Windows optimize

The end is near for Windows XP: what are you going to do?

Like it or not, Microsoft intends to wean everyone off of Windows XP. The question you have to ask is what you are going to do now? Perhaps our informal polling can give you insight.

After years of tweaking, patching, and otherwise cajoling the Microsoft Windows XP operating system, many administrators and users feel comfortable with their current systems. But now the writing is on the wall, and the dominance of Windows XP in the marketplace is slowly but surely being squeezed by Windows Vista, Linux, Mac OS X, and eventually Windows 7.

Like it or not, information technology professionals have no choice but to plan for another operating system migration. The aging equipment sitting on many a user's desk is going to have to be replaced, and that will likely mean a new operating system.

Have you been planning for this eventuality? Would you like to know what your peers are thinking on this subject? I certainly would.

To get the ball rolling and to give us a starting point for discussion, I created the following set of poll questions. The idea is to get a glimpse of the general thinking among IT pros and then expand on the topic to gain a little more in-depth collective insight.

Please don't scoff at the idea -- the TechRepublic Community is an excellent barometer for the industry.

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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.

211 comments
TheSwabbie
TheSwabbie

I understand Planned obsolescence - I also understand making a product better through redesign and upgrades. This goes for ANY product not just software. I ask this - when was it that Microsoft decided that they were going to just start pumping out Operating Systems and REQUIRE us to migrate to them whether we LIKED IT OR NOT... or FORCED us to migrate because they decided not to support it anymore? Just because they've written a new OS - Does that mean we MUST USE IT? NO FRIGGIN WAY. If Windows XP works fine for our business, does everything that we need and even MORE than we need. Then MR GATES - YOU TELL ME WHY I MUST BUY NEW HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE for my Business each 3 to 5 years.. or whenever you come out with something new. I'm sick of these huge corporations telling everyone WHAT they will do and WHEN they do and HOW they will do it and WHERE they will do it. Its identical to big government getting more and more intrusive and telling individuals HOW to live our lives down to the blasted SOUP we will eat for lunch. I know..silly.. but It pisses me off when I look at TENS of Thousands of dollars my company would have to spend to upgrade - FOR NOTHING GAINED! BS! Now if it HELPED or gave us Value added ...I wouldnt be as aggravated. So, No ~ I am not buying all new Hardware & OS just because Microsoft wants me to upgrade. Two Words Microsoft - BITE ME.

Jairak
Jairak

Vista was and still a total flop compared to Windows XP. What Windows 7 will be remains to be proven for the millions of XP users. Upgrades from XP to Windows 7 should be free or at very little cost and provided of course that Windows 7 must prove it's superiority over XP, which they totally failed with Vista. If Microsoft looks to profit too much on Windows 7, I can only see there will be more pirated versions of Windows 7 than there already are of XP.

Juan Ferzara
Juan Ferzara

IF Linux, then Ubuntu. But it will imply recompiling anything with Mono and/or RealBasic, and switching to MySQL databases. Training and Switching to OpenOffice, also. More or less with Mac. Windows 7 could be a choice, but have to wait to RTM and then see how the prices are rolling, but if history is a indication, their licenses will be high. Anywho, it will be slow.

wwicks
wwicks

I think the last question should also have had the following answer. "We have seriously considered Linux and/or OS/X and after careful consideration are choosing to stick with Windows". With a final question being: If ReactOS ever got a working product would you consider that?

phil.storey
phil.storey

Another few $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for microsoft, as they get a stable platform they ditch it, back to fire fighting

ramnet
ramnet

Apart from the questions being biased and skewed towards certain responses Microsoft can push XP Users as hard as they wish. They will find the resistance strong and aggressive. The days of getting people fired up like when Windows 95 debuted is long gone. The market is vastly more mature , PC's are no longer flavour of the month or the newest toy on the block so any new OS had better be brilliant and provide an easy upgrade from XP to say W7. This is not possible so for starters Microsoft tell me how this strategy is going to win over XP users. ??? I can run XP until at least 2014 and if need be throw out my PC and never use one again - how is that a winning strategy. Dumb and Dumber at work again. Ken

thephoton
thephoton

They only started buying XP when the system with XP installed cost less than buying XP by itself. Can you say refurbished junk with XP.

perkin1856
perkin1856

Tried Vista - hate it. But paid for it and it's on my laptop, so not a Luddite who has used it once. Paid for XP so when are we going to stop paying?

abfhand
abfhand

I'm really getting sick of these $$Dollar whore computer mfg's raping the end users. It's time for a class action lawsuit against the likes of Microsoft and other mfg's of computer technology. Should be a crime to pay premium prices of something that will be obsolete in 6 months and we have to start over.

paul.kamaras
paul.kamaras

Still worried to see Windows 7 as help to decide

jdclyde
jdclyde

There is not a single valid business reason to move off of XP at this time. And as moving to Vista/7/8/9 would all require hardware replacement, it would be foolish to throw away the current investment in hardware just so you can say you are using X OS. Vista, because of the eye-candy focus, missed the boat.

Slayer_
Slayer_

It costs 30times as much as a operating system, and its obsolete within a year.

spartodd
spartodd

Last time I saw anything relative to pricing of Windows 7 I nearly choked. $279 for a copy of Windows 7 so that it can bound to a server domain? Ouch.

btljooz
btljooz

When we start using FREE software! http://www.reichel.net/opensource/linuxtop10.html Better yet, http://www.whylinuxisbetter.net/ The Linux community is fully cognizant of the fact that there are legacy apps and specialty apps are a large concern. They are getting better and better at handling these. It won't be a very long time before they have the job done. In the mean time, one can always consider compiling their own ways to run those apps. That's what Open Source can do for you!

LincolnIT
LincolnIT

XP has been out since 2001. Yes, Vista is not good (although not as bad as Windows ME) and hasn't been out that long, but for most (non-home user types) it will be XP -> Win 7 anyway. If any company makes something that lasts forever and never needs replacement or upgrade they won't be around very long. Come on people. It's almost like Microsoft triggers an automatic gripe mechanism in some.

btljooz
btljooz

Seriously, staying with XP is all hunky dory until MS and the other major Browser companies decide NOT to support XP with their browsers any more...unless someone comes up with yet another one simply to fill that void in the mean time AND continue to support XP ad infinitum. Ever thought of that? You know, that is a distinct probability. ;) Without suitable browsers to enable individuals to use the internet what will everyone do? They'll have no choice in the matter but to make a change! Even if they keep XP off line for specific off line applications they will still need an OS that's capable of getting ON line. Will these two OSes be compatible? Think about that. And in the case of specific applications that DO use the internet; what to do about those? Yes, a change WILL have to be made by SOMEONE! The end user will have to change OSes AND/OR "specialty" applications. OR the software companies will have to branch off from MS and include other platforms upon which their applications will be 'supported'. Which do YOU think is more likely? ?:|

KeithTT
KeithTT

We're not interested in operating systems, only applications. The applications we have run perfectly well on XP. They also run on Win 2000 - which we are still running on several PCs. They do the work we want them to so we see no need to expend money on useless upgrades which would not improve our business. The one user in the company who has Vista says it is less productive than XP; Microsoft's claims of increased productivity with every new OS bear no relation to the real world.

john3347
john3347

Sinister Slay, there is a typo in the title to your post. You should have said, "don't ever buy a NEW car." Let somebody else take the first $10,000 hit. Buy last year's model and you will have one just as pretty, just as functional, and will live just as long as the brand new one, yet you have the initial depreciation $$$ left in your pocket. Who cares if it is "obsolete" if it does what you want it to do; and in the case of XP vs Vista (or Windows 7) does it more efficiently?

paladin2
paladin2

Yes a car costs more than Vista but 20 years down the line I can still keep it on the road if I'm that fond of it.

rcfoulk
rcfoulk

Far from a rational comparison since they don't operate in the same functional domain. And by the way, I take care of all my cars and they tend to last easily more than a decade. Like with an OS the new one may be prettier and have more bells and whistles but fundamentally the new one does the same task the old one did nicely.

linkinpark187
linkinpark187

...as the likes of Windows Vista Ultimate when it first came out. Do you not remember the $400 price tag on it?

jrnesbit
jrnesbit

Nothing is free, someone is paying...do you work for free?

jdclyde
jdclyde

if you upgrade just because one is out, you are throwing away your hardware investment half way through it's usable life cycle. Figure how long your hardware will last you, and plan your next OS update based upon that. As Win2k is still supported for just about everything, I would say XP isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Talk to me in three to five years.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

IE 6 still works for most business purposes. IE 8 runs on XP, and I see no indications that it won't remain a viable OS / browser combination for at least four years. Besides, if XP maintains even a 50% share of the installation base, there will probably be an open source browser that will run on it. In short, potential browser incompatibility doesn't strike me as a reason to upgrade my OS. When someone has a new web feature that my business requires AND won't run in IE 8 then I'll consider it.

frankjg
frankjg

The only reason for Vista and Windows 7 is a continuous income stream for Microsoft. Forcing the customer to upgrade to Vista to get Windows 7 is a insult to all users.

Slayer_
Slayer_

What about auto pilot. Why can you not simply program a destination into your car, it gets up off the ground and flies there. maybe it then even flies home. You can say press a button on your phone and it will fly back, pick you up, and fly home. We just solved traffic problems, idiot driver problems, parking problems. And if we come up with better fuel sources, maybe we can solve emissions as well.

paladin2
paladin2

True that anything's a possibility but as a pilot I'd dread even a small portion of the fools that fling a couple of tons of metal along at close to small craft flying speeds while they steer with their knees so they can 'text' on their phones and iPods in their ears. Please, the sky is still one place you can take pleasure in actually paying attention as it's necessary to travel safely in a three dimensional environment. And internal combustion engines twenty years old or 2 years old are the same basic piece of machinery. The pneumatic tube thing is up and running somewhere on a small scale and that is really an idea that is long proven to work. Whether we will extinct ourselves or spend the rest of our time fighting for dwindling water, food, energy and other resources that are already hitting their maximum output and still have time to 'progress' into a rosy future where long range travel is even an option is doubtful given mankinds history and continual repitition of it. I'm optomistic myself....in my dreams.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Though I am not sure I trust the human race enough to give everyone the ability to fly, I still see it as a possiblity. Either that or transportation tubes like on futureama. Either way, your car becomes obsolete, just like your computer will. Hell even better, what happens when we run out of gas? Your 20 year old car is now completely useless. Probably to old to even be converted to whatever new fuel source they discover.

paladin2
paladin2

Every few years since I was old enough to read Popular Science someone comes out with a 'new' flying car. (a plane is a plane and a car is a car, a machine that tries to do both does neither well). It's a safe bet that flying cars won't fly. Now or in the future. Whether or not that has any relation to MS I don't know. I've just heard that flying car thing my entire adult life and it just won't ever happen.

Slayer_
Slayer_

But in 20 years the cars might be flying cars, the remains of the roads will fall apart making your car almost completely unusable. The anology still works.

rcfoulk
rcfoulk

You're clearly not going to get the real point here.

Slayer_
Slayer_

The apples to oranges is for comparing features. I am not comparing features, I am comparing life cycles. To which, apples and oranges share the same life cycle. You pick them from the tree, they slowly rott until you either eat them or they turn to dust. The analogy between cars and computers is almost perfect, they even have almost exact same planned life cycle, roughly 5 years. That does not mean that there usable life must be 5 years, you could use a car for 50 years, you could use the same computer for 50 years. But like the car, as it gets older, it will break down more, and the parts will become more expensive until you cannot even find parts anymore.

rcfoulk
rcfoulk

Simply, while they can be compared as noted they DO NOT FUNCTION in the same operational domain. Do you understand the concept of apples to oranges, only this is even more disparate? Technically you can compare the basic function of a simple, multi-cell organism such as a sponge to a human in factual ways but attempting to generally equate them would be foolishness obvious to all but a remarkable few. In terms of logic this is not a high bar to clear.

Slayer_
Slayer_

You call it a false analogy, but they you proceede to prove my point. Thanks. Car's to operating systems Both can be upgraded to a new version that does the same as the old with new bells and whistles. Both don't need to be upgraded. Both crash unexpecitbly. Both suffer theft regularly. Both have hardware that, in time becomes underpowered. Both have hardware that, in time, becomes wasteful and expensive to maintain. Really, Car's and computers compared works perfectly. Also, this gave me a good laugh "Far from a rational comparison since they don't operate in the same functional domain." That is the entire point of an analogy, otherwise I would just say "Owning a computer is like owning a computer"

spartodd
spartodd

Wow, I didn't adopt Vista Ultimate until I built an HTPC at home in 2008, so it cost me less than $200 OEM IIRC. $400, lol.

paladin2
paladin2

Call me out of the loop but is the internet Time Warner dependent? More like the other way around. And why does IE have so many people snowed into the idea that they actually need it? I don't like Firefox but rather than run IE and the additional security I feel you need when you advertise "hey, I have the browser with all the holes in it, come and get me!" I've found that Firefox's not the best for me but after a couple of years with Opera I also am amazed that someone is actually waiting for "IE 9". Yikes. Firefox's getting too big for it's britches when it and IE occupy most peoples idea of what's available in the browser market. When Microsoft changes from XP maybe I'll start thinking about 'what's next' but the fact that the makers of Vista won't even use it tells me they'll be kissing up to XP users for long enough to make contingency plans later. And to get ready for the very subjective "inevitable" maybe you need to start thinking of what you'll do when processors become 'obsolete' and they start using living material genetically engineered to handle the job (they are actually exploring something similiar). And plans for the unknown are fun and interesting to bat around but of little practical use next Monday. And finally, what 'trend' makes you think that any software or programming company is going to write off what will probably remain a large slice of the marketing pie for years and a bigger slice than OSX has ever been or most likely ever will be for many years? I say chill and wait to see what happens with 7, because it really is Vista as it should have been out of the gate, but still, on my machine anyway, three times the size of XP with 'improvements' I'm still looking for. I don't know the market that is looking into networks with thousands of machines involved, but think eye candy is not even on their list of things they probably focus on. But you're right let's start making plans, we have years to decide.

Blau67
Blau67

Hello Palmetto, my old fellow SandLapper... I am in the process(should say frustration) of being a Win 7 tester for MS and all I can say is... IT SUX! All it is... is a trimmed down version of Vista and while MS got rid of some of the bloat.. XP still has its daddy!!

jdclyde
jdclyde

so you can continue to use them as long as they work. My last job had multimillion dollar machines, and they were both controlled by windows NT4. Was a real pain when one of them died.... and we HAD to put another nt4 system because "modern" os's were not compatible with the old software (a FLAW with modern OS's).

SilverBullet
SilverBullet

hot-plant (makes asphault) that the EPA has yet to red flag. It still uses a microcomputer that is DOS. Upgrading the plant is very costly, even a modern interface is not economically feasible for this contractor.

jdclyde
jdclyde

there is not a valid business case for moving to the new thing just because it is out. Of course MS wants to EOL XP, because it gets you to buy the latest greatest revenue generator for them. When there IS a valid reason to move, you do so. And it will only be valid once the existing investment can no longer do the job required. That day is a long ways away. Ostrich vs Chicken Little? :D It is all a balancing act. Remember, if you spend the money a company makes without a strong ROI case, it is the same as if the company never made it. What is the ROI of moving to Vista or 7 NOW?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"How many are still using Win 3.1, 95, even 98se? Why? More importantly: Why not?" Uh, because they don't come pre-installed on new hardware any more? That's the real reason most consumers get a new OS: because it came loaded on their new system. For many people who only surf the web and use web-based e-mail, W9x would still be viable. From a business stand point, I don't care if our new systems came loaded with Vista; my drive images are still all XP, because it simply does all my jobs still.

Slayer_
Slayer_

And you can get slightly older version or just modifiy Win95 to run the latest Opera. So far XP is looking like it will have a long support life.

btljooz
btljooz

one's perspective must not only be withing one's own cubicle. One's perspective must encompass what is outside of that cubicle as well. In other words: How many are still using Win 3.1, 95, even 98se? Why? More importantly: Why not? Because they simply do not do certain jobs any more! This is where M$ is trying to push XP. And they are slowly succeeding! Eventually XP will join 3.1. simply because the Internet/Web will outgrow it! That is WHY one should start NOW making plans for that eventuality.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

I am thinking that nothing lasts forever, especially when it comes to information technology. I wanted to see where IT professionals stood with regard to the eventual need to migrate operating systems. Whether it will come sooner or later, and what plans have been made. That information would seem to me to be useful to the community at large.

john3347
john3347

I am using IE6 on my Windows 2000 machine and just rolling along. So what if windows moves to IE9 and IE10 and Firefox moves to v4 and v5, etc? The only problem with new/old OSs is when you need to move to a NEW application. The usual problem is the reverse, that your present applications are incompatible with your proposed new OS. If your current OS (and browser) works your current applications and you don't have a business need for new applications that will not work with your current OS, why do you even question new applications OR OS. Rock on and be happy!! You (especially businesses) don't have to buy a new car just because the new car is a new car.

btljooz
btljooz

and agree that an abrupt mass deployment would be totally disruptive straight across the board. That is my point. If everyone waits until the last moment to acknowledge that a change is going to have to be made then they'll be unprepared for that change. I think...OPPS!...that this particular point is what the article is gently trying to bring up, as well? YOU, palmetto, already have a 'plan B' and, possibly, a 'plan C'. BUT, how many others are mimicking that Ostrich? ...intentionally or otherwise?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I can be prepared with a couple of test machines in a lab. IE 8 and FF 3 aren't going to be obsolete overnight; there will be plenty of warning. As long as I have a couple of test systems running W7, as long as I'm sure I can either run my legacy apps or have suitable replacements, as long as I'm sure the newest available browsers don't require me to take any action, there's no need for me to spend a bunch on money. Your 'oncoming train' isn't moving very quickly. IE 8 won't EOL for years. I suspect what Time Warner said is that they won't support it in 2010. That doesn't mean it won't work, it just won't work if you use them. Hell, IE 5.5 still 'works', as do older browsers to some degree.

btljooz
btljooz

The difference between a pessimist and an optimist is: The pessimist knows the facts! ;\ Seriously, yes, it's true that IE 6 still works [b]FOR [u]NOW[/u][/b], but Time Warner told me that it won't come 2010. And, yes, there is IE 8 how long before it comes to EOL? Yes, there are open source browsers, but Firefox has started to NOT support anything older than Win 2000 with their newest versions. How long before the "web" is too much for FF 2.x? 3.x? Will IE 9 be able to run on XP? Will FF 4? Only time will tell. But the trend seems to be against the odds of that happening. Therefore, NOW is the time to "get prepared" for the inevitable. That way a smoother transition can be made. All I'm suggesting is that we all think ahead and come up with a 'plan B' and maybe even a 'plan C'. What's wrong with that?

btljooz
btljooz

Can't agree with you more!