back to article Windows XP fixes flaws for free if you turn PCs into CASH REGISTERS

A German web noticeboard has published instructions on how to keep getting the free Windows XP updates that enterprises are having to pay for. According to this thread at Sebjik.com, all that's needed for 32-bit Windows XP installs is to edit the registry so that it tells Microsoft you're using POSReady 2009. As Betanews …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Personally I think

    Personally I think that Microsoft should be made to continue to release updates until they have fixed it.

    All versions of Windows are/were sold faulty and insecure, why are they allowed to just walk away from the mess they created.

    Don't talk to me about software life span if people are still trying to use the software, there wasn't an expiration date on it so it should be repaired free of charge until they do the job right, it they cannot/willnot then the source should be made public

    1. Mad Chaz

      Re: Personally I think

      You make it sound like software should be held to the same standard of quality physical goods have to follow.

      Like that'll ever happen.

      1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Personally I think

        Or release the source on 'out of warranty' products and let us fix them ourselves.

    2. razorfishsl Silver badge

      Re: Personally I think

      Using this logic, my house alarm that was fitted 10 years ago would need to be replaced for free due to the progress made in electronic hacking systems

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Updates for free ? Maybe not. But I certainly do not think that Microsoft has the right to arbitrarily decide to no longer support a product that millions of customers are still using.

        The proper lifecycle of a product is that it is retired when its market share becomes negligeable. Millions of customers are not negligeable. Software, as it has been said, has no date limit, so Microsoft should continue and support its product until at least 90% of XP users have switched to something else.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          It hasn't stopped, you can still pay for it.

        2. Vince

          It's Microsoft's product, they specify you have a perpetual use license, they don't specify you'll receive perpetual updates, many of which address issues that weren't even likely to be an issue or even known about in any real sense over a decade ago.

          Presumably Apple should also still be providing updates for OS 9? Are they?

          Are they even providing updates for older than 10.6 in any meaningful way? Nope...

        3. rh587 Silver badge

          @Pascal Monnett

          "The proper lifecycle of a product is that it is retired when its market share becomes negligeable. Millions of customers are not negligeable. Software, as it has been said, has no date limit, so Microsoft should continue and support its product until at least 90% of XP users have switched to something else."

          Would that be until 90% of the current users have moved to something different, or until 90% of the people who used XP in 2005 have moved to something different?

          90% of people still using it is somewhat of a moving target!

          - XP market share is down to between 8-20% depending on who you believe and how those stats are collected.

          - Given that a proportion of those are either:

          > Pirate copies (80+% of XP machines in China are on pirate copies)

          > Embedded XP (which is still officially supported for most of this decade)

          > Desktop XP being supported past EOL by the NHS et al paying M$ many dollars

          (None of which count for the purposes of this discussion since freetards get what they deserve and the other two are supported).

          It is entirely reasonable to suggest that actual legitimate desktop XP share is well below 10% as people have moved to Linux, OSX, or their laptops have died - whether by baking, battery dying or hinges cracking off and have been replaced with Vista, 7 or 8.

          Therefore by your own criteria, MS are well within their rights to drop it as usage is below 90%.

          It's no surprise that the big holdout for IE6 usage is China, still running hooky XP with the original browser and no updates.

        4. Keith Langmead

          "Updates for free ? Maybe not. But I certainly do not think that Microsoft has the right to arbitrarily decide to no longer support a product that millions of customers are still using."

          Hardly arbitrary, MS have documented their life cycle policy for years, and in the case of XP they've already extended it far beyond when support should have ended.

          It's interesting that people only seem to get worked up over MS stopping support for one of their products, but no one seems to put it into context. They're no different than other OS suppliers. Apple stopped support for OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard) last year (original release date 2009). RHEL 4 stopped being supported two years ago after only 5 years. Debian 5 after only 3 years.

          1. asdf

            >It's interesting that people only seem to get worked up over MS stopping support for one of their products

            And where do you get your data from on that one? I have been ripping quite vocally on Apple's business model of forced obsolescence of hardware (where they make their money) through pulled software support for years on these forums. Yes Apple is actually worse but that doesn't excuse Microsoft and in fact due to their still near monopoly on the desktop one could argue they have more of an obligation. Nobody rational is asking for new features but considering in as many places as XP is running that people don't even realize I think even as a matter of national security obvious serious defects should still be being patched (which they do seem to be doing for industry so kudos at least there). The biggest problem is probably going to be all the Asian pirated XP installs contributing to even more enormous botnets soon but obviously most of that is not on Microsoft except for making it easier now. As for the Linux examples due to the source being available for anybody to patch or backport fixes they make for poor examples.

            1. countach

              Pulled software support? If you mean new software doesn't support old hardware, everyone does that. You think NVidia is actively writing drivers for 4 year old cards?

        5. Uffish
          Linux

          Lifecycle

          The problem being that the definition of lifecycle for Microsoft includes direct and indirect profits generated. XP is truly dead; it is an ex-OS.

          Icon - because.

      2. asdf

        Re: Personally I think

        >Using this logic, my house alarm that was fitted 10 years ago would need to be replaced for free due to the progress made in electronic hacking systems

        How so? You might be able to make this case if he asking for new features but if all he is asking for is bug fixes then it would be more like your car being recalled in the US even ten years later.

      3. billdehaan

        Re: Personally I think

        Using that logic, your 1965 RCA television would need to be retrofitted by RCA to support digital signals.

        Using that logic, your 1976 VHS player would need to be retrofitted by the vendor to support HDMI.

        Using that logic, your 1903 Model A would need to be retrofitted by Ford to add seat belts, airbags and meet current emission standards.

        That logic assumes an unchanging world, with no advances in technology, laws, or social behaviour. That logic isn't all that logical.

        1. Tom 35

          Re: Personally I think

          You need to think some more.

          All your examples are for new features, not safety fixes.

          If you want a valid non-software example look at recalls. I had my 11 year old cars airbag and some wiring replaced for free do to a recall. That's FAR past the warranty. They can't just say, your cars is old, go buy a new one.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Personally I think

          > Using that logic, your 1965 RCA television would need to be retrofitted by RCA to support digital signals.

          Why? As long as your RCA television was able to receive RCA broadcasts the manufacturer has fulfilled their obligation. You might find it difficult to source broken down parts though

          > Using that logic, your 1976 VHS player would need to be retrofitted by the vendor to support HDMI.

          As long as my VHS player plays VHS videos I am happy.

          > Using that logic, your 1903 Model A would need to be retrofitted by Ford to add seat belts, airbags and meet current emission standards.

          True, but not by that logic. Current regulations might force you to retro fit seat belts but as long as your car complies with the specification of the 1903 Ford Model A there is nothing for Ford to do.

          I've got one copy of XP running on one VM so I pretty much don’t care about it but ... When I purchased it it was supposed to, as an example, safely display images conforming to the JPEG 2000 standard, If, at some future date, it is discovered that it does not safely display images conforming to the JPEG 2000 standard then MS should fix it. However, MS should have no obligation to ensure it displays images conforming to a future JPEG standard as that is not part of XP.

      4. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: Personally I think

        > Using this logic, my house alarm that was fitted 10 years ago would need to be replaced for free due to the progress made in electronic hacking systems

        Nope. This isn't about "progress". This is about suitability and fitness for purpose.

        This isn't about "new features". This is about security patches.

      5. Steve 129

        Re: Personally I think

        Well, if the alarm system decides that it will turn off every Thursday afternoon for 20 minutes due to a bug, then yes, they should fix it.

        The issue here is that there are flaws in the software. 'Progress in hacking systems" has nothing to do with the fact that the software was 'broken' right from the start. Just because someone managed to find the fault is irrelevant.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Personally I think

      "Personally I think that all software vendors should be made to continue to release updates until they have fixed it."

      Fixed it for you. Though still ridiculously unrealistic.

    4. jb99

      Re: Personally I think

      They did fix it, you can just upgrade to a newer version.

      People seem to want the fixes without installing the version with the fixes in...

      1. Steve 129

        Re: Personally I think

        No, they didn't 'fix it' with a new version. They learned from it and released a NEW version with it fixed, and charge for the new product. This is completely different.

    5. Gis Bun

      Re: Personally I think

      Errrr. Windows will never be fixed.

      Face it. you want Win XP to run forever.

      1. Mpeler
        Coat

        Re: Personally I think

        But....wait....the answer is hidden in the reg key...

        P iece

        O f

        S hite

        Ready

        (so someone obviously thinks it's finished....)...probably that ribbon crew again :)

    6. cortland

      Re: Personally I think

      Unbribed-Argh News Service: A little known turn of the century (not this one) car-maker recently lost -- if that's the right word -- a recent lawsuit alleging neglect, misfeasance and knowingly marketing an unsafe product. Despite a summons posted at the firm's last known site in Dunbarton, South Carolina*, none of its officers or their heirs or counsel appeared, leading to a default judgment retroactive to the date the product was sold.

      Industry watchers -- after they stopped laughing -- said the case sets a precedent for firms such as Abble, Mcirosoft, and others whose obsolete products continue to cost their users.

      *Dunbarton, SC is inside the boundaries of the US Atomic Energy Agency's Savannah River nuclear processing site. The process servers are expected to make a full recovery after bone marrow transplants.

  2. razorfishsl Silver badge

    worked for me

    1. mourner
      Thumb Down

      Did it?

      Or did you just enable some patches for the subset of full blown XP components that comprise the POS version. Meaning that vulnerabilities present in some desktop XP OS components go unpatched.

      This is irresponsible journalism without digging into the nuts n guts of the differences between POS and desktop XP - it could very well leave a lot of people with an invalid sense of security as they see ~some~ updates come through.

      Shame El Reg. Shame.

      1. Purple-Stater

        "This is irresponsible journalism..."

        You want journalism from a blog?

  3. Mark McNeill
    Linux

    And so the countdown begins

    "... it'll keep desperates getting XP updates until 2019."

    Ladies and gentlemen: I give you 2020 - the year of Linux on the desktop.

    1. RAMChYLD

      Re: And so the countdown begins

      Not if ReactOS beats Linux there first ;)

      Honestly tho, I think the year of the Linux desktop may come sooner with the SteamBoxes. But unless WINE improves to the point that it can run all Linux software effortlessly (I keep seeing regressions- one version runs a particular game fine, the next version would break support for a game while fixing a issue with another game that was broken several versions ago), there will always be a place for XP. Heck, the 2013 SimCity was supposed to run in WINE, but when I tried to it gave me some stupid message about activation failing...

      1. Bitbeisser
        Devil

        Re: And so the countdown begins

        >>Not if ReactOS beats Linux there first ;)

        As if! That will be the day that pigs fly and hell freezes over!

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: And so the countdown begins

        Not if ReactOS beats Linux there first ;)

        Honestly tho, I think the year of the Linux desktop may come sooner with the SteamBoxes. But unless WINE improves to the point that it can run all Linux software effortlessly (I keep seeing regressions- one version runs a particular game fine, the next version would break support for a game while fixing a issue with another game that was broken several versions ago), there will always be a place for XP. Heck, the 2013 SimCity was supposed to run in WINE, but when I tried to it gave me some stupid message about activation failing...

        Now I might be wrong here... But, I thought the whole point of running the SteamBox was so that the Developers WOULD HAVE TO CREATE NATIVE LINUX APPs! Thus avoiding all that needless mucking about with WINE. Sure I suppose their may be some teething problems with which they (Steam), may have to begrudge to WINE. Assuming that they even can. But even Valve seem to get it that WINE is not going to be the way forward.

        The only question left is are SteamBoxes even available, and are they worth the money over a PS4 or at worst an XBOne? For the moment I'd say no....

        1. RAMChYLD

          Re: And so the countdown begins

          I need to be clearer, sorry. I was actually talking about two different things. SteamBox and the stream of Linux games from Valve is nice and all which I wholly support.

          Then you have evil developers like EA who for some reason doesn't want to support Linux directly (they will only support Linux if it's a casual freemium game for Android, or if someone forms a partnership to port their game to Linux ie Loki Games' scenario), or ActiBlizz who refuses to support Linux outright and has been said to even bans accounts from Battle.Net if they catch you running the game in WINE (although how they find out if you are indeed using WINE is a puzzle to me).

          1. RAMChYLD

            Re: And so the countdown begins

            One more thing I forgot to Mention- Bethesda is another one of them evil developer. In fact, I'd think they're very evil since Fallout 3 and New Vegas are Windows only where PCs are concerned. It even uses the Games for Windows Live framework, despite already being on Steam.

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: And so the countdown begins

      By 2020 will anyone still be using desktops? The majority of computing devices are already phones and tablets, and you could argue that Linux is already dominant there in the guise of Android (depending on whether you think that android == linux I suppose)

      1. Vince

        Re: And so the countdown begins

        "the majority"

        Care to back that figure up with anything meaningful, like facts?

        1. BubbaGump

          Re: And so the countdown begins

          I agree. Smart Phones are virtually ubiquitous. I encounter very few, and far in between, people using tablets. Most of those have a tablet as an accessory, not a replacement. There is NO tablet currently or in the foreseeable future that can come close to competing with my high-end laptop. At work, the PC and Workstation will continue to dominate. There are different markets out there and one size fits all will not be attainable. For people, like myself, who are not screen zombies, have no need to be connected 24/7 nor have a higher end computing device with them everywhere they go. The hype needs to stop and the individual markets addressed.

          1. JDX Gold badge

            Re: There is NO tablet ... that can come close to competing with my high-end laptop

            Hardly anybody, even in enterprise, needs a high-end laptop. Windows7 and Office will run OK on a laptop costing £400 when W7 came out, they'll run well on one costing £600 at that time.

            Most people using a PC even for work, are not running a compiler or PhotoShop etc. I totally agree that tablets/phones will not replace PCs because you need a decent screen and input method for writing documents or doing spreadsheets, but in terms of sheer power we're there already.

            1. JEDIDIAH

              Re: There is NO tablet ... that can come close to competing with my high-end laptop

              > Hardly anybody, even in enterprise, needs a high-end laptop.

              Even for "secretary terminal" work, there is a noticeable difference between using cheap underpowered hardware and decent kit. The fact that many people have meager requirements still doesn't negate the overhead of the OS or the problem of parts that are just crappy (like Intel GPUs).

              If you are the least bit creative, you will find something to do with extra capacity.

              Voice recognition is an obvious one. This common use case is one for which ARM devices need to "outsource" computation.

              1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

                Re: There is NO tablet ... that can come close to competing with my high-end laptop

                "Voice recognition is an obvious one. This common use case is ..."

                Have you got stats to support the view that voice recognition is "common"? It has been around for a decade or more and never caught on. It has always been my understanding that sound (either from the PC or the user) is such an utterly dreadful thing to encourage in the average working (and, frankly, home) environment, that it never will catch on. The only use-case that I'm aware of with any kind of market share is talking to your phone. That works because phones are things you talk to anyway (*) and because they are such poxy little things that they can't support a proper UI. Neither consideration translates to the wider PC/tablet market.

                (* And even there, "Honey, I'm on the train..." is considered anti-social.)

              2. JDX Gold badge

                Re: There is NO tablet ... that can come close to competing with my high-end laptop

                >>Even for "secretary terminal" work, there is a noticeable difference between using cheap underpowered hardware and decent kit.

                You struggle to buy anything "underpowered" these days. The bottom-end laptop these days is comparable to a mid-range laptop when W7 came out. Since W7 doesn't need more resources now than it did then, a cheap laptop is quite adequate these days.

                We've finally escaped the days when business laptops had the Intel 940 graphics chipset, now even cheap laptops with integrated GPUs support DX10 properly... I work developing 3D software for business clients so this is something I am sadly rather well acquainted with :) Low-end tech these days is not only powerful, but far more consistent than it was even 5 years ago.

              3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

                Re: There is NO tablet ... that can come close to competing with my high-end laptop

                "Even for "secretary terminal" work, there is a noticeable difference between using cheap underpowered hardware and decent kit. The fact that many people have meager requirements still doesn't negate the overhead of the OS or the problem of parts that are just crappy (like Intel GPUs)."

                That says more about increasing OS software bloat than anything else.

                1. JDX Gold badge

                  Re: That says more about increasing OS software bloat than anything else.

                  Except that W7 is leaner than Vista (OK that doesn't take much) and W8 is leaner than W7.

                  1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
                    Happy

                    Re: That says more about increasing OS software bloat than anything else.

                    "Except that W7 is leaner than Vista (OK that doesn't take much) and W8 is leaner than W7."

                    .... hence backing up your point earlier! :-)

                    My point wasn't aimed at anything specifically - just responding to the previous poster by pointing out that if even if basic requirements can't be met on a current baseline system due to 'OS overheads' (his words) then there is still too much bloat.

                    Fair enough for you to point out that windows is getting leaner, seeing as I wrote 'increasing OS software bloat', but my original intent was to agree with you . Baseline systems these days have more than enough power these days to deal with the basic duties, and if the previous poster finds this isn't true due to OS overheads, then it's the fault of the OS more than the hardware spec.

                    Sorry I wasn't too clear. Have an upvote !

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And so the countdown begins

          ""the majority"

          Care to back that figure up with anything meaningful, like facts?"

          Well, to be blunt, the writing is rather on the wall; there were on the order of 1 billion smartphones in use in 2012, with projections along the lines of 1.4-1.5 billion by the end of 2014 as prices continue to fall and the developing world sees smartphones drop into the affordability bracket currently occupied by feature phones.

          210 million tablets were sold last year, and are expected to overtake notebooks by 2016. In 2008 Gartner predicted a maximum of 2 billion PCs in use by 2014. Either the combination of tablets and smartphones has already overtaken PC sales, or it will within months or a year or two at the outside.

          People will always need something resembling PCs to create - but you only need a tablet or phone in order to consume, and there are far more people doing more consuming than creating.

      2. RAMChYLD

        Re: And so the countdown begins

        Gamers will still be using desktops for whatever reasons. Thing is, while tablets are nice and all, some still prefer the classic WASD + mouse . I tried playing Sonic 2 on my iPad for 5 minutes and gave up because of the lack of tactile feedback made it difficult to find the jump button if I'm not looking at the position of my fingers. That, and the fact that it's a thin, unegronomic slab makes my hands ache if I attempt to hold it like a Game Boy for more than 5 minutes. I'd rather play that on a proper gamepad and with a decent screen any day.

        Also, tablets are not intuitive for office work unless you buy a bluetooth keyboard.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Gamers will still be using desktops for whatever reasons

          Yeah, gamers are a bit of a special case. There are a massive number of PC gamers but they're still only a minority of PC users.

          PCs aren't going anywhere, the "PC in every home" vision is still real but the thing was before tablets it was more like 2-4 PCs in each home. Now tablets and phones are cutting back, a household still probably needs a PC but only one.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. RAMChYLD

      Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

      Honestly, unless M$ uses BOFH's cattle prod on several software developers so that they fix their software and let it run properly on newer versions of Windows, there will be a market for XP.

      Case in point: Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas. Runs like pants on Win7 and newer systems with the random freezing and stuttering radio music. Bethesda seems to not only not want to release a fix for these games, they're actively issuing takedowns to file hosting sites hosting fan-made fixes for it. Honestly? I paid 60 freaking Malaysian Dollars for my copy of Fallout 3, and that's even during the Steam sales. And they did not offer me the experience I desired because of the freezes and stuttering music.

      And the kick in the nuts is that the game was released when Windows Vista is already released and the problem should've been noticed and fixed.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. G Dee

          Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

          "freetards who expect free software and upgrades to an OS over ten years old"

          Except that MS continued to sell new copies of XP (for netbooks) until late 2010. That's not 'over 10 years old' (even if you use Excel for the calculation).

          1. RussellMcIver

            Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

            What difference does that make, it is still an over ten year old OS. If you buy something out of date you should be prepared for the limitations that brings.

            It's not like MS are alone in this, or even in any way the worst. Look at Apple and its support of iOS and OSX. I knew one poor fool who bought an iPhone 3G just weeks before the iPhone 4 came out. His last software update came only a month or two after buying the handset, and all that did was move the phone to a half baked version of iOS4 that effectively crippled the device and made it unusable. Good work Steve!

      2. Christian Berger

        Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

        Well games are one thing, but business software is another. The company making the software you use is likely to have bankrupt years ago. Since people "buy" software without sourcecode, there's nobody to fix it.

        Now imagine as a business you'd have demanded the source code. Switching to whatever OS is comparatively simple, you hire a programmer who will modify that software till it runs on whatever the current Version of Windows is.

        1. MacGyver

          Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

          @CB,

          More like you buy a car, and after the warranty is up you find out when it breaks that the hood/bonnet is welded shut. Then El Reg posts instructions for making the car work a little longer, and someone screams from their Range-Rover about how that is unethical.

          @beta

          People have all kinds of reasons for why they still want to run XP (financial, gaming, PoS, ATMs), and as long as they aren't selling it for money, who cares? Is Microsoft losing money? The product is EOL and hasn't been sold for years.

          People need to worry less about whether or not someone is being unethical to a company and more about the fact that a company by definition is an un-ethical, un-dying, non-punishable entity that usually will sell-out or kill its own customers for one more penny.

          1. buyone

            Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

            "More like you buy a car, and after the warranty is up you find out when it breaks that the hood/bonnet is welded shut. Then El Reg posts instructions for making the car work a little longer, and someone screams from their Range-Rover about how that is unethical."

            What really happens is you buy a Ford Focus and after a few years you find the bonnet (hood) doesn't open because the tried and tested bonnet release has been "improved" by being removed and there is now a key operated lock under the blue oval badge at the front. The mechanism is not corrosion proof so stops working, it is at the front and subject to road salt. Replacement parts cost £40, £62 and £3 plus labour. This year the local Ford has sold 200 at £40, 600 at £62 ie £45,200 plus labour say £200,000 to cure a design fault present since 1998. how much is that for the whole country?

            If you can, should you, the customer, avoid paying for the manufacturers mistakes or should the manufacturer fix their mistakes for free? Remember they have had plenty of time to know it is a mistake and yet they still keep on making the same "destined to fail" parts. If I 3D print the plastic £3 part am I justified since Ford are selling this simple plastic shape at £3 million a tonne.

            Yes, I have a Ford Focus with a firmly shut bonnet. The Mercedes is not much better, plastic bits are crumbling .

            At least I'm not using XP.

        2. billdehaan

          Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

          Now imagine as a business you'd have demanded the source code.

          Have done. I don't need to imagine.

          Switching to whatever OS is comparatively simple, you hire a programmer who will modify that software till it runs on whatever the current Version of Windows is.

          Comparatively simple, yes. If what you're comparing it to is building the Great Wall of China brick by brick, perhaps.

          Sure, a company I worked with got the source code to their business critical software from the vendor. Over 2.5 million lines of it. C code, C++ code, assembler code, shell scripts, perl scripts, and at least two proprietary scripting languages. It was multi-threaded, network distributed, with certified and validated security models, proprietary protocol stacks, database interfaces, custom hardware drivers, the works. It took a team over 18 months to read, analyze, and generate in-house documentation before the company would even consider making changes to that source. Do you think Windows, or any modern OS is going to be simpler?

          Have you ever looked at operating system source code? I have. Why do you think the OpenSSL bug wasn't discovered, or patched, for years? Everyone had the source code. Perhaps it's not as simple as you think.

          1. countach

            Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

            It's not too hard to fix once you know what the problem is.

      3. weebs

        Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

        Why don't you just run it in a VM? Not like those games need any massive amounts of computing power to play.

      4. Paul Westerman
        Windows

        Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

        For you maybe.. F3 and F:NV (via Steam) run just great on my Win7 (and now Win8) machine. Did Steam release a patch for it maybe?

        1. RAMChYLD
          Boffin

          Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

          Do you listen to radio music on your Pip-Boy? That's my biggest pet peeve right there.

          Sure, if you have a Creative sound card and run ALChemy, that would fix the radio problem, but how many people use an external sound card, particularly one from Creative, anymore?

          RealTek's 3D SoundBack doesn't seem to be working for that game for me.

          Thankfully tho, the freezing isn't as common and I've only encountered it half a dozen times through the game so far. My biggest annoyance is that I have to disable the Pip-boy radio unless I am running ALChemy, which for some reason requires admin access (which also annoys me, I don't trust programs that require admin access to do things. I usually do my everyday activities in a limited user account).

          Although I should try reinstalling the games again and check it out, just to see if they did indeed patch the bug. Last fired it up last year, before I got yanked away to several other games.

          1. RAMChYLD

            Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

            Update: Reinstalled the game. Radio music still glitching out unless ALChemy is put into play.

      5. Blitterbug
        WTF?

        Re: Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas. Runs like pants on Win7...

        Odd. I was enjoying both of those on my Win7 all-in-one early last year. Running at 1280x720, which is HD-enough with AA enabled. I had to drop the far-off detail level a bit and lower the grass effects slightly, but my all-in-one was no gaming beast (since fixed that). Smooth as silk, lovely audio - I became a massive Fallout fan because of the beautiful desolation of the in-game world and the glitch-free immersiveness. Put in so many weeks of play, it took the new Tomb Raider to wrench me away...

    2. NotBob

      Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

      "Also - the people who think MS should keep XP updated are double track fools (IMO)"

      If they are already making the updates, and they are (for POS, etc), why shouldn't they make the updates available to the customers who have paid for the software? It's no extra work, it just takes the scare tactic away from upgrade sales.

    3. oiseau Silver badge

      Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

      > I am probably going to get down voted but I hope MS plug this asap.

      Yes, you are.

      DH.

    4. Chika
      Coat

      Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

      I don't believe that the issue here is necessarily the ethical or legal standpoint of the hack being discovered and publicised. The issue here is that there are patches available, possibly ones that are of use to XP users, yet they do not have access because the provider wants users to move to new products at a price to them. If anything, Microsoft can only really blame themselves for not getting more users off XP and onto Vista, W7 or the latest works and by the very fact that so many users of XP are still here and still willing to stay with XP, it shows a probable failure in Microsoft's strategy towards operating system environments.

      It brings to mind the whole big bang upgrade vs. evolution conflict which pervades all operating system development (yes, even Linux - don't get me started on systemd and the crap I've had to put up with since openSUSE's last big bang upgrade!) Could XP have been evolved into something rather than just killed off? Consider whence XP came, namely Whistler (formerly Neptune/Odyssey, previously Windows 2000). Vista was arguably a mistake but could something have been made more directly of the XP design, say Windows 5.2, rather than punching up to Windows 6?

      Yeah, now that I've mentioned version numbers, the arguments will probably follow...

      1. billdehaan

        Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

        The issue here is that there are patches available, possibly ones that are of use to XP users, yet they do not have access because the provider wants users to move to new products at a price to them.

        The other issue is that the patches (a) will not cover XP components that aren't in the embedded OS, (b) may or may not work in any event. The result of this could be the worst possible scenario from a security standpoint: an insecure machine that customers mistakenly believe IS secure and trusted. "The only thing worse than no security is false security", and all that.

    5. countach

      Re: Is it not ethically and maybe legally questionable to provide this reg hack?

      Ethically they are just fixing their broken software that you paid for. Plus a registry hack is hardly cracking. Presumably windows pulls it's own updates down whether you like it or not.

  5. SVV Silver badge

    Careful with that Acronym, Eugene

    Of course the industry thinks it stands for Point of Sale...

    But the Internet thinks it means something rather different these days........

    And I never had to edit a registry key to turn the version of Windows running on this laptop into a piece of shit.

    1. Chika
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Careful with that Acronym, Eugene

      "And I never had to edit a registry key to turn the version of Windows running on this laptop into a piece of shit."

      You never lived!

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Careful with that Acronym, Eugene

      "something rather different these days"

      These days? It always has done. I was using it in the "modern" sense for years before encountering a very respectable gentleman on Usenet using it in the "point of sale" sense. Quite a double-take, I can tell you. It was like grandpa suddenly swearing to the vicar.

  6. Syntax Error

    Good bloke.

  7. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Handy

    Or it would have been, had my last machine running Windows XP not suffered a terminal failure a couple of days ago. Oh well.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Handy

      Luckily on Windows, the terminal is not too critical.

      Sorry....

  8. Michael Thibault

    On the horns of a dilemma

    If you apply the .reg file, and a hack-aware MS subsequently attempts to lock out others from adding their XP machines to the unholy host via a patch, you'll likely continue to be protected by virtue of hiding in the midst of the flock of POS machines, right? If so, then the time to apply the hack is immediately. However, MS might also go to some lengths to carve out the genuine from the non-genuine POS machines, and expose those machines to the wolf they deserve. On which subject: it's tempting to give this a shot on the lone ewe I'm aware of still burdened with XP (you know, for the added security), and not expect much blow-back from MS, but I'm more concerned that the updates (especially if visible to the user of said machine) would lull the user into the false sense of security *cough* they've enjoyed for more than a decade.

    1. Steve 114

      Re: On the horns of a dilemma

      If you apply the POS regedit, you cannot then easily reverse it later (Regedit won't). So, back up registry, or use non-Windows registry editor like PCRegedit.iso

  9. PJD

    POS is stripped XP

    POS machines run a rather stripped version of XP - you'll get updates for the bits of XP that are in the POS version, but not for all the bits that aren't. So better than nothing I guess, but don't be lulled into a false sense of security. So to speak..

  10. Big-nosed Pengie

    But Windows has always been a POS

    Well someone had to say it.

  11. Mikel

    They will fix this bug

    Fellow should have kept his mouth shut.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They will fix this bug

      Yes but they won't release the fix since it's XP ;-)

  12. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    XP x64 screwed?

    If it is true, I am pretty pissed about this. XP x64 has always had a different update and support road map than XP, being that it is built on the same core as Server 2003 (for instance, the latest service pack for XP x64 is SP2, matching that of Server 2003.) XP x64 and 2003 have always used the same updates, but if Microsoft is preventing new 2003 updates from loading on XP x64, as indicated by the website offering the registry tweak, then that is another big "screw you" to its users. Yeah, so maybe not many people are actually using XP x64, but that seems all the more reason to not deliberately prevent updates.

    1. foxyshadis

      Re: XP x64 screwed?

      If enough people care, whole "alternative update" sites will spring up, that will repackage Server 2003 updates for XP x64 and all the Vista/7 and supported XP variations for mainline XP (or simply "obtained" from companies that retain support contracts). Then you just repoint update.microsoft.com in your hosts file and poof, updates and false sense of security are yours for the taking.

      1. monkeyfish

        Re: XP x64 screwed?

        Ahem, I've got a lovely update stream for you sir, free of charge of course, just point that update.microsoft.com over here and we'll have you served with 'updates' no problem.

    2. RAMChYLD

      Re: XP x64 screwed?

      Hmmm, I've always thought XP x64 are treated as Windows Server 2003 R2 machines and will still receive updates until early next year?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This proves it really is...

    ...an evil empire. (Bill Gates:) Lets see how we can bleed the masses more... I know, Windows Gayte! Muhahahahaha! (Me - 9 years ago:) Fuck you [explicative]!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Even better idea

    Why doesen't some large manufacturer just outright buy Windows XP, bugs and all then offer paid support to avoid all those perfectly good netbooks etc going into landfill?

    A lot of the issues with XP can be fixed by not using IE/OE and disabling processes from running without a set PID/CRC32/etc, yet the OS is still useable for most applications.

    W7/8 simply won't run on a lot of machines as I found out, even a relatively recent dual core Intel laptop with 4GB RAM had problems because the graphics and chipset drivers were behind a paywall.

    1. David 138

      Re: Even better idea

      My God people move along there's nothing to see here. XP is and has been for a LONG time an outdated piece of crap. Who is still using a netbook!!! they sucked with XP on them. They sucked with Linux on them, they just sucked.

      We have a reasonable XP issue with my company but i don't blame Microsoft. We should have dumped XP a while ago and pushed our software houses to adapt. All of the XP machines need replacing anyway.

      1. mathew42

        Re: Even better idea

        The only feature of Windows 7 that I miss in XP is being able to search for items on the start menu.

        Apart from that I much prefer XP when running VMs because of the lower overhead.

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: Even better idea

          The only feature of Windows 7 that I miss in XP is being able to search for items on the start menu.

          I'm fairly sure that XP also had Desktop search since SP3 (or was it on 2?!) I never used it though cause I didn't like the way it broke the look... of my Desktop back then. But XP did have a Search Bar You may have needed to set your Updates to Manual, and check the Optional Updates to actually find it though.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Even better idea

          The feature I miss from XP is being able to search for files without and indexer running in the background. Die!

      2. Steven Roper

        @David 138 Re: Even better idea

        "All of the XP machines need replacing anyway."

        Do they still work OK? Are they still doing the job your company bought them to do? If they're not failing or packing up, and they can still handle the workload, then why spend money changing them for the mere sake of change?

        I assume your company isn't in business to make Microsoft money, your company would be in business to make your shareholders money. That means maximising profit and minimising cost. Throwing money away on replacing perfectly serviceable equipment is not minimising cost.

        Of course Microsoft are in business to make money for their shareholders too, but the difference is your company likely isn't implementing a dishonest and deliberately flawed business model with an artificially-imposed end-of-life to drive business. If your company is like mine, it probably implements the more ethical business model of providing service contracts to maintain its existing product base for as long as customers want the products.

        Now Microsoft could implement a service contract model - for example, where if you want updates you pay them a fiver a month per machine and they continue maintaining your OS with no other requirements. If they did this for everyone who wanted to stay on XP they could make plenty just doing that. If you don't pay then you don't get updates (but your system should continue working as is without impedance) and you take your risks on the chin.

        But instead of offering honest service contracts, what Microsoft have got going is a "pay us something like 200 grand a year plus you have to prove you have a migration process in place" policy. That's tantamount to them reaching into your business and telling you how to run it, and charging you a bloody house's worth per year for the privilege to punish you for it. In my book, that's unethical and immoral, and it damn well should be illegal.

      3. weenoid

        Re: Even better idea

        For your information I still use a netbook. I live in an area with very poor broadband speeds (maxes out at around 2.5Mbps) and so in order to download large files I have to leave my machine on all day. Since my netbook consumes a lot less electricity than either my PC or laptop it comes in very handy.

        It's also compact and light enough to carry around with me the majority of the time. I use it for playing old games console ROMs as I prefer them to mobile phone games. The battery life is also comparable to my mobile phone.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Even better idea

          Also use a netbook. It doesn't "suck". Runs Linux perfectly happily. Coming up with generic statements is pretty lame, especially when ample people (just counting the ones I know) use netbooks with no problems.

          Yes, it would run slower with any form of Windows on it. But then I wouldn't touch all variants of that with a barge pole

      4. Alan W. Rateliff, II
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Even better idea

        I will not argue that XP is out-dated and Windows 7 is a very viable replacement in most scenarios. However, I will argue that I have a Dell Mini 9 (NetBook) running Kali Linux and it runs very well and is quite usable.

        ("Out-dated" is subjective, and I have made posts in the past regarding situations when moving away from XP or older operating systems may not be effective or cost efficient, so I will not bore with them here.)

      5. captain veg

        Who is still using a netbook!!!

        Is he? The Doctor?

        Well me too. I love my AA1, it does everything I need, was cheap and is massively portable. Shame the screen is only 600 pixels deep, but that was Microsoft's doing. Ah yes, good old Microsoft was happy to flog XP up until really quite recently, anything to stamp out the possibility of OEM shipping PCs with Linux. Waiting a few years and then pulling the rug out from under us is typical, but despicable.

        -A.

      6. petur
        FAIL

        Re: Even better idea

        Who is still using a netbook!!! they sucked with XP on them. They sucked with Linux on them, they just sucked.

        Mine came with Win7 and it sucked big time. Installed Debian on it and it still runs pretty well!

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Even better idea

      W7/8 simply won't run on a lot of machines as I found out, even a relatively recent dual core Intel laptop with 4GB RAM had problems because the graphics and chipset drivers were behind a paywall.

      W7 Drivers behind a Paywall?! WTF Dude you are full of sheet! First of all you need to go to the Website of your OEM (Assuming its a big Name Brand i.e. Dell, HP, Fujitsu-Siemens etc...), and get the Drivers from there. I have yet to come across just One Laptop that was not a reference design So You have to do some digging with your Device IDs yes its a spot of work. But it can be done. I'v done it for my F-S Laptop ca~2008 as well. I mean is it so hard to get the Sound Drivers from Realtek, and the Video Drivers from either AMD/ATi, or nVidia? These Drivers at least are surly NOT behind any Paywall that I know of.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Even better idea

        Cont... (Since I can no longer edit my Post to add these final thoughts)

        1) Use judicious amounts of "-"'s to block those useless PaySites as and when you find 'em

        2) Assuming you have some White Box Generic ass POS, that you can't just skip over to Dell, HP, IBM / Lenovo, Fujitsu / Fujitsu-Siemens etc... etc... for then carry on searching your DEVICE IDs (Start -> Control Panel -> Device Manager). Till your able to work out what the Device is. Again Sound and Video should be a breeze!

        3) Once you know what your looking for you can try to find your next best Driver from your OEM (i.e. Dell, HP etc... etc... By finding a Laptop that has the same (or at least similar) Hardware onboard as yours. ITS MORE COMMON THEN YOU THINK!, And use those! You may need to look though a dozen plus Models to find something. But, I bet you will and you won't have to pay a red cent to get them either!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE. Re: Even better idea

        One machine in question was an HP with AMD dual core, manufactured in late 2007.

        XP drivers available, Vista ditto, anything more than that required paying £4.49. A DRIVER!!! FFS.

        I did search by device ID, and this led me round the garden path right back to the same site, and this time it tried to charge me for a "restore disk" without me asking requiring me to kill Firefox to get out of the malware infested horror.

        Gave up, put XP back on. Works with XUbuntu somewhat but still complains about a nonexistent driver for the fingerprint scanner.

        If anyone knows how to get these to take a Phenom X2 (eg quad) please let me know, as the chipset is somewhat compatible but the BIOS isn't. (S1G3 vs S1G2)

      3. RAMChYLD

        Re: Even better idea

        Hmmm, reminds me of the time I tried to get VIA drivers and was driven to a website purportedly hosting VIA's drivers, but demanded $$$ before I'm allowed at them. In other words, due to my lack of coffee, I had mis-clicked on a google link and was taken to a scam site.

        Be careful out there!

        As for your driver issues, you can do what I did- find out what chipset and video hardware it's using, and go straight to the manufacturer and take a potshot with the manufacturer-provided drivers.

        But honestly tho, you should just stick with Xubuntu. As for the fingerprint scanner, try this: http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/How_to_enable_integrated_fingerprint_reader_with_fprint

        It's for a ThinkPad, but knowing Linux I'd think it would support other fingerprint sensors as well.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Someone at Microsoft is getting very pissed off

    "Drats! Our cunning plan to milk more money from the XP diehards has failed!"

    P.S: I never knew people run WinXP on POS machines. You would think they need something more robust for making a high volume of transactions. Windows on ATMs, airport flight info displays and stock trading machines? Yikes.

  16. Hi Wreck
    Happy

    Cash Register

    And here I though XP was already a cash register - for Microsoft. Ker-Ching!

  17. teapot9999

    Support must end at some point

    I have a 10 year old Sony TV that doesn't get DAB stations - as you suggesting that it is up to Sony to upgrade/replace it?

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Support must end at some point

      I have a 10 year old Sony TV that doesn't get DAB stations - as you suggesting that it is up to Sony to upgrade/replace it?

      Why would... Or should your TV be capable of receiving Digital Audio Broadcast RADIO to begin with? Perhaps I should be demanding that S0NY start allowing me to watch the BBC on my STR-2800 then?

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Support must end at some point

      My last 1999 Sony TV picked up Freeview fine, sold because I went HD 4 years ago.

  18. b166er

    It's not like we weren't warned, multiple times, over many years, that support for XP would end.

    Your bleating serves no purpose other than to make me suspect you're trolling.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Must be all those cashpoints, ticket machines and self check out machines using XP.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A very important question

    Will this work for Windows 95 as well ?

    And if so can it be back ported to Windows 3.1.

    I haven't seen any updates for DOS, is it still secure ? Or should I be concerned ? My network packet driver and TCP/IP is still working fine as is my NCSA Telnet.

    1. petur
      Thumb Up

      Re: A very important question

      Funny you bring Win95 up, I just used it a few hours ago. Some pretty expensive telecom test equipment (the critical stuff runs embedded, windows just does the GUI and file handling).

      I was impressed with the startup and shutdown times, and overall speed.

  21. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Real Programmers

    Use regedit - I don't need no stinkin' .REG file.

    Patched on a system that we're going to replace anyway and four updates downloading.

    But lets face it - everyone builds OS software for speed and ease of use. But it's patched for safety, not speed - have you ever compared the speed of a current patched system to the unpatched virgin install? There's a world of difference.

  22. Greg K

    Beta shirt

    I used to have a T-shirt with this slogan:

    "If you're using Windows, you're a beta tester."

    Of course, that was circa 1988, and even if I could find it, I'd not be able to fit into it again.

    It still applies to this day, however.

  23. Medical Cynic

    Snag is, you have to enter your PIN every time you use it!

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