Windows

What to do if you love Windows XP and hate Windows 8

The impending expiration of support for Windows XP leaves users who still depend on the ancient OS with a handful of viable options.

 

Windows XP deadline
 

Unless you’ve been living a Luddite existence in a cabin off the grid in the Rockies somewhere, you’ve probably heard by now that Microsoft will officially stop supporting Windows XP in just a few weeks on April 8. The question that Windows XP users need to answer is how they intend to handle the situation — particularly if they’re part of the crowd that isn’t fond of the new Windows 8 / 8.1 OS.

At face value, the choice seems binary — either switch to Windows 8 or keep using Windows XP. In fact, there are a few other alternatives that lie between those two extremes. The best way to determine the best solution for you is to address the prevailing issues and figure out which option addresses most or all of them for you.

Let’s take the issues most often cited by Windows XP loyalists and/or Windows 8 bashers one at a time.

I want my old software to work

The most obvious answer for this one is to just continue using Windows XP. Frankly, that's just not a path I recommend, though.

If you have software that runs in Windows XP, your best bet is going to be another version of Windows. Windows 7 and Windows 8 both have features designed to enable legacy software to run in a compatibility mode or virtual machine (VM) that emulates a Windows XP environment.

If that doesn’t work for some reason, my first stop would be to talk with the software developer about modernizing the program to work with an operating system from this decade. Another option would be to use a newer version of Windows, and set up a Windows XP VM that you use specifically for the applications that you can’t make work in a different version of Windows.

Windows XP could be set up as a VM in a different version of Windows, or in Mac OS X, or Linux. So, if you choose that route, you actually have a number of options. Keep in mind, though, that you need to have a legally licensed copy of the OS to run it in a VM, and you'll probably need the OS on a disc in order to install it. Finally, remember that an OS in a VM is still an OS — it's still vulnerable to attack and will expose you to all of the same issues you’d have if you just kept running Windows XP.

I want to use my existing hardware

Newer operating systems typically require more system resources. There's a good chance that your existing Windows XP hardware meets the minimum system requirements for Windows 7 or Windows 8, but it won’t be optimal and probably lacks key technologies — like TPM or UEFI — that Windows 8 uses.

The best option for making use of your existing hardware is probably to install some version of Linux. Distributions of Linux generally require a fraction of the processor, memory, hard drive space, or other resources that Windows needs and will zip along just fine on your old XP hardware. Linux can seem overwhelming to average users, but some variants — like Ubuntu Linux — are very user-friendly and use a number of Windows-esque conventions (depending on the desktop environment you choose), so the learning curve is shorter.

I don’t want to learn a whole new interface

Well, that rules out Mac OS X and Linux for sure. It also doesn’t bode well for Windows 8.

The best option if you want to upgrade but want an OS that most closely matches what you’re used to in Windows XP is to upgrade to Windows 7.

If you’re going to upgrade to a new version of Windows, though, just go to Windows 8. Yes, it has a dramatically different look and feel with the Modern (Metro) UI and the Windows 8 Start screen. However, it can easily be configured to boot straight to the desktop, and all of your traditional Windows software runs in the desktop anyway. As long as you’re in the desktop on Windows 8, there's no difference from Windows 7 in either form or function, but you get a number of performance, operational, and security improvements that don’t exist in Windows 7.

You can still buy Windows 7 computers from retailers like Best Buy, and there are copies of Windows 7 available on Amazon. Microsoft has sweetened the pot for customers who are upgrading from Windows XP by offering a $100 gift card for purchases from MicrosoftStore.com of select Windows 8.1 systems that cost $599 or more.

I want something simple that just works

“It just works” is an operational principle of Apple. If you want to drop Windows XP and you don’t want to move to Windows 7 or Windows 8, Mac OS X is the way to go.

Mac OS X is a very nice operating system, and it has a number of cool and unique features. It's simple almost to a fault. There are many things about Mac OS X that are quite intuitive if you don’t know any other way but seem counter-intuitive to someone who has used Windows for years. When I first started using Mac OS X, I was frustrated on many occasions because I was trying to do things the “Windows way.” Once you learn your way around, though, Mac OS X is a powerful and capable OS.

Switching to Mac OS X will require purchasing new hardware. Although Mac laptops and PCs run on the same Intel-based hardware as most Windows machines, Mac OS X can only be installed and run on authentic, genuine Apple hardware. The change in hardware may also require some of your peripherals to be changed as well, but most keyboards, mice, webcams, and other devices produced in the past few years will work with either Windows or Mac OS X.

I don’t want to be forced to upgrade every few years

You’re just out of luck.

To be fair, nobody is forcing anybody to do anything. The reality, though, is that Microsoft’s pace for launching new operating systems is relatively lethargic compared to its rivals. Apple has launched three new major versions of Mac OS X just since Microsoft introduced Windows 7, and it already stopped supporting the version that came out in 2009. It seems like Ubuntu cranks out a new major version every six months or so, and it officially stopped supporting the version that came out at the same time as Windows 7 after only two years.

Microsoft is going to stop supporting Windows XP, but it has provided support for the OS for 13 years. It still supports Windows Vista and will provide extended support for Windows 7 through 2020 — 11 years after its initial release. You aren’t being “forced” to upgrade at all, but if you’re looking for the OS that will provide you support for the longest period of time without requiring you to upgrade, you should definitely stick with Windows.

I don’t want to spend any money

This issue isn’t all that different from wanting to continue using your existing hardware, but the options are more limited. Even if your hardware is capable of running Windows 7 or Windows 8 with adequate performance, upgrading to one of those operating systems requires money.

If you don’t want to have to spend any money on hardware or software, install Linux. It’s an open source operating system and there are a wide variety of variants to choose from — the vast majority of which can be downloaded for free. It’s possible to run some Windows software from within Linux using software like WINE, but you may need to replace some applications with Linux-compatible equivalents. The good news is that most of the software you use with Linux is also open source and freely available, so it’s virtually guaranteed you can find something that will work for you without spending a dime.

Again, you’re welcome to just keep using Windows XP, but you do so at your own risk, and Microsoft won’t be there to throw you a rope when you start drowning in exploits. Honestly, I recommend moving to Windows 8 and investing the 15 minutes it takes to get used to the new conventions. However, if that’s just not your thing, at least now you know what the options are. 

What do you plan to do when support for Windows XP officially expires? Let us know in the discussion thread below.

Also see


 

 

About

Tony Bradley is a principal analyst with Bradley Strategy Group. He is a respected authority on technology, and information security. He writes regularly for Forbes, and PCWorld, and contributes to a wide variety of online and print media outlets. He...

157 comments
hirussellsmith
hirussellsmith

Another reason for migration is Outlook Express to MS Outlook conversion. However, Microsoft has no solution but some other vendors are fulfilled this urgency. Apart from Operating system migration from XP to Windows higher version, if you want to transfer all emails of Outlook Express in to MS Outlook then DBX to PST converter is required.

freezotic
freezotic

My annoyances with the Windows 8 system is NOT the new app-minded interface.

The whole system is flawed. Configuration of updates takes ages. My new Asus laptop with Windows 8 64 bit has crashes often. I have 4 cores and may block permanently when I play two movies, which often happens in modern browsers. This is worse than my Vista 32 single core Acer. The system unexpectedly shuts itself off next day after a major update, some bug in the FileFilterSystem I think, reading from the log.
Then the time it takes to configure my HP laserprinter after reboot, unbelievable! 15% ready, minutes later 16% ready, after 10 minutes 100% ready, still have to wait two minutes though. Aha, and then my modem has lost connection again. Never happens on my Acer Vista.
This Windows 8 system is the last WIndows I will use. This Asus laptop seems to require the Windows 8 for its drivers, but next time I would try for an Ubuntu system.
Sagax-
Sagax-

Consider Lime Linx Debian Edition.  Yes, you will probably have to go through adaptation.  But at least you can do it ONLY ONCE.  And you can do it for NO $$  The kernel updates as bits are released rather than hold all for a major release. The same is true of major production software.

wanderson
wanderson

Tony Bradley has obviously had little of no extensive working experience with the more popular and credible Linux distributions.

In last four months I have moved several Microsoft Windows XP users to the Zorin Ubuntu based Linux distributions who are delighted with having a similar and familiar GUI and using LibreOffice Office suite, Mozilla Thunderbird and other Free/Open Source Software that is easy and intuitive enough to consider 

The transition was painless if needing a day or so to cope.

The end result - no money spent, equivalent or better performance and total satisfaction to-date. 

The Former Moley
The Former Moley

Windows 8 is made much more familiar to users of former versions of Windows by using StarDock's software 'Start8' and 'ModernMix'.


I'm not affiliated to StarDock in anyway but I always recommend these programs to users who find difficulty with getting to grips with Windows 8.  Bought together, these two programs are inexpensive and worth every cent.

pjengle
pjengle

While I don't have windows xp, it would seem that If you were absolutely determined to keep it for whatever reason, and kept a clean system image on another hard drive, you could probably go on with it for quite awhile.  If things got screwy with your system, you could just keep restoring it with your image backup.

kenwd0elq
kenwd0elq

VMWare Player is a "free" version of VMWare.  Easy to set up and configure.  There's also a VMWare Converter that can take an image of your running PC that you can then load into VMWare Player. It generally works pretty well.  


I'll second brons2's recommendation for Classic Shell.   There's a program called "windows8startbutton.com" which includes Classic Shell and a couple of other nice utilities, including a media player, since the one in Wi8  stinks.

brons2
brons2

Classic Shell is the answer to making the Windows 8/8.1 interface look like Windows XP, if you so desire.  Classic Shell gives you 3 options, the classic start menu like XP and 2000, the classic menu with two columns, or the Windows 7 start menu.


I run Classic Shell on 8.1 and I tune it to look like Windows 7.  It boots straight to the desktop and has all the features of Windows 7.  Works great.


Best part is, Classic Shell is free and open source.  If you want to run Windows but hate the 8.x interface, give it a try.



n2iph
n2iph

My only gripe with Windows 7 anda 8 is I don't like the user interface. Change whatever you have to underneath but at least give me the option of working with a UI I am familiar with and like.

The chnages made to Office starting with version 2007 I absolutely hate. Even after all this time I can not get used to the menu system. Bring back the Office XP/2003 menu system and change whatever must be changed in the software to keep it secure or bug free.

mail
mail

Sorry Windows 8 is not a sensible alterative. Along with ME and Vista this has been uninstalled from computers owned by me.  I still have a few XP boxes and they will stay XP until the next version of windows (note the every other rule) when they will probably be replaced.  The risk is small if you don't use them for anything very exiting.

RevaMadison
RevaMadison

$600 to update to Windows 8??   That is as much as many computer cost today.  If you are going to spend that kind of money, just go buy a new system with W7 on it.  Or even less expensive, find someone with a Windows 7 copy for sale.  That might be brand new, or even better, someone else who has upgraded and has thrown away their old W7 machine, or has upgraded their own to W8.  It is not illegal to sell your copy of software to someone else, as long as you no longer have it installed, or use it yourself.  Usually the price of an old OS drops to the cellar, when a new one comes out, by the way. Since day one, I have built my own computers, and most always had an old OS to install, and although the software does stop being supported sooner or later, the machine usually goes out before that.  W7 still has several years of support left, and would be an excellent replacement for XP -  which is exactly what I did.  The one thing you need to do is to install one of the tester programs to insure your XP machine meets the minimum hardware requirements for the new OS you are planning to buy.,  They are free, and all over the internet.  All XP machines will not run W7, and certainly more than that will not run W8. 

ajhillswa
ajhillswa

WHAT DOES IT MATTER?

I don't see what the panic is about. So they stop issuing patches to one of their insecure O/Ss. 


Even patched it is still full of holes as are all MS O/Ss.


If you have a sound perimeter security, and accept that Windows is hopelessly insecure, you can still be safe without updates.


I am not a WIndows hater; I still use XP and the only driver to change is that 4GB memory limit on 32 bit.


I don't let it update as I have fixed so many PCs where the updates break it.


I use AV, firewall and anti malaware programs and a settings checker that alerts me if anything nasty gets past the rest. (Greyware Registry Rearguard) Only once had a virus get on my PC, and I knew I was running something risky. (A cracker for Omnipage Pro that I had paid for but when I came to re-install, their activation server had been shut down. Buy a new version! Another irritating story)


Took me 10 minutes to eliminate.


If you take this apporach, you also need to avoid stupid stuff;


Like DO NOT USE Internet Exploder; Most viruses exploit its weaknesses. And it's slow, clunky & bloated.


Ditto Microsoft Outlook.


Don't let iTunes invade your PC


Don't use Media Player with its draconian DRM.


If you go to risky sites, either use an extra secure browser, or set up a secure profile for Firefox or similar. Use Noscript, Flashblock or similar to keep control of what you let happen.

I use Seamonkey as it is basically Firefox but with much finer configuration options, though I use a locked down profile of Firefox for my high risk stuff. (I teach IT and get the students to use real viruses for practice fixing, so go to hacking sites to download them)


It is not an ideal strategy for the low end computer user, but I have set up a number of clients who are pretty basic in their knowledge and they have been working OK for years.


I don't know what to suggest for my clients who are happy with XP. Win 7 is clunky, but OK, but with no repair install option unless you can boot into full mode, it's a ticking bomb.


WIn 8 is not an option for a real PC as the interface gets in the way.


For the medium term; I will let them continue with XP until something worthwhile comes along. Maybe Xubuntu!


BuckeyeBelle
BuckeyeBelle

I just got a new laptop with Windows 8 on it, and it is taking me a hell of a lot longer than 15 minutes to figure it out. For one thing, it is dog slow because it came loaded with crapware, and I do not know enough about the system yet to clean it out. For another, it gets stuck on that stupid screen with all the icons that covers up the home screen. You say it is easy to get rid of that? How? I never want to see it again. And while I'm at it, I want a real start button back. I downloaded a replacement, but it hijacks my home page and it is loaded with adware. I hate this operating system. DOS would be an improvement over this piece of garbage.

4dandl4
4dandl4

I dual boot my win 7 with xp. I tried win 8 but got fed up with the lack of support for some of my software and I rolled my computer back to a win 7 64bit and a win xp on 50GB partition. I really could care less what Microsoft does, I will disable the internet connection and remove my virus software and use xp to run my games I play that even win 7 has trouble with. Have tried many versions of Linux, but it isn't what I call mainstream computing. I'm not against upgrading but I wish everyone luck if they try to upgrade from xp to win 8 on some older computers. Just did a win 8 upgrade on an old E machine for a friend but it doesn't run like mine.

Gisabun
Gisabun

Shoot. why am I not surprised the Linux zealots invade this blog and say switch over. Easier said than done. A good chunk of those running Win XP, are old enough that they don't want to learn another OS at their age [and I've heard that "oh I showed my mother Linux and she doesn't want to switch back crap].

I've said this before and I'll said it again:

You've had up to 13 years with a single OS [compared to 5+ of Linux or OS X at the same time frame]. What you paid on the average per year for your system could be as cheap as $40 is quite cheap. You can't afford to replace a system every 5-7 years? How about the fact that you probably will replace your smart phone more often than your computer - or buying an iPad for $500+.

charliehoup
charliehoup

Have you not heard that Ubuntu has a Long Term Support (LTS) version, that has a 5 year life-cycle?  Have you not heard of Debian, which also has a long stable release cycle as well, and is one of the most stable Linux flavors?  If Windows 8 is so great, then why has it had a much lower adoption rate than even Vista, which we all know was a real failure in the business world?  

OS selection should be based on a number of factors like; reliability, security, usability, fits the user/business requirements.  As we all know, more and more apps and tools are moving to the cloud, basically rendering OS choice irrelevant, where it only has to be reliable, secure, and support local and remote web based applications. 


Personally, I use Windows 7 in a VM on a host running Debian and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS for some technical support requirements.  This is primarily due to equipment that runs on Linux where the vendor had tunnel vision and only supported windows based tools to do management of it.  I also do some web development using this approach.

Watch for Windows 9 coming out soon...

kitekrazy
kitekrazy

I would bet many of those XP systems in the wild are from consumers who use their portable devices more than anything.

briblank
briblank

This article is stupid........If a user decides to stick with XP the article should discus how to do that safely "what to do if you love XP?" like absolutely run firewalls av etc.  Windows 8 is abhorrent, everyone knows that, it shouldn't be discussed here as an alternative.

tdavey
tdavey

You guys are typical, never worked in the real world types.

We have an very expensive ERP System (manuf / stock / admin, for those who don't know ERP) which has cost over $100k to emplement over the years, and $30k per year for software maintenance.

Businesses these days can't afford the maintenance, so are stuck with XP only compatable software, or throw it all in the bin and start again with something cheap and nasty. Why should we have to spend big dollars when it ain't broke. That's right, because Msoft says so.

randomotion
randomotion

I am going with new hardware, faster, perhaps an intel i5 speedy one.  For OS I am going Linux for the first time in my life.  I feel MSFT is not customer oriented anymore.  They should have kept the XP user interface, and hardware / software backwards compatible.  They are much too dictatorial.

Fletchguy
Fletchguy

What a god awful misleading article..." As long as you’re in the desktop on Windows 8, there's no difference from Windows 7 in either form or function, "  This is a complete lie. Even in desktop mode you have to get third party apps to make it even close to window xp or windows 7 and still you will be frustrated at how non user friendly it has become. If your on xp and need to upgrade to xp like os then windows 7 is the obvious choice as its almost identical and runs so much better then windows 8.. Going to an apple product will basically be the user saying ok I want to have to start from scratch unlearn every basic pc thing I know and like and relearn something that is the complete opposite of it. Ubuntu is a nice free option and it can be made very close to a windows xp os but drivers can be an issue.

Dave Dearing
Dave Dearing

A nice piece of S/W out there is "START8" from Cnet.  Makes 8 start and feel like 7.  Not XP but better than the debacle called 8 or 8.1!  It work well and I highly reccommend it!

Dave Dearing
Dave Dearing

There is a nice piece of S/W out there called "START8"  from CNET that works nicely and makes 8 look and feel like Windows7.  I realize that isn't XP, but it is CLEAN, CLEAR, and EASY to LEARN.  NOT like 8 or 8.1.  I have used it and highly reccommend it!  Good luck!!

Paul.a.s
Paul.a.s

Great article, it get's to my main point almost strait away - "What about my software"

I have years of acquired software, quiet a bit not easily replaced, some impossible to replace.

I made the biggest jump, I installed Win8 64bit on a new HDD in my production box, working on the premise that I could always just tell my bios to boot from the still in place old drive, and get on with my work. However, when moving photo's and some music to the new OS, Win8 decided to re-write all the permissions on my XP drive making it all but useless - thanks Microsoft.

Anyway, back to the main point, software, That all but rules out Linux. I'd love to give Linux a run, but having to immediately install Wine just to run anything kind of makes my think "Why bother", Two layers to deal with, plus most of my software probably won't run anyway.

Also Linux has such a horrible support time frame, I'm now use to 10 plus years from Microsoft, Linux at best only gives you 2 years, blink twice (I am 50) and I'll be back here looking for upgrade options.

I look at a production machine like a hammer, unless the job changes, no need the change the tools - Nothing in my work life has changed but here I am looking for options. (That don't exist)

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a luddite disliking anything new, I'm typing this on an iPad, and I'm looking to getting into Crome OS, but every now and then, I do have to walk into the office and just get a job done. Deadlines don't allow for random unplanned "Microsoft learning curves".

ben_myers
ben_myers

I am not a big fan of Windows 8, but I continue to be amazed that the press, computer and general, rarely mentions what to do to make Windows 8 usable again for people accustomed to using XP, Vista (another Microsoft horror), or 7.  You download and install ClassicShell and set it up to look like XP with a Start button.  What could be simpler?  I have dealt with a number of clients who called me complaining about Metro after using XP for years.  Every one of them gave me a happy smile after I installed ClassicShell.  And there are alternatives to ClassicShell.

mpasco
mpasco

I will continue to use Windows XP on ONE of my computers in order to cheaply and easily use the existing software and hardware for that system.  I will deal with any exploits as they occur the way I alway do.

I do my own troubleshooting and, if necessary, recover a recent backup to rid myself of that exploit.

The updated that Microsoft has provided over the past year have been feeble at best.

dbursky
dbursky

Shifting from one generation OS to another isn't the worst part of the challenge  -- its finding printer drivers for older printers - many printer vendors have not updated drivers for older printers so they can run under Windows 8/8.1. For example, I have an old HP LJ4000 workhorse printer that I don't want to replace just because there's no driver support for Win 8. Similarly for several other printers I use there are no drivers for Win8 -- are there any solutions for this out there?

aderoche
aderoche

Tony Bradley articles are on par with those written by Patrick Gray for TechRepublic.  They own their companies, are supposedly writing for an "enterprise" audience, but yet somehow always come off with a major slant to the consumer perspective.  


This is a joke and a waste of time reading this.  Go write for CNET if you want to focus on the consumer market.

blatanville
blatanville

I can't fathom how unutterably thick someone must be to feel that the Windows 8 "Modern UI" is a huge barrier to them adopting Windows 8/8.1


There is NO need to use ANY of the "Modern UI" applications if you don't want to. Most of them are large and slow (they're in early days, they might get better), but NONE of them is necessary to use and enjoy your Windows 8+ computer.


If your machine boots to the Start Screen, simply press the Windows Key and POW! You're right back on the familiar-looking desktop that has only changed slightly since 1996. 

MS caved and gave people back their "Start Button" with Windows 8.1, so now, you've got two options to open the Start Screen: press the Windows Key, or click the Windows 8 icon. Sounds a LOT like the behaviour of Windows 7 - the darling of the Post-XP MS OSes - doesn't it? (Yes, Windows 7 users, if you didn't know it, pressing the Windows Key pops-up your Start Menu. Notice that you can simply start typing and Windows will search for the app or document you're looking for? That's exactly what the Start Screen of Windows 8 does!)


And people clinging to XP had best take their machines offline, because the threat of malware that's been held in check until AFTER MS stops patching security holes and exploits is very real. NO ONE is going to take over supporting the OS for you, but villains are going to see an installed base of XX% users still out there, waiting to be attacked.


For those for whom certain pieces of software don't seem to work, my sympathies...but maybe it's time to move on/move up...


I'm no shill for MS. I've used all of the modern operating systems (actually, I've been using computers since my Commodore 64, bought in 1982, so I've used a bunch of different systems as a hobbyist and professional), and if Adobe were to compile their CC suite for Linux, and I could reliably port my music-making software to Linux (Music-making on Linux is today where music-making on Windows was in mid-90s, IMHO), I'd jump ship in a weekend...

BUT

IT pains me to see people spouting such nonsense about any OS...

bdbauer
bdbauer

I'd have added a few recommendations.

1. Windows tends to get slower over the years so a rebuild every 3-6 years helps considerably. If you want to keep running XP, you might not be able to do that for much longer (it'll need updates from Microsoft). So back up all the files that matter to you and run the built-in factory rebuild that nearly ever computer comes with. Then let it do all the updates.

2. Windows 8 can be made to look and feel a lot like XP using programs like Classic Shell. The biggest problem at that point is that many files will default to Metro apps. You will need to get the programs you used to use, and learn to associate programs (it isn't hard). Once you have the file types you use associated with the programs you like, you really don't see Metro at all.

Trilln451
Trilln451

@ajhillswa  Thanks for the advice. Good to hear from the voice of experience.

WillyThePooh
WillyThePooh

@BuckeyeBelle To remove live tiles, just right click the tile and options will show at the bottom. Choose unpin will remove it from Start screen. Choose uninstall will totally remove it from your system. Right click? Don't you forget that in your old Windows system?

If it is too slow, that's because you choose a cheap laptop. Price and performance are always proportional. Always pick the one that you are most affordable and won't break you bank. Don't just go for the cheapest one.

Lastly, if yours are not 8.1 yet, then you should upgrade to 8.1. Before you do that, make sure you update your laptop by moving your mouse to lower right corner and wait for charm bar to show up. Click "Change PC setting". Click "Update and Recovery". Verify you have installed all the updates. Then go to "App store" - hope you didn't unpin it. If everything all right, you should have option to upgrade your system to 8.1.

A nice reminder is making sure your laptop is on AC power before doing all these. Not very nice to run out of power in the middle of upgrade.

4dandl4
4dandl4

@Gisabun   I paid almost 200.00 dollars for a copy of win xp on my first computer build. I built another one and paid almost 200.00 for a copy of win vista ultimate (what a waste). I gave one of those computers away and built one back in Janurary to run win 7 home premium 64bit for less than 100.00 dollars. I upgraded one of my computer to win 8 when it was being sold for 40.00 dollars. Now look at the price of win 8 pro. I for one can't afford to upgrade just because MS decides to build an OS that isn't even desktop compatible. I don't have to tweak my win 7 to at least make it work.

brons2
brons2

@briblank Windows 8 works fine with one of the shell replacement programs like Classic Shell or Start8.

passingintime
passingintime

@tdavey You don't have to spend the money if you don't want to. Microsoft can do whatever they want with "THEIR" OS. They made it. Have fun with WinXP when it crashes in the next year.

brons2
brons2

@tdavey $30K is nothing for supporting an ERP system.  Ours goes into the 7 figures for yearly support. 


I would consider my employment options if the business leaders didn't pay for software support.  It would not be something I personally would want to stick with long term.

4dandl4
4dandl4

@randomotion I wish you luck with Linux, have tried Ubuntu, Mint and Open Suse and I can tell you they are not windows. Ubuntu is the easiest one to set up and it will probably provide 80% of your computing needs. If you run a scanner, like I do, then good luck in getting it to work. I would suggest you dual boot with your windows xp and use it to run applications that Linux won.t run or upgrade to win 7.

thecactusman17
thecactusman17

@Fletchguy  Honest question:  where's the huge difference?  Is it in the improved search options?  The easy as pie application bar?  the speedier performance?


Yeah, you're right:  those ARE huge differences!  That you won't be making use of because you're still using computer software that was released when I was in high school.


XP was a great operating system.  But it's old and has not aged gracefully.  I admin numerous computers in our office ranging from XP Service Pack 3 to 8.1, and by far Windows 8.1 systems give us the fewest headaches, and the desktop mode has several valuable advantages over Windows 7 in our routine tasks.

jqbecker
jqbecker

@Fletchguy now hold on here Fletch, I disagree. Ubuntu is most resoundingly not like WindowsXP in any way shape or form. And it cannot be made like it either. Your last line about drivers is a hoot. THAT is the biggest problem of all in moving off Win8 - driver support is more important than any look/feel of the desktop.

4dandl4
4dandl4

@Paul.a.s I ran into similar problem like that with a dual boot with windows 8. I finally put the xp files into the shared folder on xp, then I could access them from windows 8. You also have to take the password off of xp.

Rann Xeroxx
Rann Xeroxx

@Paul.a.s  I have not found a single software that I could not get working on either W7 or 8.  A rare few I used the MACT Kit on it and "shimmed" it.  Some shims just lie to the software to tell it that its running on XP while others use virtualized file and registry settings to fool the software into thinking it has permissions it really does not.

Rann Xeroxx
Rann Xeroxx

@ben_myers  Not only that but Classic Shell allows you to turn off Charms and other Metro UI elements and boots to desktop.  I also suggest people uninstall all metro apps to remove any file associations so that they are never bumped into Metro.


Personally I like Metro the more I use it.  In fact I have been installing Metro apps on my desktop PC simply because they are sandboxed and don't affect anything else and can't cause configuration issues. Using a bittorrent app and those always scare me but running it in metro, its more secure and can affect less of my PC plus its vetted by MS via the app store.


ben_myers
ben_myers

@dbursky Good question.  I, too, love my older HP LaserJet, the 4050.  HP provides generic PCL5, PCL6 and PostScript drivers for Windows 7.  I have to believe that they will work with Windows 8.  Unlike the past when PostScript was the lingua franca of HP printers, DO NOT try to use the generic HP PostScript driver, because the 4000 and 4050 (and many other HP LaserJets) do not use the true PostScript licensed from Adobe, instead using some sort of PostScript emulator.  Install either the PCL5 or PCL6 generic driver and continue to use your LaserJet 4000.

4dandl4
4dandl4

@blatanville You can customize win 8 or 8.1 to no end but it is still a piece of junk software for a desktop computer. It should have been called malware 8 instead of win 8.

Tiger-Pa
Tiger-Pa

I totally agree with you. It becomes rather annoying wading through all the whining about Windows 8 on theses blogs. It's the easiest and fastest to use yet. It is moderately priced and comes with a ton of support knowledge and Help at a level that the average user can understand.

Rick_R
Rick_R

@bdbauer I completely agree about XP and earlier slowing down. We have had Win 7 Pro machines at work since August 2010 and none of them have slowed down. Although most folks basically use MS Office and a browser, mine has DOZENS of major programs such as three office suites, two PDF editing applications and several photo-editing programs. It looks like the ground-up rewrite that began with Vista has taken care of the slowdown problem, at least on Win 7 and 8.

remmeler
remmeler

@bdbauerI don't know why you have to associate programs, I did not have to do it.

You never have to see the Modern Front end if you change a couple of defaults,
If you still use POP3 email then you will have to download your choice of a free POP3 email programs.
 

I use Thunderbird by Firefox or you can download the M/S Desktop one in the free Windows Essentials package.


First the Defaults:
1. Change the Photo Viewer default in Control Panel to Windows Photo Viewer
2. Use the Desktop version of Internet Explorer which is already on Windows 8
3. Boot to Desktop by using Windows 8.1 or by just automatically loading a Desktop program
I happen to use StickyNotes (that is how I found out that it did that) Otherwise just click on the Desktop Tile.

I use Classic Shell for the Start Button/Menu but you don't have to, if you can remember just three things that fit on a Post-it note:

 1. If you mouse over to the left corner a start Icon appears, right click and you have most of your Start Button items.

2. Click on the File Folder on the quick start bar and you get File Explorer that has your documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, Computer, Disks, Network, etc.

3. To turn off you can press the off button on your computer (yes, it's ok), You can Ctl, Alt, Del and hit the power icon on the lower right, or you can mouse over to the lower right and click on settings and then the power Icon. Did it ever make sense to press Start to Shut Down?

Just three things to remember.

How about pinning programs. I pin my less used program to the Modern Front End so I don't have to search for them. You can still pin to the lower left task bar and to the Desktop itself, just like Windows 7.

You can pin all your Administrative Programs (those techie programs) to the Front End all at once by going to the right corner and bringing up Settings, Tiles and moving the slider on Administrative Programs to On.

That is it, then you can delete the ones you won't ever use and organize them on the screen as you want.

shermantracey
shermantracey

@jqbecker @Fletchguy


Zorin OS is based on Ubuntu but has the look and feel of Windows XP and 7.  It is faster, more reliable and more secure and the LTS (long term support) is to be supported to 2017 (need to check the date) and latter this year I believe a new Zorin LTS (around May 2014) will be released and should be supported until 2019 / 2020.  How much does it cost? The OS is free to download but like any alternative there are some differences from XP and you need to learn these.  Much more help available via the web and Zorin have a tech help team to help you as well.

Not got a Linux driver?  Other options include using your MS Windows Driver in Linux via NDISwrapper.

I would also like to point out, if you learn a new operating system (like Linux or Mac) then when a new flavour is released you will have minor changes to get used to.  However, with MS they seam to reinvent the wheel on each release which means you have to learn all over again.  I hate learning a new OS because I have more important things to do in my life that is why I have decided to move away from MS.  I personally think that MS will lose some customers along the way and hence lose some of its market share.

ben_myers
ben_myers

@Rick_R To Microsoft's credit (for once, I give them credit), the Disk Cleanup actually works well with Windows 7.  With XP, even a program like CCleaner does not get rid of all the junk files kept in %temp% and C:\Windows\Temp and other places.  So XP becomes a slug and your hard drive inexplicably fills up unless you know how to get rid of the junk.