back to article Windows XP support ends two years from now

Support for Windows XP will end two years from today, on April 8th, 2014*. XP was shipped to OEMs on August 24th, 2001 and reached average punters on October 25th. Plenty bought it and plenty still run it: Gartner's July 2011 assessment of the global OS population suggested "Windows XP Home and Follow-Ons" had 68 million …


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  1. Mage Silver badge

    No Problem

    In two years time Linux based system(s) will be a fine replacement for my XP.

    A tablet will be no problem. A suitable 1600 x1200 or better laptop will be harder to source than a decent OS.

    They certainly don't need to run the same GUI or OS. You listening Mark Shuttleworth and Steve Balmer?

    1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

      Re: No Problem

      Yeah, a whole YEAR before I have to start thinking about an alternative and another one after that to buy one, assuming, of course, that XP updates actually matter to me at all (a closed, firewalled system with good apps is a closed, firewalled system with good apps!). Though I suspect, work-wise, we'll move before the last moment. They held out marvellously through Vista and now 7 but it looks like 7 is at least good enough for business use if you're going to lay down money on it (and we have a lot of money saved from NOT laying it down in previous years).

      Still have a Vista Business and a 7 license for my main machine just sitting in front of me, waiting for a reason to use them. Ironically, that will probably be silly things like games, Steam, etc. rather than anything vital to my IT. And, to be honest, if Wine gets caught up a little more by then, a re-run of my Linux desktop trial would be in order, I think. The last time I did that (8 years ago? Maybe 7?), it ran so well that I never threw the machine away and it's still chugging along to this day. About the only thing it couldn't really do was games but that meant that 99% of the things I actually do on a computer were fine. Since then, we have a much-improved LibreOffice, much improved Wine, a lot more indie-games supporting Linux, Android devices everywhere, and a lot more CPU oomph and VM software integrated into the platform.

      The only reason I use Windows is because work uses it, and I have a work laptop that's more powerful than any computer I own personally. I honestly think my next big personal IT purchase will be a powerful laptop, and an Ubuntu install with XP / 7 virtualised on it, mostly for gaming if Wine hasn't made it extremely viable since then (previous Wine / Crossover Office experiences were good enough but not perfect).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No Problem

      « In two years time Linux based system(s) will be a fine replacement for my XP. »

      I suspect Microsoft finally found the way to cripple Linux by making their own products crappier and crappier, thus encouraging Windows users to migrate. As has been seen recently, virus writers will target any OS provided it has enough market share to make it worth the effort. What's more, hordes of clueless newbies will flood Linux forums, wasting everyone's time and rendering those forums basically useless. Perfect plan. It's a bit sad that MS let their hate of Linux harm them so much, though.

      (too bad ACs can't choose their icon any more, so let the downvotes roll...)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No Problem

      Mr S and B seem to be vying with each other as to who can produce the least appropriate desktop interface.

      Thankfully, although there will be only one Microsoft, there will be other Linuxes to choose from.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Mage - Re: No Problem

      So we've moved out to nor this year nor next being the year of the Linux Desktop?

      It's nice to see some realism creeping in...


      1. oregonensis

        Re: @Mage - No Problem

        Didn't you read the article? 2014 will be the year of Linux on the desktop.

    5. tracyanne

      Re: No Problem

      Indeed, it is no problem. My company has already replaced Windows on the desktop and the server with Linux based Operating Systems, the final changeover date was January 1st 2012.

      We are even able to continue building C# ASP.NET web applications, using Mono and Mono Develop on Linux (Linux Mint actually) desktops, and host those web applications on Debian Linux Servers.

    6. Rob Moir

      Re: No Problem

      "In two years time Linux based system(s) will be a fine replacement for my XP."

      Ahh the fabled "year of the Linux desktop". It's like Charlie Brown believing that this time Lucy really will let him kick the ball, honest.

      1. bazza Silver badge

        Re: No Problem

        >Ahh the fabled "year of the Linux desktop".

        I share your sentiment. From what I've experienced on a variety of Linuxes in the past few weeks I don't think the fabled year will ever become real. Even the best of them, Linux Mint, seems to have taken the idea of a desktop and made it worse. Not that they're alone in that - Win 8 is terrible on the desktop.

        What is it with the IT world at the moment? Everyone seems to be getting hot under the collar over tablets being the next big thing. With the way OSes are going at the moment tablets will be the *only* thing that will be semi-usable. But we won't be as productive as we used to be with the humble desktop. They're great toys but rubbish to actually work on. I can type quicker on my Blackberry than I've ever seen anyone manage on a touchscreen keyboard.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: No Problem

          Bluetooth keyboard. £9.99. Job done.

          But yeah, I take your point. Depends what you want to do. Ultimately, a desktop is the most ergonomic set up of display, mouse and keyboard for many people.

          The point is processor power, battery and storage are not the obstacles they once were to having many different form factors.

          They just need integrating better with each other.

          Why don't Mac desktop applications come with iPad toolbars? If I am proof-reading, why can't I tap my Kindle against the monitor, and continue reading the same page in a comfier chair?

        2. SleepGuy

          Re: No Problem

          My FAVORITE are the tablet users who go all out and add a keyboard and all these other things to end up with an $800 sort-of laptop. Tablets are great...for putzing around...anything that requires data entry is not only slow but you lose half your screen real estate for the keyboard, the capacitive touch isn't accurate enough for most business applications and when you rebuild the application where everything is larger so it can be "touched," you can't fit squat on the screen. They are counter-productive in most (not all) enterprise environments. Tablets have ONE thing that laptop-makers need to take note of - battery life. A new laptop should last longer than 90 minutes on battery...I don't care that the specs say "up to 4 hours" or whatever, laptops have poor battery life in comparison to good tablets. Tablets are getting ready to go through some real growing pains with the high-res displays...New iPad upscaling is terrible and it's only the first to come...Android tablet will soon follow and will have the close to the same (Android developers have a leg up because they already build their apps to scale up or down to different screen sizes). The data usage is going to balloon...either that or users are going to complain that everything they see is being upscaled...and then what's the point of a high res display?

          Windows 8 is going to fail on tablets not just the desktop. It's the Windows Millenium / Windows Vista of the present. Enterprise adoption will be minimal and those home users will likely hate it. It will fail on tablets because it's nothing but lipstick on a pig. Once you get past the lipstick, you see the pig...and he's not touch friendly.

          I have tried switching my desktop to Linux about every 18 fails every time....NVidia video card this time, something else the next time, Compiz used to rotate the screen if I put my mouse to either side and scrolled...try to find the setting to make that happen. Oops, my screens are backwards...what, I have to go to the command-line and edit files or run a config utility as root after searching for 15 minutes on the internet? I want to USE my computer, not sit and f*ck with it all day. I can say it HAS gotten better...PPTP VPN's actually work, Open Office is OK (until you get into formulas in Calc) but it STILL doesn't handle document templates (which is THE reason we went to fillable PDF's in my company instead of using Open Office for office forms).

          Windows 7 is the new's rock-solid, stable and fast. The network stack blows XP out of the water! Linux is still relegated to the server room here where it appears it will remain.

      2. Euripides Pants

        Re: Year of the Linux Desktop

        Linux bypassed the desktop and went straight to tablets.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      if I was stuck with Vista

      I would be crying.


      I am not, I have 7 and that's good enough for me.

      Oh and you can stuff 8 up your....

    8. Fatman

      Re: Linux based system(s) will be a fine replacement for my XP.

      What is taking you so dammed long?

      I ditched XP over 4 years ago when I started playing with Ubuntu.

      Lately, I have been giving serious thought to replacing `This Old Box` with something powered by an i3. Since it is likely to come from a `big box` retailer, the question is what to do with the pre-installed Windblowze 7 Home Premium.

      My choices are:

      1) dual boot Ubuntu and Windblowze (I really don't want a Windlowze infection on my computer), or

      2) nuke Windlowze from orbit, and maybe making a set of recovery discs beforehand.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    9. kb
      Thumb Down

      Re: No Problem

      People wouldn't take Linux when Vista was out, what makes you think they will take Linux when XP is EOL? they'll just "call a friend" who'll give them a "wink wink" copy of Win 7 which frankly is even easier to pirate than XP and that will be that. The problem with Linux is there is ZERO stability, what works in version Foo may be completely broken by version foo+1 and as long as Linus Torvalds has a pulse that is the way it'll be because the man won't allow Linux to have what every. other. OS in the free world, BSD, Solaris, OSX,Windows, even OS/2, has had for decades, a stable driver ABI. Do Linux followers REALLY believe Linus is smarter than the entire OS teams of ALL those OSes?

      As for why XP lasts this long that is simple...its Ballmer's fault. When MSFT was offering Win 7 home for $50 and the triple pack for $100 I had tons of orders for conversions of existing XP machines, price went back to $100 for Win Home?...none. it was also wiping out piracy and now I see classified ads all over the place with $100 PCs running $400 Win 7 Ultimate..I didn't see that when home was $50.

      If Ballmer were to go with $50 Win 7 Home and $100 Win 7 Pro you'd see those XP machines converted, but as long as he charges too much they will stick with XP or go pirate. I bet he'll try the $50 price point when win 8 comes out but since Win 8 is a turkey it won't sell anymore than Vista did, in fact i still have a pile of Vista discs, nobody wants 'em and nobody is gonna want a cell phone UI on the desktop.

      But they won't go to linux friend, its just too much of a mess, what with pukeaudio, the DE wars, Linus and his kernel breaking, nope instead Win 7 will be the new XP, mark my words. Considering win 7 is supported until 2020 i know i've switched all my family and we are battening down the hatches, we'll stick with what 'just works" and that is Win 7.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No Problem

        "The problem with Linux is there is ZERO stability, what works in version Foo may be completely broken by version foo+1 and as long as Linus Torvalds has a pulse that is the way it'll be because the man won't allow Linux to have what every other OS in the free world, BSD, Solaris, OSX, Windows, even OS/2, has had for decades, a stable driver ABI. Do Linux followers REALLY believe Linus is smarter than the entire OS teams of ALL those OSes?"


        But then again, Linux users tend to bizarre and inexplicable belief systems. Well that's an unavoidable consequence of being locked in the basement by one's family....

  2. Nya


    On the embedded systems it could prove interesting as there is a huge install base of machines using XPE out there, which haven't an upgrade path at all. Getting Linux to work on some of these things as a possible upgrade path is nothing but a pain in the behind and a huge downgrade in performance. But then again, on an embedded system it shouldn't really be that huge a problem to just keep rolling on...hopefully!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: XPE

      On the embedded machines, I bet they'll just leave XP on there. Just as I still see MS-DOS running in embedded systems in factories or old OS's in ATM's.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: XPE

        I saw OS/2 Warp on a Peruvian ATM machine as it rebooted itself - causing concern because my debit card was inside it at the time! I had to stay an extra day on the edge of lake Titicaca waiting for the bank to retrieve it, but at least I got to visit a British-built steamer that had been carried up the Andes by man and mule, and a sardonic letter by Prince Philip contained in its museum: "As I was travelling across Lake Titicaca in an unpressurised vessel..."

        Thanks goes to the Puno tourist police.

  3. Andus McCoatover

    We're sometimes forgetful...

    ..weren't we assured that XP was all a business would need?

    So, I'm sorry, but I can't see why I'd need to 'upgrade' (Vista requires the sarcastic quotes) to Windows 8. Has a business need suddenly - and coincidentally with the launch of a Microsoft-pushed (soon to be forced) release - unexpectantly changed?

    Are businesses driving the Microsoft development program, or is Microsoft driving the business direction?

    One wonders.

    1. N2

      Re: We're sometimes forgetful...

      Couldn't agree more, theres a lot more to 'upgrading' than just rolling out the latest variant of Redmonds pie. I used W2000 for years & it ran all my stuff flawlessly.

      In my opinion, Microsoft is trying to drive the direction of what businesses do, but their intervention is really not needed.

  4. Chris Miller

    "the first mainstream desktop OS Microsoft built on the Windows NT kernel"

    What about Win2k Pro? I suppose XP was the first desktop NT OS that wasn't (in marketing terms, at least) associated with a server version.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: "the first mainstream desktop OS Microsoft built on the Windows NT kernel"

      Win2K was aimed at business users, not 'mainstream' home users. Still, at least it supported USB and HDDs bigger than 8GB without fiddling with drivers. Home users had 98 or WinME aimed at them (and if they had any sense, would duck!)

      Still, Win2K use to overwrite a Zip disk with the contents of whatever previous Zip disk had been in it. I had to take my hat off to MS for that!

  5. tirk

    MS - their own worst enemy.

    I have to say that Metro/Win8 is what's putting me off upgrading (my small business). Vista was never going to happen, and by the time Win7 was a realistic prospect, the rumours of the horrors of Metro were around. Why move to Win7 when MS are offering no realistic upgrade path beyond it?

    I suspect XP will be extended here (again), and non-MS options seriously looked at over the next couple of years. Win7 play a part, but as a stop-gap.

    1. kb

      Re: MS - their own worst enemy.

      Because Win 7 has support until 2020 MINIMUM and that is if they don't extend it like they did with XP. i predict Win 7 will be the new XP and Win 8 the new Vista. you watch Win 8 will finally be the straw that gets the board to fire Gates' little buddy and then we'll get someone from the business side to run the company.

      Just as many skipped WinVista completely (for the most part I skipped XP as well, going from Win2K to WinXP X64 which is just server 2K3 with an XP skin to win 7 X64 ) if you go with win 7 you can get some frankly insanely powered kit now for little money (built two hexacores and a quad for me and the boys for a little over $1300 after MIR) which will be more than powerful enough to let you skip win 8 and Win 9 as well if they don't straighten up.

      But I wouldn't bet the farm on XP getting another extension, its just too long in the tooth to continue supporting. i mean how many patches is it up to now, something like 4 digits? The fact that MSFT quietly extending support for ALL versions of Win 7 until 2020 tells me they are planning on keeping win 7 for all those that won't take metro. mark my words win 7 WILL be the new XP. Besides most machines that are running XP are P4s or dual cores as best, how long do you think that will be able to keep up with all the bloat the web designers are adding to their pages? Using a P4 on today's web is just painful and a dual frankly isn't a whole lot better.

      1. tirk

        Re: MS - their own worst enemy.

        Metro with a keyboard and mouse is such a @$&!ing disaster that I seriously wonder if MS will be around in 2020 to deliver that support.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        P4 and XP

        We have a Pentium P4 at home and it still works, it cost us a fortune when new, so no intention of scrapping it.

        Web browsing is fine, but flash games are a bit of a pain, BUT real games run perfectly, I can leave my sons playing Team Fortress 2 quite happily.

        So why is an online multi person FPS running fine and a silly facebook game stuttering?

        Apart from this fettling and keeping it pared down results in a fast boot and a perfectly usable computer.

        If a web site gets too difficult to use the web site gets ignored.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. kb

          Re: P4 and XP

          Because unless you get your power for free you're not really doing yourself any favors? both of my boys had Pentium Ds which BTW are beyond dirt cheap so if you have a socket 775 and can't afford new kit that is a possibility, but by replacing them with an AMD quad and AMD hexacore their power usage went DOWN by a pretty significant amount and that of course isn't counting the fact they'll need less AC in the summer.

          As i tell my customers the Pentium netburst arch was 'power piggie oink oink suck" that just got worse as they came out with new models, hence why they gave up on the P4 and went back to the P3 design that was used in mobile. of course the cheapest for power sipping is the CULV intel chips but Jebus those things are crazy priced .

          So i tell my customers that if all they want is surfing and light gaming? then look at the Brazos E350 boards. those have an AMD 1.6GHz bobcat dual with an HD6320 GPU. great for videos and i play L4D and GTA:VC on mine in the netbook. after this the newer AMD APUs based on liano, costs more but you get more GPU and better performance, next up in speed from that would be the Zosma and Thubans, I'm having a lot of folks jump on these as they are cheap chips in the states, we're talking about 6 cores for $139 and of course then you can pair it with any GPU you want. I could have saved power there but the kids like heavy MMOs so i went with a couple of HD4850s i scored for $50 each.

          But trust me friend you look up how much power those P4s sucked and they simply weren't a good chip to hang onto. the newer AMD boards like the Asrock can even turn off phases when idle to REALLY drop the heck out of the power. looking at mine I've saved 25 Kj just by having the phases drop when i'm just surfing instead of gaming. Look into the power difference friend, those P4s really aren't something you want to hang onto. but if all they are playing is TF2 you could probably get by with an E350, they are dirt cheap and only use 35w max.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Will be with us for a while

    I've been in factories where Windows 95 and DOS are still in evidence on machines controlling bits of custom hardware used for manufacturing. These machines aren't connected to networks and just do the same job day in day out. If they get replaced the hardware gets replaced but the OS doesn't. Or they find some way of running MS-DOS as a virtual machine.

    Likewise until very recently one ATM in town appeared to be running Windows 95 (yes it was always slow as hell and had indeed crashed out revealing it's OS).

    1. The Serpent

      Re: Will be with us for a while

      I know of a saw mill production line controlled by a dos pc with a 20mb mfm hard disk that was only shut down last year because the company outsourced the work. I last rebuilt that thing in 1999 and I bet it hadn't been touched yet except for the maintenance reboot. They don't make em like they used to.

      You see Win 9x based tills and cash machines all over the place. It wasn't so many years ago I saw a tech start up an atm and bloody Win ME presented it's mishapen visage to the world..

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Will be with us for a while

        During a recent foray into a disused electronics factory, I came across a box of cassette tapes with CNC code, according to the labels!

        : D

        1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

          Re: Will be with us for a while @Dave126

          About 3 years ago I was repairing such a machine :)

          Not only was the program stored on 'high speed' cassette, but you then had to remove it and load another cassette with the job data.

          The machine had a 'program' mode where you manually moved the cutting heads, dialed in the speed etc... rinse and repeat, then saved the lot to a new data tape. I don't know how many steps it had - quite a lot I think.

          The company was mooting the idea of a tape recorder emulator, but thanks to our wonderful economy and unbelievable support for small business, they went out of business and all the machinery was broken up for scrap.

        2. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Will be with us for a while

          Paper tape

          Only dropped it for our Windows software, our previous DOS application could control a paper tape punch, and this was late dos with client server and still in use in a few places today.

          Having what was best dos app in our industry made going Windows that bit harder!

          Cassettes only just dropped as well.

          Floppy still very common.

          Machine control PCs still see NT a lot.

      2. Elmer Phud

        Re: Will be with us for a while

        I was in Wickes a while back and the till crashed just as I got to the checkout.

        "Hello, that error message looks familiar" I sad to the man at the till, "what do you mean?" sez he.

        "It's got that Win98 look to it" sez I, "You know, I think you're right" sez he.

        "I'm sure I've got a 98 boot floppy somewhere in the motor if you get stuck"

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Will be with us for a while

      "I've been in factories where Windows 95 and DOS are still in evidence on machines controlling bits of custom hardware used for manufacturing."

      Pah! I was in a shop in Sunderland last year. They were still using a Tandy Model 100 "laptop" to run their sales/stock management. I did point out to the lady using it that it was now a collectors item, especially in full working order, so when it was time to upgrade they should seriously consider EBaying it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will be with us for a while

      I know for a fact the 9x runs all the tills at Tesco.

      Not sure what the new self serves are, but it wouldn't surprise me if that was the same.

      1. Mandoscottie
        Thumb Up

        Re: Will be with us for a while

        going by the frequency of the Tesco "self-serve" tills being out of order, id suspect they also run Win 9x behind the scenes.

        I was in "home bargains" a week or two ago (amazing what sh1t3 they sell for much cheapness) to be greeted with a rebooting POS (point of sale that is, or piece of 5h1t either work) with the familiar "tum tee ta daaa daaa" sound of Windows 9x! oh how i giggled,

        "cashier" dam i cant remember my logon.......

        "me" its allright love, just hit escape ;o)

    4. kb

      Re: Will be with us for a while

      I actually had to build a DOS 3 machine in 2005, that was a trip down memory lane. the poor kid came in looking like he was gonna have a heart attack because the CNC PC has finally died and the CNC would ONLY run with an ISA card and DOS 3..They had a $50k+ order and without the custom columns the deal was off. Lucky for him i still had a couple of my old gamer PCs back in the shed so I cloned his HDD and sold him a P100 and a P233. Made a pretty nice profit on those.

      Last I heard the P100 is still running that CNC 5 days a week and he boots up the P233 once a month just like I told him just to make sure the spare is running alright. gives me the warm fuzzys to think the machine i originally used to play DOOM on is still chugging away.

  7. Hardcastle the ancient


    XP:? support? sorry, you lost me there. There was a thing called WGA that I had to stake through the heart

    1. Miek

      Re: err..

      Try actually buying the OS then! Windows Genuine Advantage was intended to prevent OS Pirates from gaining access to updates.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We're not willing to classify Windows NT Workstation as a mainstream desktop OS."

    We're not willing to classify Windows as a mainstream desktop OS.

    Fixed it for you !

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: "We're not willing to classify Windows NT Workstation as a mainstream desktop OS."

      Have you used Windows 8? Windows isn't a desktop OS at all anymore.

      Keyboard, because you'll have to pry the keyboard, mouse and multitasking operating systems from the hands of my rotting corpse.

    2. Anonymous IV

      Re: "We're not willing to classify Windows NT Workstation as a mainstream desktop OS."

      So why did at least one well-known bank run Windows NT workstation on tens of thousands of their PCs?

  9. Benjamin 4

    Microsoft ending support... so what?

    Ok, within an enterprise environment maybe, but certainly within a home or small business environment there is absolutely no need to rely on Microsoft patches. Ok, this is only anecdotal evidence, but I never patch any of my pcs, and have never had any problems with viri/malware/trojans/whatever the word of the month is.

    All you need is a decent security package, and if people carry on using it then the security manufactures will carry on writing for it. I still see no reason to upgrade.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft ending support... so what?

      I think what you mean is "My computer has had a rootkit on it for the last ten years but I've never worried because my pwned security package keeps reassuring me everything is ok."

    2. Allan George Dyer

      Re: Microsoft ending support... so what?

      So have you tried renewing a W2K AV license recently?

      1. Decrapifier

        Re: Microsoft ending support... so what?

        > So have you tried renewing a W2K AV license recently?

        Yes, I have, with great success (for more than a DECADE)! My version of AVG Anti-Virus is 9.0.914, with current virus-database data. I also have up-to-date Malwarebytes, Spybot Search & Destroy, etc.

        Do not assume that just because Microsoft deliberately abandons its customers' OSes that every other vendor does!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two more years, excellent. That about fits my timeline for buying a new computer. There is no way that I pay $100+ for an OS if I can get an entirely new PC for $250+.

  11. WinHatter

    Migrate before ...

    When is the last time someone did something before it's too late ???

    There is no point in migrating something that runs fine to Win 7, the difficulty and costs will be the same migrating it to Win 9 or X.

    If you add energy matters ... an XP PC will run on 85 W a Win 7 probably needs 120 Watts ... when a Celeron 700 MHz Win 98 25 Watts ... and frankly the less crap users can run on their PC the better.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Migrate before ...

      Of course, the moment no security patches come out for XP its only a matter of time because your PC can get overrun. If that happens then there's only so much you can do.

      1. Decrapifier

        Re: Migrate before ...


        You are buying into PR and media hype.

        I run current versions of AVG, Malwarebytes, Spybot, etc. on Windows 2000. For over a decade, my PCs have NEVER been contaminated with or "overrun" by ANY virus.

        The educated user can run older versions of Windows safely. Only the huddled masses of sheep are on their own, and many of them will migrate to Apple's seemingly secure, idiot-friendly, walled garden of corporate control and Fecesbook-like privacy invasion.

    2. tracyanne

      Re: Migrate before ...

      We've already migrated all of our computer systems to Linux based OSs, on 31 Jan 2012, we removed the last Windows OS and installed a Linux Mint desktop complete with Mono + Mono Develop to replace the Windows plus Visual Studio set up. In this way can continue to develop C# ASP.NET web applications, which are now hosted on Debian Linux servers.

      1. Elmer Phud

        Re: Migrate before ...

        "we removed the last Windows OS and installed a Linux Mint desktop complete with Mono + Mono Develop to replace the Windows plus Visual Studio set up. In this way can continue to develop C# ASP.NET web applications, which are now hosted on Debian Linux servers."

        and some folks wonder why the punters don't adopt Linux - can you shove in a disc and let it do the set-up work for you? No.

        Until that happens then Windows will still be there to annoy you.

        1. Hardcastle the ancient

          @Elmer Phud

          >can you shove in a disc and let it do the set-up work for you? No.

          err, yes. Yes you can. I've seen it do that for the last 5 years.

          You can even run it from the CD without touching the hard disk, if you want to try it out.

          When was the first version of Knoppix? oh yes, 2000. That's right.

          1. bazza Silver badge

            Re: @Elmer Phud

            Yeah, works ok for the OS install. But you try installing linux software that's not hosted on the default repository! First, is it deb, rpm or tarball? Have all the dependencies resolved? Is it a source code package, in which case you now have to work out whether the right GCC has been installed already, and then pray that configure works. Installing software on Linux is not always a simple thing to do.

            Whereas Windows / MAC software normally just installs. If the Linux crew want to make Linux more accessible they might want to study that.

        2. Chemist

          Re: Migrate before ...

          "can you shove in a disc and let it do the set-up work for you? No."

          That's what I've done for years with Suse & OpenSuse. since ~2000 - must run to a good few dozen installs by now as I currently have 6 machines

        3. Nuke

          @ Elmer Phud -- Re: Migrate before ...

          Elmer Phud wrote :- "and some folks wonder why the punters don't adopt Linux - can you shove in a disc and let it do the set-up work for you? No."

          What was it in Tracyanne's post that made you come up with that? Sounded to like the only particular effort she had, if it amounted to much, was to install Mono+Mono Develop. Installing a development suite is not something most punters ever do.

          The extra effort needed to install Linux is to put the disc in at all, seeing that Windows comes pre-installed on almost every PC sold. Until Linux is widely available as an option when buying a new PC (which it is not thanks to Microsofts continuing dirty business methods), even at the same price as a Windows one, Windows will indeed still be there.

          Suits me though; as long as Windows is still there it acts as a safety valve for all that malware and it deflects users away from me who might want me to fix their PC if I used the same OS as them.

        4. tracyanne

          Re: Migrate before ...

          quote:: can you shove in a disc and let it do the set-up work for you? No. ::quote

          Actually you can't do that with Windows either, not with XP, Vista or Win 7.

        5. tracyanne

          Re: Migrate before ...

          Actually Windows doesn't annoy me, it's merely an unnecessary expense. Using Linux on our desktops saves us money and time.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Migrate before ...

      I'm running Windows 7 on several Intel Atom boards quite happily, The only real difference I find it Windows 7 needs 2GB of ram instead of 1GB (XP) to run well. My media centre pc (an N330 on an ION chipset) uses around 50 watts playing 1080p video. Windows XP requires the same energy usage but takes longer to boot up.

      I have a copy of Windows 7 Pro and Windows XP mode seems to work well so it is possible to keep those legacy applications going (along with Dos-box).

      Windows 7 does require more RAM (2GB instead of 1GB) and Storage space (10GB instead of 4GB) but if it does use more power I haven't been able to detect it. It also runs as smoothly as Windows XP on the same hardware in my experience (obviously your mileage may vary).

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        Re: Migrate before ...

        ".....Windows 7 does require more RAM (2GB instead of 1GB) and Storage space (10GB instead of 4GB)....." My worry is that Win7 will grow as WinXP did. An install of WinXP used to be - in today's terms - tiny, I was using it on PCs with 256MB of RAM and 8GB disks. Now the install alone, with all the patches and SPs, is massively larger. And with that growth in image has come a corresponding growth in the RAM requirement. Whilst Win7 may work on 2GB of RAM and 10GB of disk now, I'm predicting both of those figures to grow beyond the capabilities of many embedded systems and older PCs.

    4. N2

      Re: Migrate before ...

      "... and frankly the less crap users can run on their PC the better"

      Too right, I reserve the right to shove a red hot poker up the backside of any shitty user who thinks they have the God given right to install any of their crap ware without seeking permission first.

    5. kb

      Re: Migrate before ...

      Actually you are wrong about the last part as you can actually SAVE electricity (and thus money) by going to a low power Win 7 unit. I have done this for several shops, replacing their old Pentium 4s for AMD Brazos APUs and the amount of power and AC they saved by switching is just nuts. those Brazos units only use 18w under load for the APU and can handle most jobs your average worker does and if they needed anything more powerful (such as the print shop that needed some more powerful units for editing prints) then you can get a Phenom II or Core i3 unit that turns off phases when in idle to save more power.

      Frankly the XP era boards just really didn't care about power, it was the MHZ wars after all and the answer to everything was 'moar power!".

  12. Dr. Ellen

    Bah, humbug!

    I like Windows XP. I like Windows 7. But 7 breaks a lot of programs I'm fond of. Worse, the current versions are expensive. So I keep two machines, one for each, and intend to continue that. Why go to the fuss of upgrading the XP box, or the fuss of recycling it, when I have the room and the power strip for it?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bah, humbug!

      You could consider getting a version of Windows 7 Professional instead of the 'freely' shipped Home Premium. Its not /that/ expensive and it provides support for a full fledged Windows XP professional.

      In short: when using 7 Professional you can pick up "XP Mode" from Microsoft. This is basically a version of their "Windows Virtual PC" software which ships with an ISO image containing the install media for XP professional.

      As such it basically allows you to run a full fledged XP 'within' Windows 7. Heck; it even goes as far as allowing you to run individual programs which then run on the virtual XP (which gets started in the background) while being available on your desktop like any other regular program (the main thing noticeable is the XP look). Some people I know even use this so that they can continue to use Outlook Express, because they despise the new "Live mail".

      Maybe this could be an alternative?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Bah, humbug!

        I don't know why someone downvoted you when you were merely offering advice! Be your the best approach or not doesn't really matter.

        But to qualify your comment: ...compatible CPU and BIOS required for virtualisation!

        1. Bob Vistakin

          Re: Bah, humbug!

          @Dave 125 I do. This, and many other influential tech forums are infested with paid m$ shills. Their primary purpose is to downvote/diss anyone who shows m$ in a bad light. However, the advice given isn't in line with making more money for m$, i.e. just keep buying their new OS's whether they are needed or not, so will similarly be frowned upon my this specialised wing of Ballmers marketing department.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @ Bob Vistakin

            *Sigh*. Grow up, son. Your opinion isn't so valid that everyone who disagrees with you is being paid to do so. Why don't you spend what's left of the half term with your face pressed up against the window watching normal children playing with their friends?

            1. Steven Roper

              Re: @ Bob Vistakin

              Nice strawman there AC. Bob never said everyone who disagreed with him was a shill. He merely remarked that this and other forums were "infested" by paid shills. Which I don't doubt. El Reg has a big enough readership and a far enough reach to be of interest to the big boys.

              And if you think there are no shills on El Reg, you might want to look at this xkcd post and think again. There's a very good reason why companies like Apple and Microsoft would astroturf here.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bah, humbug!

          ...compatible CPU and BIOS required for virtualisation!

          I thought those restrictions had been removed due to complaints about a lot of pc's not having them and no way of implementing them. MS relinquished and removed those restrictions.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bah, humbug!

        You can run a standard XP VM in Win 7 Home Premium, you just can't run the ~500MB XP-Mode download. You can still install Windows Virtual PC - though good luck getting the mouse to work well with Integration turned on - and I used to run VPC 2007 sp1 on Win 7, which I still would for the better mouse support, if not for the limited USB support and no VPC control bar at the top.

      3. MJI Silver badge

        Windows Live Mail

        I had a look on Win 7 and immediately downloaded Thunderbird.

        Use OE at home

      4. Miek

        Re: Bah, humbug!

        The downvotes were likely due to a lack of reading of the original article ... essentially XP Mode is a temporary stop-gap, don't rely on it.

        "Even the virtual method keeping XP alive will vanish once Windows 8 appears in late 2012. While the new Windows will largely be Windows 7 beneath its Metro-fied skin, it appears XP mode will be omitted."

  13. Michael Jennings

    Original support lifetime.

    Originally, Microsoft's support lifetime policy was that Windows XP Home was to be supported for five years from release (mainstream support), and XP Pro was to be supported for five years belong that (extended support). That would have meant XP Home went end of life in late 2006. As Vista was delayed and delayed, that would have meant that support for XP Home ended before Vista was released in 2007, so Microsoft then changed the policy to two years after the release of the replacement product for the Home Version and five years beyond that for the Pro version. That would have made XP Home support end in April 2009, but there were still problems, as people kept buying the OEM versions of XP Home in large numbers until early 2008 and the system builder version until early 2009. (Plus, of course, they kept buying XP Pro via these routes and via "downgrade rights" even longer). Then, the Netbook came along and as netbooks wouldn't run Vista, they kept XP Home alive for that, and kept selling it until one year after Windows 7 was released, i.e. until late 2010. Some of these machines were for sale new into 2011. Due to this and the huge installed base, Microsoft had earlier extended the life of XP Home to the same end of life date as XP Pro, i.e. the April 2014 date mentioned in the article.

    What is lovely, in my opinion is that XP managed to remain on sale beyond its supposed end of life date not once but twice, and the actual end of life date had to be extended a total of eight years. Microsoft really did manage to lose their way between Windows XP and Windows 7.

    1. Roger Greenwood

      Re: Original support lifetime.

      I bought some new XP pro machines in 2010, can I have support for 5 years please? Thought not. Better get another beer then.

      1. Michael Jennings

        Re: Original support lifetime.

        To be fair, any machine with a Windows XP Professional licence bought in 2010 had a licence that had been sold by Microsoft no later than mid 2008 if the machine came from a major manufacturer and no later than mid 2009 if it came from a small system builder. If the manufacturer of the PC then took a year or two to sell a machine with it to you, then I think it is hard to think that Microsoft has much obligation to you because of that. (The PC manufacturer might).

        More likely, a machine with Windows XP Pro bought in 2010 had a Windows Vista Business licence and XP had been installed using downgrade rights. In this case, the licence comes with support from Microsoft until the end of life date for Windows Vista (April 2017). Of couse, after April 2014 you will have to actually install Vista to take advantage of that support, which might not be recommended.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Upgrade now before you have to get Windows 8!

    And find yourself fighting againt the luser-oriented Metro interace!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Upgrade now before you have to get Windows 8!


      That is exactly the thing I'm telling my customers. Consider an upgrade to Windows 7 within the next year because you may regret it if you don't. One of them has already taken the advice (not because of me, but because he had an upgrade planned for some time now) and moved to 7 and Office 2010 and so far he's happy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Upgrade now before you have to get Windows 8!

      +1 and damnright! Buy whatever Windows 7 licenses you need to tide you over until you've ported your apps to HTML5 and *nix. Don't "invest" in a Windows 8 client upgrade. Invest in a Microsoft-on-the-endpoint exit strategy.

      1. Miek

        Re: Upgrade now before you have to get Windows 8!

        "+1 and damnright! Buy whatever Windows 7 licenses you need to tide you over "

        Done! I bought zero licenses thanks!

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Take an example to 13 years of XP!

    I mean; like them or not if you will, but you got to admit that by supporting an operating system for nearly 13 years Microsoft has performed no easy feat. Sure; one reason for all this is because XP has become one of the most popular Window versions so far (though I think 7 is getting there as well).

    But even so; to me this is solid proof that there are lots and lots of people who don't like or want to see their desktop, browser, or whole OS in general change on a whim. And I think its this reason why many people will still continue to use Windows over other alternatives.

    Computer enthusiasts should keep in mind that not everyone enjoys toying or playing with their computer itself (or its OS). Many simply want to turn it on and do the things they want or need to do; NOW. They dislike being greeted with: "There is a new version of program X, please wait while I perform the update!", only to end up having to wait 5 minutes while all they wanted to do was to do something then and there.

    Its this reason alone why I think that the current available Linux distribution's don't have what it takes to be used on the desktop. Sure; when it comes to desktop /functionality/ then there is no doubt what so ever that Linux can cope, don't get me wrong here. The problem is: how long is it going to last?

    A real life example: someone who wanted to try something radically different and I installed Debian Linux with KDE and some gizmo's for him. So far, so good. He continued to use it and manually performed some program updates every once in a while. Which at one time rendered his desktop useless, but I don't think you can hold that against Linux because in comparison; Windows has had its shares of issues too.

    The real problem came when the next version got out and support for this one ended. At one time I got a call from him; he wanted to install another MP3 player (having heard much good stories about vlc) only to discover that he couldn't install anything anymore because the repository had stopped working.

    Luckily for him I knew about "", though I have hinted that he really should consider upgrading his Debian version. But that is something he doesn't like to hear after having used Linux for only 1 year. As such, don't expect him to become a believer anytime soon, even though he's totally happy with the KDE desktop as is.

    I think that as soon as Linux somehow manages to break this cycle and provides longer support then it might indeed be a worthy alternative. Note; and with longer support I don't mean simply continue to supply updates while the process of upgrading from one supported version to the other (Ubuntu LTS for example) starts to become totally impossible without a clean re-install.

    But until then.. I think Microsoft is doing a recommendable job by not only coming up with new ideas and setups when it comes to Windows. They also stand by those versions, for a very, VERY long time.

    Too bad that a majority of people take it all for granted without realizing the work and effort that goes into this.

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: Take an example to 13 years of XP!

      Change the repo from whatever it was (sarge?) to "stable" and it'll always be there and always up to date.

      There you go, your entire complaint solved in a heartbeat.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        No flame, but reactions like yours are IMO proof as to why Linux will never make it.

        If it were so simple when why wasn't this set into /etc/apt/sources.list right from the getgo (right after installing the OS) ?

        I'm pretty sure they had a very good reason to use "squeeze" instead of something else.

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Re: @Graham

          My advice was bad somehow?

          The installer uses the current stable release name because they want to guarantee that it installs a particular package set in order to provide the most stable installation experience. In addition, someone might actually want to install an older version of debian than the current stable release, presumably because they're trying to achieve some particular thing.

          However, if you want to keep your installation up to date with the latest stable release, you change the release to "stable" rather than the current release name. It really is so simple, and flexible. Far more flexible than windows update, wouldn't you say?

          So why is this proof Linux won't make it? The original post complained that a Debian install's repos suddenly disappeared and spent a great deal of time complaining about something that takes les than a minute to sort out, then used this as "proof" that Linux is a bigtime failure, so I offered a solution that is both quick and simple (even my dad could probably do it, and he HATES computers). And now this ease of adjustment is also proof that Linux is going to fail?


          1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

            Re: @Graham

            And hang on, are you actually trying to convince me that the repos disappeared after just one year of use? You're either claiming that Squeeze is gone, which is a lie, or you're saying you installed an OS that was due to be EOL after just a year (these things are flagged for a long time before they happen). Either way you cocked up mate, not debian. You wouldn't recommend people install Windows XP a year before it' due to be knocked off, would you? Yet you've apparently done the equivalent here.

          2. Intractable Potsherd

            Re: @Graham

            Graham, for me these tips and tricks, coupled with the fact that there are so many people with no patience for new users on forums (as demonstrated by a very arrogant commentard earlier on), are the reason I haven't changed over. I have not yet found a reliable way to get basic answers to Linux questions, and there really are too many tricks to make whichever distro work properly that one would never think to look for.

            Without an equivalent of Microsoft Knowledge Base to start looking for answers, Linux distros are always going to be behind the door when it comes to choosing what to use for myself, and especially for others.

        2. Miek

          Re: @Graham

          Alternatively install Ubuntu / Linux Mint and click "Upgrade" when prompted by the update manager - simples.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Take an example to 13 years of XP!

      Hang on there !

      What about Ubuntu / Kubuntu 5 yr LTS as of 12.04 ! If you want to update you don't have to do a full re-install if you actually set the partitions up correctly in the first place of a separate home and root (bad on canonical here).

      I personally use Opensuse and upgrading the distro only involves upgrading root and nicely leaves all my settings intact.

      1. Elmer Phud

        Re: Take an example to 13 years of XP!

        "you don't have to do a full re-install if you . . ."

        Ah, that tiny, weeny 'if' that puts people off.

        How many punters even rename partitions to suit themselves?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone have any luck with ReactOS?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Thank you for bring this to our attention. I had never heard of it before. I have no use for it, but it is interesting.

      1. sam bo

        virus compatible

        "I have no use for it, but it is interesting."

        Indeed, runs all xp apps - what is security like ? virus , rootkit , trojans run as if on xp ?

    2. Robert E A Harvey

      I tried reactos, but at the time hardware support was poor and very few applications (e.g. Serif ones) would even install. Not bothered recently.

    3. Intractable Potsherd


      Interesting - certainly worth keeping an eye on.

  17. npo4

    Still on XP

    I still use XP, and it runs fine on my older hardware.

    Although I will upgrade to 7 eventually, I'll have to install more RAM, and a new graphics card in my machine, and more RAM in a my sister's laptop (which I downgraded from Vista) too.

  18. Ageless Stranger

    Support will end?

    How many times have they come up with this line? I'll believe it when Ronald McDonald is prime minister!

    1. adnim

      Re: Support will end?

      Wasn't he the US president from 1981 - 1989?

      1. Figgus

        Re: Support will end?

        Yeah, but we got the Hamburgler now.

  19. Mikel

    For your amusement

    I present here the system requirements for Windows XP Home:

    Pentium 233-megahertz (MHz) processor or faster (300 MHz is recommended)

    At least 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM (128 MB is recommended)

    At least 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available space on the hard disk

    CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive

    Keyboard and a Microsoft Mouse or some other compatible pointing device

    Video adapter and monitor with Super VGA (800 x 600)or higher resolution

    Sound card

    Speakers or headphones

    1. tfewster

      Re: For your amusement

      Yeah - 'twas BS at the time, my Windows '98 PC had a better spec than that and was sluggish, so Fisher-Price XP wasn't likely to be better.

      Just had to upgrade my Mums 1.7GHz XP laptop from 512MB to 2GB, 'cos it was getting slow - probably due to Firefox getting bloated (Tho' it may be web-page bloat rather than FF at fault).

      Oh, was it just me or did anyone else see the hilarious advice in the Which? computing guide - "If your PC is running slow, consider upgrading the OS"?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: - Which?

        I missed that! Though I am always dubious about Which?'s computer reviews. Controlled lab testing of vacuum cleaners- Good work. Comparing laptops but not taking into account things like discreet graphics - less useful. Leave it to El Reg or Tom's.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: - Which?

          Which are useless.

          I will never forget a group test of video recorders (yes THAT long ago) where a deck with got exceptional reviews (eg 6 out of 5 for picture) in the specialised press, got quite a poor score. As an owner of said model of VCR I knew how good they were.

          Same with cars, anything a car magazine liked was usually poorly marked and some quite horrid machines got high marks.

          I would trust Which with absolutely nothing. Not even washing machines.

          Fail because Which do all the time

      2. kb

        Re: For your amusement

        Mind a little advice friend? Install Comodo Dragon for her. i have a nettop i keep at the shop because its really low power, a 1.8Ghz Sempron with 1.5gb of RAM and an old TNT Vanta card running XP and FF was like mud after V5 so i switched, its like night and day. i can have a half a dozen tabs open WHILE having a couple of other apps running and ZERO slowdown. just add the ABP for Chrome and you are golden, and check the checkboxes to copy over her bookmarks/passwords/settings and you are golden...enjoy!

        1. tfewster

          Re: For your amusement

          Much appreciated, I'll take a look at Comodo Dragon for myself; FF eleventy-seven seems to grab about 150Mb for the first tab, then 10Mb for each additional tab.

          IE 8 grabs 50-100Mb PER TAB - I usually have 50+ tabs open, so IE isn't an option for me

      3. npo4

        Re: For your amusement

        Although it'll run better overall with more RAM, for a quick fix you can always try using a different web browser like Opera.

        I'm not sure how well the newer versions work on very old machines, but I had it usable with and old machine with only 128MB RAM.

  20. Dr Trevor Marshall

    I just bought a spare XP mother board

    You know - one with a real BIOS in it, that will run my XP beyond 2014, even if my current hardware kicks the bucket.

    I have 20 years of software collected on my Windows computer, some of which I only occasionally use, some of which I use every day (like Eudora, still the email with best immunity to Trojans).

    I also run various flavors of Linux, but I am proud to be one of the 4% XP hangers-on because so much of my development and test software runs on XP :)

    Happy Easter, all...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I just bought a spare XP mother board

      Virtual Box is your friend.

  21. Hairy Airey


    I knew that El Reg was on top of the news, but posting news from the future is amazing!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Wow

      Yeah, we have time zones on our planet :-)

  22. Anonymous Coward

    They can take my XP box......

    ...when they prise it from my cold, dead hands!!!

    (My coat is the one with the 8.9" netbook sized pocket.)

  23. That Awful Puppy

    I love XP

    I have a few XP virtual machines I to run really poorly written legacy software I earn the majority of my living with, and at the end of the day, I just shut down the virtual machine and enjoy the declining loveliness that is OS X.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Our fucktard outsourced IT..

    Is still to this VERY DAY deploying it to unwary punter's machines.

    I'm so very happy we can get Mac's @ work now! And Linux, and RHEL, and NetBSD as alternatives, provided any platform can support OpenOrifice!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Our fucktard outsourced IT..

      Yay NetBSD!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never as simple as that...

    Our build systems are build on Visual Studio 2003, and won't run on anything above XP, not even with compatibility modes.

    Before developers PC's can be updated, the entire codebase needs to be fixed/converted to run under newer visual studio versions...

    That is going to take years in itrself.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to move to Windows 7, Windows 8 is not happening here.

    After seeing the totally horrendous Windows 8 consumer preview, I will be stopping at 7.

    Really what were they thinking? Trying to run a poor smartphone UI designed for a 4in display on a 22in monitor.

    It's going horribly wrong for Metro, they bet the shop on it, threw it on everything and it's failing on all of them.

  27. xpclient

    What ?? You mean downgrade to Windows 7? Windows 7 is a major downgrade in several areas, especially, USABILITY, and accumulates Vista's shortcomings too:

    Windows 8 is no better:

    XP is a completely functional OS and any one with common sense can secure it properly. Later OSes are broken in one way or the other. Wait till SP2 for Windows 7 arrives to bloat your C:\Windows\WinSxS folder. Vista was one attempt to take over your computer, Windows 7 is decent but doesn't fix Vista's wrongdoings and now Windows 8 is take 2 to take over your computer. The computer controls you, you don't control it.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Yep, trying to change my default MIDI output device (to a soft-synth) proved to be more of a pain than I had expected, more of a pain than my afternoons play project justified (trying to turn a Wacom tablet into a cheap ersatz Korg Kaoscilator noise-toy)

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Use 2003

    If you use 2003 as your XP lookalike, I believe you get a few more years out of it? Same for XP x64, since it uses the 2003 code base.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Use 2003

      XP 64? Glad you found the drivers you needed! : D

  29. Kev99 Silver badge

    XP Support ending? Really?

    I didn't realize there had been support for XP since October 25, 2001. Oh, wait. Microsoft bought out Henny Youngman.

  30. easyk

    ha ha people still using XP... oh wait

    I was reading this on my old laptop thinking about how some people were in for a bit of trouble when it dawned on me. This old Dell laptop is still running XP because the couple Linux installs I tried on it couldn't easily get the wireless working. D'oh. everything else in the house runs linux though.

    1. APA

      Re: ha ha people still using XP... oh wait

      FWIW I was doing exactly the same thing with my own Dell laptop. Decided that virtualisation was the key, took an image of the drive using this, nuked, paved and installed Ubuntu then VirtualBox. Result: one laptop running an image of its former self.

      Wifi was a little fiddly but certainly not the problem it once was. If its a Dell laptop, then the chances are that the wifi chipset is Broadcom. The Broadcom's own SDA driver while helpfully packaged with the distro didn't work with my 1501 but did with my SO's. Ended up using b43-installer which is good enough. Only catch is you need network access to download the firmware on installation.

      It all else fails, there's always the ndiswrapper

  31. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    I'm still using W2000... it's the only thing that will run the software I need on the only laptop I have left which still has a real parallel port, which I need for hardware development stuff.

    Hell, I'm still using CP/M at work - we've got a *lot* of legacy technology - though I do prefer to develop for CP/M using the Yaze emulator under W2000 running in a virtual machine under Linux. It's a touch quicker that way...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  32. Nigel Steward

    OS/2 - a longer life than XP ?

    Don't forget that OS/2 was launched 25 year ago this month; and is still in use in mainstream applications such as:-

    New York City which uses it for swiping fare cards

    Safewayn which uses it for its supermarket checkouts

    Certain ATMs :

    and dion't forget that Windows XP certainly, & UI believe Windows 7, include code uplifted from OS/2.


  33. Hckr

    XP is good, to people who know how to use it. It is faster and more reliable than both Vistas (original and Second edition) together. But morons mistaken a shiny XP CD for a finished product. It is not!

    XP installation must be finished with nLite, and by a technician who understands it.

    Else - go fuck your ears.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Advice please

      "XP installation must be finished with nLite, and by a technician who understands it."

      Pray tell us mere mortals why that is and how it is that so many installs of XP have happened without the need for such an 'expert'.

    2. Davidoff
      Thumb Down

      XP installation must be finished with nLite, and by a technician who understands it.

      I guess with 'technician who understand it' you mean one of the morons who believe that fiddling around with a dozen or so parameters in the registry of which they have no fucking understanding about what these parameters actually do is actually a good thing.

      Meanwhile, in the real world, millions of XP installations which never saw nLite or similar crap have been working fne for many years.

  34. Matt Bryant Silver badge


    Can I suggest the much more featured PPP, fully-compatible in Win7? More to the point, why serial - it's getting hard to find laptops etc with a serial port on them! We had to rewrite some old UNIX code to remove SLIP for PPP back around the Y2K party, so how come a group of defence coders are still using this as an excuse?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SLIP????

      USB to Serial converters are your friend here.

      Why serial ?

      Try setting up some Brocade Fibre Switches, serial is a necessity, W7 doesn't provide the support, and XP does.

  35. This post has been deleted by its author

  36. Jacqui

    Mant SMB's still use XP

    Some are still stuck with 2K and some still have NT running due to card support.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mant SMB's still use XP

      I know of a big (> 300K employees) manufacturing/technology company which still has XP as the standard OS. They will switch to Win7 in the coming months.

    2. Decrapifier

      Re: Mant SMB's still use XP

      > Some are still stuck with 2K and some still have NT running due to card support.

      Why throw out perfectly good, well-documented-over-the-years hardware and software that performs, just to satisfy the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) that Microsoft spins? That's not how to run a business.

      For a SW example, ask anyone who's considered a large-scale migration to fugly VB.NET of all his business apps written in abandoned Visual Basic 6 whether or not the time and cost are justified: Be prepared for a resounding "NO"! Windows 2000 runs those VB6 apps just fine, and it even handles the earlier versions of the .NET framework (which MS later abandoned, along with compatibility...surprise!). Those VB6 business apps — unlike later-framework-encumbered VB.NET apps — will run on everything, from Windows 9X to WIndows 7.

      For a HW example, consider the politically correct "green" no-minds who jabber on about how much water and toilet paper we use, and how we should all drive clown-car deathtraps: I don't hear them screaming about companies throwing out useful hardware, which always seems to end up in the polluted, scrap-scavenger neighborhoods of China. Your perfectly good scanner has to go in the trash because the vendor and Microsoft refuse to support it in Vista, 7, or Metro/8? Then, into the trash go your printer and all your high-cost, specialized expansion cards? And buy them all over again?

      That's ridiculous!

  37. Anonymous Coward

    What *Really* kept Windows relevant

    ..was that it reliably did the job people bought it for. Even Win7 is not a compelling reason to change the OS. XP does the Office jobs it is designed to run quite reliably and reasonably secure if administered/monitored by a skilled an well-manned admin/security team.

    All the new Windows versions (Vista and later) serve primarily the revenue stream of MS; they cost lots of money in retraining, license and new hardware costs. Big and small companies would run XP for the next 30 years, if possible.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Win7 User Access Control still an Pain In The Ass. So, a strong reason to stick with XP.

    1. Davidoff

      Re: Win7 User Access Control

      " still an Pain In The Ass. So, a strong reason to stick with XP."

      Yeah, right, because the switch to disable it is so difficult to find.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    enterprise issues

    The financial institution I work for still has XP running on all it's desktops. And it runs fine, because a lot of the trading software we use is either proprietry or legacy. Even off the shelf 3rd party vendor software is likely often written for XP and when you are, they are "testing" it's compatibility with newer versions of windows.

    Our IT dept, a few years ago, started testing Vista for it's suitability to upgrade, but found it lacking. They've been testing Win7 for a while now too. They haven't upgraded us to Win7 yet though, so I assume there are also some issues.

    However, being a global financial institution, it's unthinkable to be running any unsupported software, especially an OS which, if it goes wrong, will impact all aspects of the business.

    That said, I know we do not have the budget for such an upgrade this year, and I suspect not for next year either, otherwise i'd have heard about the testing results.

    Which means the start of 2014 is going to be a complete panic. Regardless of how XP is currently fit for purpose, and probably still will be in 2 years, regardless of the number of issues that migrating to win7 or win8 will produce, we will be forced to upgrade because of the perceived risk that comes with the term 'unsupported'.

    I shall be liquidating all my personal investments, and withdrawing all my savings into cash to store under my mattress before then. And looking for a job in another industry, because come april 2014, I fear the fit is going to hit the shan.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linux replacing Windows.....HaHaHaHa! I'll still be laughing about that in two years!

    1. Smudge@mcr

      Re: Anonymous Coward

      Trolling is so XP.

    2. auburnman

      This could have been Linux big chance

      The Vista debacle put a lot of people off Windows, when I got it with a new PC it finally made me try out Ubuntu. with a little tweaking it was more or less XP with a new face. The problem is most of the Linux crowd have tried to differentiate themselves with the new user interfaces, just like MS is doing. Unfortunatley these new interfaces (from all parties) are almost universally reviled. The Office ribbon, the new Gnome, that interface Ubuntu switched to that got universally slated whose name escapes me - people f***ing HATE all this change for the sake of change.

      The Linux crowd could differentiate themselves by NOT differentiating. Have a user interface experience that is as close to XP as they can legally get away with, polish it, and stop dicking with it. then turn attention to the little niggling problems that Linux never seems to get a handle on. I don't have all day to to sort out my printers and wireless dongles; yes I could probably get them running after some forum Googling, but in much the same way as I could probably lose ten kilos after a regime of exercise, that's not going to happen because I don't want to make that effort. Over the next few years many will be thinking about switching away from XP, and it's a real shame that there's no Linux ' more or less XP' that an average user could switch to with a minimum of hassle.

      "The year of Linux" is a phrase that has been bandied about for yonks but with the situation Microsoft are creating for themselves it could have finally become reality in recent times. Unfortunately most Linux outfits are running away from success like they have a deadly allergy.

      Having said all that, Red Hat are doing all right aren't they? Wonder if someone could convince them that an official 'civilian' distro of RHEL would be good advertising?

  41. Vostor
    Thumb Up

    Long Live XP!

    Long Live XP!

  42. Steven Raith


    "A senior software engineer in a defence-oriented company, who cannot be identified for various reasons, told us that “our embedded systems use Serial-Link IP (SLIP) for remote comms and Windows 7 removed native support for SLIP, so we have a problem integration-testing our software on real hardware.”"

    Gee, maybe you should have thought of that three years ago when Win 7 was widely available for RC testing, eh?

    Fuckwit - can you ID him so I never hire him?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best version of Windows

    The best version of Windows ever was...

    Windows 2000 build 2128 for DEC Alpha (64-bit)!

  44. Arnie


    we installed a suite of 30 win 7 machines which promptly renamed the users documents folders back on the servers to "my documents" and would drop said users to the folder above on the next logon, It was a nightmare. using fog with win7 is proving a challenge too. dreading this upgrade.

  45. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    Last best OS

    Microsoft has not yet released an operating system as good as XP. Every new generation brings more quirks, more difficulty using hardware, more bloated software packed with features we did not ask for and cannot get rid of. Win7 is somewhat usable but lacks the versatility and the search function is simply broken. Win8 will be an excuse to shove Media Player down our throats so we'll loose even more.

    I switched to Mac years ago. It's far from perfect and certainly has its own set of headaches. But, it's Unix based operating system.

  46. Decrapifier

    M$ Depends on SUCKERS to Upgrade

    For over a decade, I have been using Activation-free Windows 2000 on multiple machines, running everything from Time-Capsule-like, exact-system-image continuous backup, to Photoshop CS. I have plenty of QUALITY software, both commercial and free, that is STILL compatible with Windows 2000.

    So, as a Windows 2000 user who has hardware drivers and diverse software that continues to be fully functional (and, often, still supported and updated), I have paid particular attention, over the years, to apps that still work great for Windows 2000. For some of them, a new version is subsequently released that breaks this compatibility, but not for any technically necessary reason: The break is due to nothing more than something akin to a default compiler setting imposed by Microsoft, put there to slip by developers silently and later frustrate customers and compel them to upgrade to XP (or later). For example, the build is now referencing some XP-only DLL that is totally irrelevant and unnecessary, and this dooms backward compatibility. The developer may not even realize this break, or, if he does, resign himself to labeling the newly compiled version with the requirement "XP or later" (perhaps, subconsciously buying in to Microsoft's PR fiction that "everyone is on XP, by now.")

    My PCs have NEVER had a virus. They can run 98% of what's (truly useful) out there. I have saved TEN$ OF THOUSAND$ by not becoming a sucker for the UPGRADE TREADMILL to minimal-return, minimally "improved," XP-and-later-only versions. (Speaking of the TREADMILL, look at how Adobe will now no longer offer upgrade pricing to those more than one version behind! Go upgrade now, suckers!!!)

    XP was nothing more than Windows 2000 warmed over and crapified by Activation.

    Vista was bloated, HW-consuming, broken trash. WinFS? That was just PR.

    Windows 7, another yawn, is patched Vista, with no upgrade path from 2000 and XP. Go throw out all your apps; buy new software AND hardware; and re-install? Microsoft, pick a finger.


    Keep all your copies of 2000. Same goes for XP. Consider Linux.

  47. Lefticus Left

    What about Windows 2000 pro

    Or does that not qualify as a Desktop OS either?

  48. Winkypop Silver badge

    There's no subsidised upgrade path for XP... in under 2 years I'll "upgrade" to a 27" iMac.

    Hasta la Vista M$.

  49. Tom 13

    Didn't I read this article about 2 years ago?

    Should I expect to be reading it again in 2 years?

  50. earl grey

    Why is XP still with us?

    Because the numpties didn't make an upgrade path and fista was were a piece of shite.

  51. Cupboard

    XP Mode

    I'm the only person at work (it's a small business) that's using Windows 7 and it has been a bit of a pain getting the software I have to use to do my job to work. A lot of it's using XP Mode and that isn't without its issues, for instance the latency of the USB-Serial adapters I have to use has shot up massively over XP.

    When XP is no longer supported, what is going to happen to security patches for XP mode? If my virtual OS gets buggered it will rather inhibit my work!

    And a quick note to Mitsubishi and Schneider: please make some better software! The Mitsubishi software I use won't install on 7 but works if you copy it from XP, and the Schneider software works in 7 but won't talk to the hardware I'm trying to program.

  52. Tannin

    From the artticle: " XP was the first mainstream desktop OS Microsoft built on the Windows NT kernel ..... We're not willing to classify Windows NT Workstation as a mainstream desktop OS." - and (apparently) we have never heard of Windows 2000.

    Sorry, you can't start an article with a gross error like this and expect to be taken seriously, particularly not when your footnote makes it clear that the cause of the error is ignorance, not just a slip of the brain.

    1. ssharwood

      I'm pretty sure that W2K was not intended as a mainstream OS - IIRC it was the workstation element of the Windows 2000 server back when MSFT did workstation versions of its servers. The W9x line morphed into Windows ME and that was the mainstream desktop.

      I do have a faint recollection of W2K being pushed as a corporate desktop, but am also pretty sure it did not take off in that role.

  53. Spoonsinger

    "Why is XP Still with us?"

    Well I do like 7, however the file explorer doesn't do what I want and removed functionality provided by XP, - i.e. ability to turn auto-sort off and ability to rearrange icons in any order in icon mode). Maybe not a problem for some, but it is a personal preference and something that was removed for no real reason other than the 'undocumented' control now being used in Win7's file explorer doesn't do it. Does remind me of the time they removed the 'block' copy ability from Word for no reason. Thank god for Textpad.

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