Windows XP installed-base still trailing that of Win2K

Windows XP installed-base still trailing that of Win2K

Summary: Although usage of Windows XP in businesses improved to 38 percent of business PCs in the 2005Q1, a recent study shows that nearly four years after that operating system originally shipped (October 2001), it still trails behind its predecessor Windows 2000, found in 48 percent of business PCs.   While a 10 percent difference doesn't sound like much, the change only marked a 6.

TOPICS: Windows

Although usage of Windows XP in businesses improved to 38 percent of business PCs in the 2005Q1, a recent study shows that nearly four years after that operating system originally shipped (October 2001), it still trails behind its predecessor Windows 2000, found in 48 percent of business PCs.   While a 10 percent difference doesn't sound like much, the change only marked a 6.6 percent improvement over 2003Q4 and a majority of that change apparently came by way of upgrades from the really outdated versions of Windows such as Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT 4.   Windows NT 4 succeeded Windows NT 3.51, the first of the fully 32-bit versions of Windows to get any sort of serious traction. 

The slow adoption of Windows XP remains one of Microsoft's biggest challenges to date. Although the company's two major franchises -- Windows and Office -- are still considered cash cows, the "good enough" syndrome --  end users are getting along just fine on older versions of both -- is causing headaches for Microsoft.  Not only must the company pay significant attention to multiple code-bases (particularly in the name of critical security updates that protect users as well as the Internet from Microsoft software-borne exploits), it also has hopes of moving customers to the next revision of Windows, codenamed Longhorn.  The obvious question is, if it can't move users to Windows XP, how on earth will it get users to move to Longhorn?  All of this comes at a time when, for the first time in a long time, the Windows/Office franchise is actually getting some legitimate competition from the open source community (more globally, than domestically).

Topic: Windows

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  • They'll have little choice

    According to the MS's own Life-cycle policy, by the time
    Longhorn is released (late 2006), Mainstream
    Support Retired by be retired for windows 2000 Pro (30-
    Jun-2005) and about to expire for XP Pro (31-Dec-2006).

    Large IT organisations will have little choice but to either move
    from windows or move to Longhorn.

    I suspect this is the reason that MS is dropping most of the
    features from Longhorn, it simply must meet that deadline or be
    forced to extend mainstream support.

    It is a joke that a company spending US$7 billion a year on R&D
    hasn't had a new operating system release in almost 4 years,
    and the next at least 18 months away.

    For competitors the clock is ticking, be ready by late 2006 or
    miss your best opportunity to steal MS market share.
    Richard Flude
  • Easy Answer

    They can't. Microsoft reached it's zenith a couple of years ago.
    Nothing is sustainable, it's all downhill from here. They've turned
    into a barge rather than a sleek run-a-bout.
  • Not just good enough, better

    I really think Windows 2000 was the best product to bear the Windows name. It was released right at the time when Microsoft was finally getting around to fixing all those little problems that plagued Windows, but just before they began piling on a bunch of unnessicary stuff (especially for business).
    I can't think of a single additional feature in XP that would really be needed on a workstation. So why would anyone spend the money for a slower OS that they gain nothing from?
    In the past Microsoft could simply wait until the user's hardware became obsolete, then when they upgrade, their new machine would likely come preloaded with the lastest version of Windows.
    They may no longer have the luxury of waiting this time, however. Microsoft is finally facing very strong competition in the OS market, and when support runs out for Windows 2000, those users may decide to move away from Windows altogether.
    This would obviously be much worse for Microsoft than users simply not upgrading. Every major OS vender (except Microsoft of course) supports POSIX compliant and/or Unix-like operating systems. Once Unix starts making head way into the workstation market, it should have no trouble working its way into the desktop market. Taking away Microsoft's monopoly there will be like kicking the legs out from under it.
    I look forward to the day when all major operating systems are POSIX based, so that software created for one will run on all, with little or no major tweaking, and all major changes to the standard are submitted to and approved by a single organization (like the W3C with browser standards). On top of these standards venders can build whatever type of operating system they like, but we'd never have to worry about a company holding control of the market simply from software compatibility. I believe this day is coming, right now the only thing standing in its way is Microsoft.
  • Very typical of IT departments to lag

    Some organizations still run Windows 98 or Windows NT. They just don't feel like changing. It?s sad that home computers are well ahead of the curve compared to corporate computers. Usually, these organizations lack the skills, organization, and foresight to do ?big bang? multicast imaging jobs. Often times, they spend more on old hardware support contracts than purchasing new hardware. New PCs with OEM WinXP licenses can be purchased for under $400 and they perform many times better than their old junk and old OS.

    What?s even crazier is that people go in to denial and start rationalizing their decision to use Win2k with the absurd assertion that "Windows 2000 is actually better than WinXP". I heard the same crazy assertions that Windows 98 was better than Windows 2000 when I forced my entire company to switch from Windows 98 to Windows 2000. You hear the craziest excuses from the status quo whenever you try to institute change.

    If you want IE 7.0, SP2, SP2 firewall controlled by group policy, WPA/WPA2 wireless security, group policy based Wireless LAN configuration, system restore, remote assistance, remote desktop, continued support, and too many other things to list, you would have gone to Windows XP a long time ago. If not, do so now. I haven't touch Windows 2000 since 2001 and I wouldn't ever go back.
    • You sound like Mike Cox.

      "absurd assertion that "Windows 2000 is actually better than WinXP""

      It's great to know such an enlightened person who is smarter than Fortune 500 companies.
      • So why don't you explain it to me

        Why don't you explain to me how Windows 2000 is better than Windows XP. I really need some enlightening. What do I know? I'm just a dumb network architect for fortune 500 companies.
        • I can explain.

          These extra features you point out may be nice in situations where you need them, but when you don't, why pay for them? Any company that must have those features likely already has a third party app that does the job as well or better than the embedded Microsoft app.
          On top of this Windows XP Pro is too similar to Home Edition, features that may make the it easier to use in the home will likely only slow productivity in business. Either by adding extra layers of menus to work through, or taking the time to find the settings to turn all of these things off.
          Features can be nice, but if you don't need them they're useless. What really matters (especially in business) is effiency and reliability. Windows 2000 has a much smaller footprint, has fewer known vulnerabilities, and more of its vulnerabilities are patched.
          I just can't see why a company would want to spend the money (both in the price of the OS and possible hardware upgrades) to switch to XP, when 2000 is meeting their needs as well, if not better than XP can.
          • Wrong, a lot of vulnerabilities for win2k will not be patched

            I hear these excuses form the foot draggers all the time. One could argue that MSDOS has a smaller foot print and that it's easier to patch.

            The bottom line is, the benefits of WinXP are substantial if you leverage them. I forced the adoption of it back in 2001 and which means they will be on XP for a total of 5 or 6 years by the time longhorn comes out.

            I do turn off the silly new desktop in XP by reverting to classic mode, but that doesn't mean you ignore all the other benefits such as the newly compiled XP SP2 that was checked for buffer over runs during the compilation process. Usually, people make these silly negative comments on XP when they've never even used it based on the assumption that it might break some legacy apps because it's new.
          • One could use that argument for MSDOS...

            But that would be stupid. MSDOS is a completely different operating system, it won't even run the same software, that alone outweighs any benefits from a smaller footprint and easy patching. Showing an extreme version of an argument is invalid doesn't disprove the original argument, just the extreme one.
            Saying "the benefits of WinXP are substantial if you leverage them" is marketing talk, it proves nothing. How are they substantial? What benefits do they offer over third party apps?
            Adding features doesn't nessicarily make an OS better, especially when these features are already available in other software. An upgrade to an OS should make substantial (and useful) improvements to the core features, such as the kernel, the filesystem and the shell. The only real improvement I can see in this area is that XP boots a little faster.
            Reverting to classic mode just turns off the themes, you still need to go through the control panel making adjustments, and download Tweak UI and make adjustments with it before you get rid of all the dummy settings.
            I fail to see what is so great about SP2. Its the first time I seen Microsoft sell a patch as a feature. Businesses should already be running firewalls, and I can't see upgrading your OS just to block pop-ups.
            Also, I have used XP as much if not more than 2000. As a matter of fact, although I'd rather not be, I'm using it right now to type this message. Anyone who honestly believes that their apps will brake switching from 2000 to XP obviously knows little about the subject and shouldn't be in position to make these types of decisions for their company. Actually in all these messages here by people who prefer 2000, I don't think I saw the issue of compatibility to existing software brought up once.
            The real bottom line is this: There is no reason for companies spend the money to "upgrade" just for features they either won't use, or they're already getting from their current third party software, especially when it could mean a step back in terms of effeciency and security.
            You are right about one thing though, when support runs out for Windows 2000 it will eventually have more unpatched vulnerabilities. And eventually the "foot draggers" will have to make the switch. But this obviously doesn't show XP to be superior, but instead shows how poor its really done. After over 4 year most users will have to be forced to switch. It will be interesting to see, though, how many actually switch to XP, and how many move away from Windows altogether.
          • Final arguments

            "What benefits do they offer over third party apps?" Upgrading to WinXP is much cheaper than 3rd party apps to replace some of the features. You also get a modern OS.

            IE 7.0 will have reduced execution privileges under a special limited user account, instead of the user's privileges which usually is admin.

            WinXP is essentially the same as Win2k with many more security and management features. So it's stupid to say that WinXP is worse than Win2k or that it somehow is a descendant of WinME. If you want to say you don't like Microsoft, fine, more power to you. But don't pretend you understand windows because you really don't.
    • Custom applications are the issue

      "Usually, these organizations lack the skills, organization, and foresight to do ?big bang? multicast imaging jobs."

      From what I have seen, this ususally isn't the issue. The bigger issue is having to test and potentially re-write hundreds or thousands of poorly coded applications that were written in house or by consultants years ago. Mainly due to really stupid things like hardcoding the windows directory instead of using an environment variable (the default windows directory changed from c:\winnt to c:\windows). The only other option is to run the crappy applications with issues in a Citrix environment, but this still doesn't mitigate the testing effort. And very few companies have invested the time and effort to maintain good testing scripts.
      • Usually a delaying tactic

        Windows 2000 is technically NT 5 and Windows XP is technically NT 5.1. There are few things that don't run on XP that run on 2000. All too often, organizations just ban Windows XP by declaring that they haven't tested it when it fact it would run all just fine along. They have the idea in their head that they can't do a seamless migration. It's primarily an IT culture issue.
  • that's a silly question

    speaking for myself personally, i was TIRED AND FED UP of the "upgrade your os in a year and a half* syndrome that was developing, so i have remained on win2k pro, all 7 computers in my home are win2k pro and haven't had a single problem, solid as a rock, does exactly what i want it to do.

    i looked at winxp but for the most part it was full of annoying little things, enough to make me want to skip out on the xp upgrade. it's FULL of these little things, such as click on start, and click on search. on winwk i either right click start and go to search and just SEARCH, or start/search, winxp adds two MORE annoying clicks "what do you want to search for" crap. a file, what do you think? you have to customize the control panel before it shows you the actual STUFF you have come there to see, or dig down 2 more levels.

    it's more of a "non technical person's upgrade" , in trying to make things "easier" it just adds steps to the process, and someone who DOES know what they are doing is simply slowed down.

    all those annoyances, plus the fact i was tired of the continual upgrade cycle kept me, QUITE HAPPILY, on win2k pro. all along, YEARS ago i told people i was skipping the xp upgrade and going straight for longhorn, many simply chuckled not thinking it could be done. well here we are!

    so no, no xp for me, but the longhorn upgrade i'll do, depending of course on all the NEW unnecessary crap that MS fills it with. hopefully there is a hidden button in there somewhere that reads "remove all the extra steps and make it look like win2k"

    i personally think there should be two versions of MS os's, one for the newbie user, and one for the seasoned.

    no i DONT like how xp stacks things in the task bar, such as if you have 5 IE windows open at one time, YOU HAVE TO CLICK TWICE TO ACTIVATE ANY ONE OF THEM , AGAIN another extra step added.

    all those steps really add up when you're on the comps as much as i am.

    and yes, i'm sure through much searching and shenanigans i could probably configure xp pro to act like win2k pro, but then i'd have to do it for 7 machines, and why do that when i like what i have now? ONLY to do it ALL OVER AGAIN when longhorn comes out?

    nope, if i'm going to upgrade, it's NOT going to be a yearly thing, too much hassle. every 5 years is doable, and i'm steeling myself for that day that applications fail to run on win2k and force me to upgrade, i'm sure it will come. at least i'll be happy that i avoided the headache of TWO upgrades instead of just one.

    Valis Keogh
    • Agreed! XP is for non-techies

      In general it's easier for non-powerusers to migrate to a new OS than someone who is proficient with the OS.

      When working on someone else's XP box, it drives me nuts not being able to click one button to lower all Windows (yes, it's configurable, but it's someone else's box).

      Other missing short cuts that I use on 2000 include to right click "My Computer" for system properties, right click "My Network Places" for Network and Dialup connections.

      For a poweruser, XP was a major step backwards in terms of useability.
      • All you gotta do is put it in to classic mode

        Why is it that when people don't understand something, they complain and act like they?re experts? I don't like the new dumbed down UI either so I just flipped it to "classic mode". Everything you complain about is gone in an instant.

        This is a perfect example of how the fear of Windows XP stems from ignorance.
  • Just wait till Shorthorn!

    As soon as companies realize that Longhorn is simply Windows XP-ME (What are they not including with Longhorn today?), they would be bother to upgrade, either..?
    • ME == XP?!?!?!?!

      If you think XP = ME, you've got some serious studying to do. No wonder you think Win2k is better than WinXP.

      Like I said before, Win2k is NT 5, and WinXP is NT 5.1. Windows Longhorn will be NT 6. ME is not part of that tree.
  • Here's another source..

    Last 2 paragraphs:
    "Steve O'Halloran, managing director of AssetMetrix Research Labs said that companies were re-deploying PCs, without a policy to manage and support their operating systems. As a result Windows XP transition was being dictated by PC obsolescence rather than by intelligent planning and forecasting.

    One of the reasons people don?t want to change is that Windows 2000 was designed to be manageable and supportable by IT and its not having some security problems as Windows XP, he said."

    • More bad information

      Windows XP SP2 has way more security and manageability features. So much so, that people like Bruce Schneier are complaining that 2k is being deprived of XP security features.

      It's absurd to suggest that 2k is more manageable than XP. That is spoken from a position of ignorance.