Microsoft Trash Talks Windows XP, Tells Businesses to Upgrade to Windows 7 Already

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Most businesses don't give a flying flip about owning the latest and greatest product just for the sake of having it, especially when their current solution is working. Case in point, there are still thousands of IT departments rocking Windows XP, both because it works and also because it's perceived as being too costly to upgrade. But is it really?

Not according to Microsoft, which hammered out a blog post that essentially pleads with businesses running Windows XP to upgrade to Windows 7, if for no other reason than to save money. Wait, what?

"Organizations that continue to retain a Windows XP environment not only are leaving themselves exposed to security risks and support challenges, but also are waiting budget dollars that would be better used in modernizing their IT investments," International Data Corporation (IDC) stated in a whitepaper funded by Microsoft.


By upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7, Microsoft claims businesses can save money in support costs and reallocate those funds to other areas.

Microsoft points out some key findings in IDC's whitepaper, all of which come to the conclusion that "staying on Windows XP is an expensive investment when Windows 7 provides dramatic savings." For example, IDC found that base IT and end user labor costs supporting Windows XP is now about five times more than the cost of running Windows 7. Those are wasted funds, as far as Microsoft is concerned.

If all that weren't enough, putting off the inevitable only leads to higher costs in the long run.

"IDC found the longer you wait, the pricier supporting Windows XP gets: IT labor costs go up 25 percent in the fourth year of continuing to run Windows XP past deadline, and user productivity suffers as well, with an increased cost of 23 percent. In the fifth year, IT labor increases by an additional 29 percent, and user productivity costs jump up a staggering 40 percent," Microsoft says.

You can read Microsoft's full argument for upgrading here.
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FreeJet replied on Sat, May 26 2012 1:58 PM

The Model-T was a perfect car,
But did not drive you very far,
And if you crashed it left a scar.
So Microsoft with Win XP,
Fits some of us like a Zuckerberg tee.
And who are they to chastise we?
Your product works and gives us glee.
You built it strong and turned the key,
And booted Vista broke and see,
Why we care more for Win XP.
Sure, Windows 7 is so nice.
But it won't justify the price,
To speak of men as if they're mice.
Oh, here comes 8, do upgrade twice.

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JDiaz replied on Sat, May 26 2012 10:40 PM

Their point was that it's costing more to support XP and that cost is increasing the longer they wait, along with losses in productivity.

So at the very least they should upgrade to Windows 7, they can wait another couple of years before having to upgrade to Windows 8 or maybe 9 by that time...

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JAcord replied on Sat, May 26 2012 11:28 PM

Explain exactly HOW upgrading to Windows 7 saves money? I guarantee you this is all double talk by Microsoft. Just because they say it, does not make it so. SHOW ME point by point HOW I would save money.

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Diggity0 replied on Sun, May 27 2012 12:13 AM

Windows XP was still available in retail channels until mid 2008. I know that Microsoft and the PC manufacturer's would like for everyone to upgrade their PC's every 3 years or so, but I know at my workplace their replacement timeline is more like 5 to 7 years. XP will eventually die off but I'd say there's a few more years to go, even if Microsoft wishes it dead sooner.

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mhenriday replied on Sun, May 27 2012 7:21 AM

Well, as another of today's HotHardware's blogs (http://hothardware.com/News/Microsoft-Revamping-Terms-of-Service-Agreements-to-Block-Class-Action-Lawsuits/) points out - upgrading firms should remember that using a class-action lawsuit to attain redress if one is dissatisfied with a Microsoft product may soon be impossible. Verbum sapienti satis est !...

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realneil replied on Sun, May 27 2012 6:06 PM

The only way that this upgrade would ~really~ save money is if they give Win-7 away for free.

I can't blame the small business owner (that already ~has~ a system in place that works) for balking at the idea of changing it all to please the BORG. (Microsoft)

Many older point of sale and inventory applications, and most older equipment doesn't play nice with any other OS besides XP. (just as Microsoft originally intended, years ago) Smile

How many of us have heard the old saying, "If it works, don't fix it?"

A word to the wise indeed,........

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JDiaz replied on Mon, May 28 2012 12:51 AM

Windows 7 is more secure than XP, it can recover from crashes better than XP, it supports modern standards that XP is falling behind on, you can run more applications on Windows 7 than XP, support newer hardware, etc. While support for XP is fading and will eventually be completely phased out.

Remember, we're talking about the business and IT world and not the normal everyday consumer. Things like security matter more to them than they would to a individual user and XP hasn't been updated for anything besides security patches in years.

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JDiaz replied on Mon, May 28 2012 1:47 AM

The adage, "If it works, don't fix it?" only applies to unneeded change but change is eventually inevitable, especially when there's an actual need and whether they like it or not there is a need!

Like there is no wisdom in ignoring that Windows XP exits all support, including monthly security patches, in April 2014.

Do you really think it's going to cost them less to update at the last minute or rather start now and leave plenty of time for the transition with less than 23 months left?

Never mind do you really think it would cost them less by not being able to upgrade to the latest and best hardware just to keep compatibility with an old OS?

While all support for XP will turn into Pay For Support as well, that'll just pile on the costs!

According to MS Support disclaimer...

"Fees

Unless you qualify for Free Support, the fee for a Single Incident during regular business hours Monday – Friday 0800-2000 is $390.00 (including GST) and payment(credit card) must be received in full before support services are provided. After business hours the fee for a Single Incident is $780.00 (including GST)."

It wouldn't take many such calls to easily validate the need to update to Windows 7. Never mind the headache of getting around the probably mandatory spiel of constantly asking you to just upgrade before they give you support.

Besides, how much longer did you think XP would have lasted? It's already 11 years old, it's hardly like it didn't have its good run but it's a really old OS now and MS can't be supporting it anymore.

The only reason it lasted as long as it did was because of the Vista flop but they fixed that with Windows 7. Now Windows 7 is more secure than XP, doesn't have to reboot after every crash, is more compatible with the latest software, etc. All of which makes it easier to be productive and spend less time dealing with issues.

Really, name one company that still supports a OS that's been around for more than a few years?

Android, not even close with most dropping all support in less than 2 years... OSX, they come out with a new version every 2 years and are now pushing for one every year, with support terminating the moment enough changes happen that prevent the old version from supporting the newer standards... Linux, also rapidly evolves and support is mainly only for the newest distros.

XP pretty much pulled a record run, but like it or not it's on its last lap! You either hold on and risk dying with it or move on.

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mhenriday replied on Mon, May 28 2012 8:18 AM

Some posters on this thread seem to believe that no alternatives exist to upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7. On the contrary, their exist a plethora of alternatives - GNU/Linux, BSD, etc, etc. Support contracts are offered by firms like Ubuntu and Red Hat, and migrating to a different OS is hardly more difficult than upgrading from one Windows to another. Perhaps it's time to hop out of the Microsoft box ?...

 

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realneil replied on Mon, May 28 2012 12:54 PM

mhenriday:
Perhaps it's time to hop out of the Microsoft box ?

Ha-Ha! so many have, and never looked back.

I have a good friend who runs a ~~quilt~~ shop. She sells most of them from her shop because of it's prime highway location in an area that has many tourists driving by. But she has an online presence as well, where she sells to people who have been to her shop and liked what they bought before. They can order from her without a long drive involved. She moves 20-30 items per month on her website.

People order from her site that is managed by a paid Web Host, everything is processed through PayPal and she gets a notification of the sale and payment confirmation. She fulfills the order and ships it and posts that fact to the Web Host who sends a message and tracking info to the buyer. Her PC is an old XP box that only connects to her web host. Everything else is blocked. There is no security risk involved and her PC doesn't even connect to Windows update.

It's a system that works well for her and if I tried to tell her to upgrade it to Win-7 she would have a good belly laugh over it. I did tell her about a year ago that it could be changed over to Linux for free and she laughed, and then she said,...."WHY?"


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mhenriday replied on Mon, May 28 2012 1:04 PM

Sounds like the perfect solution for her, Neil ! But let me ask, was «quit shop» a typo for «quilt shop» ? Otherwise, you'll have to explain to me just what it is she sells at the rate of 20-30 a month....

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realneil replied on Mon, May 28 2012 4:15 PM

Yeah, it's quilts. She sells 20-30 per month ~on line~ and a hell of a lot more of them at the shop. She makes a lot of money with that shop. Some of those quilts are expensive.

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JDiaz replied on Mon, May 28 2012 9:34 PM

Red Hat isn't free and uses a subscription based model. There are essentially two server subscription tiers they offer - one supporting 2 CPU sockets, the other supporting an unlimited number of sockets. Pricing for the former starts at $349 per server, per year. When one of their smaller clients have over 50 machines in their simulation lab then this would equate to $17k per year — a significant cost year over year.

While Ubuntu may be free but there is a question of reliability and the issue that no one is really on the hook in case things go horribly wrong. Though Ubuntu is suited well for custom software development shops, where groups of software is developed for their own purpose, or for an appliance type of product for instance. Since Ubuntu is updated more regularly than Red Hat but inversely it also requires more in house IT, which adds its own costs, than Red Hat solution.

So neither is a perfect solution for everyone, which is why MS solutions are still a factor. Besides which, those companies invested in Windows software can't as easily switch to a alternative.

While legacy support for all only lasts so long before they drop it. No company supports software forever! Mind MS does provide most support for free as long as the product is still being supported by them.

While really, using XP now is like using pre-Ubuntu debian and acting like there's no reason to upgrade.

I know people still using Windows 2000, doesn't mean they shouldn't upgrade or go for anything newer really.

Dislike Windows, fine, plenty of alternatives but all of them push for you to use the newest version!

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realneil replied on Mon, May 28 2012 10:12 PM

JDiaz:
Dislike Windows, fine, plenty of alternatives but all of them push for you to use the newest version!

So have you pre-ordered your copies of Windows 8 yet? Smile

I mostly have Windows-7 here on my home machines with one running dual OS's (Ubuntu with Win-7) And one that just has Linux Mint (Ubuntu) on it. I don't use Red Hat. (BTW: I LOVE my Win-7)

I can see that you believe in Windows latest versions for all and that's cool. I'm the same way about Apple software, because I own some Apple stock.

As it stands now, I'm probably not gonna buy into Win-8 unless something earth shattering changes my mind about it. Win-7 is certainly good enough for me and all that I do.

Not too long ago, I had a dream (nightmare) that they sold software that timed out after a period of time. You had to buy new every now and then, or you were screwed. I think that they'll go to that kind of a system eventually.

While I can understand that many will have to adopt and adapt to newer software, I don't believe that it's indicated for all.

JDiaz:
So neither is a perfect solution for everyone, which is why MS solutions are still a factor

And Microsoft is not the perfect solution for everyone either, which is why Linux solutions are still a factor.

 

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mhenriday replied on Tue, May 29 2012 9:34 AM

Given that the number of internet users worldwide on 31 December 2011 was estimated at nearly 2, 300 million, or nearly 33 % of the world's population (http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm), it seems hardly likely that there exists a single «perfect solution» for everybody's needs. The problem with Microsoft, as I see it, is its tendency to make TINA - there is no alternative - claims. And while there is always a learning curve connected with a change of platform, my experience is that going from, say, Windows XP to Ubuntu 10.04 (pre-Unity) is no greater than going from Windows XP to Windows Vista or, to take another example, going from MS Office 2003 to LibreOffice than from MS Office 2003 to MS Office 2007....

In any event, it is always to the user's advantage to have more than one alternative....

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JDiaz replied on Wed, May 30 2012 12:06 AM

realneil:
I can see that you believe in Windows latest versions for all and that's cool.

I believe in truth, MS has it's faults but as mhenriday points out there is no perfect solution for everybody and each must be looked at with it's own merits and faults balanced against other solutions and their merits and faults.

realneil:
Win-7 is certainly good enough for me and all that I do.

No problem, you got till at least 2020 to find something better before MS drops support for Windows 7 and that should be enough time for either Windows 8 to be fixed and/or Windows 9 to have its turn.

realneil:
While I can understand that many will have to adopt and adapt to newer software, I don't believe that it's indicated for all.

My point is change is inevitable, not that it can't be pushed off a little longer as long as you're willing to accept the penalties for doing so. Like the loss of support, inability to use the latest apps, incompatibility with the newest hardware, etc.

Most Operating Systems lose support in just a few years but XP has been around for 11 now, which is pretty much a record for a still actively used OS that isn't just sitting in someone's basement on ancient hardware. Like someone still using DOS for example.

People just have a tendency to resist change and be nostalgic. To an extent that's okay but that choice isn't practical for everyone, especially if the business requires supporting the latest features and capabilities.

Those that don't need that can hold off longer but eventually those systems will break down and not be repairable and the choice will be made for them at that point.

realneil:
And Microsoft is not the perfect solution for everyone either, which is why Linux solutions are still a factor.

Yes, pretty much what I said. I didn't deny that those alternatives were valid, just that there are reasons for people choosing any one of those solutions.

Mind you and others were posting as if there was no reason to choose a Windows solution, and thus the emphasis of my response.

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SONeill replied on Thu, May 31 2012 4:00 AM

The key concept when understanding this is TCO, total cost of ownership, along with lost productivity.

I once worked in a software development firm that still had most of us on XP with machines with 2gig ram and we all spent most of our time watching the hourglass on the screen and everytime we'd save, the machine would lock up accessing the network, for upwards of 5-10 minutes. But everytime we told management we needed upgrades, at least to memory, we'd get told "We dont have the budget and cant justify it, your machines work, so use it."

Eventually in frusturation the team wrote a small app that monitored how long was spent wasted waiting for hourglasses and network access, and we worked out that since we where all on about $70 an hour, and where losing aproximately 45 minutes a day each , between a team of 40 people (all with the same problems) we where losing about $10K a week in lost productivity, or nearly half a million dollars a year. The upgrades we proposed would have costed about $12K for the entire team and the losses recouped in just over a week (for 4gig of ram per machine and a server + router upgrade).

2 days after we presented this to management, management ordered new machines for everyone and a serious overhaul of our servers , for about $50K.

The interesting thing was, because most of us had become incredibly frusturated with our jobs from these horrible machines (management admitted to having lost a few staff citing "difficult work conditions with the computers") the new machines made our lifes incredibly more productive and our productivity increased well beyond regaining the 45 minutes a day we where spending staring angrily at a frozen computer.

This really is what microsoft is talking about. Yes you have to spend a fair wad of cash , but ultimately computers are cheap and labor is expensive, and shitty old computers cost more money in labor costs than would be lost by simply increasing performace with an upgrade.

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mhenriday replied on Thu, May 31 2012 7:38 AM

«Yes you have to spend a fair wad of cash , but ultimately computers are cheap and labor is expensive, and shitty old computers cost more money in labor costs than would be lost by simply increasing performace with an upgrade.» Yes, indeed, but the benefits of upgrading the machine park aren't necessarily dependent upon installing new MS software, even if Microsoft represents the two concepts as being equivalent. There are, in fact, alternatives - and being aware of them is the responsibility of an IT department worthy of the name....

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realneil replied on Thu, May 31 2012 9:48 AM

SONeill:
I once worked in a software development firm that still had most of us on XP with machines with 2gig ram and we all spent most of our time watching the hourglass on the screen and everytime we'd save, the machine would lock up accessing the network, for upwards of 5-10 minutes.

This scenario doesn't compare to the simple point of sale system that I was talking about. It's like trying to repair a watch with an arc-welder. I can see how you would have been frustrated with your working conditions, and I understand that better equipment is always conducive to meaningful productivity.

As I said earlier, I have Win-7 here on most of my computers and it's just fine with me. I like how it works and how fast it performs on my computers. For gaming, it is perfect. I like it so much that I will probably ~skip~ Win-8 entirely. Smile

As Henri rightfully keeps pointing out, there are other alternatives to Microsoft's software that work as well and cost less. They may not be the best solution in all cases, but they are a viable choice for many in our present day crap-tastic economy because of their reduced costs to implement. Microsoft's solutions may be best for the majority of the planet, but they are not the last word in computing either.

My brother in law's first job as a Cad Cam Electronic Systems Designer was designing electrical control systems for a water park project. The construction company gave him an old Dell XP system with 2GB of RAM and a 17" screen to work with, just like the PC that everyone else in the office had. It's version of AutoCad was 5 years old and didn't have many of the features he had trained with in school. It was frustrating work for him, but it was his first job after getting out of school. He needed the work. Asking the office manager for a new PC got him laughed at.

After 5 months working for them, he was at a company picnic and was asked how he liked his job by the owner of the company. He unloaded on the guy in a Hail-Mary move, figuring that he had had enough of that old PC and the crappy screen. He told him that he was looking for a new job because of it.

The owner believed him, and promptly bought him something new and a hell of a lot nicer to use. It was top of the line in every way. It had a giant screen and lots of RAM in it too. He was given the latest version of AutoCad to work with. (it was never about the money it seems)

He produced his Water Park drawings in record time, and then the office manager fired him for causing trouble.

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mhenriday replied on Thu, May 31 2012 11:12 AM

Finishing one's work in record time - an imaginative, but  rarely used way to cause trouble....  [:-)]

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realneil replied on Thu, May 31 2012 3:01 PM

mhenriday:
Finishing one's work in record time - an imaginative, but  rarely used way to cause trouble....  [:-)    ]Henri

It pissed off the office manager that he "went over his head" to request a new computer after he had been told no already.

My brother in law went on to a much better job, making a lot more money, so it's all good. He since helped to design the pumps and controls systems for the Bellagio Hotel water fountain show in Las Vegas. At the time it was built, it was the most sophisticated show of it's kind on Earth. Now I think that they've eclipsed it somewhere in the Middle East.

 

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I moved up to Windows 7 64 bit and half my software no longer works !!

I had to bin my web software and picture software.

I find Windows 7 to be slow. It takes an age to boot up.

I had no choice but to move to Win 7 as I develop software and need to know it will run on all platforms.

To my horror some of my software had problems with Win 7 64 bit.

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I have been using Windows XP since 2003 and am currently using Windows XP. I recently upgraded to XP x64 and its just great! I downgraded from Windows 7 to Windows XP x86 on my year old acer Aspire 7740G right after I bought it, found all drivers quickly on the internet (acer doesn't provide drivers for XP at all). I had Windows XP x64 lying around and thought it'd be the logical thing to do to use 64bit instead of 32bit. Searched for all drivers, after downloading them I upgraded to XP x64 and never looked back.

At the office we only use Windows XP - a mixture of 32 and 64bit versions. All PC's, laptops, the server and wireless network performs flawlessly. Customizing XP following the many tutorials on the internet makes XP look modern and a pleasure to use. Inegration of AHCI drivers is possible enabling XP to install on the latest PC's and laptops. Integration of IE8 and MP11 is also possible as well as a modern visual style of one's choice.

For the average person I believe security is adequate combined with common sense and a good internet security suite. Games: XP supports games very well, however if you require DX 10 / 11 you need to upgrade to Vista / 7. An unofficial version of DX10 for XP supposidly exists but I can't confirm it as I do not need it as I do not play games.

So, for the average PC / laptop user and business XP works just fine if you are able to find drivers for all your hardware and if the software you install is XP compatible (32 / 64bit). I evaluated 7 for a while however there are not enough improvements to convince me to upgrade to 7. XP does everything I require and does it very well. XP is a great operating system and a "very well done " to Microsoft, XP is awesome! XP is also the most compatible with most applications, especially the 32bit version.

I must be honest and point out that certain manufacturers are "boycotting" XP by not letting their software install on XP, especially XP x64, however there is a way around that but the software might not function 100% correctly. example, HP OfficeJet Pro 8500A Plus software does not fax from your PC / laptop but scans and prints fine. On XP 32bit everything works.

In the end its your decision to stay with XP or to upgrade to 7 or 8. I love computers and am willing to spend the time to get drivers from the internet and tinkering to get software working.

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I think that it's great that you like your old OS so much. The fact that you have been able to adapt to a lack of backwards compatible drivers and software that no longer codes for such an old OS is admirable.

I have an HP LaserJet 1012 Printer that worked fantastic on XP, but has no Win-7 support at all. To continue using it, I had to find a workaround that lies to my Win-7 PC and tells it that the printer is something else to make it work. HP's lack of driver support for some of their products is dismal.

Microsoft will soon stop issuing security updates for XP, and ~that~ may be a problem for you when it happens. Though I'm sure that 'smart people' will offer fixes for future problems, XP is on it's way out.

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I am glad you can appreciate it, most people have sarcastic comments about that lol. However yes XP works for me and the company where I work. There are still a lot of drivers available for XP but I know it will change in future.

I have to agree HP's drivers and software isn't what it should be, I have always bought HP but realise it is time to search for a suitable replacement as their drivers and software lets their hardware down very badly. My HP Deskjet 930 is difficult to install on XP x64 due to bad drivers.

As for security updates I don't use them anyway, never have. I simply use a 3rd party post sp3 (XP x86) and post sp2 update pack (XP x64) which has all hotfixes inside and integrate it into the source files. Even if no updates are available anymore how many updates should one install? There can't be an infinite number of security flaws, at some point they must all be patched. So I guess XP is as sexure as it can be and thats fine for me. I don't use XP on high profile servers anyway.

XP might be on its way out for some but not for me, I guess it depends what you use XP for. We only use XP for basic office work.

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So if it works, don't fix it,.......

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FreeJet replied on Mon, Oct 8 2012 8:52 AM

If WinXP is fixed, don't break it,
If cake is cooked, don't bake it,
Life is what, you make it,
Live it real, don't fake it,
Upgrade when, they take it.

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