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.


In some ways, @ben is right. There are hardware restrictions that can get in the way of upgrading an XP machine (more on that below). But I have been quite successful in upgrading a bunch of my rather old machines, and while it has certainly not been a smooth process, the machines are actually much nicer and more responsive now that they run Windows 8 desktop.

Another reader, the wonderfully-handled @mad-man, says that XP is already broken, so why the fuss? It's an interesting perspective: "Windows XP won't die that easy. All this talk about MS stopping updates for Windows XP. What XP is safe now? Why then all the updates all the time? Usually when MS repairs a hole its been out there for a long time already. 66% of vulnerabilities is Adobe Reader, Java and Adobe Flash. Seriously when you have a firewall and malware protection and you update all the stuff that runs on top of Windows it's not gonna be less secure than it is now. There's still a lot of software and devices that only works on Windows XP. So in many companies it will still be running for some time to come."

The challenge of upgrading

@mad-man makes a good point. There are a lot of old systems out there, and we do have some reader questions about how to deal with those challenges. Let's start with a very valid concern by @cmwade1977: "Our software won't run on anything newer than XP, has no updates or upgrades available to make it run on anything new that we have to keep running for legal reasons. Oh, and the software requires an internet connection and a connection to our network. No one has answered how to keep everything safe under these conditions."

This is actually the perfect storm scenario and there really isn't a good answer for @wade. My strong recommendation to Microsoft was to keep supporting and updating XP. I believe it's a necessity born from its success and widespread distribution. My colleague Ed Bott, though, would prefer Windows XP was allowed to die with dignity.

By the way, I know some of the commenters may well be women, but with handles like @chrome_slinky it's impossible to tell. I just went with the masculine pronoun because it's a lot less cumbersome than repeating "he or she" a couple of dozen times in the article.

So now you know how I and my fellow bloggers feel, along with a bunch of die-hard ZDNet readers. How about you? Are you moving off of XP to Windows 7, Windows 8, Linux, Android, Mac or something else? Or are you saying "Hell no, we won't go" and sticking with XP until your last dying breath? Comment below.

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.