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Windows XP SP3 Postponed Until 2008 259

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the wait-or-upgrade dept.
Rockgod quotes an article saying "With Microsoft now saying that its next major service pack for Windows XP will not ship until 2008, some Windows users are wondering whether the software upgrade will ever be released." and then later "Michael Cherry, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, agrees that Microsoft may very well decide to drop XP Service Pack 3. "It absolutely could happen. Microsoft is under no obligation to produce any service packs, ever," he explains. "They feel that because these fixes are available through the auto-update that there's less need to create a service pack."
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Windows XP SP3 Postponed Until 2008

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  • I thought that the SPs were large(ish) changes that were not just a bundle of all the old patches. Forinstance, when ever I do a reinstall of 2K I need to first patch up to SP4, and then start the auto update stuff....

    Oh well, I still don't use XP, and I am still confuzzled by MS.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by viking099 (70446)
      Service packs are largely comprised of all the service updates and software patches that MS releases between major service packs. They're basically a "catchup" package that allows people to ensure that their software is completely up to date up to a certain time. They occasionally bundle in extra stuff, but IIRC they didn't do that all too often before XP SP2.

      Since people's machines are nominally downloading and applying these updates automatically, there's less of a need to release a "catchup" package, sin
    • by MtViewGuy (197597)
      We're less likely to see a full Windows XP Service Pack given the fact that XP Service Pack 2 already forces you to either automatically update patches or at least inform the user of new patches.
  • by Shawn is an Asshole (845769) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:39AM (#16593338)
    Provide an update rollout? Really, have you seen the massive amount of updates required to apply against SP2 on a fresh install?
    • by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@@@gmail...com> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:46AM (#16593472) Homepage

      Slipstream SP2 into your installation CD.

      I don't understand how, but installing SP2 over a fresh SP0 install of XP causes the boot process to slow down to nothing compared to SP0's boot time, but if you slipstream SP2 onto an install CD and install from there, the boot process is now just as fast as SP0's. WTF? I still don't get how such an improvement is possible, but I'm swearing by slipstreaming now...

      Plus it's convenient, since you have most of the updates already (By most I mean you'll only find 70 some items on Windows Update instead of 200).

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by quantum bit (225091)
        Yes, but the problem is that even with a slipstreamed SP2 (which is all I use anymore), there's still 60-70 updates that it has to download and install. That's a number which will only get bigger over the next year.

        That's why we want SP3, so that it can be slipstreamed in and vastly reduce that number.
        • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @11:32AM (#16594248) Homepage
          you CAN slipstream all updates into windows. I suggest you get up to speed where the rest of us have been for over a years now...

          nlite [nliteos.com] integrates ALL patches, fixes, hotfixes, etc... into a windwos install CD. hell I can even automate the de-xpify process so I dont have to do it on every machine.

          Service packs and traditional slipstreaming is very old hat as microsoft does not care anymore.
      • by Shawn is an Asshole (845769) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @11:28AM (#16594166)
        I did that when SP2 was released. What I'm talking about is the large amount of patches needed to apply against SP2 after doing a fresh install. There is a large amount of updates needed, here's a list:

        Windows XP SP2 - Critical Updates
        KB873339: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB885835: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB885836: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB886185: Critical Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB887742: Critical Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB888302: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB890046: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB890859: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB891781: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB893756: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB896358: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB896422: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB896423: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB896424: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB896428: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB899587: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB899589: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB899591: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB900725: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB901017: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB901190: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB901214: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB905414: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB905749: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB908519: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB908531: Security Update for Windows XP (v2) (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB911280: Security Update for Windows XP (v2) (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB911562: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB911564: Security Update for Plug-in do Windows Media Player (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB911567: Cumulative Security Update for Outlook Express for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB911927: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB912919: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB913580: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB914388: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB914389: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB917422: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB917537: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB917953: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB918439: Security Update for Internet Explorer for Windows XP SP2 (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB918899: Cumulative Update for Internet Explorer for Windows XP SP2 (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB919007: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB920214: Security Update for Outlook Express for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB920670: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB920683: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra text for lameness filter...)
        KB920685: Security Update for Windows XP (...extra t
      • And slipstream this, too: RyanVM's Windows XP Post-SP2 Update Pack [ryanvm.net]. It'll take care of most of those updates left. Makes life a hell fo a lot easier.
    • It were 2 updates in the first run (new windows installer and new update-system), then 67 critical patches in the second run, then 6 critical patches in the third run.
  • I don't think they will put Aero or other big dev they put on Vista in a free upgrade, so what would be left for a SP except the new DRM?
  • Sounds sensible (Score:3, Insightful)

    by clickclickdrone (964164) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:40AM (#16593354)
    The whole SP thing is a throwback to the bad old days of 28.8k modems and CDs by post. Now we can add the fixes as they come along so why bother with a monolithic chunk of code that must be a testing nightmare for MS as well as corporate end users?
    The only thing I can see that will be missed is that SPs often slipped in a new feature or two but no doubt someone somewhere thought it would be good business to stop that and insist people plonk down the $ for Vista. As per usual with suits, that's short term thinking. If you're being obliged to do a full OS upgrade you may as well consider other options like Linux.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Honestly, a service pack is a pretty good opportunity to perform a more significant refactoring of a system then you'd want to on a weekly/monthy patch. Basically, if you have a security flaw (for example) a patch would plug the hole trying to limit the risk associated with this flaw whereas a service pack would actually try to fix the problem. The reason you'd want to do it in two stages is to increase the ammount of testing that is done on the larger fix.
    • Re:Sounds sensible (Score:5, Informative)

      by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:50AM (#16593556)
      The whole SP thing is a throwback to the bad old days of 28.8k modems and CDs by post. Now we can add the fixes as they come along so why bother with a monolithic chunk of code that must be a testing nightmare for MS as well as corporate end users?

      Because you can read the SP from a CD and have the fixes installed before you connect the computer to the internet at all.
      In the past, there have been some security holes that could be exploited as soon as your PC is on the net, making it a race between the malware and the patches which gets to your PC first. Loading the SP from a CD removes this problem.
    • Because downloading a single service pack is somewhat quicker for a new machine than it checking for every single update required and the longer an unpatched new machine is on the net the quicker it can get rooted. Plus with lots of little patches what you really end up with is myriad versions of the OS since not everyone will have every patch , leading to god knows how many minor (or not) glitches and issues with other software. A single service pack can be considered a fairly major OS upgrade which you ei
    • As others have pointed out, there are a massive number of fixes required for XP SP2 making it a PITA for any new deployment.

      Now larger ships can slipstream these fixes into their installation source thus reducing the pain but adding the pain to build a new slipstreamed image every so often.

      Of course Microsoft (and many users) will say that any new deployments should be on Vista but many many organizations don't want to run a mixed environment and many more will wait a while to see how stable Vista is (i.e.
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      The whole SP thing is a throwback to the bad old days of 28.8k modems and CDs by post. Now we can add the fixes as they come along so why bother with a monolithic chunk of code that must be a testing nightmare for MS as well as corporate end users?

      Because some people are still running modems?

      Or because you can't install XP clean and get it patched up unless you're either behind a firewall, or are willing to be pwned before you finish the install? As I recall, the latest statistic is less than 3 minutes on

      • by oc255 (218044)
        Perhaps when it's connected to "the network" outside of a firewall. I've seen this on SP1 and on SP2 (firewall off). .exe files just start showing up in the repl directory and all this weird stuff happens. It's pretty crazy. Happened in less than 3 minutes. I honestly don't know how they know. They scan all the time? What are the chances? Is everyone scanning? It's really frightening, all that scanning traffic.
    • Because for those of us who end up building a lot of boxes, it's a damn sight quicker than having to go through the auto-update process, which generally requires several reboots and restarts as the server works its way through the list of fixes. Especially when the client has a slow internet pipe. A service pack, or at least a roll-up, would make that a lot easier. And yes, I know there are ways to make your own roll-up, but I'd rather have one that Microsoft has it least nominally tested rather than som
    • by COMON$ (806135)
      OK fine, as a sysadmin I have to add some reason to this discussion. So far I have seen people whine about how service packs are so unecessary. Yes they are unecessary, for home users, but you tinkers forget that there is a bigger picture to the world. We are called networks. For sys admins who want to slipstream the new service pack and not have to push out 100+ updates when we deploy 60 PCs, they are a godsend. Yes you can still slip in each patch separately, but that is a pain in the ass. And yes,
    • I agree with you 100%. There are tons of Windows shops that haven't even installed SP2 because that monolithic collection of patches introduces just too many uncertain factors. Individually-released updates give admins the power to install whichever updates they feel are important and safe enough for their enterprise.
    • by macklin01 (760841)

      The whole SP thing is a throwback to the bad old days of 28.8k modems and CDs by post. Now we can add the fixes as they come along so why bother with a monolithic chunk of code that must be a testing nightmare for MS as well as corporate end users?

      Another good aspect of having SP's is that it's a lot easier to say that "Our software requires WinXP SP2 or later" than "Our software requires WinXP with all security updates through at least kb1048482393". Likewise, having fixed "snapshots" in the form of S

  • > "They feel that because these fixes are available through the auto-update that there's less need to create a service pack."

    What about the people who make their own install media with the service packs already integrated?
  • by writermike (57327) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:40AM (#16593368)
    Seriously, are there problems? I've not run into any in a long, long time.

    Oh, no. I shouldn't have said that.
  • by raitchison (734047) <robert@aitchison.org> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:40AM (#16593370) Homepage Journal
    They killed Windows NT 4.0 SP7 in the ßeta process
    They killed Windows 2000 SP5 in the pre-ßeta stage

    Given this track record of killing off Service Packs shortly before they are released, as some (including me) might suspect in an effort to drive adoption of their newer software (which makes them money unlike a service pack) I'll be extremely surprised if Windows XP SP3 is ever released.

    IMO, what they are saying now is just lip service/stalling and they have already made the decision.
    • by Red Flayer (890720) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:55AM (#16593628) Journal
      Emphasis mine:
      They killed Windows NT 4.0 SP7 in the ßeta process They killed Windows 2000 SP5 in the pre-ßeta stage

      What is a Betaeta process/stage?

      Or do you bank at an ATM machine?

      I happen to agree with you, though, that SP3 is dead in the water -- unless Vista bombs and there is a lot of Linux switchover. Announcing a delay allows MS to change their mind later, if necessary, so that they can release SP3 if it becomes a good decision to do so.
    • by lawpoop (604919)
      Are you aware that the character 'ß' is pronounced 'beta'? So in essence, what you have written is 'BETAeta' -- kind of like writing 3hree or 4our.
    • by jrumney (197329)

      And extrapolating out, Vista SP1 will also be delayed indefinitely, as will the release candidate for whatever comes next.

      Better sell those Microsoft shares now, this company doesn't look like its got much life left in it!

    • by guruevi (827432)
      Whoa: Look at the progress they're making though:

      NT4: SP7 killed in Beta
      2000: SP5 killed pre-Beta
      XP: SP3 killed before Alpha

      so if we continue

      Vista: Some people might expect SP1 but it's never going to come
      Blackcomb/Vienna or any other Vista-follow-up might just never come... watch the signs and heed my prophecy.
  • Why bother at all? The next breathe M$ makes is that Vista is going to be out very soon since RC2 is out and is the final release before vista goes gold?
  • by owlstead (636356) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:42AM (#16593396)
    "They feel that because these fixes are available through the auto-update that there's less need to create a service pack."

    Yes, much more fun for all those admins at high secure locations (without internet access). It is almost impossible to install a new Windows machine using XP, since you will have to do a lot of updating after the installation itself. Even if you have a dedicated server this is a real pain, since you will have to wait for all the tiny updates to complete. It's hard enough to get Internet Explorer or DirectX installed as it is.

    And those with only a modem will really enjoy this. Previously you just bought a CD-ROM with the service pack. Not anymore it seems.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by MrLogic17 (233498)
      Dude, ever hear of integrating hotfixes? Just like slipstreaming Service Packs, only smaller. When I deploy an XP machine, it doesn't need ANY updates. It's hours faster, and takes a large burden off your internet pipe.

      It's written for 2k, but works for XP too...
      http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/ser vicepacks/sp3/hfdeploy.htm [microsoft.com]

    • And what about people buying Windows in the first place? Last I checked, they don't update the CDs every time there's a security patch, and many OEMs don't patch before they send the machine out the door--they just install the latest service pack and let the user install the updates.

      Unless Microsoft is going to be releasing operating systems more frequently, you'll need some sort of versioning to allow for enitre stable builds after the gold-master, so that they'll be releasing updated retail versions and

  • I wonder if there is any good reason any more to do monolithic service pack releases. I mean, if you instead just release a series of small patches as each bug or feature is squashed/added, in the end you achieve the same effect in an incrimental fashion, and your users get better overall functionality sooner rather than later. What would be the benefit of throwing a whole bunch of stuff out there all at once instead?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by quantum bit (225091)
      The main reason is because service packs can do what they call "slipstreaming". You apply the service pack against the original install CD, create an image from that, and burn yourself a new CD. When you install from your new CD you already have everything that was part of the service pack, so you have a lot less that needs to be downloaded after the install is complete. Since the files on the CD were updated, it doesn't take any longer to install the OS than normal (versus waiting 15 minutes for an SP t
      • Hadn't thought of that - and now that you mention it, I have done some slipstreaming before to make a nice XP disk for myself. However, couldn't you also slipstream in the individual smaller patches? I seem to recall that being an option in one of the slipstreaming programs I used. I could be mistaken though. Ah well, good point in any case.
        • I don't think you can do it with the "offical" slipstreaming process. I've seen guides to doing that before, but basically they involve copying all of the setup files for the individual patches onto the CD and using a custom install script to apply the patches near the end of the install. Seems really inefficient plus you have to use an answer file which means your setup process is no longer interactive in a few places (notably disk partitioning IIRC).

          It might also be possible to manually replace individu
      • Almost all hotfixes released in the past few years have also been slipstreamable.

        We use this for our XP and Windows 2003 media.

        For XP you start with a clean (virgin) XP SP2 media, install it, then run Microsoft Update to determine what fixes Microsoft thinks that system needs. You manually download all those fixes and do a slipsream setup to integrate into your installation media.

        The process is the same with Windows 2003 only we start with Windows 2003 R2 media.

        The problem is that you pretty much h

  • It's obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jackharrer (972403) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:42AM (#16593410)
    Microsoft will not produce SP3 because of very simple reason: they want Vista to replace XP. It's cash, a lot of it.
    Everybody knows that Win XP has more holes than swiss cheese. And it started to get Joe User. So they will upgrade just because of being scared of 'all those viruses, you know...'. So they'll be effectively forced to buy new system. And Miscosoft will be able to withdraw support for XP faster - which is good for them - they don't earn any cash from supporting it and it costs a lot.
    I think they'll not make the same mistake like with Win2000 that is still quite alive and kicking because of good compatibility with XP and SP3 they released for it.
    We can expect that Vista will quite fast become quite 'not exactly' compatible with XP. And without SP3 situation will get only worse. That's called strategy. On a big scale.
    • by Viol8 (599362)
      "they don't earn any cash from supporting it"

      No , but they earn a lot of goodwill and god knows they need it right now.
    • by Salsaman (141471)
      Exactly my thoughts. Why bother patching XP, when they can simply force people to "upgrade" to Vista instead.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by powerlord (28156)

        Exactly my thoughts. Why bother patching XP, when they can simply force people to "upgrade" to Vista instead.

        ... because once people are getting a new machine, they might not do what you think they will.

        Linux might not be ready for Joe Sixpack, but he might buy a Mac ("I hear it can run windows too", "they sure do have good ads on TV", "timmy swears BY his. All I've done is swear AT my computer.")

        Making people feel "warm and fuzzy" about their OS (i.e. releasing a big update like a service pack to show yo

  • by gentimjs (930934) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:43AM (#16593424) Journal
    I thought I heard that Vista was coming out in january? Whew, close call! Here I was thinking that I needed to make a vista strategy for the company, but after hearing this and knowing Vista wont be out till 2008, thats a big load off my back.
  • by winchester (265873) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:47AM (#16593480)
    Sounds like what happened with Windows 2000. Service pack 5 never materialised, but a security roll-up package was released to somewhat satisfy major customers. My guess is that the same thing will happen with Windows XP. A security roll-up package will be released at some point because the number of post-SP2 patches is approaching insane amounts. But other than that, Microsoft will be far, far too busy pushing Longhorn Server out of the door.
    • by kabocox (199019)
      Sounds like what happened with Windows 2000. Service pack 5 never materialised, but a security roll-up package was released to somewhat satisfy major customers. My guess is that the same thing will happen with Windows XP. A security roll-up package will be released at some point because the number of post-SP2 patches is approaching insane amounts. But other than that, Microsoft will be far, far too busy pushing Longhorn Server out of the door.

      Is it just me or does it seems like if MS just did scurity roll-u
  • by FridayBob (619244) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:57AM (#16593666) Homepage
    But then again, without any real competition, why should they care? Once again, it's clear that Microsoft's primary obligation is to its stockholders -- you can be sure that they're doing the very best they can to maximize their profits.
    • You crack me up. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by argent (18001)
      you can be sure that they're doing the very best they can to maximize their profits.

      Hardly.

      If Microsoft wanted to maximise their profits they would have jumped at the chance to split the company up so the Windows team wouldn't be able to piss in everyone else's milk, and all the other products they've had to drop or cripple because they couldn't be turned into life-support for Windows or Office could be created and sold. Microsoft is desperate for a way to get people to Buy More Windows, everything they've
  • I guess it's official then, end of the line for Windows XP except for patches until end of life. By 2008, Jane Consumer will have bought a new PC with Vista on it, or won't even care if some post-PC device is providing the desired functionality at lower cost and greater ease of use. I personally don't want to tangle with anymore XP service packs anyway. So if SP3 is canceled, it really won't matter anymore.
  • by javilon (99157) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @11:05AM (#16593772) Homepage
    This has to do with WGA. With a service pack, you can just burn a cd, install Windows XP without the network plugged and then upgrade the installation to the latest SP without having to connect to the network.

    M$ doesn't want you to be able to do that. They want you to use the network updater so they can test the validity of your license.

    Whether you are in a highly secure setting without internet access or behind a modem in a 3rd world country, they don't care. They want to check your license.

  • At least with a service pack, you can download it and install it on non-connected computers.

    I guess they dont want customers that arent 'on-line', where they can maintain control.
  • by mmell (832646) <mmell@hotmail.com> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @11:29AM (#16594174)
    Granted, installing WinXP followed by the latest SP's from CD-ROM is a secure way to install a machine with some measure of confidence that it won't be hacked immediately upon exposure to the internet, but . . .

    Most people who are responsible for such systems are presumably intelligent enough to slipstream [vorck.com] the latest Service Pack AND all current security patches onto a WinXP installation CD which can then be used to install a machine - in fact, this would be the recommended procedure, as it results not only in the machine having the latest SP from the start but also all the miscellaneous security updates which have been published since the last SP.

    Remember, a fresh install of Windows XP + Service Pack 2 is still vulnerable to known exploits. Being able to incorporate all the security updates which are available at the time the machine is brought online results in a signifigantly more secure situation (although Microsoft's well-documented history of ignoring certain inconvenient security holes until they get their collective nose rubbed in them would still make me nervous, personally).

    Of course, this only works for i386 versions of Windows - from what I can gather, it's not possible to slipstream the x86_64 version. If I've got that wrong, somebody please correct me (and provide a link to instructions).

  • by kerashi (917149) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @11:43AM (#16594398)
    I live in a rural area where most of the people are on dialup. I like to provide my friends and family with the security patches so they need so they don't have to spend weeks downloading them through dialup. A service pack would make this job a LOT easier, but as it is I have to rely on AutoPatcher [neowin.net] to handle this.

    Microsoft doesn't seem to want to make it easy. If you want to get your patches from Microsoft, you have to either use Windows Update on every single machine, or sift through hundreds of pages to individually download the updates you need. It shouldn't be that hard.

    I have four computers running Windows. I want to download updates ONCE for all of them, without wasting bandwidth and without all the hassle that Microsoft wants to put you through to do that. AutoPatcher does this (and hats off to those guys for doing so) so why can't Microsoft get their act together and start putting out something similar?
    • by NineNine (235196)
      I have four computers running Windows. I want to download updates ONCE for all of them, without wasting bandwidth and without all the hassle that Microsoft wants to put you through to do that. AutoPatcher does this (and hats off to those guys for doing so) so why can't Microsoft get their act together and start putting out something similar?

      You should try using Windows XP. They have this cool thing called Windows Automatic Update. You don't even do anything. Once it's turned on (in Control Panel), it ju
  • I tend to think that MS cranks out fixes the same way that AV vendors crank out new sigs. Maybe the actual risk of not patching is less than the operational cost of micromanaging your machines? Is MS planning on some built in compatibility issues that would make SP3 or Vista necessary? If not then it probably doesn't make much sense to do it.
  • there was no cake for the XP team. :-(
  • it that it is a "quick" baseline in one single kit.

    Downloading a whole bucket of patches for each machine is a waste of network bandwidth, instead the SP can be downloaded once and applied to all machines.

    But of course M$ wants everyone to switch to Vista instead and one way is to make life miserable for the users of earlier OS versions.

  • by Archfeld (6757) * <treboreel@live.com> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @04:44PM (#16600242) Journal
    for XP support. As the Vista License stands my employer already stated we WILL UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES upgrade to the Vista client. We currently have more than 110,000 copies of XP and 4500 copies of 2003. We have turned down EVERY copy and trial offer that M$ has made to premier members and made it known to our M$ rep that Vista is a NO GO at our place. How long the management hold out is unclear but they are standing firm over the re-install issues, and their 'new' rip you off all the way licensing terms.
    We've been in serious talks with 2 or 3 unamed Linux providers for some BIG TIME migration *crosses fingers but doesn't hold breath*.

What is worth doing is worth the trouble of asking somebody to do.

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