Windows

Poll: It is time to face facts and finally dump Windows XP

Microsoft Windows XP is 10-year-old technology; it is time to dump it for something better and safer. Whether you agree or disagree, take the poll to let us know.

Microsoft Windows XP was first released to manufacturers in August 2001. That means in just a few short months Windows XP will be a 10-year-old operating system. It also means that XP is based on 10-year-old technology, 10-year-old interface design, and 10-year-old security. To put it simply, when it comes to software product cycles, Windows XP is just plain ancient.

Yet, there are still a large number of knowledgeable information technology professionals clinging to this outdated operating system for their organization's desktop client needs. Their reasoning is based on arguments that boil down to just a couple of factors:

  • It still works.
  • Changing will cost time and money.
  • Legacy applications won't run on the new operating system.

Now, I normally leave the opinion writing on TechRepublic to Toni Bowers, Jason Hiner, and Bill Detwiler, but as the host of the Windows Blog I think it is a topic that needs to be thoroughly discussed. I have received dozens of emails from IT pros telling me they have no plans to migrate away from Windows XP -- ever. So I am going to offer my two cents and then ask you to comment in the discussion forum that follows.

Two cents

It is time to finally dump Microsoft Windows XP. There are no longer any truly compelling reasons to stick with XP, just excuses. Yes, it still works, but so does Morse Code, horse and buggies, and the IBM PC Jr. that I have on display in the office. The Windows 7, Mac OS X, and Linux operating systems are all better operating systems than Windows XP. They are more secure, they take advantage of modern hardware and software technology, and they are closer to the beginning of their respective product life cycles.

And consider what we have seen in the past few years. Smartphones and tablet PCs are selling by the millions, and the way your users will interact with the network has changed forever. For many, the idea of a 9-to-5 job is the stuff of nostalgia; we work when we work and we need to be connected at all times with any device that happens to be available. Not one of those devices is running Windows XP and with good reason.

And to the other factor often cited as a reason not to move away from Windows XP -- cost -- I would argue that the cost of not migrating is much greater. While there are certainly initial outlays of capital required to upgrade away from XP, the cost of not being able to provide users with the tools they'll need to do their jobs during the next decade could be disastrous. Your competitors are equipping their workforce with modern always-on, always connected, up-to-date operating system tools. How long will it take for that competitive advantage to kick in -- a year, two, maybe three?

The last reason for sticking to Windows XP relates to legacy applications. This is the only semi-valid reason for resisting the migration. But it is one that must be overcome. Organizations cannot allow the presence of legacy applications to dictate the entire network infrastructure. Whether that means recoding, developing a new application, or putting legacy applications in a virtual environment, some way to move past those applications and their limitations must be implemented.

Bottom line

The writing is on the wall. Microsoft wants you off Windows XP and will pull support in 2014. There is no new software development for the XP platform. If you are still hanging on to Windows XP, you are taking a major risk that you will be left in the dust by your competition.

One more point before you tell me how wrong I am in the discussion forum: I work for CBS Interactive and we are still using Windows XP on most of our workstations. In fact, I am writing this blog post on a PC running XP. I am speaking to my company's decision makers as well as speaking to you. It is time to dump Windows XP. You will have to sooner or later -- it is inevitable.

Poll

Agree? Take the poll and then tell us what you have done to migrate away from Windows XP. Was it a difficult migration? Is it a work in progress? Was it costly or time consuming or both? Would you encourage your peers to move away from XP whatever the cost?

Disagree? Good. Take the poll and tell me, and your peers, why I am wrong. Explain where my logic is faulty. Explain why you are not going to dump Windows XP anytime soon. What is driving your decision and how are you going to work around the technological changes happening all around you?

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.

560 comments
dmspar
dmspar

Windows 7/8 totally sucks for anything useful. I've had the unfortunate 'pleasure' to eval windows 8, and if that is truly the direction Microsoft wishes to go then I shall dump it for Linux. I can't understand what moron thought it would be great to design an os that is only truly usable on a touchscreen device, whilst ignoring those of use with normal computers. Ubuntu went this route and it is losing users, Gnome 3 developers went this route and they are losing users just as fast. If Windows insists on joining them then it's goodby Windows, and hello to Linux at least with decent distros that don't all drink the touchscreen cool aid.

Robert.Burke
Robert.Burke

I am an IT COO for the Department of Defense in Iraq. If in SW Asia, Europe or the US, the primary OS for all 4 military services and the DoD (10+ million Computers) is Windows XPsp3. All applications currently used must be fully supported, Vista has the ability after SP3 is applied to work "most" of these programs. The same can be said with Windows 7 XP Mode. The problem is the military will not give up a working weapon system based on XP or XP embedded unless it is replaced on a fully functioning and tested system. XP was fully implimented 5 years after inseption (2006), Vista systems are purchased for Office replacements. The 3 major computer manufacturers IBM/Lenovo, HP/Compact and Dell, all offer either XP machines or Vista machines with XP downgrade capability!!

jennifer_arden
jennifer_arden

Well, I think: * Windows XP became really nice with SP2 * I agree is was MS's last great OS to date * I never in the 10 years I used it experienced weird errors like blue screens, hanging etc unless I did some serious modding or fidling with XP, in fact its been super stable to date * XP has great hardware and software support and compatibility * XP is very forgiving when modifying its user interface and its possible to make it look lot like Vista while still retaining the XP reliability but with the advantage of having a great legendary OS with a modern user interface * If you like XP then keep using it, don't let MS force you to upgrade, its the choice / preference of the end user * The company where I work uses a wireless network and XP Pro SP3 on all laptops and PC's as well as on our server (server provides internet, printing and book keeping services) and it works beautifully * And that new laptop you want / bought recently? Yes it most probably can run on XP - I bought an Acer Aspire 5732Z with Windows 7 basic on it. I was told by the technical personnel this laptop cannot run on XP( you get a blue screen if you try to install XP and Acer has no XP drivers for this laptop). Well thats true because XP does not have the newer "AHCI" drivers to work on the newer mother boards with those controllers, but you can integrate those into XP and it will work. As for the drivers? I downloaded the drivers for the different components in the laptop from the manufacturers websites and I am happily running XP Pro SP3 on my Acer Aspire 5732Z! I personally use XP Pro SP3 and Bitdefender Total Security 2011 and it works great. For those technically savvy with PC's my XP improved visual style (32 bit XP only) is available free from www.mediafire.com/jenniferarden for an improved Windows XP user experience for those who would like a modern looking Windows XP. Screenshots available at download site.

JadeWhalen
JadeWhalen

Linux in the best OS .. its really a relief when you don't get those viruses messing up your registry.And you get to recover files in case your computer crashes down.

charlie204
charlie204

If you have a machine which was built prior to the release of Windows Vista, you probably spent more for memory (like RAMBUS technology, for instance) than the more recent machines with ten times the memory cost. If you have a working older machine, typically running XP currently, that machine may not be capable of running Windows 7. When you want to buy a new machine, you probably will spend less and get more value than you could have imagined five years ago. On that machinery, if you want to upgrade from XP, perhaps because Microsoft will stop supporting XP, then investigating one of the linux distros makes sense. (I first had a Shuttle machine which I ran Ubuntu on. When that died, I have installed it as a dual-boot on my XP machine.) When Windows 8 comes out, the question will be, shall the user world upgrade their Windows Vista machines and Windows 7 machines to Windows 8? In the past, the upgrade typically was both hardware and software. If the hardware is "good enough", will people upgrade their software, or live with what they currently have? That is what Microsoft is wondering currently. When a new machine is sold, it has to have some operating system, and typically, that operating system has been a Microsoft one for the client environment, in both business and home usage. Therefore the question of dumping XP means, perhaps running a different operating system on hardware which still works, or maybe dumping both the software and the hardware, and getting something brand new. I like to get the best value out of the machinery which I already have. I found that updating my XP to 2 GB from 256kb was the true boost that the machine really needed. I would bet that an XP machine with 2GB and a couple of 320 GB hard drives would actually fit the needs of most users, but that does not drive the profits of the companies, hardware and software, who want us to continually upgrade, upgrade, upgrade. Do you really need Aero? Do you like being able to see the background through the window? This sort of stuff is the cute thing which is not relevant to doing anything on the computer, but may be a gee-whiz thing which sells the new machinery. Marketing may not necessarily make sense, but it does sell product.

wgardenhire
wgardenhire

Just as there is nothing wrong with not upgrading. I, for one, do not appreciate having something I own to be declared obsolete. I can only imagine the emotions I would be subjected to if someone were to tell me that I could no longer make use of my 1967 Pontiac GTO. That old band-saw that Grandpa willed to you, you know, the one that sits in your work shop; c'mon, get rid of it. Modern band-saws are much, much safer; what with built in safe guards and all. Anyone get my point?

bapool
bapool

I have been in IT since DOS, and am single point support/Tech Leadership for a K-12 school district with 750 systems, 10 servers, 1200 users...and it is all about money. In order to justify the cost, windows must justify the expense. I have a lab of Windows 7 machines and my work PC (tri-boot: XP, 7 Ubuntu) machine, and the rest are all XP. We started the migration as a testbed to see if there was really justification. I have to say at this point that there is not. In order to get the same speed I basically had to double the RAM in the machines, making the cost of the upgrade per machine ~100. Not alot for a single machine, but pretty steep for 750! The point of the OS is to give us access to our programs. Somehow we seem to forget that sometimes. Yes, it can get prettier and prettier. It can also get so bloated that our programs run slower and slower and we have to upgrade perfectly functional hardware just to get what we had before we upgraded. I am want to see what 7 gives me that I am missing in XP. Oh, I get pretty widgets, and I get to spend extra time looking for items in new places in the control panel. Yea! I can install an entire OS and productivity apps with Ubuntu from a CD but I need a DVD to get just an OS with 7! And now I can add memory to return it to the XP speed, and then I can copy all my docs off of my external hard drive (since 7 didn't let me upgrade) and I am supposed to jumo to the migration? Our school district just took a huge hit economically from our new govenor. I am doing everything I can to make my department do its share to lower costs. Upgrade? Not yet. Someday? Sure, but it might not be a Windows varient.

mjohansen
mjohansen

What's wrong with morse code??

oldmicro
oldmicro

The Job of an OS is to run programs. Windows has never been solely about running programs. That stopped when MSDOS became Windows. Since then MS has been all about how it looks, feels, and an automatic assortment of programs, also provided by MS that "define" the "Operating System" but which in fact have nothing to do with an Operating System. There are unsolved issues with the core of all Windows OS's. The one I am primarily concerned with is the "Fix it on the fly, without the users knowledge" feature. This is the very "Feature" that viruses, trojans and worms exploit. Everything else is "Window Dressing." To me there is no meaningful difference between Win95 and every Windows since. Therefore, many businesses might be better off considering Dumb Terminals, rather than spending any more valuable assets on buggy systems. To my thinking, Microsoft had their chance and blew it.

James-SantaBarbara
James-SantaBarbara

Windows 7 may be safer (UAC and the like) but it is definitely NOT better. I upgraded to 7 from XP and now I'm back to XP which is a much superior OS. You should spend a little more time in the Windows 7 forums at Microsoft and elsewhere...the problems with Windows Explorer are becoming infamous. And isn't Windows Explorer > Windows 7?

BavonWW
BavonWW

It is quirks. Quite what querks are I am not sure , I have heard of quarks. Perhaps one of our resident physicists could help us?

ecolima1
ecolima1

I agree with WinXP dumping...but Win7 is not the improvement we were expecting...Feels like Microsoft fix WinVista taking a winxp and putting on "the Vista experience"...hope they do something good...(and not to soon) 'cause nobody would take it...so...Xp has a lot of trouble with security, win7 is better in that way, but not that really good as winxp...what can we do?....Linux? mmmm.....that's happens when you just want to rule the world....

tsutay
tsutay

I am the Director of Engineering at my small company. As such, I not only "direct", but I "do" - both engineering and a front end software development. We play in modeling, mechanical design, SQL server and just about every piece of "office" software. My office has around 15 people, with a mix of Win 7 and XP. I personally have both Win 7 and XP between my box and my laptop. Across the board, productivity is substantially higher on the XP boxes. And it's not necessarily because it's XP. We can argue about the bennies of Win 7 over XP until be are blue in the face (or, in this case, until we have cramps in our fingers). The bottom line is, in the new environment with the newly remodeled software that doesn't quite work the same way, there is an efficiency hit to do the same job. And here's the thing: once my users have learned the new environment and become as good/fast/efficient as they were in the old environment, they are back to the same level of productivity as before... the "new technology" benefits touted for moving to a new OS are a "no gain" for the average office employee. We still write documents, calculate spreadsheets, enter data. Take a user who is so familiar with AutoCAD and Excel in XP that they know all the keyboard shortcuts in each and can race through a job in no time at all. Then, throw Office 2010, AutoCAD 2009 and Windows 7 at them. Every user in this position will suffer a huge hit, and for what gain? Now, only half the Office shortcuts work, and the menus (that do the same functions) are moved into new locations with new names. In AutoCAD they can load the "classic" menu bars, but we still suffer the name/location change of key menus, and all the "Mac like fluff" of Win 7 serves no gain, rather just consumes more memory and slows the user down. Eventually, the user will be back up to their previous level doing the same job. What did my company actually gain? So, my question is: why can't we have a new OS that leverages new technology without negatively impacting the average user? Sure, there are ways to "tweak" the new to look like the old, but that's time, and resources.

mac021
mac021

Not everyone has the luxury of replacing hardware or software frequently, such as myself. And the type of applications I use work faster in an XP compared to 7 (doesn't run much multimedia), unless I buy faster hardware. I don't like replacing things which aren't broken or are still working perfectly fine. Maybe MS can stop selling XPs, but they should still provide service for existing loyal and satisfied users. The lifespan of XP also speaks well of MS, so why kill it?

ofisan
ofisan

Yes, get rid of XP and start a new chapter, Windows 7 and then... Windows 8 is knocking on the door? Before, it could be said that Win 2000 was the most stable OS but Win XP came along and I bet the next Microsoft OS indeed will have a similar song after undergoing battery of tests and re-births. The bottom line, we have to change since hanging on to the old is considered archaic and otherwise Microsoft and its competitors will become irrelevant too. But of course as with technology, it's not about fixing what is broken but an endeavor to be the best and always on time. I'm going to join the band wagon rather than lick the old wounds.

zz4z28dude
zz4z28dude

Windows has already announced Win 8 will be rolled out in the near future...why buy a soon to be out of date Win 7? When will it end? So far XP has outlasted all the others! I'll wait for 8! or 9 0r 10! .

The Old Barn
The Old Barn

Personnaly, I felt very behind the times when I bought an XP 64 bit Pro business computer (after 7 had been released) but now that I have had my system long enough to be used to it, I have discovered that most businesses still have XP because they cannot take the hit of having all of their employees in various ststes and with multiple locations in each-to be required to learn new OS- In this list is Staples of all names who sell 7 all day long but all of their stores operate on XP. I could make a list of these companies but start finding out yourself and I am sure you will be surprised at how many still operate enormous businesses on XP. I can upgrade mine to 7 at no charge at any time but have not taken that step. There are always other things that are far more important.

pausonne
pausonne

Looking at Microsoft's past in dealing with competitors and their other business practices I'm afraid I am one who believes that MS and hardware manufacturers are in collusion to continue bidding up the process of "more and better" simply for the sake of transferring our hard earned dollars from our pockets to theirs. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that many of the viruses and hack attacks originate at MS headquarters to keep the public in a constant state of panic. Remember Elliot Carver in "Tomorrow Never Dies?"

doki1
doki1

We are not agree with this article at all! Not agree because any new OS is merely a business problem of MS. The explanation is clear: they will not have income if the XP would remain! The MS will close, so they not let us stay on XP, rather than buy another either Vista or w7, just buy spend money! The technical side even worse, because the Vista was a tragedy, the w7 a littlebit better, but still deadly slow and complicated! The situation like it was at the beginning with the XP. The years already we spent with the XP made it a very fast, handy, workshop. Good for newcomer, and for the specialists! Easy handling the files, secure harddisk-handler reachable by the user, i.e. easy datasaving etc. The other software and programs especially our own written ones are running optimal on XP and on w7 slow, even failed. At last why should we learn and accostume to another system and waste time for nothing! Why should we change our custom and people to another OS if we are fully agreed with this XP. The only reason is MS's business, even their income! If this w7 would be so important to jump into than MS should give us the w7 without paying! This were a galant way to our trouble to change everything! But this is not a business to them! Really I forget the security question, what you tell us is already obsolate. it is not tru because the attackers attack the MS money interrests. The XP alrady not business for the MS, so it is safe! If not than it is attacked by MS hired ones to buy the new! If it is not true than why shpuld we have any security against attack? At last the XP is accostumed, fast, convenient, everybody knows, a good standard for all other producers, works on newest hardware and the elders as well! Against is that the MS not cares it, not spend any more money for and some hired people attack it drive us to buy a new one! So try to think over and try MS to also to think and stay on the weel working one! The MS would besatisfied with a modest income and stay on XP-base and ask some money for the up-to-date work! This is what we call maintenance, service and of course service-charge. Hope this will be also seen at your web page! with regards Dr. prof. P. G. Gyarmati

stewybaby69
stewybaby69

XP IS 10 YEARS OLD & HAS HAD 10 YEARS SECURITY UPDATES ! ! AFTER THE FAILURE OF VISTA , THEN WINDOWS 7 ON THE SCENE MICROSOFT HAD NO ALTERNATIVE THAN TO CUT THE SECURITY UPDATES ON XP FOR ONLY 1 REASON . TO SELL US ALL NEW SYSTEMS WE DON`T WANT OR NEED !

ntkachenko
ntkachenko

At least i could never see, when OS does not allow me to join my own network, because it thinks it is some unident... public network, it is not good for me (like vista or win7). There is a lot of mess in XP - but everything is fixable standard way. However, opposite - internet full of screams about those "progressive" OS's thinking they are smarter then users (from the point of the CODE - may be, but from the point of user - he wants to use it for his purpose, not to look somewhere for non-yet-existing solutions). And major for me - XP has IE6 with usable Favorites (i have ~ 500 folders 3-4 levels deep and ~2000 links on each machine ??? it is how I Want it). IE7, IE8, IE9 - JUST FOR youtube, twitter and bank ??? it does not fit more links for use. IE9 - I thought - will be back for good, but it does not. In 3 days of nightmare with installation of it (Microsoft browser for Microsoft OS) and 2 days of trying, I even could not download Mozilla! with all bells turned off. Finally, I did it from the thumb drive to get rid of IE9). May be, in some years, when at least, guys from Microsoft customer service learn their subject and collect some usable tips ??? not like ???you get used to it??? and will be capable to advice, like it was ~2 years after the beginning of XP, I'll think..

K James
K James

I'm fine with Windows 7; after all, the shell does very little work. What I hate is Office 2010, where 10 years of "expertise" was thrown out the window by a very arrogant vendor. No new functionality, just a "Let's drive the IT support world crazy" kind of attitude. Someone needs to sink Microsoft's ship. Why the entire IT community doesn't just embrace open source is beyond me.

nchardenet
nchardenet

I am primarily a Linux user and chronic Microsoft basher but I always keep a Windows computer around just in case. And I broke my own rule last year and moved to Windows 7 before the first service pack was out because it had gotten *such* a good review in PC World magazine, which has never been much of a Microsoft cheerleader. And it didn't lead me astray; I was so glad to be rid of XP. I never bothered with Vista, I knew it was going to be the Windows Me of the 00's.

bfkauffman
bfkauffman

Anybody with a brain the size of a pea can see the end of the road for Microsoft. All the new handheld stuff will be the standard in a very short time and arguments such as this will be academic. I have XP and 7 and the differences are pathetically moot. XP is a fine, fine operating system. I have 4 desktops and 1 laptop and haven't seen a BSOD in years. First and foremost you people should throwing rocks at Microsoft for still charging $100 to $200 for an operating system. Why the hell do you do that? WTF do they think they are? They won't have their hand in my pocket anymore. My God you people- wake up and GET MAD!! Windows 7 versus XP? As Rhett said "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

Dudo
Dudo

All my systems have now been upgraded to Win7, but there are times I long for the good old XP-level efficiency and speed. I know, I know, 7 is newer, safer, better, and superior to XP in almost any possible way, OTHER THAN SPEED AND EFFICIENCY. Win7 beats Vista hands down, by I yet have to see benchmarks showing it being faster than XP - this wasn't mentioned in the article and I see it as probably the biggest mental hurdle to conquer. When will there be a good time for MS to really push for a change? After Win7 SP2 or SP3. SP1 cleaned neatly some stuff and tied some loose ends, but there's more work at hand and I'm looking forward to future improvements. In terms of maturity, we're comparing apples to oranges, 10 years of clean-ups and optimizing vs. just months. In terms of complexity, even more so. In summary, I love Win7, it is a good successor for the throe, but it is still young and immature - looking forward to it growing up and EARNING THE RIGHT to fully unseat XP!

DonWagner
DonWagner

W7 Interface is different but not better and not faster. It requires more clicks than XP and default hot-key operations have been removed. i.e. If there is only one item in a File list that begins with 'F', one can no longer press a letter to select it, and many of the traditional, productive hot-keys are totally gone. I find productivity has gone down not up. And their new file and document paradigm is really lame. If users couldn't figure out where their files were before, they simply don't have a chance unless they do master searches that will get slower and slower as more files are added. It does nothing for business users. Do your users and friends a favor and tell them about 'Search Everything' a free and fast engine from VoidTools, a small shop in South Australia. Nice folks, tell them Don in Atlanta sent you. And no I don't get nuttin for the referral. After all, it is a free download. Windows 7 users are going to need it! Heck, I needed it on XP and integrated it with our in-house file & document management system.

neuralping
neuralping

Linux remains unknown and obscure to many people. Linux would adequately fill the needs of many people if they only new they had a choice. Large application base and security make it the logical choice. There should be a mixture of linux in every it shop and home.

dennisahill
dennisahill

I will use XP for a while longer because it does everything I and my office/family want it to do. When I/we do move away from MS, it will be to some version of Linux. Not because Linux is free but because of its superb security, the thousands upon thousands of value added programs and software and because of the variety of distributions I can choose from. At present, I am using a Linux distro to power our SOHO servers so the choice will be easy for me. My problem is that the folks in the office and at home are used to Windows software and getting them to move to Linux will be a huge challenge that will take time to overcome. dennisahill@yahoo.com

ChrisTheta
ChrisTheta

Just because it is new is not a compelling reason to invest money or effort to upgrade. You are obviously a person who leases his car, lives in an apartment, and doesn't recycle his plastics -- just kidding! But I'm sure that if Microsoft could get away with it they'd have you throw out your OS every year. Truth is that Microsoft doesn't truly "support" even their current products and never has. Can your mother call up Microsoft when she gets a blue screen of death to ask what to do? No. She'll call you because Microsoft doesn't support their products. So who cares if they drop support? On the 4 or 5 occasions that I ponied up the $200 to ask a question, their support just emailed me a page from a manual that didn't address the problem. On the compatability side, its not enough to say "they should be made compatible some way". The applicatioon is the value, not the OS. On the competition argument, if you throw away money with no clear benefit then you'll be the one that's losing the competition. Most PCs are used for email, web, and office apps -- period. Those can be done on Windows 98, Win 95, Red Hat, Suse, XP or Windows 7. And if special apps are used then they take precedence over the OS.

jim664
jim664

I remember them saying the same thing about Vista

ian3880
ian3880

Just waiting for W7 SP3. I just love the way early adopters sort out the bugs and pitfalls for me. :-) Personally I have no complaints about XP. While ever M$ supports XP, I'll stay with it. Change for change's sake isn't always a good thing.

rdiiorio
rdiiorio

win xp was good, win 7 is so much better and more secure. Have the courage to break out of the comfortable and try the new win 7, once you become familiar with the new and improved changes, you will ask yourself, "what the heck .was holding me back". I held a roll out party after the initial beta testing i did for Microsoft and I've not looked back ever since, nor have many of my customers who were introduced to Win7 at the roll out. "Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead". rob/nyc

sk.dunnage
sk.dunnage

Purchase new machines move to 7. Till then XP,

Spexi
Spexi

Wont say that much here as my Eng. isn't my native written or spoken lang. But if mention something there's one big question that striked my mind ever since I started use Vista in 2007 and also when started to get my hands on Windows 7 when the release came out on the market. It looks like it will need some time before Microsoft starts to change the point of view it has on particularly "How much of the tools and knowhow we should provide and offer our users" If starting with the knowledgebase like a source for get information when dealing with daily issues and problems, I have to complain for how hard it's been in get correct and decent good information in solve specific problems. When XP was new I remember it was even harder in get easy and appropriate answers than what it is now so I am glad it has change to the better but there is still today alot of improvements in make it better in helping the users out there that could be done on Microsofts pages for support. When checking the GUI inside Windows 7 this os also lack much of enhanced features that wouldn't be that difficult in build and provide the users. For e.g. the Clipboard Manager that still today don't feel that helpful when working with the copy paste cut feature without other tools that gives memory for more items. Beyond this we have the disc-management tool for working with volumes and partitions and it still doesn't have that kind of luxury that is commonly offered in many other well known tools today and lacks much of these enhanced features. It is almost like MS doesn't want the user to know what they can actually do with their computers and it's a bit weird that we need to have other third software for many things when it could be so much easier in already having it instead inside the system we use. Should we blame this on that Windows isn't a open source product? I bet that would be a fair answer but isn't it to go to far in lock the products older features for further improvements only because it's a protected piece of art and not open source. If the new os Windows 7 provided me with some proof in these mentioned tools I wouldn't have any problems what so ever in replace XP with Windows 7 but when see and read people from MS or other next behind related organizations speak for "It's time to kill XP" I don't bay it and have hard time in take it seriously because it stands between the values I see in what MS offer me in good use and the combination that MS is a company that wants to make monney. It's a new product out there and we want to selling it but the question for me as a user is, how much do MS take responsibilty for their users in provide us with a technology that really follow the time in what is possible to do with a new operating system. Windows 7 could be better with the sources and power it has from Microsoft.

ChiefEngr
ChiefEngr

With all due respect Mark, I think your opinion is short sighted and has itself become obsolete. Once upon a time, computers were a novelty, then a luxury, then an experimental tool in general productivity. The problem is that the tool has long since been reduced to practice and is no longer some unique technological genie -- it has become an appliance. No different than a stove, dishwasher, clothes washer/dryer, typewriter, or adding machine. We've bought these tools to use them, they work, and we really do not expect to need to replace them until they no longer work. We don't expect to be bullied into buying new software tools any more than we expect to be bullied into buying new refrigerant for our freezers. Also, I have intentionally used residential references here because while there are certainly a lot of computers in business settings, there are also a lot of them in private settings where all these so-called improvements have little benefit and even less use. Do certain applications and instances need advanced and improved features and functionality? Yes. And those who need them should be able to buy them. But the rest of us should not be forced into buying upgrades we don't need. And remember, it isn't just the software: Win 7 simply will not run on many of the systems that people are using today and are being abundantly productive with.

timboL
timboL

If you have walked through a major hardware/software retail store, recently, the prices on the Microsoft products should give you pause. The whole issue, at hand, is not what version of Windows one should use. It is a matter of economics and whether to use Linux on the desktop as well as in the back office. Linux, on the desktop, maybe 5-10 years ago was a bit of a pain - this is not the case, now. There is a very capable replacement for each and every windows based program used on the desktop in business today. Moreover, if there is something out there that you cannot live without, any computer manufactured within the past 3-5 years can virtualize a copy of windows. And, you can run your program with ease in the virtual machine. And, the virtualization programs for the desktop are largely gratis, and backed by commercial sponsors. Finally, a large amount of software development is languages such as C, C++, python, ruby, etc. is first done in some kind of Unix (Linux) environment. Linux can hardly be called a joke when businesses hire analysts and programmers to create solutions using agile languages when sitting in front of VI or Emacs on a Linux workstation. Again, when you compare the costs of buying Microsoft or even Apple products to the costs of a open source based technology, it just doesn't make any sense. There really ought to be more executives that are conscious of their shareholders' money who consequently should be buying good machines with a Linux distribution installed.

dcolbert
dcolbert

The truth of the matter is that like many firms, we're stretching out desktop PC lifecycles. New machines come with Windows 7, and we're confident enough in this platform that we do not purchase the downgrade anymore. But we will not be doing a mass user migration at one time. This means that for the foreseeable future, I can count on having to support legacy XP machines.

dennis.vadnais.ctr
dennis.vadnais.ctr

Yes XP needs to go, BUT the issues that many large companies are facing is that the default user cannot be changed as easy as the old XP. All of the needed sections are there but Microsoft disabled them. I have been looking for a way to configure the Default User but with 7 you have to go ten miles out just to do it.

mytechnicalsubscriptions
mytechnicalsubscriptions

Sure windows XP is 10 years, but remains the best OS put on the market by Microsoft. If you enjoy using your computer for social media networking, entertainment and surfing the net, with no admin applications you might enjoy the looks and functionality of Vista and 7. Moreover, Microsoft's design for Vista and 7 comes across as an attempt to mirror the designs of their competitors. XP4ever...

techrepublic
techrepublic

How about these facts: 1. XP actually works quite well, for a Microsoft product (albeit with a lot of help in the form of upgrades that are close to twice the size of the original installation software) 2. Vista is not a viable option 3. Windows 7 takes away some features and interface characteristics that XP users have become used to and don't want to give up. As far as the voting, I can't vote because I fit none of the categories: 1. I wouldn't exactly say that I'm "stuck with it". 2. I also wouldn't say that I expect to use XP forever.

hlz
hlz

Each generation of MS products has been progressively more hungry for greater hardware resources. More memory capacity, faster processors and more disk storage. We have four XP PC's at home my 4 children use. Pentium 4's with 1 GB ram. Useless for windows 7. My wife and I have dual core AMD systems that were touted as Vista ready, with 2GB or RAM, both are at max RAM and useless for Windows 7, as they have neither the CPU speed or the 4GB of RAM to perform well enough to avoid aggravation. And as for XP having 10 year old Technology, its even older than that it's NT technology and 7 is really not that much better. With a few improvements, mostly visual, it still does not stand well as an OS such as UNIX (include OS X) and Linux.

LeilaTX
LeilaTX

I just arrived at this conversation today and I want to add my 2 cents as a semi-informed user of XPpro. I have tried Vista (my son's computer) and 7 (again, my son's computer) and there are some things I enjoyed about thes OS's, but very very few. XP was an intelligent upgrade from 98 in my opinion and had a lot of really good options in it. It did not make it difficult to learn and for me that was a plus. Vista and 7 make no sense. I can't do this, I can't figure out that. I absolutely detest the pinned task bar, whomever did that should be taken out and pinned to an ant hill! The start menu is convoluted. I did liked that fact that my son, who had 5 harddrives (2 on a sata card), had no issues with the SATA card because 7 went found the drivers and installed them, first try. I truly had hoped that when they found out how seriously people hated Vista (we had a I hate Vista club at work) they would take the best of Vista and the best of XP and combine them. Boy was I hopeing wrong!! I will keep XPpro until the install disk dies. I'm investigatin Linus. I may have to go to school for it, at 61 I'm not looking forward to that.

wb7ond
wb7ond

When you included morse code in your list of examples, it clearly made everybody's point about 'if it still works don't fix it...' Morse code is still alive and well, and works when many other communication technologies fails.. Dick

mr020radioman
mr020radioman

I HAVE USED ALL WIN OS'S SINCE 3.0 AND XP PRO IS HERE TO STAY.

partners95
partners95

In many business situations XP just works. In this economy we just don't have the resources to fix things that work unless they are going to save us money or make us more money. Fixing things that work just will wait. No one but the "I Gotta Have the Latest" Geeks are screaming for Win7. And they are screaming for the latest Ipad, or smartphone, not Win7. There are more pressing short terms needs we have to beg the bean counters to give us the resources to deal with. Three years away in this field is a lifetime.

rick
rick

I actually agree with those who extol the virtues of Windows 7. It is a wonderful piece of worksmanship. ******** EXCEPT for Windows Explorer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can tell us all you like that the new search functions are actually better, but the next millionaire is going to be the guy that restores search assistant to windows explorer (Oh, and also gets back the EXACT same folder structure as XP, not a "close" one) As the MIS guy, I CONSTANTLY have to do a search for a type of file, in a certain date range, of a certain size (so far so good, wait for it....) CONTAINING CERTAIN TEXT! Wait! Where's THAT? If it's doable and I just can't find it I would be THRILLED to hear how to do that in 7. (Yeah, "Classic folders", not the answer....) NOTHING is easier than right-clicking the folder you want to search, and popping in alll your crirteria right there. Nothing! (....nothing.) It would also be ever so swell if the folders in left pane didn't jump around like crazy when you click on them. Solve this, and I will shout "Windows 7! Huzzah! Huzzah!" from the mountaintops!

Peconet Tietokoneet
Peconet Tietokoneet

When Windows 95 first came out there was a queue to buy it as it was the "best operating system". Now we have the next best thing since XP and not everyone likes it. So, something must be wrong here. It is not that Windows 7 operating system is bad, it is just way too expensive to change over the hardware to accomondate it to do the same work load. Companies need to get over the recession first, have more money in their pockets to afford new systems. So XP seems like a good idea for now.

OneHotRT
OneHotRT

First of all, the premise of a truly 10 year old OS is greatly flawed. It is not like it was pulled off the shelf 10 years ago and had no improvements. Correct it may be based on an old platform (NT), but it has been patched and tuned up every step of they way. It runs on older hardware, and it has thousands of applications that actually work under its covers. Windows Vista was a complete flop, and only after a few years of its own, does it even partially work decently. (I am actually using it here!) Windows 7 may someday be a great OS, but it will need to earn its keep. It has not yet. Another argument for XP... Millions of PC's, laptops and desktops still out there running not dumped into landfills that are used by millions of people that just can not afford Windows 7 or a new 7 machine. All that software that still works for these millions of people. Why should they change if It still works great? One day, Windows 7 or the platform it rests on may gain the respect of XP, but I doubt it any time soon. It will take more than a couple of years to knock XP down, and it should. Think of it like that old Ford F150 in the driveway. When did you get rid of it? Only after Cash for Clunkers came along. Even then, most of us did not dump our classics.

derrek.kim
derrek.kim

The one thing we have to remember is that the business drives the requirements of IT. I can agree with many of the points stated in the article. So take your reasons for upgrading to Windows 7 to the decision makers in your organization. Demostrate the ROI that you are saying is there. Then it will be easy for the business to get behind the decision. After all you are going to need that most of all because changing the desktop seriously impacts the user community. Most users like things they way they are. Change is difficult.

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