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Save Microsoft XP

I'm going to write a computer post. This coming from a person who has subscribed to AOL for over 10 years and thought hyperlinks and blockquotes were great inventions 4 years after the fact.

Anyway, I found this AP article interesting.

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.

I've heard the same and for that reason Microsoft Vista is one of the main drawbacks as I look to get a new laptop computer. From what I've heard, it is a downgrade from XP. Both my desktop and laptop have Microsoft XP.

Recently someone at a writer's forum I belonged to, said Microsoft is screwing up XP updates in order to get users to upgrade to Vista. Would a company do that? I'm not a big believer in conspiracies, however the latest part in the web fiction I'm writing(a serial) had a scene where the main character so frustrated over her slow computer, wondered if that's just what Microsoft is doing.

I don't have much more to add. Feel free to defend or bash Microsoft. Is it possible to downgrade? I mean buy a PC with Vista, but then install XP? Dumb question probably.


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Comments (32)

Dell's small business divis... (Below threshold)

Dell's small business division still sells XP laptops. We just bought one two weeks ago. Never doubted the choice for a moment.

Vista is the Windows ME of 2008. A useless money grab full of half-improved technology gutted by missed deadlines and too many cooks in the soup. Seems MS needs to re-learn that lesson every other OS or so.

Several retailers still hav... (Below threshold)

Several retailers still have a few models set aside with XP. Dell, for one. But that won't last long.

Yes, you can buy a Vista PC, wipe it, and install XP. But you need to make sure you have an XP license that's transferable. Retail XP licenses are, but I don't think OEM ones are (the ones where the PC comes pre-loaded with XP). And you also need to make sure you have the drivers for the hardware.

The idea that Microsoft is "screwing up" XP updates is silly. They may be dragging their feet a little on releasing the new service pack, but they're not intentionally creating problems. XP is still predominant in businesses, which are notoriously slow in upgrading to new releases. Any hint that Microsoft would be causing them problems would result in a slew of lawsuits.

You can definitely downgrad... (Below threshold)

You can definitely downgrade from Vista to XP (though you would have to get your hands on an XP serial, thus paying for two operating systems), though many stores still sell PCs with XP installed.

Personally, I use my Mac or my Linux box for most things, and the only PC I have at home is for games, and it's is running XP (and it will stay that way, without updates; Vista is hell on gaming machines).

I wouldn't put it past Microsoft to sabotage XP.

I dunno. The hardware reqs... (Below threshold)

I dunno. The hardware reqs for the video cards and the memory needed is higher, but not by a terrible amount. My HP old laptop (early 2005), designed for XP Media Center, ran it ok, better when I took the RAM to 2gb. When the keyboard went south, I replaced it with a new Acer last month. The Acer runs Vista Home Premium like a champ.
I've set up the old laptop with a keyboard and turned it into the bedroom PC with a minimal factory install (nothing but the OS) to be a DVR. With the extra RAM I put in for Vista, the XP install flies.

Vista is troubled enough, t... (Below threshold)

Vista is troubled enough, that I choose to use XP and not use my Vista upgrade. Vista may not work with all printers or some software applications or equipment. XP is old fashioned but reliable. Sort of like when AMC built cars based on the 1970 Hornet for seventeen model years because the design was so durable and worked so well, but looked dated as heck.

Don't bother with XP. Go to... (Below threshold)

Don't bother with XP. Go to a flea market and buy yourself a distribution of Windows 2000 Pro. There's no requirement for online activation; you can install it on as many machines as you please. And virtually anything that will run on XP will run on 2000 Pro.

All 60 of my laboratory machines run 2000 Pro. They're served by a central server running 2003 Server, but you probably won't care about that. I've never had a more stable lab environment -- or one whose shortcomings were easier to debug.

You remember the joke about... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

You remember the joke about Windows XP (or was it 2000) being the combination of Windows CE, ME, and NT? The punch line is that makes Windows CEMENT. As hard as a rock and as dumb as a brick.

I've used Vista and have a laptop that came with Vista. I don't find Vista is any more secure. It does warn you that you are about to launch or do something that could cause problems, but it does that with mundane and known safe operations such as renaming a file. What it does accomplish is put the blame on the user if they run some nastyware. After all, you were warned and you went ahead and did it anyway.

The other thing I noticed about Vista is that in many respects it's change for the sake of change. I find the interface different, but not better, and in many cases inferior to XP. If Microsoft was smart, they would give users a setting to make Vista look and feel like XP Pro. They could call it Vista XP.

One of the many good Linux ... (Below threshold)

One of the many good Linux release runs on hardware that even XP won't run decently on. I've got a couple of old Pentium II boxes that will run Firefox browsers with as much response as the Vista laptop I have with a 64 bit processor.

I have been using Vista for... (Below threshold)

I have been using Vista for a year and outside of a minor quirk here or there I like it. It takes a bit longer to boot but I do not turn my computer off every day as is recommended. Plus it has some nice features that I really like.

There's a reason Microsoft ... (Below threshold)

There's a reason Microsoft is working hard on Windows 7. That reason? Windows Vista.

to the commentor about 2000... (Below threshold)

to the commentor about 2000 Pro. Sorry, but the differences between 2000 Pro and XP are numerous. A crippled TCP/IP stack is one area as well many, many well documented holes in the kernal architecture between 2000 Pro--which XP is an upgrade of. If you are going to go back to Win2K get at least the server version. 2000 was ok in its day, but XP is far superior. It may work in your lab environment, but I'm betting your environment is a lot more stable in terms of application usage or exposure. It's not really practical for widespread use (one reason it never was really a commerical, at home user success.

Vista just doesn't deliver enough bang for the buck to justify the combined OS and increased hardware costs.

If their "upgrades" screw u... (Below threshold)

If their "upgrades" screw up XP, my next computer will be a mac powerbook, period. I've seen what they've done to the 2007 Version of Office and promptly uninstalled it and went back to office 2003. If they won't give me what I want, then I'll find another supplier. I haven't heard a good word about Vista from anyone yet.

Mantis is right about Vista... (Below threshold)

Mantis is right about Vista and gaming. The two words shouldn't even be in the same paragraph. The issue of incompatibility with other programs is true as well. I'm none too pleased with it. The nag screens are annoying and excessive and just trying to share a printer on a network was a royal pain.

Would they deliberately screw up the XP updates? I believe they would. Not by sabotaging them outright, but by shoving out updates that haven't been properly checked for errors or quality and offering vague remedies in help files when the updates go awry. Remember, this is Microsoft we're talking about.

My intention is not strictly to badmouth them because they've achieved the amazing in many ways - but in other ways their record is abysmal.

everyone hated XP when it c... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

everyone hated XP when it came out. Most people had 256MB of ram, and XP runs like garbage on that. Once the hardware catches up to vista, it won't be as sluggish and as bad. It didn't jump on the XP bandwagon until it was out for around 2 or 4 years. I'm not saying Vista will be any better, but 2 to 4 years is about the time it seems that it takes for hardware vendors to cater hardware to an OS, as well as for users to get used to it.

I think that Microsoft shot itself in the foot by making 30 versions (i know i'm exaggerating) of Vista. I hate the Home/Professional versions of XP. Make one version and a couple different licenseing schemes for businesses and home users. When i buy an OS, I don't want the hassle of trying to get my hands on a pro version so i can have the full functionality i deserve. I won't run a computer with XP Home on it, and i won't run a computer in the future with Vista simple, or whatever it's called. Give me all of it, or i don't want it.

either way, expect Vista to catch on in about 2 to 4 or 5 years.

Yep, I've got a lot of Wind... (Below threshold)

Yep, I've got a lot of Windows games that ran from '98 up through XP that won't work on Vista.

Never assume Microsoft cons... (Below threshold)

Never assume Microsoft conspiracy when mere Microsoft incompetence will suffice.

Actually Ken, that is not c... (Below threshold)

Actually Ken, that is not correct. Microsoft is conspiring and is incompetent both.

Sorry for the semi-hijack o... (Below threshold)

Sorry for the semi-hijack of this thread, but I've been b****ing to coworkers today about two annoying elements of Vista (which came pre-infected on my new laptop):

No free non-MS compatible e-mail apps (except for Thunderbird, which I'm not impressed with - we miss you, Eudora), and the crippling of the "search" feature. Here is Microsoft's "solution" to restoring the simple feature of scanning one's hard drive for a file:


Anyone have any advice on these?

Join the <a href="http://ww... (Below threshold)

Join the movement.

All I want to know, how man... (Below threshold)

All I want to know, how many times do I have to pay for Notepad? And for all the other functionality that met my needs since Windows '98?

Is it possible to ... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:
Is it possible to downgrade? I mean buy a PC with Vista, but then install XP?

Depends on which Vista: Ultimate or Business, yes - Home Premium or Home Basic, no. Computerworld:

So, what downgrades does Microsoft allow? Owners of the OEM editions of Vista Business and Vista Ultimate can downgrade to Windows XP Professional, including Tablet PC Edition and x64 Edition. Only the OEM editions qualify for a downgrade, so if you purchased a new PC with either Business or Ultimate preinstalled, you're in like Flynn.

Those who aren't: All users of Vista Home Basic and Vista Home Premium, and anyone who upgraded to Vista using a retail edition of any of the operating system's SKUs. You are, as they say, SOL.

I am deathly afraid of Vist... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

I am deathly afraid of Vista. I have XP Home on my desktop and XP Pro on my laptop, with no problems of any kind. I will not be upgrading any day soon, nor will I be purchasing a new computer until MS comes out with something as reliable as XP has been for me.

"Sort of like when AMC buil... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

"Sort of like when AMC built cars based on the 1970 Hornet for seventeen model years..."

We had a Hornet Sportabout mini station wagon in the late 70's. It was awesome.

Check Kim Kommando dot com.... (Below threshold)

Check Kim Kommando dot com. Seems she had some solutions for Vista users on there not too long ago.

The pc you bought with XP i... (Below threshold)

The pc you bought with XP installed comes with a restore disc in case you have to reinstall the operating system. Just save your XP disc for your new pc with Vista, and 'reinstall' XP on it.

I think it pretty apparent ... (Below threshold)

I think it pretty apparent that Microsoft has been engaged in questionable market manipulation for years.

Go MAC and never go back.

I have no teal issue with M... (Below threshold)
Rick Caird:

I have no teal issue with MS and Vista as a conspiracy. MS was simply trying to build a new product. My complaint with Vista revolves around the system changes. Things that we learned to do easily in XP are hard to find in Vista. That is really annoying.

For Home users, Vista is probably OK as long as you are running on a computer design to run Vista. All the popups are annoying though. I don't like the backup program either.

If you do plan to change from Vista to XP, it is imperative you make sure that there are XP device drivers for all your devices. My best recommendation is to order a new PC with XP installed.

If you want to go back to XP, you can buy an OEM version of XP. There may be some restriction, like no upgrade ability on the CD and, maybe, no repair install. In any case, though, to buy an OEM version you also have to buy, at the same time, something that goes inside the computer or you are not eligible to buy the OEM version. The cheapest thing to to buy is a SATA cable (even if you don't have SATA drives and it is a laptop). You just have to buy the cable, not use it.

I did order my laptop from Dell with XP pro pre -installed. That was a requirement because some of the software my customers run, only runs on XP. Commercial, business software takes more testing before release than consumer software.


Even if you buy a legal cop... (Below threshold)

Even if you buy a legal copy of XP, you may not be able to downgrade. It depends on the hardware, too.

At work, we have some software that WON'T run on Vista - it depends on drivers that aren't Vista-compatible. When they tried to upgrade my system the first time, they bought a new machine with Vista and a copy of XP Pro.

XP Pro installed on the machine, but it didn't recognize any of the hardware - not the ethernet, not the video controller, not the DVD reader/burner (which it thought was a CR-ROM driver without burn capability). Looking online from another machine, the only hardware drivers available for that machine were Vista drivers.

I ended up getting upgraded, but it was to a Dell machine that *came with* XP when we bought it.

Why bother, just switch to ... (Below threshold)

Why bother, just switch to MAC!! There is a great article in popular Mechanics this month, MAC vs. PC, and PM was surprised to find after their testing that MAC beat PC in every aspect. My favorite bit from the article:

"We even tested Vista on the Mac's platform switching Boot Camp software--and found that both Apple computers (laptop and desktop) ran Vista faster than our PCs did."

Well, speaking personally, ... (Below threshold)

Well, speaking personally, I have moved to Mac at home. I started about a year and a half ago, because I got frustrated dealing with peripherals that I couldn't get to work under XP, and then my motherboard started to go.

I am running XP on a small partition on my Mac laptop (I bought a full copy of XP that I used to upgrade my PC desktop - Windows ME was newly-released and installed by default when I bought the desktop), but only because the tax program I've used for several years is Windows-only, and I wanted to keep continuity.

At work, we'll continue to use XP. If our customers insist on using our products with Vista, we'll get a system so we can support them, but too many of the development tools we use to develop our products don't run on Vista yet.

When I got my laptop a few ... (Below threshold)

When I got my laptop a few weeks ago I was able to get it with XP

The dark lords of Microsoft... (Below threshold)

The dark lords of Microsoft are screwing the pooch on Vista and I think they know it.

Not that I feel sorry for them.






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