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4/10/2012
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Microsoft Starts Windows XP Deathwatch

Microsoft says enterprises still running the decade-old OS should move to Windows 7 and not wait for Windows 8.

Windows Annoyances That Windows 8 Will (Hopefully) Solve
Windows Annoyances That Windows 8 Will (Hopefully) Solve
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Microsoft is warning business customers that all support for Windows XP, still the most widely deployed PC operating system in corporate America more than a decade after it debuted, ends in two years. While that might seem like a ways off, the company said IT departments need to start upgrade planning now.

Microsoft also warned that support for Office 2003 also ends in two years--on April 8, 2014, to be exact. Additionally, mainstream support for Windows Vista ends Tuesday. That means the few Vista users that are out there will be charged on a per-incident basis for support going forward.

"If you still have some PCs running Windows XP and Office 2003, now would be a good time to start migrating them to Windows 7 and Office 2010," said Stella Chernyak, a marketing director in Microsoft's Windows group, in a blog post. "Windows XP and Office 2003 were great software releases in their time, but the technology environment has shifted. Technology continues to evolve and so do people's needs and expectations."

[ Microsoft warned a year ago that this day was coming. Read Windows XP At 10: No Life Support. ]

Despite the fact that it hit the market back in 2001, Windows XP remains the most popular desktop operating system in use today. Including both consumer and business environments, XP's share of the desktop market stands at just under 47%, compared to about 37.5% for Windows 7 and 7.7% for Vista, according to the most recent data from Net Applications.

The question facing IT departments still running Windows XP is whether to upgrade to Windows 7 immediately, or wait until Windows 8 debuts later this year. Chernyak said it makes more sense for enterprises to move to Windows 7 before Windows 8.

"We don't recommend waiting," she said. "Not only is it important for companies to complete deployment before support runs out, but they should also be aware that by upgrading to Windows 7 and Office 2010 today they can gain substantial results today while laying the foundation for future versions of these products."

Most enterprises will likely heed that advice. Businesses tend not to upgrade to new versions of Windows at least until Microsoft has released the first service pack. That generally occurs about a year after launch. The conservative approach helps assure businesses that their Windows environment is stable and mature in terms of application and driver support, and that security exploits have been patched.

Application compatibility shouldn't be an issue for businesses that adopt Windows 7 and later move to Windows 8--to a point, at least. Microsoft has said that the Intel-compatible version of Windows 8 for desktops and laptops will be fully backwards compatible with Windows 7. The tablet version of Windows 8 that's designed to run on ARM chips, however, will not support Windows 7 apps.

Microsoft offers a number of tools, including the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Desktop Optimization Pack, to help organizations manage the migration off of XP.

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WWHIT
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WWHIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/16/2012 | 4:01:21 PM
re: Microsoft Starts Windows XP Deathwatch
Does anyone else find it surprising (ha) that MS is recommending moving to Windows 7 before moving to Windows 8? I understand the point, but doesn't that hasten the subsequent deathwatch for WIN7? Oh wait, that will create the need to move to WIN8 before WIN9...
NJ Mike
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NJ Mike,
User Rank: Strategist
4/16/2012 | 3:49:59 PM
re: Microsoft Starts Windows XP Deathwatch
Imagine if a car company announced it will no longer fix cars manufactured before a certain year. Would consumers continue to buy cars from that company? I don't think so.
WhatAnotherAnother
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WhatAnotherAnother,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/15/2012 | 2:32:26 PM
re: Microsoft Starts Windows XP Deathwatch
BS! I use XP and 7, and as far as I am concerned 7 sucks. 7 was Microsoft's introduction of the "my way or the highway" interface, and 8 will be even worse.
Phil L
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Phil L,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/12/2012 | 11:46:03 PM
re: Microsoft Starts Windows XP Deathwatch
Are there really any businesses still using XP? Any business using XP is also using really old applications software as well. I'd be interested to see how many businesses this really effects?
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/12/2012 | 3:10:12 PM
re: Microsoft Starts Windows XP Deathwatch
Turn OFF the AeroGlass UI and your "translucent window" issues will go away. While you ae at it, buy a book on Windows 7 that teaches you how to use it and customize it. You'll find that a lot of your complaints about it have more to do with lack of knowledge than it does with missing features.

The biggest problem Microsoft has in moving from one OS to another is that they have to maintain a reasonable degree of backward compatibility with the entire Windows ecosystem. It's an open platform (unlike Apple) that freely lets third party developers build apps and tools for Windows. It's give and take though as, unfortunately, a majority of the problems with Windows PC's eventually relate to issues with third partly software and not the OS itself.

Windows 7 is a vastly superior OS from a security and spit and polish perspective over XP. Windows XP was developed at a time when mal-intentioned exploits were only just beginning to emerge. It was also developed largely for the business community to run on internal networks. It's time in the sun has waned and it should be retired.

Lastly, users should choose the Win7 Home Premium sku if they want a more nimble OS. It comes without all of the IT management infrastructure baked in. Unless you have a use case for that, don't install the Pro or Ultimate versions just because you want the high end. You need high end hardware to run it.
ANON1237925156805
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ANON1237925156805,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/11/2012 | 8:04:20 PM
re: Microsoft Starts Windows XP Deathwatch
Agree with you 100% re XP and Office. The ribbon drives me crazy. At home I use Open Office on my Windows box and MS Office on my Mac, where it remains ribbon-free--for now. Am learning iWorks just in case. . ..

Re windows 7 I don't even feel that it's a better UI. The Window frame is translucent and for me because of vision problems that makes it unreadable, especially on a laptop. I have devoted quite a bit of time to trying to fix this, but apparently while I can chhose from many themes all of them are translucent. I get that most folks havent even noticed this; everyone has their own quibbles. But this is an example of change for change's sake and that's what needs to stop. Software upgrades should fix bugs and security holes, implement compatibility with new technologies whether hardware or software-driven, and make a few genuine enhancements, preferably driven by user input. (Exceptions were made for Steve Jobs who knew what users wnated before they did--sometimes. It remains to be seen whether Apple will earn the same exemptions in future.)

I guess that MS feels that they couldn't charge as much for upgrades if they were done on that basis. But they need to realize how many options we all have now in terms of hardware platforms, devices, and OFfice compatible tools. Charging us top dollar for bloated releases that require us to completely relearn tasks that we do all day every day is a good way to induce us to migrate--away from Microsoft. Will they ever get it???
YMOM100
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YMOM100,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/11/2012 | 11:18:01 AM
re: Microsoft Starts Windows XP Deathwatch
Because Microsoft thinks that you are stupid and makes decisions for you. That said, you can enable the Administrator account, turn all that red tape off and access any folder you want using tools like xplorer-. Unfortunately, that is the only way for power users to overcome this dysfunctional design. I do understand the purpose of the restrictions as it keeps the unknowing from destroying their systems. Then again, I think they should be allowed to do so and learn the hard lessons that understanding how stuff works and making backups is not optional.
And while you are at it, install Classic Shell as well to eradicate a more moronic UI flaws.
YMOM100
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YMOM100,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/11/2012 | 11:13:28 AM
re: Microsoft Starts Windows XP Deathwatch
What Microsoft should do is either contract a 3rd party company that continues to support XP or open source the whole thing. If Microsoft wants Windows to run on every desktop that will surely make it happen, although once in the hands of capable developers and team leads it might also grow into a major competitor.
As far as Office goes, after Microsoft destroyed the UI with the ribbon I switched to OpenOffice / LibreOffice and never looked back. Works better anyway for what I need to do and definitely crashes less.
sam-augur100
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sam-augur100,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/11/2012 | 6:44:32 AM
re: Microsoft Starts Windows XP Deathwatch
Ok Microsoft, we get that you want everyone to upgrade from XP to Windows 7 because it is more secure, its better, etc. However, no matter how new the hardware you purchase, on every new system, Windows 7 is still slower than Windows XP on a 2 1/2 year old system (with same RAM, same speed/type and size hard drive, etc).

A lot of people want Windows XP's speed in Windows 7, but it just isn't there. :( I've deployed several new systems in the past 6 months to replace XP running systems 2-2 1/2 yrs old... and the older systems running XP behave faster than the new system with Windows 7 in it.

So Microsoft, stop trying to make Windows 7 very visual and competing with Apple's GUI. Concentrate on making Windows 7 as fast as Windows XP, with all your security enhancements already in place, and then you can ask us for quicker upgrades.
campdude
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campdude,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/11/2012 | 3:49:35 AM
re: Microsoft Starts Windows XP Deathwatch
The problem with Windows 7 is... I installed the darn operating system and I still have no Administrative rights... Why cant i download a file into a Directory other than the download area?
Why cant i delete files? In different locations... or rename them or anything that XP does.
Im too lazy to learn how to do this so I dual boot into XP and move my Win 7 files around.
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