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2/20/2014
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Windows XP Shutdown Outrage: Users Boo Microsoft Blog

Microsoft blogger recently encouraged customers to "help their family and friends get off Windows XP." Oh, really?

Windows 8.x licensing and pricing. Others said they simply can't afford to buy a new PC. "I have an XP computer and I cannot afford to upgrade," Miss Tia wrote, adding that she likes the aged XP just fine.

InformationWeek readers have shared similar sentiments in recent months: they're not getting off XP because they don't have the money for new hardware. One reader chimed in on a recent story: "New computers aren't free. Unless MS wants to buy me a new computer, I will have to continue using XP." Among businesses still running XP, budget commonly appears on the list of reasons why.

That's one of the more awkward aspects of marketing XP-to-8.x upgrades: While XP-aged hardware might meet the minimum system requirements for Windows 8.1, it's unlikely to deliver an optimal experience. Indeed, one of two upgrade paths outlined in LeBlanc's blog post is simply: Get a new PC. "The easiest path to Windows 8.1 is with new devices and there are offers and deals from many retailers to help people get a new device," LeBlanc wrote. Translation: Please buy new stuff.

Another Windows XP user, retired, commented on Feb. 20, nearly two weeks after the post was published: "It would be really nice if you would stop telling me how to spend MY MONEY, as in 'get rid of XP and buy yourself a new computer.' ... You are going to lose a lot of [retirees] ... Do you really think we can afford a new computer on YOUR WHIM?"

To Microsoft's credit, it's allowing the overwhelmingly negative conversation to flow freely. LeBlanc assured some of the more ornery respondents that "we're not censoring your comments" and said he is passing the feedback along to "appropriate teams at Microsoft." He noted that some messages may be removed if they're flagged as inappropriate, abusive, or spam. (Imagine what some of those messages must say.)

It's reasonable to assume that the feedback hasn't been warmly received, and it's a reminder of the risks inherent in communicating at customers when they have a very public forum for responding. (Like, say, the Internet.) Even one of the strongest bullet points in Microsoft's "get off XP" message -- the potential security problems for users and networks once Microsoft stops patching software flaws -- was thrown back in the company's face.

"Yeah, I know [XP] isn't as secure as a newer OS, but most people I speak to have come to expect all Microsoft OS's to be insecure and have to be behind anti-virus, anti-malware, and a firewall anyway," XMVP wrote. He recommends that XP stalwarts stop using Internet Explorer, Outlook, and Outlook Express, and potentially even Office after April 7 if they want to take extra security precautions.

"I think Microsoft made some serious errors in the [recent] years regarding OS upgrades, and I put this firmly on the 'retiring' CEO's plate for mishandling it and not understanding the market or how people think," XMVP continued. "You can only 'milk' people for so long before they get irritated and put their foot down. Microsoft pushed this too far, and has lost their goodwill with most of the people I influence, and I don't blame them."

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Kevin Casey is a writer based in North Carolina who writes about technology for small and mid-size businesses. View Full Bio

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DavidA268
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DavidA268,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/27/2014 | 7:35:40 AM
Re: How to test customer patience
How many realize the Mr Bill Gates will packet a massive amount from this XP Shutdown. When he wrote his first OS he offered it to IBM for a cool $1million,who turned him down in the late 1980's. A year later he offered them an updated version for an outright purchase for a couple of $million, again they turned him down, by then the first desktop Pc had just come onto the market. The follow year he offered his next OS to IBM on a different deal. For each time they used his OS on any PC or on any hardware that requires his OS to be able to use, IBM would pay him the princely sum of just $1. They tore his arm off and signed the lifetime deal. He made about $1500 in the first year, Year 2 just over $1million. After year 2 IBM tried to buy him out. He refused.


This deal is still in place. this is why every piece of hardware / software has in the small print IBM compatible. For each and every item Microsoft still get that $1 each. The rest is history as to the MS furtune.


Now we are being forced to upgrade or risk our PCs being hacked. I run a small business and for the last 3 to 4 weeks I have had one member of staff trying to resolve issues of upgrading just to Windows 7. Some of our software will not work and that will cost over £1k to upgrade. Many of our hardware items, scanners and cameras will not work either and no software is available so the only option is new hardware, which has to be IBM Compatible and that means MS will be profiting from this as well again. I have yet to work out the costs involved. We have just spent £12k moving to our first business unit so if we have to spend God knows what, the effect on the business could be a real disaster.
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
2/22/2014 | 6:56:29 PM
Re: How to test customer patience
@ Chris.. You make a great point. However they are not making money on people that don't upgrade and that is the name of the game for MS. You would think that they would be happy they are still using a MS product.
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
2/22/2014 | 6:50:20 PM
Safe and secure?

Ok, I realize XP will not be patched anymore once the magic date passes but a plea to keep our family and friends safe by helping them realize they need a new PC with a new OS? Gimmie a break. My mom has an old PC that runs XP and it won't run 7 never mind 8. She is on a fixed income and will not be upgrading. That old PC still works and does what she needs. This lets keep people safe is BS!

pauly1651
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pauly1651,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/22/2014 | 11:44:44 AM
Re: What's Win 7, chopped liver?
Microsoft is pushing Windows 8 and 8.1.

It's their new baby and they just have to cover their butts on this one.

I check the sales every day, several times a day, at websites that sell PC parts and software, and Windows 8...8.1 are going way down in sales and in cost of purchasing. Windows 7 is still going strong, and Windows XP is nowhere. I switched to Windows 7 years ago, and love it. It IS the best microsoft every came out with! Windows XP was good in it's day, but most users want to be able to have power, speed, and fun when on their computers, and Windows 7 provides it. Windows 8 and 8.1 is just too much work for most folks. Windows 8 is on my phone and it works great, and easy to use...BUT IT'S a Phone!! NOT a PC! When IS microsoft going to get it thru their thick skulls that Windows 8 on desktops and laptops.....is a bust?

Some guys will tell you how much faster Windows 8 loads and runs, but just install an SSD in your Windows 7 PC, and you will be amazed at how snappy it will be!
bawkbawk
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bawkbawk,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/21/2014 | 6:16:24 PM
Interesting change on the Windows Blog.
It appears that you now cannot scroll to previous post pages anymore. This, in effect, has shut out people's ability to see the past blogs like the one referenced in the article without a direct link. Also, I noticed that an amazing amount of new blogs were suddenly added to the Windows Blog site so that the "Help your Friends and Family get off XP" was shuffled to the third page within days. 

 

What a sneaky way to handle problems. It appears that the modus operandi for Brandon LeBlanc is to post articles. If people start complaining then suddenly new articles start appearing every few hours so that the article with negatvie posts gets immediately shuffled to non-home page status. Now, they appear to have simply shut off access to the old articles. So, we have the same old same old.

 

Brandon tells us all that he is listening to us, however nothing happens, and everything is quickly hushed up so that too many feathers are not ruffled. Then they just go on about ignoring our feedback and posting articles of "fluff", rather than actually try to communicate with us or solve any of our legitimate complaints.

 

It is just amazing how far Microsfot has fallen. I remember when they actually listened to their MVP's and MCSE's. Now they appear to care less. They are just giving us all the middle finger.
Whoopty
IW Pick
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
2/21/2014 | 9:29:30 AM
Re: What's Win 7, chopped liver?
I was surprised they didn't try and push 7 instead of (or at least as well as) Windows 8, since it's a much more widely accepted operating system (almost 50 per cent of PCs if I remember rightly). 

This is an interesting one though, as there's two sides to the argument. Really, these people shouldn't be excepted to have their hand held just because they don't want to update software that's almost 15 years old. I'd be surprised if anyone could name one other piece of software they use that's that old. It's impressive it's still functional in some senses. 

That said, Microsoft's arrogance around it smacks of the same attitude we saw with Don Mattrick before he left the Xbox division. When pressed for what users without internet access should do when it came to the Xbox One, he said they should just get an Xbox 360 instead. 

I think a lot of developers, especially at the giant mega-corps, have quite sanitised atmosphers and struggle to imagine how people on the other side of the world or in a vastly different economic band than themselves might view upgrades and new hardware - that they no doubt get for free. 
GBARRINGTON196
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GBARRINGTON196,
User Rank: Strategist
2/21/2014 | 8:57:03 AM
Re: How to test customer patience
Microsoft is starting to look more and more like Eastman Kodak.  It has absolutely no understanding of the world it helped create.  This campaign sounds a lot like the Obamacare "nag young adults into signing up" campaign.  Both are equally annoying to the intended target and doomed to fail.

Me?  I've been experimenting with the Ubuntu and Mint versions of Linux.  Both are quality products suitable for casual, non hobbyist users, and extrememly ready for prime time.
jlaczko
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jlaczko,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/20/2014 | 7:09:05 PM
Re: How to test customer patience
I partially agree with Microsoft. XP users should upgrade! Lets say something like Ubuntu or Fedora. Just  sayin'.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
2/20/2014 | 3:20:18 PM
Re: How to test customer patience
As someone who is periodically the tech support person to various family members, I had to chortle that this guy would think this was a good approach. Who wants all that work, teaching people about a new Windows OS? I mandated my mom get a Macbook so that I could occasionally send her to the Apple store genius bar instead of taking remote control of her PC and de-gunking it. I am not alone, there.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
2/20/2014 | 3:03:40 PM
Re: How to test customer patience
Is there really no way for Microsoft to make XP loyalty a good thing? Chevy built its whole Silverado ad campaign around it being the "most dependable, longest-lasting" full-size pickup. Should Microsoft be marketing Windows like pickups?
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