Top 10 excuses for sticking with Windows XP

Top 10 excuses for sticking with Windows XP

Summary: There are many reasons why users will be sticking with Windows XP after Microsoft ends all support next month. In the final analysis, none of them are good excuses.

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TOPICS: Security, Windows
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  • "The dog ate my Windows 7 disk"

    You're still running Windows XP? Still planning to run it after April 8, the last time it will be patched for security problems? If you're alert enough to be reading this article then surely you know that Microsoft and every security expert in the world have been telling you for years that this day would come and that you really, really ought to have moved on to a more modern and supported operating system by then.

    But you're going to keep running XP anyway. You've got a good reason! It's probably one of the ten we explore here.

    Spoiler: At bottom, none of these excuses is a good reason. After so many years of notice, you really should have found some way to move on. True, some situations and mitigating circumstances are stronger than others, but everyone has had years to work on this. If it blows up on you, it's on you.

  • "There's no Windows 7 driver for my ..."

    You've got some old hardware device for which there are no drivers past Windows XP. It's true, there's a lot of this, and just because they never made a Vista or later driver for your ten year old scanner or multifunction printer or that crazy internal mass storage device you have, well, it still works.

    The sad truth for you is that your device company may have ripped you off by not writing drivers, but it's been a long time now and you're just going to have to spend the money for a new device and possibly a new computer. Whatever that device is, there's something you can buy to replace it that's better, and probably a lot cheaper than what you paid for the old one. And your computer won't be wide open to attack.

Topics: Security, Windows

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  • Windows XP

    My company has several applications that are Windows XP specific, they don't work in Windows 7. They have nothing to do with IE 6 and we can afford to have the applications redesigned for Window 7 and beyond at this time. We will instead be running most of the computers that use these particular programs in a virtual machine. It is not a good solution, but that's what we can afford.
    hayneiii@...
    • Your company should have been preparing.

      Honestly, your company should have been preparing. Windows XP is really, really old.

      I mean seriously, are they not saving up money to hire a developer for a redesign, or at least looking for similar software on the market?
      CobraA1
      • Lack of good software

        You have to try really hard to design an app that works on XP, but doesn't work on Windows 7. It would have to use hard coded paths or some kind of goofy OS detection code. If you can't upgrade to Windows 7/8 its a sign of crappy software. If you can't afford to upgrade and continue to run crappy software, then you will never grow at all. The solution is to make invest in your software, make a great product, and bring on more customers/revenue.
        Sean Foley
        • Production Software

          A lot of production software for factory management was published in the 98/ME era, and worked on XP. When you have 30,000 computers at about $1,000 per license (if ordered in bulk), how do you think your CIO will respond to "Hey boss, we got 30,000 Win7 licenses for $100 a pop, leads to $300,000 to upgrade, and the same licenses for Production Control, for $30 mil, for a total of $30.3 mil for the cost to upgrade this year." It's not always easy to appropriate that funding.

          Fortunately, my company thought ahead and did incremental upgrades, with projects each quarter for the past couple years. As of today, we have 18 XP machines left online, with plans to have those off in the next couple weeks.
          jparnell8839
          • Production Software = need for foresight

            Even in the days of Win98 most had (or should have had) enough forward thinking to know they'd have to upgrade someday. Especially after a decade, $100 a pop is a pretty sweet deal. A company that can afford 30,000 computers and times that by $1000 per license, a $100 operating system upgrade once in a decade should be more then reasonably affordable.
            InlandRobotics
          • You didn't read

            the post above properly. The OS might cost $300,000 to upgrade, but the licences for the software would have been $30,000,000, which is a heck of a lot to find in one go!

            Even worse are "one off" applications used to control certain processes, where the software for that one work place cost several hundred thousand dollars! Getting that software re-written for you is probably going to cost you more today than it did 20 years ago...

            Yes, it is bad that companies are caught in this situation, but back then we had the experience of DOS -> Windows 3 -> Windows 95, most of those DOS programs still worked, so there wasn't much thought given to whether the software would still be compatible with Windows 2014.

            I still come across a lot of production lines running MS DOS based production systems. They are only now being slowly replaced, mainly because new laws requiring the sharing of production gathered data mean that the old software is no longer compliant.
            wright_is
          • These companies had five years notice.

            Also, Windows 7 (x86 - 32-bit) offered XP Mode back in 2009 in order to allow users to determine quickly what no longer worked in native Windows 7 - which was all 16-bit (DOS) code.
            M Wagner
          • Use Mikrotik

            For anyone wondering about security issues, you can set up a small Mikrotik router to block any machines accessing the internet that run Windows XP but still allow them to access UNC paths. You can block by VLAN or by Netbios or even IP so its really simple to solve the issue you just need to look around.
            JohnnyJammer
          • thoughts

            "A lot of production software for factory management was published in the 98/ME era"

            Did all development studios for factory management software suddenly go out of business for some reason?

            "When you have 30,000 computers at about $1,000 per license (if ordered in bulk)"

            Then how could you afford it to begin with ;)?

            Plan on saving up your money over a long period of time to begin with. I'm amazed at how many people aren't familiar with that concept, and think that in order to upgrade all of their systems, they have to dump a big money demand on their boss.

            "Fortunately, my company thought ahead and did incremental upgrades, with projects each quarter for the past couple years. As of today, we have 18 XP machines left online, with plans to have those off in the next couple weeks."

            Exactly. Your business has a good way of handling it. Makes me wonder about the management of businesses that don't.
            CobraA1
          • The point is that your company "thought ahead" ...

            ... and since Microsoft announced the extension of Windows XP end of life to 2014 way back in 2009, the burden fell to your company. They took it seriously and they were ready. Others were like ostriches with their heads in the sand.
            M Wagner
        • Another ignoramous

          There are thousands of reasons that well-written software won't run under W7 and W8, the primary one being Microsoft's lack of backward compatibility. Insulting those who use their computers for other than playing games only demonstrates YOUR ignorance.
          cdgoldin
          • Speaking of which..

            *Ignoramus

            (And for all the things the thinking person might attack MS for, backward compatibility is hardly one of them. Good grief even Apple guys comment on the almost religious MS dedication to not breaking backward compatibility, even when it appears to be to the detriment of the company.)
            Flawless Cowboy
          • MS "Backward" compatiblity

            Lack thereof.

            Their own MS Office 2003 will not run on Windows 8.

            How is that for backward compatiblity.
            douglas_john_ledet@...
          • thats strange?

            Oh really, thats very strange, because I am able to get successfully running Microsoft office 2003 on a Windows 7 Home Premium environment, and if it can work under Windows 7, then I see no problem why it can't work under windows 8 since windows 8 IS windows 7 under its hood.
            m8ty.com
          • Also telling...

            ..is that you had to go back three major Office releases and 11 years to find an example of broken backward compatibility - and even then your example is tenuous at best.
            daftkey
          • Well, let's see ...

            This is Office 2007, Office 2010, and Office 2013. It's been 12 years since Office 2003 shipped. You don't want to upgrade to any newer version of Office? There are boatloads of alternatives that will run under Windows 7 and later.

            Switching to ANY OTHER OS from any company is smarter than staying with Windows XP once support is withdrawn.
            M Wagner
          • Ha! You must be joking!

            @douglas_john_ledet

            I can do some simple math for you, but if Office 2003 wont work with Win8, even if your right it seems to me that we are at least well over the 5-7 years we would expect to see compatibility. At least that's where I would suspect most reasonable people would expect to see no compatibility issues.

            There is a difference between what people want and what people should reasonably expect to receive in life.

            Once 2 or three new releases of a particular software is out, particularly where there are 3 new OS releases that software is supposed to operate on, it can hardly be surprising to anyone that perhaps if your version is three releases old and there are 3 new OS's, that maybe your version will not run on the latest OS.

            It hardly seems bizarre.
            Cayble
          • Backward compatibility caused this problem ...

            Windows Vista (and later) is fully compliant with well-behaved Windows XP certified code. In fact, I even have some simple but well-written Windows 98 code which works fine under Windows 8.1.

            The problem is that there are lots of Windows XP users running Windows 98/98se/Me code which was never upgraded to Windows XP SP3 standards. You should have discovered this in 2007 but by 2009, Microsoft told you Windows XP was going away in 2014.

            Pay me now or pay me later is the rule of thumb to follow because the longer you wait, the more costly it becomes.
            M Wagner
        • Legacy software

          Where I am employed, we too, have legacy software issues which mandate that we must continue using XP. The comm port drivers on Win 7 and above are so poorly implemented that they simply will not communicate with our legacy calibration apps. The trend now days is to eliminate the comm ports altogether anyway.

          Also, it's not that hard to design an app that is XP exclusive, just ask Texas Instruments. We happen to use a USB communications IC on a CPU we manufacture that only has drivers for XP. The app simply will not run under Win7. And believe me when I say, TI is NOT going to release a new Win7 programming application for this part even though the EOL is still a ways off. End result? We are literally bound to XP for that reason alone. IMO, 7 is still quirky, XP is solid.
          pianoman_99
          • Hmm

            Why would you have an opinion on the proposed future platform "IMO, 7 is still quirky, XP is solid" if you're only tied to the XP platform by third party vendor limitations? Something tells me there's an upgrade path available you may be overlooking here, through ignorance or spite.
            Flawless Cowboy