back to article IT bods: Windows XP, we WON'T leave you. Migrate? Chuh! As if...

It's not going to be easy to pry open the death grip of IT bods on the last copies of Windows XP, according to Spiceworks, whose survey had a whopping 33 per cent of tech professionals planning to keep the OS on at least one device after its end of life. The social business network for IT pros, much beloved of sysadmins, …

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  1. Joe Drunk
    Windows

    Having XP on one PC in a home environment for an IT pro isn't so bad. Some older games or apps may not work properly or at all with newer Windows.

    I wouldn't keep it on an internet facing PC in a business environment once security updates are no longer available.

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Indeed...

      I've still got a Windows 98 PC around just for playing Myst! ;)

      1. ItsNotMe
        Thumb Up

        Re: Indeed...

        "I've still got a Windows 98 PC around..."

        Me also...just for running MS BoB! Although I have had it running on XP SP3 as well.

      2. Bladeforce

        Re: Indeed...

        Why do you NEED windows 98 to play myst? It works fine in Windows 7 x64/Linux (Wine)/Dosbox(With Windows 3.1 installed)

        1. Captain Scarlet

          Re: Indeed...

          Emulation can work for some games but some are very unstable, a few of my games will play but will freeze the emulated OS where as a standalone machine it ran fine. Some games such as the Lucas Arts adventure games have brilliant support thanks to the open source community but for some unloved games (In my case an F1 manager sim that I can't remember the name of) I ran it on my old crusty machine (Which also died when the PSU went).

          Edit: Have used Virtual Box, Virtual PC and VMWare, just in case you are wondering

      3. MrDamage

        Re: Indeed...

        "I've still got a Windows 98 PC around just for playing Myst! ;)"

        Same here. Unfortunately, my Compaq 386sx/20 with DOS5.1 which I had hanging around just to play Elite on ended up dying when the PSU blew and took out the mobo in sympathy.

        1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Indeed...

          Have you tried Oolite instead? It runs on modern Windows (as well as Mac & Linux).

          http://www.oolite.org/download.shtml

          1. MrDamage
            Pint

            Oolite

            Thanks for the tip. Will give it a try over the weekend.

            Have tried it under DOSBox, with limited success. When in a small window in the middle of my 22" monitor, it works fine, try and expand the window so I can actually see whats going on, sound gets jittery and keyboard commands get laggy. Tried all sorts of settings to no avail. Hopefully Oolite works.

            <- Have a beer

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Companies could isolate internet facing computers from the others and that would allow XP to survive in most environments. The main threat to XP comes from the internet. Corporations have a large number of computers and many years of development that would have to be redone if XP were to be upgraded to Win 8 or even Win 7. DP costs would go through the roof if a massive upgrade were to be done to convert a corporations XP system to Win8 or even Win 7

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: The main threat to XP comes from the internet

        And from end user actions such as browsing or opening unvetted email attachments...

        Remove or reduce these attack vectors, install a decent third-party firewall and XP will be just as safe as Win7 or 8 ...

  2. Roger Greenwood

    "won't be able to hang onto the past much longer"

    Yes we will.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: "won't be able to hang onto the past much longer"

      My own choice is to run XP in a VM and then it need not have full, if any, internet access.

      The host machine can be your choice of course, but mine is Linux for a range of reasons. Without wanting to start yet another pointless OS willy-waving contest, my own reasons are freedom (both as in speech and as in beer) and the far smaller number of attacks. Most of the stuff I need runs fine (email & web, compilers, etc) and the Windows-specific stuff can stay in the VM.

      Should the VM get hosed, then it is deleted and the backup uncompressed in minutes. Should my host hardware change, well the VM need not care and mostly the recent Linux distros "just work".

      Sure it is not perfect, and unskilled staff need training to master the "two computers in one" setup, but then if you change from XP to Win 7 (or God forbid Win 8's TIFKAM) then you have a lot of training as well to deal with anyway.

    2. VBF

      Re: "won't be able to hang onto the past much longer"

      Luddites Rule - OK?

  3. DrStrangeLug

    Any movement so far in migration has been to Windows 7 rather than 8 or 8.1

    Including my new laptop, which is going back to 7.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Any movement so far in migration has been to Windows 7 rather than 8 or 8.1

      Our users are requesting Windows 8 on their new PCs.

      We had already moved them all to Windows 7 in 2010 - although there were 2 Vista laptops which got nuked and Windows 7 put on them earlier this year.

      With new kit, the users can decide whether they want 7 or 8. We were lucky, our home grown ERP software ran with Windows 8 and Office 2013 out of the box.

    2. tabman

      Re: Any movement so far in migration has been to Windows 7 rather than 8 or 8.1

      Why would you do that? I run Win 8.1 with Start8 on my desktop and my laptop. The desktop start-up time using fast boot is approx. 5 seconds from POST. The laptop is slightly slower.

      I bought Win 8.1 for the desktop (the laptop, being a touchscreen Sony Vaio, came with it) specifically for the quicker start-up, better disk management tools (partitioning has been improved since Windows 7 and also the ability to clear and reallocate space) and because I actually prefer the straight edged windows rather than the curvy XP, Vista and Win 7 type.

      Bring on the down votes for someone who speaks up for Win 8. It may not be fashionable to like it but I'm not a sheep and I make up my own mind. Many people here have obviously not tried it given some of the comments.

      1. MysteryGuy

        Re: Any movement so far in migration has been to Windows 7 rather than 8 or 8.1

        > I run Win 8.1 with Start8 on my desktop...

        At last count, Microsofts plan for you was to kill off the old style programs and have you use only Metro apps in the future. That way, you're locked into the MS store, etc.

        MS can stop 'throwbacks' like start8 from working whenever they want if they don't get TIFKAM uptake they want.

        You might be happy with what I consider a downgrade in productivity for Desktop use (TIFKAM), but that's not a future I'm willingly buying into...

      2. dajames Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Any movement so far in migration has been to Windows 7 rather than 8 or 8.1

        ... and because I actually prefer the straight edged windows rather than the curvy XP, Vista and Win 7 type.

        That's no reason! XP, Vista, and Win7 all have a "Classic" theme that makes them look almost as nice as Win2k.

  4. Dramoth

    With Windows pushing me to upgrade...

    my windows 8 laptop to windows 8.1 (had a couple of popups 'advising' that it would be worth my while to upgrade as it's free)... I think that I am going to grab one of my Windows 7 ultimate disks and 'downgrade' to Windows 7... or at least move to Linux in the near future!

    1. N2 Silver badge

      Re: With Windows pushing me to upgrade...

      "it would be worth my while to upgrade as it's free"

      Don't think that's a compelling reason & as you say, better to move to 7

  5. Erik4872

    I believe it

    What a lot of industry pundits don't mention when breathlessly talking about XP's demise is the sheer amount of dependencies that XP and its included components (IE 6, et al) have in large organizations. The XP-to-7-or-8 transition is even more painful from the NT-to-XP transition I lived through ages ago. One of the reasons is the plethora of "web apps with big chunks of client-side code" that were prevalent in the early 2000s. In vertical markets (banking, insurance, transport, whatever) there are many applications that only work with the specific quirks of IE 6, and are too expensive or impossible to reasonably upgrade. Oracle's Forms-based ERP applications are famous for this, and it's very hard to justify upgrading the ERP application because the clients have changed. It's the same reason you see Office 97 in use in some places -- "some guy" wrote an Excel macro or Access database that stores a department's core business logic and it's too convoluted to upgrade.

    I imagine that everyone will eventually bite the bullet and move, or virtualize all the XP desktops and lock them behind 5 firewalls with no access to anything other than QuirkyApp 3.0.0.20.3762. But it's going to be painful, especially in industries where they're notoriously stingy with IT dollars. Even moving the workloads to Windows 7 + XP Mode doesn't help you, because now you have a vulnerable VM sitting alongside your supported OS.

    If rumors are true, and Windows 8.2 allows a "regular desktop" interface, that may help people make the move. Personally, I want all the under-the-hood improvements of Windows 8 PLUS the Windows 7 "classic" UI back, then I'll be happy.

    Microsoft does offer patch support for an exorbitant fee, plus a promise from you that you are actually moving off XP, plus an annual increase in said fee to incentivize you. Oracle is also doing something similar for JRE 6 customers -- if you're a support customer, they're still patching bugs even though the last public version is months old (support ended in February.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I believe it

      "there are many applications that only work with the specific quirks of IE 6, and are too expensive or impossible to reasonably upgrade. "

      Nothing is impossible. All IT comes down to binary at the end of the day. Too expensive is a matter of choice.

      In most of these enterprise cases idiot CIOs allowed business critical dependencies to develop, when exercise of their professional responsibility should have recognised that third party code isn't supported for ever, and that nailing stuff to IE6 (which was shit at the time, please remember) was a really bad and short sighted idea.

      It may now be expensive to undo a badly done job, and redo it all properly, but RBS shows what happens when your IT is one vast pile of sticking plasters. From my dealings with the company I believe Vodafone's IT is equally unreliable, so I'm guessing that their IT strategy is a similar "elastoplast + outsource to cheap and crap foreigners", and there's plenty of other companies who've made the same mistake.

      Choices are tougher in the SME sector, but for any big corporation running XP after next April, I hope they get trashed, and then clobbered by the regulators for their incompetence and stupidity.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: IE6 (which was shit at the time, please remember)

        That may be. But at the time it also looked very much like IE6 was the only browser that was going to be around. MS weren't upgrading, Netscape was dead and the first Mozilla open source release was worse than IE6. It was only after their code re-write that it started gaining traction. Like or hate Opera as a browser it still has a small installed user base, which makes it unsuitable for most of the apps companies were rolling on their own (or at least that's the perception of most coders).

        Commercial wealth destruction may be a necessary evil, but it should never be hoped for.

    2. Mikel

      Re: I believe it

      Interesting that all these myriad interdependencies were part of the argument for adopting XP in the first place.

    3. Goat Jam

      Re: I believe it

      "If rumors are true, and Windows 8.2 allows a "regular desktop" interface, that may help people make the move."

      Maybe, but the rumours also suggest that this won't happen until 2015 which means there will be at least a years gap between XP hitting end of support and Win8 becoming <ahem> usable*.

      * Depending on what your definition of "usuable" is of course.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: I believe it

        ""If rumors are true, and Windows 8.2 allows a "regular desktop" interface, that may help people make the move."

        Maybe, but the rumours also suggest that this won't happen until 2015"

        I did this to my neighbour's new Windows 8.1 computer about two weeks ago. Took about three hours using ClassicStart and a lot of configuration, subdirectory creation and tidying up of files and links. It now looks as near to identical to her Windows 7 machine at work.

        1. Erik4872

          Re: I believe it

          ClassicShell, Start8, etc. are fine for personal use, but I know large companies aren't interested in spending an extra $x per computer just to have a feature back that Microsoft took away. Multiply the neighbor's computer by 40,000 and you are talking real money.

          I think that if they bring back enough of the old UI, and offer a very attractive upgrade price (maybe even free or really cheap,) that would get the people who are holding out because of UI changes or money issues to switch. The tougher nuts to crack will be all the large companies running wierdo legacy applications that have no hope of working with IE 8 or the other new features modern Windows and Office versions offer.

          One thing I wish Microsoft would do is issue one last patch rollup for XP, the way they did with NT in the last year of support. They wouldn't even have to call it a service pack, but maybe they could turn on a few security features by default, etc. and say, "Well, if you're going to keep going with this, at least start from the last known good patchset." There have been hundreds of patches since SP3 rolled out, and this would at least make sure people have those installed.

          1. ben_myers

            Re: I believe it

            Large companies do not have to spend an extra $x per computer to have a proper start button. Haven't you heard? ClassicShell is a free download, no strings attached. Okay, okay. Some someone from IT has to take the time to add ClassicShell into the default Windows 8 system build shoveled out to every desktop and laptop in the enterprise. On a cost per system basis, it IS non-zero, maybe $0.05 per system?

            The buggers at Microsoft won't ever roll out an XP Service Pack 4 rollup. Why that would be treating customers with respect. It would also put a damper on the move away from XP to the bright new future of Windows 7 or Windows 8-with-ClassicShell.

          2. Michael Habel Silver badge

            Re: I believe it

            One thing I wish Microsoft would do is issue one last patch rollup for XP, the way they did with NT in the last year of support. They wouldn't even have to call it a service pack, but maybe they could turn on a few security features by default, etc. and say, "Well, if you're going to keep going with this, at least start from the last known good patchset." There have been hundreds of patches since SP3 rolled out, and this would at least make sure people have those installed.

            The Hell with XP they need to do this with Windows 7 post SP1!!

          3. Tom 13

            @ Erik4872: Minor correction

            The tougher nuts to crack will be all the large companies running wierdo legacy applications that have no hope of working with IE 8 IE11 or the other new features modern Windows and Office versions offer.

            MS is up to IE11 at this point and in theory will only be supporting 2 versions of the browser. I expect support for IE8 will soon be discontinued. We've just rolled out IE10 where I work despite pleas from developers to stay on IE8. So far compatibility mode seems to be fixing problem websites. Not that I'm overly fond of this particular kludge, but it is doing the job for now.

        2. Craigness

          Re: I believe it

          What are the issues with the desktop interface in Windows 8? AIUI in 8 you had to click an icon in the start screen to get to the familiar interface, and 8.1 allows the regular desktop by default.

          1. Steven Roper

            Re: I believe it

            "What are the issues with the desktop interface in Windows 8?"

            It's not the interface that's the issue, for me and a lot of other people. A new interface is a minor learning curve and one most people can adjust to without too much fuss.

            The issue is the "Appleification" of the operating system itself. It's the remote-control and constant monitoring that's been injected into the Windows 8 because Microsoft have learned that they can treat customers the way Apple treats them. Its that you need to sign in to a Microsoft account in order to install anything. That you can only install software from Microsoft's app store. That cloud storage, with all of the attendant loss of privacy and control of ones's data that goes with it, is emphasised over local storage. It's the general movement of ownership of the computer and data from the user to Microsoft that's the big problem.

            It wouldn't matter if they made the interface identical to XP or 7. Forcing me to sign in to an online account to install software, to be locked into a walled garden, to be constantly pushed towards unwanted cloud storage, and to constantly monitored, logged and spied on is unacceptable regardless of what the interface looks like.

            That's why I (and I suspect a lot of others) are refusing to move to Windows 8. If Microsoft accepts that people reserve the right to control their own computers and designs the OS accordingly, I'm sure a lot more of us would be willing to migrate.

            But that isn't going to happen. No tyrant ever gives back power once gained, nor returns a freedom to its subjects once taken away.

            1. csumpi
              Stop

              Re: I believe it

              @steven roper

              you have absolutely zero idea of what you are talking about. your lengthy post has not one true fact in it. you don't have to have an ms account, and you can install any application, use the desktop just like in windows7, except it all runs faster. stop spreading this idiotic fud.

              1. PJI

                Re: I believe it

                And what is this OSX "control" by Apple? I use OSX, have done for years, often using the terminal to work in the shell on the excellent BSD UNIX, installed and removed loads of good and bad things without let or hindrance.

                I do run XP in a virtualBox virtual machine, just for a Nokia phone backup programme and a driver for a fifteen year old scanner. It does seem to run faster and be more stable than on the original T21 Thinkpad. But really. XP always was rubbish except in comparison with W98*, at home and at work. Just the day before yesterday I was amused to see a shop's cash register crash and then an XP screen appear as it restarted - all it does is the dedicated cash register application, for a major chain of shops actually, not just a small, corner shop.

                Good riddance. My experience with W7, restricted to the work environment, is that, while still as bad and inconsistent an interface as only Windows or some Linuxes can manage, it is a quantum leap over XP. I have not yet had the pleasure of W8. But if its naysayers are the same as those who love XP, it must be rather good.

              2. M Gale

                Re: I believe it

                "you don't have to have an ms account"

                True of 8.0 after a fashion. You are pushed into making a Store account in the same way you are pushed into installing unwanted toolbars with your CNET download. Be very careful about when and where you click "next".

                8.1 though, good luck trying to install without a Microsoft account. For a start, it's only available in the Store. For a second, signing into a Microsoft account is an essential part of the finish-the-installation process. You have to wait until after you've given Microsoft a bunch of bullshit details before being able to create a "local" account.

                Sure, anybody who's spent three or four years studying for a degree could probably hack their way around it. Most people though, probably don't even know there is a "local account" option.

                1. david 64

                  Re: I believe it

                  Two or three clicks during mini-setup to avoid using an MS Account pal - did it earlier in the week. It is a bit sneaky though i'll grant you that.

                  No need to sign into MS account at all during any stage of installation, setup, or use.

            2. GrumpyMiddleAgedGuy

              Re: I believe it

              Absolutely right - but the new interface really does stink as well.

            3. david 64

              Re: I believe it

              @steven roper - quality gibberish there. Clearly no idea what you're talking about!

              re: Microsoft account. Not needed in 8.0, not needed in 8.1.

              re: installing software. Have you actually tried to install software like you would expect to? Or are you referring to WinRT on Surface?

              re: cloud storage. Been using 8.0 and now 8.1 since launch, i have no cloud storage from anywhere (i think my icloud account might come with some but i dont' use it). I see no references, pop ups, nags etc. to coerce me to use cloud storage? I have a c: drive - it lets me use it like all the previous versions of Windows. Where are you being "constantly pushed towards unwanted cloud storage"? Maybe i downloaded a different version to you.

              re: ownership. I know this is hot in the industry, fair enough. But my experience of 8.x suggests no transfer of ownership of my hardware, OS or data. Yet anyway. Other than rhetoric, where and how is Windows 8.x urging you to move your data to the cloud?

              re: walled garden - you really haven't used it have you. Unless you're talking WinRT again.

              re: constantly monitored, logged and spied on. Sure another hot topic, but do you feel Win8.x does this any more than say OSX Mavericks or iOS? (if you use them), or your OS-independent broadband provider at home?

              Availability - got my 8.1 from MVLS. This is an IT pro site right? App Store schmapp schmore.

              Installed fine, OOBE does admittedly try to trick you into signing up to an MS account, but two clicks get you round that and using a local account as per the last 15 years. Join to domain, wham bam. It's windows 7 but faster. Really don't see what all the fuss is about TIFAKMSJUDJEHZ and all the other stupid stuff people moan about it. None of it matters - it's a means to an end, a tool to do a job, the job being the important thing right? It's not a religion.

              Try it - it's pretty good. Win 7 on steroids.

              I think a alot of confusion comes from MS\Windows trying to be all things to all people. As a sysadmin dealing primarily with vsphere, windows\AD\Exch\SQL and supporting technologies, it ticks all the boxes for me (like 7 did, like Mavericks does, like Xub 13.10 does). Tool to do a job.

              If you're an IT pro put off by the new start menu and not booting straight to desktop, then i think you're in the wrong job...

              Still - i will admit.... doesn't come close to MBP with Mavericks for a bit of couch-based slickness at home :-)

            4. Eponymous Bastard
              FAIL

              Re: I believe it

              Rubbish! I chose not to "sign in" to my Live account and I can install anything I want on my Windows 8.1 machine. Suggest you get your facts right before you bother writing this crap.

              1. M Gale

                Re: I believe it

                re: Microsoft account. Not needed in 8.0, not needed in 8.1.

                I see someone who has never installed 8,1. Firstly, it's a Store download. Secondly, it asks you for your Microsoft account details or to create a new Microsoft account. No "local" option there unless it's buried even further than 8. You have to wait until after everything's installed and then, if you're the sort of user who even understamds how to do it, you can go into the control panel and set up a new local user.

                This in spite of it being an "upgrade" from 8.0, which already had accounts on it. I mean really, what the fuck?

                1. david 64

                  Re: I believe it

                  @M Gale

                  Wow! It's not a store download only, nor is it an upgrade only (technically - marketing wise it might be). Where does all this FUD come from!

                  I got the Windows 8.1 ISO from MVLS and did a clean install to a blank hard drive. Just like all it's predecessors. Next, Next, Finish. I don't understand the confusion here?

                  MS store - I don't have an MS account (MVLS account is corp, not mine), yet I managed to install 8.1 fresh.

                  I'm posting this from said Windows 8.1 Pro install, which - for the sake of clarity - I downloaded the ISO image of from MVLS, installed clean onto a blank hard disk drive, created a local user during setup, logged in and joined to an AD domain - all without having to use an MS account, hack around anything or 'go into the control panel' or anything! It's almost like it's just the same as Windows 7!! (but we can't say that round these here parts else we're liars and heretics!).

                  Try it. Just get the ISO image, create a VM and boot the ISO. Run through setup, same as Win7 etc., and you'll see what I mean. Try it. Go on. Then come back here and post the results...............

                  You don't have to like Win8, you certainly don't have to use it. Personal opinion and taste of course., horses for courses always. But these points we're arguing about are facts, they're not open to the interpretation of personal opinion. We should get our facts right when discussing in a public forum, that's all.

                  1. M Gale

                    Re: I believe it

                    Thanks, but I already have an 8 Pro iso from whatever-they're-calling-MSDNAA-this-week. Having passed the degree and therefore no longer being entitled to free downloads from Microsoft, there's no chance I'm paying full price for an 8.1 disk even if one was available. I don't think many other Windows 8 users will be doing that either, unless they have more money than sense.

                    Also "I got the Windows 8.1 ISO from MVLS" - so a download then, which requires a Microsoft account that's been authorised to use the MVLS. I'm sure all those people buying new PCs out there have access to Microsoft's volume licensing service. Not.

                    Now, log into the store from 8, wait for the umpteen-gig 8.1 upgrade download to finish and start installing stuff. After two or three reboots (some things don't change), it'll get to the same "setting up your machine" screens that millions of people who don't have the extra-special don't-piss-our-business-customers-off editions of Windows get to see.

                    Show me the local account option there. You know, in spite of it being an upgrade to a (virtual) machine which was primarily run on a local account.

                    1. david 64

                      Re: I believe it

                      I'm arguing with some of the statements posted previously, namely that:

                      Win 8.x requires an MS account.

                      Win 8.1 is an upgrade only.

                      Win 8.1 can only be installed from the MS store.

                      I'm saying they are not true (because they aren't). Of course there are use cases out there where people will be upgrading Win 8.0 to 8.1 through the app store, with their MS accounts, on WinRT, while standing on one leg. Naturally. But to come on to an IT Pro site, making statements like those above in such a way as to make them sound true, is not fair to anybody reading it.

                      Personally - I don't care how those people are going to upgrade. There'll be someone somewhere ready to make a fast buck out of helping them with their upgrade i'm sure. From an enterprise perspective however.....

                      "Show me the local account option there. You know, in spite of it being an upgrade to a (virtual) machine which was primarily run on a local account."

                      Honestly I can't answer that question with much authority, as I haven't upgraded 8.0 to 8.1 using an MS account through the app store, as I think you might have gathered..... :-) However, in the 'don't-piss-our-business-customers-off' edition (which in my case is called, erm, Win 8.1 Professional and which I suspect is code-wise exactly the same as every other edition other than the SKU\licensing differences), when upgrading from 8.0 or fresh-installing 8.1 (I have done both) you are prompted to sign in with a MS account during OOBE\mini-setup, you click 'Create a new account', and then when the new account sign-up form appears, you click, cunningly, 'Sign in without a Microsoft Account'. Rocket science... I'm not trying to say it's the most intuitive thing ever - but it's there in plain sight.

                      To argue I upgraded using an MS account, by virtue of the fact my ISO came from MVLS, is pretty weak!!

            5. Craigness

              Re: I believe it

              @Steven Roper

              "That's why I (and I suspect a lot of others) are refusing to move to Windows 8"

              You clearly have no idea what you're talking about, but getting so many upvotes shows that many others don't know either. It's ignorance keeping you from Windows 8, not the features you mention. Go to Libre Office or any other software provider, look at the system requirements and download the Windows 8 version. Did you need a windows account? Did you visit the Windows store?

              It's because of bullshitters like you that I and others are not sure what Windows 8 means. I thought it was a faster version of 7 with a choice of interfaces, and that is confirmed by other commenters, but with so much FUD I sometimes doubt what I've learned.

              Thank you to the commenters who do have a clue.

            6. tabman

              Re: I believe it

              Steven Roper: "That you can only install software from Microsoft's app store"

              "to be constantly pushed towards unwanted cloud storage, and to constantly monitored, logged and spied on is unacceptable regardless of what the interface looks like."

              What a load of rubbish. I am running AutoCAD, Steam, Office Pro, Project and Visio. None of these were purchased from the app store. In so far as being spied on, you can turn that off at installation or via the control panel. If you want to worry about being spied on then worry about Homeland Security and GCHQ.

              Stop spreading FUD. Have you even tried Win 8? Is your objection to the login because you were using an illegal copy of the disk and licence key?

              1. Steven Roper

                Those who have gainsaid me

                are making a lot of assumptions about my use of Windows 8 or lack thereof.

                I will acknowledge I have not looked at Windows 8.1. There may have been changes there that I don't know about.

                That said, I did try Windows 8 while it was in beta, so the allegation I was using an illegal copy is unfounded. And what I observed was the following:

                1. It damn well did insist on my signing in to a Microsoft Live account; at every opportunity it would nag me to do this. In order to sign up, Microsoft wanted my real name, address, phone number and a host of information they had no bloody business asking me for. While I could indeed click 'Cancel' to the nag, often if I clicked 'Cancel', what I was trying to do would also be cancelled, and the constant popup reminders to sign in every time I tried to do something drove me insane.

                2. Likewise I got constant reminders about setting up cloud storage 'devices'. Yes, I obviously had local drives, but again the constant pushing to set up the cloud as the default data storage was infuriating. And checking "don't show this again" seemed to have no effect!

                3. I was not able to install most of my legacy software. It would go through the motions (complete with sign-in nag) but the software simply wouldn't run - I got messages about this application not being authorised or some bullshit, or the application simply wouldn't even start. The trial version of Office I got from the Microsoft store worked without a hitch though. This is what led to my conclusion regarding software having to be installed from Microsoft's store, or to be signed in to install anything.

                4. The spying and monitoring I simply assumed is why they wanted me to sign in all the time. For what other possible reason would they insist and nag me to sign into an online account with all my identifying details, if not to be able to ultimately profile, monitor or control what I'm doing?

                This is my experience with Windows 8. That I have more than twice the upvotes than downvotes (at the time of writing) indicates to me that others have shared my experience. If I'm spreading FUD then you guys are shilling for Microsoft. That's what it comes down to.

                1. david 64

                  Re: Those who have gainsaid me

                  @stevenroper - No you're just spreading FUD. Our industry doesn't need any more of it, there is enough already. Other people read this as if it is factual information, and then go off assuming and\or spreading the same rubbish. I don't care whether people buy or use Windows 8 or 9 or 21 or whatever. MS have enough money, I have no interest in them making any more, i'm not a shareholder or employee. It annoys me however to see crap like this come from a fellow "IT professional" . Same applies to all the Apple bashing and Freetard calling etc. Just wish people would get their facts straight before jumping on the bandwagon. Sadly, the people who gave you twice the upvotes than downvotes are similarly minded - if they had used it themselves, they wouldn't be giving you upvotes would they.

                  Criticising any product because of some issues with a *beta* 18 months ago seems a bit strange too doesn't it, in our industry?

          2. c:\boot.ini

            Re: I believe it

            There are many, when you compare to XP.

            Example, you cannot simply right-click an item in explorer, you have to first left-click, then right-click - this they introduced with Vista and have not fixed since - apparently, it is an improvement.

            Seriously, those who migrated NT4 to XP were silly (to remain polite) at the time, but everybody can make a mistake once, only cretins make the same mistake twice, though ... ;-)

            Give 'em linux, get your datacenter act together, bite the bullet, migrate to open standards platforms - you know you will have to sooner or later - it would have been so much cheaper had you done so in 2002 - the longer you hold on to that crap, the more expensive it will become.

            If you are in doubt, ask santa for a calculator ...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I believe it

              "Give 'em linux, get your datacenter act together, bite the bullet, migrate to open standards platforms - you know you will have to sooner or later - it would have been so much cheaper had you done so in 2002 - the longer you hold on to that crap, the more expensive it will become.

              If you are in doubt, ask santa for a calculator ..."

              Munich tried that, it cost them over €30 million, took ten years, and 30% of their users still have to use Windows.

              If you are an Enterprise that requires a supported version of Linux like RedHat or SUSE then it costs MORE to license than WIndows does! When you add to that the cost of things like the order of magnitude more security patches you have to evaluate with a Linux distribution and the much higher TCO to actually run the thing, and then consider the migration and integration costs - there is no reason to do so for most businesses. Which is why near zero have.....

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I believe it

                "Munich tried that, it cost them over €30 million, took ten years, and 30% of their users still have to use Windows."

                Thought you'd still be counting your downvotes from the Munich article the other day - how many was it ? - a record I'd guess

      2. tabman

        Re: I believe it

        You don't have to wait for Windows 8.2. There are a myriad of applications (some free and some cost money - about $5 or £3) that will bring you to the desktop from boot. You never have to use TIFKAM. It is all there on the start menu.

    4. Damonjohn

      Re: I believe it

      "What a lot of industry pundits don't mention when breathlessly talking about XP's demise is the sheer amount of dependencies that XP and its included components (IE 6, et al) have in large organizations. The XP-to-7-or-8 transition is even more painful from the NT-to-XP "

      Already have virtualized WindowsXP images for several 100 clients. Physical units requiring that WindowsXP remain are separated by network layers.

      WindowsXP as also Windows Server 2003 will be about for as long as these applications are used to do work for the corporation needing the underlying operating systems.

      Lining Microsoft pockets with more money is not the reason CFOs of corporations exist, unless they enjoy losing their positions.

  6. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Businesses may draw another conclusion

    >PCs on Windows XP need to understand that they will put their networks and data at high and increasing risk.

    They may decide that having Windows on desktop machines at-all is putting their networks and data at risk.

    If we are supposed to do everything on the web with Office365 - exactly why do i need a full OS on every desktop, all able to run any programs/attachments/malware they like and all with access to my network?

    1. Craigness

      Re: Businesses may draw another conclusion

      Chromebooks all round!

    2. Christian Berger

      Re: Businesses may draw another conclusion

      ... or if they are smart, they'll switch to Linux and wine plus a few dedicated Windows XP virtual machines which are in their own separate VLAN with no Internet access for the legacy stuff that won't work on wine.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Keep one asset with XP...

    In company especially, it's very understandable to keep some machines with XP in the scenario where you have one legacy software on it. That software doesn't run on Windows 7. Now, to upgrade the software to a version that's compatible with Win 7 require buying a software upgrade of several thousand dollars. Similarly, some legacy software that are node-locked to old computers, which computers won't run Windows 7 (old computer, little memory, but has been doing the job for 10+ years). So you see why XP is there to stay on some computers.

    1. Dan Paul

      Re: Keep one asset with XP...

      Has anyone ever tried XP compatability mode?

      1. peter_dtm
        FAIL

        Re: Keep one asset with XP...Has anyone ever tried XP compatability mode?

        and pray do say - what happens after support has ceased ? That's right one massive hole in your security if you allow it access to t'internet

        Not to mention XP mode is a pile of kludge compared to VM palyer or workstation (player licence some €70 -ish so compared to a windows licence dirt cheap)

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Keep one asset with XP...

        >Has anyone ever tried XP compatability mode?

        But XP compatibility mode is just an XP VM tied to a Win7 machine and is subject to exactly the same end of support dates as 'normal' XP...

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: Keep one asset with XP...

          "But XP compatibility mode is just an XP VM tied to a Win7 machine and is subject to exactly the same end of support dates as 'normal' XP..."

          You may be confusing things... when you right click and run an application you can run it in "XP Compatibility Mode". In this execution environment security settings are tweaked and the application can get away with doing dumb things that while it shouldn't do, XP allowed anyway. e.g. admin level access to everything with no UAC prompts, mixing program files and data files, and so on.

          "XP Mode" is the XP Virtual Machine that is available for users of Windows 7 Professional (and Enterprise).

          1. Michael Habel Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Keep one asset with XP...

            "XP Mode" is the XP Virtual Machine that is available for users of Windows 7 Professional (and Enterprise).

            It is also worth noting that you need a Core2Duo, or some AMD equivalent Processor with Virtual Tech built in to actually make proper use of it. Needless to say that, not every Core2Duo actually had / has this "Tech" built-in....

      3. M Gale

        Re: Keep one asset with XP...

        Has anyone ever tried XP compatability mode?

        Yes.

        It isn't.

    2. Goat Jam
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Keep one asset with XP...

      "Now, to upgrade the software to a version that's compatible with Win 7 require buying a software upgrade of several thousand dollars"

      You don't actually work in IT do you?

      If you do and "several thousand dollars" is all that is stopping you from moving off XP then I can only imagine you are doing the IT work for the local fish and chip vendor or something.

      "Similarly, some legacy software that are node-locked to old computers [...] has been doing the job for 10+ years"

      Good lord, if you have software that is node locked to a 10 year old computer and use that as a reason to not upgrade from XP then what pray tell is your DR plan for when that 10+ year old PC goes titsup?

      There are of course some valid reasons to not move from XP, but a few thousand bucks and keeping your fingers crossed that an antique PC doesn't cark it tomorrow are not.

      Paris, because she may not be very good at IT but at least she looks good doing it.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        @Goat Jam

        While I can't speak for the AC above, my own reasons for sticking with "old software" vary, in some cases the cost is sometimes just not worth it when it is hardly used and/or not business critical.

        But more often it is not the "few thousand" for a new copy/license, it is the years of work and business processes that are disrupted by the new version being different in subtle through to bloody annoying ways. That can cost WAY more than the new version would.

        Also the node-locking may not be tied to the physical machine, more likely it is a parallel port dongle on an XP box that serves the software (like one of my CAD packages). A new PC with an additional parallel port card may solve hardware failures with much less disruption than a complete change, but moving from W2k/XP could be far more difficult.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Paul Crawford

          "Also the node-locking may not be tied to the physical machine, more likely it is a parallel port dongle on an XP box that serves the software"

          Or worse, the license for said software (from a now defunct company) is tied to the MAC of the network card in said computer. Seen any recent Dell Optiplexes with ISA slots in them? Nope, me neither...

          1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

            Re: @Paul Crawford AC 14:28

            "tied to the MAC of the network card in said computer"

            In that case a VM of XP might be your saving, as you can then assign a MAC address matching the original card to it. Of course, if it used other hardware factors (e.g. C: drive serial number, etc) that may not work, but it is well worth trying.

            1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

              Re: @Paul Crawford AC 14:28

              I think in a VM (VMWare anyway) you're also able to set the serial number of the hard drive. This does get a little confusing because the serial number is often confused with the volume number. The volume ID is always available as it's added by Windows, the hard drive serial number is a different matter as it's an optional part of the specification.

    3. Tom 13

      Re: Keep one asset with XP...

      That was exactly the scenario at one place where I worked. Even when the rest of the company was on XP SP3 there was one Windows 98 machine in the HR office that still connected to the network. It had the software on it that housed the database of employee badge data. For some reason the CIO was never able to prise the $5000 from the budget to upgrade the software to something that would run on XP. Finally it got virtualized because we'd scraped together too many "one last desperate attempt" to keep the damn thing running. It wouldn't surprise me if it's still running that way. Oh, and yes, after they spent the $5000 on the software they were probably going to have to spend another $20,000 to have an employee re-write some MS Access based code that fed the data into a company intranet page. Yes, getting RIFFed there was a huge blessing.

  8. bpfh
    Holmes

    Build somthing that people want, and they will flock to buy it...

    Build somthing they don't and they wont...

  9. Mike Flex

    Why should we be in a rush to move off XP?

    Some of us only moved to XP in summer 2010, when extended support for Win 2000 ended. That's not even 4 years use out of XP.

    1. c:\boot.ini

      Why should we be in a rush to move off XP?

      Because your company decided to go for software from a monopolist that squeezes ever more cash out of you for the same "basic computing" functionality your company uses by having you pay multiple times (client OS, server OS, server software, CALS) and forcing ever-changing API's and UI's down your throat.

      You are tied to their API's/UI's that change with every Windows release, imagine, had you moved to Linux in 2001, you could have had the same major gnome version to this day, fully patched, and kept it for a few more years - remember, you choose the ui you want to use - not redhat/suse/ubuntu/oracle.

    2. Pirate Dave Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Win 2000

      Are you telling me I need to upgrade my Windows 2000 machines? Seriously...? Oh, all right, I'll get to it one day...

      Sadly, I actually do have 2 or 3 Win2k servers still around. The WINS server (ouch), and the box running HP Top Tools for Hubs and Switches (hey, HP4000 switches run FORFUCKINGEVER), and the third box that monitors various sensors, runs an ancient copy of NetCrunch, and is a syslog server. They really all do need to go to the scrap heap.

      Glad that Server2003 still has a long life ahead of it, or I'd be in trouble... Oh, wait...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just try budging the doctors...

    Between me (aging accident prone fart) and the kids in the past three months I've been perched beside PCs in several medical practices and hospitals. And every single one was clearly running XP (default PlaySkool theme and screensaver), and equally clearly networked. So either their networks are wonderfully firewalled and an IT squad from Tom Clancy's wettest dream guards them ("the damaged ceiling tile? well Bob was just plugging in his WLAN router from home when a ninja pulled him up through it..."), or 4Chan will be changing my next prostate check into a gender reassignment.

    1. ItsNotMe

      Re: Just try budging the doctors...

      Yep. There are plenty of reasons NOT to go to Win 7 or 8.x....namely...legacy applications that won't run on the newer OSes.

      My university/medical research center/hospital has dozens of them. Most do not ever connect to the Internet...so no good reason whatsoever to change.

      1. Goat Jam

        Re: Just try budging the doctors...

        "Yep. There are plenty of reasons NOT to go to Win 7 or 8.x....namely...legacy applications that won't run on the newer OSes."

        I agree, if you're not connected to a network then there is no urgent need to upgrade such PC's, especially if they are single purposed (to the legacy app).

        However, this is going to become increasingly difficult to manage as the years go by if the same PC is being used for non legacy stuff as well, non-legacy stuff that may not support XP at some point in the future.

        Ironically, it might be that Linux and Wine may become one of the best ways to support some legacy Windows stuff. Yes, wine can be a total pita to tweak to get an application working properly but once it is done once then it is easily replicated and can be completely stable. Given that you can get IE6 working under wine pretty easily then this might become an easy way to manage legacy crap safely.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. willi0000000
    Black Helicopters

    unnecessary

    the whole "not supporting this anymore and so hackers will be invading" problem could easily be solved if organizations like NSA (they claim to be the very best at this computer stuff) would do some work that actually improves national security.

    isn't it an issue of national security if all these XP devices running critical business, manufacturing and infrastructure applications are vulnerable to attack? if they can bother to track my metadata (which is so dull that it might be outlawed as an opiate) they can surely run interference for such an important sector of the economy. perhaps they aren't as good at important things?

    [hey NSA guys, what about it? i know you're listening]

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: unnecessary

      Sorry, but the NSA only taps into computers.

      If you want to improve your computer's security against intrusion, contact...

      Hm, there doesn't seem to be a US agency for that... I wonder why?

    2. Tom 13

      Re: unnecessary

      They tried that once and got bitch slapped for it. So they stay away from it now.

  13. WatAWorld

    When creating future surveys remember that "one copy" is meaningless

    When creating future surveys remember that answers to questions about "one copy" of something are meaningless.

    Yes we'll have a copy. On a machine in the testing lab, just in case we ever need it.

    Meaningful questions would be:

    1. Will you have a server or workstation running WHATEVER in any of your non-production (testing/educational/experimental/training) environments?

    2. Will you have a server running WHATEVER in any of your production (non-testing/non-educational/non-experimental/non-training) environments?

    3. Will you have a workstation running WHATEVER in your mainstream production environment?

    -- and then if you want more precision --

    4. Will you support WHATEVER on any machine in your production environment?

    5. Will you only support WHATEVER on the production machines of a small number of politically powerful users?

    6. Will you only support WHATEVER on production machines in non-critical applications isolated from your main business network?

  14. WatAWorld

    Don't connect to the internet, but do you have USB sockets or drives for removable disks?

    Your XP computer might not connect directly to the internet, but does it have a USB socket, or diskette, CD, DVD or blu-ray drive?

    Currently these other paths are being used to infect non-internet connected diplomatic and 'industrial command and control systems', and there is no reason to believe that they won't be used to infect XP systems in at least in 'attractive targets'.

    It is even possible to migrate data off of these non-internet connected systems. The Israelis and Americans did it to the Iranian nuclear program, so it is feasible and who knows how often it has happened elsewhere.

    Also, if you have an internet connected machine on the same network as your XP machines (whether or not it is running an up-to-date operating system and antivirus) it could be used as an entry point to any connected XP machines. One trojan, one stupid mistake, on that internet connected machine and it could quietly violate however many hundred XP machines are connected to it.

    Is your business and that application an attractive target?

    1. Would anyone be able to profit from the disruption of that application, directly or via blackmail?

    2. Would anyone be able to profit from knowledge of data in that application, directly or via blackmail?

    And there are doubtless other ways to be a high value target.

    So if you're going to keep XP in your production environment I suggest you disable the drives for removable media and disable the USB sockets and make sure that no computer on the network with the XP machine have internet access.

  15. Danvighar

    Keeping my VM, will make it "offline" when support dies.

  16. N2 Silver badge

    Meanwhile...

    A brand new laptop; requires a hard reset from sleep, runs dog slow & generally misbehaves at every opportunity.

    If this is progress then I want none of it & XP stays, thank you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meanwhile...

      Where did you buy this heap of junk from?

      Don't be put off by your experience, modern laptops are mostly improved considerably over their aging XP generation relatives (apart from the 1990s 768p screens still promoted to the unwary).

      Best bet is to ask someone with a little technical know how before you buy your next PC.

      1. N2 Silver badge

        Re: Meanwhile...

        Q. Where did you buy this heap of junk from? A = I didnt, it was provided to my brother in law, unfortunately he has to tollerate this junk to earn a living.

        Quote "modern laptops are mostly improved considerably" = It was brand new as of 1 week ago, Win 7 64bit 1Gb HDD with 8Gb memory, the 'Windows Experience' was 5.9 but we experienced nothing but frustration but I suppose its a bit dated now.

        Quote "Best bet is to ask someone with a little technical know how before you buy your next PC." = Dont worry, I wont. After 30+ years in IT PCs & laptops are generally a disappointment. I have every expectation that my elderly Mac Pro will continue to work exactly how I do for a good few years yet before you bleat about price I got it second hand in as new condition & before you bleat about Mac Tards I run XP in a VM to provide a perfect solution for me. I will pass on your comment to the IT dpet who set it up, Im sure they will be thrilled.

  17. Mr. A

    What?

    Seriously, keep XP?! In Enterprise?? You should be fired for incompetence.

    1. c:\boot.ini
      Boffin

      Re: What?

      Seriously, keep Windows?! In Enterprise?? You should be fired for incompetence.

      Fixed that for ya!

  18. AnoniMouse

    Keeping the IT industry in the manner to which it has become accustomed

    It's not just the pain of updating the OS. It's the forced need to replace familiar applications that no longer execute on the new version of the OS and then how to extract valuable data created by those (now unusable) applications.

    IT industry to business: you'll have to replace your entire IT estate.

    Business: Why, what's the benefit to my business?

    IT industry: If you don't you won't be supported and will be vulnerable to scarey consequences.

    The built-in obsolescence routinely practised by IT vendors as a means of prepetuating revenues is highly questionable and condemns the whole IT industry to expend FAR to much of its resources replacing old with new, with very little identifiable user or business benefit and plenty of downsides.

    If practised by organisations of a different type this might be termed extortion or a protection racket.

    1. N2 Silver badge

      Re: Keeping the IT industry in the manner to which it has become accustomed

      Agree entirely,

      Ive just witnessed my brother-in-law typing a fairly extensive e-mail to his support department following the 'upgrade' to Windows 7 (Win 8 wont run any of their software) on a well specified Dell laptop. The fairly meaningless 'Windows Experience' is 5.9 however the laptop runs like a slug & every time he opens the lid it crashes from sleep requiring a hard restart to name a few 'issues' or defects as I prefer to call them.

      To say he & I were dismayed is an understatement & his e-mail concluded with "I will call in tomorrow & collect my old laptop as I require something that works"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Keeping the IT industry in the manner to which it has become accustomed

        Sounds to me like Dells old habit of releasing buggy drivers then not fixing them when Windows upgrades become less tolerant for security whatever reasons.

        What software doesn't work with 8 that worked with 7? (I've not discovered any yet so curious).

  19. UnauthorisedAccess
    Joke

    SteamOS

    I wonder if I can convince the the developers need this new Debian based distro for development.

  20. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    FUD

    This is just like the change to Euro-harmonized mains cable colours. It doesn't mean that everything in the old colours is suddenly going to stop working on day zero.

    1. Craigness

      Re: FUD

      There could be attack methods which have been held in reserve, to be used after support ends. And any updates to Vista or 7 can be reverse engineered to reveal possible exploits for XP. The computer will still work but you won't want to use it online.

  21. Roland6 Silver badge

    Why wouldn't an IT Pro or Sysadmin keep a copy of XP?

    Spiceworks "found that 76 per cent of them were still running the operating system on some devices today and 36 per cent would be keeping at least one copy around."

    Sorry am I missing something?

    Spiceworks audience is IT pro's and sysadmin's. People who have learnt that it is advisable to keep an end user system (such as XP) available for cross checking stuff between new and old systems and for those occasions when the business needs to runs an old spreadsheet that does something weird in the new version of Office etc..

    Plus it is handy to have a system that can actually read the files in all those old archives - Remember many have been using MS products since the 1980's...

  22. Hotears

    Embedded? Not so simple.

    On the production floor I have a few million pounds, dollars, or euros worth of machinery, with some of the embedded machines running XP. It has custom hardware and drivers. Basically, components go in on one end, earnings comes out the other. Am I going to turn it off?

    Not likely. At this point it's on its own network, with tight access controls. That's all I can do.

    How heavy is your remaining XP box? Mine's about 20 tonnes.

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. Bladeforce

    GET AWAY FROM MICROSOFT...

    MOST COMPANIES CAN DO IT TODAY AND SAVE LOTS OF MONEY! THINK LONG TERM PEOPLE INSTEAD OF WHINING, YOU GOT YOURSELF TRAPPED IN THE MICROSOFT TAX NOW GROW A PAIR AND GET YOURSELF OUT!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: GET AWAY FROM MICROSOFT...

      Watch your caps key, mate! Especially when you use it to type the name of a prominent software vendor located in Redmond.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: GET AWAY FROM MICROSOFT...

        Caps key? Probably he's using a free Linux that never quite mastered the i/o drivers. But it's free, it's not MS and he can not read whole words anyway.

        1. Bladeforce

          Re: GET AWAY FROM MICROSOFT...

          The ones that havent grown a pair are so visible

      2. Rukario

        Re: GET AWAY FROM MICROSOFT...

        > Watch your caps key, mate! Especially when you use it to type the name of a prominent software vendor located in Redmond.

        For a moment, I thought he was back too, but the last line wasn't of the trademark EPIC...FAIL format.

  25. mrfill
    Happy

    I bet these xp users are still pondering whether to update to the Nokia 3410 or stick with the 3310 as they cruise around in their Rover 75.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >> I bet these xp users are still pondering whether to update to the Nokia 3410 or stick with the 3310 as they cruise around in their Rover 75.

      Aside from XP, what's wrong with that?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Our company is now fully Win 7 - but I still run XP on a virtual machine to maintain legacy apps (some third-party controls just won't install on Win 7)

  27. ben_myers

    Another biased survey

    IT firm CDW, which sponsored the research, sells hardware kit. So naturally they'd want to drive home the point that XP is near end-of-life as we know it. A large number of computers running XP today would run Windows 7 poorly, lacking the processor horsepower, main system memory, hard drive capacity, or even driver support for some of the hardware. So in a great many cases, upgrading a system to Windows 7 makes no sense at all, hence KA-CHING! a potential sale by CDW of a replacement.

    My rule of thumb is that I would not consider upgrading to Windows 7 unless the processor was at least a dual-core (or upgradable) and the memory could be upgraded to 4GB. But when one takes into account the manpower cost and the hardware cost to get a system up to speed, well, a replacement is less expensive. KA-CHING! for CDW. So goodbye to all the Socket 478 systems, probably the majority of Socket 775 desktop systems, most of the laptops with DDR2 memory, and all laptops with memory older than DDR2. Hello, Windows 7.

    1. c:\boot.ini
      Boffin

      Re: Another biased survey

      Needless to say: you must move off of XP (the next zero-day might not get fixed). You should move off of MS asap to never get into this shit again.

      Keep old hardware, get Linux, solved. Keep XP in a vm until you figured how to replace those legacy apps - you might be able to pay for the migration to an open platform with the savings ... support is waaaay cheaper than cals and client os licenses, believe me, intentionally excluding server licenses, that is your budget for newer kit to improve server performance even more!!!!

      All it takes is cojones!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another biased survey

        "Keep old hardware, get Linux, solved."

        Uhm, but the Linux kernel alone has had more vulnerabilities (over 900) than the whole of XP! (~600)...And when was the last time you found an Enterprise Linux distribution supported for 13 years?! You would be swapping one problem for another

      2. Roland6 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Another biased survey @ c:\boot.ini

        >Keep XP in a vm until you figured how to replace those legacy apps

        So inspite of the tone of your post, you are also one of the "36 per cent would be keeping at least one copy around."

        I note the survey didn't ask participants just how long they thought they would be keeping that cover around - I've still got a WfWG laptop (386 !!) that gets booted once every so often to deal with certain archives - at least the nice thing with standards is that it still plugs into the electricity supply!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Slowly but surely we are getting there and our users desktops are mostly done. But as a company that is 50% a software house and writes software for large gas companies and banks I can tell you testing our software on XP will be continuing here for quite some time. So yes of course we will still be keeping copies of XP floating around Spiceworks but the situation really isnt as 'bad' as you suggest. A % of user desktops might have been a more appropriate measure. Anyway who doesn't have one of those annoying little apps tied to a machine sitting in the corner? I bought myself some time and managed to move one to server 2003 but some people will have ones that are machine tied or require ie6 on XP exclusively.

  29. buckyball

    Whither Windows?

    As a previous poster said, I don't want a flame war, but seriously - if you are going to do an upgrade anyway...

    Linux + Virtualbox + Wine offers a variety of approaches to corralling the Windows beast.

    A user running WinXX in a full-screen VM won't care that Linux is under the table. Linux can be configured very "lean" in it's use of resources, can be netbooted, etc.

    Just saying.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whither Windows?

      You can configure Linux to be as parsimonious as you like, to a point; but XP, even in a VM will still need memory, disc, CPU and you would be a fool to skimp on these.

      Also, which Linux? Have you really got the skills to do support beyond configuration and hoping you find the right, latest library etc.?

      Linux is not the answer to all, sometimes it is even the problem. Now, BSD ….

      As for old hardware: it is not infinitely expandable; solder, disc and more do tend to degrade with time and efficient use of electricity, for which you pay comes only by replacing the hardware with modern versions. Now tell me you have never experienced a hardware failure, a corrupt disc or paid an electricity bill.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Whither Windows?

        XP in a VM is isolated from underlying changes to hardware or, by and large, to the host operating system. You could use Win7/8 or any one of a range of Linux distros, depending on your use-case and licensing costs, etc.

        In my experience the XP VM runs as well, if not better, under Linux as natively (intensive graphics aside) and you can save & restore from backup in minutes if corrupted. You can also have several VM, each with different software that won't play happy together, and run the one you need at a given time.

        As such, you can also run RAID on the host machine for better availability, etc, and the workings of that need not concern the VM, it just sees the virtual disk as a file stored somewhere.

        As for time, skill, etc, needed, well this is El Reg and folk here are discussing how they choose to solve things. If you don't know then find someone who can advise and implement, and pay them for it. Simplez!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whither Windows?

      "Linux + Virtualbox + Wine offers a variety of approaches to corralling the Windows beast."

      You could just run XP Mode under Windows 7 - far simpler, more secure, already licensed and integrates at the per application level....

      1. M Gale

        Re: Whither Windows?

        ...and doesn't work very well.

        Though given the "more secure" comment, you probably haven't tried anyway.

  30. Johndoe888

    If Only

    If only the effort put into finding exploits it XP was put into reverse engineering and fixing them, ideally with code changes getting the same vetting process that Linux distro's have.

  31. CmdrX3

    No time... Seriously?

    "over half said they hadn't made the switch because of a lack of budget, 39 per cent said they didn't have the time and 31 per cent said they didn't have the resources"

    Lack of budget or not having the resources fair enough, but didn't have the time is a bit of a lame excuse considering they've had years.

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