Sadly this is one of the aspects of OS support business that I don't quite get. Let's start with the obvious matter of cost; does it really cost too much for MS to keep support for old (reasonably old) hardware? I don't know how much exactly; all I can do is compare with the level of support that Linux has for old hardware and conclude that if they can do it, so can MS. Maybe that's too simplistic comparison, but if someone knows better please explain.
Continuing with the reasoning you would think that providing support for old hardware will increase the chances that more customers will upgrade to your new OS; after all not everyone has the money to buy a brand new computer, especially these days. When we talk business CEO and CFO want to know what the ROI really is and if you have to buy hundreds of new computers to upgrade, your chances of approval really decrease.
Choosing not to support old hardware might be a good business strategy for business relationships between MS and hardware vendors, but ultimately it hurts MS and its customers.
To be honest I was mostly happy humming away with my XP on this laptop; when I got this Dell Precision it was top of the line and so far the only issue it had was the nVidia card failing because those guys gave Dell wrong overclocking specs and there was a massive RMA and repairs because of it. Other than that my laptop was doing fine; but XP is coming to an end of support soon and I was missing a few options for network management currently present in 7; hence my "mostly happy" comment.
I understand there has to be a limit of how back support for old hardware must be provided, but at least support should exist for hardware that still kinda matches what is today available; it is not as if this computer (and others in our company) have a 386, 486 or PIII CPU; these are Dual Cores at 2 GHz that support 64 bits OS and their video cards are present in multitude of laptops still running.
Maybe I'm not that sold in the throw away-buy new every time new stuff is available.
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