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There is no end-of-life XP problem

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  • User profile image
    wastingtime​withforums

    Microsoft wants to encourage XP users move to.. Windows 8 instead of 7!

    http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9238235/Microsoft_tempts_XP_laggards_with_84_upgrade_discount

    Fat chance!

    I can't understand why they want to kill XP so bad. Sure, I can understand it why they don't want to support a 12 year old OS "for free" anymore, but this problem is solvable:

    Release XP Second Edition (basically SP4 with some minor improvements). Price it at 30$. Problem solved. Of course SE should be installable over existing installations.

    Let the Windows Update support die out for the regular XP at its deadline, but keep supporting XP SE with patches after that for the next five to ten years. Make it clear that newer MS software still won't run on it, it's just about patches (most current XP users don't care about that point anyway, otherwise they would have upgraded).

    This way XP users (many of them corps) would be happy, and Microsoft gets the funding to support it for the next years.

    And by bundling XP SE with IE8 (instead of IE6) they can retire it at regular XP's deadline too.

    Sure, any great Apple-envy and locked appstore-fantasies wouldn't be fulfilled this way. Sucks, huh?

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    , wastingtime​withforums wrote

    And by bundling XP SE with IE8 (instead of IE6) they can retire it at regular XP's deadline too.

    And what exactly would that achieve? Perplexed

  • User profile image
    wastingtime​withforums

    , GoddersUK wrote

    *snip*

    And what exactly would that achieve? Perplexed

    Hm. You're right. Makes not much sense, since there's often internal IE6 dependency. OK, scratch that IE8 point.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @wastingtimewithforums: You insist that the problems with Windows 8 be fixed. Yet, Supporting XP takes resources away from work on other versions of Windows.

    Any company still running XP after extended support expires has incompetent technology staff.

  • User profile image
    wastingtime​withforums

    , kettch wrote

    @wastingtimewithforums:  Supporting XP takes resources away from work on other versions of Windows.

    Fixing some buffer-overruns doesn't require the whole Windows crew. A multi-billion dollar conglomerate could surely create a skeleton crew for this task. Especially since this service wouldn't be free. Or just keep the ones who are currently assigned to fixing Windows XP still at it.

    , kettch wrote

    Any company still running XP after extended support expires has incompetent technology staff.

    Why upgrade when it works? Paying for an additional support time makes more sense to me than disrupting the tools your staff is familiar with. Who cares if it's old?

    The cabling and plumbing is usually older than XP in most businesses. And just like those, computers are just tools doing their job. If there's no need to upgrade, there's no need to upgrade. If some of the cables get damaged, you call someone to repair or renew them. But you don't replace all your wiring just because the manufacturer created some new "ultracool" successor models (which also glow through the walls, because it's the new cool hipster-thing. Your employees in mega-corp find it distracting and annoying? Their problem!)

  • User profile image
    kettch

    , wastingtime​withforums wrote

    Fixing some buffer-overruns doesn't require the whole Windows crew. A multi-billion dollar conglomerate could surely create a skeleton crew for this task. Especially since this service wouldn't be free. Or just keep the ones who are currently assigned to fixing Windows XP still at it.

    Let's say there's a buffer-overrun that needs to be fixed. Easy, right? (incoming wall of text)

    There needs to be a review of the issue to see what it affects, the impact, any possible regressions, etc. There's scheduling and PM work that needs to be done as well. There's a battery of tests that need to be run to show how that particular issues shows up, as well as the different ways it can be triggered. Then somebody needs to actually fix the bug. That part is simple. Now it's on to verification and testing. All we have to do is pass an automated testing suite, a manual test matrix, and tests on hardware. Somewhere in there we  that we need to run all of those tests for Home, Professional, 64-bit, MCE, TPC, Starter, VL, Embedded, OEM, K, N, KN, Fundamentals, OEM...am I missing any? Oh, now take all of what you just did and do it for every language and localization. So, you've now involved PMs, SDE's, SDT's, and a host of people who build and maintain test environments. Take into account the fact that these people all have other projects, so you've got overhead for them to shift contexts to the new task.

    I'm probably missing some steps, and a lot of this stuff is automated or may not apply in all cases. The point is, there is no such thing as a "simple" software fix.

    Even if this support weren't free, there's no way a company is going to be willing pay what this would cost, because you are no longer spreading the cost of this effort across millions of licenses. Also, there is no group of people who sit around waiting for XP issues. I believe that the same teams own features across all versions of Windows.

  • User profile image
    wastingtime​withforums

    Let's not pretend that there's such a huge internal difference between NT 5 and NT 6. All they have to do is to keep the current way of things extended for some years.

    The automatization is probably a lot more refined, otherwise they would have crumbled a lot earlier. Localization issues are probably automatized too (for one, the strings don't change between patches. And internally the various localized versions are very similar). 

    The XP version with the most reach and marketshare are also just XP Home 32 bit, and XP Professional 32 bit. These would be the ones eligible for SE.

    The marketshare of the 64 version is tiny. Embedded doesn't even need patches in most cases, since it's in kiosk mode. Similar case with fundamentals and the like.

    MCE is just Professional with Media Center bolted on.

    "Even if this support weren't free, there's no way a company is going to be willing pay what this would cost, because you are no longer spreading the cost of this effort across millions of licenses."

    Windows XP is at almost the same user base level as Windows 7! It's not some fringe case.

    Ultimately Microsoft failed to create a appealing successor product. Maybe they should stop shifting the user interfaces everytime around, create a far better emulator (XP Mode wasn't that great) and/or make a true "professional" line where the UI and other things stay the same between the releases for a long time. They failed to do this, quite simple as that, and blaming the stupid customers won't magically let all those XP users vanish. Fact. And if some huge virus breaks out, Microsoft WILL be blamed in part for not offering some solution.

    Fact is, Windows XP is the most used Windows version after 7, with a marketshare of almost 40%.

    They just can't deal with this issue by going to repeat their upgrade-mantra (to Windows 8 of all things) without facing the reality of the situation.

  • User profile image
    ZippyV

    Companies can already pay Microsoft to create a patch for them.

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    , wastingtime​withforums wrote

    Fact is, Windows XP is the most used Windows version after 7, with a marketshare of almost 40%.

    Citation? Last I checked, XP had less marketshare than Windows 8.

    You have no idea how software is developed if you think a $30 upgrade license would pay for supporting the ancient piece of software that XP is.

  • User profile image
    wastingtime​withforums

    , spivonious wrote

    *snip*

    You have no idea how software is developed if you think a $30 upgrade license would pay for supporting the ancient piece of software that XP is.

    The pricing is debatable. 30$ was just a discussion point.

     

    , spivonious wrote

    *snip*

    Last I checked, XP had less marketshare than Windows 8.

    LOL, what?! Did you fall out of a time-warp?

    http://netmarketshare.com/

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  • User profile image
    figuerres

    it's time for users to at least move to windows 7.

    sure there are many points that we can debate but at the end of the day it's still time for them to move on.

    if they want to use xp and feel that it's ok for them then why does Microsoft need to do anything for them ? if they have a problem with xp then it's time to upgrade.

    that is IMHO the only idea that really works.

    MS has done a good job with windows 7, most companies have upgraded or are in the process of doing so.

  • User profile image
    dahat

    @wastingtimewithforums:I just remembered your theme song.

    You really need to sing it more often as it's quite catchy... even if misguided.

  • User profile image
    cheong

    @wastingtimewithforums:Remember why Vista would need a major rewrite therefore delayed the release?

    I think it's understandable that someone in Microsoft would want to dump old WinXP source code from production use ASAP.

    Of course, I don't think companies are moving to Win8, nearly all companies that I heard planning upgrades are targeting Win7 instead, and others are waiting for Windows Blue to decide.

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  • User profile image
    cheong

    , wastingtime​withforums wrote

    Fixing some buffer-overruns doesn't require the whole Windows crew. A multi-billion dollar conglomerate could surely create a skeleton crew for this task. Especially since this service wouldn't be free. Or just keep the ones who are currently assigned to fixing Windows XP still at it.

    Think about it, it does not only affects Microsoft. As application developer (that aren't inhouse), need to support 5 differents "Windows" at the same time adds tremendous burden to QA (if your company has QA at all, though). I personally hope WinXP die soon so that we can skip Vista too and directly declare our minimum requirement to be Win7.

    Let's not forget Microsoft is also releasing their own software package known as MS Office as well as many other much smaller applications. They have large incentive to wish WinXP fade out soon too.

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  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , wastingtime​withforums wrote

     

    Release XP Second Edition (basically SP4 with some minor improvements). Price it at 30$. Problem solved. Of course SE should be installable over existing installations.

    They did. It was XP SP4. Also, it wasn't $30, it was free.

    Let the Windows Update support die out for the regular XP at its deadline, but keep supporting XP SE with patches after that for the next five to ten years. Make it clear that newer MS software still won't run on it, it's just about patches (most current XP users don't care about that point anyway, otherwise they would have upgraded).

    They did. That was when XP left mainstream support in 2009. MS have made it clear that newer MS software won't run on it, and Windows Update for XP is only about shipping security patches now.

    This way XP users (many of them corps) would be happy, and Microsoft gets the funding to support it for the next years.

    And by bundling XP SE with IE8 (instead of IE6) they can retire it at regular XP's deadline too.

    They did that too. XP+SP4 includes IE8. That doesn't mean everyone runs it.

    The point is that everything you're suggesting Microsoft already did 2 years ago. And the only thing getting people off XP is the fact that it's leaving extended support now. If Microsoft decided to support XP for another two years, companies would cancel their upgrade plans and continue pretending that XP is a suitable operating system to be using in 2013.

  • User profile image
    cheong

    @evildictaitor: WinXP SP4? Where is it?

    SP is different from Update Rollup (UR), new SP will extend the product lifecycle and effectively extend the life of Windows XP. Are you sure it's true?

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  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , cheong wrote

    @evildictaitor: WinXP SP4? Where is it?

    SP is different from Update Rollup (UR), new SP will extend the product lifecycle and effectively extend the life of Windows XP. Are you sure it's true?

    Service packs (apart from XP SP2) are in fact in the main, just update-rollups.

    But since you don't want that, you'll be glad to know that they fixed all of the bugs they found in Windows XP, upgraded the interface and added all of the missing features and exploit mitigations they had for Windows XP for a one-time fee, and pushed back the life for Windows for a couple of years.

    They called it Windows Vista, and you can either get it on a printed disk, or update over the Internet. Although you should probably skip "XP SP5" (if you want to call it that) and go straight for the Windows XP Service Pack which goes by the brand name "Windows 7" or "Windows 8".

    Those Windows XPs have a much longer support lifecycle, have all of the bugfixes from the previous updates, and come with new kernel and user-mode level exploit protections, APIs, functionality and features.

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    , wastingtime​withforums wrote

    *snip*

    Hm. You're right. Makes not much sense, since there's often internal IE6 dependency. OK, scratch that IE8 point.

    I meant what would be the point of releasing XP SE if it reaches end of life at the same time as XP?

    You can already get XP "SE" anyway - go to Windows Update and install the updates. If someone's not done that they're not going to pay $30 to do so from a CD...

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