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Microsoft Ending Mainstream Support For XP

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the population-inversion dept.

Windows 580

Slatterz writes "Come next week, Microsoft will be in the unusual position of no longer offering mainstream support for its most widely used product. Windows XP will pass another milestone next week on the road to retirement when mainstream support ends on 14 April 2009, over seven years after the OS originally shipped. While the company said that it will continue to provide free security fixes for XP until 2014, any future bugs found in the platform will not be fixed unless customers pay. Windows XP accounts for about 63 percent of all Internet-connected computers, according to March 2009 statistics from Hitslink, while Windows Vista makes up about 24 percent."

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ok.. so where is it? (5, Funny)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501573)

I went to microsoft.com and looked around- I did not find the "donate now" button anywhere

how exactly are we supposed to pay?

Re:ok.. so where is it? (5, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501677)

how exactly are we supposed to pay?

I'm not sure how the whole process works but I'm guessing that it involves bending over at some point.....

Re:ok.. so where is it? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501853)

I'm sure you already Gave At The Office.

Re:ok.. so where is it? (5, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501907)

Damn. I knew using Open Office would backfire on me one day.

Re:ok.. so where is it? (2, Funny)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501927)

You pay with your soul every time you boot Vista.

Re:ok.. so where is it? (5, Interesting)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501983)

how exactly are we supposed to pay?
Through the nose ;)

Seriously you buy a volume license and then buy the extended hotfix agreement through your volume license account. You also have to pay for the individual fixes on top of that. MS don't seem to show prices on thier website but I doubt it is cheap.

Re:ok.. so where is it? (1)

master811 (874700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502037)

Perhaps they'll accept payment in the form of 'chairs being thrown at Jobs' ;)

Wow I'm First (0, Troll)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501579)

Sounds like a way for MS to make even more money.

Re:Wow I'm First (2, Insightful)

Archimagus (978734) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502153)

I really don't think they are doing this to try and make more money. I really think they are just trying to kill XP. So they can make more money selling windows 7. Although, it's kind of stupid to do it now in my opinion, if they drive people off of XP before 7 is out those people will buy Vista, and then I really doubt they will buy 7 when it launches 6 months later.

Programming... (4, Insightful)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501589)

Make one mistake and support it for the rest of your life.

Unless you are Microsoft, of course.

Why not open it up (5, Interesting)

RemoWilliams84 (1348761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501591)

I wish more companies would start opening up their software once it has run out of life. If Microsoft really thought that XP was no longer going to be good enough for pc's, open it up to the community and let people learn from it and tinker with it.

Oh... wait, it is Microsoft.

Re:Why not open it up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27501655)

Except they are still supporting it, via Vista & Windows 7. The later products are not new, just graphic updates.

Re:Why not open it up (5, Informative)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501849)

Because while Vista may have changed quite a bit, I'm sure there's still a lot of XP code in there.

Re:Why not open it up (4, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501897)

If they did this, their old XP codebase would be competing with new Vista / Vista 2 sales. Given full options, most companies wouldn't open them to the community. Most companies would erase all previous installs, burn all install disks, and sell upgrades left and right.

Also, I severely doubt any commercial project as large as XP has the rights to open all of their code.

Re:Why not open it up (2, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501901)

The problem with that is, even though XP has run out of life (or some some claim), the codebase certainly will have not for Microsoft.

Re:Why not open it up (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501933)

Nonono, you didn't get it. They don't want to stop supporting XP. They want you to buy Vista/Win7. There is no money in supporting systems, there is some in selling you a new one. Not to mention that they certainly don't want another "people refuse to buy $new_ms_system" PR disaster.

In other words, "Yes, you can still get XP. But do you really, really wanna be stuck with a system that's no longer supported, hmmm? Here, look, new and shiny! Buy Win7!"

Re:Why not open it up (3, Insightful)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502079)

I don't think microsofts suppport lifecycle policy for windows is unreasonable. Mainstream support (hotfixes free, bundled support incidents valid) for at least 5 years from release and at least 2 years from release of the successor. Then extended support (security hotfixes free, other hotfixes chargable, bundled support incidents not valid) for at least 5 years from the end of mainstreams support.

They even give you two years to upgrade from one service pack to the next.

Compare that to the support lifecycles of most linux distros and see who comes out ahead.

Re:Why not open it up (4, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502007)

Oh... wait, it is Microsoft.

And is Apple going to open source OS X 10.4 now that 10.5 is out? Can we criticise them for not doing so?[*]

Don't get me wrong, I agree with the general principle of opening old products that are abandoned by the company. But it would be complete madness for any company to open source one of their major products, one that is still widely used. Working out how to encourage people to upgrade is bad enough of a problem as it is - but open sourcing a discontinued product would create a major new competitor for them.

Yes, we know how the source code for Doom was released just 4 years after Doom's release, but the computer games industry moves much faster, such that in 1997, Doom was no competition for ID's new releases, nor would it provide much of a boost to anyone wanting to update it to be a competing engine. The OS market, by contrast, is fairly mature now - indeed, this is why Microsoft have so much trouble getting people to upgrade, because XP is good enough for most people.

(Are there any examples of application software that get open sourced, OOI?)

[*] For the pedants - yes, I know Darwin is open source, but that's not OS X.

Re:Why not open it up (1)

glgraca (105308) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502093)

I wish they were legally obligated to do so.

If a company doesn't support a product while there is still a significant number of clients, it should have no rights over it.

XP Sucks, Vista is Better (0, Flamebait)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501593)

Time to Upgrade...

If you don't like Vista, switch to Mac or Linux... but, Vista is the current version of Windows...

Re:XP Sucks, Vista is Better (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27501667)

Funny. I just bought a laptop and it came with Windwos XP installed. If Vista is the "current version of Windows" why are they still shipping new PC's with XP?

Re:XP Sucks, Vista is Better (5, Insightful)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501805)

Because people are generally not satisfied with Vista. The parent is right, Vista is the current Windows version whether you like it or not and since you don't like it retailers keep selling PCs with XP installed. The important thing here is that while Microsoft has an agenda for future revenue, retailers on the other hand are on their own. Profit for them is profit, no matter the product, but for Microsoft it's a step back if it's XP. The majority of revenue generated through XP has already been collected, thus Microsoft needs a new platform to sell to all of it's customer base. This is how business works.

Re:XP Sucks, Vista is Better (2, Interesting)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502139)

Vista is the current Windows version whether you like it or not and since you don't like it retailers keep selling PCs with XP installed.

You are defining "current" along the lines of Microsoft's development. However, consumers define "current" along the lines of "what can I buy new in the store today"? If XP is installed, and the computer is not marked "used," then how is it not current?

Re:XP Sucks, Vista is Better (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502149)

We also have the option to skip Vista entirely. This wouldn't be the first time I did that:

- Used an MS-DOS in high school, hated it, and instead upgraded from C=64 to Amiga 500.
- Used Windows 3 at college, discovered what crap it was, and upgraded from Amiga OS to a Macintosh Quadra (an excellent machine).
- Bought a Win 95 PC after college for cheap; reminded me of a Mac knockoff; wondered if MS would get sued by Apple.
- Skipped Win 98
- Skipped Win ME
- Got XP.
- Skipped Vista but my unfortunate brother ended-up with it. It runs slower then a C=64 sometimes! Yuck.
- Plan to get Win 7.

Re:XP Sucks, Vista is Better (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502095)

Most vendors are shipping vista by default. XP is only being offered because large numbers of customers demanded it.

Re:XP Sucks, Vista is Better (4, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501669)

So? If Microsoft doesn't want to support XP any more then fine, but that doesn't mean I have to switch from it.

Re:XP Sucks, Vista is Better (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501829)

Really? You do realise that in about 4-5 years XP will be as old as Win98 is today, right?

Re:XP Sucks, Vista is Better (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27502001)

nah, win98 started bad and got worse as the time passed, xp sp3 is so good that is slowing adoption of vista (which was expected at first, but not on this scale). that said, in about 4-5 years you'll not be able to find out xp drivers for new hardware; also, directx 10 will sooner than later be a requirement for most games.

Re:XP Sucks, Vista is Better (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502033)

What do you mean "nah"? It will be as old.

Re:XP Sucks, Vista is Better (1)

master811 (874700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502073)

Make that more like 3 years time, XP came out in '01

Re:XP Sucks, Vista is Better (4, Insightful)

squoozer (730327) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502045)

Not only is what you say 100% true but is there actually going to be any reason to upgrade even a decade from now? XP is far from perfect but I feel it marks the point at which computers became "good enough" and changes became mostly minor bug fixing and moving things around. Barring a major revolution which I don't think anyone expects any time soon (e.g. hard AI) XP will continue to do everything people want for a very long time.

What will be interesting is to see how / if Mac and Linux eat into Windows market share over time. Since Windows has essentially stopped changing it gives other players a chance to become highly compatible. I don't suppose they will knock Windows off the top spot any time soon but I could imagine it getting to a point where it doesn't really matter what OS you run.

Went with Linux (1)

LurkingOnSlashdot (1378465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501763)

I switched to Linux on my home desktop computers back in 2000... haven't looked back. Sorry MS.

Re:Went with Linux (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501871)

I did the same too, in 2002. I switched back to Windows on the desktop in 2005, and also changed my 10 year old server from Linux to Windows too.

Re:Went with Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27501951)

Sucks to be you.

Re:Went with Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27502013)

windows server?

seriously what can you run on that?

apache, microsoft's extortionately expensive SQL? seriously.

Re:Went with Linux (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502041)

I switched over to Ubuntu in 2007 on my home box. I now run a music server with Linux, have two other systems that run linux and promote linux to friends when I can. Though I make money as a developer on a MS platform I am a linux convert. I just wish development tools where as strong on linux. There really is nothing compared to VS, and yes, I've tried Mono. I'll give it a few more years.

Re:XP Sucks, Vista is Better (3, Interesting)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501799)

I like Vista, Its just so dam slow!

I like Windows 7. I run them both. 7 is better in every way (except media playing. Beta has bugs)

I'm liking 7's ui and library features. Its performance is better than vista... but honestly not by much.

I would run linux if the applications were there. But as we all know... thats not the case.

I'm honestly looking at Apple for my next laptop. Honeslty i wont replace my PC workstations with MACs, but... I wouldnt mind testing the waters.

I would try linux again if they applications were there but they just arent. You can browse, IM etc... but I do more than that.

Re:XP Sucks, Vista is Better (3, Informative)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501929)

I would try linux again if they applications were there but they just arent. You can browse, IM etc... but I do more than that.

I have pretty good experience at running Windows as VM guest on Linux. Linux as host for VMs is quite good. But of course it depends for what purposes you use your Windows...

Value of Linux becomes apparent only after you are once forced to buy batch of Windows licenses. But as private buyer concerned - who generally get "Windows [whatever]" from OEMs - there are not much reasons to even try.

Re:XP Sucks, Vista is Better (3, Informative)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501969)

You might want to take a look at Wine [winehq.org] . It does not support all applications 100% (Adobe products being notorious for not working as they should), but it's getting there. Take a look through their appdb page, maybe your applications and all you need is already quite Linux-Ready.

Re:XP Sucks, Vista is Better (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501823)

What are you talking about? That is why they are releasing Windows 7 this year because no one wants to or should switch to vista.

Re:XP Sucks, Vista is Better (0)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501993)

Vista is just XP service pack 3 anyway.

Wait.. (3, Insightful)

AlterRNow (1215236) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501609)

any future bugs found in the platform will not be fixed unless customers pay

Does that mean they will fix all the bugs that have been found in the past? No.
Can someone else fix them? No.

+1 for open source

Re:Wait.. (4, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501717)

Does that mean they will fix all the bugs that have been found in the past? No.
Can someone else fix them? No.

That does raise an interesting discussion... if a company is officially going to stop supporting a product that is still heavily in use, should they have an obligation to open up the source? I think so.

Of course with xp goes an obvious problem... imagine just how much worse the malware scene would be if they had access to windows source code? (tho from the levels of sophistication seen in modern malware, it's painfully obvious they've already grown very skilled with a decompiler)

Guessing the main reason MS would say NO is that many security problems in XP also exist in Vista/7 also due to inheritance, most of which MS is relying purely on protection from security-through-obscurity, and we all know how good a model that is. "Hmm this is vulnerable in XP, wonder if it still works in 7? well isn't that useful!"

Re:Wait.. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27501743)

The source for Windows XP and Vista is available for just $20 at your friendly Russian-speaking guys. Too bad, I don't know of any torrents for it which you can get for 2000.

Criminals do have the source for Windows, it's just you who doesn't have it.

Re:Wait.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27501797)

Criminals do have the source for Windows, it's just you who doesn't have it.

Those criminals would be Microsoft and various government agencies around the world right?

Re:Wait.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27502015)

Also, see post 3 of http://dis.4chan.org/read/prog/1239040648/1-5 [4chan.org] .

Re:Wait.. (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501905)

"imagine just how much worse the malware scene would be if they had access to windows source code? (tho from the levels of sophistication seen in modern malware, it's painfully obvious they've already grown very skilled with a decompiler)"

Exactly because malware writters are so good with a decompiler it won't make a huge difference for them to have the original source. Alternatively, Windows is still worse than we think, and malware writters aren't that good, but I'm more willing to bet at the first option.

Re:Wait.. (4, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501921)

That does raise an interesting discussion... if a company is officially going to stop supporting a product that is still heavily in use, should they have an obligation to open up the source? I think so.

No. No such obligation should ever exist.

Re:Wait.. (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501997)

No. No such obligation should ever exist.

You could do us the courtesy of explaining the reason for your opinion. "NO!" isn't a useful contribution to any discussion.

Re:Wait.. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502031)

I doubt the malware writers would gain a lot if they had access to the Windows source. Most exploits reek of try-and-error bruteforce approach, so opening the source would not really give them much.

It would give us, the people trying to fight those problems, something, though. First of all, insight. And more importantly, a way to fix it.

Re:Wait.. (3, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502105)

I don't think we'd see drastically more malware for Windows if it were open sourced, partly because bits of source have been leaked in the past and partly because there is an upper limit to the number of competent malware authors out there.

But the codebase for one Windows version does not stand alone. It includes code licensed from third parties that Microsoft may not have the right to open, it includes large chunks of code which will still exist in more recent versions. You don't honestly think Microsoft started out entirely from scratch when they wrote Vista, do you?

Furthermore, if the codebase can still be maintained by someone else then that someone can simply say "Continue to install XP and we'll support you!". Microsoft are having a hard enough time selling Vista as it is, that would really hurt.

not really.. (4, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501617)

While the company said that it will continue to provide free security fixes for XP until 2014,

So nothing has really changed then, it's still being supported with security fixes. No one really cares about features at this point. How exactly is this suppose to move people to update?

Re:not really.. (1)

meow27 (1526173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501757)

No more new graphics drivers updates? No new versions of .net. no chance to upgrade to IE8 (i don't believe in that though.) No new silverlight updates? No new service pack updates for office and similar programs?

                Oh. But i can name you two bugs that really DO bug people.
- processes that require you to force terminate after auto shutdown
- Windows update doesn't work on XP, it only works on IE.

i agree that its nothing special, but i think its that MS doesn't know/doesn't feel like fixing it :/ from what i know, those two features aren't a problem in Vista

Re:not really.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27501837)

no chance to upgrade to IE8 (i don't believe in that though.) No new silverlight updates??

How are those reasons to upgrade? Those are reasons to avoid upgrading. Silverlight and IE8 are shit.

Re:not really.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27501863)

Anyone concerned about device drivers is probably already getting them from the device manufacturer. i.e. your example about graphics drivers... head-out to nvidia or amd(ati) for the latest xp driver.

Office and similar programs are separate from the OS and on their own support schedule.

Windows update doesn't work on XP, it only works on IE.

I have no idea what to make of that statement. Windows update works fine on/with XP. You are correct that one needs to use IE(6-8) to use the site. Hint: XP is an Operating System and IE is a web-browser... two different beasts altogether.

good luck.

Re:not really.. (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501917)

"No new silverlight updates"

Nice way to shoot themselves at the foot. But I don't think MS will be that stupid.

Re:not really.. (2, Informative)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501939)

No more new graphics drivers updates?

That's up to graphics card vendors.

no chance to upgrade to IE8 (i don't believe in that though.)

Good thing, as IE8 was already released for XP.

No new silverlight updates?

Not necessarly.

No new service pack updates for office and similar programs?

I would think that depends on when Office is no longer supported.. bugs won't be fixed in XP, but I don't think it means bugs won't be fixed for 2007 Office on XP.

Oh. But i can name you two bugs that really DO bug people.
- processes that require you to force terminate after auto shutdown

Huh? What are you talking about?

Windows update doesn't work on XP, it only works on IE.

Huh? Windows update will continue to work, and has nothing to do with IE.

Re:not really.. (1)

Cube Steak (1520237) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501971)

No new service pack updates for office and similar programs?

Where did you get that from? This is only about the OS itself, it has nothing to do with end of life on support for Office or any other separate product.

Re:not really.. (1)

patro (104336) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501843)

No one really cares about features at this point. How exactly is this suppose to move people to update?

With more and more services moving to the web the average user is less motivated to upgrade.

I rely mostly on web services in my every day computer usage, so as long as browsers are updated I don't really care what OS I run.

Re:not really.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27501913)

They have a tendency to break things with security fixes; especially on dead products. No malice is alleged here...just a 'who cares' attitude. You know, maybe your PC shuts down when you type Linux after one of the 14 September the 8th, 2009 security hotfixes is applied. This is a BUG, not a security flaw. It will not be fixed. Enjoy!

Re:not really.. (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501937)

No one really cares about features at this point.

Ehh... what? You can exclude me from this list of yours. Just because XP dev stopped it doesn't mean the world does. Those "features" that you're talking about can be e.g. IPv6 support, or the next official IP protocol. Features are not only "bling bling".

This may push me away from MS for good. (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501625)

Time to ask myself how much do I like my games. And since all my email and everything is already on Thunderbird and I browse with Firefox, I just need to see what's holding me back from just moving to Linux. Ah MS Money. I wonder if I can import years worth of financial data into a F/OSS version.

Even then, it's scary proposition to move everything. I have this nagging feeling that I'm going to miss something very important! Dual boot? I don't know. I have had issues in the past with GRUB locking up machines and no being able to rescue my system. I had to reinstall everything.

Re:This may push me away from MS for good. (1)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501687)

I would suggest wine, but it doesn't look good: http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=application&iId=79 [winehq.org]

Re:This may push me away from MS for good. (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501973)

VirtualBox [virtualbox.org] would be better for unsupported OS. I wouldn't risk plugging Windows apps/services into any internet connected LAN. Even though they run under Wine.

Re:This may push me away from MS for good. (3, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501709)

Ah, I seem to recall a lot of people vowing that the changes from Win2k to Windows XP would push them into switching to Linux. Most people always seem to wind up back on Uncle Gates' products though. More's the pity.

I just need to see what's holding me back from just moving to Linux. Ah MS Money. I wonder if I can import years worth of financial data into a F/OSS version.

I have this same problem although I'm tied into Quicken and not MS Money. I've never found GNUCash to be worthwhile. You might look into Moneydance [moneydance.com] . It's not FOSS but it runs on anything (Java) and is lightweight enough to put on a thumb drive for extreme portability. I'm still married to Quicken because I like the attachments feature but a buddy of mine swears by Moneydance. He keeps it on a thumb drive within a Truecrypt container and uses it everywhere he goes.

Dual boot? I don't know. I have had issues in the past with GRUB locking up machines and no being able to rescue my system. I had to reinstall everything.

I've thought about going back to dual boot and just keeping Windows around for Quicken and games. Strange that GRUB has corrupted your whole system though -- how does such a thing happen? I've always stuck with LILO (and Slackware... yes, I'm a purist) and never had any issue with it that would have caused me to lose data. I've had LILO itself get corrupted a few times but it never took my data with it.

Re:This may push me away from MS for good. (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501785)

Strange that GRUB has corrupted your whole system though -- how does such a thing happen?

I don't know. It drove me batty! It's Fedora 9 here. Anyway, when I installed it, the machine would get to the loader and lock up. I couldn't get anywhere. After I reinstalled F9 without GRUB, it all worked fine.

I'v tried other options: Fedora 10's install wouldn't even run on my Linux box. Ubuntu doesn't run on that same box. I have only 512MB Ram and the system is so old I refuse to add more memory to get Ubuntu to run on it. The Ubuntu guys said I needed more memory.

Re:This may push me away from MS for good. (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501827)

Well, I could make a plug here for Slackware, if you don't mind getting down and dirty. I've run it on all sorts of systems. Dunno what the rest of your box is like but the 512MB Ram probably wouldn't be an issue.

Re:This may push me away from MS for good. (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502011)

Ah, I seem to recall a lot of people vowing that the changes from Win2k to Windows XP would push them into switching to Linux. Most people always seem to wind up back on Uncle Gates' products though. More's the pity.

Mind you that the usability gap between Win2k and Linux was larger back then than the usability gap between XP and Linux today.

Re:This may push me away from MS for good. (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501721)

"Time to ask myself how much do I like my games."

Good news for you: a number of popular Windows games (such as Civ 4 [winehq.org] ) run well in Wine [winehq.org] . (hint: look up "winetricks" and use that) Some versions of MS money [winehq.org] are reported to work, though I have not tried them. You might instead want to try installing GNUCash [gnucash.org] for Windows and see how easy it is to migrate your data.

As to your dual-boot issues: I have not had the same problem as you, but I do sympathize. I think dual-boot support has come a long way in the past few years. If you back up your Windows registry before you install Linux, you should at least not have to re-install all your apps if things go wrong.

Re:This may push me away from MS for good. (1)

gsking1 (1109797) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501735)

Check out GnuCash. This runs on windows and linux and will import QIF files - maybe that can help you transition from MS Money?

Re:This may push me away from MS for good. (1)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501795)

Virtualize maa-aan (In my best hippie voice).

No good for games, but MS Money can live in a dedicated, protected XP virtual machine indefinitely. The database is safer that way anyways -less chance of malware based data theft and easy to back up the whole system.

Re:This may push me away from MS for good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27502049)

so a major part of linux (grub) hosed your system and now you're suddenly thinking of going to them? huh? what am i missing here?

Re:This may push me away from MS for good. (1)

scientus (1357317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502065)

you can fix grub by booting into a live cd, mounting the root drive and doing

grub-install --root-drectory=/mount/point /dev/rootharddiskwithoutanumber

ie /dev/sda or /dev/hdb

pry it from my cold dead hands... (2)

justanetgod (554210) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501635)

wait - stop - just kidding...
innovation (read adoption of what the surveyed herd wants and whoever we could purchase a look from, or failing that, what apple did last quarter, visually) in windows sucks.
The next step is to divorce the windows graphic interface from the underlying operating system, and make it a desktop for linux. Like apple. But with Linux.

Re:pry it from my cold dead hands... (2, Insightful)

The Fanta Menace (607612) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501663)

Why would you want the interface? It sucks.

Linux has far better desktops than Windows.

Re:pry it from my cold dead hands... (1)

Mystra_x64 (1108487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501753)

GP implies that user will see "oh new and shiny Windows", while under the hood it is something they should not know about.

Re:pry it from my cold dead hands... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502129)

The core kernel/OS of Windows is actually fairly solid (Some experts would say the the NT Kernel is actually just as good if not better then the Linux kernel). Most of Windows Instability just Like any Linux instability is from Bad Drivers (As I type on a Ubuntu 9.4beta box after I spent about 5 minutes minimizing/resizing windows to clear up the static from a buggy video driver, which still is better because in Gusty, that had a bug in the power save where once the display went to sleep it would lock the USB devices). Oddly enough if you pay the extra bucks for good quality well known hardware (paying as much or more then an Apple Computers) you get a rock solid Windows system or if you go with the Linux approved list of quality hardware you get a rock solid Linux system.

Or in my case for work I have a cheapo Desktop PC that needs a bunch of Funky drivers. So I end up with a Flaky Linux box and a flaky Windows box. I stay with Linux on it as I feel more compentant the the Open Source guys will at some point fix the problems as my version of Ubuntu is still Beta.

Windows XP support (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27501651)

The majority of Windows XP users are using an OEM license anyway, which are supported by the respective OEMs. The only difference between a product in mainstream and extended support, is that products in extended support don't get free PID support. Considering that OEM licenses also don't get free support from Microsoft, this change is very minor.

Re:Windows XP support (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27501713)

The majority of Windows XP users are using an OEM license anyway, which are supported by the respective OEMs. The only difference between a product in mainstream and extended support, is that products in extended support don't get free PID support. Considering that OEM licenses also don't get free support from Microsoft, this change is very minor.

Some companies stop supporting versions of Windows when Microsoft does, or shortly after. When you can't call your computer manufacturer, ISP, etc. for support because XP is "unsupported", it'll be a change - or, at least it will be for the average Joe.

Few companies work as hard to make bad decisions (3, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501657)

There are few companies that work as hard at making poor decisions as MSFT. They fielded a loser OS at a time in computing history that they really needed a home run. To placate enterprise users and stop the bleeding in the netbook space they turned to XP at a time they should have been phasing it out.

So now they rush Windows 7 out the door with many of the capabilities Vista should have had and they're chopping off support for XP before Windows 7 is established.

It's not the computing world's fault MS dropped the ball on Vista but, as usual, they're making it your problem. Instead of owning up to the mistake and supporting XP until it's clear Windows 7 is an adequate replacement.

Re:Few companies work as hard to make bad decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27501673)

Have you seen the botch they made of their Xbox division? It's full of failed products (Xbox, Zune, Xbox36), and massively in debt, with a debt hole that will never be filled, despite how much they talk positive about quarterly "profits".

Re:Few companies work as hard to make bad decision (1)

werve (548765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501769)

Isn't the 360 actually tracking well against the PS3? (debt from Zune and the original Xbox aside)

Re:Few companies work as hard to make bad decision (4, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501675)

At this stage in XPs life, I highly doubt any end user or consuming business will actually come across any non-security related bug that they need fixing, and if they do then their vendor will probably have several customers also with the same issue, and pony up themselves (think Oracle, Sun or Novell finding a bug which affects their products - they will be the ones to approach MS for a fix and offer payment).

Small shop (4, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501777)

But for small shops, this is a win! Since MS won't support it any more, people will have to turn to small local shops instead. It should be quite a boon to them.

Re:Small shop (1)

Psilax (1297141) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501899)

Unless nerds like us can help then make a transition to linux if they don't really need Vista. Like just for mail checking, some text editing, some surfing. Some good old clasic games...

Re:Few companies work as hard to make bad decision (4, Insightful)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501781)

It's not the computing world's fault MS dropped the ball on Vista but, as usual, they're making it your problem.

People are always bashing Vista at every opportunity, but it's never caused me any problems, never crashed, has support for all the devices I wish to use and pretty much checks all the boxes I want from an operating system. I'm speaking as a software developer, before I get mercilessly flamed as being some kind of computing retard.

Now XP, before I upgraded, would crash semi-regularly and had at least as many bugs as Vista does. I think at least some of the people critcising Vista are sheeple expressing a popular opinion without much foundation. "What's that?" you cry, "People regurgitating supposed facts without verification on /.? Surely not..."

Re:Few companies work as hard to make bad decision (5, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501879)

Vista is slow to boot.
Vista helpfully stops me running programs I want to run at startup.
Vista takes absolutely hours to update itself.
Vista is always telling me no, I don't have permission to do that, or to look there.
Vista is generally annoying.

Vista also has a couple of more geeky irritations to me as a software engineer and a linux user. But still, it runs my games OK and that's all I ask of it these days. I don't hate it, I just don't think it's that good.

That said, you should here the vitriol and emotional reactions that come out of my none-geek family and friends. This vista hatred may have started here with us, but it's been taken to a whole new level by the general computer-using-but-not-understanding public. I don't know if that's a reflection of them buying all the media hype or if it's a genuinbe reaction to the product, but it seems that it's no longer us penguin-loving kernel botherers that are the main source of the anti-MS vitriol.

Re:Few companies work as hard to make bad decision (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27501985)

Vista is slow to boot.
Vista helpfully stops me running programs I want to run at startup.
Vista takes absolutely hours to update itself.
Vista is always telling me no, I don't have permission to do that, or to look there.
Vista is generally annoying.

If it wasn't for the delay I have set in GRUB, Vista would be loaded before my monitor comes on. It loads faster than my SuSE or Fedora installs do.

I've never had a problem with any startup programs.

I don't run automatic updates (except for Defender checking for definitions before it's 3:00 AM daily scan), but when I run updates myself it's generally fairly quick, depending on what's out there. It's much, much better than Windows Update on XP.

The only time I see anything about access is when I, out of habit, click on one of those "junctions" (or whatever Vista calls them) instead of a real folder. [Junctions = the old paths, like the Application Data directory. You get an "access denied" if you try to click on one.] Those are hidden files anyway, so I can't see that being a problem for everyday users.

activation support for resetting and other updates (4, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501801)

Will there still be activation support for resetting it or will activation be turned off / hardware check be turned off?

Will xp uses still get IE8 / IE7 updates / fixes?

windows media player 12?

Will there still WGA updates? .net framework updates?

daylight saving time updates till 2014?

So what? (0, Troll)

gelfling (6534) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501831)

It works as well or as poorly as it ever did and it ever will. Only MS will kill it with Multimedia formats, add-ons and such. I still run one old Win-2000 SP5 machine.

Windows != the default operating system (0, Troll)

levicivita (1487751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501835)

I just bought $2000+ worth of computer components that I will use to build my own high end desktop (i7 920 / 6gb ddr3 1600 ram / 300gb velociraptor / 1tb hdd / ati 4890 / 2 x 24'' samsung lcds). Do you know how much I spent on software for it? $0. And I am actually better off - no MSFT bloatware for me, thank you. This is a great opportunity for people to reexamine their long held beliefs, e.g. when you buy a new computer you _must_ get Windows.

NO. NOT NOW. NOT EVER. I'M COMING FOR ALL OF YOU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27501873)

I long for the day when the headline is "Mainstream ends support for Microsoft."

Lack of support won't mean lack of use (1)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501889)

I used to work as an IT consultant, and I can't begin to tell you how many small customers I went to that were using Windows 2000, or older, Server 2000, Office 2000. I would have loved if they'd wanted to even switch to XP both OS and Office wise. Lots of people don't really look at their computers as something that ever needs to change or be upgraded. People who have hung on to XP this long probably won't be jumping off the bandwagon just because mainstream support is stopping.

Costly for business (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 5 years ago | (#27501999)

So i take it that this will mean the corporations will have to finally upgrade. the testing cost for all those crappy crm's that are only supported on ie6 is going to be astromomical. if they were programmed correctly in the first place, any browser would be able to use them and companies could have switched to thin client to save massive amounts on energy.

Poor linux mirrors (1)

Name141 (1527509) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502053)

Does this mean linux mirrors and repos just got many new downloads :-( ?

Just one question (1)

XB-70 (812342) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502055)

Is it time to adopt?

After seven years, what's left but security fixes? (4, Insightful)

kenh (9056) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502121)

Seriously, they've shipped a near-infinite number of Windows XP licenses, and there are millions and millions of users exercising the code, so really, what is left to "debug"? But let's be clear - you may want Windows XP to function differently, but that is not a bug, that's a preference. By now, Windows XP is a tested code base, and it has value as demonstrated by the steady stream of stories discussing the end of support for Windows XP, downgrade rights from Vista to Windows XP, etc.

Why all the Vista bashing in here? (1, Interesting)

BlueScreenOfTOM (939766) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502127)

While I recognize that I am far from using my computer to do everything it is capable of, I really can't understand all the Vista bashing and I suspect that a large amount of the bashing I do see is from those who have either already made up their mind that they hate Vista, or those that haven't really given it a fair chance.

I run Vista on a powerful machine -- it's a Quad Core with 4GB of RAM and a decent video card. I knew when Vista came out that, if I wanted to run it, my 2001 P4 2GHz wasn't going to cut it. Was I upset about that? No. Try running Mac OS 10.5 on a 800 MHz PPC from that same era. Yeah, it'll work, but it won't be a fun experience. So I bought a new machine for less than $1000, the first major PC purchase I made since I purchased the previous machine in 2001. I expect to buy a new computer every 4 or 5 years.

While my experience with Vista hasn't been flawless, I fail to see any of these things that make Vista a "horrible mistake". In fact, it runs great for me. It's very fast, and I can multitask quite well. I have a Media Center PC that records HD video frequently, often when I'm using the machine, and aside from a Systray icon telling me it's recording, I never notice. I also run Linux via VMWare in the background all the time as a test bed for web development, and again this has never caused me problems or slowdowns. Nearly all of the applications that worked on my old XP box transferred over fine. I've never seen a Blue Screen of Death in Vista, and I've been running it now for over a year and a half.

I'd say I use my computer to do more than the average user, and I've had nothing but good experiences with Vista. I'm sorry to hear that others haven't had the same experience, but please, can we stop calling it a "horrible failure"?

Piffle. (-1, Offtopic)

PinchDuck (199974) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502145)

9.04 with better support for my Intel 965 graphics chip is much bigger news to me.

Boo (-1, Troll)

Drumforyourlife (1421647) | more than 5 years ago | (#27502147)

Vista is too fancy to run on my computer. XP is just right... and I wouldn't touch windows 7 with a ten foot pole. not happening. if M$ doesn't want to support me, fine. But they better not expect me to $upport them.
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