Amidst minimal appetite for Windows security, what of Longhorn?

Amidst minimal appetite for Windows security, what of Longhorn?

Summary: Silicon.com's Dan Ilett has a news brief that quotes Mario Juarez, product manager of security at Microsoft, as saying "We know that the percentage of people using Windows XP SP 2 is lower than we would like it to be....

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TOPICS: Windows
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Silicon.com's Dan Ilett has a news brief that quotes Mario Juarez, product manager of security at Microsoft, as saying "We know that the percentage of people using Windows XP SP 2 is lower than we would like it to be....One in three machines that run Windows XP is running SP 2. Customers are still reluctant to upgrade."  So, here's a good question:  If, after almost a year of being available,  nearly 66 percent of XP users aren't willing to get an upgrade to Windows that's free - one that's supposed to make their OS 15 times safer than it was before --  how on earth does Microsoft expect the larger population of Windows users (many of whom are running a version of Windows that's older than XP) to get interested in Longhorn (the codename of the next version of Windows)?

Topic: Windows

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  • Wrong question

    The real question is, "now that OEMs are seeing product replacement cycles stretch out, how long will it take for MS to achieve double-digit market penetration for Longhorn?"

    It's not like anyone actually buys a new computer just for the joy of having the lastest version of MSWindows, after all. Hasn't been that way for a decade. Win2K and WinXP uptake rates were one-for-one tracking OEM sales, and Longhorn will be more of the same.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
    • When is the last time you saw a PC on sale with Windows 2000?

      Windows XP is universal in new computers. There are backwards-thinking corporate IT departments that go out of their way to strip XP and put in 2k. That will eventually wear out.

      Longhorn will have the same success in new computers. It's one thing to argue an alternative OS in favor of Windows, but I never understood the appeal of the argument for older versions of windows. This eventually leads to stupid arguments based on pure ignorance that windows 2000 is actually ?better? than XP. That doesn't mean that you must toss XP the minute Longhorn comes out; just let Longhorn naturally enter with new machines.
      george_ou
      • not to be sarcastic but when I've build...

        a new computer for someone I still get the choice to install a new copy of msft win2000 or xp w/sp2.

        it's the old " I'm staying with something I'm fimiliar with" response and that's why there's people that will continue to use older versions of msft windows.

        also, sp2 has broken some apps people run when they have installed msft xp w/sp2. myself included. then they do a fresh install without putting in sp2.

        gnu/linux...giving choice to the neX(11)t generation.
        Arm A. Geddon
      • George?

        I think we're in violent agreement.

        LongHorn uptake will be driven by OEM sales -- new computer purchases. Since PC replacement is slowing, Longhorn uptake will be slower than its predecessors.

        As for XP vs. Win2K: shops that have a "uniform desktop configuration" can't change to XP until all of their systems are XP capable and all of their applications are XP qualified.

        I know of several shops that are sticking with Win2K because of critical applications that break on XP. From all accounts, Longhorn will be much less compatible with XP than XP was with Win2K.
        Yagotta B. Kidding
        • One disagreement

          "As for XP vs. Win2K: shops that have a "uniform desktop configuration" can't change to XP until all of their systems are XP capable and all of their applications are XP qualified."

          From what I've seen, this is often an excuse to be lazy. I've seen too many IT shops ban XP simply because they've never taken the time to load a single PC with XP to test it. A lot of times, a department will come up with some cockamamie home grow application that maybe one person uses 1 day out of the year and declare that no one should use XP. For that one user, let them run Win2k or Win98 and let everyone else move on to WinXP. This idea of ?we all go or no one goes? and that you can't have a mixed 2000/XP environment on the desktop is nonsense. All we're talking about is storing 2 separate ghost images for a particular hardware platform and deployment is identical. Then put XP back in to classic mode and all of the look and feel complaints go away. I?ve overseen this transformation many times and I can tell you that it works. What doesn?t work is close-mindedness.

          As for a ?critical application? which everyone uses that works with 2k but not XP, I?ve never seen such a beast. Even if it does exist, a simple little patch would allow it to go from NT 5.0 to NT 5.1. Let?s be real and note that XP is merely NT 5.1 and 2000 is merely NT 5.0. Longhorn will simply be NT 6.0. As for SP2 incompatibilities, it?s mostly based on ignorance of how windows firewalls work. You can simply set a group policy for everyone in the company to globally configure the firewall on every single desktop or simply turn off the firewall if you must.
          george_ou
      • not backwards thinking, cost conscious

        why would you replace a perfectly good os with an upgrade that you have to change on all the machines in your enterprise so that the employees don't kill each other over which one has a better machine. Most folks don't notice the performance boost of a new, "better" computer, but they sure can see that gui that clearly states they have something older than the guy in the next cubicle.
        pesky_z
        • How much money does it save to uninstall XP and reinstall 2k?

          All too often, I see people uninstalling their OEM copy of XP and then reinstalling a copy of 2k. Does that make any sense form a cost perspective?

          The new security, manageability, and wireless features you get with XP easily justify the cost especially when you're implementing XP with newer systems. New 3 GHz computers with XP built in cost less than $400 from major vendors. What is the point of paying more money to maintain older hardware and software?
          george_ou
          • Insignificant...

            "How much money does it save to uninstall XP and reinstall 2k?"

            cost compared with supporting two platforms in the help desk call
            centre.

            Many companies are looking to Longhorn or alternatives for next
            upgrade and skipping XP altogether. They're happy with 2000 and
            the only reason they'll move is because its eol.
            Richard Flude
          • Any helpdesk that can't support NT 5.0 and NT 5.1 is useless

            The difference between supporting Windows 2000 and XP is so small that it is insignificant. I've trained a helpdesk on these differences in less than a day. Don't tell me a call center can't handle what is essentially NT 5.0 and NT 5.1. Any helpdesk person who can?t learn XP skills on top of existing 2000 skills probably shouldn?t be working for you.

            I heard the same stupid arguments for upgrading to Win2000 that "we're waiting for XP". Many of those same people saying we're waiting for XP are still running Win98.

            My point is not that you should toss all copies of XP the minute longhorn comes out or toss all copies of 2k the minute XP came out. The point is that you let the natural hardware replacement cycle coincide with the cheap $40 OEM copy of of the next operating system so by now, all copies of Win2k should have already been replace because all the hardware should have been replaced.

            It departments that go out and spend $1500 on a desktop computer and try to hold on to it for 8 years while spending a fortune on hardware maintenance have it all backwards. It's much simpler to just buy new $400 PCs every 3 years that come bundled with new operating systems. A $400 PC is vastly superior compared to a $2000 PC from 3 years ago. This is what forward thinking is. Two years from now, dual-core 3.2 GHz PCs bundled with Longhorn will probably go for $500. The ?should I upgrade? argument is moot.
            george_ou
          • unless you don't have the 400 dollars

            dear george;
            If you have an office with 20 computers and add 2
            employees, so you buy 2 computers (which by the
            way don't cost 400 dollars, more like a grand
            since you don't want them to be obsolete in a
            month) Now these new computers come with xp
            installed, but not patched, set up with
            everything on the c: drive so that if they do get
            a virus, all is lost, and none of the software
            that is used by the office. Not a great setup
            from the beginning. Everyone in the office
            notices that aside from getting a new computer
            they have the "better" operating system, besides
            being able to see that the person next to them
            has a "better" computer, so they start demanding
            a new computer, even though all they do is type
            letters all day, do some e-mail and scheduling,
            and browse the web once in a while, all possible
            on the PIII they've had for the past 5 years. By
            installing windows 2000 on the new machine, the
            reality of the situation is not so pressing,
            since their monitor is black, the same size, the
            computer looks the same from the outside, and the
            slight is not as great. It is pretty obvious
            that you have not been in an office manager's
            seat, dealing with old and new employees.
            Politics my friend, politics.
            pesky_z
          • Dear Pesky, check the prices

            Yes, it is $400. No, it won't be obsolete in a month. A $400 PC gets you a P4 3 GHz. You don't need that big fancy Geforce 7800 for ultra XGA gaming. You don't need 2 GBs of RAM, 512 MB is more than enough. A $400 system will be good for 3 years in the business world.

            The problems is that people who complain about not having $400 to buy a new PC will spend more than that on maintaining old hardware.
            george_ou
          • Image is everything

            [i]All too often, I see people uninstalling their OEM copy of XP and then reinstalling a copy of 2k. Does that make any sense form a cost perspective?[/i]

            Of course it does. You have the choice of taking XP Home, tweaking it to make it run on the corporate network, adding productivity apps, adding remote access utilities, etc. -- or just imaging it with the corporate standard image.

            Yes, there could be two images. Either way, though, the OEM image is toast. If you're going to toast something, it might as well be Longhorn as Win98.
            Yagotta B. Kidding
          • Great point

            "Yes, there could be two images. Either way, though, the OEM
            image is toast. If you're going to toast something, it might as well
            be Longhorn as Win98."

            The enterprise is going to re-image the computer with their
            standard image anyway, so no cost at all.

            Support for multiple versions is much more complicated than
            George is prepared to acknowledge (lack of real world experience?).
            Richard Flude
          • I've overseen the migration of 98 to 2K to XP for thousands of PCs

            I can assure you that I am experienced in this regard. In the corporation I worked for, the helpdesk had to support multiple languages like Japanese. Mind you that the helpdesk couldn?t read Japanese. They also had to support 10 laptop models, because it was their own product and they had to eat all of their own dog food. Multiply that by 2 because of English and Japanese images. Multiply that by 2 because there was a time that Windows 2000 and XP was supported. Of course, the minute systems needed to be re-imaged; we would load it with XP if the hardware could handle it.

            We didn?t have complainers that ?we haven?t been trained for XP yet?. They were just expected to pick it up. Those who did complain and couldn?t keep up didn?t stick around for long. Most IT departments and helpdesks are hated, but this was one of the few IT departments voted for an award by all other departments in the company. How often do you hear of that? Which helpdesk would you prefer? The one that always complained they didn?t have the training or the resources or the one that just moved forward?
            george_ou
          • xxx

            "How much money does it save to uninstall XP and reinstall 2k?"

            About the same ammount of time you will spend removing the OEM's crapware off your XP system. Useless junk that should have never been installed.

            To me XP is a candy coated pile of crap.
            FreeBSD
          • You can still use the OEM license

            I ALWAYS do my own images, the point is that I can still use the OEM license.
            george_ou
          • OEM license restrictions

            The OEM license that comes with most new PC's is not compatible with the license that corporate users use.

            Issue's concern right to upgrade, CAL's, and licensing compliance within the company.

            Combine that with the time savings of burning an image onto a box over installing all of the other separate apps that aren't included with the OEM box then the cost savings are quite evident.
            Robert Crocker
          • You're right in some cases

            You're right that the OEM license isn't always compatible. This is where they say Microsoft "double dips". This is where you threaten to go to Linux and Open Office and you make them give you a big fat discount.

            For small businesses, there is nothing wrong with reinstalling the OEM copy of windows.
            george_ou
  • I'm surprised that you are surprised

    It's funny, I always thought that part of the reason for SP2's slow adoption was exactly because of sites like ZDNet. I clearly remember how you, David Berlind, were one of those spreading a lot of FUD about SP2 soon after it was released. There are so many people now that have misinformation about what SP2 does and what it does not do, that it is no wonder people are scared to install it.

    I remember weekly articles here on ZDNet telling about how SP2 "breaks" so many apps, when in fact closer scrutiny revealed that the vast majority of those were simply a matter of opening ports in the now-enabled firewall to let some apps connect to the internet. Apparently ZDNet was able to change the meaning of "cannot connect" to "crash". The apps that really crashed did it because they were modifying and executing code, a big no-no with SP2 (although you can bypass that on a per app basis). Those apps needed to be patched by their developers to comply to the more strict running environment. You even quoted me in one of your later articles when I complained that you were irresponsible for scaring people away from an important security update.

    Now you know why, because now we have a huge XP installed base that are too scared to install SP2, while their computers are unprotected against viruses that take advantage of vulnerabilities that were patched by SP2. You must be proud!
    Qbt
  • head in sand

    if bill gates really wanted to make a profit, he should have kept windows 2000 around for awhile, and lengthened the cycle, laying off tens of thousands of developers, but he knows that if he does that they'll just start thinking for themselves and create a better os.
    pesky_z