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

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, Windows 8


David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • Whatever floats their boat.

    I'm just happy I won't have to support this train wreck of an OS any longer. It takes twice - sometimes even thrice - as long to troubleshoot issues than it would on Windows 7 or Windows 8.

    Good riddance.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion

      It's funny how XP is often hailed as the best MS operating system, when in reality, pertaining to malware, it's like walking through hell wearing gasoline underwear!

      MS is just a legacy company with antiquated, outdated, and outright bizarre software.
      • legacy

        Most of the world wants legacy, to go with their other old outdated and outright bizarre software. It is what they have and they don't want to bother to change, give it up trying to make them.
        • No, we won't give up

          Because this legacy software is one of the biggest, if NOT the biggest, reason why computers are so hard to troubleshoot today.

          It's not cases of malware and viruses that are really the issue today, it's old crappy software that runs poorly and has so many 'gotchas' that you cannot install the software on a more up-to-date system (that would use less power and run smoother) that is the reason why so many techies are needed today.
          • As a Techie

            I say, thank you.
      • If Windows is a virus...

        ... then Unix is an STD, and Linux is the underwear holding them both together.
        • You, sir or madam,

          made my day. Probably one of the best responses I've seen so far.
      • You go on and keep fooling yourself, orandy.

        as you ain't fooling anyone here.

        The only people hailing XP as the best operating system have likely neither tried Windows 7, or are trolls like you.

        Me, I just run Windows 7 in XP mode for the odd old software Works great.
        • I agree with you

          I have used and maintained every version of windows from 2 on, and found things I liked and disliked about all of them. XP was better than 98, But not as good as 7. I had no problems with Vista except you needed a new machine with hardware that had drivers for Vista, hardware manufactures were not to interested in writing drivers for older hardware to run on Vista. (The same was true for NT when it came out). The only software that I still use that will not run on Windows 8 is VB6. The programs I wrote using VB6 run great, but if I need to make a update I have to use VB6 to do it. It runs fine in virtual machine in side Windows 8.
          earl harbeson
        • Windows 7 is OK

          But, as we have seen in the office, not all XP software runs on Windows 7 in any mode. They have managed to do workarounds for most stuff except for some ancient developement platform that is going to take time and a lot of money to replace.
        • Reply to William.Farrel

          I've tried Windows 7. It takes more clicks than XP to set it up for my disability, and the settings don't persist.
      • WOW...

        @orandy, this is the most unprofessional, totally untrue commentary to ever survive on a blog.
        • Mostly True, @RayInLV

          I actually think that the comments by the evil one (stopevilempire) are the most unprofessional, untrue & childish comments to survive...he/she/it obviously has hate in its cold, black heart. Methinks that MS once killed its family or something like that. Oh, & it can't compose anything interesting or correctly either...
      • Windows eXPerience

        May be you are right orandy. But you have to admit Windows XP was ahead of its time. That's why people hailed it. I use Fedora 20 and Windows 8 but still I accept the fact that Windows XP was a good OS.

        And on the talk about malware and viruses, just run a malicious shell script and your Linux and Mac gone completely.
        • 10 years ago, Windows XP was a good OS

          Today? Not so much. Windows 7 and Windows 8 pants it on nearly everything under the sun.

          Better speed, less crashes/blue screens, etc.
          • Reply to Lerianisto

            I've been using XP since 2004, and I'm still using it (on a newer machine). The speed is fine. I haven't seen a blue screen since Win95. I've had maybe 2 or 3 Browser crashes, (Firefox) but the the OS itself? Never. By the way, Firefox comes right back up where I left off after a crash.
      • Uninformed

        All OSs are legacy OSs built from previous OSs. Nothing is new.

        Windows Vista moved the client to the Windows Server kernel and, regardless of your MS hate, the latest versions of Windows Server is very stable, secure, and feature rich.

        Run a Windows 8.1 machine, fully patched, with a good AV suite, running as User and there is a good chance you might never see a virus. The only ones we have seen with our thousands of W7 PCs in this configuration are ones that infect the user space but we have just high a percent with our Macs for the same reason. And these Win machines can just be restored to a previous restore point regardless of what's wrong with the OS or even corrupted software.

        There is nothing magical about Linux or OSX, if they had a greater market share and users ran them as SU or root, they would be just as vulnerable to infection.
        Rann Xeroxx
        • You don't even need a good AV suite

          What you need is javascript controls in whatever browser you use, which hopefully for most things is NOT IE since IE is so ingrained into the system that a virus can do some real nasty stuff if it compromises IE.

          Switch to Firefox or Chrome, even Opera, install some sort of 'whitelisting' Noscript-like or actual Noscript software, and you are golden. You will never see a virus unless you are downloading stuff of TPB or another warez website and even then, if you stick to 'trusted uploaders'... you won't see any viruses even then.
    • this train wreck of an OS

      Wonder if you are able to define what term "OS" means, other than in buzzword terms
      tought to you via means of media remote controlled/induced domestication.
      • OS

        Usually OS is Operating System.

        As for the topic of this discussion, I would have kept it going for a while on my old desktop, however the PS died, I have my Mother's limited Compaq and probably will replace the XPMC with it (running W7), the Media Center program hasn't worked for over a year now, I blamed it on a Java update as it was working before the update and not afterwards. We have a laptop running XP that probably won't be upgraded to anything, just as a media reader for wood project files or Quilt project files already downloaded. I did upgrade the RAM to 1 G in it and it runs a lot better, couldn't get the machine to recognize 2G, even though it is supposed to be capable of running 2G.