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back to article IT bods: Windows XP, we WON'T leave you. Migrate? Chuh! As if...

It's not going to be easy to pry open the death grip of IT bods on the last copies of Windows XP, according to Spiceworks, whose survey had a whopping 33 per cent of tech professionals planning to keep the OS on at least one device after its end of life. The social business network for IT pros, much beloved of sysadmins, quizzed …

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Windows

Having XP on one PC in a home environment for an IT pro isn't so bad. Some older games or apps may not work properly or at all with newer Windows.

I wouldn't keep it on an internet facing PC in a business environment once security updates are no longer available.

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DJV

Indeed...

I've still got a Windows 98 PC around just for playing Myst! ;)

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Re: Indeed...

"I've still got a Windows 98 PC around..."

Me also...just for running MS BoB! Although I have had it running on XP SP3 as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Companies could isolate internet facing computers from the others and that would allow XP to survive in most environments. The main threat to XP comes from the internet. Corporations have a large number of computers and many years of development that would have to be redone if XP were to be upgraded to Win 8 or even Win 7. DP costs would go through the roof if a massive upgrade were to be done to convert a corporations XP system to Win8 or even Win 7

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Re: The main threat to XP comes from the internet

And from end user actions such as browsing or opening unvetted email attachments...

Remove or reduce these attack vectors, install a decent third-party firewall and XP will be just as safe as Win7 or 8 ...

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Re: Indeed...

Why do you NEED windows 98 to play myst? It works fine in Windows 7 x64/Linux (Wine)/Dosbox(With Windows 3.1 installed)

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Re: Indeed...

"I've still got a Windows 98 PC around just for playing Myst! ;)"

Same here. Unfortunately, my Compaq 386sx/20 with DOS5.1 which I had hanging around just to play Elite on ended up dying when the PSU blew and took out the mobo in sympathy.

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Stop

Re: Indeed...

Have you tried Oolite instead? It runs on modern Windows (as well as Mac & Linux).

http://www.oolite.org/download.shtml

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Re: Indeed...

Emulation can work for some games but some are very unstable, a few of my games will play but will freeze the emulated OS where as a standalone machine it ran fine. Some games such as the Lucas Arts adventure games have brilliant support thanks to the open source community but for some unloved games (In my case an F1 manager sim that I can't remember the name of) I ran it on my old crusty machine (Which also died when the PSU went).

Edit: Have used Virtual Box, Virtual PC and VMWare, just in case you are wondering

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Pint

Oolite

Thanks for the tip. Will give it a try over the weekend.

Have tried it under DOSBox, with limited success. When in a small window in the middle of my 22" monitor, it works fine, try and expand the window so I can actually see whats going on, sound gets jittery and keyboard commands get laggy. Tried all sorts of settings to no avail. Hopefully Oolite works.

<- Have a beer

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"won't be able to hang onto the past much longer"

Yes we will.

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Re: "won't be able to hang onto the past much longer"

My own choice is to run XP in a VM and then it need not have full, if any, internet access.

The host machine can be your choice of course, but mine is Linux for a range of reasons. Without wanting to start yet another pointless OS willy-waving contest, my own reasons are freedom (both as in speech and as in beer) and the far smaller number of attacks. Most of the stuff I need runs fine (email & web, compilers, etc) and the Windows-specific stuff can stay in the VM.

Should the VM get hosed, then it is deleted and the backup uncompressed in minutes. Should my host hardware change, well the VM need not care and mostly the recent Linux distros "just work".

Sure it is not perfect, and unskilled staff need training to master the "two computers in one" setup, but then if you change from XP to Win 7 (or God forbid Win 8's TIFKAM) then you have a lot of training as well to deal with anyway.

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Re: "won't be able to hang onto the past much longer"

Luddites Rule - OK?

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Any movement so far in migration has been to Windows 7 rather than 8 or 8.1

Including my new laptop, which is going back to 7.

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Re: Any movement so far in migration has been to Windows 7 rather than 8 or 8.1

Our users are requesting Windows 8 on their new PCs.

We had already moved them all to Windows 7 in 2010 - although there were 2 Vista laptops which got nuked and Windows 7 put on them earlier this year.

With new kit, the users can decide whether they want 7 or 8. We were lucky, our home grown ERP software ran with Windows 8 and Office 2013 out of the box.

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Re: Any movement so far in migration has been to Windows 7 rather than 8 or 8.1

Why would you do that? I run Win 8.1 with Start8 on my desktop and my laptop. The desktop start-up time using fast boot is approx. 5 seconds from POST. The laptop is slightly slower.

I bought Win 8.1 for the desktop (the laptop, being a touchscreen Sony Vaio, came with it) specifically for the quicker start-up, better disk management tools (partitioning has been improved since Windows 7 and also the ability to clear and reallocate space) and because I actually prefer the straight edged windows rather than the curvy XP, Vista and Win 7 type.

Bring on the down votes for someone who speaks up for Win 8. It may not be fashionable to like it but I'm not a sheep and I make up my own mind. Many people here have obviously not tried it given some of the comments.

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Re: Any movement so far in migration has been to Windows 7 rather than 8 or 8.1

> I run Win 8.1 with Start8 on my desktop...

At last count, Microsofts plan for you was to kill off the old style programs and have you use only Metro apps in the future. That way, you're locked into the MS store, etc.

MS can stop 'throwbacks' like start8 from working whenever they want if they don't get TIFKAM uptake they want.

You might be happy with what I consider a downgrade in productivity for Desktop use (TIFKAM), but that's not a future I'm willingly buying into...

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Re: Any movement so far in migration has been to Windows 7 rather than 8 or 8.1

... and because I actually prefer the straight edged windows rather than the curvy XP, Vista and Win 7 type.

That's no reason! XP, Vista, and Win7 all have a "Classic" theme that makes them look almost as nice as Win2k.

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With Windows pushing me to upgrade...

my windows 8 laptop to windows 8.1 (had a couple of popups 'advising' that it would be worth my while to upgrade as it's free)... I think that I am going to grab one of my Windows 7 ultimate disks and 'downgrade' to Windows 7... or at least move to Linux in the near future!

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Re: With Windows pushing me to upgrade...

"it would be worth my while to upgrade as it's free"

Don't think that's a compelling reason & as you say, better to move to 7

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I believe it

What a lot of industry pundits don't mention when breathlessly talking about XP's demise is the sheer amount of dependencies that XP and its included components (IE 6, et al) have in large organizations. The XP-to-7-or-8 transition is even more painful from the NT-to-XP transition I lived through ages ago. One of the reasons is the plethora of "web apps with big chunks of client-side code" that were prevalent in the early 2000s. In vertical markets (banking, insurance, transport, whatever) there are many applications that only work with the specific quirks of IE 6, and are too expensive or impossible to reasonably upgrade. Oracle's Forms-based ERP applications are famous for this, and it's very hard to justify upgrading the ERP application because the clients have changed. It's the same reason you see Office 97 in use in some places -- "some guy" wrote an Excel macro or Access database that stores a department's core business logic and it's too convoluted to upgrade.

I imagine that everyone will eventually bite the bullet and move, or virtualize all the XP desktops and lock them behind 5 firewalls with no access to anything other than QuirkyApp 3.0.0.20.3762. But it's going to be painful, especially in industries where they're notoriously stingy with IT dollars. Even moving the workloads to Windows 7 + XP Mode doesn't help you, because now you have a vulnerable VM sitting alongside your supported OS.

If rumors are true, and Windows 8.2 allows a "regular desktop" interface, that may help people make the move. Personally, I want all the under-the-hood improvements of Windows 8 PLUS the Windows 7 "classic" UI back, then I'll be happy.

Microsoft does offer patch support for an exorbitant fee, plus a promise from you that you are actually moving off XP, plus an annual increase in said fee to incentivize you. Oracle is also doing something similar for JRE 6 customers -- if you're a support customer, they're still patching bugs even though the last public version is months old (support ended in February.)

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Re: I believe it

"there are many applications that only work with the specific quirks of IE 6, and are too expensive or impossible to reasonably upgrade. "

Nothing is impossible. All IT comes down to binary at the end of the day. Too expensive is a matter of choice.

In most of these enterprise cases idiot CIOs allowed business critical dependencies to develop, when exercise of their professional responsibility should have recognised that third party code isn't supported for ever, and that nailing stuff to IE6 (which was shit at the time, please remember) was a really bad and short sighted idea.

It may now be expensive to undo a badly done job, and redo it all properly, but RBS shows what happens when your IT is one vast pile of sticking plasters. From my dealings with the company I believe Vodafone's IT is equally unreliable, so I'm guessing that their IT strategy is a similar "elastoplast + outsource to cheap and crap foreigners", and there's plenty of other companies who've made the same mistake.

Choices are tougher in the SME sector, but for any big corporation running XP after next April, I hope they get trashed, and then clobbered by the regulators for their incompetence and stupidity.

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Re: I believe it

Interesting that all these myriad interdependencies were part of the argument for adopting XP in the first place.

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Re: I believe it

"If rumors are true, and Windows 8.2 allows a "regular desktop" interface, that may help people make the move."

Maybe, but the rumours also suggest that this won't happen until 2015 which means there will be at least a years gap between XP hitting end of support and Win8 becoming <ahem> usable*.

* Depending on what your definition of "usuable" is of course.

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Re: I believe it

""If rumors are true, and Windows 8.2 allows a "regular desktop" interface, that may help people make the move."

Maybe, but the rumours also suggest that this won't happen until 2015"

I did this to my neighbour's new Windows 8.1 computer about two weeks ago. Took about three hours using ClassicStart and a lot of configuration, subdirectory creation and tidying up of files and links. It now looks as near to identical to her Windows 7 machine at work.

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Re: I believe it

ClassicShell, Start8, etc. are fine for personal use, but I know large companies aren't interested in spending an extra $x per computer just to have a feature back that Microsoft took away. Multiply the neighbor's computer by 40,000 and you are talking real money.

I think that if they bring back enough of the old UI, and offer a very attractive upgrade price (maybe even free or really cheap,) that would get the people who are holding out because of UI changes or money issues to switch. The tougher nuts to crack will be all the large companies running wierdo legacy applications that have no hope of working with IE 8 or the other new features modern Windows and Office versions offer.

One thing I wish Microsoft would do is issue one last patch rollup for XP, the way they did with NT in the last year of support. They wouldn't even have to call it a service pack, but maybe they could turn on a few security features by default, etc. and say, "Well, if you're going to keep going with this, at least start from the last known good patchset." There have been hundreds of patches since SP3 rolled out, and this would at least make sure people have those installed.

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Re: I believe it

What are the issues with the desktop interface in Windows 8? AIUI in 8 you had to click an icon in the start screen to get to the familiar interface, and 8.1 allows the regular desktop by default.

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Re: I believe it

"What are the issues with the desktop interface in Windows 8?"

It's not the interface that's the issue, for me and a lot of other people. A new interface is a minor learning curve and one most people can adjust to without too much fuss.

The issue is the "Appleification" of the operating system itself. It's the remote-control and constant monitoring that's been injected into the Windows 8 because Microsoft have learned that they can treat customers the way Apple treats them. Its that you need to sign in to a Microsoft account in order to install anything. That you can only install software from Microsoft's app store. That cloud storage, with all of the attendant loss of privacy and control of ones's data that goes with it, is emphasised over local storage. It's the general movement of ownership of the computer and data from the user to Microsoft that's the big problem.

It wouldn't matter if they made the interface identical to XP or 7. Forcing me to sign in to an online account to install software, to be locked into a walled garden, to be constantly pushed towards unwanted cloud storage, and to constantly monitored, logged and spied on is unacceptable regardless of what the interface looks like.

That's why I (and I suspect a lot of others) are refusing to move to Windows 8. If Microsoft accepts that people reserve the right to control their own computers and designs the OS accordingly, I'm sure a lot more of us would be willing to migrate.

But that isn't going to happen. No tyrant ever gives back power once gained, nor returns a freedom to its subjects once taken away.

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Re: I believe it

Large companies do not have to spend an extra $x per computer to have a proper start button. Haven't you heard? ClassicShell is a free download, no strings attached. Okay, okay. Some someone from IT has to take the time to add ClassicShell into the default Windows 8 system build shoveled out to every desktop and laptop in the enterprise. On a cost per system basis, it IS non-zero, maybe $0.05 per system?

The buggers at Microsoft won't ever roll out an XP Service Pack 4 rollup. Why that would be treating customers with respect. It would also put a damper on the move away from XP to the bright new future of Windows 7 or Windows 8-with-ClassicShell.

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Re: I believe it

@steven roper

you have absolutely zero idea of what you are talking about. your lengthy post has not one true fact in it. you don't have to have an ms account, and you can install any application, use the desktop just like in windows7, except it all runs faster. stop spreading this idiotic fud.

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Re: I believe it

There are many, when you compare to XP.

Example, you cannot simply right-click an item in explorer, you have to first left-click, then right-click - this they introduced with Vista and have not fixed since - apparently, it is an improvement.

Seriously, those who migrated NT4 to XP were silly (to remain polite) at the time, but everybody can make a mistake once, only cretins make the same mistake twice, though ... ;-)

Give 'em linux, get your datacenter act together, bite the bullet, migrate to open standards platforms - you know you will have to sooner or later - it would have been so much cheaper had you done so in 2002 - the longer you hold on to that crap, the more expensive it will become.

If you are in doubt, ask santa for a calculator ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I believe it

"Give 'em linux, get your datacenter act together, bite the bullet, migrate to open standards platforms - you know you will have to sooner or later - it would have been so much cheaper had you done so in 2002 - the longer you hold on to that crap, the more expensive it will become.

If you are in doubt, ask santa for a calculator ..."

Munich tried that, it cost them over €30 million, took ten years, and 30% of their users still have to use Windows.

If you are an Enterprise that requires a supported version of Linux like RedHat or SUSE then it costs MORE to license than WIndows does! When you add to that the cost of things like the order of magnitude more security patches you have to evaluate with a Linux distribution and the much higher TCO to actually run the thing, and then consider the migration and integration costs - there is no reason to do so for most businesses. Which is why near zero have.....

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Re: I believe it

One thing I wish Microsoft would do is issue one last patch rollup for XP, the way they did with NT in the last year of support. They wouldn't even have to call it a service pack, but maybe they could turn on a few security features by default, etc. and say, "Well, if you're going to keep going with this, at least start from the last known good patchset." There have been hundreds of patches since SP3 rolled out, and this would at least make sure people have those installed.

The Hell with XP they need to do this with Windows 7 post SP1!!

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PJI
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Re: I believe it

And what is this OSX "control" by Apple? I use OSX, have done for years, often using the terminal to work in the shell on the excellent BSD UNIX, installed and removed loads of good and bad things without let or hindrance.

I do run XP in a virtualBox virtual machine, just for a Nokia phone backup programme and a driver for a fifteen year old scanner. It does seem to run faster and be more stable than on the original T21 Thinkpad. But really. XP always was rubbish except in comparison with W98*, at home and at work. Just the day before yesterday I was amused to see a shop's cash register crash and then an XP screen appear as it restarted - all it does is the dedicated cash register application, for a major chain of shops actually, not just a small, corner shop.

Good riddance. My experience with W7, restricted to the work environment, is that, while still as bad and inconsistent an interface as only Windows or some Linuxes can manage, it is a quantum leap over XP. I have not yet had the pleasure of W8. But if its naysayers are the same as those who love XP, it must be rather good.

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Re: I believe it

"you don't have to have an ms account"

True of 8.0 after a fashion. You are pushed into making a Store account in the same way you are pushed into installing unwanted toolbars with your CNET download. Be very careful about when and where you click "next".

8.1 though, good luck trying to install without a Microsoft account. For a start, it's only available in the Store. For a second, signing into a Microsoft account is an essential part of the finish-the-installation process. You have to wait until after you've given Microsoft a bunch of bullshit details before being able to create a "local" account.

Sure, anybody who's spent three or four years studying for a degree could probably hack their way around it. Most people though, probably don't even know there is a "local account" option.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I believe it

"Munich tried that, it cost them over €30 million, took ten years, and 30% of their users still have to use Windows."

Thought you'd still be counting your downvotes from the Munich article the other day - how many was it ? - a record I'd guess

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Re: IE6 (which was shit at the time, please remember)

That may be. But at the time it also looked very much like IE6 was the only browser that was going to be around. MS weren't upgrading, Netscape was dead and the first Mozilla open source release was worse than IE6. It was only after their code re-write that it started gaining traction. Like or hate Opera as a browser it still has a small installed user base, which makes it unsuitable for most of the apps companies were rolling on their own (or at least that's the perception of most coders).

Commercial wealth destruction may be a necessary evil, but it should never be hoped for.

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@ Erik4872: Minor correction

The tougher nuts to crack will be all the large companies running wierdo legacy applications that have no hope of working with IE 8 IE11 or the other new features modern Windows and Office versions offer.

MS is up to IE11 at this point and in theory will only be supporting 2 versions of the browser. I expect support for IE8 will soon be discontinued. We've just rolled out IE10 where I work despite pleas from developers to stay on IE8. So far compatibility mode seems to be fixing problem websites. Not that I'm overly fond of this particular kludge, but it is doing the job for now.

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Re: I believe it

Absolutely right - but the new interface really does stink as well.

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Re: I believe it

@steven roper - quality gibberish there. Clearly no idea what you're talking about!

re: Microsoft account. Not needed in 8.0, not needed in 8.1.

re: installing software. Have you actually tried to install software like you would expect to? Or are you referring to WinRT on Surface?

re: cloud storage. Been using 8.0 and now 8.1 since launch, i have no cloud storage from anywhere (i think my icloud account might come with some but i dont' use it). I see no references, pop ups, nags etc. to coerce me to use cloud storage? I have a c: drive - it lets me use it like all the previous versions of Windows. Where are you being "constantly pushed towards unwanted cloud storage"? Maybe i downloaded a different version to you.

re: ownership. I know this is hot in the industry, fair enough. But my experience of 8.x suggests no transfer of ownership of my hardware, OS or data. Yet anyway. Other than rhetoric, where and how is Windows 8.x urging you to move your data to the cloud?

re: walled garden - you really haven't used it have you. Unless you're talking WinRT again.

re: constantly monitored, logged and spied on. Sure another hot topic, but do you feel Win8.x does this any more than say OSX Mavericks or iOS? (if you use them), or your OS-independent broadband provider at home?

Availability - got my 8.1 from MVLS. This is an IT pro site right? App Store schmapp schmore.

Installed fine, OOBE does admittedly try to trick you into signing up to an MS account, but two clicks get you round that and using a local account as per the last 15 years. Join to domain, wham bam. It's windows 7 but faster. Really don't see what all the fuss is about TIFAKMSJUDJEHZ and all the other stupid stuff people moan about it. None of it matters - it's a means to an end, a tool to do a job, the job being the important thing right? It's not a religion.

Try it - it's pretty good. Win 7 on steroids.

I think a alot of confusion comes from MS\Windows trying to be all things to all people. As a sysadmin dealing primarily with vsphere, windows\AD\Exch\SQL and supporting technologies, it ticks all the boxes for me (like 7 did, like Mavericks does, like Xub 13.10 does). Tool to do a job.

If you're an IT pro put off by the new start menu and not booting straight to desktop, then i think you're in the wrong job...

Still - i will admit.... doesn't come close to MBP with Mavericks for a bit of couch-based slickness at home :-)

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Re: I believe it

Two or three clicks during mini-setup to avoid using an MS Account pal - did it earlier in the week. It is a bit sneaky though i'll grant you that.

No need to sign into MS account at all during any stage of installation, setup, or use.

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Re: I believe it

Rubbish! I chose not to "sign in" to my Live account and I can install anything I want on my Windows 8.1 machine. Suggest you get your facts right before you bother writing this crap.

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Re: I believe it

@Steven Roper

"That's why I (and I suspect a lot of others) are refusing to move to Windows 8"

You clearly have no idea what you're talking about, but getting so many upvotes shows that many others don't know either. It's ignorance keeping you from Windows 8, not the features you mention. Go to Libre Office or any other software provider, look at the system requirements and download the Windows 8 version. Did you need a windows account? Did you visit the Windows store?

It's because of bullshitters like you that I and others are not sure what Windows 8 means. I thought it was a faster version of 7 with a choice of interfaces, and that is confirmed by other commenters, but with so much FUD I sometimes doubt what I've learned.

Thank you to the commenters who do have a clue.

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Re: I believe it

"What a lot of industry pundits don't mention when breathlessly talking about XP's demise is the sheer amount of dependencies that XP and its included components (IE 6, et al) have in large organizations. The XP-to-7-or-8 transition is even more painful from the NT-to-XP "

Already have virtualized WindowsXP images for several 100 clients. Physical units requiring that WindowsXP remain are separated by network layers.

WindowsXP as also Windows Server 2003 will be about for as long as these applications are used to do work for the corporation needing the underlying operating systems.

Lining Microsoft pockets with more money is not the reason CFOs of corporations exist, unless they enjoy losing their positions.

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Re: I believe it

You don't have to wait for Windows 8.2. There are a myriad of applications (some free and some cost money - about $5 or £3) that will bring you to the desktop from boot. You never have to use TIFKAM. It is all there on the start menu.

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Re: I believe it

Steven Roper: "That you can only install software from Microsoft's app store"

"to be constantly pushed towards unwanted cloud storage, and to constantly monitored, logged and spied on is unacceptable regardless of what the interface looks like."

What a load of rubbish. I am running AutoCAD, Steam, Office Pro, Project and Visio. None of these were purchased from the app store. In so far as being spied on, you can turn that off at installation or via the control panel. If you want to worry about being spied on then worry about Homeland Security and GCHQ.

Stop spreading FUD. Have you even tried Win 8? Is your objection to the login because you were using an illegal copy of the disk and licence key?

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Those who have gainsaid me

are making a lot of assumptions about my use of Windows 8 or lack thereof.

I will acknowledge I have not looked at Windows 8.1. There may have been changes there that I don't know about.

That said, I did try Windows 8 while it was in beta, so the allegation I was using an illegal copy is unfounded. And what I observed was the following:

1. It damn well did insist on my signing in to a Microsoft Live account; at every opportunity it would nag me to do this. In order to sign up, Microsoft wanted my real name, address, phone number and a host of information they had no bloody business asking me for. While I could indeed click 'Cancel' to the nag, often if I clicked 'Cancel', what I was trying to do would also be cancelled, and the constant popup reminders to sign in every time I tried to do something drove me insane.

2. Likewise I got constant reminders about setting up cloud storage 'devices'. Yes, I obviously had local drives, but again the constant pushing to set up the cloud as the default data storage was infuriating. And checking "don't show this again" seemed to have no effect!

3. I was not able to install most of my legacy software. It would go through the motions (complete with sign-in nag) but the software simply wouldn't run - I got messages about this application not being authorised or some bullshit, or the application simply wouldn't even start. The trial version of Office I got from the Microsoft store worked without a hitch though. This is what led to my conclusion regarding software having to be installed from Microsoft's store, or to be signed in to install anything.

4. The spying and monitoring I simply assumed is why they wanted me to sign in all the time. For what other possible reason would they insist and nag me to sign into an online account with all my identifying details, if not to be able to ultimately profile, monitor or control what I'm doing?

This is my experience with Windows 8. That I have more than twice the upvotes than downvotes (at the time of writing) indicates to me that others have shared my experience. If I'm spreading FUD then you guys are shilling for Microsoft. That's what it comes down to.

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Re: Those who have gainsaid me

@stevenroper - No you're just spreading FUD. Our industry doesn't need any more of it, there is enough already. Other people read this as if it is factual information, and then go off assuming and\or spreading the same rubbish. I don't care whether people buy or use Windows 8 or 9 or 21 or whatever. MS have enough money, I have no interest in them making any more, i'm not a shareholder or employee. It annoys me however to see crap like this come from a fellow "IT professional" . Same applies to all the Apple bashing and Freetard calling etc. Just wish people would get their facts straight before jumping on the bandwagon. Sadly, the people who gave you twice the upvotes than downvotes are similarly minded - if they had used it themselves, they wouldn't be giving you upvotes would they.

Criticising any product because of some issues with a *beta* 18 months ago seems a bit strange too doesn't it, in our industry?

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Re: I believe it

re: Microsoft account. Not needed in 8.0, not needed in 8.1.

I see someone who has never installed 8,1. Firstly, it's a Store download. Secondly, it asks you for your Microsoft account details or to create a new Microsoft account. No "local" option there unless it's buried even further than 8. You have to wait until after everything's installed and then, if you're the sort of user who even understamds how to do it, you can go into the control panel and set up a new local user.

This in spite of it being an "upgrade" from 8.0, which already had accounts on it. I mean really, what the fuck?

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Re: I believe it

@M Gale

Wow! It's not a store download only, nor is it an upgrade only (technically - marketing wise it might be). Where does all this FUD come from!

I got the Windows 8.1 ISO from MVLS and did a clean install to a blank hard drive. Just like all it's predecessors. Next, Next, Finish. I don't understand the confusion here?

MS store - I don't have an MS account (MVLS account is corp, not mine), yet I managed to install 8.1 fresh.

I'm posting this from said Windows 8.1 Pro install, which - for the sake of clarity - I downloaded the ISO image of from MVLS, installed clean onto a blank hard disk drive, created a local user during setup, logged in and joined to an AD domain - all without having to use an MS account, hack around anything or 'go into the control panel' or anything! It's almost like it's just the same as Windows 7!! (but we can't say that round these here parts else we're liars and heretics!).

Try it. Just get the ISO image, create a VM and boot the ISO. Run through setup, same as Win7 etc., and you'll see what I mean. Try it. Go on. Then come back here and post the results...............

You don't have to like Win8, you certainly don't have to use it. Personal opinion and taste of course., horses for courses always. But these points we're arguing about are facts, they're not open to the interpretation of personal opinion. We should get our facts right when discussing in a public forum, that's all.

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Tim Worstall

Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
The full Spanglish breakfast: mealy pudding, bacon, black pudding, sausages, fried egg, toast
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Trevor Pott

Can the storage giant overcome a lack of necessary leadership?

Features

No, silly... he was the fall guy for years of Finnish folly
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Frodo and the Ring
Microsoft's strategy is to make Store apps popular. Good luck with that