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




msg:382090
 6:20 pm on Apr 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

[zdnet.com.com...]

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.


 

grelmar




msg:382180
 7:13 am on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)
re: XP being faster with the skins turned off.

Someone made the comment that they run fast PCs so they've never noticed any significant difference. Try running something processor intensive like a ray tracer or 3D renderer, and no matter how fast your PC is, I guarantee you will notice a difference.

Or run WinBench to benchmark it, and you will notice a significant difference.

If you're just running browsers and a media player, fine, you won't see a difference. But for some of the things I use this PC for (a reasonably quick pIV), I'll take every ounce of processor I can get.

When I first got XP, I was sold on it. It [i]seemed[/i] more stable and responsive. But after a year of running it, I'm finding a lot more hidden cludge in it, that I wish I had of known about from the begining, so I could've turned it all off from the start.

And no, I haven't been an "install" freak. I've installed precisely 1 game on this machine, the "latest" version of Moria, which has been on every PC I've owned since the mid 80s. And you know what? I have a 386 running DOS 3.2 that runs Moria more smoothely. Which is frickin ridiculous. I don't care how lean 3.2 is relative to XP, there is no way in heck ANYTHING should run faster on a 66Mhz machine than it does on a pIV.

XP "accumulates" crap whether you install anything or not. It has a funky-but-dumb built in AI that tries to "learn" your working habits so that it can pre-buffer your most used applications. Great, if you use the same 2 or 3 programs all the time. If you use more than that, you literally confuse the AI, which eats up more and more of your processor as time goes on and it keeps trying to "learn" you habits. As far as I can figure, there is no way of disabling this. Its an integral part of the OS.

So, without installing new software in the past half year (err, other than FireFox), I've re-installed XP twice just to clean out the goop and get the thing running quick again.

I miss the days when an OS was just an OS, a basic framework to tie real applications onto. XP is anything but that.

Macro




msg:382181
 8:09 am on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nice post grelmar.

And, EFV, Frontpage works for me too. Oh, and it's only the 2000 version. It's setup on my PC, all my sites were built with it, it works!

So I haven't used the upgrade I bought ages ago.

Hester




msg:382182
 8:42 am on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

XP "accumulates" crap whether you install anything or not. It has a funky-but-dumb built in AI that tries to "learn" your working habits so that it can pre-buffer your most used applications. Great, if you use the same 2 or 3 programs all the time. If you use more than that, you literally confuse the AI, which eats up more and more of your processor as time goes on and it keeps trying to "learn" you habits. As far as I can figure, there is no way of disabling this. Its an integral part of the OS.

I'm pretty sure this can be turned off. I'll look up how and get back to you.

FrontPage been working for me since 1996, and it's the tool that I use to earn a good living.

Ah, so you're the guy continuing to litter the web with FONT tags and tables when CSS should be used instead! :)

Macro




msg:382183
 12:15 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

so you're the guy continuing to litter the web with FONT tags and tables when CSS should be used instead!

He ... and me, and I love it! :)

As you would have guessed... I'm no fan of CSS. I particularly don't like how it slows down my FP to an absolute crawl (something about 1 pixel gifs). But what is generally accepted in these forums is that CSS is useful in some places and that there's still nothing to beat tables as far as layout is concerned.

You not the guy designing all those painful pages that try to organise columns using CSS, are you? ;)

Leosghost




msg:382184
 12:24 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Some of us always thought that the best use for CSS was for disguising what was the subject of our conversations about DVD...... :)

Hester




msg:382185
 8:31 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

As you would have guessed... I'm no fan of CSS. I particularly don't like how it slows down my FP to an absolute crawl (something about 1 pixel gifs)

Man, 1 pixel gifs went out with the ark. Any serious designer does not use FP thesedays! (Unless it's the new version.) Why? Because it's reknowned for filling pages with junk. For God's sake, delete that piece of garbage now!

I code everything by hand myself. It's the only way to ensure my code is kept relatively clean, and I'm in full control over it. Absolutely no wasted tab spaces and extra lines that FP would have put in.

Try mentioning that you still use tables, spacer gifs and FP in any serious web design circles and you'd be laughed out of the building.

I moved to CSS years ago, and each year I learn a bit more. Incase you haven't heard, tables and font tags are considered dead. The W3C say not to use them.

But what is generally accepted in these forums is that CSS is useful in some places and that there's still nothing to beat tables as far as layout is concerned.

No, no, no, no, no! Either this is a stupidly backward forum, where people love ancient browsers and ways of working, or you guys have not been following the outside world of web design much at all. (I doubt both are true.) Time and again people have stated that tables should not be used for layouts! Only for tabular data.

Yes, I have several pages that still use them here and there, but only because I haven't updated them, or certain key users are so far behind that I must cater for their dead browsers.

You not the guy designing all those painful pages that try to organise columns using CSS, are you?

Me and just about everyone else who's trying to be professional thesedays. (Though some sites I could Google mention are still full of tables and errors that don't validate.) Once you start using <div> tags and CSS, there's a world of things you can do that tables simply cannot.

I agree that initially the change is painful - layouts still are to get 100% right - but CSS is so infinitely powerful that it laughs in the face of the 'old way' of designing. And it's getting better and better as new standards emerge, and new browsers upgrade their CSS support.

I'm wasting my time here, I'm not going to convince anyone. I just wish people would realise that font tags and tables etc fill up their code with repeated junk that is totally unnecessary - one line of CSS styles a whole page!

And yes, I've read the thread about CSS leading to bigger files in some people's opinions. Remember though, a stylesheet is only loaded once, then cached. With an FP page, full of junk and repeated tags, much more is loaded for every page. And the visitor can't control it, can't restyle the page easily, blah blah blah.

Then there's things like the fact that taking all the styling out of your page enables it to be converted easily into other formats - mobiles, printers, etc. All easily controlled via a stylesheet - no need to rewrite the page! The future is many different devices accessing the same data. Why waste hundreds of hours recoding page after page? Use CSS and see the light.

It really is a no-brainer.

Hester




msg:382186
 8:41 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

OK, here's the way to stop XP pre-buffering your most used applications. XP uses a directory called "Prefetch" which needs to be disabled. Here's how.

NOTE THAT I HAVE NOT TRIED THIS MYSELF. ANY CHANGES YOU MAKE TO YOUR COMPUTER ARE MADE AT YOUR OWN RISK. I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR PROBLEMS YOU MIGHT ENCOUNTER AS A RESULT OF TRYING THE FOLLOWING.

Firstly, back up your registry.

Now go to Start -> Run -> regedit to see the registry.

Find the key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\MemoryManagement\PrefetchParameters.

Change the value of EnablePrefetcher to 0 (zero).

Quit regedit and restart the computer.

If you read the dedicated XP and PC magazines, you'll find hundreds of tips like this, that show how just about every area of XP can be tweaked. Then there are third-party apps that will tweak it even more. Pretty flexible, I'd say.

grelmar




msg:382187
 9:51 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ok, that's highly useful.

My main problem with prefetch is that I now have 3 browsers in here (compatability testing), and have a bizarrely high number of applications for a one person PC. Problem of being a "one man band" business is that I have to be able to do everything one one machine that typically gets split up between at least 2 or 3 people.

And I admit, I don't spend as much time studying tweak tips pages and mags as I'd like. But that's largely because I have other things more pressing at any given moment.

As a side note:

As much as I might gripe about M$, and as much as I believe Linux is the OS of the future (there's just so much more that can be accomplished with an open source, open architecture OS in the long run), I think its important to note that M$ really made the IT infrastructure, internet, and PC revolution possible by provide a reasonably economical and easy to use platform for the masses, and providing a common base for others to develop applications. The simple fact that programmers could concentrate on developping their apps to work on what is effectively one standard platform, instead of either going to the TREMENDOUS cost of porting applications across a wide range of OSes or concentrating on a small part of a fragmented OS world (and this was a serious possibility in the early to mid 80s), greatly speeded the advance of many technologies.

I'm not a fan of how M$ does business, and I think they're heading down the wrong path with their OS. An OS should be just an OS, not a browser/mediaplayer/word processor/whatever else M$ tries to add in as well. I also firmly believe in function and power over "appearance", slick graphics, and anything that takes processor away from what I really want to be doing at that precise moment in time.

Just trying to put it in perspective. If not for anyone else, then at least for myself.

Hester




msg:382188
 3:20 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

An excellent post above.

The simple fact that programmers could concentrate on developping their apps to work on what is effectively one standard platform, instead of either going to the TREMENDOUS cost of porting applications across a wide range of OSes...

I would like to agree with you, but what about the case of Opera Software? Their browser is regularly maintained yet somehow they manage to release it on a variety of platforms, often simultaneously! Platforms such as Windows, Mac, Solaris, QNX, OS/2, Linux (3 flavours), FreeBSD and BeOS! Not to mention integration with mobile phones and TVs.

If they can do it, why can't others? Besides, aren't most of these free operating systems? So it won't cost them much to set up. (Perhaps they just have one machine with a multi-boot menu.)

grelmar




msg:382189
 6:27 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Its not the cost of the operating system itself that drives up the cost of developping cross-platform software, but the man hours involved.

For Opera, Kudos to them for taking the time to cross-platform their software.

It depends on the software your developping as to how complex a job cross platforming can be. Certain things are just plain harder to build so that they'll work in multiple OS environments. A good example would be the gaming industry. Its the norm to see titles developped for just one platform, partly due to propietary distribution channels (Sony isn't going to throw buckets of development cash at a game developper who's just going to turn around and release their game on X-Box, Nintendo, PC, and the Playstation), and partly its due to the fact that all these platforms handle graphics in subtly different ways, that creates real complexity when trying to build something to work on all the above mentioned systems, taking advantage of each system's strengths, and avoiding its weaknesses.

There's also end-user learning curve to take into account. As a businessman, do you want to have to worry about training your employees to know how to work on a pile of different operating systems, or do you want to take the one platform that covers the most bases adequately, and train them on that? Its a bit of a no brainer. Even if platform B has better graphics, and platform C has better raw data processing, you're going to go with platform A because it does all of them reasonably well, and will reduce the complexity inherent in a multi platform office.

grelmar




msg:382190
 6:35 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Oddly, we're heading into fields apropriate to web development here. The last argument could be said when you're looking at developping web presence.

Are you going to go with Web Site A, that will run on and look reasonably good in 99% of browsers that views it, Site B, that has the slickest GUIest look to it, but will give 15-20% of browsers serious brain farts, or Site C, that will work in 100% of broswers, but that's because its basically raw text, with little or no graphics, no CSS or other fancy layout options, and is almost guaranteed to confuse the non-technically minded?

My guess is that most companies would go with site A

vkaryl




msg:382191
 1:32 am on Apr 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

My main problem with prefetch is that I now have 3 browsers in here (compatability testing), and have a bizarrely high number of applications for a one person PC. Problem of being a "one man band" business is that I have to be able to do everything one one machine that typically gets split up between at least 2 or 3 people.

This is unusual? This is a problem?

*shrug* I do this as a norm. What's the deal here? Who NEEDS "2 or 3 people"? [BTW, I have - oh wait, I have to count.... - 7 browsers.... IE5, IE6, Opera7, Mozilla Firebird, Mozilla Firefox, NS6.2, NS7....]

Ah. I don't have any slowdown, any resource-bog, any memory-leak.... this is a (mostly) OOB Tiger Systemax AMD Athlon 2400+, 2gig, 512mg RAM, 120gig hdd - but I did reformat the drive to remove all the Tiger proprietary crap and install vanilla WinXPPRO - and of course, this is updated on a regular basis....

"bizarrely high number of applications for a one person PC" - how many is that to you?

grelmar




msg:382192
 4:04 am on Apr 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just under fifty, about 20 of which get used on a regular basis.

Not including browsers, firewall/anti-virus, spyware and ad-ware eliminators, chat and IM clients (both vanilla and VPN chatters), or virtual server.

And, oh, hi vkaryl, I owe you an e-mail.

vkaryl




msg:382193
 10:58 pm on Apr 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Only 50 huh? I probably have twice that (well, includes games, natch) most of which I use fairly regularly. I probably have 50 I use ALL THE TIME.

Got the mail, thanks!

Macro




msg:382194
 7:25 am on Apr 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

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

Returning to the original topic....

If MS customers perceive that there isn't enough in XP to upgrade does anyone here think that MS doesn't spend enough perhaps on publicity for XP?

vkaryl




msg:382195
 3:27 pm on Apr 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't know, Macro. That sounds more like a customer who either isn't particularly savvy, or is just plain cheap....

Or perhaps his users are not real savvy or quick with new stuff. We have some folks like that where I work: they have dumb terminals because some of them don't even have a computer of ANY sort at home, and while they've learned what to do with the enterprise software we use on a DT/AS400 workstation, they simply are terrified to "advance" to anything more "complicated".

Or maybe MS HASN'T done a real good job of sales-pitching. I'm pretty sure that there are people out there who need a focussed pitch from someone who's a decent salesman.... nebulous ravings about "much more advanced" or "increasd security" without verifiable benchmarks is probably not the way to go at mega-corp level....

Macro




msg:382196
 8:20 am on Apr 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't know, Macro. That sounds more like a customer who either isn't particularly savvy, or is just plain cheap

Not according to the original article (link in post 1). Even MS are
unhappy with corporate reluctance to upgrade existing PCs.

grelmar




msg:382197
 7:31 pm on Apr 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think it might get back to needs and wants. Let's face it, for many businesses, they don't really need XP. If you've got a good corporate IT infrastructure running on '98 or ME, everything's running smoothly, people just don't see the "need" to upgrade to XP.

Security prolly isn't really an issue here either. Most workstations are couple steps removed from outside access. The net connection comes in, hits a server (prolly Unix or NT), gets distributed out from there to several hub servers, then out to workstations. For someone from the outside to hack into a windows workstation, this means they're going to have to get through a couple of layers of servers before they even get to the workstation, trojans aside.

And if you have a good level of security on your intranet servers, even trojans aren't a particularly big issue.

There's also a lot of cultural reluctance to make the shift. Most corporate leaders have been around long enough to remember the painful transitions made going from Terminal based office automation to workstation based automation. If they've finally got to the point where they've got the workstations working smoothly, I can see them being reluctant to make a widespread change in their workstations.

It wouldn't have anything to do with being cheap, or not being tech savvy, but everything to do with the "Oh no, not AGAIN" syndrome.

Macro




msg:382198
 8:37 am on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Absolutely, if it ain't broke....

Also, it's been assumed for some reason that workstations are always connected to the internet. Sometimes businesses have more than one network. One of our clients, for example, has a front office internal network used to run the business which network is not on the internet. No machine in this network needs to send email or access any websites. There must be a million such machines/networks. A network is not necessarily hampered because it can't access the net - it may not ever have need to.

Apart from networks there are a lot of standalone PCs that don't ever need to connect to the net. One client has an old Windows 98SE machine running climate control systems in each multi-storey building. They run a program that handles relatively simple functions... adjusting temperature, humidity etc. The PCs don't even have floppy drives so are hardly likely to suffer a virus. They never crash! And, trust me, they don't need IE 6.0 or broadband, or XP :)

grelmar




msg:382199
 9:23 am on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Agreed. I keep forgetting not every computer is hooked up to the net, even indirectly.

Another factor: Longhorn is casting a long shadow, and so is Linux.

Execs might be thinking, at least I would anyway, "98 is getting me through right now just fine, and Longhorn is only a couple of years away. Why bother upgrading to XP just to trash it in two or three years for Longhorn? And hey, this Linux thingiemabob that all the geeks keep talking about is starting to look kinda snazzy. Why not wait an extra couple of years and see what Longhorn has to offer, and compare it to Linux?"

Ok, so I'm trying to do a bit of mind reading here, but if I was in a position where I had to make a decision on thousands of workstations, that's exactly what I'd be thinking if I'd even remotely been keeping track of the OS wars.

Macro




msg:382200
 5:17 pm on May 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Regarding my previous claims about Windows update being the cause of many problems:
[theregister.co.uk...]

This 111 message thread spans 4 pages: < < 111 ( 1 2 3 [4]
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