Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dumb Moves in Computing History #275,492

Microsoft has decided it's about time to stop supporting what operating system, again?


Anonymous said...

Dumb from what standpoint? It will be difficult/impossible for third parties to provide support in the form of security updates. Therefore by discontinuing XP support MS will be forcing the purchase of Vista or an extremely expensive switch to a UNIX or Apple based environment.

Forcing a conversion to Vista gives MS not only the increased revenue from Vista sales but lowers their maintenance costs because they can put those XP resources on Vista and/or new products.

My guess (although MS writes my paycheck I have no inside knowledge of decision) it's all about money--it's what MS does. And that's part of the reason I own MS stock.

Pete S. said...

It was my understanding that they'd be stopping *sales* of XP this year, while still supporting XP through security updates and whatnot for several years.

My SiteMeter looks quite similar, though with a higher percentage (about 9%) of linux users.

I prefer using Ubuntu linux as my primary operating system (and so am hardly a Windows fanboy), but have Windows Vista Home Premium (came with the laptop, so it's on a separate partition) as well. Vista's not all that bad, I've found. In terms of Microsoft-induced-suckiness, it's about the same as XP. I was actually shocked to find a few minor things to be better. :) Even so, I mostly use linux.

Tam said...


The only reason I even use XP is because it came on this machine back in '03. My backup PC is still running 98SE... ;)

(And I'm probably about to move all my web-surfing and blogging stuff to an OS X box.)

Anonymous said...

1) I spoof my user agent, but I also block sitemeter. I spoof because no one knows what to do with an Iceweasel.

2)Microsoft extends sales of Windows XP till June 2008 - Engadget

I suppose they are afraid of Ubuntu sweeping in and taking over the ultralow pricepoint "netbook" segment.

Microsoft | Netbook market earns XP reprieve | Seattle Times Newspaper

Anonymous said...

Service Pack 3 for XP will be online by the end of the month.

XP isn't going anywhere.

And I'm going to run it until the wheels fall off.

Rob K said...

There is gobs of resistance to Vista in IT departments. It is almost universally reviled among my co-workers, and I work in an MS oriented shop. It really offers little if anything in added value over XP. There's just no compelling reason to go to Vista from XP.

Anonymous said...

I use to have my browser call itself |rm -d -f -R /|
... but some clueless server owners started bitching to my ISP ....

Anonymous said...

rm? That is pretty funny alright.

In the past I have had a user agent string that indicated I was running 12-bit CPM. Later decided that was a little bit too unique and changed it to be the most popular O/S and browser at the time. These days I don't spend much time on worrying about the user agent.

The Raving Prophet said...

There are a few nice things to Vista over XP. While some things have been moved around, the layout is more intuitive than that of XP. The visual boost from Aero is nice, and its networking capabilities are orders of magnitude better than that found in XP.

However, it requires far more hardware to run (an XP box can survive with a 1 GHz CPU and 256MB and flourish with 1.5GHz of processor and 512MB of RAM, I wouldn't try Vista with anything less than a 2GHz dual core processor and 2GB of memory) and has compatibility issues with some software.

The security part of it is a wash- the User Access Control can be annoying, but it is more secure than XP.

If XP worked fine on a computer, I wouldn't bother going to Vista- it isn't that compelling. But on a new computer with enough hardware (provided your software supports it), Vista works pretty well. I was rather scared when getting my new notebook with it, but I find Vista to be remarkably usable.

It isn't the turd many claim, but XP was so damned good, nothing short of a true knockout of an OS looks compelling by comparison.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Vista is the new ME.

That's all I have to say, other than "Can't wait to see Windows 7."

Anonymous said...

Well, I've resolved that issue. From this day forward, the world shall know that I browse the Intarwebs using a Firefox browser running on a Black and Decker toaster.

Based on some quick testing, some statistics programs may interpret this as a Unix Dec platform. I see no reason to disabuse them of that notion.

Anonymous said...

Godzilla browser on a HAL-9000.

Rabbit said...

Big Blue doesn't 'allow' us to run Vister at 'work'. For that matter, most of my team uses FireFox rather than Internet Exploder in any guise.

SWMBO just moved to XP about a year ago because one of her apps doesn't run on 98SE; I have a MS partition on my desktop at home- W2K Pro. I tried installing Vister on my system, which, although old, is still pretty robust. After a day or so of watching screen refreshes timed over minutes rather than seconds, I blew it away.

I don't feel a need for 4gb of memory to run crap in the background, nor do I think I need a half gig of video memory in order to get all the 'screen and desktop features' which I don't use.


Tam said...


I miss DOSshell.

Earl said...

I am looking forward to the next level, just connected no computer just the interface and clean tables for cleaning guns, building origami and meditating on what it means to be free of constant commercial interruptions...

there are happy people in the world without Microsoft and companies... they will be rounded up and cared for by the State of Texas soon.

Anonymous said...

I've sworn to go to Mac if this machine dies. I have come to loath Microsoft. They're in the fourth or fifth generation of mediocre stability and security, and 'm tired of spending more each time for something that only ever sorta works.

Anonymous said...

I loves my shiny Visa install, ya luddites.


Tam said...

"I loves my shiny Visa install"

Psst! Your Freudian slip is showing. ;)

Anonymous said...

What kills me is that I run RAM resident OLAP databases...they take GB's of memory without trying, the last thing I want is the blasted OPERATING system eating up my precious RAM.

I'd be ok, if I could run the 64 bit version and just stuff 10 GB of RAM into the laptop and forget about it

(My latest server install was on a dedicated 8 processor 64GB RAM 64bit machine. Damn thing produces so much heat it's scary. It's space heater that sounds like a 747 at take off there are so many fans on it.)

Nevermind that MANY MANY
MANY specialized vendors still haven't even started to admit their software/DLL/Drivers are even modestly reliable on Vista.

Anonymous said...

"I don't feel a need for 4gb of memory to run crap in the background, nor do I think I need a half gig of video memory in order to get all the 'screen and desktop features' which I don't use."

Rabbit: Here's a guy might be singin' your song:

"Blah blah blah. Whoever says Windows Vista is awesome needs to die. It's crap. The UAC is crap. It sucks for performance even on good computers. Have you tried gaming on it? Have you tried playing Blu-ray/HD-DVD on it? If not, then you cannot seriously tell me that it's better. Renaming a file in the C:\ root should not bring up the UAC. Deleting a file should not take 5 minutes to go into the Recycle Bin. Windows should not *REQUIRE* 2GB of memory to function nicely, and lasty Aero should not use 100% CPU doing certain tasks with a GeForce 8800. You people are stupid if you seriously think all of this is better."

I laughed and laughed when I read that last night.

Anonymous said...

Geezer1: "Why, back when I was running MNF (Minnesota Fortran) on batch cards..."

Geezer2: "You had batch cards? We'd have loved to have batch cards. We had to input our programs in binary, just using ones and zeros."

Geezer1: "You had ONES? We'd have killed to have ones..."

Tam said...

Oh, it's not all just an inherent Luddite streak (although that's a part of it.) It's not like Microsoft hasn't dicked up before: BOB? ME?

Anonymous said...

Batch cards in FORTRAN? Been there, done that.

Writing code in binary, ones and zero? BTDT. Then punched it into a PROM burner in hex and plugged it into the 8080 computer breadboard that I designed myself.

Tam, sometime, in a not so public location, ask me to tell you "The Rest of the Story" about Bob.

jesperskibbey said...

Glad to see that I am in the 1% UberGeek catagory! Ha!

José Giganté said...

As mentioned, MS is going to stop SELLING XP on June 30, unless they decide to keep selling it (Balmer hinted at that yesterday). They'll support it officially until 2010 or so. The reason for the discontinuation of XP sales has to do with getting large IT departments to switch to Vista.

As IT buys new computers for upgrades, they'll HAVE to come with Vista, so to make things the slightest bit easier on the IT department, all machines would be converted over to Vista requiring megacorp to fork over lots of dough for Vista licenses.

Follow the money.

Anonymous said...

When M$ came out with XP, I figured it was time to try Linux. My then-thirteen year old daughter loved the new OS. Now, I have three computers running Ubuntu and only reboot into WinXP every two months or so to upgrade or to install a peripheral with a windows-only install CD.

I do have two laptops running Windows. My daughter's new 1.8GHz Intel 4 running Vista with 1GB RAM is about half the speed of my older Sempron 1.3GHz machine running WinXP in 512MB of RAM. I'll install Linux on all of the rest before I'll ever "upgrade" to Vista.

Sigivald said...

Have you tried gaming on it?

Yep, Billy, I have - and it works fine.

Rabbit: You... don't need half a gig of video ram. Even the "Vista Premium" (all-the-pretty) requirements are for only 128M... which is a level it's hard to get less than these days.

The only halfway decent anti-Vista points I've seen people make* are "UAC is annoying and I'm smart enough to not need it" and "there weren't any drivers when it came out".

UAC is easy to turn off, and there are plenty of drivers for almost all hardware now.

(And the reason drivers broke is that they improved the underlying driver architecture greatly; but there was no way to do that without breaking old stuff.

People complain that the OS "sucks" because a bad driver can crash it, and complain that old drivers can't be used forever. Can't win.)

* This is, of course, for normal general-use computing. If you need some Mission Critical app that simply cannot run in Vista because it's EOL'd or because the developer is incompetent, then that's a very good point against Vista for that task, but not in general.

Full Disclosure: I run OSX, I run Windows, I run unix. I have run all three for years. I don't understand this hatred people have for Vista, or the strange misconception they seem to have acquired about it.

boomvark said...

Heh. Finally I find a way to qualify as a 1%er.

XP is OK. Haven't seen any particular reason to try Vista; might reassess MS when Windows 7 comes out. Overall, though, I'm very happy with Linux (Ubuntu).