7 reasons to stick with Windows XP

7 reasons to stick with Windows XP

Summary: Last week a reader challenged me to come up with 7 valid (-ish!) reasons for users to stick with Windows XP rather than upgrading to Windows 7.

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Last week a reader challenged me to come up with 7 valid (-ish!) reasons for users to stick with Windows XP rather than upgrading to Windows 7.

Here you go!

  1. Stick with what you know Every new OS comes with a learning curve. Sometimes that curve is gentle, sometimes it's steep. By sticking with what you already know, you're bypassing the whole learning curve thing altogether!
  2. Certainty Installing a new OS is a leap into the unknown as far as hardware and software compatibility goes. If you do your research you can reduce on these unknowns, but you can never truly eliminate them. Even with the best research and testing, it's possible that something in your hardware and software ecosystem won't take kindly to the upgrade.
  3. Cost While many people like to cling on to the belief that upgrading operating systems will save them money, in the real world this is rarely the case. Not only will the OS upgrade itself set you back a fair few dollars per system, but you then need to factor in other expenses (basically, replacements for anything that ends up not working because of the upgrade).
  4. XP is still supported by Microsoft Microsoft will continue to offer what it calls extended support for Windows XP (running the latest Service Pack) up until April 2014. This means that you will still be able to get security updates for the operating system for years to come.
  5. Developers still support XP Software developers still support XP, which means you can still find and get updates for software you run on your XP system. Remember, the OS is just a platform for other software.
  6. Upgrade components to stay secure! Rather than upgrading your entire operating system in the hope that you'll be more secure, upgrade old and obsolete software you have installed on your OS instead. Secunia PSI is a great piece of kit for ferreting out vulnerable software that's buried on your systems.
  7. Do you really need to upgrade? Think about it. What are you really missing by not upgrading? Again, while the sales literature for Windows 7 looks good, you need to think about how those new features will translate into value for money on the ground.

See, that was easy!

Just to be clear, I could come up with 7 reasons to stick with Vista or upgrade to Windows7 too ... :)

Topics: Software, CXO, Microsoft, Operating Systems, IT Employment, Windows

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377 comments
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  • better yet

    you can find 100 reasons to switch to Linux.
    Linux Geek
    • And 10,000 reasons not to

      NT
      bobiroc
      • Only need 1 reason not to: It isn't Windows (nt)

        .
        ericesque
        • Oh there are couple reasons

          1. No Cost (other than your time)
          2. Less targeted by Malware (for now)
          3. Hmmm... nope that's about it.
          bobiroc
          • but....

            1 No cost?

            What about the cost of lost productivity with moving to a completely different platform?

            2. Malware?

            I agree that Linux is much more secure, but to be far, Windows 7 is more secure than XP.

            Just sayin'
            mgj09
          • Those are things to defnintely consider

            nt
            bobiroc
          • but...

            I think XP is more secure because most exploits have been discovered and patched where as with Win 7 exploits just haven't been discovered yet.
            bruiser2
          • How true

            Windows 7 is basically the same scenario as the whole Mac vs. Windows debate. Just as Apple wants you to think that their stuff is a million times more secure than any version of Windows, when it really isn't for the most part. The stuff is simply less popular, so it currently has fewer people finding malicious ways to exploit it.
            Crash2100
          • That doesn't really make sense

            Windows 7 (and even Vista) greatly improved security but it cannot account for people that turn the security off or blindly click on things. You can go into XP and make it more secure by turning off services you do not need and running your user accounts as standard users instead of admins but Windows is still Windows so while there will be new security issues discovered as time goes on Microsoft did improve security. Other OSes are the same which is why you see security updates for them as well.
            bobiroc
          • I kinda disagree for 2 reasons...

            1.) There's that 17 year old vulnerability someone recently found that goes back to Windows 3.1.. If they could find one that one, they can find more. It may not be released until the final week of extended support in 2014 or they may wait until the week after support formally expires just to watch the mayhem.

            2.) XP wasn't designed to be as secure. At least with Vista and 7, Microsoft made a conscious effort to make the entire platform secure.
            Wolfie2K3
          • Linux? Secure? LOL!!!

            "I agree that Linux is much more secure, but to be far, Windows 7 is more secure than XP."

            Linux is NOT secure by any stretch of the word. You should do a little homework on the statement you just made. It's the whole reason Linux isn't in the office-place and never will be. The only company to ever "secure" anything like Linux was Novell when they bought Unix7, stripped it to the bone and recompiled it into Novell Server 1.0. But no one has tried it since. Gee, I wonder why?

            NOT!

            And Windows 7 is what Vista was supposed to be! But I'm sticking with XP64 until the wheels fall off! There is no GOOD reason to switch unless you like starting over with a new computer and a fresh OS. But then you must like throwing money away too.
            Dr.Who
          • Show us this homework you speak of

            In other words, you just made a claim that goes completely against every other claim made about Linux by anyone with any kind of credibility. Now prove it.

            Either that or stop posting idiocy.
            tmsbrdrs
          • Quick and easy Linux security

            Jack Wallen (2010), [b]Quick and easy Linux security[/b], Ghacks.net, retrieved 2010, Feb 11, from http://www.ghacks.net/2010/02/02/quick-and-easy-linux-security/

            LinusSecurity.com, (2010), Guardian Digital, Inc., http://www.linuxsecurity.com/
            Isocrates
          • Yes and No

            You're wrong and you're right. Linux isn't necessarily secure--different flavors and distros offer different levels; some are even designed to be insecure (for testing purposes). But out of the box most distros are ahead of XP, and likely 7--and it has the potential to be *very* secure.

            Actually security isn't the reason Linux hasn't made headway in the office. Active Directory and the integration it offers have a lot to do with that. Also MS is at a huge advantage because so many enterprise applications (Symantec Backup Exec, Photoshop, etc.) are all supported on Windows but aren't all supported on other platforms--and they integrate better with Windows shops.

            I'm with you on sticking with XP, on my Windows boxes--but on my main system, and for what I plan to do long-term, I've dropped MS altogether and switched to Xubuntu.
            LeonBA
          • just sayin

            Windows 2000 is also more secure than XP, so is Windows 98 and 95 for that matter due to the relatively low market share.

            Yes, Linux is more secure by far. That's not the only reason to use it but it most certainly is one of the reasons.

            Also, you'll have a harder time switching someone to Vista or Windows 7 than you would switching them to Ubuntu or SimplyMepis. If you give someone something that seems slightly familiar, they'll get lost much more quickly than if you give them something less familiar.
            tmsbrdrs
          • Say what?

            Your credibility went into the toilet when you said Win2k, Win98, and Win95 are more secure than XP. Then it went into the sewage treatment plant when you claimed that it is easier for an XP user to learn Linux than to learn Vista or 7. Too bad, because there is a case to be made for Linux being more secure than XP (but not Vista or 7).
            Lester Young
          • @Lester Young

            yes, it's easier for an XP user to learn Linux than to learn Vista or Windows 7. I did it, no training, no linux nerds around, no handbooks to follow and no outside help. I'd been using Windows since I first began computing and had run it until one year ago when I decided to switch.

            My mom learned how to use Linux. This is a woman who couldn't even turn on my Nintendo when I was a child and she's learned Linux.

            My aunt is learning Linux. She'd never touched a keyboard before 3 months ago and she's learning.

            Say whatever nonsense you want about my "credibility" but I have plenty of proof walking around me.

            I could sit down at a Vista/Win7 machine and most likely learn it in about a week. My mom or my aunt? They'd be lost.

            As for the rest of your post. http://www.realtime-websecurity.com/articles_and_analysis/2007/06/vista_vs_linux_vulnerabilities.html
            http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=533

            In other words, the only claim I've ever seen that Windows is more secure than Linux comes from Microsoft and those who think paying for software automatically makes it better.
            tmsbrdrs
          • What version of linux

            There are so many. Sure some are relatively easy to use and some users may not know the difference but your outrageous claims that Vista or Win7 are so much different than XP that people are too confused to learn it is just FUD. I upgraded my Mom and my Sister to Windows 7 and both of them picked up right where they left of. It is still Windows and has the same basic feel as Windows has had since before XP. Sure some things are slightly different but if your Mom or Aunt would be lost in Vista or Win7 then I cannot believe your claims that Linux was easier for them.
            bobiroc
          • @tmsbrdrs: Has your mom ever....

            ...had to hack the sound stack of Ubuntu to get it to recognize a sound card? Has she ever had to configure CUPS then assemble a driver from components downloaded from a Linux site and an Asian support site to get a printer to work? Has she ever had to convert an RPM package to install an application or driver she wanted? Has she ever had to install and wade through Compiz to find the one setting necessary to get the native multi-desktop feature to work properly on her machine? Has she ever lost window functionality, been kicked from an application to the login screen, or had shutdown hangs after an update? Has she ever had her boot configuration changed by an update and had to tweak it from a shell? Those are all things I experienced with Ubuntu. After a while, I decided it wasn't worth the bother. To say that Vista or 7 present greater challenges for a new user is laughable.

            And the only people who say Linux is inherently more secure are.....Linux fanboys. They have to invent a conspiracy theory that Microsoft systematically doesn't report about 60-80% of vulnerabilities to tilt the balance in favor of Linux.

            Linux patches fast, but they patch sloppy. And a bad patch can bork your machine worse than malware. I've never had a Windows update screw things up like some Linux updates.
            Lester Young
          • @Lester Young

            You wrote, "I've never had a Windows update screw things up like some Linux updates."

            I agree. Windows updates produce far worse issues than Linux updates for my family and me. One happened just recently. After Microsoft updated a few things on a Patch Tuesday, it was necessary to do a System Restore to before the update on my wife's computer, my son's computer, and my computer to get Windows to function, again. Then, I blocked the offending patch and reinstalled Microsoft's updates.

            We have never had a Linux update cause a problem like that. Actually, I do not recall any Linux update causing the issues you described nor have we had the issues with any version of Ubuntu that you described. I recommend fearful Windows users, such as yourself, try a LiveCD of Linux Mint. You will be very pleasantly surprised.
            Isocrates