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Windows 7 Licensing a "Disaster" For XP Shops

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the punished-for-cautious-waiting dept.

Windows 567

snydeq writes "Enterprise licensing for Windows 7 could cause major headaches and add more cost to the Windows 7 migration effort, InfoWorld reports. Under the proposed license, businesses that purchase PCs with Windows 7 pre-installed within six months of the Oct. 23 launch date will be able to downgrade those systems to XP, and later upgrade back to Windows 7 when ready to migrate users. PCs bought after April 22, 2010, however, can only be downgraded to Vista — no help for XP-based organizations, which would be wise to wait 12 to 18 months before adopting Windows 7, so that they can test hardware and software compatibility and ensure their vendors' Windows 7 support meets their needs. XP shops that chose not to install Vista will have to either rush their migration process or spend extra to enroll in Microsoft's Software Assurance program, which allows them to install any OS version — for about $90 per year per PC."

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567 comments

Or you know... (5, Insightful)

Darkinspiration (901976) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352073)

Most shop will just ignore this little twist and downgrade to xp anyway. No sane admin will run a mix of os on user workstations if he can prevent it.

Or you know... vista7 is made out of chilli (3, Funny)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352231)

Re:Or you know... vista7 is made out of chilli (1, Offtopic)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352573)

"Vista 7 is made from chilli [bbspot.com]."

ahhh... if only that was a real commercial! I'd try OpenBSD just for that commercial.

The whole thing is silly (5, Insightful)

Gay for Linux (942545) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352579)

From TFA: "Web apps tuned to Internet Explorer 6, which Microsoft has essentially orphaned. Windows 7 will ship with IE8, which has a compatibility mode for IE7, but not for IE6. And if IT retains IE7 in Windows 7, Silver notes that IE7 lacks an IE6 compatibility mode. So IT must rework its IE6-dependent Web apps or use XP mode to run IE6. Both are hassles."

When Apple releases a new OS and says it's not compatible with the old, there's a huge line to suck Steve Jobs' dick. "Support of legacy software has made Windows a bloated piece of shit. Apple's so smart."

When Microsoft makes a similar change people whine about all the hassles they'll have to go through.

Re:The whole thing is silly (3, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352679)

Even though you're gay for linux, you seem to be able to see /. for what it is.

Re:The whole thing is silly (2, Insightful)

cheezitman2001 (1397905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352687)

Thank you. I'm so tired of people blindly hating on Microsoft. After years and years of people accusing them of being built on outdated code, they finally try to shed the past and finally abandon XP, everyone attacks them. I just can't understand how people are bitching at Microsoft for not letting them run a decade old OS that's soon to be not supported anymore. Does anyone buy a new Mac and throw a fit when they can't get OS X 10.0 on it? No, that'd be idiotic. If you want to use your old software on your old hardware, that's fine, but to request an outdate OS on a new machine is a hassle for the manufacturer, and you should be charged as such.

Re:The whole thing is silly (4, Insightful)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352803)

When Apple releases a new OS and says it's not compatible with the old, there's a huge line to suck Steve Jobs' ****. "Support of legacy software has made Windows a bloated piece of shit. Apple's so smart."

When Microsoft makes a similar change people whine about all the hassles they'll have to go through.

As a personal user I wouldn't mind if Microsoft decided to pull an Apple and cut off support for all of their legacy stuff. I don't really use much legacy software anymore, and am just about done with PC gaming. If it would streamline the OS and remove some bugs, I'm all for it and would applaud them instead of criticize.

However I can see why businesses aren't happy: many rely on old custom legacy systems. They have websites setup for IE 6, rely on legacy era (ie DOS) applications for obscure equipment, some Sales admin/entry software that can only work on certain environments, etc. And hardware, they don't just have to worry about workstations but external devices (like scales, sensors, lab equipment, etc) that might only work with a DOS-based program through an old COM port.

In short, businesses have a LOT of specialized software that they need to keep running and cannot replace and thus want things to stay status-quo, and I can't really blame them. If upgrading their PCs and OS means spending hundreds of thousands (if not millions) on new software and hardware, you can imagine that they'd like to sit just where they are.

Re:Or you know... (4, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352273)

I really don't get it...how will Microsoft even know you downgraded to XP if you just boot the machine up for the first time using a WinXP install CD, and then later reinstall Windows 7 with the OS disk (you do insist on OS install disks being shipped with your new PCs, right?) at a later date? They would only be activating the Windows 7 installation one time, and MS would likely never know or care.

Re:Or you know... (2, Informative)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352419)

In a company environment you even install from a deployment server instead so not even a CD is needed. And often that installation is done without even touching the preinstalled OS.

But lately there have been hardware that required extra drivers to be added to the XP installation so a plain vanilla CD wouldn't work, it has to be tweaked. And if M$ gots their way the hardware manufacturers will soon drop XP supported drivers on their new hardware just to force people to go to Vista or Win 7.

Re:Or you know... (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352775)

MS says you need to install and run a program for a random audit, you get caught... gg

if you refuse to run said program, MS sends down a represenative to manually go through each of your companies machines and his time is billed to your company.. fun stuff.

Re:Or you know... (1)

Spliffster (755587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352665)

wga?

Re:Or you know... (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352275)

I wonder if you are trading a risky-sounding strategy that is actually better for a less risky-sounding strategy that is worse.

Re:Or you know... (4, Interesting)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352483)

Why does the phrase "Lost Generation" keep coming to mind? Microsoft is setting themselves up to fail (again). Skip over Vista, skip over Win 7.0, eventually the learning curve from jumping from XP to Win 7 SP1 becomes no worse than jumping from XP to Ubuntu. Me, I swore that Win2K would be my last Microsoft OS, and it was. I'll dabble with supporting friends and relatives XP machines, because it's similar enough to 2K. I tried to configure a cow-orkers laptop a few times, now I just routinely refuse.

Re:Or you know... (5, Funny)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352723)

a cow-orkers laptop

This post brought to you by explicit.slashdot.org. Let's keep it SFW, guys. None of this backwoods paraphilia.

XP discontinued from April '10, Win 7 price hike (2, Informative)

PSdiE (643639) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352513)

From April, MS will no longer sell you a copy of XP, that's the problem.

See my submission on this and the leaked Windows 7 price hike ($45-$55 for the Starter Edition, up to $40 more expensive than the XP licence for netbook machines!):

http://slashdot.org/submission/1021213/Microsoft---Windows-7-Pricing-Malfunction [slashdot.org]

Re:XP discontinued from April '10, Win 7 price hik (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352633)

Most businesses have volume license XP keys. They do not buy XP at all. Well, they sort of do pay. They pay a yearly subscription to use those volume keys. Will all those XP keys stop working? Maybe. If microsoft does that, they will be inviting those companies to go to an OS other then one from microsoft. I think those enterprise volume keys will still work.

Re:XP discontinued from April '10, Win 7 price hik (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352705)

If MS does that, they'd be sued to high heaven.

Re:Or you know... (3, Interesting)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352693)

Yep. I don't want to switch to Windows 7. XP works just fine for Office apps, Firefox, Adobe reader, winzip a couple of proprietary apps and....that's it. The Devil's biggest trick was convincing the world that OS's need to be regularly upgraded to something very very different.

Would be happy to pay a reasonable sum for patches (done properly mind you, no larking about until Tuesday to get critical vulnerabilities out of the way), but having to either accept the costs of a mixed OS environment, or a large migration project for no benefit whatsoever, or pay extra for an old OS which is *still* supported really pisses me the fuck off.

Sigh, I guess this is the price we all pay for being reliant on a company which I suspect is past it's peak.

(On the subject of things that piss me the fuck off, I also hate it when you have to make an effort to decode marketing spiel to work out what a product does - I'm looking at you, VMWare.)

Re:Or you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28352755)

News at 11.. Anti Windows post on Slashdot

WTF?? (2, Funny)

reidiq (1434945) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352093)

Upgrade to downgrade and then to upgrade again..... I wonder if Bing.com will become bong then bing again?

My entire shop is SuSE Linux (-1, Troll)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352099)

We have three boxen that run WinXP and we won't be "upgrading".

Why?

Cause we can't afford to waste the money when we're crunching statistical genetics regressions on graphics cycles that have nothing to do with work.

Re:My entire shop is SuSE Linux (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28352265)

Geeze! That was the worst karma whoring post I've seen in a looooong time! It's not far from, "I don't care! We run Linux!"

I'm sure there will be Mac shop admins saying the same thing later on.

A better way you could have K whored would have been to say "Hmmm. What I think this will do is start shops migrating to Linux distros with desktops that are clones of XP. This will only hurt Microsoft in the end."

See? Sounds intelligent and like you're stating an educated opinion. The mods would see it and think, "Hmmmm. This guy has a point and it's a positive post about Linux."

Work on it.

P.S. It can work with Apple - replace "Linux" with "Apple" above - sometimes, though. OSX doesn't have the cache that Linux does regarding topics like this.

Re:My entire shop is SuSE Linux (2, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352647)

That's nice.

I don't care. We run octo-core, quad-core, and dual-core machines that do real work and can't waste the CPU cycles on cruft that doesn't accomplish those goals.

Which means we're not "upgrading" to WinVista if we have to waste money on video cards we don't need.

Re:My entire shop is SuSE Linux (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352769)

I hope you're not using a GUI.

And if your work is taking advantage of multiple cores as you imply, I would suggest you DO buy some new video cards, and maybe make use of them to do your "real work".

Hell, DirectX 11 will be giving us all a standard language for GPU computing. No more bullshit between ATi and Nvidia.

But that's from MS. That can't be a good thing.

Re:My entire shop is SuSE Linux (5, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352715)

Mac shops have admins?
I thought they just had baristas.

Re:My entire shop is SuSE Linux (2, Funny)

blueturffan (867705) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352345)

Cause we can't afford to waste the money when we're crunching statistical genetics regressions on graphics cycles that have nothing to do with work.

Ironically, I wasted several mental cycles trying to parse that sentence.

Re:My entire shop is SuSE Linux (2, Funny)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352377)

Brain@Home?

Geeks Care, Users Don't (1)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352439)

Cause we can't afford to waste the money when we're crunching statistical genetics regressions on graphics cycles that have nothing to do with work.

Why upgrade?

If you buy a new box, you'll most likely get the new OS, but for old boxes that still run and will continue to run, why bother? Geeks love new flashy stuff, but users only care if it works.

This is why you have people that still have Office 2000 and run XP as an OS.

Re:Geeks Care, Users Don't (2, Informative)

jslater25 (1005503) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352561)

I disagree with your statement that users only care if it works. At my previous employer, the users didn't mind if it worked or not, so long as it was new and shiny. One user that requested to be moved to a new (at that time) flat panel LCD (15") rather than staying with her older CRT (21"). Another user wanted to be the only user on Windows Vista so that she could claim she was the only one with the latest OS. It didn't matter to her that the software she was using to perform her job duties was using a modified DOS shell which didn't run properly on Windows Vista.

Re:Geeks Care, Users Don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28352631)

I used to think Word 6.0 (in Office 4.something) was the pinnacle of business software. Still prefer it to OOo though. Hehehehe.

Re:My entire shop is SuSE Linux (3, Funny)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352523)

Wait, what?

Also, using boxen in a sentence is cause for automatic suspension of your nerd license. On the other hand, it also qualifies you to receive a script kiddie license at no charge.

Re:My entire shop is SuSE Linux (0, Troll)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352571)

Well, we do have one UNIX box, so I'll have to adjust my pony tail as I think up a response to your quip.

Oh, wait, no, I actually have short hair.

Maybe you need to realize that computers are a commodity and we don't need to overpay for an OS that is at times 1/3 the total price.

Re:My entire shop is SuSE Linux (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352799)

I'm not sure what this has to do with what I posted, but... whatever does it for you.

Re:My entire shop is SuSE Linux (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352811)

Yet you could be running those regressions on GPUs for huge performance increases.

And if you used DirectX 11, you would be able to run that shit on Nvidia OR ATi hardware WITHOUT dealing with CUDA/Stream/OpenCL.

Love and kisses... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352103)

More good will and love from Microsoft. Unfortunatly, for most of these "shops", Linux is not an option, as they are too entrenched with Ballmer and crew.

The power of lock-in (5, Insightful)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352107)

And yet, somehow I fear that even this will not usher in The Year of Linux on the Desktop.

Re:The power of lock-in (3, Informative)

superdana (1211758) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352449)

Windows is far from the only obstacle keeping Linux off the desktop.

Re:The power of lock-in (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28352619)

Windows is far from the only obstacle keeping Linux off the desktop.

This is so right.

There are 12,000 people on Ubuntu forums, right now. A straw poll of all of them, found that 6,000 people are there to get help because Ubuntu has massive flaws in its hardware support and usability (even with Free drivers, like Intel's and drivers based on open specs, like ATI's). While the other 6,000 are there to flame people who tripped up on the flaws, because admitting there are problems disrupts their view of a utopian GNU/Society. What is achieved? Nothing, the two forces simply cancel each other out and no decent software ever comes out of it.

Apparently they get Freetards trying to get into Heaven all the time. Saint Peter's got a standard technique that gets them every time:

St Peter: What good works did you do to make you deserving of a place in Heaven?

Freetard: I helped people out on the Ubuntu forums, all day, from my mother's basement!

St Peter: Ubuntu eh? Tried that myself, it's wank, couldn't get my dual monitor setup working. It worked perfectly in Windows.

Freetard: Get what you pay for I guess. You should have tried Googling for the problem.

St Peter: I did.

Freetard: Maybe Linux is just too hard for you.

St Peter: That's a little unfriendly! Anyway, God tried it and he couldn't get dual-monitors working either.

Freetard: Yeah, well patience is a virtue.

St Peter: I've been waiting since '97!

Freetard (growing furious): Well I guess that some people prefer being spoon fed, while others enjoy to grow from challenges presented to them.

St Peter: So this is how you helped people then is it?

Freetard (confused): Well. Yeah, I suppose.

St Peter (reaches for the big red button that will open the trap-door the Freetard is stood upon): Yes, that's exactly what I thought. Goodbye.

Tragically everything the Freetard said above is quoted from the Ubuntu forums. The sad truth: people are getting exposed to GNU/Linux and hating it, I'll let the reader work out why that might be.

Downgrade then Upgrade... sigh... (4, Insightful)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352119)

How about just "Sell XP Licenses" or is that too easy?

Re:Downgrade then Upgrade... sigh... (2, Informative)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352271)

Selling licenses is indeed easy, but consider which of these is worse...

(A) Having to provide support for customers running 1 Microsoft operating system.

(B) Having to provide support for customers running 2 Microsoft operating systems.

(C) Having to provide support for customers running 3 Microsoft operating systems.

There is your driving motivator to get customers off of older versions.

And of course, though we all like to have a giggle at Microsoft's expense, the same would likely be true of any OS or app.

Re:Downgrade then Upgrade... sigh... (1)

abshack (1389985) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352331)

There's no money to be made being simple (or so Microsoft probably believes).

Re:Downgrade then Upgrade... sigh... (1)

anonobomber (889925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352503)

If they sell XP licenses then they can't boast about how many copies of the latest version of Windows has been sold to try and get people to hop on the bandwagon when, in fact, the majority of those purchases weren't to use the latest version at all. They have been trying to pull the same tactic with Vista to try and convince people that Vista is infinitely better than XP.

Re:Downgrade then Upgrade... sigh... (1)

bakawolf (1362361) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352615)

yes yes, lets keep away from that nasty 64bit stuff. don't worry about inherent problems in the driver structure either, don't need to fix that! and god forbid we attempt to make things more secure. naw, lets just keep XP forever.

$90 per year per pc? Really? (5, Interesting)

tacokill (531275) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352121)

Is this number right? For $90/yr/pc, I can install any MSFT operating system?

Why isn't this program publicized? I am a small business and I have to tell you...the entire Windows licensing system is very very difficult to navigate. And I am 100% certain that is "by design". The more confused they can make me, the more money they can extract out of me and my company (or so they think).

In actual practice, I don't mind spending money where needed and $90/yr/pc seems about fair for a Windows OS.

Bonus points if someone can point me to a vendor who will sell it to me.

Software Rental (4, Interesting)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352179)

M$ has finally came clean and declare that their users don't 'own' a piece of software, or for that matter, a perpetual license on a per system basis. Instead it's a rental license that must be renewed yearly. Failure to do so will result in deactivation and data loss.

Re:Software Rental (4, Informative)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352323)

Exactly. Consumers need to understand what this licensing means and why Linux, OS X, and older versions of Windows (2000-XP) are a better investment than Vista/Windows 7 licensing.

I still use W2K at home. XP is literally a patch-work and I am tired of the reboots, so I have mostly abandoned it. Vista is slow, lacks drivers, and drops support for hardware that is perfectly good in W2K-XP. Windows 7 is an improvement -- although Windows Explorer in RC1 is annoyingly slow and reason enough for me to abandon Windows 7.

Re:Software Rental (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352765)

Failure to do so will result in deactivation and data loss.

Citation (badly) needed.

Re:$90 per year per pc? Really? (3, Informative)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352191)

If it is a large company $90/yr/pc is an outrageous price. You would be spending more for the operating system than the PC, considering most companies get a fairly good discount when buying large quantities of PCs.

Re:$90 per year per pc? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28352195)

The software assurance is $90, you still have to purchase whatever license you are installing.

Re:$90 per year per pc? Really? (1)

Synchis (191050) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352233)

Your kidding right?

Please tell me your actually kidding, and your really a Linux shop making a really funny joke!

Re:$90 per year per pc? Really? (0)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352261)

For $699 you can install any Microsoft OS on as many machines as you own for one year. Then after that it's $499 per year.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/subscriptionschart.aspx [microsoft.com] (scroll down to "MSDN Operating Systems")

Re:$90 per year per pc? Really? (3, Informative)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352349)

What does the D stand for in MSDN again? That's right, Developer. Which is also the only environment that a MSDN server license is allowed to be used in.

Re:$90 per year per pc? Really? (5, Informative)

theyulman (1490335) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352375)

Did you actually read what's written...MSDN is for testing and dev only. hence the: "Software testers or IT professionals who need to set up test labs with Microsoft operating systems, but do not need additional products. Example: Test or IT staff at a video card manufacturer needs to set up a lab for testing drivers on multiple versions of Windows." If you install MSDN OS in your shop in production and MS knocks on your door...you'll find yourself in court in a snap of a finger. ...it happened to us last year

Re:$90 per year per pc? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28352605)

Did you actually read what's written...MSDN is for testing and dev only.

hence the:
"Software testers or IT professionals who need to set up test labs with Microsoft operating systems, but do not need additional products.
Example: Test or IT staff at a video card manufacturer needs to set up a lab for testing drivers on multiple versions of Windows."

If you install MSDN OS in your shop in production and MS knocks on your door...you'll find yourself in court in a snap of a finger. ...it happened to us last year

well don't let them in!

Re:$90 per year per pc? Really? (1)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352289)

If your software license rep doesn't know about software assurance, run, don't walk to someone else. Any authorized Microsoft license rep that manages Open, Open Value, Select, or Enterprise Licensing should know about software assurance [microsoft.com] .

Re:$90 per year per pc? Really? (5, Informative)

Samalie (1016193) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352317)

No, for $90/PC/year, plus the cost of the open license of Windows, you can run any Microsoft OS you want, technically all the way down to MS-DOS & Windows 3.0.

Re:$90 per year per pc? Really? (1)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352675)

Don't forget that you MUST also purchase an OEM license of Windows with the computer, so you can't buy a computer loaded with Linux or FreeDOS to save a buck. So basically you spend money for the OEM license, money for the open license, and then you pay $90/pc/year. Of course you don't have to buy the open license but once, but you will have to buy the OEM license with every computer.

ANY operating system? (3, Funny)

LSDelirious (1569065) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352319)

I would love to sign up, then flood their call centers with complaints that Win 3.11 won't run on my New i7 build = D

Re:ANY operating system? (3, Interesting)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352465)

I would love to sign up, then flood their call centers with complaints that Win 3.11 won't run on my New i7 build = D

Why do you think it won't? It runs just fine on my Athlon XP 2800. It's simply a matter of installing an underlying DOS that can access modern large drives -- FreeDOS should do the job just fine.

Re:ANY operating system? (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352703)

> It's simply a matter of installing an underlying DOS that can access modern large drives

or a MFM hdd interface card for PCI-E :)
[sorry, had a hard day and one glass of wine too much. but anyway - any hardware hacker around who can build me such a device? I'm interested in such useless but geeky stuff...]

Re:$90 per year per pc? Really? (1)

hmar (1203398) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352371)

Check with CDW.com. They have MS licensing specialists. I think you will find, however, that there is a minimum number of PCs necessary to qualify for this program, which may be why no-one mentioned it to you before,

Re:$90 per year per pc? Really? (1)

tsstahl (812393) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352815)

I will, but you need at least a 100 seats to qualify.

same old (4, Insightful)

gx5000 (863863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352151)

We're on XP...
They are thinking of going Vista because of the 1 on 1 MS support we have.
Most techs here are well against any move away from XP...
Vista II or 7 depending what your take is is not an option.
We want out of the M$ revenue tree...
Just code something that works and we'll pay for the patches/upgrades.
Stop trying to sell us new stuff that just takes up more CPU cycles for no good reason.
This industry is going nowhere fast.

Re:same old (4, Funny)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352581)

We're on XP...
They are thinking of going Vista because of the 1 on 1 MS support we have.
Most techs here are well against any move away from XP...
Vista II or 7 depending what your take is is not an option.
We want out of the M$ revenue tree...
Just code something that works and we'll pay for the patches/upgrades.
Stop trying to sell us new stuff that just takes up more CPU cycles for no good reason.
This industry is going nowhere fast.

Burma-shave!

explicit.bing.com (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28352189)

I think the details of this will be filtered out of BING.

Not a big deal? (1)

weszz (710261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352197)

from reading TFA (amazing I know) it sounded like if you have a volume license, no big deal. This would only effect shops buying OEM licenses...

am I wrong on this? It's what the graphic with and without software assurance says...

Re:Not a big deal? (2, Informative)

weszz (710261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352259)

Win 7 Professional Upgrade license WITHOUT software assurance (With volume License) can downgrade to:
Win 95
Win 98
Win NT
Win XP Professional
Win Vista Business

Re:Not a big deal? (1)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352453)

No, I don't believe you are wrong.

If a company is an Enterprise customer, why would they not want to be covered under an enterprise or other volume licensing agreement with software assurance? If they already decided to drink the Microsoft kool-aid, they are fricking idiots for not pouring a big old glass of it and getting the most out of it. As long as you keep drinking, it's not that much more expensive and could actually be cheaper in the long run then paying "retail" during an OS version cycle. Plus it can simplify licensing tracking across the enterprise.

So Many Rules! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28352201)

I feel like I'm at a strip club.

Microsoft finally following the path of Autodesk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28352243)

Where buying into their subscription service is actually cheaper than upgrading every few releases. Also ending upgrade paths for older releases faster.

A subscription service, as much as I hate them, makes things much easier on both ends. It makes it easier to budget for the company using the software and it makes for a steady revenue stream for the company selling the software. You can end the subscription service any time and still continue using the same version of the software, but no more included upgraded.

If priced correctly every subscription service I've looked at is indeed less expensive than upgrading versions every couple of releases. However, that was with companies who have a written in stone release and support schedule. Autodesk for example, releases a new major version every 12 months and only supports the 3 most current versions.

If MS came out with a new version of Windows every 18-24 months and priced a "subscription" service such that it's 10% cheaper to be on that than paying for upgrades, I'd jump on it.

ROI (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352249)

It's worth wondering if it isn't cheaper over the medium and long term to just start upgrading to Windows 7 in phases as soon as it comes out. First to users that have shown the least need for hand-holding, then at an ever faster pace to users in ascending order of needyness. The XP/Vista options do not look cheaper or any more attractive.

Put on the fire-retardant suit, it's flame-time (4, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352283)

Anecdotal observation time. I just built a new desktop and am planning on using it as a testbed. I have a homebrew distro of XP called XP 64-bit Ultimate which is intended to be a current, patched, up-to-date version of XP so you're not stuck downloading several hundred megs of patches and cruft when you do a new install. I also have Ubuntu 9.04 and the beta for Windows 7.

Ubuntu worked right out of the box, decent default viddy drivers, network card detected. Sound isn't working but I hadn't expected any of it to work since this is a newish motherboard with everything integrated so that's much better than I expected. XP had a worse default viddy driver and no networking. Of course, I managed to kill Ubuntu trying to get the full ATI drivers working but that's probably just a silly mistake made overlooking something.

Now I know that people will say "n00b, you can slipstream stuff into your custom build of xp your such a linux fanboy" etc etc but what's nice about Ubuntu is you don't have to dick with any of that stuff. Distros release very frequently and you can burn a new CD whenever you want. You can't even cheat with Windows and borrow someone's more recent CD because your legally-purchased key won't likely be compatible.

This is a roundabout way of saying that for all the unfamiliar quirks and different ways of doing things, open source is so much nicer to work with simply due to the lack of the licensing model.

Re:Put on the fire-retardant suit, it's flame-time (2, Informative)

bakawolf (1362361) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352369)

I have a homebrew distro of XP

....and there's your problem.

Re:Put on the fire-retardant suit, it's flame-time (4, Informative)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352549)

The problem is that his only alternative is to install an old version of XP and wait an eternity while it updates, then spend an age hunting around for all the drivers and then spend lots more time installing those. Imagine the pain of having to reinstall XP from an original pre-SP1 copy.

Re:Put on the fire-retardant suit, it's flame-time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28352429)

In related news, dial-up isn't as great as broadband.

Are we done comparing the latest-and-greatest version of an operating system to a 7-year-old model?

'For my next trick, I'll compare the state of Ubuntu circa 2002 to Windows 7.

Re:Put on the fire-retardant suit, it's flame-time (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352639)

In related news, dial-up isn't as great as broadband.

Are we done comparing the latest-and-greatest version of an operating system to a 7-year-old model?

'For my next trick, I'll compare the state of Ubuntu circa 2002 to Windows 7.

Very good point. I could go through the upgrade treadmill from Ubuntu 2002 (what version was that, 3? Horribly old). But if I don't want to do that, I can download the latest edition, no problem. If I bought a legal copy of XP back when it first shipped, I have absolutely no recourse towards getting a more recent version of the media for reinstalls. If I want to get up to SP3 with all the bells and whistles, I'm going to be downloading what, a gig or two worth of data? There's absolutely no legal resource for me aside from buying the media again and hoping they're selling me a semi-recent build (which, as I understand it, is seldom the case. The XP 64-bit image you buy legally is supposed to be a year or two old at this point.)

Re:Put on the fire-retardant suit, it's flame-time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28352623)

Ubuntu worked right out of the box, decent default viddy drivers, network card detected. Sound isn't working but I hadn't expected any of it to work since this is a newish motherboard with everything integrated so that's much better than I expected. XP had a worse default viddy driver and no networking. Of course, I managed to kill Ubuntu trying to get the full ATI drivers working but that's probably just a silly mistake made overlooking something.

Yes, the mistake is that the drivers aren't "done". There are a lot of known issues with several ATI cards. I would recommend leaving them off until Karmic.

No Sound......It didn't work out of the box (1)

Carbaholic (1327737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352691)

I downloaded windows 7 x64 ultimate RC0 and it worked right out of the box, even the sound, and it automatically installed my NVidia drivers for me.

and it automatically installed my bluetooth drivers, and my webcam drivers, and my xbox controller drivers etc.

Windows 7 is ridiculously easy to set up.

Re:Put on the fire-retardant suit, it's flame-time (4, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352697)

Okay, so to get this straight:
linux installed fine, but without working sound. You killed your linux installation through attempting to update video drivers.
windows installed fine, but without working LAN drivers. I am assuming you corrected this and installed proper ATI drivers without crashing your system.

Objectively, how is your Linux experience any better than Windows? It sounds like overall, it was worse (assuming you had a need to upgrade to ATI drivers. ). I'm not saying that linux can't be easily installed and working, obviously that is not true. However, your anecdotal experience -- if anything --- seems to say you should stay with Windows.

"laser" (1)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352285)

My fingers are up in the air when I read "disaster". At least SD is trying to let you know when a title is being over dramatic.

So... (1)

abshack (1389985) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352291)

You buy a PC before April 23, 2010, you can get XP on it. Buy it after that date and you can't get XP on it. IT wants XP because it doesn't know whether Windows 7 will support everything it needs and doesn't want to use Vista because it sucks.

This sounds like a job for Linux, man!

April plenty of time (2, Funny)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352301)

The release candidate will have been available for 11 months come april of next year, which is plenty of time to test hardware. Given that 7 is primarily an upgrade to Vista applications and drivers will not have issues, at least not unknown ones.

Vista can add security and stability to some environments when installed correctly. The same will be true with Windows 7 at final release, and will do so without as many slowdowns that Vista brings.

Just like it's suboptimal to run very old hardware with new operating systems, it's also suboptimal to run new hardware with an old system. Device vendors often fail to provide adequate drivers for outdated operating systems, and like it or not the base hardware in today's systems is completely different than it was back when XP was new.

Re:April plenty of time (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28352543)

Are you seriously recommending shops evaluate a release candidate for hardware/software compatibility? What happens when MS release the actual Windows 7 OS and breaks something you've previously verified as working?

Pfffftt.

Re:April plenty of time (1)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352817)

Microsoft does have a history of breaking functionality from a release candidate to the real thing; bluetooth profiles in Vista for example. They tend to err on the side of disabling features that cause compatibility problems rather than adding features that could cause hardware compatibility problems.

Even if you have to wait for the real thing to be sure your computers will work, you'd still have from ~ October to April to do the necessary tests. If you can't get your test hardware configured and run the necessary tests in 6 months, your problems are bigger than an OS upgrade.

Re:April plenty of time (1)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352667)

Ya just in time for April FOOLS day.

Re:April plenty of time (1)

babblefrog (1013127) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352767)

It seems like we regularly read articles about the number of corporate environments that can't upgrade from IE6 because of applications that won't work with IE7 or IE8. I can't imagine that they are going to be in any hurry to start upgrading to Windows 7.

Microsoft seeking a patent... (5, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352357)

"A method of automatically loading a weapon for repeatedly and regularly firing at one's foot without breaking the rythm".

Microsoft has in the last couple of years:

- Released THE most hated OS since WinMe

- Released a confusing myriad of versions of their latest OS' which seek to differentiate by feature set, ultimately pissing off any customer who buys or is forced by a hardware manufacturer to buy an inferior version of the OS only to find that they must upgrade to get important functionality enabled

- Replaced their Office interface with that goddawful ever changing ribbon which certain geeks continue to defend despite it completely ruining productivity, and now they're incorporating it into every damn program they can

- Fired their Aces game development team ending a long running franchise in flight simulation

- Put just about everyone off side with their nutty Windows Genuine campaign

- Fucked up their Zune software with date based bugs

It's like the captain of the ship's drunk at the helm.

Re:Microsoft seeking a patent... (5, Funny)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352431)

Hate that goddamn ribbon, if it wasnt for keyboard shortcuts I still couldnt print or save.

Re:Microsoft seeking a patent... (1)

n30na (1525807) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352649)

The ribbon isnt that bad of an idea, except they got rid of the menus. I bet it works great if you've never used office before.. its just we know where everything was in the menus, so its a nightmare trying to figure out where the heck they put things. It wouldnt be so bad if they just ASKED which one you wanted. Newer users probably do fine with the bloody ribbon.

Re:Microsoft seeking a patent... (1)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352663)

Thank you. Now I don't feel so bad paying double for my MacBook Pro than what a better equipped Dell XPS costs.

Re:Microsoft seeking a patent... (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352735)

And yet despite all that, I still see developers flocking towards their new offerings :-/

Re:Microsoft seeking a patent... (0, Troll)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352749)

Replaced their Office interface with that goddawful ever changing ribbon which trolls, Microsoft fanbois and astroturfers/shills continue to defend despite it completely ruining productivity, and now they're incorporating it into every damn program they can

FTFY

Re:Microsoft seeking a patent... (2, Insightful)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352797)

...and yet for all of that, nobody else had been able to make much inroad. Hmmm.

Re:Microsoft seeking a patent... (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352807)

- Released THE most hated OS since WinMe

I'm pretty sure vista was far more hated than ME, though ME deserved it a lot more.

no problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28352415)

really. just buy Windows 7 licenses and install XP anyway. Does anyone really believe Microsoft will sue over this ?
It will just be a publicity nightmare for them. Microsoft won't like headlines like "Microsoft sues paying customer for using old software".

Actually, It would not surprise me if they are laughed out of court, in some European countries that is ... The US is another matter entirely.

The licensing system is screwed up (1)

NetNinja (469346) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352627)

Microsoft and thier upsales programs confuses the crap out of me. They do this shit by design.

I want 100 desktop distros. Period!

Not Desktop Plus more crap

Not desktop + a movie camera and a box of coco puffs

Not desktop and ultimate confusion

Does it run on 1GB of memory?

There is no profit in optimization.

Microsoft Will Cave (3, Interesting)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352635)

I'll bet 100 mod points that Windows XP will be available at least a year after Windows 7 release. Microsoft barks a loud bark, but in the end, they tend to buckle under pressure from their biggest supporters.

Theres only one thing to say about that (0, Troll)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352655)

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!


I love Linux and my Mac

Software vs. Hardware support - A Realistic View. (4, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352683)

"...which allows them to install any OS version..."

This "Assurance" is bullshit. XP WILL die eventually, and it will be due to the hardware vendors not writing drivers anymore, not because Microsoft has "assured" you by taking your money. It's already getting difficult to find XP driver support for new hardware out there TODAY, much less 12 - 24 months from now when businesses will still be looking to run XP.

Headline is too long (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352823)

Windows 7 Licensing a Disaster

That's all it would take. How many versions? Six? It was a disaster before XP was figured in. Only Microsoft would think that was a good idea.

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