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3/17/2014
10:10 AM
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Windows XP Holdouts: 6 Top Excuses

Microsoft cuts support for Windows XP in less than a month, but millions still use the OS. Are these rationales worth the risk?

Credit: Nick Perla, Flickr
Credit: Nick Perla, Flickr

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AlphaBase
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AlphaBase,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/18/2014 | 11:58:27 AM
We don't want no stink'in upgrade
Using words like "holdouts' and "excuses" indicates that you are on the Microsh*t payroll. We don't need to buy junk like Win8 when XP works just fine. Personally I have XP machines and Win7 machines. I might upgrade XP to Linux Mint on my XP machines since Microsh*t treats it's millions of customers like sh*t. There's no excuse in the world for MS to screw it's user base by pulling the rug out from under all of us. They could easily continue to support XP as they have been doing at little cost to them. Eventually everyone will upgrade anyway - machines die, sooner or later people want the newer features (assuming they work in a user-friendly manner) or they need new functionality not provided in XP. MS needs to learn the value of something called "good will". They ought to learn that doing the right thing is more important than tryiing to squeeze every last dollar out of the rest of us. I'll be damned if I give more money to Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer just so they can have even more billions. Blank'em!
niblets0492
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niblets0492,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/18/2014 | 11:31:12 AM
Re: Windows XP holdouts
Linux blows.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
3/19/2014 | 11:09:10 PM
Re: Upgrade from Windows XP
"The big problem will come when web pages no longer work with IE 8, as this is the last version of IE likely to work on XP."

Good point. A lot of businesses rely on tools that were built for IE 8. To address potential problems, the new version of IE that will launch with this spring's Windows 8.1 update is supposed to have some kind of IE 8 compatability mode.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
3/19/2014 | 11:05:11 PM
Re: Windows XP holdouts
"Have you noticed how many recycled XP machines that don't have the power to run 7 are now being offered with Ubuntu?"


I agree with the others who've said Ubuntu is too niche to fill XP's shoes-- but I think this quote brings up a good point. Some really puny hardware that won't come close to running Windows 7 will still comfortably run Linux. Here are the system requirements for Ubuntu: 700 MHz processor, 512 MB RAM, and a minimum display resolution of 1024x768 pixels. Some other Linux flavors support even more meager specs.

Moving to Linux will be something of a project for many XP users, so I don't anticipate many will do so. But if you have a little time on your hands and an old XP machine that would otherwise go in a landfill, Ubuntu could extend the life of your PC. For anyone who's truly ticked at the prospect of buying a new computer, it's at least one option.

 
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
3/19/2014 | 10:52:04 PM
Re: Well...
Yeah, some ATMs can evidently handle software upgrades, but older/cheaper ones (think local liquor store models) will probably need to replaced, which can cost several thousand dollars per unit. Between paying Microsoft for extended service and updating machines, each big bank reportedly faces tens of millions in costs. Higher ATM fees coming our way?
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
3/19/2014 | 10:47:03 PM
Re: Reasons 1, 2
"Perhaps I'm splitting hairs but the most aggregious compatibiilty problems generally come from device driver hassles."

 

I don't think that's splitting hairs or a minor quibble at all, actually. I've heard a lot of complaints about device driver problems. Thanks for bringing it up-- great point.

Any other readers who've encountered device driver issues related to XP?
pbornemeier
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pbornemeier,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/19/2014 | 10:28:57 AM
Re: Windows XP holdouts
I think Microsoft is missing a huge income opportunity by not shifting XP to a paid subscription for maintenance and Microsoft Security Essentials upgrade.  Most sites would be willing to pay $25 per year per XP installation (with discounts for more XP machines at a site).
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
3/18/2014 | 9:22:58 PM
Reasons 1, 2
Regarding too expensive to upgrade:

I'm pretty sure Microsoft made reduced price upgrades avaialable for Vista, 7 and 8 when they first debuted.

 

Regarding compatibility problems:

Most programs would run but they won't install because their installers made assumptions about where the user folder is or where configuration files should go.  Further, some programs try to write to places outside the user folder and a normal user doesn't have access to do that unless they set their account as an admin and disable UAC.  Disabling UAC in Windows 8 prohibits modern apps from running.

Perhaps I'm splitting hairs but the most aggregious compatibiilty problems generally come from device driver hassles.  Vista changed the driver model and if the hardware vendor didn't provide new drivers for your device, you were SOL.  There's no solution.  This really bugged me because of all the backward, backward compatibility Microsoft builds into Windows, why wouldn't they foresee folks wanting to run a legacy driver?  Why couldn't they have provided a sand-box to run these drivers and at least let folks continue to use their trusted scanners, printers and other peripherals that were fine but rendered useless for no other reason than the Vista/7/8 driver model cannot use their drivers?  I had a relatively expensive SCSI scanner from years ago that I trashed because HP never released updated drivers for it.  That ticked me off big time.
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
3/18/2014 | 9:13:34 PM
Re: Windows XP holdouts
I thought you could get support from company's like Red Hat.
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
3/18/2014 | 9:10:42 PM
Re: My only reason for having to use XP
Got a network?  Rip the Windows 7 DVD to an ISO file.  Copy it to the target PC using the network.  Mount it using one of the many free image mounting utilties.

Once mounted, run the setup.  Windows will copy all the necessary installation goodies to the hard drive and complete the install from there when it reboots.

Of course you need a large enough hard disk to hold not only the image file but the stuff that the Windows 7 installer copies to the disk.  You also cannot do a "clean" install this way because you cannot format the drive or you'll lose the Windows 7 install stuff.  However, I'm pretty sure you can tell it to blow away the previous Windows before it does that.  It's been a while since I've done this type of stuff but it should be possible.  You also might be able to partition your hard drive and have the setup copy the windows install stuff to the second partition.  That might enable you to format the first partition and set it up as the boot drive.  Later you can rejoin the partitions using freely available partition software.

I'm almost certain you can get 7 on a machine without a DVD or exernal USB drive.
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