Users fight to save Windows XP

Jay

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SEATTLE - Microsoft Corp.'s operating systems run most personal computers around the globe and are a cash cow for the world's largest software maker. But you'd never confuse a Windows user with the passionate fans of Mac OS X or even the free Linux operating system. Unless it's someone running Windows XP, a version Microsoft wants to retire.

Fans of the six-year-old operating system set to be pulled off store shelves in June have papered the Internet with blog posts, cartoons and petitions recently. They trumpet its superiority to Windows Vista, Microsoft's latest PC operating system, whose consumer launch last January was greeted with lukewarm reviews.

No matter how hard Microsoft works to persuade people to embrace Vista, some just can't be wowed. They complain about Vista's hefty hardware requirements, its less-than-peppy performance, occasional incompatibility with other programs and devices and frequent, irritating security pop-up windows.

For them, the impending disappearance of XP computers from retailers, and the phased withdrawal of technical support in coming years, is causing a minor panic.

Take, for instance, Galen Gruman. A longtime technology journalist, Gruman is more accustomed to writing about trends than starting them.

But after talking to Windows users for months, he realized his distaste for Vista and strong attachment to XP were widespread.

"It sort of hit us that, wait a minute, XP will be gone as of June 30. What are we going to do?" he said. "If no one does something, it's going to be gone."

So Gruman started a Save XP Web petition, gathering since January more than 100,000 signatures and thousands of comments, mostly from die-hard XP users who want Microsoft to keep selling it until the next version of Windows is released, currently targeted for 2010.

On the petition site's comments section, some users proclaimed they will downgrade from Vista to XP ? an option available in the past to businesses, but now open for the first time to consumers who buy Vista Ultimate or Business editions ? if they need to buy a new computer after XP goes off the market.

Others used the comments section to rail against the very idea that Microsoft has the power to enforce the phase-out from a stable, decent product to one that many consider worse, while profiting from the move. Many threatened to leave Windows for Apple or Linux machines.

Microsoft already extended the XP deadline once, but it shows no signs it will do so again. The company has declined to meet with Gruman to consider the petition. Microsoft is aware of the petition, it said in a statement to The Associated Press, and "will continue to be guided by feedback we hear from partners and customers about what makes sense based on their needs."

Gruman said he'd keep pressing for a meeting.

"They really believe if they just close their eyes, people will have no choice," he said.

In fact, most people who get a new computer will end up with Vista. In 2008, 94 percent of new Windows machines for consumers worldwide will run Vista, forecasts industry research group IDC. For businesses, about 75 percent of new PCs will have Vista. (That figure takes into account companies that choose to downgrade to XP.)

Although Microsoft may not budge on selling new copies of XP, it may have to extend support for it.

Al Gillen, an IDC analyst, estimated that at the end of 2008 nearly 60 percent of consumer PCs and almost 70 percent of business PCs worldwide will still run XP. Microsoft plans to end full support ? including warranty claims and free help with problems ? in April 2009. The company will continue providing a more limited level of service until April 2014.

Gillen said efforts like Gruman's grass-roots petition may not influence the software maker, but business customers' demands should carry more clout.

"You really can't make 69 percent of your installed base unhappy with you," he said.

Some companies ? such as Wells Manufacturing Co. in Woodstock, Ill. ? are crossing their fingers that he's right. The company, which melts scrap steel and casts iron bars, has 200 PCs that run Windows 2000 or XP. (Windows 2000 is no longer sold on PCs. Mainstream support has ended, but limited support is available through the middle of 2010.)

Wells usually replaces 50 of its PCs every 18 months. In the most recent round of purchases, Chief Information Officer Lou Peterhans said, the company stuck with XP because several of its applications don't run well on Vista.

"There is no strong reason to go to Vista, other than eventually losing support for XP," he said. Peterhans added that the company isn't planning to bring in Vista computers for 18 months to two years. If Microsoft keeps to its current timetable, its next operating system, code-named Windows 7, will be on the market by then.



I myself will be using XP until I know for certain that everything that is irratating about Vista is resolved. And for the people using Vista, I thank you for essentially beta testing it. Seriously. If people will gripe enough, Microsoft will listen...and what we got from that was XP.
 

Wizegui

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My experience with Vista so far hasn't been terrible, it it isn't all that great either. On the plus side, I barely need to install any drivers. On the downside, it's slow, irritating with it's pop ups, and it's memory consumption. I'll probably keep my Vista until I reformat the damn thing.
 

jeffy777

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Yeah, I haven't felt the need to move to Vista yet.

Even if MS stops supporting XP, that doesn't mean I am going to stop using it, atleast for now anyway. I haven't installed Windows Updates since before Christmas :)

As soon as more games start utilizing DX10, then I'll probably be more inclined to go to Vista.
 

essentialatom

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I'm currently in the middle of a new PC build and I'll be installing XP. I've used Vista on other people's machines and while I don't hate it quite as vehemently as others, I agree with much of what they say. From what I could work out it's not actually massively different from XP - it just uses way more resources and adds little that's not incredibly annoying, prohibitive, intrusive, hindering, or useless. I'd also tentatively say 'arguably illegal' but I don't know enough about Vista's features to make such a statement. I'd rather people who know more about it jump on that :p

So I'll be sticking with XP. And my new rig's going to have enough power and expandability to stick with me for a good while to come. Eventually I'll have to move to Vista, but it'll take a bit of time to achieve dominance in the market.
 
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jeffy777

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I'm still on Windows 3.1. F*ck Windows 95!

95 was a lot better than 3.1, while Vista may have some improvements over XP, but it's not as big of a jump as 95 was.

But yeah, when XP came out, there were those saying how much better 98 was because it used less resources. And even Service Pack 2 has tons of people freaking out a few years back.
 

MadCow809

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NooDle

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XP FTW
Vista FTL

that is all
 

DTMracer

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Vista on my laptop is really pissing me off. It doesn't want to run any of my old racing games (e.g. Colin Mcrae 2005 and TOCA Race driver 2), iTunes keeps hanging up, and for some reason now its running really slow compared to before...

Should probably try and find the XP drivers for my laptop and install XP.
 

maateuszz89

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^ Same here, my PC is four years old, but I'm satisfied with XP, far better than 98/2000.

I have second PC in my house with Vista, so I have some experience with it. The pop-ups are the most irritating thing, the rest is OK, it's as stable as XP, can't really see the difference.
 

cvrefugee

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Vista on my laptop is really pissing me off. It doesn't want to run any of my old racing games (e.g. Colin Mcrae 2005 and TOCA Race driver 2), iTunes keeps hanging up, and for some reason now its running really slow compared to before...

Should probably try and find the XP drivers for my laptop and install XP.

Why are you trying to play games on a laptop?
 

awdrifter

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While XP is great, I don't think the petition will save it. Vista sucks because it's designed to run on the comps of 2010 (just like XP is design for computers of 2004+), once we have quad cores, 4-8GB of ram, and "patched" DRM, Vista will be good. But until then, I'm sticking with XP.
 

Matt2000

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I have issues with the way vista is set out. My sister has vista on her lappy, and my PCs are all XP, so trying to get into her network settings (just a click on XP) is next to impossible, and then, when you do find it, vista gives you a bunch of pointless messages...

I hope XP doesn't die, I will be using it for the next few years as AFAIK, unless I get a lot of cash for some reason, and I will buy Corsair. :p

Then maybe my Vista machine will outperform an XP box.
 

Lilleput

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Write Network Settings in the Search Bar right on your Start Menu Pop-up and press enter.. Done.

Again it had nothing to do with Vista it self, just the user.



Fyi: You can disable all the messages.
 

cvrefugee

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While XP is great, I don't think the petition will save it. Vista sucks because it's designed to run on the comps of 2010 (just like XP is design for computers of 2004+), once we have quad cores, 4-8GB of ram, and "patched" DRM, Vista will be good. But until then, I'm sticking with XP.

That's odd, because my computer, which was built in April 2004 and slowly upgraded since then, performs very well in Vista.

http://pic.armedcats.net/c/cv/cvrefugee/2008/04/15/vista_score.PNG
 
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