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Microsoft Squeezes Win2000 Users

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the 5-years-and-out dept.

Microsoft 404

darkonc writes "InformationWeek has a story on how Microsoft is squeezing Windows 2000 users as Vista and Office 2007 are being released. While some new software is legitimately unable to run on Windows 2000, other software (like MS's anti-spyware product) will install and run flawlessly — but only if you remove an explicit check for Windows 2000 in the installer." The article notes that other vendors, for example Sun, have more liberal and flexible support policies for legacy products.

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hey wait a minute (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17275972)

what does this have to do with ubuntu?

fp

Re:hey wait a minute (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17275984)

ex-squeeze me? baking powder?

Re:hey wait a minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17276032)

Que?

Re:hey wait a minute (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276228)

The Q were always my favorite Star Trek TNG characters.

The Boston Globe (5, Funny)

telchine (719345) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276332)

I phone up the Boston Globe and asked for their advice. they said I should "stop using Windows 2000"

Man, those guys are good!

Re:hey wait a minute; Bingo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17276378)

INFORMATIVE +5

Win2000 rules (5, Interesting)

LittleImp (1020687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276000)

I haven't tried Vista yet, but at work I only use Windows 2000. I think it's much faster and even more stable than XP. At least when I open up the Task Manager on XP, every Task uses at least 5MB of RAM, while on 2k most of the Tasks use less than 1MB. I bet upgrading to Vista means also a hardware update for most people, so maybe some will switch to an open source alternative.

Re:Win2000 rules (4, Interesting)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276098)

Its not just vista.

Every recent MS product has just felt *slow*.
Its like outlook and office in general, the interface looks nice and logical, but it has lost its snappiness.
Actions involving a full page refresh appear like a web page.
Clicking between folders in Outlook leaves the old mail on screen briefly and things just aren't better.

I was evaluating visual studio .net again this week and whilst it might technically do everything it needs to, its slower than VS 6 at most things.
My colleagues think I should live on oldversion.com, but I just don't like the direction MS has taken.

Re:Win2000 rules (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17276154)

The problem I have with the Visual Studio line of products is that it is sometimes far too time consuming to set compile options, add paths for includes, etc., and some of the ways of adding or setting things are inconsistent between parts of the toolset (although this is much improved in .NET) or with the way things are done in other Microsoft tools. The majority of development work I do is on unix or unix-like systems so having to remember the little idiosyncracies of Visual Studio can be a pain, and these days I prefer to simply access the compiler via eclipse and ant, which is a shame as I can appreciate that there is quite a lot of power in the Visual Studio IDE I am failing to use because of the annoyance of accessing it.

This having been said Linux tools very often have their own idiosyncratic ways of doing things with differences between tools that are KDE/Gnome/Qt/Gtk, and inconsistencies between tools that are all based on just KDE.

Re:Win2000 rules (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276606)

Clicking between folders in Outlook leaves the old mail on screen briefly and things just aren't better.

I actually find the opposite in the case of Outlook. Going from Outlook 2k3 to 2k7 (RTM - which version were you talking about?) on XP actually seemed to be about the same if not snappier. I don't use most of the other Office apps extensively, though, so I can't really comment on them.

Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17276010)

Windows 2000 is rarely used anymore. Get with the times. It's going to be 2007, that'll make it 7 years old. Besides, its GUI is hideous compared to Vista's Aero goodness. Does anybody really want to use an OS that looks like Win95? Furthermore, the only people still stuck on Windows 2000 are paranoid weirdos afraid of Microsoft activation and are probably stealing their licenses anyway.

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (5, Funny)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276018)

So how tight is the foil on YOUR head?

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (1)

CapitalT (987101) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276058)

I don't know if you are trying to be funny or serious, but I found it seriously funny.

ROFL

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (4, Insightful)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276060)

Hey, I don't know about you, but when I first got XP, practically the first thing I did was change the GUI back to Windows Classic because I didn't want something that looked like it was designed by the Teletubbies.

Vista can have all the oooh and aaaaah it wants in it's GUI, but guess what? When I eventually "upgrade" to it, I'm turning all that crap off.

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17276392)

And you are shure that's an option they are gonna put there?

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (2, Interesting)

kubevubin (906716) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276408)

The classic theme in Vista looks horrible, though. Furthermore, using Aero will generally result in better performance, as the rendering is hardware-based, rather than software-based as in the past.

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (5, Interesting)

ci4 (98735) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276426)

E&S Glaze OpenGL benchmark is about twice as fast on Vista with classic theme, compared to the default Aero. This is on a reasonable dual Opteron system with 4GB memory and Quadro FX560 graphics card (and yes, build 6000 with the currently available NVidia driver).

The first thing I do on Vista is switch to classic (the second being turn off the side bar forever). I wonder if Microsoft have ever heard that their OS is being used by real people to run CAD/CAM applications... not that they want it, but they are forced to.

Will try the same this week with a FireGL card to see if ATI are better.
 

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (1)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276458)

well i guess no one'd say that

"dual opteron system with 4gb memory and quadro fx560 graphics card"

is just 'reasonable'. my computer is a lowly athlon 64 with 2gb of ram and builtin 6150 graphics..

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (1)

Pc_Madness (984705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276548)

I used to feel the same way, but with a decent black theme, XP can look pretty awesome. ;) But of course if your interested in being stuck in your gray, boring world, feel free. ;)

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276626)

Hey, I don't know about you, but when I first got XP, practically the first thing I did was change the GUI back to Windows Classic because I didn't want something that looked like it was designed by the Teletubbies.

I do the same thing in XP - reminds me of the beloved Win 2k days. However, having looked and played around with Vista, it actually looks fairly decent, so I think I'll actually give it a chance.

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (3, Funny)

rubicon7 (51782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276088)

Does anybody really want to use an OS that looks like Win95?
I said it in 1995, and I'll say it again now: NO.

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (2, Interesting)

a.d.trick (894813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276112)

Actually, I worked at a school that had many 2000 machines. It had nothing to with paranoid (these guys would have jumped off a cliff if MS asked). It had everything to do with cost, and Microsoft hadn't released anything in the past 7 years that they would find cost-effective.

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (5, Insightful)

berberine (1001975) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276136)

I still use Win2k. It's not dead for me. Yes, I want to use it. Everything I run works on it. It's on 24/7 with a reboot every 4-5 weeks. I don't play games on the computer so I don't need the latest, greatest thing. I paid for my license, am not a paranoid weirdo and don't have a problem with my computer looking the way it does instead of some Fisher Price/Playskool, created by a two-year old GUI. I have XP on my laptop. It too has the classic look. When the time comes that, what I do can no longer work on Win2k, I'll be moving to Linux. That, however, may be a long time away since I do now what I did in 1993 with my computer, with the exception of videos. I don't need some fancy aero glass to make me feel better. I just need a machine that works. BTW, my car is 6 years old. I bought it brand new. It works flawlessly, with only minor adjustments from time to time. Should I get with the times and throw it out too?

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (3, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276308)

I paid for my license, am not a paranoid weirdo and don't have a problem with my computer looking the way it does instead of some Fisher Price/Playskool, created by a two-year old GUI. I have XP on my laptop.
KDE, Gnome, and others have been working hard to replicate your Fischer Price/Playskool created-by-a-two-year-old GUI. So should you find yourself wanting to use Linux, you'll be right at home.
 

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (0)

KnowledgeKeeper (1026242) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276680)

Perhaps the newbs should take a look at AfterStep, WindowMaker, FVWM, Enlightenment, etc.

WMs aren't KDE vs. Gnome and never were.

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276364)

with the car you might actually benefit..

Fuel efficiency has made literally leaps and bounds in the past few years.

I had a 2001 elantra then had the priviledge of driving a 2006 crossfire. the elantra's a compact, the crossfire's a big beefy sports car.. the crossfire went twice as far on the same tank of gas. Then I sold that car and went back to an older vehicle.. i'm really feeling it at the pump.

Newer vehicles are very nice for your fuel bills, some may require premium gas, but you can rest assured they nurse that tank for all it's worth.

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17276138)

As a paranoid weirdo I can tell you that actually server 2003 is the OS of choice when it comes to no activation and stealing licenses.

I walked away from Activation (5, Interesting)

Geof (153857) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276162)

the only people still stuck on Windows 2000 are paranoid weirdos afraid of Microsoft activation and are probably stealing their licenses anyway

I was an MSDN Universal subscriber and Windows developer when XP came out, so I had 10 legit XP licenses. But I had no interest in being an early adopter setting a precedent for activation. Nor, now that they don't allow people to take their copy of the OS with them when they upgrade the machine, did I want to further lock myself into system whose costs increase while my freedoms decrease. I suppose I could have planned on piracy, but I have the odd conviction (one apparently not shared by a whole lot of companies) that it's unethical to make money by breaking the rules.

I stayed with Win2k, moved my data away from Office and into open formats (mbox, Open Office), turned my attention towards FOSS development, and finally switched to Mac. Incidentally, the Mac is very pretty, but I would have been fine with W2K's "hideous" look. Apple's no saint; someday I expect I will similarly have to make the shift to Linux.

Paranoid? No. I just want control of my computer and my data, and I don't want my money to encourage schemes like DRM which erode my freedom and that of others.

Re:I walked away from Activation (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276394)

now that they don't allow people to take their copy of the OS with them when they upgrade the machine

You need to keep up. They rewrote that part of the agreement.

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (2, Funny)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276198)

You'll pry my copy of Win 2000 out of my cold dead hands.

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17276374)

You think they wouldn't?

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (2, Funny)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276410)

I'm not sure they'd wait for you to go cold.

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (3, Informative)

Rick17JJ (744063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276232)

On several occasions, I have recently gone into a couple of local banks and while I was standing in line, I noticed the words "Windows 2000" on their screen savers. I have noticed the same thing at several other business as well. Apparently many businesses that have not felt the need to upgrade.

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (4, Interesting)

tilandal (1004811) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276348)

90% of computers in the business world don't need anything better then Windows 2000. Heck, Most business computers would be fine running Windows NT. Most PC's in the business world are set up to do basic data entry and retrieval and don't need to do anything else. The Bank teller doesn't need DirectX 10. The call center worker doesn't need an advanced GUI. The Mechanic doesn't need a Quad core CPU. What businesses do need is a reliable long term solution that runs with minimal trouble.

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (3, Informative)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276498)

I can confirm that a major British bank uses nothing older than WinNT on the desktops for the back office. It's a closed network so the security issues are less and there is no driver to upgrade to anything later, indeed, there are plenty of economic drivers to keep the PCs on NT.

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17276298)

In our company (though a rather smallish one) the Win2k PCs are in majority. The XP is mostly on notebooks (where XP is really better) and on some new desktops purchased within the last two years.
Will we move to XP or Vista? Quite likely - with new PCs. Do we have to buy XP for our old systems? No way - they are way too slow for fancy stuff anyway.

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (1)

AndNot (943343) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276590)

Well for one thing there are regulated industries that are required by law to validate systems. Upgrades in operating systems can require a complete system re-validation. Validation is a costly undertaking and somewhat onerous. Many companies will opt to retain the old systems rather than update. I still have customers that are running NT4 because of this.

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (1)

Schugy (556670) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276648)

I will even use an OS that is looking like linux at the command line if it fast an reliable. You can even easily customize the text colour.

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (1)

kippers (809056) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276658)

I use it, and thus your statement is wrong. Why should I upgrade to something that will only take more time to load, and thus I will have to fork out for a hardware upgrade, and is counter-intuitive?

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276676)

Get with the times. It's going to be 2007, that'll make it 7 years old

Fine, Upgrade to XP an OS that is 6 years old. Yeah right...

The consumer version of Vista is due out Jan 30 2007. I just upgraded everything older than Windows 2000 to Ubuntu Dapper Drake. I still have a few Windows only apps and they run fine on Windows 2K. If I upgrade my Windows 2K machine, it won't be to Windows XP Home.

Re:Netcraft confirms it: Windows 2000 is dead. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17276682)

It's going to be 2007, that'll make it 7 years old. ...
Does anybody really want to use an OS that looks like Win95?


Dude, I use CDE on Solaris 2.6. That's a 14-year-old OS that looks like Win3.1. Welcome to the real world, where having the latest-and-greatest is rarely a necessity for anyone over the age of 14.

Ease of system administration (4, Insightful)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276026)

Chinnery says he's accepted the fact that he'll have to use the utility to fix his Windows 2000 systems. But, lacking an easily deployable patch, it means he must walk around to tweak each machine in his organization. This is a chore he doesn't feel he should face.

This is what you get for having systems that can be administered using a simple mouseclick by somone with only superficial knowledge of the matter!
Of course it would be simple to automatically install a registry fix on all systems on his network, but he has become so accustomed to every tiny fix being installed in a hundreds of KB executable with automatic installer that he has never learned (or forgotten) how to script such simple things himself.

The daylight saving time mechanism in Windows is broken anyway. Posix DST handling is much better, especially (but not only) when the definition of start and end dates changes.

Re:Ease of system administration (0, Redundant)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276384)

Isn't that exactly what Windows Software Update Service is supposed to help accomplish?

And isn't that what alot of large business use?

Re:Ease of system administration (2, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276600)

This is what you get for having systems that can be administered using a simple mouseclick by somone with only superficial knowledge of the matter!

I disagree. My take is "this is what you get for hiring people who believe that the correct way to fix a large number of systems is to click "next next next" on every one of those systems like a trained chimpanzee". What are such people doing in IT anyhow? The whole point of computers is to make repetitive tasks quick and easy, why are you giving yourself a repetitive task?

At a previous employer, we had about 800-1,000 people using a mix of NT4 and 2K on the desktop. Didn't bother us. When it was necessary to do something to a whole bunch of machines, we scripted it with a batch file and pstools (google for it - I'm too lazy to provide a link). Worked a treat. You'd be amazed (and probably faintly disturbed) at what can be done in a batch file if you're bloody minded enough. It's possible (though not much fun) to simulate grep with a for loop.

Now I'm the IT manager. One of my interview questions is "How do you install software on one desktop? OK, now how do you install software on 100 desktops?". Anyone who hasn't got the wherewithall to think that it must be scriptable is not someone I wish to hire.

Pretty obvious.. (1)

kiwioddBall (646813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276040)

There are lots of new features in the new operating systems that may be useful in an Anti Virus product (the example you give). While they are not used now, they may be in the future. Why should microsoft limit themselves to using only technology that existed 7 years ago?

How do you know the product works perfectly on Win2000? Just cause it looks like it doesn't mean it does...

Re:Pretty obvious.. (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276152)

"How do you know the product works perfectly on Win2000? Just cause it looks like it doesn't mean it does..."

I think this is the REAL issue here. Microsoft didn't know for sure it worked on win2k, and this guy doesn't either. He hasn't rigourously tested it in any fashion. He just installs it, runs it a few times and proclaims 'Hey, it works!'.

When an app IS supported, it can have major issues. Unsupported has got to be a lot more risky. If your whole point of running win2k is the stability, running unsupported apps seems... insane.

Cut the BS (4, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276064)

From the summary: "other software (like MS's anti-spyware product) will install and run flawlessly -- but only if you remove an explicit check for Windows 2000 in the installer."

I work for a software company - and I suspect many Slashdotters do also, and there are extremely good reasons for this. My company's software dropped support for OSX Panther in our last release, even though in all likelihood there wouldn't be any trouble running it on Panther - we weren't using anything that would specifically be known to break Panther, right?

But one has to realize that to release software on a mass scale involves a lot of QA work. You cannot say "we're not using any XP-only features, so it must work on 2K also!", you have to rigorously test your software on all supported platforms. Failure to do so is irresponsible and unprofessional. This means that, if you wish the drop the overhead of testing in 2K, then you stop supporting 2K, and to prevent consumers from installing your software and then coming back to complain about it (or worse, posting a scathing blog entry about your software's suckitude), you simply block the installation of the software on the older OS.

There's nothing evil about this, this is a simple business decision: you cannot support every legacy OS forever, and as new OS'es get released, your QA load increases. At some point you have to drop support for legacy OS'es, even if they are still technologically compatible with your software.

Re:Cut the BS (4, Insightful)

alexhs (877055) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276140)

if you wish the drop the overhead of testing in 2K, then you stop supporting 2K, and to prevent consumers from installing your software and then coming back to complain about it, you simply block the installation of the software on the older OS.
What's wrong with only showing a dialog box ?

Lots of programs in the win9x era would show a dialog box at installation when you tried to install them on a winnt system : Might not work, unsupported...
Then, it's the user responsability to choose.

Re:Cut the BS (4, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276254)

Another poster below you also pointed out the same strategy. It is a valid notion, I admit, but considering our software is targeted at average users who may not be technically inclined, I believe ours is the right decision. I believe you are grossly underestimating the intelligence, or dare I suggest, honesty of the average software user.

If you give them the option to install, they will ignore any and all warnings and call you anyway when they run into problems. Worse yet, they will fly off the hook and begin slandering your software to anyone who will listen, and you bet your ass that their version of the story won't contain the fact that they're running on an unsupported OS.

Some won't even understand what the warning means, or some won't even read it - the "OK" button is just too large and tempting to click.

The install/runtime check is more of a preventative motion than anything else. We don't want to present a negative image of our product when know-nothing users decide to run it on unsupported hardware/software and get stuck. We don't want support calls related to this - even listening to them long enough to kick them off the line costs us valuable dollars and cents. We want nothing to do with this possibility - and the number of honest consumers who will legitimately accept the lack of support and run it on an old OS is small enough that we really don't want to open ourselves to that risk. Honestly, if there were a significant number of people still using the OS, we wouldn't drop support for it.

Disclaimer: The above is a personal opinion and in no way represents the views of my employer.

In other words, you belive in sucky support! (-1, Flamebait)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276326)

Yep.. you believe in making a sucky product with sucky support which screws over your more technical users who would like to have it "just fscking install" on their legacy OS.

All because you're too lazy to provide real support and too cowardly to give users an installer that's not crippled.

I'm glad I don't use windows.. I don't have to deal with your crappy product!

By the way, people like you are the reason there are thousands of groups showing up at developer conferences in hazmat suits with signs saying "defective by design".

Re:In other words, you belive in sucky support! (1)

KingArthur10 (679328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276420)

If you ready up a couple levels rather than just flaming, you'd have noticed that he develops for MacOSX.

Re:In other words, you belive in sucky support! (-1, Flamebait)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276464)

Oh. youre right.. I did get the wrong OS..

but browbeating a jerk for crippling his product's installer with DRM is not flaming.. it's making a point.

He admitted to artificially limiting the flexibility of end users because he's to cowardly and lazy.
This is directly analogous to building a website which refuses to display the page for you, instead hitting you with that "install IE6" message.
If he did that the rest of the community would be all over him.. but i'm just flaming..

whatever.. damn the karma this has to be said.

Re:Cut the BS (1)

riscthis (597073) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276516)

What's wrong with only showing a dialog box ?
People will forget that and call up for support anyway. The product could get a bad reputation if there are problems on Windows 2000, and it's likely that many of those complaining/posting/blogging about the issues will mention they're running a unsupported configuration. In fact I'd expect quite a few "why did it even let me install it if they knew there would be problems..." comments regardless of the fact the user clicked through a dialog box agreeing to it.

Re:Cut the BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17276178)

It doesn't make it less evil just because it's a "a simple business decision".

Re:Cut the BS (2, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276234)

Evil? Not in the best interest of legacy OS users for sure, but evil? Where in blue blazes do you get off on calling that evil?

Get off the high horse and realize that just because we refuse to support your usage of an ancient OS, and we refuse to spend millions in man-hours QA'ing for it when you represent an infinitesimal portion of our customer base, doesn't mean we're evil. For cryin' out loud the damn thing is 7 years old! You don't expect Doom 3 to run on your Nvidia TNT2 do you?

Re:Cut the BS (2, Interesting)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276202)

So why not simply have the installer do the check and then say "Your detected OS is not supported by this software. By installing, you void any official support. Install and run at your own risk! Support questions for this installation will NOT be answered. Continue installation? Y/N"? If someone installs it and gets bitten, they can't claim that they weren't warned. And no one can claim that you're breaking support intentionally to force upgrades. How is this not a win-win situation?

There are plenty of products out there with a limited range of supported platforms (typically Red Hat & SuSE if it runs on Linux) who say up front "We support X, Y, and Z. It should run on anything with a Linux kernel, but don't expect any help from us."

Re:Cut the BS (3, Insightful)

Mister Transistor (259842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276522)

Sounds good, but the luser on the tech support line won't know the tech that installed it checked "OK" when it was installed. When that luser happens to be a corporate VP, then the fun starts.

What might work in the shop adequately may not be robust enough for general use. We take OS faults in stride...

Back on topic, I've suspected artificial version lockout on many occasions, stuff that will install on XP but not 2K, even though they are almost identical "under the hood". Seems especially common on high end A/V editing/processing programs. I'm interested that TFA pointed to the Orca editor, that sounds like an quickie way to see just how many of these programs will _actually_ run under win2k.

Re:Cut the BS (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276246)


I work for a software company - and I suspect many Slashdotters do also, and there are extremely good reasons for this.

Besides taking home a paycheck?

So much for the charitable theory (3, Interesting)

toby (759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276346)

But Microsoft does, through their announced product lifecycle, [microsoft.com] promise to deliver security and other fixes for a period of up to 10 years beyond "general availability" (NOT date of license purchase, a nice loophole penalising customers who buy late in the lifecycle). According to that page, Business customers can expect security updates through 2010. Perhaps they don't classify Spyware as a security issue (would explain a lot).

Al Capone put it best. You can get more upgrades bought with flashy launch hype and a gun, than just flashy launch hype.

Windows 2000 works *reasonably* well for me ... (3, Interesting)

rubicon7 (51782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276080)

... and we mustn't have that!

Seriously, I run win2k(sp4) on an old PIII 600 with 128 megs of RAM. It does what I need it to do, if only grudgingly. Why would I "upgrade" to Vista, when I've never had any intention on "upgrading" to XP, which probably would refuse to work with my hardware anyway? (dunno really, haven't checked)

Re:Windows 2000 works *reasonably* well for me ... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276156)

> Seriously, I run win2k(sp4) on an old PIII 600 with 128 megs of RAM. It does what I need it to do, if only grudgingly. Why would I
> "upgrade" to Vista, when I've never had any intention on "upgrading" to XP, which probably would refuse to work with my hardware
> anyway? (dunno really, haven't checked)

Your hardware is an old piece of crap that is way behind the curve, and not typical of modern PCs. My phone has more than 128MBs. Sure, use it for what you've been using it for, if it works for you, but you have unrealistic expectations if you believe software companies are going to support that forever with patches, updates and improvements. What's your cut off point? 10 years? 50? Never?

Re:Windows 2000 works *reasonably* well for me ... (1)

rubicon7 (51782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276190)

I honestly expect nothing of Microsoft at this point. Win2k works as an OS on that particular "piece of crap," and will continue to do so until the machine dies, at which point I'll probably junk it.

Keeping up with the latest-and-greatest craptacular entry that Microsoft makes in the OS/app/whatever arena isn't a concern of mine. 99% of what I do is on Linux & BSD; I keep ole' Bessy around to play Starcraft, for which I don't need a machine that's anywhere near what's typical today, or what's seemingly as awe-inspiring as your cell phone.

Re:Windows 2000 works *reasonably* well for me ... (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276250)

You think Linux distros are going to be supported indefinitely? If you want to do it yourself, fine. But that's only the same as what happens to old Windows OSs. I mean, there are some businesses using MSDOS on 286s. If it works for you, fine. Don't keep up. But don't kid yourself that MS is evil because they don't want to waste money on legacy nonsense.

Re:Windows 2000 works *reasonably* well for me ... (1)

userlame (885195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276612)

You think Linux distros are going to be supported indefinitely? If you want to do it yourself, fine. But that's only the same as what happens to old Windows OSs. I mean, there are some businesses using MSDOS on 286s. If it works for you, fine. Don't keep up. But don't kid yourself that MS is evil because they don't want to waste money on legacy nonsense.

But that's not the issue here. Sure, you try to install something on an older distro, you might get failures from missing dependencies (compilation or package install), but I can't think of a case where the software says "Nope, you have an older distro therefore I refuse to install."

My $.01 (half price today only - Verizon customer's special only .0001)

Re:Windows 2000 works *reasonably* well for me ... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17276440)

Oh, it's time to be cut off (I'm running win2k on a PIII 450 with 256MB of RAM, and it works fine for plenty of tasks, especially office type tasks). I don't expect support forever, and MS has done a fair job supporting it this long. But MS should realize some people / companies could take the load off Microsoft's HUGE shoulders and fix things themselves. I suspect some third party could even make money by offering support for win2k.

Maybe, now that it's unsupported or soon to be, Microsoft could release the source code to win2k so that someone else could do the job they do not want to do?

HAHAHAHA! Just kidding.

Seriously, though. The ability to have indefinite support -- via digging into the source and fixing it oneself -- is one of the advantages of open-source solutions. Yeah, that doesn't make fixing things easy, but it would be 10x easier than trying to fix a similar problems in, say, a proprietary and abandoned win2k system, where you are at the mercy of the vendor's economic interest in pushing people to newer products. Should I need a supported operating system for my old clunker, I could install one, but probably not from MS, because there isn't enough money to be made from people who would like to keep using an old machine for as long as it is useful. I have higher-end machines too, but I don't see the point of decommissioning a perfectly functional machine just because a vendor thinks it is time to move on.

Re:Windows 2000 works *reasonably* well for me ... (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276442)

wtf is "the curve" ?

I've got 3 P75s running here, they have 80W PSUs and passive cooling. Am I supposed to ride this "curve" by upgrading them to 400W monsters ? What would I gain other than increased power usage and unused cycles ?

built in obsolence (1)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276096)

Most realworld products are designed for a specific lifetime, and some pessimists suspect that make their products break down after a set time on purpose. Closed source software could also easily build such a feature in (and who knows they haven't). What the beast from redmond is doing here is just a bit less efficient, but produces less outfall when their trick feature might be discovered. From their evil money-eyed perspective it makes perfect sense: forcing you to upgrade is good for their economy.

Windows 2003, didn't that come out at the time of the release of Debian woody?

Forcing upgrades is bad for the economy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17276206)

If you look at the economy large scale, it's actually very bad to force upgrades.
Too bad companies are driven by local economy goal, not looking at the big picture.
This is probably one of the major flaws of capitalism.

Switch to Solaris then (2, Interesting)

kerubi (144146) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276124)

Hey, Sun Solaris is free these days. If you have used Windows 2000 until now, you have used it for several years now. It's not like your initial investment in the OS hasn't delivered it's return by now. If Solaris is so great, why not just switch to that then?

People using Windows really should accept that they are be paying for it to Microsoft and that they will be paying for it in the future, for upgrades or various subscription based offerings. There are plenty of alternatives if you don't want to accept that.

Re:Switch to Solaris then (1)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276208)

"There are plenty of alternatives if you don't want to accept that."

Yes. One of the alternatives is to hack around Microsoft's artificial forced upgrade path.

Not true (1)

Tim Ward (514198) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276216)

If you have used Windows 2000 until now, you have used it for several years now. It's not like your initial investment in the OS hasn't delivered it's return by now.

I've recently done a new install of Win2k, so have had only a few months' use.

(The box was previously running NT Server, and has been retired from that role. It doesn't have the hardware to run XP, so Win2k was the obvious choice. Win2k will be fine for that particular user, until such time, perhaps, as they start getting PDF files that need a new version of the reader that won't run on Win2k, or something like that. It was the inability of modern third party software to run on NT that essentially forced the upgrade, not anything that Microsoft have done.)

Apple squeezes OS9 users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17276226)

It's fun poking at MS of course, but how come Apple gets off so easy in this respect, they clearly cut legacy support far faster than MS.

Maybe i should downgrade to win2000? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17276240)

cause the windows updater is driving me crazy with microsoft's anti spyware product. i'm not interested in it, so when i tell to the updater not to install it, and to never ask it again, it'll soon ask me to install the version of the month before, if i disable that one, next month, etc....
i HATE that thing already (and haven't even installed it yet)

Re:Maybe i should downgrade to win2000? (2, Informative)

riscthis (597073) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276538)

cause the windows updater is driving me crazy with microsoft's anti spyware product. i'm not interested in it, so when i tell to the updater not to install it, and to never ask it again, it'll soon ask me to install the version of the month before, if i disable that one, next month, etc.... i HATE that thing already (and haven't even installed it yet)
Do you mean the Malicious Software Removal Tool [microsoft.com] ? That also gets delivered on Windows 2000, IIRC. It will run exactly once after install, and check for a number of common pieces of malware. It's not really an anti-spyware product as such, just a tool for cleaning up some of the more common pieces of malware users may have installed. It does not remain resident.

Re:Maybe i should downgrade to win2000? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17276578)

That's not AntiSpyware, dipshit. That's the Malicious Software Removal Tool. There's no real reason not to let it install and run, it only runs once and it cleans up after itself very nicely.

Time? (1)

romland (192158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276260)

I dunno, in the TFA there was a long rant about the daylight saving... Doesn't W2K come installed with a client for setting time (RFC 868 or whatever)? I could have sworn it did... And wouldn't this kind of solve the problem pretty easily?

*shrug*

Re:Time? (1)

romland (192158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276282)

Ah, maybe that one doesn't fetch a new time quickly enough now that I think of it. But hell, running around in the middle of the night setting the time manually on the workstations doesn't really sound like a viable thing to do anyway.

Then again, I never was a sysadmin -- but I heard the horror stories. You lucky bunch!

Re:Time? (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276518)

Or you could just set them to check a ntp server, it's not like it's hard.

Anit-trust? (-1, Flamebait)

DJ Rubbie (621940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276270)

Isn't this anti-trust and an abuse of the virtual monopoly position on the desktop market? Let me guess, the American government is going to let this one slide again.

FUD from pro-Vista fanatics (0, Troll)

bananaendian (928499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276290)

This is non-news! Microsoft finished updating W2k long time ago (last one after SP4 was SR1 in 2005). There have been numerous bits of software and updates from MS that have only worked with XP for years now! Why is it now suddenly news that some Vista specific 'software' isn't going to work with W2k!?! And guess what! Millions of people around the world continue to use it - because it does what it supposed to do, it works, with or without this latest 'software'! Unbelievable, isn't it!

As a workstation, W2k is stable, efficient and clean, all the major software vendors in the market continue to support it (Autodesk, NI, Adobe, Mathworks etc.) and the extra features that one might want off XP haven't for me personally justified the upgrade cycle, learning curve and bloat that come with it. Needless to say what I think of Vista.

And as for longevity of Sun's support policies, don't you people realize that Land Rover has even longer support policies and longer history of reliablity then unix! So maybe all you linux people should switch your servers to 'Pinkies'. Oh, what's that complaining I hear? It doesn't run the software you want to use! Well tought shit, get with the dogma, loosers!

Re:FUD from pro-Vista fanatics (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276608)

What's a "looser" ?

MS no longer "supports" win 2000 (2, Interesting)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276296)

"The company has fairly strict policies defining when it stops supporting older products. In the case of Windows 2000, the end of what Microsoft calls "mainstream support" came in June 2005."

Since when did MS support any OS? I mean if I report a bug in Windows XP it won't be fixed. MS help desk will just tell me that's a "known issue", or they won't even admit the bug exists. So, basically I have the same level of support in Win 2000 as any other version.
All you need to do is avoid using MS products ( I mean IE, WMP, Messanger, Outlook, etc.) and you can continue to use Windows 2000 without any fear. Security updates will continue for the non-MS versions of those programs.

Solaris 2.6 support? (4, Interesting)

larien (5608) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276324)

Hrm, article is inaccurate:
(Sun) is actually still supporting users of version 2.6. ... the operating system is fully supported through 2007
Not according to Sun's own website [sun.com] where support ended in July. We've actually called up Sun and they refused the call because 2.6 was out of support.

That said, 2.6 is a pretty old release and we're overdue doing an upgrade on it, but it's inaccurate to say Sun still support it. Added to that, there are a number of Sun Alerts which come out and say that older versions aren't being evaluated for certain bugs.

Re:Solaris 2.6 support? (0, Troll)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276434)

There's a serious difference here though.
Upgrade of Solaris goes almost transparently. You load the upgrade, tweak a dozen of config files of so, reboot and the system starts up. On Windows upgrade starts with disk format. Whatever you had on your system needs to be installed from scratch. Years of customization go to hell and you start with a blank harddrive with new system, to which you must install all the software, all the data sources, all the configuration. Upgrade from 2.6 to 2.7 is just upgrade, replace updated files, keep the rest. Upgrade from w2k to w2k3server is more like OS change - destroy old system, install new, rebuild contents from scratch.

And somebody asked why MS is hated the other day (1, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276334)

The simple answer is that MS is not only illegal, but unethical. I do not blame them. But sadly, too many fools make the choice about where a program runs and will back Window only rather than thinking long term.

You love me, you really love me ! (5, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276352)

When my mom squeezes me, it means she loves me.
I think that's why Microsoft does it too.
I still haven't figured out why Uncle Tom squeezes me though. :/

Re:You love me, you really love me ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17276436)

I know, I know .... it's because you're his favourite niece?

Self-competition! It's *SO* nice. For MS. (2, Interesting)

shanen (462549) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276370)

But MS screws the users. As usual. That's what happens when any one company has so much power to abuse. In the absense of real competition the old versions of their own products are just nuisances that prevent them from ramming new garbage down our throats.

Frankly I'm sick and tired of it. I have installed Ubuntu Linux as a cross-boot on many of my machines. Unfortunately, several things are still making it hard for me to abandon Microsoft completely. One of them is actually Microsoft's DRM being used by a website whose content I like (though the website itself reeks like the proverbial big dog's m0e). (Does anyone have a solid connection inside Comedy Central that they're willing to contact?)

Re:Self-competition! It's *SO* nice. For MS. (2, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276372)

That's what happens when any one company has so much power to abuse. In the absense of real competition

The irony is that in the US.. and it literally would be any one. Just take out your local financial section and throw a dart at the page.. yep.. that one's got it's greasy bribing hooks in the government too.

The antitrust law here is kind of like the bill of rights, an antiquated and curious roll of vintage toilet paper.

It's a sin to bear false witniss. (2, Interesting)

the_REAL_sam (670858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276398)

I still use Windows 2000, and I like it. MS still provides the updates/service packs, etc, for download. Since they're doing that, I'm a naysayer to the accusation.

Personally I suspect that they are still making enough cash on the current releases that they don't have to resort to petty tricks. IF they wanted to pull the plug on the older O.S.'s then they could probably do a much better job than disabling software.

Anyhow, it's better to be unassuming than to assume they would be dishonest. We really don't don't know what their motive was, and, like them or not, we shouldn't just assume their action was dishonest or that it was done for an insidious reason.

The bottom line is: it's a sin to bear false witniss, even if it's against Microsoft.

Win2k squeeze (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17276406)

Kind of amusing considering that XP is, primarily, a cosmetic upgrade of the shell, plus a few minor changes to drivers. The kernel itself is even only a minor version # change from that of 2k's.

Of software that claims not to work, I know of only that does not do so(a game), but that can be corrected by adding a dll not supplied to win2k users. The dll works just great on a 2k system. Everything else that has claimed not to work was easily installed by forcing the only installer that I've seen check(M$'s) to skip the OS check part of the install, after which, the software works just peachily.

Of course, this is even more amusing if you consider that most companies that I've seen using windows, are still using win2k for all of their desktops, and even for some of their servers. (The servers are usually more mixed though, being anything from 2k to *BSD...)

IOW, it's a simple attempt at yet another money grab by M$. They want to force all of those businesses to upgrade, and they want them to do it to Vista. Typical M$ marketing practice by leveraging their monopoly.

Re:Win2k squeeze (2, Informative)

riscthis (597073) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276560)

Kind of amusing considering that XP is, primarily, a cosmetic upgrade of the shell, plus a few minor changes to drivers. The kernel itself is even only a minor version # change from that of 2k's.
Are these changes also minor? http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/01/12/XPK ernel/ [microsoft.com] (and that article refers to the RTM version of Windows XP, so doesn't even touch on the changes introduced in XP SP2)

Article should be entitled... (3, Funny)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276486)

How Microsoft is pushing Windows 2000 users to use a non-Windows operating system.

Another windows 2k user here (2, Insightful)

Sleeping Kirby (919817) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276504)

I've been offered free windows XP licenses. I've thought about getting a free windows vista license (it's nice to have friends), but you know what? I just don't feel it's worth it. Right now, I have two computers sitting side by side. One needs to be turned off every couple of days or so or the performance suffers. That said machine also can do a total of 1 thing better (to my knowledge) than the other that machine also makes my life harder when I need to go change the security settings on. It also insists that everything .jpg or .bmp file I view should be in thumbnail mode rather than the lovely detail mode that actually tells me something useful about the file.

What it really comes down to is that I like Windows 2000 and still prefer it to XP and Vista. I don't feel MS is in the wrong to not support and I understand the business decision not to support 2k, but it's not like they ever supported it much so I won't be missing it much. They'll still support xp because it's newer and (sarcasm) so much different from 2k os-wise(/sarcasm) than xp. And I'm looking into Linux as my next os because I don't feel that your OS should require 2 gigs of ram minimum just to run. Oh yeah, there's also the drm root-kit--erhm I mean, drm system put on vista for our protection (wink-wink, nudge-nudge). Because, after all, we only own something if some large media organization say we do.

Yeah, I know this will be flamed at by someone using 1 or more of the 3 following points:
1) You should just shut up!
2) MS is right in what they're doing and they're always right. (insert ritualistic bowing to a bill gates statue here)
3) You're a stupid windows user and you're stuck there because you're stupid.

To which I'll reply with, by that argument so should you, yeah, they're right in not supporting it, I've already stated that and if FFXI can run on Linux, I'd have be there a long time ago.

Is MSFT all that unreasonable? (1)

iritant (156271) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276550)

First of all, it's really not the OS developers that are at issue here, but the application developers. These are the people who will get the calls when something in Office 2007 breaks on Windows 2000. Even before those calls come in, there is a QA matrix that has to be satisfied. The more supported versions the longer it takes to get new software out the door. Moreover, sometimes those OS version differences cause ugliness in the application code, particularly when some might be classed "cruddy little fixes" for a version that is obsolete.

So there are a lot of reasons for MSFT to not want to do support W2K. If you don't like their business practices, don't buy their product.

uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17276558)

Last I checked, Vista Office 2007 didn't install on my Kaypro either. What's the problem? Microsoft isn't making your old software stop working (my O2000 is doing just fine, thanks). Why do people feel microsoft "owes" them something like this? Why aren't we seeing stories about how Vista Office and SQL won't install on win95 or Ubuntu?

Meanwhile, you have to do the same thing for... (1)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276588)

...old apps on new Windows. Frankly, companies that put OS checks into the installation package can go screw themselves. Feel free to not support it, but don't go aborting an install just because you don't like the OS's version.

this is like (1)

williamstome (1001708) | more than 7 years ago | (#17276690)

this is like complaining that a movie was released only for dvd, not vhs! Technology changes, and shouldn't have to lag behind for ya.
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