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Microsoft, Please Save Windows XP
engine




msg:3627420
 3:07 pm on Apr 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

For them, the impending disappearance of XP computers from retailers, and the phased withdrawal of technical support in coming years, is causing a minor panic.

Take, for instance, Galen Gruman. A longtime technology journalist, Gruman is more accustomed to writing about trends than starting them.

But after talking to Windows users for months, he realized his distaste for Vista and strong attachment to XP were widespread.

"It sort of hit us that, wait a minute, XP will be gone as of June 30. What are we going to do?" he said. "If no one does something, it's going to be gone."

So Gruman started a Save XP Web petition, gathering since January more than 100,000 signatures and thousands of comments, mostly from die-hard XP users who want Microsoft to keep selling it until the next version of Windows is released, currently targeted for 2010.

Microsoft, Please Save Windows XP [ap.google.com]

 

Josefu




msg:3627936
 6:48 am on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

With time Vista may fare better thanks to a wider application support - but unfortunately that sword is double-edged, as Vista will require many to update their hardware as well, and the total cost may be too much to bear for some.

Speaking from personal experience, the company I am working for is running entirely on '98-era Dells running windows XP - just fine, albeit a bit slow, thank you - but upgrading will eventually be inevitable. On the side, we're developing a secure digital-image storage service, and revamping our accounting/inventory section with new software and a bar-code system... and I've made damn sure to choose a cross-platform software. All will depend on how Microsoft plays the game: if they intend to stick to their Vista guns for years to come (and drop support for XP), our accounting department will be getting shiny new iMacs next spring.

[edited by: Josefu at 6:48 am (utc) on April 16, 2008]

JS_Harris




msg:3628050
 10:50 am on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Bluntly - taking away XP to encourage me to buy Vista? I don't think so. My brother had a horrible time with Vista, his programs wouldn't all work, many conflicted and it ended up costing him a hard drive.

I hear they fixed all of that now, but my reasoning is simple. My XP isn't broken (until Microsoft breaks it) and I don't like people breaking my things! "Sorry, we need to sell another version now" just doesn't do it for me.

JS_Harris




msg:3628054
 10:52 am on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Josefu - local high schools are running on compaq presarios still. The schools only just recently managed to make XP compatible with older computers without breaking their budgets.

Will vista run on an old compac presario circa 2000 or so ?

mikedee




msg:3628065
 11:13 am on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hopefully this whole debacle will teach software vendors to write proper cross platform code. If they had done that in the first place then there would not be a problem for anyone, instead we have apps breaking all over the place and customers tied into a particular OS. Sometimes it can even be in Microsoft's best interest to have apps which are portable.

I don't think any cross platform apps broke with the upgrade to Vista, neither did any web apps. Unless you used MS only technologies like activex or IE6 specific hacks.

vincevincevince




msg:3628079
 11:34 am on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree that XP is still very much needed. I do a fair bit of work with the tertiary level academic sector where it is commonplace for them to be using bespoke apps written for Windows NT or 98 as absolutely core parts of their research activities. I'd not be exaggerating if I said that 90% of them fail to run in Vista for one reason or another. Even simple things like direct port access for control systems are so constrained in Vista that the only answer is to retain XP indefinitely.

Note that many of these bits of software were running under XP in compatibility mode already. It's not for old software manufacturers to support a new operating system, it's for a new operating system to support old software.

mikedee




msg:3628088
 11:52 am on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Note that many of these bits of software were running under XP in compatibility mode already. It's not for old software manufacturers to support a new operating system, it's for a new operating system to support old software.

But if they use features of a specific OS, then isn't it their fault when nobody is running that OS anymore? The OS supporting apps is the reason why we are in this mess in the first place, it has hidden the problem for a long time but eventually the writers of those apps need to update them. The same thing has happened with proper user account separation.

whoisgregg




msg:3628136
 1:29 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Which of these quotes is from this thread and which is from a Microsoft Fact Sheet?

By using Windows Vista and Office 2007, these people save time, stay organized, and most importantly, they can focus their efforts on sales, marketing, and customers.

Windows Vista Business and Office Professional 2007 help people save time, stay organized and work more efficiently with the information needed to get things done and get on with the rest of their business.

Hint: [microsoft.com...]

Please pass the Kool-Aid!

sgietz




msg:3628195
 2:12 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

I currently work for a newspaper. There are plenty of old timers here who hate technology and they HATE the Internet, Heck, our editor in chief doesn't have an email address (yes folks, it's true). Day in and day out are we (the Internet department) fighting the archaic ideas of people that are stuck in a time warp. They still live in a world where the milkman comes to your door, where every diner has a jukebox on each table, where gas was 19 cents a gallon, where Full HD meant watching Lucy in color, where the birds were singing louder, and the sun was shining brighter ... yada yada yada.

They are not adopting to new technology, which is sad, because the printing business benefited from technology just as much as any other business. It's a stale environment with stale people too stubborn to change. They look at us as a threat.

“Hey, they’re ruining our business, those Internet folks! They’re sucking all the integrity out of the newspaper business.”

Sorry, but I don’t buy that for a minute! Gutenberg didn’t invent the movable type to ruin the industry, he tried to improve it, and so did the guy who built the first automated press. Just because stories are posted on a website as opposed to dead trees, doesn’t kill the industry. Imagine being able to post breaking news as it happens, not 12 hours later when the paper gets printed. Wow, what a concept! And I’m a threat for killing the industry?

OK, I don’t mean to blog on about this. The point is very clear to me. Vista is very different from XP (well, somewhat). Office 2007 is very different from previous versions. People don’t like change. People hate change.

“What’s this button there, why did they move that menu over here, darn it, why the heck did they change that toolbar?”

Let me tell you, Office 2007 is refreshing. Sure, there’s a slight learning curve compared to previous versions, but once you get your head around it, it’s so much easier. The same goes with Vista. Besides the *sleek interface* which is just makeup, it makes certain tasks easier. Of course there are annoyances, but what piece of software doesn’t come with those? I think it’s time to swallow the blue pill (or was it the red pill?), take the plunge and quit whining!

I know folks who run Vista without as much as a hiccup. Then there are others who have massive problems. How do you explain that? The OS is the same, so what could be the culprit? By process of elimination it must be hardware related, third-party software related, or user related. In the first scenario, call Dell and tell them to quit sticking cheapo stuff in their cases. Second scenario, call the vendor and tell them to get on the ball with updates. Third scenario, swallow your pride and confess that you’re not the computer guru you thought you were.

I think people hate Microsoft just because it’s the cool thing to do. It’s like telling Bush jokes. Everyone does it, so everyone gets in on it (I do like a good Bush joke, though). Yes, they make mistakes, they’re an evil corporation, blah blah, but I think they make good products, and if your *ethics* prevent you from buying their stuff, quit posting messages that say stuff like “I want Linux to take over.” The only way for that to happen is if you actually go out and buy it!

aleksl




msg:3628288
 3:37 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

zafile: By using Windows Vista and Office 2007, these people save time, stay organized, and most importantly, they can focus their efforts on...blah

I said "define productivity", not give us marketing blah.

Ok, I'll translate to marketingspeak:
1) what features EXACTLY do Vista and Office 2007 have combined that will help people stay significantly more organized?
2) how exactly they can better focus with Vista where they couldn't get focus with XP?

sgietz: Vista is very different from XP (well, somewhat). Office 2007 is very different from previous versions. People don’t like change. People hate change.

Actually no. You made a great post about paper vs. internet, but in the end missed the point entirely on XP vs. Vista. It is not the same. There's no x10 improvement, no 12 hours vs. immediate news. People don't like change for the sake of change, when all change does is makes you to spend extra $3000 on something similar to what you already have that isn't broken.

kaled




msg:3628322
 4:02 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

MikeDee said
Hopefully this whole debacle will teach software vendors to write proper cross platform code.
Clearly, you are not a programmer. I could say more but I won't.

Even simple things like direct port access for control systems are so constrained in Vista that the only answer is to retain XP indefinitely.
Direct port access won't work in any version of windows based on NT - that includes XP. The only issue Vista has in this regard is that (I think) it requires all device drivers to be signed. All hardware access must pass through a device driver. That's true of any operating system that permits (preemptive) multi-tasking, otherwise two programs might try to access the same hardware at the same time.

Kaled.

SEOMike




msg:3628336
 4:30 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

The most frustrating thing I've faced with Vista so far is the inability to maintain a persistent connection to a WebDAV server. Total pain and had to write a work-around batch file. It's supposed to be fixed in SP1 but SP1 won't download to my computers because it'll probably break more drivers. Yep, SP1 has MORE compatibility issues. At least they block downloading it if it breaks more stuff.

dealguien




msg:3628482
 6:44 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Next week, Ubuntu 8 will be available. I am using it for more than a year, without any firewalls, antivirus-programs, etc. And 1-click-update include every single programm, not just the core OS.

the_nerd




msg:3628591
 9:01 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

You have no idea how many corporations we deal with are stockpiling XP boxes by the thousand while they still can. For once, management is listening to their IT departments, and the IT departments want nothing to do with Vista.

corporations don't buy boxes, they buy licences, like open licence argeement. AFIAK those contracts allow the customer to buy vista but use XP or even Win 2K instead (downgrade).

techrealm




msg:3628614
 9:27 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Having unix, mac and windows boxes to feed I found various costs to implement vista far exceed the benefits and have not yet suited the needs of the users. It's prettier if you have the ram and processors but if you have older software your out of luck. If you a student in school with one computer making reports, and it was prepacked together then its fine.

But to try and force a complete hardware upgrade across the board when my non computer using bosses see everything is physically working fine and all the numbers are up... Good luck.

When trying to implement the latest trends in software I have typically found that most small business do not need anything truly more functional wordpad to do their letters and forms. And with the free versions of document editors out there - I have been able to generate substantial ROI and savings on simple things like PDF generation from the application that printed the page.

I cannot justify the drive, processor, training timeouts and ram and the many other software costs for the features the OS and "updated software" claim to provide when what the users actually need is a business software system to tie all these bits together.

Computer OS's are just like hammers, there is one for every type of job you need to do (if not you make one). Some do more than others but there is always a need for more than one hammer.

mikedee




msg:3628735
 1:29 am on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Clearly, you are not a programmer. I could say more but I won't.

Please do... If you use a cross platform toolkit then you only have to wait for the toolkit to update rather than rewriting your application. Proper toolkits will also have proper mechanisms for writing user settings and files (avoiding the dreaded UAC prompt). They are DESIGNED to abstract out the operating system so the difference between XP and Vista to an application programmer is the same as the difference between Linux and Vista.

Only very low level programs and device drivers need to access the OS directly. I have written many applications which work on OSX, XP, Vista and Linux without any changes to code. See KDE4 and QT4 for examples of applications which work across all platforms (only apps which do not make sense on non-Linux machines do not work on XP).

kaled




msg:3628963
 10:53 am on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Proper toolkits will also have proper mechanisms for writing user settings and files (avoiding the dreaded UAC prompt)

NONSENSE
UAC prompts are issued when a program starts - that's it - period. Programs may fail to work properly on Vista if they save data in places that are now protected but UAC prompts will certainly not be issued if such attempts are made.

Only very low level programs and device drivers need to access the OS directly.

NONSENSE
Perhaps, if you'd said only efficient programs...

I use Delphi. It's excellent in many ways but but has a tendency to suffer from code-bloat precisely because it attempts insulate the programmer from "low-level" functions. To put this in perspective, one program on my site (freeware) is only 21KB. The equivalent program on another site is over 300KB. I've considered writing a backup tool for flash drives. From memory, the MS version requires .NET and runs to several hundred KB (and wouldn't work at all when I tried it). I reckon I could recreate much the same thing - probably better, in less than 50KB (without needing .NET) but I do concede that it won't work in Linux.

If you are tasked with writing software that must run on multiple platforms, then obviously, an appropriate system is required. However, if you wish to target only a single platform, then using cross-platform tools will result in unnecessarily slow and bloated code.

Kaled.

tictoc




msg:3628976
 11:03 am on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have a computer with Vista that I recently ordered a downgrade CD from Sony for only S&H to move into Windows XP Pro. I do not like Vista because it is too hard to find things.. sort of the same reason I do not like the Mac. I like the way the files are setup in Windows XP Pro.

So please save windows XP.

mikedee




msg:3629016
 12:04 pm on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

If you are tasked with writing software that must run on multiple platforms, then obviously, an appropriate system is required. However, if you wish to target only a single platform, then using cross-platform tools will result in unnecessarily slow and bloated code.

Really? All cross platform code is bloated? That's strange because it seems a lot lighter than Vista apps to me (eg. Opera9 is way lighter than IE8). There are hundreds of 'best-of-breed' software that is cross platform and not bloated.

If you decide on a programming language because of the size of the resulting binary then I feel really sorry for you.

[edited by: jatar_k at 11:00 am (utc) on April 25, 2008]
[edit reason] manners [/edit]

mikedee




msg:3629086
 1:32 pm on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

For anyone who is stuck on XP, just watch this video.. If that does not convince you - nothing will, the power of soft rock is legendary.

[channel9.msdn.com...]

Vista Rocks!

kaled




msg:3629216
 4:03 pm on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Really? All cross platform code is bloated? That's strange because it seems a lot lighter than Vista apps to me (eg. Opera9 is way lighter than IE8).

An application written for Vista need be no bigger than one written for XP (unless it makes use of new features such as aero and the silly new dialog system).

The idea that a cross-platform program will be smaller than single-platform program is, once again, nonsense. Code length of the portion written by the programmer may be smaller (it should certainly be tidier) but what matters to the user is
1) How fast is runs
2) How much hard disk space it occupies.

It is an inescapable fact that a cross-platform abstraction layer adds to overall code size and results in reduced speed (though how much of either may vary greatly). Java was once hailed as the holy grail and then everyone thought .NET was the ultimate solution. These and other systems have a place but are not the ultimate solution. I hope it is not your contention that programs written using cross-platform systems NEVER suffer compatibility issues.

If you decide on a programming language because of the size of the resulting binary then I feel really sorry for you.
That is precisely the attitude that has caused Vista to be many times slower and more bloated than XP (which is neither fast nor lean).

Kaled.

grelmar




msg:3629254
 4:53 pm on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

corporations don't buy boxes, they buy licences, like open licence argeement. AFIAK those contracts allow the customer to buy vista but use XP or even Win 2K instead (downgrade).

True, but when most of your IT dept. is a bunch of outsourced contractors, it is far cheaper to have the machines arrive on your doorstep with the OS of choice pre-loaded, it saves a lot of time when you go to deploy the machine, and given contractor rates, that money adds up.

The issue is hardware refresh cycles. Some companies (wisely) specifically held off on hardware refreshes so they could time the refresh for a point when the "bugs" would have been worked out of Vista. On a corporate scale, buying 200 - 1000 machines with a new, "untested in the wild" OS is... unwise.

Now that Vista has been out long enough to get its first service pack, and managers are still seeing serious compatibility issues with legacy software and network arrangements, they're in a quandary. Depending on the refresh cycle, they might be in a position where the cost of maintaining older machines exceeds the cost of replacing the machines. But they don't want to add to the expense of a hardware refresh by having to burn out the OS delivered with the machine and "downgrade" to XP.

Therefore, they're buying machines now, while it can still come pre-loaded with XP. They can't afford to take the chance that vendors will stop issuing machines with XP on them.

Sure, they could set up common images to load onto whatever hardware that comes in, but that incurs a lot of cost.

Hugene




msg:3629369
 6:22 pm on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Give it 4gb (2gb minimum) of RAM ...

This is preposterous... 4 Gig is a server! For running Windows?

XP is the last version of Win I install. Ubuntu or Mac, that's the future.

[edited by: Hugene at 6:22 pm (utc) on April 17, 2008]

Hester




msg:3629834
 8:39 am on Apr 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is preposterous... 4 Gig is a server! For running Windows?

Not really. The last 'standard' was 2Gb. (If you upgrade from 512Mb to 2Gb, you'll find Windows and programs run a lot smoother.) So the next step up would be 4Gb, so the figure seems natural to me.

XP is the last version of Win I install. Ubuntu or Mac, that's the future.

The Mac Pro can have up to 32Gb of RAM. If you edit graphics or video it makes sense. It's not just Windows that loves more memory.

Note: I believe XP can't see more than 3Gb of RAM, so perhaps that's one reason to 'upgrade' to Vista.

bill




msg:3629837
 8:47 am on Apr 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Just FYI [microsoft.com]

Maximum RAM Supported

Windows Vista supports up to 4 GB with a 32-bit system or up to 128+ GB with a 64-bit system.


and:
Memory Support and Windows Operating Systems [microsoft.com]

Windows XP Professional and Windows Server 2003 Memory Support. The maximum amount of memory that can be supported on Windows XP Professional and Windows Server 2003 is also 4 GB. However, Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition supports 32 GB of physical RAM and Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition supports 64 GB of physical RAM using the PAE feature.


vincevincevince




msg:3629913
 12:33 pm on Apr 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

The last 'standard' was 2Gb.

Not at all. 1Gb is only now becoming standard for a Jim & Jane new purchase, with many entry level machines still coming with 512Mb or even 256Mb. When you can go from $599 to $499 on a laptop retail price by slashing the RAM, it keeps bundled RAM levels much lower than what industry professionals recommend.

As an aside, I've got blazing performance from a set of new Dell Linux Laptops with 1Gb RAM - performance which far far exceeds what they were doing under the XP which came with them.

mike73




msg:3629920
 12:56 pm on Apr 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Jeeze, calm down people. It's not like XP will stop working on June 30th. It just won't be supported anymore.

Anyway, I've been using Vista for a few months and haven't had a single problem. No crashing and no compatibility problems.

Hester




msg:3631348
 8:25 am on Apr 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

vince, you're right. I was thinking of my 'personal' standard, or preference, which is for 2Gb.

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