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Why does Windows XP refuse to die?

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(happygeek)
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A new poll into Operating System popularity by a British computer magazine has revealed that an incredible 37 percent of respondents are still using Windows XP. That's more than Windows 7 which managed to woo 30 percent of the folk taking part, and Vista could only garner a pretty poor 16 percent of support. This being a PC magazine it should come as no great surprise to see Linux being used by 8 percent of respondents and Mac OS by 7 percent. However, what was surprising was the sheer number of people who refuse to let Windows XP die.

XP.jpg Was it really over three years ago now that I penned a story here on DaniWeb entitled Windows XP 2001-2008 R.I.P in which I suggested a suitable epitaph might be good riddance to insecure rubbish? mind you, some 18 months later the doubts were starting to stir and I even went as far as calling Windows XP the invincible OS and suggested that perhaps Microsoft just didn't have the stomach to kill off this dinosaur of the Windows world.

Microsoft could best be described as killing XP gently, I guess, and the first real twist of the knife happens on July 13th when Windows XP SP2 reaches the end of its life . What that means is Microsoft will stop releasing security updates, hotfixes and other updates from that date. Which could be problematical when you consider that some people, including a number of large enterprises, have yet to upgrade to Windows XP SP3 let alone Windows 7. The precise danger levels are hard to predict; on the one hand you have reports of Microsoft investigating a new critical flaw in XP and on the other reports that the developers of malware have started to give up on XP and are releasing Trojans which no longer execute under it.

For once, I think that the bad guys have got it right. Vista, despite being something a resource-hogging mess of an OS was, at least, more secure than XP. Windows 7 is far and away more secure, by design, than both. Yes, there's a secure OS argument for using Linux here but truth be told, and I apologise to our Linux evangelists, it's simply still not user-friendly enough for the kind of people who find themselves clinging on to an old age pensioner of an OS such as Windows XP.

So, why does Windows XP refuse to die? Perhaps the real question should be why do Windows XP lovers refuse to do the decent thing and have it put to sleep? That would be the kindest thing after all.

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Davey Winder

I'm a hacker turned writer and consultant, specialising in IT security. I've been a freelance word punk for over 20 years and along the way I have seen 23 of my books published, produced and presented programmes for TV and radio, picked up a bunch of awards and continue being a contributing editor with PC Pro - the best selling IT magazine in the UK .

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Member 785348
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I am a Windows 7 user ND DO AGREE that XP needed to be killed, definitely in my case. But, an average user doest need the bling, XP is easy to use... and by the time a new user learns to use W7, the next verssion would be out...

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PCSAWICK829
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they probably need to slow down on making all this new stuff and add on and polish the old stuff. almost like a classic car. they're still the best

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caperjack
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they probably need to slow down on making all this new stuff and add on and polish the old stuff. almost like a classic car. they're still the best

I agree ,but win7 is the polished version of win98 and xp and vista~And it still needs a little more polish!!!!!!!

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gerbil
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XP-SP3. I use it, it does everything that I require of it. Now in that I do not see a reason for change. Security? I just don't get hit, but then, I don't trawl the darker corners of the web. Change to Vista? Not going to happen. W7? Why?

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caperjack
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XP-SP3. Change to Vista? Not going to happen. W7? Why?

no reason to really that i can see to change ,had i not got it for free i would never went out and bought it !having said that i do like it better than winxp sp3 though

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gerbil
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I value your opinion on that, caper, so I can't see myself throwing away a good XP licence. Bill has a problem. Realistically, though, considering the extent of most peoples' use of a computer M$ should not expect to continually sell new, more powerful platforms; always some will be quite happy with what they have. Just as it is in the nature of others to over-extend by creeping specification.

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jadonohu
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Strange question. The real question is: Why would anyone go to the trouble and expense to switch an existing XP installation to vista or win7? It's just an OS. XP is also mature and is quite solid.

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caperjack
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I value your opinion on that, caper, so I can't see myself throwing away a good XP licence. Bill has a problem. Realistically, though, considering the extent of most peoples' use of a computer M$ should not expect to continually sell new, more powerful platforms; always some will be quite happy with what they have. Just as it is in the nature of others to over-extend by creeping specification.

agree 100% with you comments

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b10hzrd
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I think it has to do with familiarity. XP has been around so long that most people are used to it and arguably it is most likely the OS they use at work. While its not akin to speaking different languages I believe the comfort factor can weigh heavily. Addtionally Vista left such a bad taste in everyones mouth that it has left many people gun shy about switching.

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khakilang
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I believe because of its stability, speed, hardware resources and hardware support. Window 7 doesn't support my Lexmark 3100 all in one printer especially the scanner. Visit to the Lexmark websiet doesn't help. The only letdown is the security. For those who have hardware constraint will happily use Window XP.

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caperjack
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I believe because of its stability, speed, hardware resources and hardware support. Window 7 doesn't support my Lexmark 3100 all in one printer especially the scanner. Visit to the Lexmark websiet doesn't help. The only letdown is the security. For those who have hardware constraint will happily use Window XP.

no drivers for win7 ,that's lexmarks doing ,they want you to buy a new printer

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jerinjames
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I think it has to do more with familiarity than stability. Also, you don't have to upgrade your hardware which costs more money. People are just more comfortable with XP and trust it. It might not be the most safest OS, but people who use it to trust it.
Vista, was bad but not that bad (for people with the adequate hardware) but the word-of-mouth and general reviews were exceptionally bad which forced users to stick with the old XP rather than switch to something that is un-workable. Windows 7, however, might change all that.

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happyguy142
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I think it has to do with familiarity. XP has been around so long that most people are used to it and arguably it is most likely the OS they use at work. While its not akin to speaking different languages I believe the comfort factor can weigh heavily. Addtionally Vista left such a bad taste in everyones mouth that it has left many people gun shy about switching.

took the words right out of my mouth, everyone is comfy with xp and with vista people are understandably uncomfortable moving to windows 7. I myself still use xp but only because I see no reason to upgrade my system. I'm happy with xp and will continue to use it until I get a new computer.

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caperjack
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i use win7 ,and like it very much ,went from xp to win7,skipped Vista, don't miss xp one little bit .
I got win7 Ultimate free for hosting a win7 coming out party last year and been using it since on my older computer ,some day i might get new tower to enjoy the full feature of win7

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sophieharris
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Nearly most people are use to this OS and are satisfied it will go to sleep but it will take time and effort to bring some new OS that Diverts people to the new one

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sophieharris
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Because its been used and appreciated by a huge number of people who learned on xp

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JenniferArden
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I just upgraded to Windows XP x64 after years of using XP x86. I tried Windows 7 but it didn't impress me at all with its bland visual style, missing shortcuts and wireless settings I have to enter continuously. It doesn't offer much that XP doesn't except DVD creation, DX11 and one or two other things, however I do not need DX11 and have Nero to burn DVD's. Windows 7 isn't radically different enough to convince me to switch to Windows 7. The user interface is still the same and the principal. XP does everything I need.

We still use XP at our office on all desktop and laptop units, Our server also operates on XP providing file, printing and internet services. I also see XP on many desktops when shopping or at the bank. It doesn't surprise me thet XP is the best desktop OS MS ever created and I agree with that.

I have only had pleasant experiences with XP and have fond memories of this great OS. Stability and reliability are its trademarks. I recently installed XP on my new acer 7740G and its still a pleasure to use.

Naturally I like many others customized XP to my liking including integrating many drivers including AHCI to enable installation on modern systems and a modern visual style widely available on the internet.

The stories about XP being too old and insecure is massively over inflated I would say, if one use a good securitysuite and common sense on the internet your system will be just fine like mine have been for many years.

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happygeek
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Well good luck if you seriously think that an unsupported OS, which means no more security patches for vulnerabilities from Microsoft, is going to be secure. I have news for you, it isn't. A 'good' security suite (and good is very subjective in this context) and common sense will not help you when a zero day hits.

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JenniferArden
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Thank you, I guess I am going to need it. I know and understand what you are saying, 7 is more secure I guess, its just that I LOVE XP!!! I can't get myself to dump this great OS, its still a pleasure to use, does everything I need and it works so well. All our hardware is compatible with XP and when ever we need to re-install XP its very easy to get everything working again. Another reason I havent switched over to 7 yet is because it doesn't seem possible to customise 7, I searched on the internet a few months ago and could not find a utility to integrate drivers, visual styles and pre-set settings as is possible with XP.

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