Windows optimize

IT professionals will not drop Windows XP quietly (if ever)

A couple of weeks ago, I asked a series of poll questions about Microsoft Windows XP. To put it politely and succinctly -- most IT professionals are not looking forward to switching away from their current operating system.

A couple of weeks ago, I asked a series of poll questions about Microsoft Windows XP. That single blog post lead to close to 300 separate posts in the corresponding discussion thread. The poll results are very informative and definitely give us an indication about where the TechRepublic membership stands with regard to a potential operating system migration.

To put it politely and succinctly -- most IT professionals are not looking forward to it. In fact, many are actively and passionately against the very idea.

Let's take a deeper look at the results and see what we can glean with regard to the future of Windows XP.

This blog post is also available in PDF format in a free TechRepublic download.

Results

Figure A

Obviously there is a large installed base of Windows XP deployed worldwide.

Figure B

It looks like the real loser in this poll question is Windows Vista. The vast majority of respondents are either waiting for Windows 7 or planning to keep Windows XP.

Another interesting data point is the lack of consideration for Linux or Mac OS X. Despite what vocal and passionate proponents of those operating systems may advocate, IT professionals in the business space are only interested in Windows -- at least for right now.

Figure C

Backing up the previous result is this question regarding which operating systems have been tested as a possible replacement for XP. A decent percentage of IT professionals have tested the potential of Linux, but the majority of respondents are still squarely in the Windows camp.

Figure D

While legacy applications are definitely a major consideration, they don't seem to be the major obstacle to operating system migration.

Figure E

This is the first poll question to deal with the actual practical deployment of a new operating system. It is abundantly obvious that many IT professionals are not ready to implement a migration. Unless there is a catalyst that cannot be ignored, Windows XP is going to remain the primary operating system for many organizations for as long as it is feasible.

The discussion thread following the first blog post backs the response to this question. Many posters in the discussion were determined to keep Windows XP as absolutely long as they can.

Figure F

The two primary reasons Windows XP looks destined to remain a factor for some time to come is that it works and that Vista is not perceived as a viable replacement. Without some sort of catalyst to force a migration, the deployment of any operating system besides XP will be slow and methodical.

Format G

The concept of a methodical rollout is confirmed by the results of this poll question. Most IT professionals have no plans to roll out a company-wide deploy of a new operating system. Rather, new operating systems, if they are to be introduced at all into an organization, are mostly likely going to trickle in with new equipment.

Figure H

Once again, we see in the response to this poll question that operating systems other than some form of Windows are not really being considered. The implication is that IT professionals have very little interest in migrating away from Windows XP no matter what other operating system you ask them to consider.

Bottom line

Looking over the poll results, it leaves little doubt that the general consensus is against operating system migration until it is absolutely necessary. Windows XP is working just fine for many and, so far, no feasible or practical reason has presented itself as a catalyst that will drive IT professionals to consider a change. It looks like Windows XP is going to be around for longer than Microsoft may have suspected.

Stay on top of the latest XP tips and tricks with TechRepublic's Windows XP newsletter, delivered every Thursday. Automatically sign up today!

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

128 comments
The Scummy One
The Scummy One

an MS sponsored event for Win 7. They were showing it off and trying to tell us that they were listening to the user base, and not just big companies. The reps that were there were showing off the 'glam' side of things (like shaking a window, and the Snap feature). I had asked how to turn it off, and they could not tell me. In fact they wanted to know why I would ever want to do such a thing, as if it was a personal insult. When I had explained (in front of several dozen others) that when I have a lot of windows open, it is a big hinderance, not a help. I looked around and lots of people were nodding with me, all they could do was change the subject. During tha show, I had asked several other questions to which were ignored, or walked around without a direct answer at all. But, they kept going back to their point that they were listening to the users. Sad really!

csmith.kaze
csmith.kaze

It is interesting to see so many companies seriously considering Linux. I would have thought OS X would have beaten Linux out by a margin. Very interesting. Hopefully they will.

Bob Oso
Bob Oso

I don't think it's denial. This seems to be a new trend don't you think? It seems to me like the equivalent of a virtual Boston Tea Party.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Okay, it is obvious that most do not want to migrate away from Windows XP, but don't you think it would be prudent to plan for that eventuality? Is it just too soon to worry about it or is there a small bit of denial taking place?

WTRTHS
WTRTHS

... but one of the annoying habits of sales people in general. Maybe the user base they are listening to is called "why doesn't my windows xp looks as cool as mac?"

jck
jck

I've seen MS guys do that too. I actually did go to one event in Tampa where 2 guys from MS knew what the heck they were talking about and let me know if things I was concerned about were being addressed or had been and just weren't in Beta or RC yet. Sounds like you were at a dog-and-pony show/sales pitch thing. The thing I went to was called "Wild on Windows", and I have to give those two guys I talked to kudos. They knew their stuff. BTW, you should have asked them: "What is the percentage CPU impact in calling those methods to draw those specialized effects, rather than just used to draw a base Window object?" I'd love to have seen their faces to that question.

finkey
finkey

Our company depends on Intuit's Quickbooks for accounting. Quickbooks does not work very well using CrossOver and/or Wine. Intuit has no plans to migrate Quickbooks to Linux. Right now there's no accounting software for Linux that can compare.

SilverBullet
SilverBullet

that would consider OS X. The corporate glass ceiling is still out of reach for Apple.

jck
jck

I honestly don't see why more shops don't consider client migrations to Linux in an office environement. - there's no re-training to using a login prompt - there's little re-training to learn OpenOffice.org - Linux is free - OpenOffice.org is free To me, it's a no-brainer. I really haven't understood why more money-pinched offices haven't done this. Guess they need a safety blanket.

sdavis4fun
sdavis4fun

UNIX was the original multi-tasking O.S.. Windows GUI made life easy for the technically challanged. Win 3.1(3.11) was still just DOS and Windows 98 was unstable with BSODs. Finally Windows XP gives the business environment a true multi-tasking O.S. that is stable. O.S. and application security is a must in todays world to protect the user. It is done at the hardware level also. All important features that make XP a secure O.S. to work with can be retro-fitted just like IE8 now protects from many HTTP threats. The current hardware for the average user is plenty fast enough in the dual-core technology today. Applications are evolving to protect the home user and that is what it all boils down to, it is what the consumer wants.

saghaulor
saghaulor

Well said Bob Oso. As many have already alluded, we're not afraid of change, there is simply no reason to change presently. As another post confirms, supply does not dictate demand. Demand dictates supply. The cost of change for a product that is not demanded is too much for anyone to bear. There is considerable financial costs in upgrading, in troubleshooting/support, and in down time. Not to mention peoples jobs on the line for a break in business continuity or lastly, the environmental impact of forcing everyone to scrap their current and perfectly good hardware because Microsoft wants to release a "new" product.

Greeboid
Greeboid

It's denial. Microsoft make occasional mistakes but so do other manufacturers. Vista is MS’s Ford Edsel. The fact is, I bet Microsoft could have included the important new technologies into XP as another service pack but they exist to make money. A new OS is the way to do it. This adds to the pressure to implement a hardware refresh policy. It is the way of the world.

tonycopp
tonycopp

It's not for nothing but it seems as if Win XP was Life and you are selling life insurance or estate planning to the relatively young: death will come and we should be being prudent and be planning: "too soon to worry about and bit of denial." This is the resignation to a primal fact of life: the Microsoft monopoly corporatism is life itself and the ever-bloated self-serving system shall command all manufacturers to pay homage forever. Put your money where your brain is. Devolution is here and the retro look is back. Recycle old keys like the recyclable paper bags they are.

damon.mac88
damon.mac88

If you carefully look at the release dates of OS from xp to win7 it seems as though after each release Microsoft is hurrying to release Successor. XP RTM - Released August 24, 2001 Vista RTM - Released November 8, 2006 Windows 7 RTM - Released July 22, 2009 Xp to Vista - 6 Years Vista to Seven - Less than 3 Years Now that is almost half as compared to xp. Those who upgraded to Vista only realised that after such a small timespan their O/S is now considered Old as 7 is out already. And who know when is the NEXT BIG OS called Windows 8 Will be releasing. I think products like OS deserve a longer time span in Market before any successor is released.

tonycopp
tonycopp

You find here that the leading edge of independent thinking IT professionals are taking a very simple stand waiting for M$FT to get XP Pro fixed to a point where it is robust and doesn't crash BEFORE they will embark on another very, very expensive chase not knowing if that one is more robust and non-crashing.M$FT can cash in their chips if they don't pay attention to the message from the real market. There's some HUGE denial taking place in Ballmer's bed. Apple is still a toy for the cost-unconscious brought to you by an even more anal, closed world tyrant. The customers are not dancing fast enough they repeat in the mirror.

ramnet
ramnet

I could be planning for a time when there is no longer a car and we are all required to use some sort of flying back pack - the reality being I will be waiting a long , long time so why take on board the pain for no gain - this is exactly the same consideration for moving from XP to W7. Secondly Microsoft rather than helping XP users to consider W7 have in an act of absolute stupidity not made a direct upgrade possible - pure genius Microsoft. Thirdly they have taken away 2 key features XP Users loved. One was the classic start bar menu and the other was the repair/restore option. I do not care what others say about this , that's their opinion not mine and they can fuel Microsoft's coffers if they wish. I do not need to be cajoled , marketed or forced into believing I am somehow missing out because I have a preference for doing IT a certain way ( a way I might add that Microsoft has been happy to direct and recommend for more than a decade) and now because it suits them I suddenly have to follow the leader blindly just because Microsoft says so. Everyone is playing 'Simon Says' on this issue . SHOW ME CLEARLY where I will be at a disadvantage using XP in say 2014. What won't I be able to do with my PC that will be core essential to ME. Will any function cost me serious income earning potential or somehow expose me to some mythical downside. I have yet to see ANY real analysis that proves beyond all doubt that delaying any uptake will have serious consequences. I would suggest the contrary actually - taking up a new OS now while the world is still in the grip of a serious GFC would be risky at best and maybe suicide for many small business. Microsoft underestimates the work done globally to get mainframe apps and big ticket development projects up to XP standards following the effort done in Year 2000. NO business wants to go through that again - its too painful , to time consuming and too expensive with no upside that comes even close to breaking even. Denial is a natural reaction where what is being offered simply is not attractive to the market place. You can bleat all you like about that but consumers will choose to sit back and wait until there is no other path available - even then they will move with a sense of hatred and resentment. What surprises me that with over 70% of the world still attached to XP that Microsoft has not picked up on that as a marketing goldmine and just re-released it with new licences and an extra service pack. I think the market place would be rapt about that and respond accordingly and a lot of business would breathe a big sigh of relief. The days of the market lining up to buy an OS (Win95) are long gone. Ken IT Director Melbourne, Australia

mjc5
mjc5

...but don't you think it would be prudent to plan for that eventuality?... Of course. But the issue here is that a prudent person checks out the new offering, and if it is found wanting, they don't migrate. Out of all the options at present, the systems based on XP are the best choice. Reasonably stable, drivers for our peripherals, and it just works. Since prudent IT types are being accused of having their heads in the sand, let me pose a few questions... If I change to a new OS, and I have to buy new computers to replace good functioning computers, is that smart? If I buy those new computers, do I then buy new peripherals to replace the functioning ones that don't have driver support any more? Is that smart? If I retrain users in using the new equipment, using a lot of time and resources, and at best, I find myself at exactly the same place I was before I spent all that time and money, am I being smart? What is the business plan that justifies spending a tremendous amount of money, voluntarily, with no reward? This is not 1990 folks, when every big change that came down the pike was eagerly awaited and pounced upon. You bought your computers, and they were obsolete when they got to the loading dock. But you did it anyway, because the advances were great between each iteration. It's 2009 now, and computing and networking have become pretty mature. We expect to keep our large purchases for at least 5 years now, so we can get a good depreciation on them. There's been a sea change out there. computers are so integrated with all aspects of business, that we can't just throw it all away and start over every couple years.

Brian Doe
Brian Doe

One idea this poll does not appear to capture is whether or not most of the people indicating sticking with XP for the long haul would consider migrating to a new OS *regardless* of what OS they are currently running. I would imagine that. had this poll been given a few months before XP was released, it would show roughly the same numbers. The facts are, OS migration is a big deal fraught with uncertainty that the migration won't cause show-stopping problems; most people don't see the need to upgrade for the sake of upgrading; and most importantly: Most people don't like leaving their comfort zone unnecessarily. Microsoft allowed entirely too much time to elapse between XP's release and Vista's release, which has given most people an awful lot of time to get comfortable with what was, in 2001, a revolutionary new Windows version. Had this poll been given in mid-2001, it would likely show the same numbers also because XP, back then, was revolutionary - vastly different from Windows NT and 2000, despite being of the same kernel family, and, thus, unproven. Vista and 7 are vastly different from XP - even the kernel is fundamentally different. Vista has had time to prove itself, and it bombed. 7 is based on the same kernel and code as Vista - a fact that I'm sure weighs heavily on the minds of every IT professional. XP has proven itself to be an effective OS, and most companies have migrated to it by now. Most people simply do not want to go through the pain of OS migration again - particularly for an OS that has either been deemed unsuitable for business or an unproven OS based on the same code. So the numbers here do not surprise me at all. What does surprise me, however, is the overall unwillingness to migrate to Linux if migration has to happen at all. Linux has a much smoother, more stable update path than Windows does. Once one migrates to Linux, it's the last migration one ever has to do, as major upgrades are done incrementally. XP holdouts WILL have to migrate fairly soon if they value the security of their systems (and their jobs). Given the choice between switching to Linux and switching to Vista's baby sister, I would choose the tried-and-true Linux.

dshorn
dshorn

Of course it will be necessary to make the change at some point, but there is still no compelling reason to do it now. Maybe another windows isn't the next step either. More importantly, in the corporate environment IF the cloud works, the OS at the work station will be less and less important.

Snuffy09
Snuffy09

we must and will move on... when we are good and ready. if this were not so we would all still be running windows 98. before i stop there, yes i know there are some of you that are running 98.

spareher
spareher

The major reason I see for moving to a new iteration of an OS is because your software requirements change. Companies that use packaged software may eventually be compelled to keep up with OS upgrades because their preferred product requires the use of the new OS. For instance in order for gamers to take advantage of Direct X 10, they had to move to Vista. Direct X 10 to isn't available for XP. Similarly, my company recently started work with a new vendor whose software is optimized for Windows Vista. The developers were actually surprised we were still using XP and wouldn't guarantee that the software would run smoothly. I remember migrating from Win 98 to XP (we skipped 2000 for the most part). The only reason we did is that our main business application's latest version wasn't supported on DOS environments - it was written for XP so we had to come along for the ride. I think it will be a similar process moving to Windows 7 - something we need will only be available in Windows 7 and we'll start going there. Windows 7 is an opportunity for 3rd party developers to make money by saying, hey, our next version will be on Windows 7. If you want to keep using the latest version of our software you'll need to upgrade. And pay for our new version.

ralphsabean
ralphsabean

OS are memory hogs and need updating way too often and I would like to get away from it all together. Ordinarily I like to use one OS until I get used to it and then enjoy it. These OS today never get to any point where you can get used to them because they change daily and I think they do this to gain power over the user so the more dependent you are on them the more easily you can be manipulated to buy into their crappy programs you buy and never use.

desirawson
desirawson

Unfortunately, most IT professionals are just coming out of DOS if they have at all. When the new generation comes in with their college degrees, these dinosaurs not only won't know how to roll out the new OS because they don't want to learn them, but they will be out of jobs taken by a younger generation who will gladly be paid less for the same job and less resistance to change. Vista is an amazing operating system if they'd take the time to learn it - they would love it. Windows 7 is Vista without some of the greatest changes that were incorporated into Vista to make it incredibly easy and fun to use that most of us who love Vista are going to miss!

dan.wildcat
dan.wildcat

I work with a lot of different businesses that rely on me to help them make the right choices. Every business is different. I have some that have primary outside applications that don't fully support Vista and it's security measures. For them, there really isn't a choice right now and they are held captive by the failure of their software company to support changes in the future. I have others who have no obstacles to change and I push them to make the change as they incorporate new systems into their business. I also have some who have had too much difficulty with Vista and are waiting for Windows 7. Even if their software works with Vista, they aren't sold on the value of Vista. They have a dim hope that Windows 7 will be significantly different even though the problems they are experiencing are due to the fundamental shift happening with security in the new operating systems. The change is inevitable but the next change may not be nearly so difficult. The shift from Windows 98 to Windows XP was a major shift and frought with difficulties. Now XP rules the roost. Vista is another fundamental shift that will still be present with Windows 7. Ultimately, these are the shifts that have to happen. Eventually the avalanche of software companies leaving XP behind will force the business world into the future. The Hardware manufacturers have already shifted and the larger software companies have switched as well. As they lose interest in wasting money on legacy support, they will leave no other options. So the business world can either isolate itself and open itself to a nightmare of security and support issues, or it can grudgingly move itself into the cutting edge. Perhaps IT departments have become too entrenched in their job security to push for advancing technology. I guess the ultimate answer to this dilemma lies in just exactly who it is that drives the tech market. Right now it seems the small business and the average home are driving technology and software forward. This certainly challenges the old school model of major tech companies releasing new technology first to the big business world. In my world I have to be ready for the new OS no matter what it is. I get the beta versions so I'm not surprised by what comes out next. And I switch, even if the switch is unpopular. And if my old applications no longer work, then I find new applications that do. I'm small enough, on my own, to do that. Bigger companies can't do it that easily but must have the same attitude. When the big boss buys the latest and greatest laptop, eventually he will expect the IT Department to move the company along as well. Well, those are my thoughts.

sykandtyed
sykandtyed

but what is the value in changing our OS, XP? There is nothing that our board has seen in Win7/RC that justifies the cost of migrating. We've looked at the cost of training, replacing legacy apps, upgrading or replacing hardware and the cost of the new OS. Changing over 1,000 seats progressively would require perhaps year to 18 months at a cost that our company's economy cannot absorb.

maidens
maidens

We are a IT support company supporting small businesses with varying levels of IT savy. The IT literate companies that embraced the Vista upgrade have now (at great expense) reverted back to XP as Vista (and by it's similarity W7) as they found it confusing and annoying to use. Not it didn't work it's just horrible to actually try to use on a day-to-day basis. Their view not mine. we are now doing a fine trade in back reving Vista machines to XP. Even home users who have had experience with Vista are paying to have their PC's migrated back to XP. Funnily enough this is having a knock on onto Mac's as the are percieved to be "to like Vista" so puts people off. In my view the combination of Office 2007 & Vista was too much for most users. They were expected to forget everything they knew about the PC and start learning again for no good reason! Plus Vista is increadibly slow compared to exactly the same PC running XP (or often slower that their 3 year old P4 3 gig with 512 mem PC). Microsoft seems to think all thier users are 5 most users have about 10years experience with PC's either in work (older generation) or throuh school. they "know" certain things how to stop the print spooler or remove a program, but in Vista these clever tricks don't work, so users get rid of it.

grax
grax

As with most poles, your is skewed and the conclusions drawn seem biased. The views of other contributors to this discussion seem to confirm this. Most IT professionals suffer from Inertia. They have no wish to engage in time consuming work that my not provide a satisfactory result. "If it ain't broke...." Prejudice: Many of them have preconceived notions of what's best for them and their employers but it is salutary that some 25% say they've tried something other than Microsoft products. Ignorance: That's the other 75% who know it all. What your survey doesn't address is the whether people who replied to it have any control over the deployment of new systems. Most often they probably do not. So, the reasons for not changing are based on their bosses' "Inertia, Prejudice and Ignorance". Then one should consider the geographical spread of respondents. Those in North America might be expected to support Windows whilst Europeans, for example might be inclined to look anywhere but Win7. I base this generalisation on the fact that, as usual, they will have to pay a premium over the American price because Microsoft seem to thing a Pound Sterling or a Euro is worth a Yankee Dollar. (They may have a valid point but the money markets think differently). On top of this they get special treatment in being offered Win7E just so Microsoft can give the European Commission a one fingered salute. As for your dubious conclusions, how do you come up with this for Qu.H? "Once again, we see in the response to this poll question that operating systems other than some form of Windows are not really being considered." 54% said they had considered it! Did I say "dubious conclusion"? I should have said: You are wrong! If a result doesn't fit with what you want to put across it's usually better to ignore it and say nothing. Otherwise you give away your true intent. Disinformation, evidently based on your own Inertia, Prejudice and Ignorance.

tonycopp
tonycopp

There is no need to rip out I-80 and all go out and buy new vehicles to fit the new road format, because the road builder has a business model that defines potholes as as reason to rebuild a new road. They ought to be forced by the law that protects their EULA to patch the road they sold us. In view of another business model, Gates and Ballmer may think they are the new Gillette and can keep making new razors and new format blades, but they made and sold an anvil and it seems to be OK for a while....Game Over!

ginny
ginny

It's not that we are unwilling to make changes, it's that we are unwilling to make changes that will cause work stoppage. Everyone who works in the IT field has to deal with change constantly. Vista wasn't badly marketed, it was not fully developed and now with my testing of Windows 7, I can see many of the problems that existed with Vista also exist with this new o/s. You can not expect a customer base to throw out all existing equipment just to upgrade to the new O/S. Most companies and government agencies are not in that position. The real issue holding us back is that when we load these new o/s's onto test machines to evaulate them we find serious issues that cause work stoppage. Until Microsoft starts listening to it's users and and starts fixing or at least addressing the issues in the "current released version", there won't be a big push to upgrade. So I guess the question remains, why rush to failure especially in these econmically challenging times?

Sparkling Spacers
Sparkling Spacers

you get there when you get there. I've been snakebit once too often by a rotten OS. Not again. If Vista was a taste of the future after XP, Microsoft can keep it. one person's denial is another person's common sense.

Dogcatcher
Dogcatcher

Microsoft in 2009 is somewhat a victim of its success. When the PC business was new, users were relatively few, and upgrades brought major new capabilities, it was easy to make the case for prompt upgrades. With hundreds of millions of computers running XP, there now is a helluva lot of intertia in the system. Change will come, but only gradually. One need only look at non-demise of COBOL to see what happens when a product, however imperfect and dated, still solves a business need.

rkendsley
rkendsley

The biggest problem is the replacement cost of hardware or if practical, the additional memory needed to use the newer OSs. Economy is soft and business does not need to spend money on something now that can last a few more years. We are not in the business of supporting MS and the PC vendors.

Drew@Omaha
Drew@Omaha

As someone who still supports a few Windows 2000 boxes, I guess I'm one of these people with my head in the sand.

oracat86
oracat86

I will use it maybe for a long time....

gorman.mi
gorman.mi

I think it is natural to want to persist with an operating system that: A)Is well known and familiar B)Is very stable and reliable C)Is able to run a wide variety of applications without incident D)Is very supportable. To that of changing to an unknown quantity, for the blessed sake of change. It makes good engineering sense to stick with XP, as it has not yet become obsolete.

maclovin
maclovin

I, for one refuse change because...oh right, I remember now... Three out of four of the companies I support, for which I am the sole IT staffer, are on Macs...thanks to me. Need an alternative, here: Exchange--> Kerio MailServer Outlook--> iCal (Tasks/ToDos too!)+Mail+Address Book Synchronizing the Above--> Kerio Sync Connector for Mac Microsoft Office--> NeoOffice Internet Explorer(ack!)--> Firefox (of course) Retropect for Win--> Retrospect for Mac NeoOffice works on both Open Formats, Old, and New MS formats, not like MS who decided they would force other people to upgrade when they didn't understand why they couldn't open a document another just sent them, right after the upgrade to 2007...good job MS getting 'em to spend more. iCal's/Mail's ToDo items sync with Kerio as well! Terminal Server Required for proprietary software??? RDC for Mac by Microsoft :D Tape Backups with LTO-1/2/3 Drives work with an ATTO SCSI card...I'm currently hooked to an PowerVault 110 Drive Any other Apps people need at work, let me know, I may already be using it :D Keep in mind, it'd be easier to use an XServe with all these and then just have one Terminal Server running whatever Windows-Native proprietary apps you have.

SilverBullet
SilverBullet

Migration from DOS to Win 3, Win 3 to 95, 95 to 98, 98, to NT, NT to XP, and so on, we get it. It's like force feeding a child. The child has grown up and can feed themself. If I don't like the menu, I'll eat somewhere else.

Brian Doe
Brian Doe

"Our company depends on Intuit's Quickbooks for accounting. Quickbooks does not work very well using CrossOver and/or Wine. Intuit has no plans to migrate Quickbooks to Linux. Right now there's no accounting software for Linux that can compare." This is what really bothers me about the software industry. Nobody is willing to use an OS that doesn't support their favorite software, and the software developers are unwilling to support OS's that nobody uses. It probably doesn't help that the Linux community generally frowns on what it sees as proprietary encroachment on its open-source environment - a mentality that, while noble, needs to change if Linux is to ever make significant strides in market share. But in the meantime, it is this very catch-22 that has kept the IT world at large trapped on the runaway Microsoft train even everyone can see that the bridge is out ahead.

TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827
TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827

I have done this for a friend of mine. I virtualized Quickbooks in an XP VM in VMWare Player. The VM is isolated from the web, set up an SMB share from the VM to the host machine for storing all data. This is only needed by 2 people, however, VNC would mean the entire office could share the machine if they wanted to. It is a small business. http://www.aaxnet.com/design/linuxacct.html TripleII

nelsonhoover
nelsonhoover

QuickBooks is basically the only reason it wouldn't work to use Linux, for me. If anyone knows of a good Linux accounting program (with inventory, check printing, CRM, estimating, etc.) it would be interesting to hear about it.

cjlynge
cjlynge

Until the day that Autodesk makes a native port to Linux or Mac OS, and third party engineering software follows, we are stuck using Windows. With it's inherent driver difficulties for common hardware, never mind proprietary large format printers, Vista never has been or will be a viable option, period. Plus I don't see to much to recommend Win7 as a path that needs to be followed. Anyway we, the design and drafting community, told Autodesk that a new release every year was too much and would rather have a two year cycle. They pretty much told their customers to pound sand, and they will actively retire your serial number after three years, or two releases back, no matter what. So you either get on the subscription program or you get to pay full price every time you upgrade. There is a large part of this industry that is fighting all the changes from Autocad 2008, and most shops have put their copies of 2009 and 2010 on the shelf and will not load them on production machines. So Microsoft is not the only company who could care less what the customers want or need.

bobp
bobp

Have you tried GNU Cash? I am not familiar enough with either QuickBoks or GNUCash to make a comparison. I was just curious.

kmdennis
kmdennis

It's not really a no-brainer. Support costs hve be cnsidered also. You need Linux experts to properly setup and deploy it. Also, you have to consider migrating existing data sets to Linux, whether the applications in Linux offers the same benefits. Grant you I can't stand the bully attitude of MS forcing changes on me leaving e little choice. How many people have deployed Exchange 2007 or Office 2007 or even upgraded to Windows 2003? But already MS is pushing Exchane 2010, Office 2010, Windows 2008. Noby will b able to settle down before moving on to the new OS. But with XP, we are comfortable. Very comfortable, and the benefits of Vista have not outweighed upgrading.

chrisganderampy
chrisganderampy

I have actually swithed to Ubuntu and Eeebuntu on my netbook (Linux) and have a very stable, no crash system BUT can't read a legacy Access db and can't read Projects sent by a supplier SOOO have to keep one machine with XP. BTW has anybody else had the secret updates problem (which crashed my XP and forced me to try Ubuntu)

jdavis
jdavis

There are many good technical and business reasons for end users to abandon the monolithic fork-lift upgrade approach with desktop clients (and Windows servers for that matter, but that is another rant). Windows needs to become an OS with a layered and modular architecture, where each component can be upgraded more or less separately. Gone are the days when you installed your OS from a couple of floppies. Windows has evolved a complex architecture, and the individual components need to be decoupled from the OS as a whole. This would provide the ability to upgrade these components individually or in groups as necessary. Need to install a new GUI feature, like Aero? Upgrade the shell, leave the OS kernel intact. What? The feature is dependent on changes to the kernel? Either roll out the kernel first, verify stability, then roll out the new feature. Or roll them out together. Yes, this describes many OS's. I can load up a Linux kernel, then throw GNU or KDE on top of it, depending on my whims of that day. Most multi-user operating systems have traditionally been constructed like this. The single-user OS didn't evolve this way because in the beginning it was small, compact, and simple. That is no longer the case, and it is time that the deployment model changed to reflect the current reality. The problem is that the MS business model does not lend itself to this type of deployment. Cash flow is based on rolling out new, shrink-wrapped OS's with new names and huge marketing hype. Want this new feature? Well then, you need a completely new OS. There is no reason MS can't change this business model. In fact, enterprise bureaucracies prefer smaller, more frequent expenditures over infrequent major expenditures. I realize that an organization the size of MS can't do this overnight. It would involve major architecture changes and major internal restructuring. But I think it almost needs to happen for Windows to remain viable.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

developers haven't started doing the apps for Win 7. Some years ago a place I worked at was put in the position of having upgrading their corporate software program because the latest version met new legal requirements that were about to become applicable. However, the new version only ran Windows NT 4 and not any earlier version of Windows or DOS. So they were faced with upgrading hardware and software across the company as they still used Win 3.11. In the end they paid to have a new version of the software written to work on the IBM mainframe computer they used for another piece of major corporate software, and have a sort of VM remote terminal written to allow staff to access the mainframe like a dumb terminal using any version of Windows. Saved themselves a heap that way, and they're still using that software on their mainframe. If they'd gone the update the PCs way, they'd have been forced to update everything with Win 2000, and Win Vista - but they haven't. Their current IT project is to develop a VM remote terminal for use on Linux and Unix. Guess how many Win 7 machines they'll be buying? Zero is the answer.

tonycopp
tonycopp

Successful 3rd party developers will survive by not telling it's customers Hey! and then threatening them with a forced upgrade...they'll be survivors and thrivers if they improved their software to play the to the existing currently set of customers. You can order your department around, but the market will beat you unless you had a monopoly that lasts forever...baseball maybe, M$FFFT? not so much..fading fast, having ruined millions of laptops with Vista VISTA: Virtual Instant Surveillance Tactical Application..might as well have poured paint over them as I see them so sad, going begging.

tech
tech

I have worked in IT for over 20 years. I currently service many business of all sizes and shapes. Most IT professionals are up to date on the technology needs for the businesses they serve. Many may be up to date on the latest technology out there but are limited by the companies they serve. Businesses in general do not want to spend money on IT unless there is a ROI (Return On Investment), just think "If it isn't broke, don't fix it." Almost without exception there is no ROI for a business to make the move to Vista. Which would require not only the purchase of a new high priced O/S, but also new hardware and in many cases new software. When Vista came out I began testing, and I am currently testing Windows 7. Vista's system requirements are about 8 times that of Windows XP, most all of that increase is due to flash, not to innovation. Add to that Vista finally tries to secure the O/S which is long over due, but alienates users. Add to this that it breaks a lot of legacy software used by companies, so if a company wants to move to Vista or Windows 7 they are going to have to pay for new versions of other software (besides Vista or W7), or worse change software. That means increased deployment costs and increased training costs, not to mention end user back lash. That's right most end users hate change at work. Now lets add in Microsoft's ever increasing number of O/S versions, which complicates procurement decisions especially for the SMB market. Many SMB's will purchase computers from their local retailer and end up with a hodge podge of O/S versions because of that. Micro$oft has add more complexity to this by making more versions of the O/S available. There should be at most 2, 1 Workstation and one Server. Now for most businesses, if they were willing to change software and retrain their end users, they would be looking at Linux. Linux costs them nothing and in most cases will run on existing hardware. In many cases the software they would use is also free. In most cases support contracts can be purchased, but are not required. I have a couple of companies that I have migrated to Novell's NOWS (Novell Open Workgroup Suite) which includes Server licenses, as well as SUSE for the workstation, for a very fair price for SMB's. They had to go through the end user re-training and there was a little apprehension, however, they now love the new servers, and workstations. There support costs are down, as are their procurement costs. Now if I were a greedy IT guy I would have told them they needed to migrate to Vista, and cost them more money up front, as well as increased my revenue by adding support calls. Instead, I saved that company thousands of dollars and picked up 3 new clients. I just love it when the young IT guys either still in college, or just out of college, come and apply for a job with me, then tell me "Your doing it wrong". Well if I am then that is good because I am making money hand over fist while many are going belly up in these hard times. I know VERY few people who even like Vista, let alone "love it". There is a reason it has the worst sales since Windows ME, and it failed for the same basic reasons.

alainch
alainch

Yes, Inertia (call it as you prefer) That's true also for BigBosses... NewOffice2007 against the one we knew so well. (I'm still frustrated after using it for 6 months) Think about the BBoss lost, while editing his first Word2007 document, then the second, and so on. It will quickly become for him a nightmare just to thing about WRITING ON THE SILLY THING! Every time you do, you discover something you where able to do close eyes, and now... well you've not even an idea where to find it. About OS: OS is the underlying of every operation on a computer, yes? And if the BBoss just cant find it's way around ... items being locked, losing time just to discover a way to do it because you lost your old way to do it. Think about it .... is that inertia or just hampering the way BBoss do THEIR day by day business? And then, they will for sure NOT support IT to force all the employee in what he is experiencing: A long period of fallen productivity.. Hear the shout from the top floor: "How should I do that, How to Insert that old piece of work ???" The bang that follow the shout is the wireless keyboard hitting on the wall I do experience and test but I was NEVER able to trow an OS against the wall to give way to my frustration, nor the BBosses can do it, uh ? But they can take decision against doing mistakes. About my own business: As I'm an user of Myself.... I still hate this machine where Vista/Office2007 sit from the shop. The other 3 computers I bought this year, for myself, have a faithful XP on it. A perplexed boss is always AlainCh ( CAREFULL

tonycopp
tonycopp

Yes, IT Professionals are a subset of humanity and as such are beset with these unalienable conditions that we may choose to overcome. Having said that, WTF is your point?

tonycopp
tonycopp

Yes, IT Professionals are a subset of humanity and as such are beset with these unalienable conditions that we may choose to overcome. Having said that, WTF is your point?

MikeG3b
MikeG3b

I can't imagine a company taking on a new operating system until business has recovered. It'd be one thing if XP was unstable or incompetent, but XP addresses 99.9% of end-user business requirements. The costs of installing an OS, migrating applications (and users), upgrading hardware, etc. is just too much for companies that are doing poorly during the current recession. It's too bad, in some ways, that Windows 7 is coming along just now. It'd stand a much better chance after the economy has recovered.

Darryl~
Darryl~

I resisted XP at first (I really liked 2000 pro) so by the time I put XP on, SP1 was already out, which I firmly believe you should wait until at least the first SP before rolling out a new MS OS in a network environment anyway. XP has been good to me over the years & I've come to like some of the added features but I still switch everything to "clasic" view etc. However, I have had some problems with the 64 bit version not having the drivers I require, it's almost like MS & manufacturers skipped over XP x64 & went straight to Vista x64 because there wasn't enough demand for the drivers. A real problem for us is the fact that we have a Novell network & there isn't a 64 bit Novell client for XP.....as more & more apps require 64 bit & over 4GB RAM we'll be foreced to either switch to a MS network or upgrade systems to Windows 7....I don't believe Vista will be an option.

erinsdad
erinsdad

There really is nothing wrong with XP, in stark contrast to Vista. We are testing W7, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with XP. "If it ain't broke.....don't break it!"

husserl
husserl

Yeah, but this doesn't fit Microsoft's business model. In the past they were, albeit using a bought OS, trail blazing. Windows 2 (so far not mentioned) was something of a revolutionary move, and each year they moved into new territory, selling new products in an unsaturated market. Now that they've experimented with selling different flavours of Vista and Windows 7 (to mixed reception) I'm left wondering how they would make money otherwise. With the advent of easy Linux, and the possibility of Lotus Symphony handling old Lotus files, there is the glimmering of a shift in the market. Just as commerce scrambled for the web when it became a viable business platform, I think they will scramble for Linux. Not a comfortable thought, as the web is slowly becoming a quagmire, but the prospect of being able to use a completely open source OS and applications. So perhaps this is why MS and others are heading for the so-called cloud; if organisations can be conned into outsourcing so much of their software and technology there is money to be made for suckers who cannot see the merits in retaining control over your data and hardware, and the demerits of handing them over to others.

dan.wildcat
dan.wildcat

Changing to Macs has way too many issues involved. If economics are the issue, a changeover to Mac would be economic suicide in both the long run and the short run. If applications are the issue, changing would require a ridiculous ammount of lead time to create new in house apps. Or, in the case of outside programming, you still have to spend a lot of time re-training your personel, most of whom barely know the difference between the two. Macs aren't bad computers but reality in the business world is against them. Always has been. I guess you could just switch to more web-based or server-based apps and use whatever you want at the user level. The reality for me is that the nearest Mac retailer is over 40 miles away. Next closest is considerably farther than that. If you switch to Mac, you might as well switch your IT personel at the same time.

M Wagner
M Wagner

... is that some companies are dependent upon software which is not ported to MacOSX and for which no suitable alternatives exists as yet. Also, Apple hardware tends to be more expensive than generic Intel/AMD hardware.

samhain.knight
samhain.knight

Mac really? First thing i did was sh*tcan our 2 Macs after they couldn't seem to function in the most simpliest form in a lan. Horrible support for Active Directory, bad networking, slow performance, and buggy OS is all i ever got from Mac. For me Windows just works. All my Graphic Artist are running 64 bit Vista, core i7 intels, 6 gigs DDR3, and even they, who all learned their trade in college on a Mac refuse to work on them. They were just too slow. You can't even overclock them to squeeze out that much more performance?? Sorry for ranting, your suggestion to run a Mac in a real business just brought back some unpleasant memories...

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

I just reduce the vendor choice for machine hardware to 1 then? 1 that is more expensive.

sk.dunnage
sk.dunnage

Well, the charts show the success of proselytizing. Hell, nobody is even considering a move to Mac.

maclovin
maclovin

Who the "fsck" needs CALs when you have Mac OS X Server with an XServe...$3000??? Now, add up the costs of Exchange Server/File Sharing user CALs, etc...yikes! However, if you need it, the Terminal Server still requires CALs.

n.champaigne
n.champaigne

DOS to Win 3, Win 3 to 95, 95 to 98, 98, to NT, NT to XP, and whoops "not so on!" Vista or W7 are not transitional forms in the realm of M$ OS transitions. Compatiblility is broken. 1st person power-user capability is virtually non-existant because of revised security policies. The search engine is broken. Expensive too. Developers have to re-engineer software to run on the new OS, and drivers often don't work. Developers can't even find stuff they search for in the hidden recesses of the system directories because of the new search engine policies. App's won't run proper, and I mean expensive app's. Not to mention they haven't fixed problems with timer hickups that still prevent Windows from use in the music and video recording inductry. Nothing like having drop-outs all over your professional music scores and audio tracks. The software is still bloated beyond measure, written in a higher language. You wouldn't believe it if I told you a comparable OS could be written literally 10x smaller in machine language.

mjc5
mjc5

You are right, SilverBullet. The market has matured, and M$ hasn't quite gotten that. We want our systems to work, and right now the XP systems work. If you are one of a couple IT people at a large company, what is the logic behind switching to Vista, or even W7? It's like volunteering to screw things up just so you can eventually get back to where you were before volunteering to screw things up. Zero sum game at the very best. Seriously, this is not 1985. We're not impressed as easily.

tbrucato
tbrucato

I have been considering gnucash as an alternative to Quickbooks. It actually seems to have a good deal of functionality to business if you take the time to set it up for that. Please take this with a grain of salt, as I am not good enough at accounting to truly know what I am missing. I can tell you that Quickbooks is the only reason that I still have a permanent Windows machine on hand. The only thing keeping QB around here is that I haven't had the time to dedicate to Gnucash, but at some point I will make the switch.

Darryl~
Darryl~

We have the same situation with AutoCAD. We have similar problems with ESRI's ArcGIS. As these programs are requiring more & more resources to run at a "decent" speed we're being limited to older versions without upgrading the OS.

SilverBullet
SilverBullet

express to the newest version. The big boys can expense new versions of AutoCAD via large construction contracts and stay on the edge however, the smaller shops don't have the time, money, and training that is required to upgrade annually.

kenneth_hedin2000
kenneth_hedin2000

There is not comparison, I'm a Linux fan but at my small shop, I have a machine running Vista just because of QB. (It is that much more user friendly and intuitive that GNUCash)

chrisganderampy
chrisganderampy

Unfortunately OpenProject - which I think looks fantastic - will o nly open parts of an MS project. If there are text or number columns (which mine have) then I am stumped. But the rest is great. I have yet to try mdbtools to open the tables.

tr
tr

mdbtools will allow you to access the tables in an MDB file, but I believe you cannot use the forms or reports. OpenProject will open MS Project files and allow you to edit them. You can even save the edits and send the file back to MS users.

charleswdavis6670
charleswdavis6670

"...having ruined millions of laptops with Vista..." What is your source for this statement? Or, is it another example of the statement that 94% of statistics is made up on the spot? My Vista laptop has been quite reliable over the past three years....

gorman.mi
gorman.mi

You talk reality, Old Chap! I am tired of smart-arse techno-snobs who look down their collective noses at the consumers of IT-the very reason for the existence, and salaries of IT workers is primarily to assist people to use IT in their work, to Enable. The scenario described above is one of the Real-world, where the technology is purchased to enable the business to operate more efficiently-to enhance the processes. These are the people who actually put their hands in their wallets, and buy our services.This is reality.

grax
grax

Experience! That's the trouble with "Old Guys". You should go and get a college education then you could be as stupid as some of those in the "young generation". What am I saying - I'm an "Old Guy" too!!!! "I know VERY few people who even like Vista, let alone "love it". There is a reason it has the worst sales since Windows ME, and it failed for the same basic reasons." I don't know any but I may not have as much experience as you. Keep up the good sense.

tonycopp
tonycopp

If you had taken a moment, you might have noticed that instead of the same point being reiterated twice, the word "Ignorance" was at first missing the second "n" and then corrected. Do your best to appreciate my frustration at what I perceived as a lack of clarity on your part. Please don't take umbrage at my simple frustration. Gracias!

grax
grax

If you can't understand plain English why do you find it necessary not to make a point TWICE!

maclovin
maclovin

....the man has a point.

Freewaresucks
Freewaresucks

That some organization that provides a linux or rather an open source based kernel becomes the most popular OS, comes first recommended when you buy a laptop, has crappy wide spread tech support, and this organization knows your company is making millions with this OS. They won't ask for a dollar, hmmmmm Redhat. Oh sorry got off track. All internet/LAN/WAN protocols is open source, you know what makes your computer hackable. I think open source data management is a pipe dream in our world at the best the worlds economy shifts from money to trade of services, and then maybe it just won't seem so bad.

maclovin
maclovin

...because many say it, but "reality in the business world" has to be said as a phrase because most of the business world's reality is complete FANTASY, and failure to understand logic. Many on here have pointed to the fact that many companies should have real actual techs be CIOs and IT Managers...but that involves a new mode of thinking that companies are still afraid of. Eventually a major shift in management will happen, the problem is getting people out of a 1960s mindset.

Freewaresucks
Freewaresucks

I hate to say it but Mac also uses that exact same hardware. Generic for all those people who argue day and night about whether mac or linux or windows is better, and there real meaning is what brand name they want to be most popular. The hardware side has much more Monopoly power. Because nobody cares about hardware when it works. For all hardware/software stems down from a universal code (not saying 0s and 1s). You should see how many printers will work with mismatched drivers because they all use a Xerox template. Someone prove to me now that company's aren't driven on marketing ploy in IT for the almighty buck.

maclovin
maclovin

...and the Vista machines work great, eh??? ...with "only" 6 GIGS of RAM.... XD And, all you said was "Macs", maybe you should point to which Macs you were running...I'll give you that a 603e may not be able to keep up with some Intel now :D And, it's quite possible that the root of the problem was poor machine management...and failure to understand the OS, which is what I had to fix when I came into the position I'm in now.

Darryl~
Darryl~

And in addition to that, I'm in a smaller community (35000 population) & we only have 1 dealer unless I want to go online or pay shipping fees to out of town dealers. What about when I need "that part" right now?

maclovin
maclovin

....the service calls to the all-girl dorms, and sororities! (mmmmmm, sweet, sweet, sororities.....) "They didn't send me everything I needed, so I'll have to come back Friday, got any plans?" :D Cheers!

vicden
vicden

"The next generation are much more open-minded" Not to mention they are the ones whose parents are sending to college with a Mac, so they don't have to worry as much about it breaking down.

lucien86
lucien86

It is a cult after all. On this one I am happy to be completely closed minded. :) no apples please

rfolden
rfolden

Yes, true... MUCH more open-minded. SO open minded, in fact, that their brains are falling out.

SilverBullet
SilverBullet

your open minded thinking must be accompanied by some level of security. The graphic art industry is very comfortable with the OS X and I fully support efforts to enhance the applications. Large corporate financial data centers are not impressed, the lag is tremendous.

mark
mark

But, then again, you're an artist! ;) It's not just tradition. It's the real cost of change and is there a payoff that is commensurate.

yobtaf
yobtaf

These are hardcore, old school, IT people. They're not going to break with tradition. The next generation are much more open minded.

mjc5
mjc5

If Microsoft really wants to make the best possible upgrade to their OS lineup, they should concentrate on taking their latest working OS - that being XP, and digging onto the thing, getting rid of all the junk within it, streamlining it until it's smaller, faster, and more reliable. Call it XP lightning or something like that. Don't change the look of the interface much if any, don't change the controls. Integrate a firewall that works similar to Zonealarm. After verifying that the OS worked, I would switch everything over in an engineer's minute.

Greeboid
Greeboid

I've been using Office 2007 for almost three years now. I was extremely prfficient in all versions up until 2003 because they developed and improved organically. I still struggle to do things on Office 2007 and save all my files without the "x" in the file extension because I often go back to 2003 to do things quickly. This isn't because I'm a Luddite, it's because Office '07 is rubbish.

tech
tech

I take issue with this statement: "Regardless of the resistance, Vista IS better then XP by a large measure, and Win 7 even more so." That is an opinion and not a fact. I have one Vista Machine in our office and it STILL will not run all of our required software! IT is a huge PITA. Windows 7 is better than Vista, but both are resource hogs when compared to XP and both cause MANY compatibility issues with software that runs flawlessly on XP. You must not run any non M$ software, because if you did you would find Vista and Windows 7 wanting!!!

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

And don't give me the guff about the XP mode, it's a light VM and has already been proven not able to run ALL the current XP software in use - business and games. Apart from that, XP mode doesn't come on any of the home user editions of Win 7, so you have to pay for Win 7 Pro as a minimum, that's 50% extra over Home Premium. So, if you 'upgrade' to Win 7, you can expect to pay out a fortune for new applications as well - kaching, goes the registers, with MS really working hard on having you move over to their apps at the same time.

Franciscus101
Franciscus101

As far as rescinding licenses, at least one company I know of does that already, and has been doing so for years now. Intuit will stop Quicken from doing the bank updates when they think its time for a new update and influx of money. I doubt that MS will do so. Consider that every operating system they have built can still be run by those who purchased them. I still have a copy of both dos 6.1 and WFWG3.1 sitting here. Recently repaired a computer that had Windows 3 installed on it. Regardless of the resistance, Vista IS better then XP by a large measure, and Win 7 even more so. As others have stated, I was able to run the RC of Win 7 on a 5 year old machine. Even the Beta ran, although I had to install a seperate lan card for that. The RC fixed that with proper drivers however for the builit in lan.

nelsonhoover
nelsonhoover

I've been using Freespire on my laptop the last while (dual-boot) and I'm thinking about putting it on my desktop. It's based on the popular Ubuntu distro and seems to work quite well.

VikingCoder
VikingCoder

Seriously, unless I see a lot that I like in Windows 7, when my XP systems are failing to satisfy I'll probably switch to either a Linux system or a Mac. The decision will mostly likely depend on where I feel most comfortable with the photo editing choices. IMHO, MS has missed the very point of an operating system, in the same way that they missed the point of an office suite with 2007. It's supposed to make your life easier, not harder. In terms of the OS, this means that it should provide you with a good interface for managing your system, files, and programs. Then, it should get out of your way and let you work. Eye candy (hello, Vista) I don't need. Neither do I need to figure out how to find the tools because they've been moved willy nilly just to be different. If an upgrade provides some advantage, great... but I doubt that requires relocating everything and increasing the hardware load as significantly as MS as done. Now, my employer is an MS shop, and to date they've been taking whatever comes loaded on the machine, so I'll have to deal with it there. But not by my choice.

lucien86
lucien86

My real problems with Vista - 1. Slow and clunky. 2. Very few substantial new features. 3. XP is more stable, or as stable 4. Modern hardware still all works with XP, some specialist stuff wont work with Vista at all. 5. New interface gets in the way more. 6. Cost and greed and confusion over multiple new versions. - C'mon Microsoft stop forcing us to choose between 32 and 64 bit, at least put both in the same bundle. 7. High Price considering 'features'. 8. Problems with OEM release.

tech
tech

Perhaps it is "M$" and not "MS" because of the MANY and world wide Anti-Trust Cases lost by Microsoft over the years. Maybe it is because of the way Microsoft treats it's end users or their employees, I know several that have worked for Microsoft over the years and the all hated it and said it was the most cut throat environment . . . Or maybe it is because if Microsoft can't buy the competition it will kill it off using any means necessary, legal or not. By contrast Apple has not had a plethora of Lawsuits, has not tried to slaughter all competitors and is worth only a small fraction of what Microsoft is worth. Oh and the couple of people I know that work for Apple LOVE it there. Apple will just create a better mouse trap, leaving the competitor on the shelf to gather dust. (And they don't have an "S" that can easily be changed to a "$". Just a few thoughts.

RipVan
RipVan

"CHANGE IS INEDIBLE."

DWalker88001
DWalker88001

The planet will begin to heal? What? I think you're making more of this than you need to. And why always the dollar sign in "MS"? Apple likes to make money too, but there's no convenient "S" in Apple that you can mangle.

kmdennis
kmdennis

I would like the author to explain how XP has become a bottle neck? What applications would you like to run that can only be run on Vista? Or how does XP stand in the way? What is choking? We still have cars made in 1939 runing today. They ar called classic cars. In some countries such as Cuba, they are the popular cars. OS's are like cars. There are those who will get the latest model every year. (yes I know of at least 2 people who does..incidentally they both live in different countries but drive BMW's. And there are those who will take car of what they have till it dies, because it does the job the want it to do and does it well enough. Just think for a moment, if you only read emails, news, play games, chat and does a few dord or excel docs every now and again, what compelling reason would you have to migrate to Vista or WIn 7. Of course motor car vendors may make a lot of money when people buy new cars every year they come out. But unles ther is a new feature that cannot be installed on the one you currently own and you have the money to do so, you probably will not upgrade. MS has not yet provided reason enough to move to Vista. And it was not a PR nightmare! The problems peole have expressed are real. They were glad to check out the OS because it was marketed well. Not only did it not live up to its marketed expectations, it broke a lot of things, it was not ready for the enterprise and was incompatible in most cases. It drove people nuts with constant popups and hindrance to productive work. I get angry and emotional...so let me drop it.

rcfoulk
rcfoulk

The vast majority of business computing is email, typically Outlook, office automation apps like Office or Open Office and likely a SQL client. XP is not a bottleneck with respect to any of these and therefore while things will certainly change in the long run for many XP has many more laps around the barn in it before that change can factor a positive benefit relative to the costs associated with upgrading.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Considering I am currently typing this on a win95 machine with a USB mouse, and it works fine, I think 95 had USB support. Or at least, 95C did. Also 98 had several new memory and time management APIs added, such as kernelwait. 98 also had better graphic API support, and is good till DX9, Win95 was/is only good till DX8.

JasonJD48
JasonJD48

What software company doesn't release new editions every few years or so! If you want the new features and capabilities than you upgrade, if you don't then stay with what you have. Windows has a history for releasing a new OS approx. every 3 years, XP is actually the exception, it went a long time before Vista. It is also perfectly normal to skip, I know many people and businesses that skipped 98 and/or ME, or skipped 2000 or skipped XP and a lot of people have skipped Vista. If you do every other OS, your running approx. every 6 years and your still always in the support period.

JasonJD48
JasonJD48

98 was a revision of 95 with USB support and a few other features. Just like ME was 98 with System Restore, System File Protection and programmed to self-destruct like a message from Chief Quimby. Just like XP is 2000 with some more consumer end features and Luna theme. The idea is that within OSs are code bases, 9x being 4, 2000/XP being 5, Vista/7 being 6. These operating systems are similar to their counterparts within the same version but different enough to be re-branded, Vista will be a lot lighter and offer a few enhancements, but I think being a lighter more stable OS will be the main standout point for it.

Rhodent
Rhodent

You make a bigger bundle selling a new OS. You don't make that much if most of your customers have been using your old OS they bought from you years ago and intend to use it for years to come, and if their IT professionals are already so familiar with it that maybe they don't even need paid support anymore. Though M$ is a bully, you can understand them to a point - if they keep working on updating the OS, they should keep getting paid. Example - you buy XP for, what, $140 or so (been awhile for me), with a license for 3 years. Want support beyond that? Another 3 years will cost ya, say, 70 bucks, and so on. Makes sense? But M$ is not about that. The model of the business competing by providing the best product with the best support and the best service is a thing of the past. Now they fight for market monopoly. In it's earlier days, M$ WANTED people to pirate their software so that they would get used to it. Just like the proverbial drug-dealer. And today we are all hooked (well, I moved to Linux, but you guys still are :))

Flashtube105
Flashtube105

Microsoft needs to make money. Why not keep improving Windows XP, come out with the greatest Windows ever? Windows 7. Let people choose what they want for their businesses and networks. Keep both windows XP and 7 going. Keep selling both.

Rhodent
Rhodent

with what you are saying, but the constant change and introduction of new technologies is just a result of evolutionary pressure with which even M$ has to comply, though they do it by taking over new technologies and either developing & marketing them as their own or putting them on ice.

Rhodent
Rhodent

Micro$oft's aim is to rule the market. Then it can dictate it's customers when they must buy their new products and discard the old ones, since the old ones are being forced into obsolescence. Vista was probably shipped half baked because M$ decided they wanted to get paid again. And then again, with the apparently fully baked Windows 7. I believe part of Microsoft's strategy is pulling the IT professionals over to their side. Get them used to their products, make it easy for them.... learning a new OS like Linux is a pain and a half, much easier to put in a fraction of the effort learning Linux requires each time you have to 'evolve' with M$. That way you 'spread it out'.... I also understand that the market is making it hard for Linux - all those drivers issues, established standards etc. And people tend to dislike change more and more as time passes and they get used to the way they are doing things. So - I think, yes, you have to move with the time. And a lot of this 'time' is controlled by M$, so you will eventually have to leave XP behind (and, BTW - there are improvements over XP even in Vista, besides all the new annoying features). But I'd wait, maybe install a couple of computers with Vista to LEARN it, wait for Win7 and then do the same with it. Migrate when you can afford to, but be prepared. And if you really wanna be independent of M$, try Linux out. A few computer running Linux, try and integrate them into your company. But I don't think anybody is gonna dictate M$ anything as long as they don't have any serious competition in the field of OSs. R.

tonycopp
tonycopp

of course you are having the time of your life enjoying what hundreds of millions of hard-working people and business simply cannot afford or bother to support the effort involved to carry this bloated kernel forever up the derivative path it acquired by whatever means necessary....perhaps you can get orphan drug standing and have M$ work for your special need for a highway with guide-ramps and half-pipes

DragonRider_65
DragonRider_65

That is too funny! You guys have some very insightful and brilliant things to say here, but that was great! Resistance to M$ is pretty much futile because they are going to have the leading software no matter where you turn. I have two computers running Vista (Home Premium 32 Bit and Vista Ultimate 64 Bit on an XFX MOBO w/ AMD Black Edition Duo Core 64 Bit Processor over-clocked at 3.9 GHz) and I love this OS. I may not be a Genius, but I use what works. I have a laptop that totally SUCKED with Windows XP Professional in it. I Loaded Vista and it has never worked more beautifully? Go figure?

kmdennis
kmdennis

I understand your idea. However, you may be missing the point. Gas works well in our cars in 2009 and even better than it did in 1930. Better than diesel and flex fuel which is said to be better. But unless forced to change to flex, most people will continue using gasoline, because it is working for them right now and working well. People were happy to move from the different operating systems simply because it was prudent. The newer systems provided better service than the existing one. Windows Vista has not provided enough to warrant the upgrade. If anything, it has been a resource hog and a hindrance to production. Adaptation and adoptation will not be as smooth, plus the compatibility issues, changing the name of icons, hiding and moving them did not help. Now watch what will happen if someone develops an alternative operating system along with the applications that look, feel and perform exactly like WinXP with easy and simple migration abilities. I am sure people will make the change when it suits the business need, but don't like to be forced into making that change.

jeffv96818
jeffv96818

Windows 7 is based on Vista code base but is completely revamped. A lot of things that were in Vista were addons so they didn't run very good and ate up a lot of resources... side bar for example. In Windows 7, those features are integrated. I've been able to run Windows 7 on every old machine I have with no issues. Some of the hardware isn't supported, but the drivers for Vista usually work just fine. Speed is great. It's actually faster than XP. Microsoft has a winner with Windows 7.

mjc5
mjc5

I'm all about change for the better. I want mature software that works quickly, I want a computer to run more quickly, I want security features that will do their job without making me have to stop what I'm doing every 5 minutes. Now let's talk about operating systems. An operating system is just supposed to sit there and allow you to do what you want to do. It is not the star of the show. It is not supposed to keep you from doing your work. Apps are the stars, not the OS. That is where M$ made their mistake. They wanted a new star. Failed miserably at it. The days of a new OS every couple years is gone. The market is maturing. That "installed user base" that M$ fans used to brag about is now dictating the market. We want stability and solidity, We don't want interfaces that require the end user to lose productivity and necessitate retraining and to keep us hopping to correct problems that only exist because we switched to a new OS. What kind of business model calls for steps backward then massive effort (read expense) just to get to the place they were already at?

mypl8s4u2
mypl8s4u2

If your stupid enough to change without proper testing then you deserve to lose your job because any idiot knows that before going forward you must make sure you don't end up backwards in the process. Vista was not poorly marketed, it was a poor product. And W7 is Vista revisited. Denial of that certifies your doom if you actually think it's better. XP works because by now, the majority of the 'kinks' have been worked out. As an independent IT person I'm constantly called upon to 'fix' or solve a Vista issue. Most of the time it's compatibility. And when the major computer manufacturers are forced to push Vista then it causes them to lose revenue because those companies who purchase from them must find ways to roll it back to XP when the drivers are not available. This is an IT nightmare finding drivers that the manufacturers are not willing to divulge. I find these results slightly biased towards MS OS systems. This poll must have been given to small businesses as most companies that I deal with that are of some size don't use MS products as a server OS but Linux or some derivative with XP clients. And the unwillingness to change to another OS strikes me strange also. MAC has gained enough support lately with compatibility for MS products. Most of my clients use MAC's for their personal computer and are buying them for their children for college stating their reason as being, they don't want their children's system to break down on them while away from home.

Ocie3
Ocie3

Or, that's what everything that I've heard and read about it says. I considered participating in the Windows 7 beta program, but the "legacy hardware" that I am running now cannot implement most of the Windows 7 security features that require the CPU to have corresponding implementation features.

Ocie3
Ocie3

Since Microsoft currently has a monopoly on the microcomputer operating system market, they will repeatedly develop another operating system "upgrade" to replace their most recent one. Eventually, their customers must "update" to one of the OS versions more recently published than the one that they are currently using, because Microsoft will stop supporting the product that they are currently using, and not issue any further security patches, etc. When Microsoft chooses to stop supporting Windows XP, then how many IT professionals will continue telling their bosses that it is acceptable to continue running Windows XP? They will be changing their tune!! For better or for worse, they will be promoting an update to the most recent Microsoft OS (Windows 7, now) instead of seriously considering an alternative whose vendors have friendlier development and support policies. Someday, it may be that most of us will be running Open Source operating systems and software, if only to get off of Microsoft's treadmill. But Microsoft will prosper until that begins to happen.

tonycopp
tonycopp

I suggest the vertebrate public form a class action defendant suit along the lines "I am Malcolm X" were M$ to play that card. The road is made by walking on it. The court cost will consume them and be the death-knell of their end-stage business model. What they ungraciously stole will be set free and the planet will begin to heal. You will pay close attention and be the change you wish to see.

darwin
darwin

change for the sake of change is pointless and invariably detrimental. If you want me to change my network give me a real, valid reason for doing so. Its going to cost me a great deal of money, time, headache and possibly my job if I can't prove a business case for it. Vista didn't pass muster not because it was marketed poorly, it failed because there is no valid reason for the switch over. It provided no real improvement and caused a great deal of pain in the form of legacy apps that would no longer function and woud have to be recreated, once again at great expense. Lets examine that for a moment. Lots of money out the door - no general advantage gained - decreased productivity due to the learning curve - Uh, not today thanks. Changing the OS on my network has to give me something. Something real and worthwhile, not just a pretty picture on the desktop. I can get that without spending half of the company's annual profits.

pdm_pdq
pdm_pdq

no sooner do you install win7 and get the kinks out and its win8 and once installed and running its win9 and so on and on and on and on. Economy of scale applies here, if you get too many people working on one job sooner or later too many poeople only slow down the process instead of speeding it up. If all your IT people are running around fixing issues with a new OS then whos minding the mint. And what if the problems out weigh the number of IT people you have to mind the mint? Then you hire more IT people or just let production wait? NO THANKS, I'll stick with what i know and buy a better mouse trap when my mice have graduated the school for beating a better mouse traps. In the old days of DOS and Win3 new was nice because all those systems were elementary in their design. In todays systems with the levels of hardware and software all is not so simple and bigger and better whistles get confusing to implement and maintain. Not to mention the up keep that M$ has do and in return the udates you have to update to be updated. Needless to say, and I will say it again, demand creates supply and supply DOES NOT create demand. Dont call me and try and sell me something if i need it I will GOOGLE it and call you. Just because you can invent something thats nice and shinny doesnt mean it can replace what i just repainted. TYVMucho

littlepd
littlepd

What should be changing here is Microsoft's notion that they should have sole control over when businesses hand over huge sacks of money to them. Their business model is built around forced obsolesence of their products, not because they aren't working anymore, but because M$ can't make as much money off of them any longer. You can no longer buy Windows XP at retail. How much longer will it be before M$ starts rescinding the licenses people have to run XP. Then M$ will be able to bring litigation against you for NOT UPGRADING! I wouldn't put it past them. They have shown in the past that all they care about is selling you their latest package of whatever. Forget the fact that you don't need it. They'll just make sure that, if you hold on to current technology, you won't be able to do business with anyone who chokes down the new tech. that M$ is forcing down their throats. "Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated."

FatNGristle
FatNGristle

Exactly Mw. If the market doesn't accept the 2009 Buick then it was a mistake, no matter how man progressive innovations it had. This is business and someone at MS isn't getting that. If they want to release a 2009, 2010, 2011.5 , that's fine if consumers will buy it. The business world needs stability, not only in the product but in availability. Innovation CAN be good for business, but not as good as stability. XP allows companies to do their business (is this not the point?) and the majority of businesses are not in business to show off flashy OS'.

SilverBullet
SilverBullet

your logic is flawed using the compairison of the 1947 deSoto, this not 1947. Nobody wants to buy the deSoto today as their primary vehicle. They do however want the XP (not released in 1947) as the best available choise today. I do believe that the market/consumer will in the future determine how Microsoft must adjust their current strategies. Last, you are fiscally blind to economic challenges facing most businesses today. How big and many planed OS roll-outs do you have scheduled this year?

JamesLeeP
JamesLeeP

I agree with you, mwagner, except on one point - Vista was more than just a PR nightmare. Vista was shipped half-baked; it was not ready for prime time. How many IT professionals recall that when XP first shipped, the FBI got involved due to security problems? XP was not a good product until SP1 came out. XP has matured, but now it's become the bottleneck to innovation. Something better and faster always comes along. Vista was not better and faster, though it's been able to mature a little. Hopefully, Microsoft gets it right this time and ships Windows 7 when it's ready to be shipped, and not before.

M Wagner
M Wagner

Just because XP is "good enough" for many doesn't mean that there should be no progress. No, people don't like change but just because the 1947 deSoto ran great in 1947 doesn't mean that it is better than a 2009 Buick. The attitude you have expressed suggests that nothing should ever change. In the end, the marketplace chooses change. Maybe not as quickly as vendors might like and vendors DO stumble. (Vista turned into a PR nightmare - not because it isn't a good OS but because it was badly marketed.) If Windows 7 fails to win over IT Pros (the object of the survey, then Microsoft could be in serious trouble but that would only bring on the demise of Microsoft and Windows. It would not "save" Windows XP. XP is a "dead man walking" and any IT Pro worth his salt knows it! Being prepared for change is better than ignoring the truth.

wyattharris
wyattharris

That is probably the best I've ever heard it put mjc5. "Volunteer to screw up your network just so you can get it back to how it was." I would also add screw up your network and make yourself look bad at your job due to migration fumbles, no thanks. Thanks for posting the results, very telling.