Here's how to extend the life of Windows XP indefinitely

Here's how to extend the life of Windows XP indefinitely

Summary: 2x Software offers up a solution to your XP woes. Worry no more. The 2xLifeCyclePlus replacement shell for XP is available now and ready to serve.


[UPDATE: Please go to my blog to listen to a podcast with 2X Sales Director Scott Sims who discusses details and features of the 2XLifeCycle Plus product]

I know you love XP and I know you're tired of wringing your hands every time Microsoft releases a new operating system version, knowing that you're about to spend a bundle on upgrades and new licenses.

Well, thanks to the brilliant minds at 2X Software, the same folks who bring you application and desktop virtualization at a fraction of the cost of a Citrix-based solution, now give you the 2xLifeCyclePlus replacement shell for Windows XP. This free download will allow you to keep your XP-based system indefinitely—or definitely until Microsoft offers you an operating system you're willing to live with again.

You can download the 2xLifeCyclePlus product and install it on top of your current Windows XP. 2X has a 32-bit and a 64-bit version available.

"Convert your Windows XP PCs into safe, cost-effective workstations."

The shell replacement is really for administrators to use to setup desktop environments for users so that they can access all of their applications via a 2X Application Server's published applications. You can also publish local applications into the shell replacement environment.

How it works

After installation, your system reboots into the new shell as shown in Figure 1. I've setup two local applications on this Windows XP virtual machine for demonstration purposes. Your initial environment will be blank and you'll see a prompt that asks if you want to enter Admin Mode to setup applications or connections (to 2X Application Servers).

The User's View of the 2XLifeCyclePlus Replacement Shell
Figure 1: The User's View of the 2XLifeCyclePlus Replacement Shell

When you decide to enter Admin Mode, there are two ways to do it. The first is the initial setup. The second is not so obvious. You enter Admin Mode on demand by right clicking the 2X icon in the System Tray on the XP system. See Figure 2.

The initial Admin password is: 2xPa$$w0rd and you should change that as soon as your system is setup so that users can't make changes to their environment, including uninstalling the 2xLifeCyclePlus shell.

Publishing an application or a connection

If you've used 2X's Application Server, then you're used to publishing apps.

To publish an app or setup a connection, enter Admin Mode, click File on the menu, and select Add New Connection or Add new Application.

If you add a new Application, name the application (Alias) and provide the full path to the executable. The executable can be a local path, a UNC path, or a mapped drive path. Provide any command line arguments and click OK to finish. You can then test your published apps by double clicking them just as you would any icon.

Entering Admin Mode from User Mode
Figure 2: Entering Admin Mode from User Mode

For new connections, you're prompted to add a new 2X ApplicationServer XG secure business connection, a 2X SecureRemoteDesktop, or a Standard RDP shortcut. Select the one you want and click OK to continue. Enter the connection information, including credentials and other options, and click OK to finish.

That's all there is to it.

When finished setting up the user's environment, switch back to User Mode and use your XP system at will.

Is there a catch?

There's no catch, but there is a bit of noteworthy information that you need to know. Each system that uses the 2xLifeCyclePlus shell should still use anti-virus software and it should be set to autoupdate, so that there's never a virus threat to your system.

Remember that if you use published apps, they receive security updates from the server so that none are needed for the local system. The 2XLifeCyclePlus product allows you to "convert your Windows XP PCs into safe, cost-effective workstations and deliver virtual desktops and applications from a central location, providing continuous availability and resource-based load balancing".

Why use 2XLifeCyclePlus?

The 2XLifeCyclePlus replacement shell allows you to continue to use your Windows XP systems safely without the need for Microsoft's patches, service packs, and security fixes.

You can enhance your workstation security by using this replacement shell and using published apps that stay updated from the source systems that serve them to your desktops. And if there's an application that absolutely must run from the local system, you can also publish local apps to the desktop. 

Administrators love the locked-down desktops that the 2XLifeCyclePlus replacement shell provides. The user can't escape it or bypass it in any way. To access any system function, an administrator may logon locally to a system or connection remotely via RDP on port 50005 to logon using the product's Admin Mode credentials. This remote access makes it easier to maintain a large number of XP-based systems or ones that are geographically remote from the administrator.

Have you tried the new 2XLifeCyclePlus replacement shell for Windows XP? What do you think of safely and securely extending the life cycle of your Windows XP PCs indefinitely? 

Related Stories:

Topics: Windows, Hardware, Microsoft, Software


Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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  • "without the need for Microsoft's patches, service packs, and security


    Yet you are still supposed to run anti-virus applications....

    So it is nothing different than running in a VM.
    • @jessepollard

      Very different than a VM. You still have to patch VMs. They're just like physical systems.
      • So is this.

        There is no difference.
        • @jessepollard

          Very different.
          • ok so instead of an endless back & forth

            how about you tell us *how* it's different
      • Really? Who says you have to patch vms?

        Download any of the 500 Linux Operating systems and you can run XP or 7 virus free inside Linux using Stealth vm software.
        • Really? Linux VM is another myth!

          Yes, you can "run XP or 7" inside of Linux, but some of the functions (that are required) will not work. And Linux is not virus free, as has been repeatedly demonstrated, despite the fact that most viruses are designed to infect Windoze.
          • How is that?

            1. Can you give reference of a current virus spread in Linux or BSD? that's something everyone should know (I know there must be one but i have found none yet but you can't never be too careful in these issues); I know there are concepts proven but not a serious treat, Some browser scripts are the only threat i had to face until now, but no-one knows.

            2. I do use Windows 7 professional x64 (retail box) in Ubuntu without problems, I can even connect RS-232 and LPT ports, i can't run Need4Speed on it but why would anyone do that?, of course every VM has to be protected with anti-malware and anti-virus and documents are stored in the server. So i would like to know which features of WinOS are not able to be used in a VM.
        • "free"? Nope.

          You nee a retail or volume license. Anything else is illegal.
          • I think he meant to say: free of viruses not free of charge

            But that's hard to do, since VM can be infected but can easily be replaced keeping the user documents in a server or service like dropbox, skydrive or google docs; If there is an infection you shut-down the vm, erase it and copy the last backup.
    • its an option for businesses not consumers

      Even so limitations apply.

      Although you could just run a piece of software that turns your old PC into a thin client and it would be better than a Chromebox.

      I'm not sure the approach described in the article really buys you much... but it sure buys them something. :-)
    • This is a friggen joke...

      I agree. What patches? with the except the one on May 1st, there won't be anything else.
      The system will still be vulnerable to malware and crap because this only replaces the shell - nothing else.
  • Sounds like a huge mess

    This sounds like a niche product or we would have seen it mentioned all over the Web by tech bloggers for the past two years. How much super-specialized knowledge and experience is going to be necessary to support such a custom setup?
    • @Rick_R

      It's new. No specialized knowledge needed. Download and try it for yourself.
      • So, what does it do?

        Before we download it and install it on our computers, it would be nice to know what it does. So it's a "shell that replaces Windoze XP". What does it replace it with? How many of XP's functions, and the hundreds of programs we depend upon, are supported? How is it any more secure than running "unsupported" Windoze? Etc. I looked at the 2x Software website, and found no answers --- only double-talk.
  • XP needs to DIE!!!

    Let it go people. XP has other issues that are better suited to at least a Windows 7 replacement. Die XP DIE!!!!
    • Let Your XP Die...

      ...and live and let live.
      Frankly XP, when configured properly and has layered defense works just fine for lots and lots and lots of us. For the particular uses we have on some computers of ours, we need no more.
      So mind your own business.
      • For the moment..... as soon as malware starts popping up now that

        Windows XP is out of support, you are going to be BEGGING to upgrade to Vista or Windows 7/8.

        Which, by the way, any regular home user should have done already, even if it means using a crack like KMSPico to run it (if you are that cheap that you do not want to buy Windows 7 or 8 OEM versions).
        • Chicken Little Lerianis10

          Are you saying that XP is that vulnerable to malware? Boy, you sure are down on XP. Even MSE is good for another year.
          And no, Win7/8 are not the only alternative route or upgrade. Rather myopic on your part. Tunnel vision anybody?
          • XP is very vulnerable...

            ... Buffer overflows, drivebys, unstable driver stack, etc. It's not a secret that XP is a frail OS. It's a house of cards waiting to collapse, and no amount of fairy dust is going to fix that.
            The one and only, Cylon Centurion