New updates and patches for Windows XP end next year. Will you make the switch to Windows 8? Windows 7, maybe?


Windows XP debuted on October 25, 2001, roughly 11.5 years ago. Since then, XP has gained a large following with a good number of people continuing to use the decade-old operating system. In fact, some estimates suggest as much as 1/3 of Windows users are still on Windows XP with many of them showing no sign of upgrading. However, Microsoft is chugging forward with XP’s end-of-life: extended support for Windows XP will officially end on April 8, 2014, after which Windows XP will receive no updates from Microsoft… including security updates.

Aside from Windows XP, Office 2003 and Internet Explorer 6 will also stop being supported by Microsoft on April 8, 2014.

Seeing as XP is eleven years old and technology has advanced vastly since then, XP has, more or less, been kept secure (as secure as Windows is, anyway) thanks largely to continued updates and patches Microsoft has released for Windows XP. Come next April, these updates and patches will stop meaning there will be a boatload of people who will be left vulnerable to scumbags with no hope in sight — aside from upgrading to a newer version of Windows or switching to Linux/Mac.

So, that brings me to a question I ask of your Windows XP diehards. Will you upgrade to Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8? I doubt anyone would upgrade to Windows Vista and many people hate Windows 8, but Windows 7 is as highly praised as — and more secure than — Windows XP so that is a possibility. Assuming you can find it, of course. Or do you plan on switching to Linux — Ubuntu or Linux Mint, maybe — or Mac? Or do you simply plan on sticking to your delightful Windows XP? Let us know in the comments below! If we dotTechies can come up with a good list of alternative operating systems for Windows XP users to try, I may make an individual post about it.

[via ArsTechnica]

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  • Paul

    Rob (Down Under)

    I do not feel that I am forced to use XP Mode although to have it available was one of the reasons I got the Pro version of 7. The fact that it was XP Pro (and free) was another.

    Over several years I tried three different versions of Thunderbird and never got any of them to work.
    I use OE in XP and XP Mode, in 7 I use Opera Mail, as I had Opera installed already it did not require a separate installation.

    I have looked at a lot of encryption software and although it is limited to XP MPF is as simple as any to use and as far as such a thing is possible, completely secure.
    The only problem I am aware of is that if you forget the password you can forget any files you have encrypted with it, which is one reason why MS withdrew it.

    To see if a program that is normally installed can be run as a portable I first use Universal Extractor to extract the files.
    What you get from that depends on the program.
    Some you get a single executable that can be run as is without any other files.
    Some have additional files, DLL’s etc, that you simply leave in the same folder as the executable when you run it.
    Some programs do not show an executable when you extract them so you find the largest file and rename it, I use the name of the program, and add .exe to the end of it, it usually works.

    Not all programs can be run as portables and on rare occasions some that can do not carry settings across a reboot.

    I cannot recall the last time that I tried a program where one or other of the above methods did not work provided I was able to extract the files, which depends on how the installer was compiled, it is not always possible.

  • Rob (Down Under)

    I don’t like MS forcing us to do things, especially as they continually do not use ‘KISS’
    How about Axcrypt instead of ‘Private Folder’ (It appears to be free)
    And if you try it, and like it, perhaps you could consider if it would be handy for us members that are into Copy DOT com (see Ashraf’s other thread)

  • Rob (Down Under)

    I notice the two programs that force you to use XP mode are MS.
    Not sure what Private folder is, but you should ditch Outlook Express, and use Thunderbird. I did years ago, and never looked back.
    . . .
    Could you elaborate on how you make an installable into a portable ?
    I could peep in an archive and grab the exe, but don’t you have to also get the dependencies (DLL’s etc), and do something with them ?

  • Paul

    To answer a few of the previous comments:

    I run Word 2002 in Windows 7 Pro x64 and everything works without any problems.
    I have only found two programs I use regularly which will only work in XP Mode, they are Microsoft Private Folder and Outlook Express.
    On the rare occasions I have found an installation problem I have usually been able to extract the main executable from the installer and run it as a portable program.

    I am surprised that those who recommend trying Ubuntu have not mention Wubi: I have never used it myself but I have not read of any problems with it.

  • Louis

    @ mukhi

    That’s an interesting observation — as you’ve probably read, Office 2003 is running straightforward under my Win 7 64 bit Home, and without any virtualisation (not included with Home version), nor any other VM Ware, or even running it in any form of compatibility mode, NOR ANY COMPATIBILITY SETTINGS AT ALL.

    It just installed itself from the installation cd into the C/Program Files (x86) in Woindows, and right off the bat, without any adjustments, it worked on my laptop until now.

    I’m a prof in Tax Law, and deal with some heavy files, and theses, be in Word, Excel, even PowerPoint lectures can be huge, so I’d like to check out what you said, regarding Office 2003 running better under virtualisation

    — could you refer me to such a document that you’ve experienced that problem with Ofice 2003 without virtualisation, let me run it on my Office 2003 as is on my system, and if it seems not to handle it quite well, I’ll post that here ?

  • Rob (Down Under)

    I help a few friends, and a few times they have contacted me, saying they had problems. They nearly all related to graphics (no doubt because of all the wanker excessive eye candy that MS has in Win 7)
    I managed to get them all working, by experimenting with the Compatibility settings.
    The first thing to do, is click ‘do this for all users’ (or whatever it is called, bottom left). That brings up an identical form. Then choose XP mode. Then experiment with the checkboxes in the middle of the form.
    PS One of my friends problems, actually needed us to NOT tick ‘do this for all users’, (Probably due to MS’s excessive limiting of access to folders, and the ‘all users’ setting was then asking for access to somewhere that Win7 did not like)

  • mukhi

    [@Rob (Down Under)] well, office 2003 works in win7 with all kinds of compatibility settings UNTIL AND UNLESS you need to deal with something like a dissertation thesis of >200 pages with pictures, tables, charts, you name it. in virtual xp mode, navigation became smoother and everything seemed to work better including compatibility with the drawing software.

  • Louis

    @ Rob (Down Under)

    Yes, I know what mukhti meant — in Win 7 64 bit Pro version you also get included the virtual XP facility to run your existing XP and all software — now looking back, I agree with you, there’s no need for that, see below for my experience of that (I think it was just a sales gimmick to get those reluctant to upgrade, to do so, and a clever one at that, as you had to shell out quite a bit more to get the top Win 7 version, being the only one with this Win XP virtual facility !).

    This was not included in my Win 7 64bit Home version, which came pre-installed with my Toshiba laptop — so even if I wanted to in the first place, I wouldn’t want to run anything as Virtual XP software — so since I couldn’t anyway — essentially I just installed my existing Office 2003 from its cd onto my laptop — there was no issue whatsoever with it, no need even to right click any .exe files and change the properties to ‘run the program in XP compatibility mode’, which is another way to get some problem software that was written before Win 7 64 bit came along, to work — as I initially had to do to get Skype working.

    So as far as the Office 2003 installation went, Win 7 64bit Home has 2 x Program Files folders : One for 64 bit programs, called C:/Program Files, and another,C:/Program Files (x86), where it installs all 32 bit software — which last one is precisely where it just installed my Office 2003 for Win XP, which worked just as normal, without any need for adjustments or any settings to be changed.

    I still wonder what other need was for including that XP virtualisation in the top Win 7 version — up to this very day I’ve never had a single ‘old’ version of 32 bit software I used to have on XP refuse to install and just work on my Win 7 laptop, same of course goes for latest software that’s stated to be compatible to XP and Win 7 —- these always have to install in the x86 Programs Folder, since it’s 32 bit coded to be backwards compatible to XP.

    In fact, I really don’t know what the fuss is over 64 bit — only a handful of vendors, mostly those like my ESET NOD32 AV who will want to make sure their software covers every aspect of the laptop I guess, ever bother to also provide a 64 bit version of their software (I always check for that, and if it’s available, I will use that of course) — however looking at the handful of software that actually installed there, compared with most new software, even today, all offer backward compatibility to XP as well as for Win 7, which means they HAVE to be coded in 32 bit, and probably don’t even bother to also code the same software in 64 bit as well.

    This is not my field of expertise, but I did read an article in PC Mag not long ago, which tested performance of 64 bit software against their 32 bit versions, and they found essentially no difference. I can’t either. Perhaps there may be other theoretical advantages, but since most software for Win 7 is still coded in 32 bit, I can’t really imagine those, if any, too be very important.

  • Rob (Down Under)

    I believe mukhi (in post 40) was saying that he is running MS’s virtual XP, so that he can run Office 2003 in it. Wild horses would not get me to do that.
    I don’t believe that he has tried the simpler approach (that I recommend to friends) of just making a couple of compatibility settings.
    . . .
    But could you elaborate on your last paragraph for me, as it sounds like you are not even needing that ?

  • Louis

    [@mukhi] Hi mukhi ! Yes, after 2 + years, and a lot of teeth gnashing and modifying the heck out of it so that the desktop is more efficient, with a more XP like taskbar, disabling all the eyecandy bloat & rubbish features etc, I’ve learned to live with Win 7 64bit Home S1, and nowadays everything seems to be running smoothly, and of course I’ve started to ‘get’ its insides — I think it has taken a lot of direct user control over their machine through the new control panel away from the user though (compared to XP), that’s my biggest gripe. But then again, I did have many more years with XP to get to that point, so I guess to be fair I should give Win 7 the same benefit :-)

    It’s just that when I boot up my little netbook, and Win XP comes up, I get this good feeling coming over me, nice, an OS I can control, not one that’s designed to control how I work …

    As for Office 2003 — you must have the same issue I used to have with Skype, having to run it in compatibility mode XP , but that’s all gone — I checked my current Office 2003 installation : as usual, it installed itself in C/Program Files (x86). but all the components are running without virtualisation, or the need to change property settings to compatibility mode for XP (like I had to do 2 years ago to Skype to get it to work initially) etc — it was a simple and clean install as 32 bit software, and worked without any hassles from the start (after I removed the pre-installed trial version of the later Office version).

  • Col. Panek

    [@David Roper] I think Ashraf’s enlightenment is a work in progress. I mean, he’s got Derrick on bard, a good sign. Other boards can be totally clueless: has a penguin for their mascot, but when they list apps they don’t even tell whether they work on Linux…even ones that started on Linux!

    When I look for an app, I start with the distro’s repository, since they’re safe and easy to install. Ubuntu and Mint’s are okay. Other good places are Gismo’s Freeware and

  • Col. Panek

    Everybody’s got an old PC in the closet. If it’s ten years old, try Puppy. If it’s 7 years old with a GB of RAM, try Bodhi. If it has a couple GB and a “few” years old, Mint or Ubuntu should work fine. Try the live CD or flash drive first. With Puppy, you can run fine with no hard drive.

  • David Roper


    I’m thinking seriously of wiping my old laptop with CLEAN and installing Ubuntu. That flavor seems the best all around for “old fart” newbies. A lot of help here and on other Boards, not that I would EVER tell Ashraf that I visit other boards. Oops!

  • etim

    If you want to try linux but are afraid to mess up your PC, just get an old
    “broken” PC that won’t run windows anymore–they will often run quite well on linux.
    Old, “junk” rigs are everywhere nowadays–if you don’t have one, ask your friends, check thrift stores, put an ad on Craig’s list etc.

  • Col. Panek

    [@mukhi] Install Grub Customizer, and you can easily change your boot options, put a background image on it, and change the colors and text.

  • mukhi

    [@stilofilos] consider a dual-boot…still scared? okay, consider linux ubuntu as a program within windows (you can uninstall it just like any app)…still not convinced? okay buddy, download ubuntu ISO, burn it, and run the disk (boot from DVD, it won’t change anything in your system). you will start loving linux. if you put it as a dual-boot, you may stop booting in windows. linux system will change the order of boot, .i.e, by default, ubuntu will boot 1st…don’t want that? come back here after installing, i will tell you a small command that will change the default boot to windows.

  • Col. Panek

    [@David Roper] Other good places to learn are YouTube and the Ubuntu main website and forums. Mint has a manual which is very basic, and many forums too.

    By the way, I’m 65 so you can teach old dogs new tricks.

  • mukhi

    [@Louis] you may be having issues but honestly i have liked 7 compared to xp. there are some complaints, of course but overall i like 7 better. office 2010 is way better than 2007, and i can run 2003 only in xp virtual mode in 7.

  • mukhi

    [@Col. Panek] used linux ubuntu and loved it; the only problem is drivers when kernel update happens, and in linux, if some screw-up happens, difficult to figure out if you are not unix pro. video is one of the key reasons why i can’t use linux/OSX as my primary OS.

  • Col. Panek

    [@Barbara Ann] I have 2 copies of XP somewhere, will gladly entertain any offers up to a million $$$$$$$$$$ !

  • David Roper

    [@Col. Panek]
    Col, I cannot thank you enough for your tutorial. It’s enough to make me try it. I’m 69 and your tutorial holds my hand enough.

  • stilofilos

    [@Col. Panek]
    And of course to you many thanks as well.
    I had added your @ too, but it appears to have been lost on its way.

  • stilofilos

    [@AT] [@BeloSol]

    Thanks guys, for the moral support and practical suggestions.

  • Barbara Ann

    I am 70 years young. I drive a 1985 Pontiac Fiero and my copy of Windows XP is the original. I wouldn’t trade either for a million $$$$$$$$$$$$$.

  • Col. Panek

    Herewith is my tutorial on converting to Linux (short version):

    Go to Distrowatch, hit Search in the upper corner, and type in the search box whatever preferences you have (like, old computer, scientific, multimedia, etc). Check out some of the resulting distros and see which best suits your situation. I recommend Mint for the beginner; Ubuntu has a wierd menu, but lots of good documentation (mostly works for Mint too). Zorin mimics the look of Windows, if you prefer (what can I say?). Go to the distro’s website, download the ISO and burn to a disk or flash drive.

    If you are going to dual boot with Windows, run a defrag, clean up your files with CCleaner or equivalent, take out the trash you don’t need, uninstall all the crapware and apps you never use. Search for “dual boot tutorial” and read a few of them, too long to put here. There are some great YouTube videos. (If you are erasing Windows, never mind the dual boot stuff; installing one OS is way simpler.)

    Boot off the disk and see if the Linux distro runs great on your machine, and sees all your hardware, like camera, sound, etc. Then hit the “Install” button on your desktop. You’ll need to make up a username and password. Then if you are dual booting, you need to “install alongside Windows”, as per the tutorials. Otherwise choose “replace Windows”. Then about 10-20 minutes later, you’ll be ready to get back to work after you copy all your data files back in.

    You will then be free to move about. No windows, no gates.

  • Col. Panek

    [@stilofilos] The paid geeks and manufacturers scare you away from Linux because Windows is very good for their business, and Linux would be disastrous! People would keep their machines longer, never pay for software, use their old peripherals, and wouldn’t need antivirus.

  • chuck

    [@David Roper] No Dave,it’s where “common sense” comes in.But a carefully configured firewall in your router doesn’t hurt.

  • BearPup

    Well, I like Windows 7 over Windows XP, so I finally persuaded the two folks whose PCs I’m their Tech Support guy for, to upgrade to Windows 7. One bought the DVD and upgraded his existing hardware, and the other bought a refurbished laptop for ‘a couple of hundred bucks’ because she “needed a new machine anyway”.

    So for ‘him’ his hardware is still good to go for Windows 7. And for ‘her’, after putting the decision off for about 5 years, she finally bit the bullet and basically got the hardware for $100 (it came with a System Disk DVD), nice little 4 year old laptop!

    They really got themselves quite the deal!

  • David Roper


    Four Years? That’s where the phrase “Lucky Chuck” comes from.

  • AT

    [@Ashraf] Windows security on XP will not be updated, but you don’t have to reply on MS for security. As long as third party software continues to update, You will be relatively secure.

    The point I was getting at is usability. Not everyone is going to upgrade their software (non-OS). Price of the upgrade can come in more than monetary. Needed plugins might not work after a program upgrade. Many time even an update invalidated existing licenses. From the end users’ point of view, some times leaving things as they are is better.

    In my own case, other than the OS, I can’t think of anything on any system I have ever used that was MS software.

  • Steve

    NO! Why?:
    1. It will be a PITA to transfer my existing software to a new laptop with a newer OS.
    2. Some of my software would have to be upgraded to run on a newer OS…that means $$$ (besides the cost of the new laptop).
    3. Some VITAL software, like GoBack has not been updated to run on anything newer than XP.
    4. MS’s backward compatibility features are largely worthless.
    5. The last car I got rid of was 23 years old. I probably should have fixed it as it was damaged by a bad radiator cap which caused the radiator to “blow” and subsequent engine damage. (Wife was driving it on highway.)

  • Ashraf

    [@AT] I never said Win7/Win8 are secure. I said they are more secure than XP, and that is proven fact — there is no debating it. Comparatively speaking, XP is less secure than newer versions of Windows.

    Plus it is logical. Security techniques around today weren’t around when XP was released. All Windows get viruses, but it is significantly easier to exploit XP… especially those XPs that don’t have the latest updates/patches, which is the issue here — Microsoft is going to stop issuing those updates/patches in an year’s time.

  • Louis

    @ Hal

    Right on !

    Win 7 is nothing but bloatware added to XP, with the control panel messed up so everybody had to guess how everything works now, and with no discernible new advantages added (things like system image can be had for free all over the place — no real functionality was added to XP in Win 7).

    Anything that may have made it safer, could have been done just as well by MS in improving XP, which is arguably the best usable operating system in history (not faultless of course, but what is ?).

    I don’t really foresee driver problems for XP PC’s in the future either (most of my friends and family comfortably run XP SP3 on their computers back home, and most of them have recently upgraded the internals of their PC’s to the latest hardware, with no driver issues).

    As long as software keeps being written for 32 bit, the new hardware will be compatible with XP, and drivers will be available. Right now, on my state of the art (at least was 2 years ago) 64 bit Toshiba laptop (2 years old, with Win 7 64b Home pre-installed), I have only about a handful of 64bit software — even if I always look for the 64bit versions of software, the hard truth is : Software developers have not REALLY committed to 64 bit, as it has not lived up to expectation — it hasn’t truly produced much benefit over 32 bit software in terms of speed or ability to add features to software (with a few exceptions). Now with MS moving seemingly in a different direction than traditional PC software, they are even less likely to.

    So , as the comments above show, Win 7 is soon to be forgotten (and never TRULY replaced XP as the OS of choice — most, like me, just inherited it with their new hardware without any choice).

    Nobody really believes in Win 8, no matter how hard MS try — it may be suitable in future for touchscreen devices, if MS gets lucky.

    So from all that — I doubt there’s many PC’s that can’t be run on XP SP3 today, and for a long time to come, without driver problems, and in my opinion the majority of new software in future, as is the case today, is and continue to be written in 32 bit, which basically will keep it compatible with XP, so I have to agree with AT and Hal’s comments.

    If you have a good machine running XP SP3, just do the following after one year : Do the final updates and patches, turn off System Restore to flush it, run deep scans etc with everything and when your system is clean, make a base system image with EaseUS ToDo to fall back on — from there on just keep good AV and firewall, with backup like Malware AM & Comodo CE occasionally— you won’t need MS Updates, as less and less hackers / crackers will be likely to target XP as time goes on anyway.

    Keep your Office 2003 (with 2007 comp pack to read docx etc) while you’re at it — which can do absolutely everything the latest Office variety can do (I still use it, mainly for 2 reasons : I had built up a good library of VBA for Excel 2003 over many years, which I would have had to relearn with Office 2007 onwards, and I absolutely hate the ribbon with a passion !)

    Ever noticed how MS silently removed the excellent Office Tools MS Document Imaging, with its brilliant quality of OCR ? Gone since Office 2007. Fortunately I stuck with it, and uses it all the time. It beats all the other OCR software I acquired since as freebies or give-aways, in quality.

    No matter where technology will take us (probably away from desktop pc’s) — if you do still have a desktop pc to use for internet browsing, office applications, music, video etc, you will still run XP SP3 on that machine happily for the next 10 years — there’s not been, nor will there be, a MS OS to really replace it, now or in the future.

    New OS will be for different types of devices, but for the desktop PC, which let’s face it will always be around, as long as people need to type a letter or calculate a spreadsheet, or do whatever editing of multimedia etc.. which can only really be done sitting down ! it will always be ruled by XP SP3 !!

  • George_B

    Nope, no Windows OS upgrades planned.
    Still running 4 x WinXP-32bit PCs at home, plus 2 x WinXP-32bit notebooks, and 1 x WinXP-64bit PC. Then there is 1 x WinXP-32bit which I gave to my parents for their use.

    All of these WinXP PCs are working fine for me. For work I have a Win7-64bit notebook, so I’m quite used to Win7 as well. The home PCs won’t be upgraded to Win7 or newer, but when I build my next PC it will be either Windows 7 (preferred) or Windows 8, or whatever comes after at that time.

    Reason for the large number of PCs – I’ve assembled all of them myself over the past decade, and as they are all working, I don’t want to get rid of them.

    There is about a 3 year interval between PCs. When I realise that a PC is starting to battle to keep up with a new game I bought at that time, I start buying components for a more powerful PC, and assemble the next gen PC to join its predecessors. Current favourite PC has been assembled during Aug-Sep 2009, still running fine and handling most games at 1600×900, so its probably good for another year.

    I do however have an empty new-ish computer case gathering dust … so am itching to build another one just for the fun of it. Said case had its innards destroyed after a blasted cat piddled on the motherboard when I had it (the PC) up on the table to chase the dust rhinos out of it … the effect of cat pee is like acid, and I realised too late what happened! At least the cat survived the PC, so no worries there.

    Guess I am a sentimental old coot, hehe!

  • Rob (Down Under)

    For those who will be looking for a copy of XP in the future. Read the daily death notices.
    When you see my death, visit my grave, and you can pry my copy from my dead hand.

    Rob (71 years, so it ain’t long)
    PS If you pry the CD from my other hand, it will be VB6.
    And Office 2003 will be in my teeth.

  • etim

    The only thing that’s kept me from dumping M-soft altogether is my laziness. When my PC starts bogging down on its XP (as they all eventually seem to do) I’m going with Linux.

    If I wanted to pay someone to have to jump through their hoops, I’ll go to grad school or hire a personal trainer.

    I put a Linux version on an old beater when its XP finally pooped out and wouldn’t reinstall–it took off like a rocket! The only thing I’ll really miss about Windows will be my GOM player–but there’s always VLC.

  • riya

    I still have XP running on my old desktop…and it never crashed in all of its 7 years. I’m really happy with it :)

  • Hal


    Right Here with you on this. I have a W7 setup which I hardly use. XP is far better / easier to use. 7 has nothing to offer that is not in XP, and W8 can take a long flight out of town as far as I am concerned. So very happy where I am.

  • DoktorThomas

    Will you upgrade to Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8?

    No, not exactly.

    No current stable machines, absent an unforeseen HDD meltdown, will be up-dated to a newer winOS. MSFT’s poor planning/coding will not affect the choice of systems to use. (The 1/3 XP estimate seems low.)

    Any additional computers acquired without XP will operate win7 in the virtual XP mode. No acquisition of win(H)8 is contemplated … ever. All fresh installs will be win7-ultra running virtual XP. (MSFT’s current desktop direction is seriously flawed.)

    Any new machines added will be of the fruit variety. With Jobs gone, the prices will slip back to reasonably over-priced.

  • chuck

    I’ll always keep XP on my favorite desktop.I have all of the restore media and a complete driver back up.I haven’t seen new drivers come down the pike for five year old hardware anyway,so for me it’s no issue.I’ve got Win7 running on all other PC’s in the house,but still like my old Dell because she’s still the fastest.SP2 with not a single patch installed,and infection free for over four years.I cold boot to an open browser in 24 seconds without an SSD.Can your comp do that? It can’t because of all the windows update crap you’ve installed needlessly.Still running clean and very fast here without them.

  • Paul

    There will always be opinions for and against any OS, I started with XP and 2 out of my 3 computers still run it, the third which I built last year has Windows 7 x64.

    I view Windows 8 in the same light as I view Vista, ‘not on my computer’!

    Having run a number of live CD’s and having used Ubuntu in a VM if I was to think about another computer at the moment it would probably run Ubuntu if Windows 7 was not available.

    Having said that I have no intention of upgrading (?) my XP systems now or at any time in the foreseeable future.
    I know one person who is still happily running Windows 95.

    Hardware can be an issue when changing OS but with the virtualization programs that are about these days software should not be such an issue.

  • AT

    [@michel] I didn’t say it just works. I said WINE can handle most programs. I am an end user on Linux. I have only used Linux a handful of times when I needed a temporary OS installed for whatever reason. Every time I install Linux, I do so as a first time user because I can’t remember what I did the previous times.

    Linux is NOT for everyone. Neither is Windows nor Mac. Everyone’s requirement and skill level is different.

  • AT

    [@David Roper] You can get Windows 7. An HP Canada rep told me to upgrade to Window 8 Pro. Then for an extra $20, you can downgrade to Windows 7. I’m not certain how this would apply elsewhere or with other computer companies, but at least it’s one way of getting Windows 7.

  • michel

    [@AT] When you recommend Wine, you ignore the ease of use requirement. It doesn’t “just work” and sometimes doesn’t work at all. Linux has come a long way, and for most people is as good as Windows or Mac – but not for professionals needing MS Office interoperability (sorry, Libre doesn’t cut it for back and forth with professional editors) or anyone needing voice recognition (transcription). For these last people, real world reality dictates Windows.

  • David Roper


    It will never die. But the new stuff you hook to it will not be compatible to use, ie printers, routers, etc. THAT’s the problem. The other real problem is that MS is pushing WIN 8 and you cannot find the upgrade to WIN 7 at Walmart or Sam’s or CostCo to buy for $100 for 3 anymore.

  • RealBull

    I agree, the negativity about Win8 is over-hyped by Apple junkies. They’d love to see MS burn down. I’ve said this on other blogs before, all one needs to do is read the directions when starting to use Win8 and all will be fine. People are too lazy to read directions. Win ’95 ~ XP guides were very popular when they came out. People actually learned how to use a new OS. People have gotten lazy or spoiled since then, or maybe people lost their patience.

    Anyway I bought a new Win7 HP 64-bit, so I don’t need to worry too much. I have XP on my old laptop, but I hardly use it, it may be a new home for a Linux OS soon. I also have another laptop with Vista on it. Vista is actually nice if you take care of it. When that OS is obsolete, probably another home for a Linux OS.

    As for anymore Windows upgrades, I don’t plan on it until Windows works on bugs or improves their new OS, maybe around Win10.

    This has little connection to the topic, but I’m waiting for 32-bit to die-off, it really holds technology back. Everyone needs to upgrade to 64-bit!!!

  • BeloSol

    [@stilofilos] … but I have been scared of by computer vendors saying that it’s very complicated to decently install it. …

    Not so. I agree with AT, it’s definitely easier to install than MS Windows.

    The one and only ‘glitch’ in my case, to be honest, had been because I have a Radeon/ATI graphics card. But, with my latest installation (Bodhi Linux) there was a menu selection, to get around this, a ‘safe mode’ mentioning ATI cards. Problem solved!

    Let this be a heads-up to other distros, to include this feature, and let your users have an immediate, 100% trouble-free installation, without asking them to look up the solution on their own.

  • BeloSol

    [@stilofilos] Download a Ubuntu variant and run it ‘Live’ and get the feel of it. LinuxMint with the Cinnamon environment comes to mind. Or, a Mandriva-variant, PCLinuxOS, also a good place to start. With both, nothing needs be overwritten on your hard drive, unless you go ahead with the full installation.

  • AT

    [@stilofilos] I have used different flavours of linux on different occasions. The distros these days are far easier to use than the early days. There is really not much to it. NO need to code or recompile unless you want to do that. It’s probably easier to install than Windows.

    If you do need to use Windows programs, WINE will be able to handle most programs. Another option is to look for the linux equivalent. Countless linux forums are dedicated to the transition from Windows.

  • BeloSol

    You’ll be able to use it for at least a year with no problems. Keep AV definitions up-to-date, maintain firewall, and sandbox all that touches the Internet (I use Sandboxie).

    But, after that, if you want to load new software, or update something old — it won’t have been debugged against XP. This could be a hassle.

    When hardware fails and has to be replaced with new, it won’t have an XP driver. Graphics cards and printers come to mind here … this is a lot worse than a ‘hassle’, though.

    Otherwise, you can keep going for several years. You don’t have to worry about something (the OS, your applications) breaking on ‘Patch Tuesdays’ — because there won’t be any! LOL!

  • stilofilos

    Having more sympathy for Linux than for that windows, I’ve been playing with the idea to swich to Linux since years, but I have been scared of by computer vendors saying that it’s very complicated to decently install it. So while I’m not eager to adventure into the hassles of trying that myself with my limited ad hoc knowledge, I find not one single computer shop in the region here that would do it for me. They only seem to know that windows. So, as long as they can keep reinstalling it after each crash , I guess that there will be no other option, and in that case I would stick to XP as I don’t need the bells and dumbing down of the kind of ‘progress’ we witness the last years in consumer IT.
    Unless of course Dottech would come up with a foolproof DIY manual for Linux…
    I’m also using a lot of applications that are typically made for windows, and have no Linux version. That too would be a major switch, and it’s not so that I still have a whole life before me…

  • mukhi

    i don’t think win8 is that bad as some critics are claiming. you can easily get std interface like 7/xp and the OS is supposedly safer. however, i am not willing to pay to switch from 7/xp to 8.

    i really dislike how xp does not allow many apps like lotus notes sometimes to be used until win update is complete followed by restart. did not see for 7 so far.

  • Jeanjean

    I think i’ll stay with XP until it dies (due to a virus or not) and if it happens – but I highly doubt it – I will opt for win7 (which is on my portable).
    I’m almost used to it, but I still prefer XP.

  • AT

    [@Ashraf] What was the first virus that infected Windows 7? An ancient virus thought to be extinct.

  • Bub

    I currently have two home computers running XP, and one running Windows 8, along with three work computers running Windows 7, so I’ve worked plenty with all three. The supposed badness of Windows 8 is overhyped. Running in Desktop mode, the user experience isn’t much different than Windows 7. Just stay away from Metro apps, and you’ll be fine. The main difference – the Start screen – grows on you as a replacement to the Start menu; it’s far less common to find yourself accidentally clicking the wrong program thanks to a muscle spasm.

  • Ashraf

    [@AT] Better? Maybe not. Safer? Yes.

  • AT

    If it ain’t broke. Don’t fix it. The software that was working well on XP is still the software that works well on XP.

    Newer does not make it better. Newer can only claim to be newer.