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XP Falls Flat - 80% of Corporations Reject Microsoft XP
98 still rules the day in Fortune 500 companies

 6:20 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)


Windows XP is shipping out preinstalled on a lot of new computers, but Microsoft is unhappy with corporate reluctance to upgrade existing PCs.

An executive at one Microsoft customer, computer security firm SecureMethods, explained that there just isn't enough in Windows XP to justify the time and costs of upgrading.

In addition, a study in December found that 80 percent of companies still have some machines running Windows 95 or Windows 98. And at firms running the older operating systems, an average of 39 percent of desktops were running either Windows 95 or Windows 98, according to technology consultant AssetMetrix.



 10:45 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Everybody is assuming that all corporations are making logical decisions not to upgrade to XP based on their internal research etc...

How many corporations haven't upgraded because the CEO doesn't know anything about technology and the IT people don't want to go thru the hassle of a corporate wide upgrade, so they just put it off?

How many corporations don't upgrade because the management would rather spend profits on bonuses, compensation rather than reinvesting in technology?

I could go on, but the point is that there could be a whole host of reasons why people don't upgrade, not all logical or rational.


 11:33 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Not investing in new technology might be rational if there's no payback from the investment. As someone pointed out earlier in the thread, if it works don't fix it.

Plus, there's an advantage in not having machines around an organisation running on a wide variety of platforms. The greater the number of OS's, the more that the support staff have to know, the more difficult it is to hire staff with the required skills, etc. Thus it makes sense to do the sort of thing that has already been described: buy machines pre-loaded with XP and load, for example, W2000, if that's the OS you've standardised on.

Microsoft have to start realising that they're facing a almost saturated market with Windows. I've not seen any figures, but I bet that there's a large proportion of people who only use PCs for emails and word-processing. They don't need more powerful machines than the ones they've got already, and they don't need more sophisticated operating systems than the ones they already have.

I'd settled for a new edition of W98 that doesn't fall over every so often. But I'll probably move to Linux when circumstances force me to change.


 12:12 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Windows 98 and Windows ME - Yuck! I have had nothing but problems - stability and time wise - with those two operating systems.

With my one year old cpu came XP Pro. It has been such a huge step up over the previous OS's that it is hard to compare. No crashes and no stability problems - all of which has saved me tons of time.

Still, I can see where corporations running 2000 would be leery about upgrading to XP - 2000 is a decent OS and not much to be gained by upgrading.

For my next upgrade - whether it be next year or the following year - I'm going to give strong thought to a switch over to either a Mac or perhaps Linux. But that will be a bridge to cross at that time, I guess.



 1:20 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

If M$ thought they'd sell a ton of upgrades, they had unreasonable expectations.

If MS had really THOUGHT about an upgrade path for the (probable) millions of 95/98/2k machines out there, they would have made the upgrade ACTUALLY AFFORDABLE - instead of which it's a HUGE cost for even one personal machine, much less a license for the 75+ machines in my workplace (which includes accounts payable and receivable, billing, payroll, fuel, dispatch, customer service, and sales; as well as 5 offsite terminals in other states all run by enterprise solutions software and a broadband network - this is a trucking concern in southern Utah with western-states-wide routes and customers....)

Instead, MS decided to charge the earth for a license. While I LIKE Windows, I'm NOT happy with MS's attitude about "the money factor".... (but Bill Gates IS NOT THE DEVIL IN A THREE-PIECE SUIT EITHER.... *sigh*)


 1:49 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've heard others mention that network administrators were getting a bit peeved off about being led by the nose into upgrades every 2 or so years and business owners saw hardly any better operational results based on the upgrades (just emptier pockets).

How many times can one be excited about the "new and improved" label?


 2:05 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

For my next upgrade - whether it be next year or the following year - I'm going to give strong thought to a switch over to either a Mac or perhaps Linux.

Actually, the next time I do a format/reinstall, I'm going to set up a linux partition on my drive and dual boot. I tried linux back in the redhat 5 days, and didn't find it usable at all (ONLY a programmer could love it! - and I'm no novice with command line either!) I hear that it's now magnitudes better, so I think I'll give it a shot again.

As well, I REALLY need to set up a server locally. And that pretty much means linux.

Spare me from macs though. Far as I can tell, they're prime for graphics artists but the real world works on PCs.

(This is a PERSONAL OPINION ONLY; your opinion may and quite probably will vary, and may do so with my blessings. PLEASE do NOT excoriate me for a personal opinion expressed personally! Sheesh....)


 5:27 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

At my workplace we have a sitewide MS liscense agreement that basically means that we get all MS OSes and Office versions for free. However, we only recently upgraded to XP just because it's a hassle testing hardware compatability, software compatability, testing buildes, etc. It seems that MS can't create anything new without breaking/changing a few essential features of prior versions.


 6:42 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I built 5 new computers in November, and bought 5 more copies of Windows 2000. (Which, by the way, cost me a couple of dollars MORE per copy than Win XP Pro would have.)

The little experience I had with XP was a major turnoff, as was previous upgrades to IE 6 and this new media player garbage I tried on another computer.

Stability was my goal: Win2K OS, IE 5.5 (patched), MSN Messenger given the axe, good antivirus software installed, along with Spywareblaster, Spybot S&D, etc.

Almost 6 months, no problems, and even the employees havn't managed to screw them up yet!


 6:53 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'll never run another MS OS after my last comp. purchase (XP).
Countless crap programs running in the background which I have to learn how to disable. Computer self reboots every 2-3 hours. Security update after update..

I actually liked Windows 98se (no problems & a big improvement over 95)


 7:41 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have XP at office desktop, its very frustrating at times and the search function is hopeless.

I have Win2k at home which runs far better...(After I downloaded and upgraded it with service pack 4)


 8:49 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

>80 percent of companies still have some machines running Windows 95 or Windows 98.

"some machines".....I still have one machine running Win98, but it is never used for anything but testing Win98 compatibility.....80% of companies having one, or a handful of PC's, is totally misleading. It certainly doesn't imply 80% of corporations reject XP.

>at firms running the older operating systems, an average of 39 percent of desktops were running either Windows 95 or Windows 98

"at firms running the older operating systems"....well by definition they are running older OS's. This is like saying 100% of under 5 year olds are under 5 years of age!

The article is a nonsense IMHO, designed to shock rather than reflect accurate stats.

By looking at site logs it is easy to establish that over 60% of actual web visitors are running XP/2000/NT and less than 3% still have 95.

Win98 certainly isn't dead yet, but they lost all credibility by implying Win95 was still popular.


 8:57 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hey buffezone, that was tongue in cheek ;)

shaadi, the search function is what MS calls "improved". Just as is the "call home" features and the automatic updates (more PCs go "down" as a result of Microsoft updates than go down as a result of faulty RAM and hard disks put together. Trust me, those are real stats from a PC manufacturer)

Corporations don't upgrade to XP not so much because of the cost of XP but the horrendous cost of transferring data, setting up the machines, re-training staff, extra support demands of IT in the initial few months as users are getting familiar with the new OS. And that's not to mention having to update hardware to accomodate XP.

the first machine I haven't built from the ground up..I must be getting lazy

It's not getting lazy, it's called getting smart. With D*ll type people selling $400 PCs and top performance PCs still being cheaper to buy off the shelf the only people assembling PCs are people doing it for the fun of it or old-timers still labouring under a delusion that it's cheaper to buy components and build their new PC from scratch.

I'll go one further than recommending you stay with 98SE/Windows 2000...

Plus, there's an advantage in not having machines around an organisation running on a wide variety of platforms

Absolutely. If you are buying a bunch of new PCs go for the lowest specs and standardise on 98SE. Your staff already know it, you've already got security in place for it, you are aware of it's problems and foibles. You'll save a ton! Use some memory manager program to release unused memory pages (which some programs don't release), do a regular defrag and scandisk, and do your regular anti-virus check and backups. Those are things you should be doing on any operating system anyway.


 9:48 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thinking over what's been said here, it occurs to me that we've been taken in (at least verbally) by a piece of MicroSoft misdirection. Installing XP instead of, say, Windows 98SE is not an "upgrade", it is replacing one operating system with another.

As I said before, I'd love an upgrade of W98SE to make it more stable, but MicroSoft aren't selling upgrades of W98, they're only selling replacements. If and when I replace W98SE it'll be for Linux, of whichever flavour comes out best in the industry evaluations at the time. Linux is, of course, an upgradable operating system.


 11:48 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

>Linux is, of course, an upgradable operating system.

Sure it is....LOL. Ask anyone who has a server running any version before RH Enterprise. All support withdrawn within 12 months of release for 9.0!

I'm sure Windows would be upgradable if M$ imagined for a second it could get its non-corporate customers to pay an annual subscription of several hundred dollars per year.

Have you looked at the annual subscription rates for RH Linux? Quality costs money, so I don't really have an issue with what they are doing, but, don't think for a second it will be any better logistically than the system M$ offers.


 12:51 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

annual subscription rates for RH Linux

But there are other implementations of Linux than RH. And these are implementations of an operating system whose building blocks are transparent. There is some choice with Linux, and you have some idea of what the consequences of the choices are.

Of course there's no such thing as a free lunch. If there was, and Linux was the free lunch, then Windows, in all its manifestations, would be on the way out.

On the other hand, if MicroSoft sold Windows as a kernal with add-on bits, and sold the add-on bits separately, then people might be a little happier about upgrading their versions of Windows. It would be a genuine upgrade, not a new product with the same brand name, and it would leave users in control (or, at least, more in control than they are now).

It would suit me personally if MicroSoft first adopted this strategy for Windows 98SE, but I realise you can't have everything...


 1:10 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

There are other reasons the upgrade hasn't happened. Taxes are a big one. Computers are a capital expense, and you can write them down 100% over 5 years. If your smart and included your OS as part of the capital expense when you firt get the machine, the cost of the OS beomces a 100% write off over 5 years. So, companies that got win98 in '99-2000 are just getting into the final write off year or two of those systems. The avergae CFO isn't about to initiate a major upgrade until they've maximized the write down of the last big purchase.

Linux vs. Win: I'm torn, I mean REALLY torn here. I have a dual boot but rarely use Lin because I have an accumulation of windows apps going back to 95, and I'm getting to old and stodgy to really want to get into the kind of learning curve necessary to re-learn the ins and outs of similar-but-not-quite aps for lin. Not to mention some of the stuff I use doesn't exist anymore on ANY platform, so if I dump Win, I lose access to some neat specialty progs.

On the other hand, lin doesn't crash as much (After a year, my XP box is starting to show indications it'll end up as unstable as 95 and 98 were, in spite of working the registry, defrag, etc at least once a week).

In the end, once I get to a point where I can narrow down the number of tasks I need one machine to be able to perform by farming them out to some lackey, I'm stuck with Win. When I get get myself dopwn to 3 or 4 major tasks, I'll go with Lin. Not because Lin can't run the tasks as well, but just because I don't have to re-learn more than about 3 or 4 major applications.


 2:20 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

The fact that many corporations are using older operating systems is a tribute to the stability of these OSs. In the old days, companies rolled out a new OS within a few months of its release, mainly because it typically fixed a bunch of problems with what they had installed. This is particularly true with Win2K, which is quite stable. Many corporations would prefer to be a few years behind the bleeding edge - let others sort out the new stuff, while they keep chugging away with something that works.

One of the better arguments for XP in bigger environments is its remote administration feature, but that alone isn't enough to get most companies to dump something that's working. In today's corporate IT spending environment, you really need to justify costs. "It's the current version" won't cut it for an upgrade justification these days.


 2:52 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Linux vs. Win: I'm torn, I mean REALLY torn here.

Join the club - I'm in exactly the same boat.

I find the only way to keep XP running efficiently (it really does start to get slow after a few months, despite all the usual "housework") is to reinstall at regular intervals.

I use a disk clone tool to do this now. Makes life a lot easier. And keep all of your "documents" files on a separate hard disk.



 3:06 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Changing from 98SE to XP is like going from a car which you could fix yourself to a model that appears to run ..then when it does go wrong you discover someone welded the hood shut and you can only get at the engine by going in through the radiator ...

Hate it ....every time I get asked to fix one


 3:27 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>I find the only way to keep XP running efficiently (it really does start to get slow after a few months, despite all the usual "housework") is to reinstall at regular intervals.<<

My company purchased 1 license of XP Pro to justify the upgrade from Win2000 and though the XP machine started out pretty fast, now I can't believe how slow it is now.

The slowness over time has been a negative influence over the upgrade.

What gives?


 4:14 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Since the beginning of the year, Microsoft has released 13 patches for "critical" updates to its software. The company is scheduled to release a free update for the Windows XP (news - web sites) operating system later this year that is aimed solely at improving security."

Regardless of how many ppl dislike Msoft, they have actually bothered to release patches for their users. No system is perfect and if linux were the number #1 OS, im sure every hacker out their would try to exploit the hell out of that to.


 5:09 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

An executive at one Microsoft customer, computer security firm SecureMethods, explained that there just isn't enough in Windows XP to justify the time and costs of upgrading.

Let's get real here folks.

I believe the largest reason why businesses haven't switched to XP is that TONS of them use pirated copies of Windows 98 SE. XP's registration methods are now internet-based and transferring "God Knows What" information via Windows is now an integral part of the OS. With Win 98 SE all you need is ANY serial number, a half hour, and you're up - and you can find the serial at a half million web sites just by doing a simple search.

If you run a very small business, but you have over 10 computers, installing an illegal copy of Win 98 SE on each is much more efficient than purchasing a copy of Win XP for each system just so they can be individually identified by Microsoft.

Of course, neither the admins at WebmasterWorld, nor I, condone pirating of any kind... (!) but it happens - and I feel I'm safe to say that at LEAST 30% of all installed Win 98 SE are pirated versions or illegal backups that had to be acquired because the original disk(s) were lost.


 5:18 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

XP is a wannabee OSX which is a wannabee Workbench 2.00 on the Amiga 600HD :)

Windows2000 is the daddy though.


 5:29 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Some of you that have constant issues, need a clean install and use only the programs you need. After your system is set up, stop messing with it. No new hardware, no new play software, no nothing. LEAVE IT ALONE!

Of the 9x versions, Windows 98SE is the most stable and usable operating system. Lots of documentation on errors and hardware drivers. You can take a scrap system running Pentium 200, decent hard drive, 128MB RAM, and Office 97. And voila, you have a system most offices can use. Tweak Win 98SE with 98lite and you can build a very responsive system. When I put Win 98se Lite on a PIII 800 a few years back, I could cold boot it and have it ready to use in 7 seconds! :)

Except for IT employees, anything over a Pentium III 800, I think, is overkill. What programs can a general business use that require anything faster?

[edited by: sun818 at 5:34 pm (utc) on April 14, 2004]


 5:32 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am in charge of over 500 computer systems at a major company, most of them windows. We upgraded everything to windows XP because it offered significant advantages for us - much more stable, better device recognition and much, much better for mobile computing.

We keep the systems up-to-date patch-wise and everything is up to most recent service packs.

Will we upgrade to longhorn? Truly doubtful. We are getting to the point where everything runs on servers and the client is simply the browser (in this case IE but any will do) or a terminal session window. Even user data files are now hosted on a central server.

So we don't actually need a lot of power in the user workstations. So what will almost certainly happen by 2006 for us is we will install very thin, perhaps even Linux, workstations instead of very fat Xp or longhorn clients. Of course, for laptops and remote users the current OS is what will be installed.



 5:35 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Some of you that have constant issues, need a clean install and use only the programs you need. After your system is set up, stop messing with it. No new hardware, no new play software, no nothing. LEAVE IT ALONE!

Unfortunately, in the real world it just doesn't work that way. My wife is always adding new hardware (USB graphics tablet was the newest) and new programs. My systems at work constantly change, and the ones at home change just as often. Why? New features, patches, new applications and better hardware.

To me, a stable unchanging system rapidly becomes a useless piece of junk collecting dust. Why? The environment and requirements are always changing.



 6:19 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

As Hypergeek and I touched on earlier one major reason people don't want to update - nay, change to Windows XP is the intrusive features it has. I really, really don't like my machine contacting MS. I've paid my licence, now leave me alone!

If I want a Windows update or a security patch... I'll get it myself. I'm too ignorant to find it? Well, that's my problem isn't it? Why does my OS want to contact MS each time a program crashes (Oh yes, crashes happens again and again and again). OK, it gives me the option of not sending the details to MS, but I have to click a button for that... and one day it may decide to "save me time" by not offering the option anymore and just contacting MS nonetheless (MS could dispense with that "by your leave" via a "security update").

XP even restricts what hardware I can change in my PC before I have to call MS, beg for forgiveness for changing too much hardware, and request they continue to allow me to use the OS! I can't even do ghosting type operations without the OS objecting! I used to have two identical PCs, but with only one hard disk in a caddy. This allowed me to take all my work home to complete if I didn't get it done in the office. I can't do that in XP, not even if I pay for two copies of the licence. Why? Because the OS on the hard disk recognises different serial number on my home PCs' components and it objects!

XP is ridiculous, intrusive and (I like the car analogy) restrictive. Long live 98SE and Win 2K.


 6:25 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Get a dell PC with XP pro you can change all the hardware you want and ghost all you want. It is a coperate version or a special dell version. I was very happy when I found that out. Of course there is not much room to change anything on their base models. Their home version is still like XP out of the box as far as registering goes.


 8:58 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

I won't talk about 98 or 95. That technology is 10 years old, common.

Main difference between 2K and XP is that XP starts up faster and some video editing programs like Premiere 7.0 and AVID for example won't run on anything but XP.

I'm always told that people hate the XP's GUI style. But if you look around, everyone uses it. Most screenshots I see on the web prove that.

Macro: Re Auto Update: You can disable it and it's part of 2k SP3 anyway.

[edited by: Hanu at 8:59 pm (utc) on April 14, 2004]


 8:59 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

In my office we just got new Dells with XP Home on them, we wiped them all and put Win2k on them... lol. The developers I'm sure want to wipe the Win2k off them too.


 9:30 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

> I won't talk about 98 or 95. That technology is 10 years old, common.

Last year, I worked in a corporate high-rise building. Guess what? The computer that controlled the elevator system ran on DOS 5.5 - It has never crashed. I fail to see what old technology has to do with usability? If a computer does the job reliably and quickly, what more do you need?

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