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Microsoft Operating Systems Upgrades Windows IT

Time To Dump XP? 1213

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the wasn't-that-ship-date dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Gartner is saying it's time to plan your migration now (if you havent already done it). I for one know my company still has loads of users still on XP, citing training costs (time and money) rather than software license fees. Is my company alone in wanting to stay in the 1990s or is Windows 7 the way forward?"
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Time To Dump XP?

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  • XP is the 90's? (Score:5, Informative)

    by jamesborr (876769) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:11AM (#32510662)
    Could have sworn that XP was not available before Windows 2000 -- but what do I know...
  • We are staying on XP (Score:4, Informative)

    by yakatz (1176317) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:12AM (#32510672) Homepage Journal
    I would live to migrate on of my offices to Windows 7, but then they would need to buy all-new hardware, sinc ewhat they have will not support Windows 7.
    Also, they use an old version of Navison Axapta (since renamed to Microsoft Dynamics AX) which has issues on newer OS versions.
  • by gmack (197796) <gmack@in n e rfire.net> on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:15AM (#32510736) Homepage Journal

    Gartner has been a Microsoft/Intel shill for a long time. Their predictions tend towards the laughable as well. If you want some good laughs check out their Itanium, bing or Windows Mobile predictions.

  • 90s? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Moridineas (213502) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:16AM (#32510758) Journal

    Windows XP came out in late-2001...hardly "the 90s"

    At my small office workplace we are down to one remaining Windows 2000 computer, majority XP, no Vista, and one Windows 7. It was a pain to convert our roaming desktops from 2k/XP style to Vista/7 style (samba server). I personally really like Windows 7 though it of course comes with the assortment of upgrading pains and things that make you slap your forehead and say "WHY?!" -- example, out of the box Windows 7 runs a maintenance task that deletes broken shortcuts. Unfortunately for whatever reason it believes shortcuts to documents and programs on our network shares are broken, and so they repeatedly disappeared until we figured that out. Why can't I pin a network share/document/application to the start bar? etc

    We also have an OS9 computer that doesn't get used often anymore (though did up until about 3 months ago), OSX 10.4, 10.5, and 10.6.

    Why upgrade if it still works? (of course barring any major security vulnerabilities that can't be protected against)

  • by alen (225700) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:20AM (#32510828)

    other than the fact that new desktop PC's are dirt cheap, i'm typing this on a 6 year old P4 desktop PC that originally came with XP and runs WIndows 7 perfectly with no issues. Just get more RAM

  • Re:XP is the 90's? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:22AM (#32510874)

    I don't even see how this was offensive enough to be downmodded.

    And: Windows XP Release date was August 24, 2001 so it's informative.

  • by kenh (9056) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:24AM (#32510930) Homepage Journal

    Windows 7 has hardware requirements that many, many otherwise capable WinXP boxes can't meet either technically or economically.

    It's easy to say well, upgrade your 1 Gig RAM 2 GHz P4 desktop to 2 Gig of RAM, but if you have to pitch 2x 512 Meg sticks and buy 2x 1 Gig PC3200 sticks it can get expensive fast. And that IDE drive will suffice, but it won't be very speedy - an upgrade may be in order, but unless your desktop includes a SATA port, will it really be cost-effective? Oh, and you can toss in a ReadyBoost USB flash drive to improve performance, but this is starting to get expensive...

    PC3200 RAM is about $40-50 a Gig, a 4 Gig ReadyBoost USB flash drive will cost another $10 and where does that leave you? With an investment of $100/desktop plus labor in performing the hardware upgrade, or half the price of a new low-end Dell OptiPlex which will blow the socks off the 5-7 year old P4 you are investing in.

    OR you could just sit on WinXP boxes for another year and start saving up for a forklift upgrade next year...

  • Re:1990s? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:30AM (#32511046)

    ME was released September 2000.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Windows

  • Re:Dont know (Score:3, Informative)

    by kenh (9056) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:34AM (#32511088) Homepage Journal

    The cost of a Win7 licesne doesn't enter into it, most llikely.

    Your Fortune 500 company most likely doesn't have retail/OEM Windows XP licenses - they ar emost likely under "Software Advantage" and pay a per-desktop licesne fee for a number of MS apps per year. It is more economical if you turn your desktop operating system or MS applications over every three years.

    They pay a license fee each year (software maint.) - do you really imagine a Fortune 500 company can just 'migrate off Win XP' incurring only "training costs"? Every end-user, desktop support tech, and server admin will need exhaustive retraining, plus many, many new applications will need to be evaluated to replace all those handy applications they've used for years...

    Apparently you aren't in the IT part of your Fortune 500 employer...

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:34AM (#32511104) Homepage Journal

    Would that same benefit be provided by other operating systems?

    Wine runs a surprising number of Windows applications, including Microsoft Office. But it still doesn't run everything, especially intranet web applications that rely on IE 6 and/or ActiveX. It especially doesn't run drivers for specialized peripherals or for some hardware that might be in a company's existing, paid-for PCs.

  • Re:Pfff... (Score:5, Informative)

    by arb phd slp (1144717) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:39AM (#32511172) Homepage Journal

    I am not the typical idiot user. I'm the guy most people come to when they have a question.

    I didn't realize that the circle with the Windows logo in upper left was a menu for almost a month.

  • Re:XP is productive (Score:4, Informative)

    by mspohr (589790) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:45AM (#32511262)
    I migrated my business and home use from XP several years ago. We now use Mac and Ubuntu Linux everywhere. Benefits:

    - freedom from worry about malware (80% of XP malware runs on Win7, no malware in the wild for Mac and Linux)

    - runs on my existing computers (except Mac OSX, of course)... no need for expensive computer upgrades

    - Office software compatibility... we standardize on OpenOffice.org and have been pleasantly surprised that it is more compatible with MS Office than all of the various MS Office versions are with each other.

    - other software... we have been pleasantly surprised that we have been able to find good quality software for everything we need. We were worried about the FUD about open source software but haven't had any problems. We have been pleasantly surprised with the quality and availability of Office, Web, eMail, graphics, video, audio, utility, etc. software. We have found everything we need. We don't have any legacy applications tied to XP or IE6.

    - powerful unix utilities... we have also been pleasantly surprised to discover a wealth of powerful genuinely useful unix utilities such as rsync, dd, grep, etc. which have made our lives much easier. - training has been a minor expense... this is just not a problem... most people can transfer their Windows skills without problems or a simple introduction.

    - support is easy... upgrades from repositories have been a joy...

    - Peace of Mind... priceless

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:48AM (#32511320)

    Windows 7 is worse than Vista. Its just Vista with changed name. Look at the minimum system requirements - they actually went up from Vista to 7.

    I don't understand why the hell all the idiots out there keep saying that its better. Its the same damn thing. It just as slow and bloated as Vista.

    I think people just like the new bar (which other than the name is the only other difference) so they keep telling themselves "as long as I keep repeating its better, it is better".

    Seriously - look at the stupid thing: Windows 7 _IS_ Vista. And it still sucks.

  • by mollog (841386) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:00PM (#32511550)
    I work at a company that every reader of slashdot would know, and we are still using XP in the development environment. I suppose that Microsoft would have to stop supporting Visual Studio 2008 on XP to force this organization off of XP and onto 7.

    Vista is loaded on the 'corporate' PC but XP is on the development PC. XP works, it's stable. End of story.
  • by scorp1us (235526) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:01PM (#32511590) Journal

    When XP is no longer getting security updates (and its not that far out) everyone install the latest LTS Ubuntu. Set up an XP theme for users resistant to visual change.

    Then, for any business-essential application that requires Windows, use Citrix, RDP or VNC to some secured XP boxes. Or, use VirtualBox or VMware. You can set the VMs to use specfic MAC addrs then set the DHCP server to not assign those an internet gateway, so they can't get on the intERnet, but they can still use the intRAnet. This way your users can still use the internet but not risk infection of XP machines.

    OpenOffice is usable, but the .DOC and Access DB base still represents a migration problem.

    It may be possible to use CodeWeaver's Crossover office ($40) to get Office to work where you have to. However I expect the reduced support costs to pay dividends, as well as not having to upgrade hardware. It now takes XP 14 minutes to boot on a (3-year-old) dual-core laptop. Ubuntu starts in 60 seconds, and that is to a "usable" desktop.

    Other things that Ubtunu beats windows on:
    - centralized updater. Only one update service runs for the whole system.
    - no viruses

    I've really been amazed at the latest Ubuntus - as easy to use as Windows - no - in fact easier.

    I'll always keep a copy of XP around, but it will be a virtual machine that I keep between my linux upgrades and it won't have internet access, so I don't have to worry about viruses.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:01PM (#32511596) Journal

    What surprised me was that a recent kernel update resulted in my network card suddenly not working in Linux. Googling around turns out a bunch of forum threads with users crying for help with similar symptoms and no fix in sight. Apparently, as usual, they've replaced the old, working but "not written the right and proper way" driver with a new, "experimental but should work and done right" one.

    And don't even get me started on audio. For the past three Ubuntu releases, I'm waiting for the damn thing to learn to switch from speakers to headphones when I plug in the latter; at the moment, it enables the headphones, but doesn't mute the speakers, which is rather useless. (Yes, there is a bug on Launchpad. No, there is no fix that works for everyone affected by this, yet.)

    *sigh* The year of Linux on the desktop will happen when I no longer have to duct tape hardware support every now and then.

    Oh, and before you say "anecdote" - the last 4 of my machines (2 desktops, 2 laptops) had at least one piece of hardware in them, out of the box, which either did not work at all, or only worked in a limited way, in Linux. The most common headache seems to be with suspend-to-disk, though WiFi can still be flaky, depending on one's chipset. Oh, and did I mention audio (thanks, PA!)?..

    Oh, while we're at it, here's another anecdote. An internal WiFi adapter in the notebook died, so I was looking for an USB one as a temporary replacement. I've spent about an hour in Best Buy in front of the shelf full of that stuff, meticulously googling info on each from my N1, one by one, to check for Linux compatibility. Not a single one had a fully and properly supported chipset. For most, the first thing I've hit while searching were (fresh!) forum threads discussing various problems, non-working features, or general instability. Not a single one was "green" in hardware compatibility lists.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:17PM (#32511874)

    Your either doing it wrong or your full of it.

    14 minutes to boot on a 3 year old dual core laptop? What unholy legion of spyware do you have on that thing!

    In 2005 my consulting firm had an internal contest to get our corporate base XP SP2 image (which booted in about 30-35 seconds on a Compaq N610) to 20 seconds or below. We got to 18 seconds in the end if we disabled McAfee, 22 seconds otherwise. This was on 5400 RPM hard drives too.

    14 minutes. Lol.

  • Re:Pfff... (Score:2, Informative)

    by butalearner (1235200) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:29PM (#32512110)

    I've heard of paper MCSEs and CCNAs, but never a paper PHD.

    How did you get through ~8 years of college level education on computers and still have a user interface confuse you??

    You could go through 40 years of college level education and you still wouldn't be able to figure out Blender without tutorials.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:34PM (#32512180) Journal

    For the problem software tho, it's going to be a rough road until the packages are rolled out (and that will take a couple years). At any point, our current software could be killed by an arbitrary microsoft patch since the language (vb6) is out of support.

    VB6 IDE is not supported now (though a paid support agreement with MS is possible). It also has known compat problems with Vista and above. That said, it works perfectly in XP Mode under Win7.

    VB6 runtime is a part of Windows 7, and will be supported for at least as long as Win7 itself is supported. So, no, an "arbitrary patch" won't kill your software.

    See here [microsoft.com] for details.

  • Re:Not only... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:38PM (#32512238) Homepage

    what the hell does this mean?
    "My primary role is programming mail merge documents while maintaining all of the document templates we use within Siebel. My secondary role is maintaining validation documentation for new database releases."

    you send spam?

    I'll start with the mail merge.

    Our particular business unit is a pharmaceutical call center. Patients contact us when they have questions regarding their medication. We also provide Patient Assistance Programs, conduct Insurance Verifications, and also assist in claim denials. Obviously, there are a lot of forms associated with this work. My job is to design these forms based on our clients needs (our clients tend to be Pharmaceutical companies), and then program them with the necessary code to pull demographic information, therapy information, diagnosis, and dosage from our database (filled with data that has been provided by patients or doctors over the phone so that patients and physician's don't have to fill out the whole form manually. Everything we submit is explicitly requested by a patient, physician, or medical office. Our business unit receives around 20,000 calls per day and makes around 12,000 calls per day.

    We have enough trouble keeping up with stuff that is actually requested, we wouldn't have the time or resources to send out unsolicited documentation even if we wanted to.

    Validation Documentation is the process of ensuring that our final testing of new database releases matches what our release plan was, making sure our release plan matches our functional design, and making sure our functional design matches our requirements. Basically, it's a glorified way of saying "making sure we don't miss anything we intended to build into our monthly Siebel releases." It's simple but essential work in case we have to retrace our steps due to database errors after modifications are made to the system.

  • Re:Dont know (Score:3, Informative)

    by mpe (36238) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @01:13PM (#32512846)
    Dont need "equilivant" Wine recently is far more stable.

    It's possible to have wine configured per app. Which can work out better than running certain combinations of apps nativly on Windows.
  • by TheKidWho (705796) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @01:15PM (#32512888)

    It seems so. Welcome to 2010, This year is really the year of Linux on the Desktop, Google is now your overlord please welcome it, and in Soviet Russia you get that fixed for you!

  • by techno-vampire (666512) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @01:23PM (#32513024) Homepage
    As for telling Microsoft to support it, tell me how many Linux vendors support their distributions from 2001

    Probably the same number of Linux vendors who charge for upgrades. This whole article is based on a false dichotomy: either this Microsoft OS or that Microsoft OS, as though there were no other possible choices. If you're going to have to migrate to a new OS, why not migrate to one that's free (no license costs to deplete your budget) stable and not subject to today's crop of viruses, malware and trojans. (Oh my!) Yes, there's training costs involved, but that's true with any new OS, especially for the rank and file who can't see for themselves that 90%+ of what they do hasn't changed and has to be led by the nose through learning how to do their jobs again.

  • by SpryGuy (206254) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @01:47PM (#32513424)

    XP is on the development PC. XP works, it's stable. End of story.

    We do all our development on Win7. Win7 just works. It's stable. It's faster and feature-rich and up-to-date. It has a lot of great short-cuts and productivity enhancers in the UI. End of story.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @01:48PM (#32513442)

    Geez, for all the talk about costs and benefits of going to Win7, they really didn't seem to read the same article I did. What I got out of it was:
    - support for XP ends in 4 years
    - enterprises tend to refresh equipment every 3-5 years
    - enterprise and home grown software tends to get stale
    Therefore, if you start planning it now, you can get this all to work out with minimal cost and disruption.

    Win7 doesn't cost more nor require more hardware for all the people that need new hardware over the next four years.

    The benefit of thinking about Win7 now is less cost and disruption from when you have to do it.

    There's still time (barely) to upgrade those VB apps.

  • by jafac (1449) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @01:50PM (#32513472) Homepage

    Last month, I took on the task of "cleaning off" a pair of computers, used by a friends' teenage kids. One running XP Home, the other Win 7 Home.

    OF COURSE I lectured them about security basics, not running as Admin, not installing "candy from strangers", and I burned them an Ubuntu CD too. (if they aren't going to install it, at least they can boot to it to rescue what's left of their data when the next infection hits).

    Each computer took about a week of evenings to clear off. Using scan tools, alternately booting back and forth between Ubuntu, safe mode, standard mode, etc.

    In the end, both machines were pretty much subject to the same abusive practices, (autologin, run as admin, kids going to porn sites, both of them chat/camwhores, etc.; yeah, these kids were horrified when I told their mom what they had been up to.) - both machines were trojaned and rootkitted to the hilt. I honestly have no idea if I got everything. I deleted a bunch of software that was probably legit, in the process, (hardware vendor (HP) crapware) Probably not.

    But I was able to get things functioning to the point where the systems were at least reasonably stable again. Getting the DNS to be able to find Windows Updates was one of the toughest chores - because something had totally ripped out the entire tcpip stack, and replaced it. I had to uninstall networking, and reinstall it, including all the web browsers, and network device drivers (wired and wireless).

    At the end of those two weeks - I had learned a lot.
    What I already knew. . . you're better off blowing everything away, and reinstalling. Every time.

    There was a keylogger.
    There was something that was turning the webcam on.
    There was something that had replaced the standard windows file-system driver, in the encrypted CAB file that Windows File Protection should *not* allow to be replaced. (atapi.sys).
    There was something that had left Symantec AntiVirus in an "installed" but, non-functional state.
    I had luckily, armed myself with seven USB thumbdrives, loaded with my "standard" set of tools. Those kept getting infected. There were at least three different programs trying to infect those. One of them became non-functional during this job. I don't know why. It just won't mount in any system (Mac, Linux, Windows) now. I'm hoping it was just a hardware failure, and not something nasty trying to change the onboard driver. I did not see any such activity, but I'm wondering if I need a hardware USB bus-protocol analyzer to even see something like that.

    There were drivers that would mysteriously reinstall themselves after I deleted them. (typical malware behavior though). Tracking those down with Sysinternals tools was fun. The first few iterations.

    The other thing I learned, in this little trip down the rabbit hole, is that, all other things reasonably equal. . . the Windows XP machine was WAY more fubared than the Windows 7 machine. The things that kept on re-appearing in the Run keys and Startup folders on the XP machines, were present on the Windows 7 machine, but for some reason, were unable to re-assert themselves after deletion. I'm guessing it was probably due to the Virtual Storage architecture, that prevents userland stuff from writing to system keys and filesystem areas.

    After this experience - I am convinced that Windows XP is simply no longer safe. Period.
    Not in the hands of a non-paranoid, non-technical user, that's not behind a separate, NAT device.
    (meet those conditions, then maybe you're okay).

    Keep it updated.
    Run with Antivirus+anticrapware.
    Don't install candy from strangers.
    Surf with NoScript+FlashBlock+Adblock.
    Don't open PDFs with a reader that supports Javascript.
    Don't run as Admin.
    If you have teenagers, physically de-solder the webcam.
    I would also recommend - use a product like nLite to build a preconfigured OS + automated app-install disk. Keep your persistent documents and static data on a separate physical partition. Update the install dis

  • Re:64-Bit (Score:3, Informative)

    by pavon (30274) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @01:51PM (#32513482)

    The driver support for Windows 7 64-bit is far, far, better than XP 64-bit.

  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @02:56PM (#32514486)

    Why is this conversation never about upgrading our phones, or getting new office chairs, or getting a new microwave in the break room? Sometimes it's just time for new stuff, but you never hear anyone denying a new round of phone purchases because, "it costs a lot to train users". If anyone can argue that getting a new phone system, with all of it's functionality, is easier than upgrading to the next MS OS, I'm all ears.

    Change happens. We need to deal with it and quit lamenting the (mostly imaginary) productivity losses.

  • Re:XP is the 90's? (Score:2, Informative)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @02:58PM (#32514524) Journal

    It's not just hardware. Less then 24 hours ago, I was asked about running windows XP in a virtual environment so some accounting package could work without having to spend hundreds for an upgrade. This is an office where the owner just buys shit on sale and worries about the problems later (XP and windows 7 home editions and they wonder why they can't so certain things their friends talk about doing at their job).

    Anyways, when I checked the package, I noticed that it would already run perfectly for what they did, they just stopped supporting online services for the program but that happens at the beginning of this year. Turns out, when they installed the accounting package on the new computer, it needed activation and someone told them they needed to buy a new version instead of activating the old one (someone being- someone at the support number for the program). I called and asked why when their web support site clearly says it works but there are known issues. None of the known issues effected the use so I demanded an activation number. They gave us one and pow.

    But that is part of the "their stuff don't work" scenario too. Some printers made 2 years before windows 7 was released don't work in it either. Of course that's a driver issue and falls back on the manufacturer. I recently had one and had to use it as a network printer and print to a postscript printer in order to get it working on a one computer network.

    So it's not exactly about anything failing, it's the appearance of it failing. It consumers have to go to some website to download the fixed version of driver, or read the real story about their aging apps working, then it's probably already too far into not working for most people.

  • Re:Pfff... (Score:5, Informative)

    by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @03:23PM (#32514832)

    Sadly you can get a comp sci phd without knowing how to properly work with a computer, it's not hard given how abstract and math centric the curriculum are at many schools and universities.

    As well as it should be. Computer science isn't about using any particular existing computer, it's about the theory underlaying computing and algorithms.

    "Sadly, you can get an engineering degree wiihtout knowing how to drive a tractor" doesn't make any sense, for the exactly same reason your statement doesn't.

    In many of those schools graphics is relegated to reams of algorithms and theory and anything UI related is pushed off to the graphic design departments.

    Good. That's where it belongs. Or possibly to a whole new department - "User Interface Science"?

  • by Erisian (13823) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @03:52PM (#32515224)

    A little background: I work for a large (50k emp) company. We only just (Q2 this year) officially got rid of Win2k as a supported desktop. There is no way we will be ready for Win7 anytime soon. There are many issues an organization like mine faces:

    -Training - non-IT people have jobs to do beyond "messing with computers". Computers aren't toys for these people, they are tools. Changing tools requires re-training.
    -Training - IT people, frankly, are lazy and don't like to learn new things any more than non-IT people. Yes, there are exceptions, but lets not pretend that all tech folks are super eager to change to the latest and greatest all the time. (I really do wonder why so many geeks still write user level apps in C and like the command line.)
    -Interaction - We have a very complex environment where many things are setup to interact "just so". Is this bad? Yes, but it's the way things are. Implementing a large change like WinXP->Win7 requires a HUGE amount of testing of sometimes very subtle differences.
    -Legacy - We have mission critical applications (both in house and 3rd party) that are not ready to deploy on Win7 without substantial work. Could they have been developed differently so that this wouldn't be the case? Yes. AND they weren't.

    To be fair, this is not a question of WinXP-to-. It a fundamental issue with how IT resources are used. While I would like to lay a lot of the blame at MS' feet, it's really an industry issue. Having (and USING) frameworks to enable forward migration is an issue technology has been facing for 40+ years. There are a handful of solutions that have been proposed and even implemented. They amount to little more than academic curiosities since they are not widely deployed.

    Oh well. Here's looking toward the big news of 2020 as we finally start moving away from Win7!

  • Re:64-Bit (Score:3, Informative)

    by (H)elix1 (231155) * <slashdot.helix@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @04:25PM (#32515624) Homepage Journal

    XP (x64) users here too. On a desktop, it was stupid easy. The mainboard and video card both had XP-64 drivers, which covered most of the hardware. (One thing that nVidia got right). Setting up XP-64 on my laptop [multiply.com] took a bit more work, substituting Server 2003 drivers where the XP drivers did not do the trick.

    Only a very small set of apps have issues, and most of those can be fixed by removing a brain dead installer restriction on the version of NT. Fixing ITunes was a real treat... Someone at Apple deserves a good beating for that one.

    Most of my games are supported as well. A couple games, out of a very large steam collection, have issues. The worst is probably Dirt 2, where the stupid games for windows live client does not work, disabling the auto save. When I benchmarked COH, TF2, and a few of the other games I play - XP64 was faster than Win7 on the same hardware. Tis a shame that more people don't know about XP64, other than folks with an MSDN subscription or a workstation.

  • Not yet (Score:2, Informative)

    by Internetuser1248 (1787630) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @05:00PM (#32516064)
    As a gamer, I was hassled at the last big lan for my "ancient and obsolete" operating system, XP pro. So I did a quick study:
    Windows 7 users were unable to play about 1/5 of the games that went up due to operating system issues.
    Vista users were unable to play about 1/4 of games.
    No XP users had any operating system related issues with any of the games we played.

    Sure, as games are released and tested for windows 7 those numbers will start to reverse, but it hasn't happened yet.
  • Phone Home (Score:2, Informative)

    by 0xG (712423) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @05:14PM (#32516218)

    I'm surprised that nobody has taken note of the WGA aspects of this.
    Windows 7 phones home every few months, and if it can't get the answer it likes, your PC is crippled.

    With XP, you don't have to worry.

    Personally, I can't forsee ever wanting to give up to MS information about my PC, so I will stay on XP.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @05:20PM (#32516312) Journal

    Wow...so, did Vista and 7 get Unix style folders?!?! No more C: drive and the like?? Cool, I'll have to check that out!

    Both yes and no.

    You have been able to use slashes in file paths since DOS 1.0. All Win32 APIs that take filenames understand them. All GUI applications do, too (try navigating to e.g. C:/Users in Explorer and see what happens).

    Command-line tools do as well, but the problem there is that leading "/" is also treated as an indicator to start a command-line option, and furthermore, as an option separator. So if you write dir /foo/bar, this will be parsed as argv[1]="/foo", argv[2]="/bar" to begin with, and then those will be treated as options (unrecognized, so you'll get an error) rather than paths. If you put quotes around it, however - e.g. dir "/foo/bar" - this will be properly interpreted as a path.

    (As a side note, you can thank IBM [msdn.com] for this whole mess; when DOS has got directories, it was supposed to use "/" for paths and "-" for options, as God and K&R intended.)

    PowerShell disposes with all this, and uses "-" only for options, so it will never misinterpret a Unix-style path. Of course, it also understands "/" as a path separator (though will still show "\" for NTFS and registry in paths that it itself outputs). It also understands "~" as a shortcut for home directory, and expands variables with "$...", not DOS-style "%...%".

    Disk letters are still there, but can be largely ignored if desired. You'll still need one for your root, but everything else can be mounted in directories underneath it, including any removable drives, USB sticks etc. At this point, you can also start omitting it in all paths you input, and always start them with "\" (or "/"), since the current drive will always be the only one in the system.

  • And I call it (Score:3, Informative)

    by Well-Fed Troll (1267230) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @05:35PM (#32516518)

    I call the classic start menus and such "I fear change" mode. Fitting, I think :D

    And I call it the "I like standards" mode.
    Microsoft keeps releasing new products that break their own UI guidelines. Microsoft way back released a small book that detailed the WIMP interface, and it's sad that they threw it out just for "oooh shiny". I think it's pretty funny that you think navigating as you describe an improvement. The problem with what you described is that if you add an item to the menu the previous keystroke sequence you memorized to run an application becomes ambiguous. I much prefer hitting a sequence of keystrokes identifying the menu I set up. Part of the problem with the start menu is the lack of standardization of the categorization of applications. Way too many application developers think I care what the name of the company is that created their app. Uhhh, No, sorry, all I want to see is the application name on the start menu.
    I would love to go to a Microsoft demo and have them use their fancy new products blindfolded just to show how broken their apps are.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @07:55PM (#32518146) Journal

    You do realize that defragmenting NTFS partitions is more likely to hurt than it is to help, right?

  • by coxymla (1372369) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @07:59PM (#32518200)
    You can start typing the name of a program to run or document to search for in the Classic Start menu as well, you know.

    Also, "Back" is not the same as "Up" and a dedicated button for one of the most used functions in Windows Explorer would be much more user friendly and efficient than having to read, parse, and hit a variablly sized and situated breadcrumb.

  • Print server support (Score:3, Informative)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @10:21PM (#32519268) Homepage

    It's been my experience that hosting 32bit print drivers on a 64bit server is iffy at best. Same goes for hosting 64bit print drivers on a 32bit server. Specifically the Xerox and HP print drivers.

    Sometimes, you have no choice but to install the printers locally using an virtual IP printing port.

  • by stoicio (710327) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @11:21PM (#32519634) Journal

    The licenses we have for various software applications require dongles that will not work
    on 64 bit Windows 7.

    This is a major problem. The software in question is not something we can simply
    change. So, for now we are required to remain in 32 bit windows XP.

    I am curious, when Gartner announces that 'Now is the time' , who the hell
    is Gartner and how the hell do they know how our business works? Obviously
    not at all in the last case.

      I understand that most offices just use basic applications and never do anything
    more advanced than a spreadsheet and maybe the odd game of mine sweeper.
    Well, great for them.

    For the most part, changing to new versions of operating systems and new versions
    of applications is just nonproductive. Case in point, the transition from MS Office
    2000 or 2003 to Office 2007. What a nightmare! The sum was !WEEKS! of
    nonproductive office time while people tried to figure out where the frick'n menus went.

    We all have to pay for this unproductive crap. The least MS could do is make sure
    the U.I. stays the same so real work doesn't slow to a complete standstill.
    Does MS really think I, or anyone else gives a damn about bubbly shaped pop-up menus?
    I guess so...what a bunch of marketing tools.

    Is it any wonder I.T. departments are seriously looking at Ubuntu
    and openoffice as alternatives? What does MS expect when they keep
    undermining entrenched user behavior in favor of some UI design geek
    that doesn't have to USE the apps they design DAILY.

    Hey, M.S., In our office Windows 7 is B.R.O.K.E.N. .
    32 bit Compatibility mode is B.R.O.K.E.N..
    Dongles don't work anymore!!! B.R.O.K.E.N.!!!!!!!!!!!

    We don't give a damn about D3D video games, because we're *WORKING*, and now it's B.R.O.K.E.N.!!!!

    Where'd I leave that Ubuntu DVD ...........

  • Re:Staying with XP (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @09:19AM (#32522602)

    The difference is that XP requires activation once when installing, then it does not check again (except for getting certain additional downloads). AFAIK Vista and Win7 do periodically recheck their activation, calling a Microsoft server in the process. If something goes wrong with that, you may end up with a complaining Win7.

    For me this is the main reason to stick to XP (and have an eye on Linux, which might be my next OS once XP becomes impractical to support).

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