XP Death Much Exaggerated


Reports from the Computex Taipei trade show indicate there are some changes coming in the carefully orchestrated death of Windows XP. The latest Microsoft leak-like announcement, made June 3rd of this week, extends the use of Windows XP Home for low-cost desktops until June 30th, 2010.

Until this week, Windows XP was to be available for OEM use, only on small ultra-light notebooks, until the June 2010 date. Several people noted in April that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was clearing the path for this change when he was quoted as saying “If customer feedback varies, we can always wake up smarter.”

Wake up they did, but pinpointing XPs availability isn’t that easy. Microsoft’s lack of definition on what constitutes a low-cost desktop or small notebook doesn’t help. There’s no doubt in my mind that this vagueness is an integral part of their plan. Because builders will be able to install Windows XP until June 30th, 2010, it’s unsure how Microsoft will qualify or control the destination build. I’m not even going to mention the “Downgrade” option that’s available, as it would only add to the confusion.

Maybe there will be some further clarification from Microsoft, but I’m betting not enough to stop the use of XP. It seems the DNR (do not resuscitate) orders have been removed. Rejoice and welcome an old friend back to life.

Windows XP Availability

June 30th 2008
1. OEM Manufacturers i.e. Dell, HP, Acer, etc., will no longer be able to sell large, robust systems with Windows XP Home or Pro.
2. Windows XP retail disk no longer available from retail sources. A quick trip shows it is still available form OfficeMax and BestBuy. A quick click show’s it’s still available from NewEgg.
3. Windows XP home and Pro availability or OEM disks through channels, ends.
4. Windows XP Home is available on small notebooks and low-end desktops (net tops).

January 2009

Windows XP Home/Pro still available preinstalled on notebooks and net tops until June 30th, 2010.

Windows XP Pro still available preinstalled as “downgrade option” from Dell and others. Order system with Windows Vista Businsess or Ultimate and receive system withXP Pro installed.

June 30th, 2010

Windows XP no longer available.

December 31st, 2014
Extended support (security patches) ends for Windows XP Home, Media Center, and Windows XP Professional.

Thoughts on what prompted this change range from, ”It’s the write-in campaign”, “Vista is buggy”, “Mac is a threat”, “Vista will never work on cheap systems”, to “It’s no change at all.”

I take a somewhat more cynical view. To use an old quote “Just follow the money”. If there is one thing Microsoft does well it is make money. That’s not an accident or just the by-product of a bunch of guys having fun with code. Nope, making money is pretty much what motivates Microsoft, and that is as it should be. They are going to do whatever it takes to maintain their market share. If that involves selling only one operating system, then so be it. If that involves selling 3 operating systems, XP, Vista, and Windows 7, then that is what they’ll do.

Vista will never be a good choice for systems using old or limited hardware. It’s just too resource hungry. You know Microsoft is not cutting loose all the low budget sales out in the real world. Intentionally throw Mac a big bone? Absolutely not. Of course we won’t know for sure untill around the 4th of July, but you can bet they will do what it takes to keep the green.

End of Life

Information Week

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43 thoughts on “XP Death Much Exaggerated”

  1. C. St. Jacques

    Windows finally nailed it with XP Pro. Before XP we had to deal with 98. Don’t even get me going on ME, which I never used after seeing it crash my customers machines so manty times. ME was the only OS that I actually HAD to learn. All other Windows OS’s are easy to work with if you get rid of the fluff and set it to “Classice View” in Diplsy Propeties Themes and “Classic Start Menu” in Start Menu from task manager properties. You can also do this in Vista. It’s not rocket science people. Face it… Xp WILL be fazed out sometime. Vista may be bumped out when Windows 7 arrives. I used Vista RC1 when Microsoft offered it for testing to I think 2,000,000 technichians that were willing to download it and play for awhile… 8 months I think. I only had 1 good machine running at the time and it was my main computer that was my whole life as far as work went. I am a “Road warrior tech”. I did not have to many problems with Vista in It’s “Fluffy Configuration”, But I don’t remember any problems after going to the classic view. Plus a few other tweaks easily foung through Google. And again, I don’t use XP in XP theme either and hate it when doing rollouts and upgrades in major corporations where they haven’t made the image we are loading the classic view. ADJUST FOR BEST PERFORAMCE!!!!!

  2. William Waller

    From a used Commodore 64 to a used 98 I got my learning. Then a new XP. I carried my virus protection on to XP and that’s when I learned that Norton was worthless. McAfee found virus’s that Norton ignored. Once I removed Norton, I had no other problems. Last year I bought a laptop (Vista) and Norton was the first to go. I also moved out McAfee and replaced it with Stop Sign and both my XP and Vista are still going strong.

  3. I guess Mr. Crawford and Mr.Bergmann seem to be talking head’s that don’t seem have alot experience(As they say they do) in formatting their computer’s! I have Vista on my Core 2 Duo e8400 and it’s a Curse! I use XP on my other 5 systems and to date,,No Problems what so ever! I game,I use it for my business and I also recommend it to the company I am the IT for! What can be said about XP other than it’s as Bullet as an O/S can be! It really peeves me off when people who hate Bill G because he’s Rich and the owner of MS,(I don’t really care who owns XP)I just love it because it’s the Best O/S to date!!
    Mr Bergmann why are you having Crashes?? maybe you should take a course in Preparing and installing the O/S,,,it’s really not that hard! You are Computer Tech,,Wow,,that’s Amazing,I’m glad I’m not one of your Customers,lol!!

  4. mehboob sadicote

    Notes from a paranoiac underground: SP3 is a marketing ploy to compel users to switch over to Vista.

  5. How does Apple’s “LEOPARD” software fit in this picture? Just for kicks I tried to customize an HP computer and VISTA is the only OS available. I installed VISTA ULTIMATE on one of my high powered computers and the only thing that seemed improved was Solitaire.
    Needless to say, I converted it back to XP Pro.

  6. I have been selling, using and installing PC’s since 1981, and have watched with anticipation, and used with dismay and frustration, ALL the MS os’s. Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates before him are, in my humble opinion, the greatest perpetrators of fraud ever to have been allowed to continue to bilk the american consumer.
    Microsoft is certainly capable of providing a product that allows compatability, and that functions without undue attention necessary to its’ daily operations. I am sick of seeing Windows crashing, hanging, losing data, requiring ‘security fixes’and ‘patches’ ,etc. If Apple can offer a smooth-operating, trouble-free OS, why not Windows? Microsoft should try to “innovate” an operating system that works, and does not cost more than the computer itself!!

  7. Just a thought about the loss on XP.Why don’t you, the readers send your thoughts and numerous complaints directly to Microsoft. If they were to read what you think of Vista, they might get the point. Tell them what the numerous problems are.Ask them to reconsider the death of one of the best OS yet to date. as far as the availability of XP, do like I did and check out Ebay, or craigs list. I got the full version, with the sticker all sealed, and cheaper than the stores, so I’m not worried. Also, dump Norton..I did and have been using Zone Alarm…NO viuses.It’s very comprehensive and you can try it for free.

  8. Ever see the commercial where the chewing gum company
    begs and pleads for the consumer to just stop chewing
    that one stick of gum, spit it out and chew a new one?

    Microsoft knows that the money to be made is not with
    an operating system that works great already. They see
    it as staying on the cutting edge by developing newer
    and (hopefully) better operating systems.

    I myself like the gum I’m chewing and was overjoyed that
    the powers that be have decided to continue to support
    XP. But life is change – If it wasn’t I’d still be stuck
    with Windows 3.0 (My first exposure to the MS Empire)

  9. I’ve read a lot of these responses and I have some sound advice for most of them, if not all. First of all, DON’T buy propriatary desktops. If you do, you are at their mercy for any upgrades in hardware. I have been building my own from scratch since I came over to IBM compatibles. The cost is about the same you would pay for any comparible Gateway, Dell, HP, etc. With home grown, you have more options as to memory, video, audio, etc.
    Secondly, buy the best OS available, such as XP Pro (64-bit) or Vista Ultimate (also 64-bit.) Sure, the OS cost more but you get more. You get better stability and support to start with. I don’t care what new computer you buy, you’ll have to buy some hardware/software that is compatible with it. Much of what you already have will be backwards compatible. Get smart in what you buy to start with and work with getting everything in line with it. A fitting analogy is cars. I use to buy Chevys and Fords. I’ve been buying Cadillacs STS’es for the past 13 years. I get 25-30 MPG and a great ride. I have had some minor things go wrong with them which didn’t cost any more than a Ford or Chevy. Tip: Don’t buy any car more or less than 2 years old.

  10. I’ve been with computers since Commodore 64, Amiga, Amiga2000, then Windows 3.1, 95, 98SE, 2000, XP and now Vista. I have had my share of problems with all of them. I like to experiment now and then. The best of all of them, in my opinion, is XP Pro. Although some of my hardware/software wasn’t compatible, it wasn’t difficult or expensive to get what I need to be up and running full tilt. I haven’t had any problems at all with XP Pro and I’m still with the original install. However, my other desktop has XP Home. It has been reinstalled many, many times. The only real problem with XP Home was needing more RAM to install SP2. I won’t attempt SP3 until I know MS has their stuff right. I have two laptops with Vista Premium. They are both slow in booting up, even with tricks applied to make them faster. I don’t like the navigation in Vista but otherwise OK. The best experience with Vista, like XP Pro, would be the 64-bit OS. You get what you pay for. You want speed and less problems, buy the best available. You can thank MS for that.

  11. I was pondering the problem everyone has with new operating systems. Let’s go back a short ways to “Win 95”. Boy there was a piece of work that almost made us all geeks. Formatting every other week just to keep it going. Then came “Win 98” Same story only now you only had to do it once a month. “Win 98SE” Now it’s down to once every six months however did any one notice that every time you upgraded you had to go and find drivers for all your printers and anything else you had in your house. Of coarse you could get the up gradded software “for a price” but why when you were thinking about getting a new printer anyway. Then along comes “Win XP” not a lot better than 98 SE but better. Then SP2 everything started looking good I had my computer running for almost 1 1/2 years before I had to foremat and start over. Then SP3 and OH MY GOD, how do I get this off my machine!!! I ended up forematting again and got the idea to put SP3 on before anything else and it worked great. Now I have Vista advisor and guess what? Nothing is compatable with Vista no printers no scanners no external hard drives, nothing. However for a price all those fine people are willing to upgrade my drivers. Simple solution, JUST MAKE YOUR NEW OPERATING SYSTEM BACKWARDS COMPATABLE!!!

  12. While I can’t claim to be a guru in the field, I have been involved with computers for over 30 years, having started with a Commodore 64 that I bought at K-Mart. With all the griping I heard about Vista, I was reluctant to go for it, but my other machine was simply too limited (e.g., 256 MB RAM, 80GB on 2 HDdisks. Having very limited fixed income, I took some birthday money and got an eMachine at Best Buy. Of course, it came with Vista, but for less than $300, what the heck! The only complaint I have about Vista is that in using it, to get “from here to there” in the system, Vista takes one through steps that differ (in some cases substantially) from XP and 98/95. It’s like buying a new car and finding that the transmission works differently.
    As for the software/hardware compatability question, I’ve had no problem; a quick visit to publisher/manufacturer websites led me to effective updates/drivers, even for competitor software such as Corel Draw and WordPerfect.

  13. I’ve been running Windows since “386v2.11” back in 1990, on DOS 5. You couldn’t give me Vista. I’m running XPSP2, and it’s the best OS I’ve run from MS. To all of the MAC bashers out there: I’m sorry to say, OSX (10.4.11) is the most stable OS I’ve ever used as a consumer. It is bulletproof. I’ve been using a PowerBook G4 for two years, and it’s the best consumer product that I’ve ever owned, period, regardless of whether it’s a car or a toaster or a computer. I appreciate all of the slams at Symantec’s products, and I now realize what a drain they are on my system (hey, my XP machine is NINE years old, PIII550, but it still works fine), and I know that the PIII simply can’t push the data through fast enough. So, I’m ready to jettison Symantec in favor of more streamlined malware-protection software. Thanks, Dan Gray.

  14. I totally agree with you guys, I’ve been running XP for 4 years now (off and on thanks to dell being stupid) I’ve been through 8 computers in the last 4 years, 6 dells, 1 gateway laptop, and a custom built computer made 5 years ago. Now sure, every dell I had was terrible, they all literally blew up in my face, caused a lot of damage to me and my house, but I was using XP on the first 4. It was very stable, kept my programs running really well. The problem is, Dell decided to be really stupid and sent me a computer with Vista Home Basic on it, I plugged it in and basically went into a panic, my ATI Radion video card wouldn’t install, my Diablo 2 game wouldn’t load even though I had the latest patch for it, and my Dell printer wouldn’t install, and Dell told me to blame microsoft because Dell didn’t have a Vista driver for my printer. I told Dell to send me an XP disc to install on my computer because thats what I paid for in the first place, but they wouldn’t do it because they said they couldn’t legally send them out anymore, and if I installed XP on my own, they would void my hardware contract for the computer, which after 4 computers blowing up on your leg, you stay away from losing the contracts. When that computer went up in flames and we got the insurance guy to clear me of any charges Dell sent me the same computer as a replacement for it but they gave me Vista Home Premium, thought it might be fun, I turned it on and said I don’t think so, not gonna happen. I called dell and said, you can take your contract and shove it up your as*, I need XP, not this Vista crap, I bought XP Pro and my computer ran great, I’m just hoping it doesn’t blow up like the last ones I had. It’s a nice computer, an Inspiron D530, 2.0 Ghz core 2 duo proccessor, 2 GB of ram, got my 256 mb ATI Radion video card working with XP, 2 160 gb hard drives, it’s a nice system, but it sucks with Vista, thought someone might wanna hear my horror story.

  15. i agree with the statement made earlier, it seems with this push towards vista is just a way to make everyone buy a new more expensive system. i have have this computer for about 4 years with XP installed on it. it has worked fantastic for me. yes i had to reload the os a couple of time, but that was operator error.
    i will admit i am no expert on this, but all that i’ve seen about vista is touting its exceptional graphics content only. i would hate to see xp not be available at all – and why is that? can’t they just introduce vista and have xp available also? vista may end up being a great os, but i hate to be forced into something. makes me wonder why. and they answers to that question unfortunately are not putting ms in a good light.

  16. I’m new to computers. I just bought my first laptop in august of 2006 and I love my xp media center edition 2005. My girl just bought her vista computer and she hasn’t touched it in months. She prefers my xp. I hope windows 7 is much better OS than vista. I played with her vista but most of the programs i have on my xp won’t run on it, so I haven’t bothered it since. Now its just a piece of furniture that collects dust.

  17. I have recently noticed a rather curious thing. Since using XP I have noticed that, when things go wrong it seems to take ages to sort things out and get a reliable system again.
    When using everything from Windows 3 (remember that!) through to ME fixing things used to be fairly simple and straightforward because re-builds, re-formats and searching for fixes used to be a daily occurence. XP gives problems so rarely that things just aren’t at my fingertips these days.
    I think I like it this way and am in no hurry to turn to Vista.

  18. OMG! Vista is the worst. I’ve recently bought a computer with vista home pro and it crashed 3x’s. i kept sending it back to the manufacturer when factory restore did not work.I’ll stick with XP it is reliable and safe.I’ve a computer that i’ve had for 5 years and i upgraded from 98-xp and i’ve not had any problems with it what so ever. I gave it to my children and they play their online games and eveything. Vista is the Devil’s OS and it need an exorcism.

  19. Thanks Neil for saying that! I have both systems and they seem to work fine for me.
    I think that Vista is all new and like all things new,they just have to get use to it.
    I know that all the systems that I have used in the past,I have had to take them for a spin to find out what they are all about.
    Vista is know different!you just need to take it for a spin.

  20. My 4 year old HP has 256 MB DDR and XP Home. It works fine. I was thinking of getting extra Mem. for it, but my SIL persuaded me that the processor really wasn’t fast enough. I wish I hadn’t listened. I bought 2 X 512 MB Pc’s from Tesco with Vista Basic so my grandchildren could leave mine alone. I set up theirs first.
    It takes forever to boot up and shut down. It has more bells and whistles that I would ever use. Worse, it won’t play most of their PC Games. Mine is still in it’s box. I really ought to make the effort to transfer all my Data, but I am worried that my printers, copiers etc just won’t work with Vista. I was going to upgrade “their” PC to 2 GB RAM, and add their 512 RAM to my PC. I somehow think that would be a waste of money. I am really waiting for someone to come along and reformat both with XP. I don’t care if Micris**t don’t support XP [substitute hi for so!]. I have good anti-virus, firewall and malware removers so I think it would be OK.
    Perhaps Micros**t would like to clean up XP and remove the thousands of patches, and give us a slimmed down clean application? They would make a fortune. I wish I had just stuck to my old XP PC.

  21. Robert Marchenoir

    I have just bought a copy of XP Home SP2 for the build I plan to do in the near future.

    I only hope I did not make a mistake buying an OEM disc, as opposed to to a retail version with fuller licensing rights. I would hate being faced with a significant change of hardware some years from now, being denied re-installation, and being unable to buy another copy of XP, which will have been pushed to extinction by Microsoft at that point.

    Any thoughts on the matter?

  22. XP vs. Vista,
    XP is a very stable system and runs well on low resource systems and Vista is a good O/S on medium to high spec’d systems.
    If you want the best of both worlds then dual-boot.
    You can partition a single drive and install both systems on that drive or if you have 2 drives install XP on one and Vista on the other.
    I have installed this combination on quite a few systems and people are very happy. Best of both worlds achieved for Direct X 9 & 10 usage.

  23. Just to let you all know that XP Home is Microsofts best OS ever. It isn’t as buggy as the previous ones, it can run on just about all systems, I haven’t had any problems at all, and it is quick.

    Sure people may be tempted by the visuals of Vista but you can just get programs for XP that will make it look and run like Vista without the bugs.

    XP uses half of what Vista needs yet both can look like each other with a bit of work.

  24. As a system builder in Australia, I’ve been assured that OEM versions of XP Home and Pro will still be available after June 30 2008. Not sure where you got your info from, but it appears to be wrong. We have yet to have a customer ask for Vista on a new system. We’ll continue to sell systems with XP on them until we’re told we can’t or the supply ends. 🙂

  25. I have been running windows XP since late 2001 on this computer and I only recently reformated the hard drive because I just replaced it with a new one. It is like I said this XP is by far the best program that Microsoft has produced. windows 95 and 98 are good but had some glitches, windows ME was a bad program peroid and now they have Vista which is a resource hungry program and 80% of old hardware will simply not work with full potential. Microsoft needs to takea good hard look at this program but computer vendors want to make their profits by adding Vista so people will buy new units but the problem is that people that buy Vista unless they buy a unit with absolutely the best hardware will be dissappointed.In this unit alone I can’t run my printer or my DVD which run great on XP.

  26. I changed computers and am now using Vista 64, and I now wondered why I waited so long. I have reinstalled XP on my old computer, actually not that old, several times. Service pack 3 didn’t help any. Some of my favourite software works much better in Vista, and updates are easy. With XP the update for one software program always is troublesome. Also with Vista, almost all old (Windows 98) software that I use works just fine. Plus any of my favourite games are working fine: FarCry, Crysis and Halo 2. Just remember to install the latest patches.

  27. I don’t agree with giving anyone a bashing, but in my opinion, the main problem V Crawford has would be his Anti-Virus. Norton and McAfee are in my opinion the worst anti-viruses out there. They’re resource hungry, and in a word hopeless. I haven’t gone to Windows Vista, and have no intention to. My Fiancee has Windows Vista on her laptop, and a copy of Windows XP on the way, even though she only does web surfing and the odd bit of typing, she has had a gut full of Vista. I heard a rumour that MS wanted to lease their software, if this ever happend, then I’d definatley be going to Linux or Mac.

  28. I am currently running 3 different OS’s on the 3 computers we have at home. We have Win98SE on a PII 450 system, WinMe on a PIII866, and XP on this system (a Dell Core2Duo). I will be replacing the Me OS with XP, and then trying to network the 3. I wouldn’t dare try that with Vista (from what I’ve seen, I wouldn’t last a month on Vista). I started out using an 8K Commodore PET and a punchcard IBM 360/40 mainframe (30 years ago), and have to say that XP is the best product that MicroSoft has put out yet. I realize that isn’t saying too much, but I really dislike being asked to pay for the privilege of “beta-testing” their new products when they first release them. That is why when I bought this computer I stayed with XP instead of trying out the newly-released Vista. Aside from SP3 (which may have been a thinly-disguised attempt to push XP users into upgrading to Vista), I’ve been happy.

    Hopefully some of the product-pushers at Microsoft read posts like this and will extend the product life for XP even further.

  29. I’d be willing to bet if Mr. Crawford kicked old Norton to the curb and installed some reasonable malware protection that doesn’t use more reasources than the OS does, he just may grow to like XP and Microsoft. I use Avast Antivirus, Spybot S&D, Ad-Aware 2008, Windows Defender and all are free for life, as are the updates. That and a wireless Router/firewall with 5 computers, 2 are old HP Vectras one Dell Dimension 9100 one Compaq Laptop and a home built machine based on a Ultra Case, Abit MoBo and AMD Athlon 2.4Ghz processor. All work flawlessly under Windows XP Home and Pro. and I intentionally try to infect them with Malware and viruses just to test the software I am using. They are all still running clean and fast. I have seen so many problems with machines that use Symantec Internet Security and Norton 360… On many occasions I have seen all of a customer’s problems cease after uninstalling the Symantec software and running the Symantec removal tool to get rid of all the remnants it leaves behind. Then replace it with some usable malware protections and the systems just run much faster with little to no problems for them. They love the XP operating system once they have a prolonged period without any problems… They regain their trust and confidence, they become more productive and begin to enjoy and appreciate their computers again. I really like to see that happen. I used to be one of those who swore by Norton AV, now I spend my time swearing at it, then replacing it. It is a shame to see what was once a great piece of software get so bloated and demanding that it makes itself an obstacle rather than an asset to the owner of that machine.

  30. I must agree with Russ from VT. I have much the same experience and a long history with computers and I repair computers for a living. XP was a dissappointment to me when first released, but since SP2 was released it has remained the most stable platform on the market. That includes Macs too, I started on them and still own one but I really dislike it. It is so limited in so many ways. XP with SP3 is now on my other 3 computers and it is rock solid and stable. The greatest problem I see in my work is neglected updates and lack of protection from malware, as well as self inflicted damage from lack of care and cleaning. Vista is making me money now because of the great demands it makes on the system and it’s inability to work with legasy peripherals. I spend more time downgrading customers systems to XP from Vista because people are just plain fed up with how poorly it works for them. Pretty to look at but ugly to use… That’s what they complain of the most. I had Vista on my newest machine for 2 months and couldn’t believe how slow a state of the art system was until I reformated and installed Windows XP and the performance boost was incredible!!! But Hey! Microsoft! Please keep up developing bloatware, I could use the extra money for gas now… Nuff Said!

  31. I agree with Russ in VT. I’ve used Windows since 3.0 and my husband used DOS.
    The computer is a tool/machine that requires maintenance and most of all understanding.
    So many people have no clue about a computer. They just use it and abuse it. Makes me sick. However; some software can create issues.
    Right now I have a 7 year old XP and it’s still going strong. I don’t want to get a Vista.

  32. While there is a lot of fuss over OSs, many find their preferences in both XP and Vista. One thing I do know as a computer repair tech. People expect performance from the $400 EMachine to be that of a much higher end machine. They also expect the OS to protect them from themselves. Too many “Top Rated” virus program are installed on machines I work on regularily and they get full of viruses and malware. Some machines have so little memory they can barely run the OS much less a bloated Virus program.

    People want to spend the least amount, get the most, not be responsible for the sites they go too (you know the ones), download free music and illegal software and then complain about the problems they have. I’ve seen computers mucked up in mere weeks. You fix it, charge them, give them advice and hope for the best. I really love to hear “it was just here 2 months ago!” And it’ll be back in two more.

    Macs, don’t get me started. There isn’t a repair shop for Macs in the large town and I get calls all day. Seems someone is having problems…..

  33. I got a new HP PC last year and it had Vista on it. With tech support, I thought I was getting it installed; but, little by little, program by program, I discovered I couldn’t use the new computer…nothing was compatible with it. So, I unplugged it and sent it back to HP who kindly gave me all my money back plus all to/return shipping charges. I talked to a salesman for about 2 hours, late at night when he wasn’t busy and found out everyone was returning PC’s with Vista installed. The only XP he had left was a laptop which I didn’t want. After talking to friends, I decided to try a DELL desktop PC (their model 530 still had XPSP2 available along with a CD of XPSP2 for emergencies in the future). I have never been so happy with a computer in my life. I have used computers since the 1970’s at work. I was away from computers from 1993 until 2000 on disability (forever) when friends talked me into getting a home PC. It had ME on it and I was on the phone almost every day for tech support; I was ready to throw it out the window. Techs kept restoring it back to day one out of the box. I couldn’t believe that was the only way to fix everything on ME. I got XP home edition and things were much better; I even bought a new HP PC (HP had bought out Compaq which I had first). It had an AMD Athlon processor and was wonderful, then came SP1 to install, things were still fine…then came SP2 which gave me some trouble and I needed tech supp to help me with it; but, it made it.
    After the Vista disaster, I am now completely satisfied with my jazzed up DELL 530 with XPSP2 and, after reading all the forums and papers I could find on SP3, I changed my ‘automatic MS updates’ to ‘let me know and I’ll decide if I want to do it or not’ and keep refusing to d/l and install SP3. I have a very stable OS and 4 GB of RAM, a 320 GB HD, and a 160 GB PMD that I use just for Norton Ghost 14.0 backups of my whole computer regularly. I have used Norton Internet Securities’ AV and FW for about 7 years now and have never gotten a virus or trojan horse because they catch them before they get into my computer. I did get a virus when I stupidly d/l’d a ‘free’ scan without checking it out first. I’ll never take anything ‘free’ again. I learn things the hard way. I did call MS and asked how long they would support XPSP2 and was told until 2014 at least…that could have changed…it was before I got this DELL with it in it. Since I have IE7 which is great, I learned there is a problem with IE6 and IE7 when installing SP3 also. Well, I guess you know I will not get SP3 (even tho it has SP1 already) as long as I am running as well as I am now…or until MS personally, somehow pulls it out of my PC. I will go back to just reading books before I am forced into getting an OS I don’t want…and I’d probably be better off in the long run. LOL

  34. Don’t buy into Mac OS and their hardware. You will be sorry in the long run.
    Wait until you try to integrate more than one computer with differnet operating systems or try to use newer hardware to run an older OS. It won’t work.
    I take care of 30 Macintosh computers at work and will never own one for myself.
    I still use an MS-DOS relational database that I have used for fifteen years. Try that with Mac OS. Ha

  35. I was a bit leery of XP in the beginning (heard a lot of horror stories at first), but when i finally installed it, i loved it. The part that i find irritating about MS is the fact that it seems they are basically trying to force the change to Vista now. With al lthe incompatability issues, i won’t be able to afford it. Seems they’re just trying to generate as much income as they can and to hell with the consumers.

  36. My first OS was ME. It was truly aweful. When I upgraded to XP it was like I had gone out and bought a brand new computer. I needed to get a new one recently. I searched very hard for one with XP. I have no first hand experience with vista. Most of the reviews I’ve seen on Vista are bad and not only that, but the thought of replacing a 200.00 dollar
    printer which was working fine was not appealing. Then what about all the people who have 1000.00 dollar programs like Adobe Photoshop. Your talking serious dollars to replace those programs. The way I see it even if Vista was a good OS and got stellar reveiws. Having to replace all those things is enough to make a person on a modest income cry. I don’t get it at all. I never had to replace anything when I upgraded to XP. In fact I’m still using some older programs which I just don’t know what I’d do without. Hence the big reason for not giving Vista a try. I did however get MS. office 2007 which I must says Rocks. Everything was fine with that until one day it stopped working and I got a pop up that said it wasn’t working correctly because it needed an upgrade. When I tried to do the upgrade it wouldn’t let me. After searching the net I found I was not the only one with this problem and there were lots of others with the same issue. Thank God somebody had several solutions which worked for me.

  37. I have been using computers since the first C64’s came out and XP is simply the most Stable, reliable operating system their is, period. Sorry Mac users but thats the way it is. People need to learn how to use and take care of their computers before complaining about every new OS release or Service pack release. I have Vista on my laptop and it works just fine, never had a problem with it whatsoever. I have had SP3 on my desktop since its release and have not had one problem at all. 95% of all people complaining about Vista and SP3 simply don’t take care of their computers or know how to use and maintain them properly, period. Its operator error not Microsofts fault.

  38. Crawford is entitled to his opinion. There is no need to bash him nor anybody else here.

    Remember, people, there is freedom of choice. They can choose XP, choose Vista [eww], choose any future Windows OS, choose any distro/flavour of Linux, choose FreeBSD, choose Mac, etc. He could even choose Commodore 64!

    People bashing Crawford for wanting to soapbox about his experience with XP and considering Mac, just proves to me that people would rather shove Windows’ OSes down our throats and rather be judgmental.

  39. I also have to wonder why Mr Crawford has so much trouble. What additional programs and software does he have to buy?
    I’m relatively new to the computer world I started with 98 and went on to XP. Never had an ounce of bother with XP that wasn’t my own fault. The only additional software I have ever purchased is a defrag program.
    I have various pcs running faultlessly on XP this one has an old 478 board and el cheapo RAM, my kids have quad cores with the latest and greatest video cards for gaming. All on XP. If you do your maintainance and keep them clean I see no need for constant re-installation of the O/S. I even run Symantec Corporate – a Norton product – and have no issues at all. I did install and rapidly uninstall SP3, it didnt like me and I didn’t like it. But other than that, XP will do me for another year or two.

  40. I must agree with Mr.Nickson. It sounds as if Mr. Crawford is just a complainer and would be better off going to a Mac. I would suspect a lot of his trouble is other software, especially Norton, which is a major resource hog. The idea of virus or adware infection is very possible, as well.

    Before my retirement I was a white box builder and consultant for over 25 years and well agree that XP is, by far and away, the most stable operating system that has been developed. If anyone wants to believe those ridiculous Mac commercials inferring that they are trouble free should continue to live with their heads in the sand, all six or seven percent of them!

    I have many hundreds of XP installations out there, the vast, vast, majority are nearly trouble free, and wish to thank you for your positive comments, Mr. Nickson.

    Jeff in Spokane

  41. I have a Vista Dell Dimension desktop and do not care for the Vista system as a business system. It represents an unwanted learning curve and requires too much of an investment to get the programs I need as well as new printers when my present XP Pro computers work just fine by keeping SP3 off of them.

    Microsoft needs to do way better than it is doing or they will create a vacuum that someone else will step into and it won’t be MAC because they don’t have clones.

    Ron in Tampa

  42. Dear sir,
    I have been using computers for over 20 years & without a doubt Windows XP is the most stable OS to date.
    Mr Crawford states that he has had to reload his OS 3 times this year, but fails to give a specific reason WHY ! I wonder was it due to a virus…? and if so then that is hardly the fault of Microsoft.
    Yes Microsoft have made some major cock ups in the past, most notably Windows ME, but XP is without doubt their best effort yet and is a pure pleasure to use.

  43. Just keeping my XP Home running is a full time job, not to mention the restraints of Norton 2008 which bog down the system. This year I’ve had to reload my OS three times already.

    If this keeps up, Mack will get my business real soon. I stay angry at Microsoft. I just want an OS that works and one that I don’t have to keep paying for over and over and over and over. I’m weary of having to buy additional software and programs to make the OS I purchased functional, over and over and over and over.

    Mac should take advantage of this “window” of opportunity.

    If I purchased a home appliance that gave me so many problems, I would return it and demand a full refund.

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