone is forced to take Win7 with new computers, so eventually I'll have to reluctantly change over. But it's clear that Microsoft has switched from innovating to milking their user base for revenue. That's the beginning of the end.

  37. me n u

    can't leave it yet

    I have 2 apps that won't run on Win7: Nero Recode 2 and AEM EMS software. Actually the problem with AEM EMS is the USB to RS232 adaptor driver won't work in Win7 and I can't find one that works with the EMS and Win7.

    What I have done with Recode is to install WinXP in a VMware VM. Does anyone know of a replacement for Recode that does as good a job creating MP4s?

    1. Captain Obvious

      @me n u - Handbrake

      Get handbrake to create your MP4's - best yet, it is FREE!

  38. Steve King

    End user problems...

    Ok so I am an end user and not an admin, so no doubt this does not count for much, but here are the real-world issues I face with our XP/Office 2003 setup:

    1. All our clients are using Office 2007/2010 - continual file format conversions, checking that nothing is lost in translation by taking the files home to check on my own PC etc (one really strange conversion error affected a financial bid - if I had not spotted it we would have lost as much money as paying for the whole firm to have new IT every year until 2020)

    2. I regularly have to review hundreds or thousands of photos. Dear IT guys won't let me install a better viewer, so I have to open them one at a time. Hours and hours of work, about once per month on average. Vista and Win 7 both have a large size preview that (most of the time) would avoid the need for an individual preview. I would save at least half a day a month just with that one feature (and before you say it, filmstrip view takes in excess of 30 seconds per file to preview on this hardware - not a lot of help with 1000 files to view!)

    3. Most users here have Vista or Win7 and Office 2007 or 2010 at home. Sadly they can't use the skills they have spent their own time and effort learning when in the office. There is a regular background hum along the lines of "why can't this POS do this when my machine at home can?"

    4. I am so sick of doing presentations using Office 2003 templates - they look so stale now.

    5. Video in Powerpoint 2003 is a dog

    Oh, and to the comments about speed etc, at home I have a 2007 mid range HP desktop, a 2011 home assembled desktop, a 2010 netbook and a 2005 laptop. All are running Win7HP and Office 2010 Pro Plus (except the netbook - W7 Basic / Office 2010 Starter). Even with a few documents open, the only time the older machines noticably slow down is when auto saving.

    Just my thoughts....


      Get "portable apps"

      > Dear IT guys won't let me install a better viewer

      Find a suitable app that doesn't require "installation". There are apps that have been specifically modified to get around this exact problem here.

    2. ChrisC Silver badge

      Photo previewing

      If previewing that many photos that often is a core part of your job, then you/your line manager/someone with authority needs to give your IT guys a damn good kicking until they agree to let you install something that will make this part of your job easier. Hell, even just tweaking the XP registry to increase the thumbnail size might help you out...

      However, whilst the ability to change the thumbnail sizes in 7 without delving into the registry is a useful addition, what Microsoft giveth with one hand they taketh away with the other. In XP, if I wanted to review images full-size I could simply leave the image viewer window open and drag-drop images onto it from Explorer. So why the floody buck have MS taken away the drag-drop functionality from the 7 viewer? Now if I want to do full-size reviews I have to keep doing the right-click, select preview, make sure I'm not about to accidentally "set as background image" mouse shuffle, and then remember to keep closing down the preview windows to avoid them stacking up like a tall stacky thing, because unlike XP, 7 doesn't reuse the existing preview window if you've left it open when you preview another image via the right-click menu.

      As much as I like a lot of the behind the scenes changes in 7 over XP, Microsoft really seem to have fumbled with the UI side of things, and don't get me started on the hideous appearance of the Aero theme - first thing I do on any 7 PC under my control is to switch to the classic theme and then install Classic Shell to add back in those useful bits of the classic theme MS decided (incorrectly) we could live without.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    API changes

    I work for a small shop. One of our in-house applications was developed on Access using Visual Basic. Windows 7 changed many of the API that this application uses, so we're stuck on XP until our ONE VB programmer has time to either migrate to a real database or at least a newer version of Access.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Windows 7 is evil at its core

    The only reason 7 is overtaking XP is because they are forcing people to use it. All new PC's are preinstalled with it. Vista and 7 are flawed Operating systems from a user standpoint. They are too restrictive, annoying, and change too much of the GUI that has been standard since 95. You are forced to evolve or your PC eventually dies because of lack of security updates. Just because you buy shiny new things the moment they show up doesn't mean everything old is worse.

    It's marketing in action. They sell "set of features" now, not innovations, as one may expect. Some features are added, while others are purposely removed. So, in the next version of Windows OS they could offer you them back and loudly pitch about that, while silently removing others, preserving them for future versions of that OS. Remember, Windows OS is made as a product to bring revenue, not as an OS, that brings the latest and the greatest technology to its users. That explains why they remove all those useful features.

    Windows 7 is just like Vista. Tons of features removed and broken. Poor usability. See and . Unnecessary GUI changes. It would be much more intelligent (and probably much harder to do) innovation to improve Windows without changing the GUI. But changing the cosmetics has mainly one purpose: to conceal, that nothing really new happened. Vista was innonative but horrible and removed things. Windows 7 is Vista with two or three features and again tons removed.

    Windows 7 is Vista Second edition while the upcoming Windows 8=Vista third edition. Full of gimmicks and fancy tricks. Aero Snap? There's a far better version in XP called Tile Horizontally or Tile Vertically that isn't limited to arranging just two windows but any number you select. XP was THE BEST because it did not change the GUI and move everything around just for sake of change.

    Microsoft made a classic blunder with the GUI for Windows 7. They made it completely different from XP and buried, eliminated or dumbed down most of the truly useful features. Better OS or not, they alienated all their XP customers.

    Yes XP was first released about 10 years ago but the service packs changed it to a much greater extent than the difference between Vista and 7. Microsoft just can't make the paridigm shift to understand that business is NOT about telling the customers what they need... it's about supporting what the customer wants. IMHO, they richly deserve to go down into the dust bin of history. The designers are clueless about what user interface backward compatibility and usability means. They just constantly fiddle and mess up the UI with every version and break things for the fun of it or keeping us in a continual upgrade loop. Since when did upgrades mean losing features? Since Windows Vista. Given that Vista was more or less a write-off, to be chalked up as a lesson learned and nothing more (or at best a Windows 7 pre-release), XP is really only one generation older than Windows 7. Windows 7 did nothing to address the interface and usability screwups that Vista commited. In fact, it eliminated the classic Start menu and number of classic features. The fact that XP is the most widely used OS in the world speaks for itself.

    Bill Gates and Microsoft (and other software makers) know how to make money, over and over, from the public, by selling you THE SAME THING over and over and effectively charging you 10 times for one product. That is how Vista and Windows 7 came about.

    Here is how it works. When designing any software, they purposefully put some new defects and/or leave basic essential features out. Then a couple of years later, they come up with a "new version" in which some of those left out features are put back in. This "upgrade" or new version is, however, secretly damaged in other ways and, in reality, is really a degrade. A few years later, another "new version" comes out claiming to fix those problems--and it does, but destroys something else in the previous version that was working.

    Vista and Windows 7 were, as if, built by a madman who takes a normal car (XP), smashes the dashboard and puts a shiny plate to cover it up, puts the brake pedal in the trunk and the gas pedal under the back seat and the steering behind. This "upgrade" racket makes you go round and round in circles, spending money thinking it is a real "upgrade", when, in fact, each "upgrade" is really a circular downgrade. It is a shame that Bill Gates, already so rich, would resort to such fraud and racketeering. Microsoft needs to be sued.

    Tip to Microsuck, sack your 'Explore shell' team or the idiots in your board rooms in charge of designing and dumbing the OS down for the noob market, as they are part of biggest reason Vis7a fails (other than to noobs who get confused and frightened by features/options and customization and like the dumbing down). Many crap changes and half assed efforts, zero real improvement. Better fucking free extensions and apps that offer more features and improvements of existing Windows/XP stuff , than the shitty effort done by MS and all the thousands of employees it has, after years of what I can only assume is twiddling there thumbs and doing pretty much fuck all for all those years it was in development.

  41. Adrian Midgley 1

    By which time the Linux kernel

    will be past 3.1

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But what about Win7 XP mode ?

    Truth be told I also think that Windows 7 is a good replacement for Windows XP and that MS has shown great commitment by keeping XP supported for so many years. Heck; my main reason to use Windows instead of Linux or other open source solutions as my main desktop environment is just that; knowing that I can continue using it for many years to come.

    Still one has to wonder.. I bought the Windows 7 professional version and this ships with MS Virtual PC which allows you to utilize the "XP mode". Basically running a version of Windows XP in a virtual environment which seemingly integrates with Windows 7.

    I assume this also stops being supported considering that its basically a full fledged version of XP. But it does seem awkward considering that Windows 7 will remain to be supported for many more years to come.

    For people who actively use the XP mode this could result in a somewhat higher risk. Esp. since you can easily "hide" the running virtual PC process (esp. when using the so called "integration mode".

  43. Mage Silver badge


    Next OS to replace XP will be Linux or at the Outside Win8. It won't be win7.

    It will only be driven by *HW* replacement.

  44. Killraven

    Upgrade Costs

    If the price were more reasonable, say no more than US$50 per copy for home use, I'd be happily buying at least six copies. As it is now I'll probably be on XP until new motherboards are incompatible with it. I've yet to meet somebody who's actually needed Microsoft support for anything but sorting out their asinine registration system after a rebuild.

  45. Dropper

    XP vs Win7

    I think for a lot of diehards the issue is one of stability and cold, hard cash. I have two Win7 PCs and one XP box. There's no way I'm migrating my XP Box to Win 7, partly because of the cost of putting in hardware with drivers that actually work in Win7, but mostly because of the time involved to wipe it out and start over. Anyone who suggests there's a way to migrate from one Microsoft OS to another without wiping their HD and starting fresh has been using PCs for less than a week and certainly doesn't support them for a living, because no one who does would leave a PC in that state. At least not with a clear conscience.

    Anyway I have and use Win7, it is a decent OS and I would prefer to be using it on all my boxes, but I'm not willing to put in the work required and I'm certainly not willing to spend the money. And I think that goes for many people who are sticking with XP. It works after a fashion so why waste the time changing things until you absolutely have to.

  46. Magnus_Pym
    Thumb Up

    If I wait for Win8...

    ... I will have missed out two whole upgrade cycles and saved a whole lot of money, time and balls-ache.

    XP for a bit longer then.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    msft would like to have you think wnxp is dead, but...

    just ask them how long winxp embedded is good for

  48. Anonymous Coward

    Captalism gone wild

    You gotta be kidding me - why replace something that isn't broken...? Can anyone identify the elephant in the room? It's called "capitalism run wild". We need a new version of Windows like we needed the sub-prime mortgage industry - it's smike and mirrors. Use Linux - it's free.

  49. Maty

    It's an operating system, see?

    And because it is an OS, I don't want to do anything with it. That's not what it's for. I do things with a web browser, word processor, games and my graphics suite. The job of the OS is to host these applications securely and without crashing and otherwise to stay out of my face.

    As long as the OS can do that - and my highly customized version of XP does it very nicely thank you - why do I want to 'upgrade'?

    Let's face it, there's been no killer app for the desktop in the past ten years. Only a few people do anything with the latest version of Photoshop or Word that they didn't do a decade ago (apart from using the despicable .docx format).

    I've used vista and win 7 and get the feeling that the changes to the interface are mostly dumbing down the system so noobs can't screw it up. And if you've been using XP for a decade as many XP users have, a more 'intuitive' interface don't cut it. By now most XP users can operate their system blindfold.

    Don't run it in admin mode, use good security software and a hardware firewall, and really there should be no need to change XP until a real paradigm shift comes along - and then win 7 will be obsolete as well.

  50. steven W. Scott

    Time to buy new hardware!

    Everytime I change Win versions, I have to change hardware because it's obsoleted. Meanwhile, my Linux systems still lovingly talk to old hardware that Windows forgot about 15 years ago. Why is that? Collusion between MS and HW vendors? Think of how many scanners and printers did not really need to be replaced. Embracing the future doesn't mean dumping the past, except in Orwell's "1984".

    My wife, mom, grandma, grandpa and cousins are all getting pretty sick of the routine too, and each time I show them my free Ubuntu function flawlessly in all the tasks they perform, they drool a little harder.

    MS, like IBM, will continue to price and license their products away from the market.

    I have Win 7. I hate Win 7. I hate the varying degree of straight-jackets the Win7 offerings "feature", the unimaginative plagiarized GUI, the condescending "You're an idiot" stance the OS takes towards the user and lack of visibility into the "magical, mysterious" system that is much too complex for mere mortals to understand. I hate that some moronic marketeer keeps telling them that new releases are "totally cool!" when they completely restructure where typical system administration and facilities are found and called - "Otherwise, how will the stupid users know it's a new release?"

    The only reason I boot into 7 is the very rare times when I want to watch TV on my laptop because there's no linux driver for the tuner yet (thanks Dell) - and I rarely watch TV normally so you can call that a twice a year venture.

    MS - 30 years of wasted time and hardware. If only 1980 could have begun with Debian.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ... and be forced to scrap perfectly good hardware?

    With W7, MS embarked on an eye-candy glut-fest, mainly in a not so successful attempt to have some response to Apple UI developments.

    In order to be able to run this UI frippery, a certain level of graphics hardware capability was mandated - even if it was NOT required for ANY of the user's applications. Whilst for motherboards with separate graphics card slots there is an upgrade option, those with integrated graphics or laptops have no such choice. Intel and the other vendors were happy to go along with this and NOT provide W7 compatibility drivers for this legacy hardware because, oh, guess what? it means more hardware sales.

    Redmond could reduce the barrier to migration by ensuring that W7 drivers ARE available for legacy hadware, laptops etc. based on (what were) popular chipsets.

    1. Vic

      Re: forced to scrap perfectly good hardware

      > a certain level of graphics hardware capability was mandated

      To be fair to Microsoft - Gnome are currently repeating the same cock-up.


  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft withdraws "support"

    ...for something that just works anyway. How are we going to notice?

    Thanks, MS, but I don't feel threatened.

  53. Big Bear

    Some silly arguments here!

    Right, so people are complaining about MS forcing people off a 10 year old OS (6/7 if you count SP3?)? How long does Apple support any of their releases for? How come the package manager in my installs of Jaunty Jackalope is greyed out? I switched to Mint because 9.04 was no longer supported and I didn't like 10.10 in that it is, in my opinion, shite and unfinished, and also because it was more resource intensive than Win7 on the same hardware. That having been said, I kept 9.04 on two machines because they were working so well and I think Linux still has such a small desktop footprint to stand by security by obscurity now that updates are no longer forthcoming for them - I'll probably switch them to Mint when I can be arsed.

    Also, whenever an article comes out about IE6, there are battlecries slagging MS off for not forcing companies off of that version of the browser, even though they have released IE7 (shite), IE8 (okayish), IE9 (same as 8), and IE10 (same as 9). So what is it you folk want? For them to move on or for them to stand still? The comment about XP to Win7 being impossible? Upgrade install is impossible (needs Vista SP1), clean install is fine. What's the difference between this and OSX Lion needing Snow Leopard to install first as it is sold only as an upgrade?

    Don't get me wrong - I love XP. I have it on a couple of machines, including one older than the T43 chatted about above (Pentium 4 machine, 2GB of slow RAM)... it also runs Win7 about the same, as limited by a PATA 4200rpm disk, snail speed FSB and enough heat to cook an egg. That machine turns 10 next year and is still one of my best running machines, despite never having had the OS reinstalled (don't know what some people do to their machines to have to flash their OS!) and having been worked hard as it is a gaming laptop. And whilst I acknowledge the overall superiority of Win7 over XP, I still prefer the way XP does things, mostly as it wasn't geared for dummies using it - folders were in logical places, you didn't have libraries hiding real paths, etc.

    And now for a pint and a ruby. Ciao bello.

    1. Old Handle

      Apple is worse

      No argument from me. Only one person said otherwise as far as I saw.

  54. jim 45


    They could try some reasonable upgrade pricing...

  55. stim

    new car

    it's a bit like a new car, why do people bother changing - because they like new shiny ones. they still do the same job, get you from a to b. A lot of the time, the 'old' car isnt really that old either.

    Why do people do this?! Because we like the latest shiny stuff. Sure it might be buying into the trend or whatever, but i personally love it and will be slapping Win8 over the top of all my Win7 machines as soon as it comes out! (fresh install obviously!)

    (fresh install on WP7 - hmmm.. something i haven't done for a while (or even 'ever' on this machine) - unlike with XP, which was roughly every 3 - 6 months....)

  56. Mike_JC

    Windows XP & IE9

    IE9 gives blurry text anyway - it just isn't any good. Get Firefox 5 - this will run on XP no problems and gives good clear text unlike IE9.

    1. stim


      I think you need your eyes checked, IE9 is crisp and clear on all my machines...

      1. JEDIDIAH

        Silly, outdated, font fixations.

        > I think you need your eyes checked, IE9 is crisp and clear on all my machines...

        No. IE is simply not all that. It never was.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Thumb war!

    ... never talk about religion, politics or windows.

    Belated post that will get ignored so:

    Windows 7 is XP with better memory support and a shiny new skin.

    That's... erm, about it really?

    Sure, there's lots of new widgets, gadgets, updated default programs (that nobody uses anyway) - but nothing that hasn't been provided by countless XP programs already.

    Yep, it's probably got better security - but again, XP is capable of the same level with additional apps installed.

    It *still* occasionally blue screens.

    It *still* has issues finding other computers on the network

    It *still* has the same file system

    It's *still* a resource hog that doesn't clean up after itself properly (altho m$ will always blame that on third party software)

    It *still* gradually gets slower, the more applications you install on it (dll hell)

    It *still* requires a reboot when it starts getting bogged down after too much multi-tasking

    It's *still* the biggest target for malware

  58. Ben King

    Two real reasons - 64bit and TCP Window Scaling

    I have two good reasons:

    1) 64bit, if you want to get more than 4GB of RAM, you need 64bit windows, and I get hardly anyone still using XP is using 64bit and they would be insane to upgrade to 64bit XP... Hence Windows 7 is a good option.

    2) (warning network techie point), Windows XP and 2003 do not have TCP window scaling, this is the ability of the IP stack to scale the TCP window size on dependant on the size of the connection and latency... in a nutshell this means that if you are on XP downloading content from far away places, even if you have 100Mbit/s, you will NEVER get more than 2Mbit/s from asia, and maybe 3Mbit/s. (though i accept you could do some reg hacks to permanently increase the window size - if you have the ram - which you don't cos you haven't gone 64 bit :)).

    Windows 7 is really good, and I think M$ release cycles are quite restrained, especially compared with say Ubuntu - which I love but they drive me crazy with a new version and new pain every 6 months.

    As for Windows 8, may I remind everyone that like Star Trek films, only alternate versions of Windows are any good - so wait for Windows 9.

    1. Lee Dowling Silver badge


      Anyone seriously connecting a Windows XP box direct to the Internet is going to have bigger problems than window-scaling anyway. And all that window-scaling stuff hasn't ever been a problem for anyone except possibly CERN. If you're trying to use connections with more than a couple of hundreds of milliseconds of latency, there's something wrong anyway - something that TCP window scaling can help only a little (10-20% at best - it's not the miracle worker you claim it to be) but can't "solve". There's also a huge range of other problems that are infinitely more likely to be the cause (the remote server / connection is just that crap being one).

      In the last 15 years, I have never needed to tweak or enable TCP window scaling to download at phenomenal speeds on any operating system. If I did, virtually all of the machines I've ever used commercial actually have had intermittent routers, proxies and caches that would take care of such things on my behalf (the "connection" is only to them, not to the outside server). Even then I'd only save 10-20% of the connection time, if that, not some mythical 5000% that you are claiming.

      Additionally, if it was really that big a problem, everyone would be madly upgrading to 7, patching their registry or just using Linux. It's not. I don't know of a single commercial deployment where they routinely increase the TCP window scaling, or have cited it as a reason to upgrade. And to be honest, the speed difference in copying local-network data to/from local shares between XP and Vista/7 VASTLY outweighs anything TCP-window-on-huge-latency-connection wise - what you win in TCP-scaling to remote sites you lose (quite literally) 50-100-fold on copying files to/from local network shares.

      The 64-bit thing, we agree on. But as yet I haven't hit a single deployment or even personal use case (*cough* games *cough*) that requires (or would even benefit enough) from more than 4Gb - actually 3Gb because my laptop steal 1Gb for it's nVidia chip and various other bits. When I do, I'll be upgrading but until then it's not the big deal you make it out to be.

  59. bazza Silver badge

    Thirteen years... pretty generous support (all things considered) to get for a proprietary piece OS where the updates have been free for all that time. Anyone buying an XP retail licenese all those years ago is going to end up having had a pretty good deal considering they would have been able to port it on to new hardware several times by then.

    Whether you'd want to have been stuck with it for all those years is another matter. I prefer Win7 these days, definitely a better product than XP.

    How many Linux distributions can claim to have a re-install free upgrade path from that far back? Not many I'd guess. My personal experience of upgrading between major editions of Ubuntu has been patchy at best. XP may have been boring all this time, but it has done (mostly) a job that its users have wanted it to do.

    1. Vic

      Re: Thirteen years

      > My personal experience of upgrading between major editions of Ubuntu

      Please do not make the mistake of confusing "Ubuntu" with "All versions of all Linux distributions".

      Many of us have had very-long term support with decent version updating for a good long while.


  60. Fred W

    I'll switch tomorrow if...

    ... Microsoft will agree to pay for updates for any of the ~$10000 worth of engineering software that I have running with XP that won't run with 7.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Acorn wouldn't pay for all of my PCB design software updates when I moved from the BBC micro to the Arch.

      Oh, yeah, things get old and go out of support. It's sucks, but you factor that in to the purchasing of the original system.

      Or you could virtualise.

  61. Anonymous Coward

    Win XP2 or XP GUI in next OS release

    Why don't they just release Windows XP2.

    Just add the Action Center: Reliability History, Check for Solutions, and the Error reporting upgrades.

    I don't like Win 7 GUI, simple as that. So I will wait till 2014.

    And also currently, they don't even bother to give solutions to most of the reported problems on Win 7, so whats the use.

  62. Number6


    Why? I'd have to pay them money to do that, as well as upgrade the machine. I only turn on the XP machine when I really need to do something on Windows, otherwise it's Linux and OS X in this house.

  63. Anonymous Coward

    W7 Fanbois - There isn't a professional amongst you !

    Inappropriate newline/paragraph formatting due to this forum's f*ckwit newline implementation.

    You might have been taken in by the prettified interface, but you've never done anything productive, relating to file creation or file handling.

    No "professional organisation" genuinely worthy of that approbation, who's users actually work with files and filemanager, (explorer), will ever upgrade from XP to W7, until MS fixes the utterly inexcusable amateur file-dating implementation.


    W7 Filemanager - Fails to honour file-creation dates -

    - Fails to refresh RH pane when navigating LH folder pane, (registry, etc. still works ok)

    - Copying between drives - allocates new file creation-dates.

    - Moving between drives - allocates new file creation-dates.

    - Unzipping content - allocates new file creation-dates.

    Even with delayed-write disabled, filemanager requires an F5 to refresh the RH pane content.

    Any f*ckwit suggesting turning on single-click, has never worked with exe's or bat files.

    List may be much longer, but sun's past the insobriety hour.

    ADMIN - Whilst we're here, please upgrade this supposed "forum" software, to at minimum, a half-baked implemention, capable of handling newlines without linespacing as new paragraphs, or stripping out multi-newline spacing.

    1. envmod

      fat and sweaty and probably wearing jogging bottoms

      fat angry IT nerd is angry

  64. DownUndaRob

    Yeah Right?

    At least on my XP box when I click delete it starts deleting, and not discovering every bloody file its about to delete.

    XP search is far superior to Win7 search, and a damn site easier to navigate.

    1. Glyn 2


      For a start XP doesn't start searching the network when I ask it to search for a file on my computer

  65. david 12 Silver badge

    Windows 7 under protest.

    I've worked as a sys admin in government, and I don't have a problem with Win 7 in that environment. I've got a wife and kids, and I don't have a problem with Win 7 in that environment.

    Those are the Enterprise market (which, 20 years ago was Green Screen), and Home market (which, 20 years ago was Apple II)

    So that is most of the Windows market, and I can understand Windows 7.

    The home/enterprise security, the UAC, the signed drivers, the wizards, the changed feature set, all make it more difficult to just set up or debug 1 special PC running 1 special application.

    MS started out in the niche non-enterprise, non-home market: small departments, small computers, small applications.

    That's the market that MS is gradually cutting loose.

    1. Steven Roper

      Tempus fugit

      Hate to give you a rude awakening, David, but 20 years ago was *1991*, not 1981. That was *30* years ago, my friend. Apple II and green screens were commonplace in 1981, but by 1991 green screens had all but disappeared (even ATMs had colour screens by then) and the Apple II had long been a dinosaur in the face of the Mac, Amiga and third-gen Windows PCs.

      I know, it seems like it was 1981 only yesterday to me as well (I was just finishing high school), and I have to keep reminding myself that I'm now a lot closer to Marty McFly's encounter with flying cars and hoverboards, than I am to McFly finding out Doc Brown just built a time machine while listening to Hewie Lewis and The News.

      Yes, we're now living in the time that sci-fi movies used to be about when I was a kid. The years, they do go by... ;)

  66. json


    to my company anyway. We're already in tail end of the process of being post-microsoft everything.. and that will culminate in 6 months.. just one old crappy VFP application app left to migrate to a webapp.

    With their 365 offering, M$ has finally admitted, that the traditional OS (any OS) will soon become irrelevant.

  67. Andy Enderby 1

    be honest....

    Be especially honest at a time when every bloody penny is counted. What new functionality is there in 7 of value in an office environment, over and above that in XP..... errrrrrrr ???

    It's about driving the MS bottom line, hardware certification (and was that ever fudged) and training revenue.

    Swapping a known quantity that runs your core apps, new hardware, retraining. glitches (such as spectacularly increased file copying times on Vista and 7 - still not fixed - oh hang on that's a feature, you might be stealing "premium content") etc.

    In other words, it aint about you and your needs, it's about Ballmers yacht (or what ever it is he does at weekends), shareholder revenue, that's thier job. Everything else is secondary. If your boss has money to waste, and tells you to do it, fine. Otherwise screw it.

    Ultimately it's an O/S.... it's there to run apps and allow office wallahs to do their job. Pretty new UI's aren't going to cut it with the bean counters.

  68. Anonymous Coward

    Fuck you, you're the customer!

    By now, assuming they are competent, Microsoft could have produced an exact functional equivalent of XP that runs faster, uses *everything* more efficiently than XP, and is extraordinarily popular. But, when you have an abusive relationship with your customers, everything is about control and *your* future plans. Typical behaviour from a company with a near monopoly and a lack of vision.

  69. spegru

    It's your own fault I'm afraid

    10 yrs ago, windows was the only option for a PC unless you were weird and got a Mac.

    But because XP didnt change for a crucial 7ish years you thought it would be there forever - you were wrong!

    You should have looked at cars, TVs, and (of course phones) to see that it could not be the case.

    No reason for MSFT to keep it going past the point that it made commercial sense to do so.

    You should have seen this coming and made sure you were planning for the future - you know open standards and so on.

    So now you will be supporting yourself in future: Might as well move to Linux....

  70. deadfamous

    XP support defines lifetime of Windows 7

    Any users of Windows 7 Ultimate may be familiar with the WinXP VM that is available. Of course, the XP VM is only a 32 bit version and permits some of us to play with old copies of software etc.

    So the real queation is: in 3 years will Windows 'N' have made XP redundant?

  71. Danny 5

    die hard here!

    I'm still using XP for most things, but that's not to say i don't like windows 7. I've used it quite a few times already and have to say it's much better then XP, the upgrade is certainly worth it, i just can't be arsed to upgrade myself (if it works, don't fix it).

    I think it's my love for all things retro that has kept me with XP for all these years, i'd feel remorseful if i upgrade, i'm sure of that.

  72. Badvok

    Steps back in amazement !

    I simply can't believe the number of posters on here who have no idea about the changes in Windows between XP and Vista/7, there's even some who think it is all just UI changes :O (and they probably don't realise you can turn that bit off). I thought this was a site for techies!

    1. Glyn 2


      So how do you turn off the address bar so it says for example (using v for drop down arrow)

      C:\Users\myname\Documents\Visual Studio 2010\Code Snippets\Visual C#

      instead of

      v Computer v Local Disk(C:) v myname v Documents v Visual Studio 2010 v Code Snippets v Visual C#

      or rather where it says

      v Code Snippets v Visual C#

      unless the explorer window is maximised?

      How do you get the columns to stay the way you set them? For example,

      name, size, type, date modified

      rather than either reshuffling them or adding/removing columns depending on the contents of either the current folder or the contents of it's subfolder?

      Don't tell me it's Tools, options, apply to all folders, as that just plainly doesn't work.

      How do you temporarily hide the folder tree list so you can see the full contents of the folder without either sliding the divider back and forth or resizing the window? A button marked "Folders" would be nice


      Steps back in amazement... some poster makes a bunch of grand pronouncements without actually backing them up with any meaningful amount of detail.

      ...actually I wasn't really that amazed.

    3. mr.K


      Yes, most complaints with Windows 7 is with the GUI. It is a rather important bit of this particular OS. I really don't care about how most of the stuff work deep inside it's core (and I actually doubt that there is a single person in the world (including the Microsoft staff, or former staff) that actually does.).

      Depending on how you define GUI, it can be 90% of the user experience. Since you seem enlighten. How do you turn on the win2k / XP GUI in Windows 7? I have yet to discover that button, so I would really appreciate if you could enlighten me on it's location.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Constantly irks me...

    Linux is not the answer, its more of a question.

    Both operating systems have their plus points and I'm a fan of neither I just have to suffer them both. If I change to Win7 (my office PC is) then I'm faced with two problems....

    Stupid R/O bug breaking some packages and the fact that OpenBravo (open source) REALLY doesnt like windows 7. I suspect its the fault of the Mysql JDBC connector but hey its all part and parcel of it.

    Linux however means a complete change to workflow, retraining, rewriting software, making drivers work on our machines , trying to find software and then make it work and then almost certainly the same round of upgrades Win7 needed.

    Personally I can use both, and yest I spend a hell of a lot of time swearing at Linux its mainly the incredabily low standard of documentation/though that goes into some of the more nice apps I'd have to use.

    Now I bill my staff out at £45-65 an hour. Say I go to Win7, I recon about 1 hour of fettling and tweaking post install to get them back to square 1. We'll call that about £160 all in for the upgrade. Ok if Delphi, some of our legacy apps or shock:horror Acronis are involved all bets are off.

    Now Linux. The techies are good but never have had call to use it past a bit of playing. I'll introduce nerd specimin 1 who does used Linux on and off. We get it all installed and thats good, so we are at about one hour here and by the same numbers as above thats just his time burnt so we'll call that about £50. Openoffice, GIMP, MySQL, Apache, etc on and w'ell be at the same two hour point, £100, we've saved a £60 Licence. Only, theres no Delphi (if someone says Kylix I will hunt them down like a dog) Lazerus isnt really suitable (for anything). Our USB drivers for our hardware wont work so at best thats messing with PNP IDs in the linux drivers, as for the PCI hardware I beleive the PLX bridges we use are supported. This is all going to take more than an hour to sort, very quickly we are up to £150 assuming its all sorted. So I save £10. Thats unfortunately then cancelled out by the engineer being out of service for an hour.

    I'm not bashing Windows or Linux, its just reality. Windows as a rule for most things, just works(ish). Except for the most basic things Linux still has a long way to go. Personally I could wipe this machine down, put FC on it and it wouldnt make any odds to me (FF and TB will still be unstable resource hogs that I love to hate) For our engineers going XP to Linux would be at best an annoyance, we've looked at it before and I cant afford the downtime.

    MacOS is about as much of an option as OS/2 before anyone says it.

    XP is old hat now but it works and its fitted to some situations better than others. I'm not brave enough to try even 7 starter on our VIA C3 boards but XP chugs along hapilly. The veichle systems we do are based on a stripped XPe install and we HAVE tried both Basic and Starter on them and that was a disaster. (oh look your GPS is really a serial mouse) On the desktop 7 is not bad at all, athough in the aformentioned areas it IS a step back. Our only real gripe is the read only files silliness that MS wont fix.

  74. Delbert

    Retrograde backward advances?

    Why would I 'upgrade' to an OS that will leverage me into replacing my hardware with items that are 'fully' compatible when I can continue to use a system that works without change 4 years after I built it. I won't signup to .Net or Silverlight because I don't need them or the intrusions they 'provide'. I reckon three years is long enough for me to find a viable alternative I've a phone and a Pad both using Android which for a very young OS seems quite efficient and stable with a very low resource requirement and an HTPC a work in progress with Linux on board do I need a massive bill for an OS with no advantages aside from eye candy -can't see it myself.

  75. Big Bear

    The killer Vista/7 feature that XP needs retrofitted

    Alt-Up to go up a level in the explorer... and yes, I know backspace does roughly the same thing but it ain't the same!

    And someone to have told me about tab-complete in CMD years ago. Would've saved probably hours of labouriously typing stuff out and swearing at this black screen as compared to the other black screen logging into the UNIX box...

  76. Jess

    Migrating from an old OS

    takes so long that by the time you've done it, you are again (or soon) in the situation of having an old OS, so why bother?

    Just as all Vista adopters have now.

    Any big business thinking of migrating now, will have a working windows seven system, just in time for windows 8 to appear. (And w8 will run on arm kit, with the potential for energy and space saving).

  77. BobChip

    Foresight / Hindsight

    Three years ago, I had the foresight to switch all our desktops to Ubuntu / Open Office. With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that I made the right decision. It's really all about TCO - though the speed, stability and everything else that has come with it are a nice bonus.

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