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What's Keeping You On XP? 879

Hugh Pickens writes "PC World reports that Windows XP lost more than 11 percent of its share from September to December 2011, to post a December average of 46.5 percent, a new low for the aged OS as users have gotten Microsoft's message that the operating system should be retired. Figures indicate that Windows 7 will become the most widely used version in April, several months earlier than previous estimates. Two months ago, as Microsoft quietly celebrated the 10th anniversary of XP's retail launch, the company touted the motto 'Standing still is falling behind' to promote Windows 7 and demote XP. In July, Microsoft told customers it was 'time to move on' from XP, reminding everyone that the OS would exit all support in April 2014. Before that, the Internet Explorer team had dismissed XP as the 'lowest common denominator' when they explained why it wouldn't run IE9. The deadline for ditching Windows XP is in April 2014, when Microsoft stops patching the operating system. 'Enterprises don't want to run an OS when there's no security fixes,' says Michael Silver, an analyst with Gartner Research rejecting the idea that Microsoft would extend the end-of-life date for Windows XP to please the 10% who have no plans to leave the OS. 'The longer they let them run XP, the more enterprises will slow down their migration.'"
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What's Keeping You On XP?

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  • Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:49PM (#38576562)

    Cheap PCs run XP.

    • by Toonol ( 1057698 )
      And most of my PCs are cheap. I planning on continuing with XP for at least another year.
    • Re:Money (Score:5, Informative)

      by SadButTrue ( 848439 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:18PM (#38577184) Homepage

      For me it isn't about money. Since I have built my own machines for the past 20 years OS updates are optional for me. I pretty much have to use Microsoft on my main machine for the occasional games and nothing in Vista or 7 have really struck me as necessary.

      I suspect this will be the last time I can reuse my XP install though. It is very possible that the next video card update I do wont support XP.

      • I build my own machines, so it's entirely about the money.
        Even buying the 'OEM' version, you still end up paying a huge amount for Windows. Windows 7 Professional will set you back £110 - that's an upgrade from an i5 to an i7 AND 6GB of RAM.

        However, I won't be putting XP on any new machine I build, so I suppose my next upgrade (with begruding purchase of a new version of Windows) will just have to wait until this one really can't cope.

    • Re:Money (Score:4, Interesting)

      by sortius_nod ( 1080919 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:22PM (#38577270) Homepage

      Cheap PCs also run Linux, but that's not always a reson to run it.

      I, personally, don't run XP except under a VM on my server at home for the rare occasions that I do need to run insanely legacy apps. I've been using 7 since RC2 & haven't looked back.

      At work we have to run XP due to them refusing to upgrade legacy apps that refuse to play nice with 7.

      The cheap PC excuse doesn't hold up when you look at the scalability of 7. It can run on cheap, even old PCs with no problems. Sure, your PIII from the 90's won't run it well, but it also won't run XP well.

      If it's really that much of a problem, run Linux with wine or the like. Nothing worse than running an EOL OS with massive security problems.

    • by Hentes ( 2461350 )

      In my experience Win7 doesn't need more resources than XP, maybe a bit more HDD space.

    • Re:Money (Score:5, Informative)

      by Missing.Matter ( 1845576 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:28PM (#38577378)

      How cheap are we talking? I just built my parents a computer for about $160.

      • CPU - Intel Celeron E3400 - $46.99
      • Mobo - ASRock G31M-S R2.0 - $42.99
      • Case w/ Power Supply - $27.99
      • Memory - 2 GB - $22.99
      • HDD - 80 GB - $21.99

      Works just fine running Windows 7 Ultimate. You can bump those specs generously by bringing the price up to $200, which is still pretty cheap for a brand new computer that doesn't have to run a decade old operating system.

    • It may be old PCs not cheap PCs. Old PCs run perfectly well when they are running old software, the software whose suggested hardware requirements match the hardware. Of course software that connects to the internet complicates this due to security concerns and the necessity of patches.
    • Re:Money (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday January 04, 2012 @12:12AM (#38581632) Journal

      This is where Ballmer fucked up IMHO as I saw a LOT of people jump on board Win 7 when they had the $50 HP and $110 family packs but when that ended so did adoption.

      Lets be honest folks, for the vast majority even those late model P4s and early athlon X2s and Pentium Ds are more than "good enough' for what they are doing. i can tell you the vast majority of my customers are surfing, webmail, IM, the closest they come to heavy lifting is burning a CD or maybe getting red eye out a picture, oooohhh boy that takes a lot of horsepower. so why should they shell out a minimum of $100 for a new OS or closer to $400 for a new PC? What do they gain?

      Finally there are plenty of machines that run just fine on XP but that would need significant upgrades to run Win 7 comfortably. My netbox is a 1.8Ghz Sempron with 1.5Gb of RAM and an old Nvidia 32Mb card. On XP that makes a great little box for downloading and surfing, quiet as can be and generates almost no heat. To upgrade that machine to Win 7 not only would I be out the cost of the OS but I'd need a new motherboard, CPU, and RAM because socket 754 chips cost more than they are worth and i think the biggest you can get anyway for that socket is a 2.2GHz single core, not worth spending the money on. so why would i upgrade? it does its job and my gaming PC has Win 7 for all the Dx11 gaming goodness, so an upgrade would make ZERO sense for that unit. Instead later on in the year once i've upgraded both boy's PCs I'll use one of their old Pentium Ds as a base for a new box. no hurry though, XP still works fine where it is.

  • MS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:49PM (#38576568)

    MS isn't giving away free upgrades and I'm not interested in paying for a really expensive copy or Windows just to play games.

    When the security patches cease, I'll just uninstall XP and replace it with whatever the best version of Linux is at that point.

    • Re:MS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:04PM (#38576934)
      And they say that the Desktop isn't dying.
      I have a 5 year old Mac Book Pro, and I don't have any needs to upgrade that as well. I think we are seeing the end of the desktop, because people are no longer feeling the need to upgrade. Go back 10-15 years ago. Every 2-4 years we felt that we needed to upgrade our PC, and when we upgraded we felt the difference.
      Floppy to CD to CDR to DVD to DVDR. 512k to 1 meg to 4 meg to 32 meg to 128 meg to 1 gig to 3 gigs of ram.
      CGA (4 colors 320x200) VGA (256 colors 320x200), SVGA, 3d cards...
      When we upgraded every 2-4 years we got something new and cool. Today an upgrade doesn't give us the same bang anymore. So we hold off and wait longer between upgrades with perfectly usable Computers that are getting much older however still function well and runs modern software.

      We are now looking at Tables and our Phones and using them more and more compared to our PCs or Laptops. Every new version adds a bit more of a wow factor and entices people go upgrade and get the new one.
      • You are absolutely right. I used to wait to upgrade my components until they were double the speed of my existing hardware. Now I wait until it is at least 10 times faster (and even then there needs to be another incentive like having cards or CPUs run at lower power to reduce heat and noise).

        Since most computers from this century are still fast enough to run the standard office applications, there isn't a lot of reason for people to upgrade their hardware, and since most people get their new OS preinstalle

  • It still works. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:50PM (#38576578) Homepage

    If it ain't broke, why fix it? It's not like I'm running a nuclear reactor at home on my XP box.

  • by lobiusmoop ( 305328 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:52PM (#38576640) Homepage

    Don't fix it. XP is a perfectly reliable platform. I can understand Microsoft wanting to shift more units, but no need for change-for-the-sake-of-it really. Or maybe I'm just an old codger :)

    • by n5vb ( 587569 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:55PM (#38576728)

      .. but no need for change-for-the-sake-of-it really ..

      My impression was that change-for-the-sake-of-it was Microsoft's primary business model.

    • Nobody said there's anything wrong with it, nor does anybody have to quit using it, but MS isn't making $ off it anymore, patches cost money, its a business decision, nothing to do w xp or win 7 users at all. Linux is the same way in that it doesn't support its old kernel builds after a while (it might have at some point for some distros), the difference of course is cost.

      • by u38cg ( 607297 )
        Kernel branches back to 2.0 (released in 1997) have maintainers who can update if required. The longest lived branch to date was the 2.4 branch (2001) , which last got a release Dec 2010.
    • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:09PM (#38577020) Homepage

      I still use WinXP and I expect to continue using it for quite some time to come. It's the operating system that the TabletPC slate I use for drawing runs on, and it does everything I need it to do: load my graphics application, provide storage and TCP/IP services to that app, and support drivers for the stylus and other input devices on it. I could upgrade it to Windows 7... but would gain absolutely nothing from doing so. The OS serves quite nicely as an operating system for the device, and that's all I ask of it. By the time the security updates from Redmond stop, WXP should be such a niche OS that the minimal exposure that this device has, should be a tiny risk.

      • I could upgrade it to Windows 7... but would gain absolutely nothing from doing so.

        Tablet PCs are probably the devices that gained most from Windows 7. XP Tablet is really quite awful by comparison. Windows 7 includes personalized handwriting recognition, built in gestures for pen, built in support for touch (if you hardware supports it), multi touch gestures, automatic resizing of graphical elements based on input type, improved onscreen keyboard, jump menus (which aren't only meant for tablet PC but work great with them), checkboxes in explorer for selecting multiple items with a pen, V

  • Isn't it obvious? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ragun ( 1885816 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:52PM (#38576650)
    I just don't care. XP works as a platform for the programs I actually use, and between the lack of anything to be excited about, and lack of a clear upgrade path, I will probably use XP until I lose my key.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by osu-neko ( 2604 )

      I just don't care.

      Yeah, it's a whole "meh" for me. I finally am running Windows 7, after buying a new computer in November which came with it installed. My old box still has Windows XP (and Ubuntu) on it, and it still works fine. My new box has Windows 7 on it, and it works fine too. I don't hate Win7, so I'm not going to downgrade the new box, and I don't hate WinXP, so I'm not going to upgrade the old box. Eventually, I'll just make it Ubuntu-only I suppose. In any case, I'm "meh" either way... they both do what they

  • by mehrotra.akash ( 1539473 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:52PM (#38576652)
    Most consumer Hardware and software is compatible with it
    It was being shipped with netbooks till sometime in 2010 IIRC
    For something like an OS, the bigger question is "Why change"
    The generic consumer doesnt care about security updates
    • by jsnipy ( 913480 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:04PM (#38576936) Journal
      (good) 64 bit support
      • by thue ( 121682 )

        All programs and drivers will continue to come with 32 bit versions for a long time. If your computer has XP on it, then it is presumably so old that it doesn't have more than 4GB RAM, so most normal people don't need 64bit.

      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        For most programs 64 bits is just not needed.
        What 64 bits gets you is more than 2GB for any one task.
        There are a huge number of tasks where the dataset is well under one GB.
        There are very few Office users that are using spreadsheets or documents that are in the GB range.
        That is the issue with many people Windows XP is getting security updates and it runs everything they need to run. Why pay for a new OS when you get no real world benefit from it.

  • FTFY (Score:4, Funny)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:53PM (#38576668)

    'The longer they let them run XP, the more enterprises will slow down their migration.'"

    'The longer they let them run XP, the more enterprises will eat into our profit margin and not let us impliment our more restrictive and convoluted licensing...'", a Microsoft spokesperson said. "Businesses are sick of products that meet their needs and are amply tested and well-understood," he continued. "They want a product that has a restrictive licensing agreement, is much more resource-intensive, and offers little or no benefit to the business segment beyond being pretty." He went on to add, "Plus, Apple is kicking the crap out of us in the consumer market and we need extra cash to burn, and let's face it... the only successful big products we've launched are Windows and Office. We have to force business users to adopt it, or our shareholders will tar and feather us before setting our homes on fire for not creating a single smash hit in the consumer market since Halo.

    • Ya what dicks! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 )

      They are only willing to support their product for 13 years! How dare they demand that users move to new technology once a decade to maintain support!

      Please, come off it. MS has a plenty lengthy support cycle. They support all their OSes for 10 years from release minimum. XP has been extended 3 years past that. That is quite reasonable.

      • Re:Ya what dicks! (Score:4, Informative)

        by Fluffeh ( 1273756 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:09PM (#38577016)

        ... the only successful big products we've launched are Windows and Office. We have to force business users to adopt it ...

        They support all their OSes for 10 years from release minimum. XP has been extended 3 years past that. That is quite reasonable

        Actually, you are both right. Support for XP has been more than generous and acceptable. However, MS is indeed in the business of developing a new OS and wanting to get everyone on their previous versions onto it. Now, given the utter debarcle that was Vista, I think they have at least learned that it must be an acceptable standard and will continue to try to get it decent. Having said that, their business model will always remain on getting customers who continue to buy new OS, rather than making an OS and making enough profit from the sales without needing to get extra sales.

      • Re:Ya what dicks! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:12PM (#38577080)

        You do realize that MS was selling new licenses for most of that time, right? Additionally, MS doesn't give support for free, most of the time you have to either go through the OEM or pay MS to provide it. The cost of them providing patches to all the XP users isn't significantly higher than providing them only to people that have bought in the last X months. Developing the patches is the cost there.

      • Re:Ya what dicks! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:17PM (#38577162)

        Please, come off it. MS has a plenty lengthy support cycle. They support all their OSes for 10 years from release minimum. XP has been extended 3 years past that. That is quite reasonable.

        No thanks. It still works. Linux has been the same for that long. Something about a continuous upgrade cycle... rather than only releasing an upgrade every, uhh... ten years. And there's any number of products that are still supported decades after their release because they still work. See also: Most mainframes.

        So no, time since release is not a determinant.

  • by grimmjeeper ( 2301232 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:53PM (#38576670) Homepage

    The world will end in less than a year so why bother upgrading?

  • by way2trivial ( 601132 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:54PM (#38576692) Homepage Journal

    I can't stand the damn thing. I have a nice 6040f printer that I paid about 11k for- and under windows 7 I can't use the booklet functions via the stupid universal print driver

    I make my booklets on pc #1 (windows 7, 64 bit screamer workstation) and then shuffle them to my old xp PC so I can still use the discrete driver.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dynedain ( 141758 )

      So it's Microsoft's fault that HP hasn't released a Win7 driver for your old discontinued printer? Yes, I know it's an expensive multi-function copier, but MS radically changed how drivers work in Vista/Win7, which has made the systems far more secure and better for the future.

      Blaming MS in this case is like the people who blame Apple because the newest version of OSX won't run their 6-year-old version of Quickbooks anymore.

      • by Dripdry ( 1062282 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:35PM (#38577522) Journal

        He/She isn't blaming MS, I don't think. Merely pointing out that a significant feature set is not present on Win7, so upgrading completely isn't an option.

        btw, I agree. The HP thing is a total scam. They've stopped supporting printers that are even just several years old. I've vowed never to buy another HP product again because of this (we got caught pretty badly in this as a small business).

  • Corporate Politcy (Score:5, Informative)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:55PM (#38576722)
    Work says I need to use XP so I do. They are working on a Windows 7 upgrade plan but that isn't due for an other year or so. They need to be sure everything is tested and works.

    When you have a large organization Thousand+ employees it takes time to make sure the upgrade goes smooth.
  • Cost (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zaphod The 42nd ( 1205578 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:56PM (#38576744)
    Paying $100+ for Windows seems like even more of a ripoff when I've got to buy it again every 2 years.
    I bought this software, its mine, and I'll use it, thank you very much.

    If only more of the software industry would target linux and mac, we could get away from having to pay an arm and a leg to Redmond every few years.

    Dunno about you guys, but I don't exactly have a ton of free cash to spend.
    • I've got to buy it again every 2 years.

      You realize we're talking about upgrade from a product relaesed 10 years ago... so it's more like paying $100 every 10 years.

      If only more of the software industry would target ... mac

      Apples upgrades cost less but also come more frequently and are subsidized by hardware. Further, Apple isn't very concerned about your "I bought this software, it's mine, and I'll use it" mentality, as they restrict what type of device you can run their OS on very heavily. Want to install your 10 year old Windows XP OS on a brand new state of the art computer? Nothing stopping you. No

  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:57PM (#38576788) Homepage Journal

    My XP partition finally had to be nuked to clear out an infection after 8 years of stable service, so I shifted to Ubuntu 10.04.1 (can't use a newer version due to hardware incompatabilities.)

    I had been planning to upgrade to Win7, but when I realized I could get a whole laptop with Win7 Pro and more memory and CPU horsepower than my old box for under $600, I scrapped the idea of an upgrade. Why pay close to $200 for a copy of Win7 when $400 more will get me a whole machine?

  • Hazard (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nman64 ( 912054 ) * on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:58PM (#38576808) Homepage

    I'm sure there will be plenty of posts here about how XP still works, how it fits the needs of some people, etc.

    Even if you had a working Ford Model T, you couldn't safely use it on today's highways. Running Windows XP on today's Internet is far more dangerous, both for the operator and for everyone else, than running a more recent operating system. It will become far more hazardous after the patches stop flowing. There is a shrinking window for people to make the transition before the patches stop, and everyone still using XP would do well to take advantage of that window before it disappears.

    • Yea pretty much this. XP lacks key security features, like ASLR and browser sandboxing, ACL'ed services and so on. Win 7 (and Vista) also have better multicore support, more widely supported and compatible x64 versions, and better SSD support. So I would say to all these "XP ain't broken" comments, that it depends very much on your definition of "broken" because XP seems very broken to me (in this age, though it might have been dandy back in 2002.) If you depend on specialized apps or games that don't ru
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I have a form of OCD that requires me to scan every /. thread until I find a post that uses a stupid car analogy to make its point. Thank you for releasing me from this boring thread.

      • That's interesting. My OCD requires that I locate the phrase "orders of magnitude" in each thread.

        A car analogy is orders of magnitude better than any other kind of analogy. By and large, I don't think the phrase means what people think it means (there's another one).

    • by ichthus ( 72442 )

      Running Windows XP on today's Internet is far more dangerous, both for the operator and for everyone else, than running a more recent operating system.

      If your router is blocking incoming connections -- acting as a firewall, and you're not using IE6 or some other crappy browser, how is XP any less secure than win7? Assuming you're not running questionable executables or opening strange email attachments, what's the problem?

      I ran XP up until early 2010 without any antivirus and never had any problem. As

  • by ElmoGonzo ( 627753 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:58PM (#38576814)
    It may have escaped PC World's notice (not like THAT ever happened before) but there are some applications and drivers that will not install on any of MS's newer OS's and that so-called XP Compatibility mode isn't. And if those applications need to be supported then XP is what you use. Maybe you hide it in a VM that is running on a newer version of Windows but chances are that you'll do like me and keep that XP machine running and wish you never got sucked into the Microsoft maelstrom.
  • by sl4shd0rk ( 755837 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:59PM (#38576824)

    1) All my games work (for the most part) and I don't have to beg for a port to Linux of said game or driver.

    2) I don't necessarily want to pay the Apple premium for their rendition of problems.

    3) I don't necessarily want to pay Microsoft more money for their rendition of Upgrade problems.

    4) I'm familar with XP and all of it's quirks. Yeah I gotta reinstall every 6 months to keep it sane again, but imaging takes care of the worst of it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @04:59PM (#38576832)

    Microsoft Visual Studio 6 (C++), which doesn't run on Vista and Win7. We also still have quite a bit VB6 code, God have mercy on our souls.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:00PM (#38576860)
    When TweakUI [] went away for Win7, I got annoyed. Doubly so now that files and paths in the Win7 explorer are filled with space-wasting "breadcrumbs". Triply so now that (in Win7) I can't just say "Control Panel > Foo > Bar", but have to memorize some sort of unique name for each applet in order to access it quickly. The web-appification of control panel in Win7 doesn't add much to the annoyance of performing administrative tasks, but it hugely complicates the documentation of administrative tasks.

    At least with focus-follows-mouse, there's a X-mouse [] workaround involving a couple of registry edits, but I'm dreading Win8.

    Every time Windows "evolves", I'm forced to add another 10-15 minutes to undo the latest round of dumbing-down.

  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:01PM (#38576878) Homepage

    To be honest, the only reason I eventually chopped in 2K for XP was that MS started shipping tools and SDKs that (arbitrarily) refused to install on 2K.

    Windows is a operating system for hosting applications, generally ones written by someone else. Everything else that it insists on doing is completely extraneous to my requirements - that it just shuts up and gets into the background. MS has failed to make a compelling argument in favour of 7. I don't find "or else" particularly persuasive.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:03PM (#38576924)

    Two things for me on my last XP machines.

    1) The laptops I acquired that run XP can't run Vista or Windows 7. They are at their last Windows OS even per Microsoft specs.
    2) You would have to be insane to try to upgrade an old XP box to 7 in place. I've seen enough toasted and flaky OS installations in my time that I've switched entirely to "lift and shift".

    License cost? Meh - I haven't paid for Windows 7 yet or any of the other Server OS's around my house. Somehow Microsoft thinks I need lot of free samples (development editions, Windows 7 party packs, etc.) and who am I to dissuade them?

    • Well, Microsoft doesn't even allow you to do an upgrade install from XP to 7. You can only do that from Vista to 7. The "upgrade" procedure consists of it doing a full, clean install of 7 into a new folder on the drive while placing all the XP stuff into a WINDOWS.OLD folder. You have to manually move your documents and data over to the appropriate places after it's done, and reinstall all the apps from scratch.

      I've done this MANY times for people already, and it works just fine but it's time consuming.

  • by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:04PM (#38576940) Journal

    December average of 46.5 percent, a new low for the aged OS

    Um, every day since XP peaked in 2006 has been "a new low". Why would market share of XP do anything but decrease? And if you want to get pedantic, there would have been a time period immediately after XP hit the market that it would have been under 46.5 percent until it reached dominance. Sorry, that statement just struck me as silly.

  • windows xp (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @05:16PM (#38577132)

    Ok, here's the rundown as I have managed to wring out of friends and family that cling to XP.

    1) it came on the computer they currently have, and works fine on that hardware.

    2) they are familiar with it, and it does what they expect it to.

    3) they don't want to buy new hardware when the hardware they have suits their needs already, (when running xp)

    4) microsoft has switched around how the user interface works, so that now it treats you like you don't own the box. This causes issues for users who just want to make the printer they got for christmas work. Clicking OK on 3 or more scary "let this program make administrative changes?" Dialogs and other "scary" popups are not enjoyable to users, who really don't understand the significance of what the windows really mean, and who don't have an alternative to the "untrusted" 3rd party driver CD that came with the printer anyway. Windows 7 does this "less" than windows vista, which complained when you wanted to run solitare, but this is simply users chosing the lesser of two evils. They prefer the simplicity and nonverbose output of xp.

    5) fewer and fewer people buy computers to play video games these days, given the rise of modern console games with online multiplayer, and the reduced hassles of competing against people with better rigs. There is much less incentive to continue driving the forced upgrade cycle, so users try to get more equity out of already owned assets, like older hardware. Let's face it, unless you turn on 3d return of clippy or some other horseshit, you don't need an i7 to print resumes or make greeting cards. You don't need gobs of resources to play mp3s while you clean your house, facebook and farmville don't need epic leetness, etc. An old windows xp era rig can do all those things just fine, and users know this. Thus, windows xp satisfies most of their needs for a general purpose computing environment.

    The few issues that crop up appear to be (and are) totally contrived to continue monetizing the computing market. Driver support for devices, for instance. Unless it is some radical new slot architecture or something, there is little to make xp insufficient for a driver, especially when you are pushing a crapware consumer peripheral device like a printer or scanner, which usually use unidrv.dll for 99% of the functionality anyway. Other than drivers, you have security fixes, updates, and browsers. Browser makers don't like to support "legacy" OSes because they usually represent the dreaded "low end hardware", which forces them to make efficient code instead of quickly produced code; the impetus of which is purely due to makerting forces in the vast majority of cases. Feature creep causes a software product to require more and more resources to satisfy more and more edge case uses, which would be better satisfied with optional plugins run in sandboxed processes. Remember: "newer isn't always better." when users feel financially pinched, they stop chasing the shiny.

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva