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Microsoft Urges Businesses To Get Off XP 727

Posted by timothy
from the not-support-vs-not-run-on dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It's approximately 11 years since Windows XP was unveiled, and this week Microsoft was still at it trying to convince users that it's time to upgrade. A post on the Windows For Your Business Blog calls on businesses to start XP migrations now. Microsoft cites the main reason as being that support for XP ends in April 2014, and 'most new hardware options will likely not support the Windows XP operating system.' If you run Windows Vista, Microsoft argues that it's time to 'start planning' the move to Windows 8. As this article points out, it's not uncommon to hear about people still running XP at work."
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Microsoft Urges Businesses To Get Off XP

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  • by Dystopian Rebel (714995) * on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:36AM (#41729075) Journal

    XP is still common at work because

    a) it is fast even on old hardware,

    b) it is supported by at least one good, secure Web browser (hint: not MSIE),

    c) it supports about 15 years worth of professional applications (some of which are not available anymore), and

    d) upgrading == (pain + time) && (upgrading != c)

    • I agree, I have quite a few robotic machines running xp, have spent tons of money developing multi threaded C++ programs for them. Just changing to their new development environment, new drivers for the specialized hardware will be expensive. And it just works fine as it is. There is no advantage in speed of
      the machines etc.

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      You forgot one:

      e) Windows 8 has put a lot of doubt in everyone's minds as to whether they will be able to get the Win 7 units they'll need so they are taking a "wait and see" approach.

      Lucky for me I was able to get all my customers switched to Win 7 and we are all gonna stay right where we are, but I can totally understand why some would stay with XP. Money is tight, you have a bunch of units that may not run it (I kept Win 7 Upgrade Adviser on a stick along with SIW so I had a good overview of what kind of

    • by JMJimmy (2036122) on Monday October 22, 2012 @01:54PM (#41731125)

      My father managed a moderate sized law office. Part of the issue in upgrading was support from 3rd party software which was integral to their business. The main issue was soft costs. As an example, they upgraded from Office 2003 to 2007, the cost of the software was ~$10,000. Not a big deal at all. However, each employee had to be trained on the new software, new procedures drawn up & training for those, then the productivity loss was huge. Overtime costs went up, additional staff needed to be brought on to keep things up to speed during the adjustment period. 3 months in the actual cost of the upgrade was over $100,000 and they were still not back to the level of productivity they were at before. End result: they downgraded back to 2003 and repeated the process once 2010 came around. 2010 stuck but $100,000+ down the drain is not an easy cost to absorb - even if it did work out.

      In the end it's probably cheaper to keep XP, toss on Deep Freeze and just keep a document server up to date until you have no choice but to upgrade.

    • c) it supports about 15 years worth of professional applications (some of which are not available anymore)

      Good of consideration is the 32bit version of Windows 7, and maybe Windows 8 (if they didn't remove features). Old hardware such a Pentium 3 1GHz with 1GB ram can run it, most probably limited by hard drive speed, every new hardware can run it too. You still get to keep DOS virtual machine and Win16. It can do a lot of the things a computer under Windows 98 coud do ; if there's incompatible software,

  • by vossman77 (300689) on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:39AM (#41729109) Homepage

    We have a few expensive microscopes with WinXP on the corresponding machine, an expired service contract and in reality cannot upgrade without buying a new microscope (an newer drivers), so what do you do, other than put it behind a firewall and hope for the best.

    • by Eldragon (163969) on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:54AM (#41729333)

      A local library has the same problem. Checkout hardware has drives for XP and Win2k. The service contract to upgrade these machines is far beyond the available tech budget. So this particular library will be running off XP until the hardware dies and replacements can no longer be found; my guess would be another 10 years.

      • by trdrstv (986999)
        Makes Sense, I know of a Machine shop that runs metal punch machines with Windows 3.1 software. (not even 3.11) because the software actually does everything those machine presses are actually capable of, so there's no reason to network them or upgrade them.
      • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOspaM.gmail.com> on Monday October 22, 2012 @03:37PM (#41732371) Journal

        You see? THIS, this right here, is why Ballmer should have been fired a half a fricking decade ago. if his fat ass would have gotten Longhorn out on schedule (Nooo...Vista is NOT Longhorn, Ballmer had them throw Longhorn out and and start over because it was more like XP X64 and not as bling heavy as Ballmer wanted, had to compete with Apple on the shiny ya know) then so many wouldn't be trapped on XP now, but it took so damned long to get Vista out the door, and it was half assed and reeked of fail anyway, that XP hung onto to the point many simply can't afford to trash it because too damned many other systems depend on it.

        What MSFT should have done is bust ass on XP Mode in Win 7 with a mantra of "if it runs on XP, it works in XP Mode" and made damned sure all those businesses could just switch without downtime, maybe even supported cloning existing XP installs for XP Mode VMs, but Ballmer is too damned busy drooling on an iPad to see he is royally fucking up and losing the business market, the bread and butter of MSFT. Stupid, that's what it is, fucking stupid.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      For all the specialists saying a variety of "no way, my expensive hardware is too expensive to replace for this reason," you aren't the target demographic of the original blog post. The target demographic are the companies that are not upgrading the computers at employee desks. I highly doubt your microscope controller software is on a system that is also used by salesmen to browse the internet. I would be surprised if your extremely expensive specialty hardware is even on a network that can be accessed

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Monday October 22, 2012 @12:30PM (#41729897)
      Get a new microscope from some company that doesn't force you to use an extremely shitty propietary file format and an extremely shitty program for operating you expensive confocal or other microscope. Instead, buy a microscope that uses open source software.

      Oh, wait, such a company doesn't seem to exist. From my experiences with Olympus, they seem to constantly update their software specifically to break features and prevent you from using 3rd party analysis tools like Imaris, let alone FOSS software. One would think that since you bought a fancy new spinning disc from them, they'd let you run the analysis software, which is generally not worth paying for on it's own, on your computer. But no, they also like to make you use dongles on any other computer too. It's fucking ridiculous.
    • by Patch86 (1465427) on Monday October 22, 2012 @12:46PM (#41730105)

      Well one answer to that is "that'll learn you to buy Windows for system critical hardware". If you had bought Linux, and Linux-compatible microscopes (and damnit, scientific equipment is one of the few areas which does have decent Linux driver support), you would not be having this problem.

      I hope you remember this experience when you do come to upgrade. If you upgrade to Windows 7, you'll have the exact same problem in 5-15 years time.

  • Won't happen (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:39AM (#41729113)

    I work in a hospital setting where most, if not all, computers run XP. In radiology specifically, the PACS software we run is only certified for windows XP and ie 6.

    Hospital doesn't want to invest money into upgrading pacs software.

    • Re:Won't happen (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PlusFiveTroll (754249) on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:58AM (#41729403) Homepage

      I work in a hospital setting where most, if not all, computers run XP. In radiology specifically, the PACS software we run is only certified for windows XP and ie 6.

      Hospital doesn't want to invest money into upgrading pacs software.

      I do quite a bit of work in veterinary medicine and the costs associated with upgrading is pretty large. The scary part of a lot of this software isn't that it's certified to work on XP, it's that its so crappily written that it only works on XP with admin access and any number of bandaids to make it work. What I've done in a few cases is virtualized the XP box where it was possible. Trying to keep this stuff running over the long term is going to be fun.

      • Re:Won't happen (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Monday October 22, 2012 @12:22PM (#41729787)

        I work in a hospital setting where most, if not all, computers run XP. In radiology specifically, the PACS software we run is only certified for windows XP and ie 6.

        Hospital doesn't want to invest money into upgrading pacs software.

        I do quite a bit of work in veterinary medicine and the costs associated with upgrading is pretty large. The scary part of a lot of this software isn't that it's certified to work on XP, it's that its so crappily written that it only works on XP with admin access and any number of bandaids to make it work. What I've done in a few cases is virtualized the XP box where it was possible. Trying to keep this stuff running over the long term is going to be fun.

        The Wal-Mart Shopper mentality.

        1. Thinking that the cost of something is the cost at the cash register. Despite what everyone thinks, computers are not a fixed cost, there is ongoing expense. Sooner or later, all software becomes obsolete. Not because there's something wrong with the software, but because the world in which the software lives changes. Sooner or later, you not only cannot run the old software on the new OS, you often cannot get replacement hardware that can run it when the original equipment dies. If you don't budget for upgrades, you'd better either plan to be gone by then or be fortunate enough to be able to toss the whole thing. Emulators only go so far - Windows 98 is dead and getting no new security updates but that doesn't mean hackers don't still consider exploits.

        2. Expecting that "IT doesn't matter" and that whoever delivers fastest and/or cheapest is "good enough". So much software out there is crap, just because people won't accept that quality takes time, effort, and money.

    • Upgrade your software and stop going with Siemens products.

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:39AM (#41729115) Journal

    All our research and analysis software works fine with XP, all the office, design (CAE/CAD etc.), editors, image manipulation, diagram plotting etc. etc. etc. works fine. No fucking need to upgrade means no upgrade happens. I know, this is shocking to many people on the MS Windows upgrade treadmill, but sometimes, you know, common sense prevails.

    I know, I know, awfully shocking.

    • by r1348 (2567295)

      And what will you exactly do once the last XP machine breaks and newer hardware won't have XP drivers?

      • And what will you exactly do once the last XP machine breaks and newer hardware won't have XP drivers?

        There will be enough XP-compatible new hardware. Or "NOS" hardware. OEMs understand that, this time, there's a gigantic demand for WinXP-compatible hardware, and some of those OEMs have been burned by Microsoft (who sells itself Windows 8).

        I am guessing that there is a significant likelihood that WinXP-compatible computers will be available in the foreseeable future. Actually, because of the large number of existing XP installations, it's a default assumption of a non-negligible amount of people. And such a

  • Figures... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RLU486983 (1792220) on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:40AM (#41729129)
    Micro$oft has an operating system that is running fairly stable and well and they want to axe it... puzzling!!
  • Coke (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    In other news, Coca-Cola recommends consumers drink more soda pop.

  • Solution (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:44AM (#41729187)

    Open source Windows XP, then nobody will use it. Its base will become a muddled mess of forks until it eventually fades into nothing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:44AM (#41729191)

    So good in fact, we might just upgrade some of our Win98 machines to XP.

  • Nicely done, PR. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HiGuys (689714) on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:45AM (#41729201)
    "...most new hardware options will likely not support the Windows XP operating system"

    Alternately, Windows XP will not support new hardware, but that doesn't shift the blame now, does it?

    • by Drummergeek0 (1513771) <tony@@@3bdd...com> on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:57AM (#41729385)

      How is this insightful?

      It is on the burden of the hardware manufacturers to write drivers, not the OS developer. Especially for new hardware. How in any way does the blame fall on XP and Microsoft?

      • by arth1 (260657) on Monday October 22, 2012 @12:03PM (#41729481) Homepage Journal

        How is this insightful?

        It is on the burden of the hardware manufacturers to write drivers, not the OS developer. Especially for new hardware. How in any way does the blame fall on XP and Microsoft?

        It is insightful because of Microsoft driver signing. A 3rd party can write as many drivers as he like, but if Microsoft won't sign them, and the customers have to jump through hoops to get them accepted by the system, it's not a viable option.

    • No it really isn't MS's problem. Basically hardware vendors are responsible for driver support. They are welcome to support whatever OSes they like. Many vendors discontinue support for old OSes with new hardware. Since people with old OSes don't tend to get new hardware, they find it not worth their while to spend time working on it.

      Same deal with software. For example Cakewalk has discontinued XP support with Sonar X2. Since it is nearing EOL, they don't feel it worth their while to test their new softwar

  • Send us money! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:45AM (#41729207)

    Dear satisfied XP user,

    We can't make any money if you insist on using Windows XP. Please upgrade to our new Windows 8. Since software developers also need money, you may notice that you'll have to replace the software that will not work in Windows 8.

    While we're at it, the hardware vendors would love some of your money. Your old computer probably won't run Windows 8 anyway. So support our hardware partners. You can save yourself some time by just go ahead and buy the new Computer and it will come with a crippled version of Windows 8 that we'll be glad to upgrade for you at a reasonable cost.

    We're happy that your computing needs are being satisfied with what you have, but we would be even happier if you send us money for our new OS.

    Thanks for spending!
    Microsoft

    • Although you make a good point, the fact remains that they will never close all of the security issues in a software product as large as XP. The best we can ever hope for is for them to close as many as possible, and address newly discovered issues in a timely manner. They can only do this if they have a revenue stream of some kind - developers need to eat, you know.

      The upgrade treadmill is how they handled this issue historically - putting out new versions and deprecating the old ones and using sales of

      • How would you suggest they solve the funding dilemma?

        The details are a nighmarish, ever-shifting, morass of acronyms and "talk to your rep"; but Microsoft already has a plan [microsoft.com] where customers can pay annually for "Software Assurance".

        Obviously, Microsoft wants to be bug-hunting as few codebases as possible, and presenting as unified a "platform" to 3rd party application vendors as possible, so it is to be expected that the cost/seat of continued support would rise over time as the number of seats in the field dropped; but they already have a mechanism for charg

      • Re:Send us money! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Monday October 22, 2012 @12:55PM (#41730205)

        Although you make a good point, the fact remains that they will never close all of the security issues in a software product as large as XP...

        To be honest I was going for funny. However it is obvious that there are businesses out there that can't or not willing to leave XP. Microsoft could simply sell support services to these customers. Windows XP had a long run and to be fair Microsoft has supported it for a very long time (an eternity by today's standards). There are businesses that had custom software made that aren't willing to give up something that works just so Microsoft can focus solely on Windows 8.

        Sure Windows XP won't have the latest bug fixes, but the companies that rely on it can mitigate the risks without purchasing an upgrade.

        I had a friend who ran a small office. One day his secretary had to move out of town with her husband. He did what would come natural and placed a "Help Wanted" ad in the local paper. He required that the new hire knew how to use a word processor and more specifically Wordperfect running on an IBM XT. Despite the fact that Pentium computers running Windows 95 were available, he had no desire to upgrade and no need to use that computer for anything else than a word processor. You wouldn't believe the number of phone calls from people trying to sell him a new computer.

        One day he came in my office and ask if he should be concerned since a salesman told him that his machine wasn't running the most up to date software and was prone to malware and security exploits. Since he didn't even have a modem installed and he was pretty much set in his ways on what he used his computer for, I didn't see any need for him to try to learn a new computer system. Eventually he found a new secretary and that old machine was in use up to the day he finally retired (to my and everyone else's surprise).

        It shouldn't come to anyone surprise that not all businesses exist for the purpose of buying upgrades.

        If Windows 8 is a good product then Microsoft shouldn't have any problems staying fed.

        With the current trend of a new major OS version coming out every two years, I find it hard to justify NOT using Linux or the various BSDs for any independent software destined for long term use.

      • by Patch86 (1465427)

        How would you suggest they solve the funding dilemma?

        They could go the Red Hat route for Enterprise customers ("if you want security updates, pay us a small license fee every year for eternity"). For consumers, they could rely on the "natural upgrade cycle"- that is, most people buy a new computer every few years, with a new copy of whatever the latest OS is.

        Forcibly withdrawing support is a great way of undermining trust in your product. If you're a large hospital with hundreds of XP devices that really can't be upgraded without a hardware change, finding yo

    • Seriously trying to whine about MS requiring people to occasionally upgrade their OS is rather stupid. They support their OSes for quite a long time, 10 years is the standard support but some are extended (like XP). That is pretty damn good, rare you find other OSes with support that long.

      So XP is now coming to an end of that support. You can upgrade to 7 or 8, which have guaranteed support until 2020 or 2023 respectively.

      Oh, and Windows 8 works just fine on older hardware, as does Windows 7 (yes we've test

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        Except the netbook I bought in 2010 came with XP. So it only gets four years' support.

        Not that it matters since I wiped Windows and installed Linux instead, but XP was for sale until very recenlty; the only reason you can claim it was supported for a long time is because it was for sale for a long time, unlike the new compulsory-upgrade-every-two-years cycle.

        • ...and? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday October 22, 2012 @01:02PM (#41730305)

          It is the same deal with any OS. Ubutnu supports a LTS release for 5 years from the date it comes out, not the date you install it, not the date you get a system with it.

          MS makes no secret of their support cycle. They promise 10 years of support from the date of release. Sometimes they extend it, as they did with XP, and they then make the new date known. So when you bought a system in 2010 with XP, you bought it knowing that there was only 3 years left on support for that OS.

          Support lifecycles really aren't a hard concept, and MS is actually really good with them. Whining about it is rather silly.

  • Open-source XP (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    We saw Vista, 7 and now 8 and each generation offers such awesome improvements over the previous... I dare Microsoft to open-source Windows XP on May 1st, 2014. I don't see it happen, but you may want to have a look at ReactOS [reactos.org]. If you ask me, OpenXP would be a better name for it.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:50AM (#41729283) Journal

    What kind of arm-twisting, exactly, is MS planning against Dell, HP, etc. to get them to stop shipping boring corporate boxes that don't support XP?

    Yeah, sure, the odds of having XP run properly without a bit of scrounging on some random machine from Best Buy(this goes double if it's a laptop, triple if it's some wacky touch/hybrid/thing), aren't getting any better; but if your business is shipping pallet-loads of identical machines to assorted volume customers, you damn well better support the OSes they want supported. If you don't, the largely interchangeable shipper of near-identical machines will.

    Even if MS plays serious hardball, and just starts refusing to WHQL sign XP drivers, XP doesn't force driver signing very hard, so IT shouldn't have much trouble with that. Now, I'd be totally unsurprised to learn that XP toasts the battery life of newer laptops with super-fancy power saving features, or requires that you turn on the 'legacy bios emulation' switch in whatever UEFI pit the system ships with; but I'd be shocked to see the end of the ability to buy XP boxes(through corporate and volume license channels, not necessarily at retail) before 2020...

  • Dear Microsoft, (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sootman (158191) on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:54AM (#41729329) Homepage Journal

    Do you need a bigger hint that your OSs have become WORSE in recent years, not better?*

    Keep that page as a template -- you'll be saying the same thing about Windows 7 in a decade if you continue in the direction you're going with Windows 8.

    * yes, I know -- more stable, more secure. But the parts that people SEE and USE is what's sucking.

  • Just works (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:55AM (#41729351)
    I have largely left Windows behind but I find that when relatives hand me their Windows box to fix that Windows XP is easier to set right. Just all those little things like the serial number having a much higher chance of working. I find (especially with Windows 7) that I put the correct version DVD in and it rejects the MS serial number that is glued to the box. Then it goes downhill from there.

    Then if I have to install any corporate crap like Citrix that it has an inversely proportional ratio of functioning properly to version beyond XP.
    Lastly I test my own stuff on Windows by either compiling the program occasionally on windows or running my web apps on IE in a VM. Again the XP VM tends to be speedy and small. Windows 7 tends to be cranky in a VM so even though I am just running it for a few minutes I find it less pleasant. This is not some kind of show stopper just an observation that Windows XP is not glaringly worse than Windows 7 for basic usage.

    So I would not ever recommend that someone pull Windows 7 off their machine but that some corporate type with an Office full of XP machines running just fine doubtfully will reap much reward through a huge upgrade. Personally if I were in charge of an office full of XP machines I would organically just replace dead machines with a new machine running whatever newer OS came with it. Someone might complain that supporting multiple OS versions is a cost in and of itself but if supporting multiple OS versions is a cost then your IT structure is either really really big or your IT people really suck.
  • Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:56AM (#41729355) Journal

    My company has roughly 200 employees. From my perspective, I will plan to migrate off of our remaining XP machines (about 30) only because of security updates. In early 2014, I understand that security updates will cease, though I expect it will be extended. Were is not for this deadline by Microsoft, I wouldn't force the upgrade. In a corporate environment, the OS isn't terribly relevant, but the applications are. You'd be surprised how many application are still not ready for a native 64 bit environment, some niche programs that we rely on just won't work unless a 32 bit OS is emulated.

    So, if Microsoft continued XP support indefinitely, I would never move. XP SP2 is the first OS Microsoft has offered that is solid and stable (just don't let users run as admin).

  • by gmuslera (3436) on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:58AM (#41729411) Homepage Journal
    Even Microsoft is telling people to abandon the XP boat, Windows 8 seems to be Vista 2.0, and Windows 7 is looking like being a dead end (if you invest on it, will end pretty much like XP). If people must change and think that is not wise to go to Windows 7, well they could go to Linux, that share some of the possible objections of switching to windows 8 (training, not running some of their old apps) but having a lot of advantages (freedom, they could use their own hardware, the user interface could be more similar to WinXP than Win 8 is, safer, etc). And now native apps are less a concern, as most of usual apps work in the web.
  • by bored (40072) on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:59AM (#41729417)

    I went to a brand new dentist office the other day. They were running XP on their brand new xray machines.

    If Microsoft were smart, they would release an XP R2, they could call it "Windows for Business" and sell if for $150 a license.

    If they were feeling generous they could remove the licensed RAM limits, give it a GPT boot option (heck they don't even have to do any work, just package it with some of the 3rd party options).

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday October 22, 2012 @12:00PM (#41729447) Journal
    Oh, all those days they spent increasing the switching costs of their customers. How many Vice Presidents wrote in their annual review, "I did this clever thing to thwart our customers from Windows. Made lock in more secure. Now the vendor lock is stronger than ever!".

    One trivial example: How many gaggled, "I introduced a space in all the important and default folder names. All those geeks trying to use cygwin to run shell scripts have to redo their scripts to quote their path names. ha! ha!! haa! Their support cost goes up. Our customer switching cost goes up. Our lock is getting stronger!"

    And finally, they find their customers are unable to get out of XP to Win7!!!

    Serves them right! Pay back is a bitch baby! You deserve it. All I got is that unspellable German word, schadenfreude or something.

  • Kinda like (Score:3, Funny)

    by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Monday October 22, 2012 @12:01PM (#41729463) Journal

    So it's like saying "Stop driving that 1965 VW Bug, you should upgrade to the brand new Pinto!"

  • by jd659 (2730387) on Monday October 22, 2012 @12:13PM (#41729633)
    A problem with closed source systems is that if the company decides that it's not in its business interest to support some old but popular software, NO ONE ELSE can offer such support. Even if there's a demand for the continued support and other people willing to offer it, the business opportunity is not there since Microsoft controls the market. The more Microsoft pushes people off some platform, the harder everyone should consider some alternative solutions.

    Besides, what support are we talking about here? If 11 years after Windows XP was released is not enough to fix the glitches that were made during the development, how long enough is enough? Twenty year to fix the bugs?
  • by SuiteSisterMary (123932) <slebrun&gmail,com> on Monday October 22, 2012 @12:18PM (#41729715) Journal
    In other news, nobody here is running Red Hat 9, either.
  • by TheDarkener (198348) on Monday October 22, 2012 @12:33PM (#41729927)

    Can your apps run in Wine under Linux? This might be a very feasable "workaround". I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this yet.

  • by Antony T Curtis (89990) on Monday October 22, 2012 @12:39PM (#41730017) Homepage Journal

    XP Pro has more functionality than Windows 7. To get equivalent function for which I currently use, I would have to purchase Windows 7 Ultimate. The price tag for it is more than the cost of the machines that it would be running on.

    It is simply too expensive for little-to-no gain in functionality.

  • by ElVee (208723) <{elvee61} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday October 22, 2012 @01:03PM (#41730317)

    I'd be happy to get right on migrating chop chop just like MS wants. Our MS TAM keeps pushing pushing pushing, but the problem is that I have 30k+ workstations to manage. Just the act of physically upgrading the OS on each of those workstations takes plenty of time as it is. Plus, there's the matter of keeping the business going while I upgrade all those workstations.

    First, however, I have to create a Win7 OS build that works on all the one-off situations I have. That a work in progress. Then I have to test the OS build on all those one-off situations. Then I have to test the bajillion apps I have and figure out what works and what doesn't. Then I have to determine what can be remediated and what has to be replaced. Then I have to get the budget for both remediation and replacement of those apps. Then I have to test, certify and package what's been remediated and replaced. Then I have to determine what will need to be certified by the various government agencies that we operate under. (We have to get governmental blessings in some cases to change hardware and/or software). Then I have to buy replacement hardware for those workstations that are below the waterline for the new OS. Then I have to schedule (and pay for) end user training on the new OS in various languages in cities all over the globe. Then I have to plan the overwhelming logistics of putting a new OS on all these workstations all over the globe in a manner that doesn't disrupt the business. In addition, I have to deliver replacement hardware to the right place at the right time with very limited resources (that is, not enough people to install so many boxen). Then I have to have the support infrastructure in place to support the inevitable issues that will come roaring in. Then I have to have procedures in place to investigate these issues on the new OS and do whatever is required to unbreak whatever is broken, whether it be sending the software back for fixes or unforeseen hardware replacements.

    So, yeah, pardon me if I'm running a bit behind. I've got a lot of work to do with too few staff, too little time and not enough money. But, what else is new?

  • No sympathy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr_Silver (213637) on Monday October 22, 2012 @01:09PM (#41730411)

    I'm amazed the number of people complaining.

    Whenever I hear people moan about how they're running XP and it has been working just fine for the last ten years, I immediately think to myself that they've been lucky that they haven't needed to do part of their job for so long.

    The folks running and maintaining servers or software products do an upgrade once every couple of months and you cannot do one upgrade in ten years?

    Upgrading any hardware and software (not just Windows) is part of the cost of doing business, if you haven't factored it in (and after 10 years, calling the "upgrade treadmill" is a tad overly dramatic), then what forward planning have you been doing?

    And if you really cannot upgrade, then maybe you should consider looking at implementing backup plans now? Because at some point, whatever you are relying on will stop working and you'll have to do something. It's not like you don't have any prior warning [microsoft.com].

  • by tilante (2547392) on Monday October 22, 2012 @01:30PM (#41730733)
    ... because my PC is a VM running under Parallels on my Mac, and I see no need to buy an upgrade for something that only runs games and a few specialty programs that don't have Mac versions until and unless I absolutely have to.
  • by gman003 (1693318) on Monday October 22, 2012 @03:06PM (#41731979)

    Microsoft is end-of-lifing a decade-old OS. It's already 11 years old, and will be declared fully unsupported in another two years. Which means they'll support the OS until seven years after the replacement is released.

    Compare this to Apple. OS X 10.1 is the closest in age to Windows XP, and it was end-of-lifed in 2002. In fact, their most recent "supported" OS is 10.6 (Snow Leopard), which is only three years old - approximately the age of Windows *7*. And I can verify that many application vendors seem to consider 10.6 the minimum, some even 10.7.

    And let's compare this to Linux. There's not enough space or time to get into every distro, so let's focus on Ubuntu, the most Windows-like distro. The oldest "supported" version is the server variant of Hardy Heron, the 8.04 Long-Term-Support release, which was released in 2008 (around the time of Vista SP1). For a desktop variant, you can only go back to 10.4 LTS, released in 2010 (around the time of W7 SP1). And those are the long-term support versions. "Regular" versions can only go back to 2011.

    Come on now, guys. Microsoft does a lot of things wrong, but they've been downright saints about ditching XP, doing far better than pretty much everyone else.

  • by gelfling (6534) on Monday October 22, 2012 @05:53PM (#41734165) Homepage Journal

    So who cares? We're already a year behind schedule for replacing 4 year old laptops. We're not really refreshing hardware unless it's some exec or some drone who managed to get an exec to sign off on it. We could run XP for another 10 years. The only downside is the inevitable embarrassment with customers over our inability to open their Office 2010 and later docs on our MS Office 2002 machines but we're slowly abandoning that for Open Office anyway which is even less MSO 2010/2013 compatible so again, who cares?

    XP 4 Eva! Save your way to prosperity!!!

As the trials of life continue to take their toll, remember that there is always a future in Computer Maintenance. -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"

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