Saturday, June 9, 2012

Is it time to dump Windows XP?

Here is from a Cloudeight Newsletter:

Jen wants to know if it's time for her to dump Windows XP:

Hi! I love your newsletters. I bought my Windows XP computer in 2003 and other than putting in a new hard drive I haven't had any problems with it. But I know my computer is getting old and I'd like your opinion on whether you think now is good time to buy a new Windows 7 computer or should I wait for Windows 8 to come out? I'm sure there are others like me who are wondering the same thing.

Our answer:

This is a personal choice. Windows 8 Release Preview just came out yesterday -- so it looks like Microsoft is on track to release Windows 8 to the public in October (2012). They've announced that anyone who buys a Windows 7 computer this summer will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $14.95. If you wait until late August when manufacturers are dumping their Windows 7 machines and building new Windows 8 machines for the October market -- you'll get big discounts on brand new Windows 7 computers and a coupon that will allow you to upgrade it to the best version of Windows 8 (Pro) for $14.95. Keep that in mind.

Now for the other side of the coin. Here are some reasons you might want to stay with Windows XP:

1. You will still have free support! Microsoft will support Windows XP until April 2014. The reason they have to do this is because of the netbook craze. Microsoft was caught by surprise when netbook sales soared and Windows Vista wouldn't work on netbooks because it's too resource hungry. Microsoft had to retreat and re-release Windows XP because it was all they had that would run on netbooks. Netbook sales were excellent in 2009 even in a slumping economy. Netbook sales have plummeted though -- tablets have stolen their thunder.

Since many of netbooks sold came with Windows XP, Microsoft, by policy, was obligated to provide support for XP for 5 more years. Hence, anyone who's using Windows XP will continue to get updates, security patches and service packs until April 2014. So although XP might be old it's still a fully-supported operating system.

2. All your programs will keep running: You don't have to worry about program incompatibilities. What runs on Windows Vista will (normally) run on Windows 7, but that's not true of Windows XP. Programs that run well on XP may not run well, or at all, on Windows 7. Plus, those of you using XP have one of the best all-around email programs ever made: Outlook Express. You won't have to deal with "Windows Live Mail" unless you're a masochist and decide to install it on your XP computer.

3.You won't have to learn a new operating system. There's a steeper learning curve jumping from Windows XP to Windows 7 than from Windows Vista to Windows 7. Sticking with XP means you won't have to spend your time getting used to a different operating system.

4.You'll save money: Microsoft makes billions of dollars without being innovative. Windows is Windows and both Vista and Windows 7 could have just as easily been updates to Windows XP - but Microsoft can't charge you $120 for an update, nor can it sell updates to PC makers. Microsoft once was an innovator and a leader, but those days are gone. Microsoft hasn't released anything really new in years. Microsoft is still a money-mill though. Microsoft knows how to make money, that's what they do best. If you like Windows XP, save your money.

5. Does your XP computer do what you want it to do? If your XP computer does everything you want it to do with a minimum of fuss or aggravation then stick with it. By the time Microsoft support for XP expires, Microsoft will be working on "Windows 9" - meaning you'll have saved money by not upgrading to Windows 7 and then to Windows 8. By the time support for Windows XP ends, your computer will be as old as some of those characters in the Bible and you'll be ready for a brand new computer -- maybe with Windows 9 on it. If not, then Windows 8 will have most of the bugs worked out of it by 2014....we hope.

For those of you who want to upgrade, it's all good. We could give you some good reasons to upgrade too. But if you're a Windows XP user who's satisfied, keep on keeping on - there is still much to be said for the last really innovative operating system Microsoft ever produced. It's true, Windows Vista & Windows 7 are not innovative, they're just evolutions of Windows XP. Windows 8 is an innovative operating system -- but it may be a little too innovative for many peoples' tastes.


Anonymous said...

Agree entirely. Well said. XP's only one minor limitation if you do graphic stuff is it's not 64bit.

Anonymous said...

If like me, you have a lot of what Microsoft refer to as 'legacy' software - programs that run fine on XP, you will find most of them will not run on Vista and later versions of Windows (even in compatability mode).

I'm staying with the proven XP for as long as possible.

epobirs said...

Windows Live Mail is a direct descendent of Outlook Express. Nearly all of the changes are improvements. The idea that someone would be better off staying with OE is bizarre.

There are two primary reasons older software fails on Windows 7. First, 16-bit support was discontinued. Many programs that were themselves 32-bit continued to use 16-bit installers because the companies were too cheap to update.

Second, starting with Vista, a lot of bad practices regarding the Registry, which NEVER have been allowed by the OS going all the way back to Win95, were finally restricted from occurring. Third party software doing this stuff (Intuit was a major offender) trashed a lot of machines when it went wrong. Microsoft finally did what they should have done from Day 1, especially on NT.

But Windows 7 users who have a version capable of joining a domain have an a free solution. XP Mode is a virtual XP instance that is a free download from Microsoft. Anything that worked on Xp will work in XP Mode but in a way that makes it appear to be running natively on Windows 7.

Personally, I'd hate to still be using circa 2003 hardware. The cost of a new machine and what you get for the money these days is fantastic. If it isn't a severe expense, moving to a new machine after almost ten years on the previous one, should very rewarding.

Also, people who have been promising a major feature and not delivering for over a decade shouldn't be claiming somebody else lacks innovation in their work.

Yes, I'm talking about those pesky tables. It is a really crippling deficit for a lot of jobs I might otherwise use Atlantis to perform.

Anonymous said...

The best way to go is to dump windows all together. Goto and download and burn the iso for your cd, dvd or use a usb. Then change your boot option for the above choice of media. When it loads pick try without installing. At start screen you can pick the K in lower panel left side to try K>Applications>Internet>Firefox. Make sure Firefox is getting the internet. See what you think by trying other menu applications. If you like it, click on install and follow the instructions. When it starts to download you can go to lunch. When you get back reboot--you'll now have the ultimate in desktop space--no virusses! And you will have updates of any software you want for nothing!

Anonymous said...

The best OS Microsoft ever made was Windows XP Professional x64. A 64bit OS with the same interface as the 32bit Windows XP. It simply works. It's stable. I reboot maybe once a year.

I absolutely hate how Microsoft changed things around in Vista and Windows 7. Change for the sake of change is not an improvement. Changing the interface for the sake of change, does not make things better. Hiding stuff from the user for the sake of change, does not make things better. Changing paths and locations for the sake of change, does not make things better.

If I ever have to move away from Windows XP Pro x64, and thus have to learn a new interface, I might as well move away from Windows and check out Linux.

Devin McGowen said...

I would just like to thank you for a very well thought out and well written answer to one of the questions that I am asked most, by those (poor misguided souls) who consider little old me a computer guru. I may just end up offering up the link to this page if/when I get asked this question again!

Anonymous said...

Also, thanks from me. Last year I bought two more netbooks with XP just in case my current one died. I will _not_ go to Vista/7/8/9/whatever. The Ubuntu machines are arriving next week and I will run Atlantis, The Bat!, and some other software in a virtual box. Some programs, such as the Opera browser, offer Linux versions.
Another thanks is due to you Atlantis gurus who make migrating to another machine a totally painless experience! -Best regards, Emcat

Anonymous said...

Actually,to resume a lot of blah, blah, blah, Windows XP is the best OS Microsoft has made till today; very stable, no childish-stupid makeups, no software (including any kind of portables) limitations. See what Microsoft has done with their recent OS's...stupidity for people who loves their makeups.

Anonymous said...

I tried Windows 7 but it caused me endless problems like System File Checker not working and the empty Windows Components box, to name but two. For someone like my mother who never changes anything on her computer Windows 7 works just fine, but if you are continually installing, uninstalling and updating things then it gets messed up in ways that never happened with XP. I intend to keep using XP after the April 2014 deadline using a host-based intrusion detection system to protect against security threats that would have been countered with updates. I suppose eventually I will move to andLinux which is claimed to be able to run Windows programs without a virtual machine.

Rodger said...

I realize my reply is late, but I have to put in to this debate.

it is now August 2014, and I as a Tech, routinely install Windows to many PC's
XP though only 32 bit, is as viable today as it was at its height.
while many would have you upgrade, those that say this, either love the new tech no matter how bad it is, or have a vested interest in making you update (eg want to make money from you)
many Anti-Virus companies are dropping XP support, but that does not mean you have to,
XP is a tried and tested OS that works, so unless your machine is dying and you want a new one, there is no need to update to a new OS

Mary Waite said...

OK, this is a little bit different. When Microsoft decided to dump the best os they had made, I decided that's it!
I made the switch to Linux Mint OS. It is so great, fast and easy. I use a program called, wine, to run windows programs. I am happy to report that Atlantis works without problem with wine on LinuxMint. You might give linux a try, it is free. Install it on an old computer and see if you like it. There are thousands of Linux programs that work fine, and they are free! In this case, free doesn't mean less, it means more. Thanks, Mary

tralam said...

Honestly, for most people who are used to Windows and aren't a bit technically savvy, no flavor of Linux is is easy to use and painless. I have some level of expertise in Windows (make sysprep updated images, make unattended applications, etc.) and the transition to Linux is not a smooth one. What Linux fans often don't acknowledge is that Windows is actually a very good operating system. With Windows 10 basically already here, and having had Windows 8.x for a few years already, I must say I still prefer Windows 7. Windows XP is good but for larger screens the UI really is not optimal anymore and it is getting less and less secure. I think Windows 7 is still the best option for a true desktop OS and can be until at least 2020. Just my two cents.