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frankspin

Saying goodbye to Windows XP



It's been a long run, but Windows XP has finally reached its end of life. As of April 8th Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, meaning no more security updates and support. XP was, and still is, one of Microsoft's most successful operating systems with many fans holding out on upgrading. Looking through our user reviews you can see how much some of our users loved the OS.

Trewyy: "Windows XP is still the best OS to date."

ParasValecha: "A beast of an OS back in the day. Never had any problems with it."

However, we also have some users who agreed the OS was nearing its end of life and need to go.

When Microsoft released Vista, it was easy to not want to upgrade. It was a complete mess thought not in the way ME was a mess. Windows 7 made it easier to give up XP, but as evident by the graphic below it still had a huge hold on market share.



As the OS goes into the past, how are you planning to cope? Are you going to go for the moon and upgrade to Windows 8, or has Windows 7 shown itself as a suitable alternative to the once great XP?

ps - IE 6 can finally go away too!

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22 replies
dave

The IE 6 thing is huge. The folks at Ars took a look at how broken the internet is for those who are unlucky enough to still have to use it for some reason: arstechnica.com­/information­-technology­/2014­/04­/loo...

YUCK.

Here's Engadget's current page in IE 6.

3 like dislike
Dignan17

I recently got on a server with IE6 (yeah, nobody had upgraded in years). I was shocked by how broken the web is now on that browser. Of course, the browser its self is horribly broken and insecure, so it's a good thing most sites don't work with it.
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rmcvey

As a long time user of XP, I switched away from it within a year of 7 coming out, even thou still to this day I think that XP had the best start menu of all versions of Windows to date. XP needed to go, even businesses need to agree its time for a new OS. I currently run 8.1 on two of my pc's and 7 on my workstation. I find 7 to be easiest to use for work, but 8.1 is really nice in the entertainment section. I have both a tablet and a desktop functioning as a HTPC running 8.1 and I wouldnt go back to windows 7 on those for the world.
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frankspin

I've avoided going to Windows 8 on my HTPC because cablecards do not currently work with it.
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rmcvey

Well, I can understand that, but I cut the cord quite a while ago, so wasn't a factor in my decision. What I like about it, is the actual start screen, the metro interface along with netflix/hulu/plex/etc apps really make operating it much easier from the couch.
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dave

Windows XP is OVER.

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day4bananafish

XP is a workhorse to say the least. If you've worked any government or office job -probably to this day - you're likely to be using a computer running XP. And the reason for that was that it could run on the absolute worst computers ever and adapted well enough with the times. That's more than you can say for most software that came out in 2001 which is probably some sort of testament to how solid XP was.

I don't think I'll miss it too much.

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Dignan17

"If you've worked any government or office job -probably to this day - you're likely to be using a computer running XP."

You'd be surprised. Windows 7 has become the new standard in most of those areas. My wife works for the federal government and they've been on 7 for a few years now. Businesses also switched to 7 while they could still easily get new computers that came with it installed, fearing 8.
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frankspin

When I worked in a public school we avoided 7 on end user stations initially because we still had a lot of machines with 512MB of RAM humming along. As we began to shift to newer machines it didn't make sense to stick with XP anymore (why waste time reinstalling a full OS?) and began to move over to 7.
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Dignan17

[quick question, Frank: is that chart international or just US?]

XP was great in its day, but I firmly believe 7 is the best version of Windows ever made (and I liked 2000 a lot too it its time). I've been using 7 since the beta releases and have never gone back.

The funniest thing about that chart is how poorly Vista has done. I agree that XP has held its share because people didn't want to give it up, but I do wonder how this chart would have looked when Vista was released. In that chart, I suspect you could swap out 7 for XP and XP for 98/98SE and the numbers would be about the same. It really lends credence to the theory that every other version is terrible.

As a computer support tech, I talk to a lot of clients about what they think of Windows 8. I have never had a single client who likes using it. It's a mess, a disaster, and a complete and utter failure for Microsoft. It's an awful operating system that can't be replaced fast enough.

I've been helping a ton of people upgrade or replace their XP systems, and in every single case, without my prompting, they've wanted to move to Windows 7. These days, a refurbished Optiplex with an SSD and at least 4GB of RAM running Windows 7 is a great computer for people who don't need much from their systems.
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frankspin

I believe the chart is worldwide, but it's not specified in the article I got it from.

I also agree that Windows 7 is far superior to Windows XP. I think when 7 first came out there was still a lot of resentment over the aesthetics and Windows because of the Vista situation -- I still believe this is not entirely Microsoft's fault and still not as bad as ME.

While I haven't used Windows 8 a lot beyond a Parallels VM (which is infuriating), the whole experience is pretty frustrating. I wish they treated 8 as three versions: Touch (metro only), Professional (desktop only) and Metro (what 8 currently is with the hybrid mode). This could have allowed them to get the newer interface to people while still giving corporate environments the ability to keep a traditional experience. I mean it's just silly that there are TWO different IE experiences in 8.
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Dignan17

"I mean it's just silly that there are TWO different IE experiences in 8."

That pretty much sums it up. It baffles me that nobody stopped and thought that at the very least, perhaps they should do the bare minimum and combine the favorites of the two IE instances? They never thought that maybe it's a stupid idea to confuse users about where their settings are stored for their internet browser? I can only conclude that they assumed users would all switch over to using the tile interface full time. It's just dumb all around.

One of the big problems they had with 8 is that you never know which experience you're going to be thrown into. When you open an application in the tile interface, sometimes you're taken to the desktop mode and vice versa. It's a jarring experience for me, let alone one of my clients. I also can't stand how things are buried and difficult to find. Or how you HAVE to have an account with Microsoft in order to use the operating system and receive updates now.

Microsoft failed here. It's even worse than Vista. Vista was somewhat usable by this point, it just got a bad rep from it's first year on the market and the bad driver support it first experienced. It didn't try to so drastically shift how users interacted with their computers, and do it in such a dumb way.

I have to admit that I'm interested in seeing what Windows 9 (or whatever it's called) will look like. I'm hoping that it'll be the kind of improvement that Windows 7 was. But I'm not holding my breath as long as Sinofsky is still around...
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frankspin

Sinofsky hasn't been at microsoft since November 2012.

I think there is hope for 8.1 to right a lot of the issues of 8, much like SP2 did for XP.
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Dignan17

Dangit, you're right. Well, that gives me hope :)
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Met

Almost everything you've complained about has been fixed in 8.1, which I think is a pretty solid OS now. All my issues with 8 have been fixed as well.

Also, you don't need a Microsoft account to use the OS, but they don't make that very clear. When creating that first account, click the "don't have a Microsoft account" link, which takes you to a register page. On that register page, there's a link at the bottom that says "Just use a local account". I rewrote both quotes because I don't remember exactly what they said, but they should have roughly the same meaning.
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Dignan17

I've used the latest 8.1 and while it may have addressed some of the things I said in my post here, I don't think it's improved the operating system in regards to its fundamental flaws. I know that there are people who like the OS, but you should understand that you're in the minority.

Also, I could be wrong and you can correct me about this, but don't you have to have a Microsoft account in order to download 8.1? And isn't 8.1 now necessary in order to receive future updates?

So yes, I was aware that you could use the operating system as a local user, but if the above is correct, it's not advisable.
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Met

A Microsoft account is required to gain access to the Windows Store, which is the recommended way to get Windows 8.1, but it is definitely not the only way to get 8.1.

Also, each new update from Microsoft brings user experience improvements to 8.1. The latest update makes dealing with Metro apps a more familiar experience for those used to desktop mode by adding minimize and close buttons on the top right corners and having these apps appear in the taskbar. They also announced a Start Menu will be coming soon as an option to use instead of the Start Screen.

Microsoft is under a new rule under Satya Nadella and they are clearly trying to tell their users they are listening to them.
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Dignan17

I didn't say they weren't improving Windows 8, I just said that in my opinion it's still a mess that the average user is going to hate. I've had plenty of first-hand experience with this. I'm not going to fault them for making the OS better, but I will fault them for making a fundamental change to the UI and then slowly walking it back towards what the experience was before. They could have just done that in the first place, and I suspect we'll see that in the next version of Windows.

Also, if it's possible to get 8.1 another way, what is that way? And why would/should the Windows Store be the "recommended way" to get a massive update to the operating system? What's wrong with Windows Update, which has been the way users get their updates for almost two decades? I'm sorry, but it should be as easy as possible for a user to receive updates that improve and strengthen their computer. It's inexcusable to make that process more convoluted, and the only possible reason to do it is clear: Microsoft wants you to use the Windows Store. I'm sorry, but that's not putting the user first.

Look, I'm not a Microsoft hater (I'm not that type that spells it with a $). I use Windows on almost all my computers, and I work with their products every day. The reason I'm so angry with them about Windows 8 is that I work with the consumers who are affected by their changes. I assist the 70 year old retirees* who are already intimidated by computers and just picked the nice-looking, low-cost computer they saw at Costco. Those people despise Windows 8, and feel completely lost. So yes, bravo to Microsoft for improving the UI, but these people still hate it, and it's only going to push them towards their competitors.

* Naturally, I'm not saying that all 70 year olds and/or retirees are intimidated by computers. Just the ones that call me for help!
0 like dislike
moonstarru25

I won't miss it too much either! I've been using Windows 7 since it was released and I never had problems using it compared to my experience when I got my first laptop (years ago) with an XP installed. Though Windows XP is a user-friendly though, I think it's nice to know that we only have Windows 7 and 8 as options. I will stick with Windows 7.

I love the PS part , lol :)
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trag

Without XP I never would of met Linux and we have been inseparably in love ever since.
p.s XP,you will always be my friend.
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Met

I understand why people should leave XP now that it's not supported, but I honestly can't imagine anyone who was still using XP would really stop using it because of the lack of support other than stuff like ATMs and other things that need to be secure.
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joelhamill

I have been using and enjoying Windows 8 since it launched. The complaints of different interfaces and inconsistencies never been an issue for me. I quite like the Metro interface and have used that as my Start menu since the first day.
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