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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.
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?
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?
Well, not really. That's kind of like saying, "If my brakes are shot, that's my problem." It is, of course, until you slam into the guy stopped in front of you. One thing that has enabled the spread of some worms in the last year or two is that many, many individuals and admins failed to keep up with patches. When your infected PC starts sending my domain a thousand e-mails an hour, it becomes MY problem, too. I look forward to the day when all OSs update as easily and unobtrusively as my virus signatures - that will greatly cut down on successful exploits.
Yah, well the OS that's running the mars rovers is something like 20+ years old (can't remeber the name of it), and I don't see NASA complaining.
They look at its age as a benefit. They know that OS inside out and backwards.
Like a lot of people here, (I'm guessing) I spend way more time than I'd like tweaking my OS (which happens to be XP). My last machine ran 98SE, and it was 2 years before I'd really worked it over enough to the point where it ran everything to my satisfaction. I'm just gonna assume that XP will be the same, roughly. So, lessee, 2 years tweaking an OS that I'll get maybe 5 years use out of. That blows. After about 8 or 9 months using XP, I'm at the "Pink Cloud" stage where it seems like its running everything right, but I know that because it's an M$ product, it still has a pile of surprises in store for me.
The BEST M$ OS I ever ran was DOS 3.2. I had it bashed in under a month and then didn't touch it for 7 years.
The fact that many corporations are using older operating systems is a tribute to the stability of these OSs....
I don't THINK so. That's crap - REAL crap. Yes, 98SE was magnitudes more stable than 95. But it WAS NOT/IS NOT stable. (Okay okay - NEITHER IS XP!)
There are a couple of reasons corp doesn't move to XP, neither of them the above: 1) Cheapness. Really - corporate America IS CHEAP. 2) Cheapness. It costs a LOT OF MONEY to have an IT team do not only the software tweaks but tweak and re-tweak the hardware (piqued, re-piqued and capoted!). [Not many corps will simply order up a brand new Dell for every desk in their purview, y'know....]
These days I don't really think about my OS much. It does its job and stays out of the way. That's all I really want. If Microsoft could figure that out, maybe they wouldn't have to spend so much time worrying about the Linux movement...
you just cant compare any of the NT kernel based products with 95/98/me, they (NT/2k/XP) are just better in genneral; better maintained and no doubt worth it. MS has a check in the mail so to speak. How long do you think that the business IT guys can hold out with a 486 these days :) they will upgrade sooner or later. They just have to loosen up there belts a bit, and with things shaping up economicly, I suspect we will start to see more proliferation of XP in the next 2 years.
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?
Well, not really. That's kind of like saying, "If my brakes are shot, that's my problem."
Not really the same thing is it? Your vehicle has to undergo an annual inspection for roadworthiness because an elected government so decreed. We may not like governments or political parties but in a civilised society we have to live with them and their decisions. If it was illegal for Windows users to be stupid.... I'd be one of the happiest men around :) Maybe you should start a lobby group to ban stupid Windows users :)
When your infected PC starts sending my domain a thousand e-mails an hour, it becomes MY problem, too
Sorry, that argument doesn't work. You are basing that conclusion on a false premise i.e. the premise that because my PC is out of my singular control - and partly within MS's control - that you won't get worms or that you'll get less automatically generated mail rubbish. I beg to differ. That hasn't been the general experience since XP's debut.
OSes updating automatically does not equate to "easily" or "unobtrusively". They often collapse/crash/cause irrecoverable errors after updating. And "unobtrusive" is a bit vague. Would you consider a PC that reports all your cookies unobtrusive? You have NO idea what it is indeed sending back to MS.
I am not happy for my machine to be out of my control, to automatically call a remote machine and communicate with it, to automatically download stuff off the net and perhaps make my PC complete unusable, to automatically send someone else information about what programs i have, when and why they crashed, and to automatically exchange other information including that I may have recently changed my printer. Some of it is not information that's useful to anyone but the issue is that i do not know what info is and isn't being sent. All I have is MS's assurance that they take only what information they need. Thanks, but no thanks.
As far as individual server and PC owners, I guess we'll just agree to disagree. Worm outbreaks cost billions, and in many cases these worms exploited known vulnerabilities for which patches had been distributed months earlier. I put a higher price on security and efficiency than privacy when it comes to automated updating, but all may not share that view.
I see your point about employees not worrying too much about privacy on their office machines (though I believe some are paranoid about it). But corporations should be. If I was Larry Ellis I wouldn't want my PC reporting to MS where I'd been and what I've done :)
Ths issue is not just MS. If I've got a system on my PC for confidential information to be sent over the net without my knowledge... then virus writers could tap into it. You, rogerd, could end up getting my customer database!
My #1 problem with XP is the cr*p automatic updates. If I had a penny for every one of our customers who screwed up their PCs with automatic update I'd be a rich man.
I have a total of 6 PCs I use at home and work and I do use XP. I just don't use it on the PCs that matter :)
XP is a great O/S. If you are worried about privacy, XP-Antispy and a good firewall (Sygate) will secure you. I have no time for folks that mouth off about security when 1/2 an hour spent securing the system does it.
98 is a workaday system that is OK, but given the choice, gimme XP anyday.
We have here at work: 3 XP machines, 2 98 machines, and a RH 8.0 Linux server. All machines run fine, some (Server and one 98 machine) are on 24/7. No slowdowns are experenced.
I dunno what you people that manage to bog down an O/S are doing, but it probably involves viruses, malware, and badly written software. If you haven't settled on a core of programs to use day to day to got your work done, what are you doing? Downloading loads of 'free' bugware "coz it looked kewl"? ;-)
I can't find a reason to switch thte 98's up to xp. I tried once, but the xp installer died with some error just as it was starting - lol.
I find 98se better at networking and handling new hardware than xp. With xp, you are always being hassled by the man.
Lastly, the compatability factor. I have a ton of dos programs I still use because they are so much faster than the windows counterparts. XP won't run some of those.
Those of you using XP - don't get too comfortable with it. The chances are your next PC will be 64 bit and you'll have to live with Windows 64 [microsoft.com]. And if you think WOW 32 works then you probably still believe NT admin passwords are unbreakable. We're beta testing Windows 64 and - forget about DOS programs - some of your XP programs won't work!
<edit reason - tidied up the link which wasn't working>
[edited by: Macro at 4:32 pm (utc) on April 15, 2004]
a ton of dos programs
Gee, Brett, I could root around in the boneyard for a Windows 3.11 box... ;)
*snicker* I've got one I could put back together....
As to the "win64" issue.... I'm looking forward to it, from what little I've learned about it. I never worry too much about particular programs working with a "new" OS. As it happens, I don't have any "XP" programs really. I have a ton of older stuff I use just fine under XPPro; in fact the SINGLE program I've not been able to get to work under XP is a game - Throne of Bhaal. *shrug* I know some people who have it working and others who don't, and there's NO point of congruence among us.
When I have to go to win64, I'll get what I need to work with it. Or I'll already have done either linux or FreeBSD (which is starting to sound like what I REALLY want to do), and won't worry about win64 at all.
The one thing that I would really like to see (apropos of a statement I made in another thread a few days ago) is a "home for orphaned software" including OSes. Since MS stopped supporting 98 in July '03 (I think that's when it was), that leaves a HUGE installation base just hanging out there.... waiting for the bomb to hit.... (I'm pretty sure that MS would have pink-and-purple-polkadot-kittens even at the thought though....)
CANNOT stand the fact that xp is sending stuff without my knowledge. not even mentioning the factthat i sit on a VERY slow connection (no option here, being on a boat in the caribbean) and it makes downloads, upgrades etc almost imposssible. - very good for developing FAST loading sites though ;)
Virus writers don't bother too much with the mac because of the smaller user base
If this were true, there would have been no viruses for older Mac OS versions either, but there were.
These days, a lot of viruses get written to turn computers into spamming machines, not for prestige. There are millions of Macs out there running OS X, and many or most of them (mine included) have no anti-virus software installed.
The thought that spammers haven't tried to write code to seize control of those "unprotected" Macs is ludicrous.
Even a "glory-driven" cracker would have plenty of incentive to write a virus for Mac OS X. Lots of folks have written viruses for Windows, but you can still be the first to write one for OS X. And there's plenty of people who'd love to take Apple down a peg.
What concerns me is the continued use of browsers like IE4 and IE5 because people won't upgrade to XP with IE6. These people are holding back the web. Designers must cater for these broken browsers, rather than just the current ones. A shame.
Now the people on here who are complaining about XP are annoying me. You can turn off sending crash reports when a program goes down. Updates should never cause a problem. But if they do, XP can restore the PC to how it was before (assuming it is still bootable). I've never had a problem with updates at home or at work. Perhaps problems occur due to too much unnecessary user customisation?
XP is a godsend. Only a lunatic would seriously want to stick with crashy 98 on a decent machine, let alone buggy and crashy 95. But people are 'scared' of upgrading. If you have 2000, it's not much of a step up, so there's little point. (Remember, 2000 is NT.) But 98 should be buried. The only reason to keep using it is if your machine is not of a high enough spec to run XP.
I held back from upgrading for years. But when I did, it was the single most effective upgrade I ever did for my PC.
I don't believe Microsoft are constantly sending back data about your machine either. Only hardware changes will force you to register again. And what does that take? A few seconds!
As for the fools who restyle XP to look exactly like 98 - why? It appears people hate change so much that they try to 'hide' XP (ashamed of it perhaps?). I think the 98 look is disgusting. Horrible flat grey concrete slabs. No thanks. Yes, the default XP theme is childish - the blue is far too strong - but the alpha-transparent icons, smooth fonts, rounded corners and much more make XP infinitely more appealing to use. I suggest anyone who hates it should try it for at least a month. Then they would wonder why they would ever want to change. And 98 would then look most horrible. It's just a matter of adjusting. Do you buy a new car and try and restyle it to look like your old one? No! You learn to live with it, see it as an improvement. It's called progress. Why fight it?
I find 98se better at networking and handling new hardware than xp
As for handling hardware better, sorry, no. XP has tons and tons of built-in drivers. All you have to do is add the kit and often it will install itself in seconds! I remember the nightmare days of trying to install hardware in 98 - the endless reboots, crashes, frustration - not with XP. It is simply brilliant with hardware, new or old.
Performance - Settings
Visual Effects - Adjust for best performance.
I much prefor the 'boring' skin - it is less chunky, takes less processor time to do things, means I can have more real applications doing real work. If you are happy with the 'out-the-box' Fisher-Price look, thats cool, but don't give me a hard time coz I like it fast and boring!
But, no I've not switched camps. 98 is still cool. You have more control with 98. Yes, you can turn off things in XP, kinda like opt-out...if you can figure how to do it. But not everything can be turned off. In fact you don't even know what is turned on for crying out loud. You may not have had a problem with updates but thousands - nay, millions - do. 98 isn't "crashy". A clean installation of 98 on a decent machine can run for months without crashing. Mine do. 2000 isn't NT. Yes, it uses NTFS like XP does but NT-Win 2K was one of the biggest leaps in OSes.
who hates it should try it for at least a month
You may be excited about smooth fonts and rounded corners but you fail to see that for some who don't need XP 98 is infinitely better, stable, does the job, and doesn't involve the learning of new things being foisted on them.
XP can restore the PC to how it was before
....too much unnecessary user customisation....
Hmmm. Y'know, far as I'm concerned the only point in HAVING a "machine of my own" (aside from doing real work on it, of course, the which I do!) is so that I can make it "mine". If an OS of some branded version won't let me tweak to my heart's content, I wipe the drive and install a vanilla version that will. Which is exactly what I did when I bought this machine, even though Tiger/Systemax ASSURED me that their version of XPPro was NOT proprietary in any manner (they lied).
In fact, I'm fortunate enough to work for a company which allows us to customize our desktops as much as we like - as long as we don't mess with security (which I haven't done - I've only installed MORE stuff, with the IT guy's blessing.... AdAware, AdsGone, and MailWasher, all of which I paid for myself. Which is why they aren't on all of our machines at work even though I'm the only one in the office who NEVER gets crap - *shrug* - the bosses are cheap, nothing unusual about that!)
....98 is infinitely better, stable
I didn't find that to be true. I had actually far more trouble with 98SE than I'm having with XP (either home or work machines). In fact, I also have 98SE installed on an antique laptop (a 1997 IBM ThinkPad 150) AND an antique pieces-parts home built which started life as a Compaq Presario P120. The only reason for using 98SE on these two is that 95 is WORSE, and they're too slow (even with tons of RAM) to run XP....
Y'know though, this is one of those debates that will never convert anyone, and will never die; AND it's way way off the subject of the thread.... for which I'm no doubt as much to blame as anyone!
electro: I much prefor the 'boring' skin - it is less chunky, takes less processor time to do things...
I have noticed no difference in processor speed. But then I've always used XP on fast processors. :-)
I would have thought the speed difference was almost unmeasurable, but I will take your word for it.
Regarding the default XP skin, I've now switched to a skinning program (because only having 3 fixed skins is stupid). Now I can get any colour scheme I want! (But without resorting back to the 98 look.)
macro: Yes, you can turn off things in XP, kinda like opt-out...if you can figure how to do it. But not everything can be turned off. In fact you don't even know what is turned on for crying out loud
A full list of running XP services is very easy to display. From there, XP can be made to run faster by turning off unwanted services. Your last sentence above sounds almost paranoid. I didn't know what was "turned on" in 98 - I just accepted it. You have to allow the operating system some control, or it won't run properly! Unless you prefer going back to using the DOS command line. Not me.
macro: You may not have had a problem with updates but thousands - nay, millions - do.
I will have to take your word for that, though I doubt the figures are that high. I've not got that impression from reading years of computer magazines.
macro: 98 isn't "crashy". A clean installation of 98 on a decent machine can run for months without crashing.
LOL. And then what? It starts to crash. Regularly. Whereas XP is able to carry on. Any crashes can be worked around, they're not like 98 ones, due to the superior XP code based on NT. (A programmer friend informed me of the differences.) I've only had one major crash, and that was down to my graphics card. Running the same programs, 98 used to crash repeatedly. Or it would slow down so that by afternoon, it was almost useless. I used to reboot just to speed it back up sometimes.
Then there are things like faster booting, less reboots required. The list of improvements goes on and on.
macro: 2000 isn't NT.
It is part of the NT family. NT4 I believe. Microsoft just renamed it to make it more marketable. XP is NT5, isn't it? At least that's what many Windows screens reveal.
macro: ...people having to throw away perfectly good peripherals because of driver issues .... to people like Brett having to give up perfectly good DOS programs and having to learn new ones.
This is one cost of change, I admit. The peripherals were perhaps very old? Like I said before, XP works amazingly with old hardware - such as all mine. I did not need any driver discs. Then there are things like USB2 - does that work in 95? :) To me USB support is more important than DOS. But I can see people who use a lot of DOS programs will have problems with XP.
As an example, I could not run Quake I. But I found a patch online, so now it runs perfectly. Perhaps other DOS programs can be patched?
Remember also that XP has a compatibility feature where programs can be made to run as if they were on 95 or 98, even in 256 colours.
macro: 95 and 98 have pushed programs to be increasingly obtrusive, and XP is the worst, programs "integrate" with the OS, modify the registry, and create dependencies and you have to use the Windows uninstall utility to uninstall them.
This doesn't match my experience. Plus 98 programs also "integrate with the OS" and "modify the registry"!
macro:Chris Hester: XP can restore the PC to how it was before.
Pull the other one!
It's true. There are two features 98 does not have. One is called System Restore, where if you foul up your machine, you can go back to a previous auto-saved version and start again. Have you not heard of this feature? Or does it not work?
Secondly, what about driver rollbacks? Each time you install a new driver, again XP makes a backup of the old one and the settings, so any problems can be solved by restoring the old driver.
Then there are things like the XP Restore facility on the CD.
XP does more integration than anything you've seen before. It gives a PC engineer less control over rectifying problems. Less reboots are not an automatic given. In many machines I've seen XP crashes several times a day. And it can't be fixed as easily as SE can.
And XP phones home. No, it's not paranoia, it's fact. It's not about allowing the OS some control. It's got too much. There are some unpleasant trends developing. When I buy a program online I want a copy of that exe file so if I ever need to reinstall I can do it. Now it seems that you have to do installations online and don't get a copy of the program. That's annoying. Just like XP. It takes over too much. It assumes too much. It gives MS too much control. As mentioned before I can't even take my hard disk home and plug it into my home PC of identical spec - it won't work if it's XP. I have to buy TWO licences for each PC. But it STILL won't work! Each licence will work with only one PC. And don't let me go into the enterprise deployment issues of XP vs 98SE!
XP is NT5 just as Windows 95 is Windows 4.0. And 98SE does support USB 2.0.
And no, restore doesn't work. It's a cr*p implementation of a brilliant idea. When I say it doesn't work I'm not just talking about the issues with Anti-Virus software and having to turn restore off. I'm talking about tons more issues. Driver rollbacks is just as bad, especially with video cards.
The argument could go on and on. If you like XP by all means continue to use it. Users for whom 98SE works...well 98SE works!
Did someone just call FrontPage a "working tool"?!? ;)
I didn't, but I will. :-) FrontPage been working for me since 1996, and it's the tool that I use to earn a good living.
As for why "XP falls flat - 80% of corporations reject Microsoft XP," I suspect that's mostly because of inertia, tight budgets, and the fact that most of their existing PCs and Windows operating systems are good enough for the business applications they're using.