CXO

Windows XP: If it ain't broke...

Although XP has less than one year of official support remaining from Microsoft, many organizations have no plans to replace it. What's going on?

After several "stays of execution" and a brief resurgence due to the Netbook trend of a few years ago, it seems that Windows XP is finally on its last legs, with less than one year of official support remaining from Microsoft. This is certainly not a surprise to IT pros and, despite four years to adopt Windows 7, TechRepublic's survey and my own informal polling (glancing at laptop screens on airplanes) indicate XP is still going strong, and many organizations have no plans to replace the timeworn OS. What's going on?

The strange Windows dynamic

Early releases of Windows moved at a fairly rapid clip. During the early days of my IT career a release would occur every couple of years, and with the growing importance of Internet-based protocols, enterprises rapidly adopted each release. XP seemed to be a plateau of sorts for Microsoft, as the company provided service packs that fixed bugs and added compelling new enterprise features. Microsoft gave users six years of an ever-improving OS, and then botched the initial Vista rollout so badly that consumers and enterprises simply opted to forego it.

Windows 7 fixed most of the troubles of Vista and provided a modern UI while increasing performance, but also taught IT Pros an important lesson: you can skip Microsoft's upgrade cycle without penalty.

Now, Microsoft's latest OS, Windows 8, delivers a bold departure from the past and, for many, a bridge too far from XP, which continues to power the majority of the world's PCs. Combine a major deployment effort and extensive end-user training with a user community that's successfully panned two major Windows releases, and you have a recipe for ennui.

So what if we stay with XP?

There's a seemingly valid contention that sticking with XP after Microsoft's end of life for the OS isn't a big deal. The daunting cost of Windows 8 and rumors of a modified release of Windows 8 that returns some familiar features furthers this sentiment. Most large companies have applications and custom code from the COBOL days, and no doomsday scenarios are playing out, so why should XP be any different?

While this logic is sound, XP remains one of the major targets for exploits, primarily due to market share. Just as infamous bank robber Willy Sutton quipped that he robbed banks "because that's where the money is," malware and targeted exploits will go after systems with a large installed base. Surely new exploits will be found after Microsoft ends support, and users will have to rely on Microsoft extending support yet again, or a third party layering protections atop Microsoft's code.

But does the OS even matter?

With applications increasingly moving toward web- and cloud-based platforms, some are going so far as to question the relevance of the desktop OS beyond a modern "dumb terminal" that powers a web browser and little else. While we seem to be moving in that direction, recall that predictions of the "end of the desktop" have been with us since the late 1990s, and a malware-infested OS that runs little beyond a web browser presents just as grave a threat when an end-user plugs it into the LAN behind the firewall. While many IT Pros view an option to stay with XP as "free" when couched against the cost of a major OS upgrade, self-supporting the platform will incur a definite and rapidly increasing cost once Microsoft support ends.

So what's an IT Pro to do?

As of this writing, Windows 7 seems the most compelling migration path. The OS is mature and stable, hardware compatibility is mature, and thousands of organizations have already blazed the trail to Windows 7, identifying most of the caveats. Unlike Windows 8, the after end-user will require little familiarization training with the new UI and will likely have seen Windows 7 or Vista on another machine. Windows 7 buys you extended support until 2020, giving Microsoft several years to perfect their vision for the future of computing.

If you're considering migrating directly to Windows 8, wait for the rumored "Windows Blue" update, which may bring back familiar tools like the Start button and refinements to the user interface. While XP may be "good enough" today, the cost and hassle of self-support is an unappealing and expensive proposition.

About

Patrick Gray works for a global Fortune 500 consulting and IT services company and is the author of Breakthrough IT: Supercharging Organizational Value through Technology as well as the companion e-book The Breakthrough CIO's Companion. He has spent ...

275 comments
roblightwater
roblightwater

Why doesnt someone just make XP 64bit addressable -then we could all sleep at night.

willis0966
willis0966

Is it just me, or does the entire community seem to post comments complaining about something? I'm using an old ThinkCentre running ubuntu 12.04 to post this one. Windows XP works just fine also - which I also use and have six computers loaded with that OS. I have Win 7 & XP at home. Both work well but I prefer XP. I don't have firewalls or viruses or malicious stuff on any of my desktops or laptops nor do I have any virus protection software on any of them. I just use common sense to keep it that way...

grenet
grenet

I have never allowed Microsoft access to my PC for updates (or anything else - I learned my lesson when I once used a "winidlive" password or something like that, and MS tried to disable my software, change my files, and take over. I had to restore an earlier image to get rid of it all.) - I have four "fixes" that install on top of the OS and I have had no problems over the years. Of course I have a hardware and software firewall, antivirus, malware guards, backups & imaging, etc., and so far, so good. I imagine any "threat" will become less and less, as criminals move on to the newer OSs - I have no intention of doing so. If/When XP no longer does the job for me, I will be moving to Linux - no more Microsoft spyware and controlware, masquerading as an OS, for me. So far, everything I have works just fine for me and does what I need it to do. I'm researching Linux distros now, for the day XP actually fails me. It's easier of course, since I build my own machines and don't have to deal with hardware & software lock-ins. I do NOTHING "in the cloud" (a horrible idea), nor am I the least bit interested in "renting" software, or using vendors that try to force you to "update" (pay for the essentially same software again) every year.

Crash2100
Crash2100

If it does what everybody needs in XP, why do we need to upgrade? Upgrading can actually cause more problems than anything it helps solve. And heck, things are so fast now, if you really needed something else, you could also be running another set of computers right inside XP and a Virtual Machine. Part of that is Microsoft's own fault too. Because nearly every time they come out with something else, they also fool badly with the interface, simply so people can easily tell what version of windows they are in. But I thought everybody learned when Windows XP came out, most people don't like Microsoft's bad interface changes, I have yet to see any recent computer still using the default Windows interface. And the problem just gets worse and worse in their most recent changes that are obviously more centered around the sudden demand for tablets.

therealjunkman
therealjunkman

premiertechnologist Said that many of us simply can't afford to switch... At least, until Microsoft makes things 'break... And they WILL. If the whole world stayed with the OS they already have, Microsoft won't sell much in the way of their 'new' Os'es. (Upgrades, that is. They surely WILL sell plenty of them in OEM versions, just as they did with XP...) And what's wrong with that? Is Microsoft going to shrivel up and die, becoming extinct if we don't upgrade? I seriously doubt it. The vast majority of sales ARE to OEMs, and always HAS been. They got rich on that, so there's no reason to think that they won't continue to prosper. They are getting greedy, again, (or is that, 'STILL'?) I can't say I wouldn't want more sales, if I were them. But really, they are trying to scare/force us to change the very manner in which most of us 'compute'. I thought that was WHY the Government took action against them in the first place... Monopoly. Great as a board game, not so great in the real world. They are going to send more and more of us over to FOSS... with the likes of PClinuxOS, Ubuntu, Mint, and the many other variants. When one's 'IT structure' consists of a handful of PC's and laptops all running XP, FOSS makes more and more sense. I personally dislike being TOLD I MUST upgrade, or else. My whole computing world will come to a screeching halt. We all know, that's NOT true. Third parties will fill the void if Microsoft does indeed, end all support in a year. (Which remains to be seen, in about a year) They backed off before... And may yet do so again. I doubt it, this time... But one never knows. Market forces are strange at times, and hard to predict... Or else, there would BE no gambling on the NASDAQ! And we'd all know the winning lottery numbers. Right! Never gonna happen. So, given that no one CAN really read the future, I'm not making any predictions. but, I DO think, that many MANY in the world, not just the USA, WILL stick with XP out of a lack of choice. It's cheaper in many cases, to BUY a new(er) system than upgrade. I can buy a off lease or refurb system with a warranty, for less than the cost to upgrade my existing system, which I'm rather used to and like as is. I may have to at some point, do just that. Until then, I will remain stuck with what I have, out of a lack of choice. I'd rather NOT have an OEM version, they have their own issues, but if I have no other choice... It's that, or join the FOSS crowd. And i may yet. PClinuxOS, in particular, is geared towards Windows users who don't care to learn the arcane world of the command line in Linux. It looks and feels a lot like my native OS, and the cost is... believe it or not, zip, Nada, nothing. I've made a partition on a newer 2 TB drive and cloned my old 'C' drive to the first half, and put PClinuxOS on the second. At boot up, I can choose which to use. Everything works either way. There are some differences, to be sure, but they aren't as hard to grasp as VISTA was! (An OS I passed on altogether) I tried Win 7... as a beta tester, and I liked it well enough, but NOT well enough to fork out a couple hundred per machine. Someday, I may have to use Win 7, but it will be an OEM, not an upgrade. Once my older machines begin to die, I'll replace them with Win 7 machines, so that the old and new can still 'talk' with each other. I bet that's the same strategy many will employ. What do you think?

EdRoche
EdRoche

For many companies there is little value or core business needs to invest in upgraded OS. With new OS also means new hardware in many cases. More dead money in business terms. As for end of life XP support, really nonsense. XP as been around long enough for anyone with at least one eye to search google and provide an answer within 5 minutes. The risks are low - one of the main reasons to move away from XP will be compatibility. Otherwise it will support business objectives and out perform the new OSs - which is what computer users want. Speed.

techrepublic
techrepublic

It's not a reason to upgrade. Once everyone dumps XP, Windows 7 and/or Windows 8 will be the most attractive targets for malware authors due to their installed user base.

krsmav
krsmav

Businesses run on turnkey systems for which users never issue or need to know an XP command. My dentist's system takes him directly to my record, where he sees what he's done, including my latest X-rays, without knowing or caring what version of Windows the app sits on top of. When he takes new X-rays, they pop up on the screen, without film, and are integrated seamlessly into my record. His office manager uses other modules that handle the appointment book, the insurance submissions and the billing. Why should he know or care which Windows version his system uses? Why should I care?

lskong
lskong

we will hang on for as long as possible waiting for the next feasible alternative to emerge. soon. very soon... p.s. yes, i'm an old schooler and have been spelling micro$oft like that for more than 20 years

geg52
geg52

I believe Microsoft reached their pinnacle with XP & have been steadily working backwards since then. Vista was a flop, Win7 tried to fix that, now Windows 8 is off on another tangent to satisfy tablet & windows phone markets that hardly exist. What tha? I have three laptops in the house, one with xp, my favourite, & two others with W7 which are acceptable. I'll never buy Win8 it sucks. It's enough to make you switch to Linux!

Assaf Stone
Assaf Stone

The simple fact is. No operating system is completely secure. Not even Mac OS or Linux - it is just a matter of whether or not the holes in the system are found or not. And by whom. If you choose to stay with an operating system that is no longer supported, you will no longer receive any security patches for it.This means that if a hole is found, it is virtually guaranteed to be found by a hacker. Then it is just a matter of time and luck until you are attacked, and the damages can be greater than any migration can cost. It's your foot.

ubbogus2
ubbogus2

XP is a good 32 bit platform, Mostly afterwards came the push for 64 bit systems. Quite frankly 99% of users are doing no more than what Windows 3.1 provided and have no need for 64 bit systems. But come hardware failure time try to find hardware to reload XP into. Ain't gonna happen. And this is what IT departments should looking at - life cycle management. Which is the supportability of a businesses resources in order to do such business without interruption. The home user - as long as the hard drive survives and with it all you photos, music, etc. - then migrating to a new computer is just another occurrence in life just like replacing the car.

jmatcob
jmatcob

i used to work in government with windows machines. it was great because every time a new os or update/upgrade happened, we were busy and getting paid. but what a pain with programs not working any more. new ms os' etc should come with headache pills. and i work in the puplic sector now. i want to send ms a christmas card every year for the trouble they cause people. lol MS should change their name to Zorg corporation. "Look at all these little things. So busy now." - Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (the 5th element, see whole quote at http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Fifth_Element) people are getting sick of the updating and upgrading and will turn to open source hopefully. as much as i do like windows (when it is working properly), i am sick of the money you have to fork out to them just because they have been the ones that actively used anti-competition tactics to become what they are today. and sick of the upgrading etc. it has come to a point where people WILL look elsewhere because they are getting sick of the money and hassles. i see it every day in the computer shop i work at. xp mods and updates etc should be taken over by open sourcers. i love ubuntu, the only reason i use windows is to play games.

thomas4442
thomas4442

I have to look at it like this; I love Chevy, especially the older models. But, not matter how much money I dump into them, I can't call GM for warranty support. So let's say I get anywhere near a full restoration. Not only is everything still on me, I've more than likely spent enough money to buy a newer Chevy still under warranty! May not be exactly the Chevy I wanted, but still a Chevy minus a lot of personal hassle. Yeah I know! Outta that comfort zone! Scary! But that's another topic.

Lightning Joe
Lightning Joe

Once MS stops supporting XP, will XP be allowed to "go public?" If it does such a thing, there is nothing to stop a developer group from deciding to support it themselves, writing drivers for new devices, issuing updates and patches; even writing new applications to match the new ones MS issues for W8 or higher... And if it doesn't... why the heck not? MS can't say it won't support the OS, and then refuse to let others do so. Not in my book, it can't; and I think if the issue ends up in court, the court would side with me...

fred64
fred64

When Microsoft drops support, its just going to make life a bit more difficult for folks that need to stay on XP. Some have applications (esp small and even large businesses) that only run on XP or would be extremely expensive to update or replace. Why do you think so many COBOL apps are still running? Some have hardware that will not support Windows 7, making the cost per PC hundreds of dollars higher than just the time and cost to only update and install Win7. In many cases application interoperability is a key issue -- how do you migrate 300 XP PCs to applications on a new platform that does not support inter-operation with existing applications? Consider real time inventory systems, robotics, CAD/CAM, small business apps like back end automation systems. You may be able to find a new app that works for the new platform, but unless everyone is updated at the same time, the new and old apps will need to inter-operate until everyone is on the new systems. How do you do that without breaking the bank? Microsoft has this habit of changing for the sake of change and burning bridges in the process. Witness ever evolving Microsoft Office -- with ever devolving backward compatibility. I have some customers using Open Office to be able to work with business partners running older products/versions -- how does that make sense? Same is true, while less intrusive to end users, of basic OS functionality from XP to 7 to 8. Its not just HTML5! The standard answer is to update your apps. Well, that is not always practical or economical!

jiiwill
jiiwill

I have never seen the logic in getting an operating system as close to perfection as possible then changing to another one that is so full of bugs that it will go its end of life cycle before it gets everything fixed then doing it all over again and again. The only reason this is a fact is that Microsoft forces upgrades by ending an OS life cycle so that it can keep on generating vast profits for itself forcing users into a continual cycle of consumerism. What business needs the added costs of the upgrades to newer applications and the learning curve associated with a new operating system and what tech needs the agony of learning the intricacies of yet another operating system? I say it's time for some enterprising people to take the bull by the horns and start a third party operation that caters to people who want to keep a much better operating system that is already installed on their systems instead of going the route of a continual "beta tester" while the new operating system is upgraded at the expense of the user's time, effort, and problems with the upgrades only to have to repeat the cycle on a never ending life cycle process. Let's break Microsoft's monopoly and just quit upgrading on their timetable.

paulrw
paulrw

Oh Come on what a narrow view. In areas such as process control and nationwide Scada applications there are many thousands of machines running XP together with specialised applications software with points tables etc running into the millions. This application software with its development and configuration often costs many times more then the cost of the hardware platform/OS. System managers have spent years patching XP regularly and have the confidence in reliabilty and performance. With the incompatiblity in both Win 7 and Win 8 many of these specialist applications will need to be upgraded to suit the newer OS. As there is much sceptism about both 7 & 8 in the current forms of course no organisation is going to consider such upgrades in the short to medium term. Many of these systems are so sensitive that web based applications or cloud are a definite no-no. Where internet and/or VPN connections are required then existing firewall settings and rules apply. To allow web/cloud applications would open the systems to additions risks especially in utilitoes industries. Therefore I consider this article to be a bit "glib" as insuficient criteria seem to have been taken as part of the research.

Paul R.A.
Paul R.A.

though i found switching to windows 7 fine for home ( and my gaming need) for work we are still on xp. the only push that is upcoming is the licensing hit and even that is not a major one. everything works in xp, have we tested for win 7 compatabilty - yes- but we have not seen a real need to move to win 7 enterprise yet

lmac1947
lmac1947

WIndows 8 has too much of a learning curve for many businesses to have to deal with. To me, is seems to have been written for the touch-screen crowd who use it mostly for social interaction and not business use. Perhaps MS should develop a business oriented OS without the silly icons and playthings they have on Win8. I moved up to Win7 from XP for my retail business because the learning curve was not so steep, but win8 offers no reason for another switch, especially after only a three year run.

alex.a
alex.a

While personal users often have little investment in materials on their systems, not so for companies. Many companies have literally thousands of documents produced by products which are no longer available. Most of these products run on XP - I personally have some Win 3.1 workflow products that run fine on XP, but do not run on Win 7. Many business products are NT based, and again, run on XP but not 7. The security issue has an answer - slightly cumbersome, but works well. I have worked with a number of large customers that have created a total separate network (two logical networks will run fine on one physical network with some cheap hardware). These installations will run XP on one network, which communicates within the enterprise. This network has no connections to the exterior world with the exception of a very secure VPN to external devices which are locked down. Through a keyboard/monitor switch, there is access to a second system and network (hardware which runs Linux can obtained for free or at a very slight cost) which has access to the exterior world. BTW, all USB ports are locked down. Works well, and in many cases is the solution that will be used for at least a decade. This means that legacy applications can still be used, while new business applications will still support XP for a long time into the future. As the article noted, COBOL is still in heavy use, BTW, so is NT and even OS/2!!!

zd
zd

The problem with Microsoft is they fail to understand what consumers want. We migrated from XP to W7 at work during out last technology cycle and don't plan to migrate to W8 anytime soon. I am guessing that enterprises will continue to skip at least one generation of MS OS because we simply don't need the pain. W8 is rubbish, I have it at home and even simple things are now hard to do because microsoft created a touch-based OS for laptops that don't have touch capabilities. The idea I guess was to force people to get use to the new panel based OS so they could buy windows phones? That doesn't work. What MS should do is look at the user population and get their marketing machine to address *what users want*. Sell support for XP and make everyone happy!

cwilliams
cwilliams

We have several production servers behind hardware firewalls that have literally run for years without rebooting. No way will they be upgraded or even updated!

USBPort1
USBPort1

I remember reading almost the exact type of comments when Windows XP came out. People loved Win2K Pro and were never going to change or upgrade. It seemed most everyone who fist reviewed it hated it and swore they would wait until the next OS. Little-by-little Microsoft added SPs, updates and fixes until it was stable and somewhat secure (at least more than Win2K) and here we go all over again. I'd like to see if someone could find those old blogs and post them if they still exist. I sure remember reading a lot of the negative comments on XP, especially the first year it came out.

BobP64
BobP64

For every government own/run/controlled system to be upgraded? While we are not a government company, we have government controlled programs. Many (most) of these programs are in "production" mode now and will be for the forseeable future (i.e. the next 10-20 years). There is no budget for NRE (non-recurring engineering) and I doubt the government would be willing to pay for us to upgrade any of the old systems to new(er) OS and tool software. I was part of a project a couple years ago that did just this because we were still in the NRE phase. Unfortunately the upgrade cost about 5x as much as exepected - not due to the OS upgrade, but due to the newer versions of the tools and their upgrades. In particular one section that was budgetted for 100 hours took over 1200 hours to do and it was not because we did not know what we were doing - the amount of changes required were so much more than anyone had envisioned it wasn't funny. Who paid for that? Ultimately, the taxpayers because back then it was part of a "cost plus" program. These days the gov. is trying to do "fixed price" contracts so there's no way we would ever do an upgrade like that again without a compelling reason (and some more money from YOU - the taxpayers) to do so!

homework
homework

Can someone help me out here? It's my understanding that MS will cease providing security patches to XP as of 4/1/14. Since MS is the ONLY organization I know of that has access to the OS code, just how will ANY user be able to provide Self Support? It's like removing the watch dog from the chicken coupe. You're going to lose your chickens! I can just hear the predators smacking their lips at anyone foolish enough to continue using XP. Please tell me how my small business is going to effectively create and apply the required security patches to keep the wolfs at bay? I'd like to stay with XP, but not if I'm going to be at the mercy of the predators.

USBPort1
USBPort1

For that matter you can continue to use Win2K, or 9x if you want. What generally stops is application support where you can't install a new version of a required app, followed by not being able to upgrade your web browser, and finally your anti-virus app won't put out updates for the older version and you can't find anti-virus and anti-malware apps that will run on the older OS. Heck, even DOS still works for some instances, but eventually you will be forced to upgrade or at least buy a new PC with the newer OS. I think most companies are like the one I work for who see IT as an expense to be curtailed for as long as possible. We've been using XP since 2003 and they don't plan to upgrade until our Accounting software provider no longer allows their app to run on it. That's how we got XP - they stopped running their app on Win98. You can't explain to the top brass about benefits of a faster PC and new OS, they just see bottom lines - money spent in a bad economy where each month you don't know if your revenue stream will be there or not. We've been in this feast-or-famine mode since 2003 and the roller coaster ride doesn't seem to be winding down anytime soon. The sequester is just the newest dip that hit our company hard, hence no new PCs again this year. I just love working on antiques!

dhamilt01
dhamilt01

Memo To Microsoft: Sell all support for XP to a 3rd party and then forget it. XP customers will be happy and you'l be happy. Don't be a turd (I mean nerd) and get millions of Microsoft customers more pissed-off than they all ready are. Use the Steve Jobs method of customer support rather than Mr. Balmer's method.

dl
dl

With all the political vitriol directed at government, we often forget that the private sector is actually quite inefficient, wasteful, and shortsighted (not to mention the actual cause of most of the domestic problems our nation faces). The refusal to upgrade from Windows XP is a perfect example of the failings of the business world (and of those government agencies that haven't upgraded yet -- after all so many politicians claim government should be run like a business). But any business that remains with Windows XP is running with a terribly inefficient and vulnerable operating system. I've found Windows 7 and Windows 8 to be a lot more stable, forgiving, and easier to set up and use than Windows XP -- not to mention running much faster. Seriously, could any business survive if its auto fleet were 14 or 15 years old? It's the same with operating systems. Frankly, the greater efficiencies that Windows 7 and 8 introduce will, in the long run, save businesses money. But whoever said that American businesses were anything but shortsighted?

steamnut
steamnut

After upgrading hardware and software continually since 1983 I have stopped at XP-Pro. Until I have a deal-breaker application that only runs on Win7 or above that's the way I will stay. It's not just the H/W S/W cost of upgrading it's the downtime, re-installation time and loss of applications and hardware that Win7 says no to as well. Our XP boxes are paid for, up to date and behind a firewall that keeps most bad stuff out. Avast takes care of the rest. What this exercise has done is open our minds to open source and Linux. All new applications are looked at from a "can we do this with open source software?" direction. Nearly always we find the answer is yes. No only that, but our ageing hardware didn't force us to buy new hardware with Windows (and other stuff) pre-loaded. We have virtualised them all and a couple of HP servers run the lot under VirtualBox and OpenSUSE. So we save energy as well. Microsoft might not like it but they, and Intel, have made a bundle out of me and it's now time to say "no more". The implied risk (threat) of continuing to use unsupported XP is false. XP has served us well for many years so why does April 2014 change that? Even if an XP box gets hit with a major problem we take VirtualBox snapshots every day so it's easy to restore the system. (Try doing that will real XP machines).

DKSR42
DKSR42

It is all about the money.

gevander
gevander

Is identified in the final paragraph, I think. [quote]As of this writing, Windows 7 seems the most compelling migration path... Unlike Windows 8, the after [i]end-user will require little familiarization training[/i] with the new UI and will likely have seen Windows 7 or Vista on another machine. [i]Windows 7 buys you extended support until 2020, giving Microsoft several years to perfect their vision for the future of computing.[/i][/quote] I think more corporations are going to postpone OS upgrades until a platform is proved stable by end-users and "first-to-switch" companies.

KennyB_2
KennyB_2

If Microsoft wants to sell Windows 8, then they should provide an installer that directly upgrades from Windows XP to Windows 8. Surely that's a no-brainer? Forcing us to have to do a custom installation (essentially a complete re-install of OS and Apps) does not make it an attractive proposition. Also, bundle it with the $3 product StartIsBack that does a fine job of making Windows 8 look and work like Windows 7.

benroberts
benroberts

If MS had adopted a strategy of actually engineering a solution into each new release they'd have more success. Imagine if they'd included a virtual environment in each OS release to enable legacy software to run? When you did the installation, you'd have options for installing these environments so that your old software would still run. The container for this would be the latest OS so inevitably, users would take advantage of some aspects of the more modern software and possibly wean themselves off the old software (if there was a compelling reason to do so). It makes sense but it goes solidly against the business model that MS has set up. From all I have learned about the bureaucracy inherent at Redmond, they just can't come up with anything novel or compelling. They are now facing the prospect of dwindling relevance. As more people get used to Android and iOS via their smartphones and tablets, the paradigm shift to online apps and cloud services will make the OS irrelevant and consumers will begin looking at the features and apps they want and not at the OS. This has already happened to a large extent, 850,000 android/linux smartphones and devices go online every day. That's a lot of new devices and users who will have no exposure to MS .

joecamaro
joecamaro

You can do what I did - get off the MS grid and either move to Linux or OSX.

damian.murphy
damian.murphy

I look at upgrades as being like an automobile. Just because a new model is launched each year doesn't mean I am going to change mine over. Some people do. I like my old system. It works fine for me. It's reliable. Sure I spend a little bit on general maintenance but not that much that it would be cheaper to buy a new model. So I think I'll stick with it for a while yet.

bratwizard
bratwizard

That was the BEST thing that could have EVER happened to Microsoft. Now there's more MICROSOFT-BRAND software in Federal hands than there ever was. And the JUSTICE DEPARTMENT is leading the way! How's that ole' big-tent, competitive marketplace thing working out? Good thing Microsoft is no longer a MONOPOLY or else I'd be worried.

bratwizard
bratwizard

Right, but the RISK to MICROSOFT is ENORMOUS! If you don't upgrade then I-- er, I mean Bill might not be able to buy that new Palace in Malibu. You wouldn't want poor Melinda and the kids to be 2nd-Homeless...??? Who cares if the boys down in receiving haven't had a raise in two years! Do the right thing man, suck it up and UPGRADE! Do it for Bill... Do it for America... Do it for FREEDOM! Who cares why you do it? Just DO IT!~~_(#@!I#Hwr sbzxcvm,. v (Hey, stop that. Give me that back..nnnnnffhlkss ^%# Go get your own keyboard Bill!) Sorry about that folks. See what happens when I step away a for a bagel ??

Slayer_
Slayer_

Better to be safe and not change the underlying OS.

Slayer_
Slayer_

It's starting to look like we need to look to tablets to replace desktops. Because MS isn't losing desktops.

Slayer_
Slayer_

They mostly link to cnet, which then links to TR. Making a perfect circle of citations. Like XKCD illustrates here. http://xkcd.com/285/

godzonekid
godzonekid

No it won't let it go public. Why should they, they own it? I am not a big Microsoft fan, but, they own the software. EOS! Never understood the anti-trust arguments years ago. Microsoft's software, they can add anything they want to it if they want. Why should they have been made to have Windows compatible with *other* software...? If you buy a Mercedes (for arguments sake) what would your reaction be if they told you that you were ONLY allowed to use Shell petrol (gasoline) or your warranty would be invalidated?

Slayer_
Slayer_

..... None of MS's previous systems were allowed to go public, why would XP be different?

DAS01
DAS01

jiiwill, "I say it's time for some enterprising people to take the bull by the horns and start a third party operation that caters to people who want to keep a much better operating system ..." Linux? And that is not exactly conquering the world -- for good reason.

Slayer_
Slayer_

But all they really did was piss off any remaining customers. I don't understand why Microsoft doesn't have the balls to just provide an on/off button for Metro. We already know this function exists. But MS refuses to let people use the OS the way they want to use it. But I really don't understand why, deliberately pissing your customers off over and over is a poor business strategy.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Started adding other peoples records to yours and yours to other peoples. Things like Allergy Status tend to me more than slightly important to most practitioners who are after all the ones with the Legal Action against them for applying drugs that cause [b]Adverse Outcomes.[/b] Col

godzonekid
godzonekid

Linux was always the big bogie! Oooo, that's too hard. But, now that people are realising that Android is Linux they are not scared to try usiing it now.

Editor's Picks