Hell no, we won't go: 10 reasons some XP users refuse to upgrade

Summary:Windows XP support may be ending soon, but there are a whole lot of folks who refuse to abandon the soon-to-be sunk ship. These are their stories.

The Y2K theme is continued by @gavin.bollard, who states, "Microsoft would LOVE for WinXP's demise to be like the Y2K bug. For everyone to scramble to upgrade their systems. Of course, it's not just about updating XP. You probably should update your hardware (or at least memory), you should probably look at a new office version of office too. Plenty of financial opportunities for Microsoft. Of course, Y2K was about something REAL. There were a few systems, which if not updated would have caused problems. Most systems however would have continued to function normally."

He, too, believes that XP is safe behind a firewall, but an update might someday be necessary: "Windows XP, behind a solid (and well configured) firewall and with a solid Anti-Virus product and no new hardware will continue to function. Get rid of some of the riskier products (Outlook, Acrobat and Flash for example) and things will be fairly safe. I'm not suggesting that businesses should stay on XP (We didn't, we moved to 7) but I am saying that there's no need for a stampede. Deploying an untested configuration could do much more damage to your business than staying on an older OS for a little while longer."

Another Y2Ker is @jpar who says "Y2K = YXP." He continues, "This is 'Year XP' -- everyone is overreacting to the XP EOL event in April, just like they overreacted to Y2K. Y2K came and went, and nothing happened -- same deal with XP. Vendors will continue to support virus protection for XP for at least a couple more years (as they did with Win2k and other older OSs). The lack of updates for XP is actually a GOOD thing, and will help stabilize the platform -- no more leaky Internet Exploder or Dot Blam updates that rip giant holes in the attack surface of the OS. If Microsoft really wants a win, they should start an open-source fork of XP, and allow it to be community-maintained."

I do have to say, I like the idea of an open-sourced XP. Not sure it's a good thing, but it would be fascinating to watch. Otherwise, Y2K and XP are very different beasts. Use reasonable caution out there, okay?

Doom and gloom tactics

Reader @winddrift03 blames those he calls "Microsoft shills." He says, "Why? because of all the scare tactics and doom spread by Microsoft shills. As a test, I had an XP based machine that never had an update after service pack 3 until taken out of service in 2012. It was connected to the internet, used on a daily basis, surfed the web, sometimes deliberately to sites that may have been potential trouble. NOT ONCE was it was it taken down by malware, and only once was an infection found that escaped the active scan. The key was using a good firewall, and and antivirus/anti spyware software that was keep up to date at all times. Part of the reason as I said was as a test, but also because of Windows 'updates' that caused more harm than good, leading to days and days of hunting to find what went wrong."

@winddrift03 continues, "My point is, anyone who is still satisfied with there XP machine should run it till their sick of it or it dies, as long as they take sensible precautions. And after having used Win 8 for a while, it will be a cold day in hell before it goes on any of my machines. I'm a retired computer professional, so don't even think I'm just some 'user' spouting off. MS doesn't get their act together soon, I'll shift completely to Linux!"

I gotta say, that's not a tactic I'd recommend. Kids, don't try this at home!

Reader @chrome_slinky also blames Microsoft for a fear, uncertainty, and doubt campaign. He says, "This is simply more of the FUD that was started by Microsoft as I have machines running XP which are fully up-to-date, and have an antivirus and firewall which are kept current, the firewall having HIPS activated, and I have had no problems thus far. I don't anticipate any problems after April 9, but I also am not stupid - the data is all backed up.Prudent practices should keep Windows XP machines in good shape, no matter what the Internet trash talk says."

I'm not convinced running XP, whether locked down or not, is prudent anymore.

Reader @databaseben is also distrustful of Microsoft's intentions. He says, "LOL, seriously? Upgrade XP machines w/Win8? I seriously doubt you bought a number of w8 licenses with the intent on upgrading your ol' XP machines. you would be lucky to be able to update those machines to Vista. In regards to XP stalling out the others on a network, this is expected because Microsoft will be sending out so called critical updates that will sabotage the functionality of XP in one way or another. So 'my recommendation' is to disable the update service for XP on those old but functional XP machines, because you will find one day (probably on the second wednesday) that XP's performance has suddenly degraded and unstable."

Next up: the challenge of upgrading... 

By the way, I'm doing more updates on Twitter and Facebook than ever before. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz and on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft


In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

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