Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tell Microsoft to Rethink Windows XP Guidance

On the surface(no pun intended) it’s not unreasonable for Microsoft to drop support for Window XP. At least that’s what I used to think.  Richard Hay of shares a common opinion, “XP is 13 years old - hardware and OS's have changed so much since then.”  He’s right of course but I realized my car is even older. It doesn’t have built-in GPS, backup cam or even an iPod connection but I’ll keep it. The impact of Windows XP on our planet & me is still much bigger than my ‘95 Camaro Z-28.

xplaunch4In the fall of 2001 Bill Gates stood on a stage in New York City and proudly introduced us to Windows XP. It was the largest launch event I had attended complete with a concert in the park by Sting.

As Microsoft prepared for the launch they were encouraged by then Mayor Rudy Giuliani to hold the event in NYC. After the trauma of 9/11 a large event was needed to show the world the city was safe and open for business. Microsoft did the right thing.

On April 8th, 2014 Microsoft will cease support for Windows XP inviting hackers around the world to have their way with any system still using XP. While it may seem reasonable Microsoft has provided limited guidance. Their advice; upgrade to Windows 8.x or even Windows 7.

Windows is not like any other product.
You can’t compare Windows to any other tool in or outside  the computer industry. The courts may have ruled Microsoft did not hold a monopoly but the impact of Windows world-wide is beyond a normal product life cycle. The justice system did acknowledge a substantial cost would be occurred choosing an alternative to Windows on an Intel based system.

windowsxpeos  Click for updated count down info

Microsoft making an effort to encourage upgrading and is providing help to business customers who need to make the transition. The site makes it clear what will change in support and security risks.  “you will no longer receive security updates, fixes or online technical support for PCs still running Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003.”
While Microsoft is trying to point to their actions as being reasonable their examples show the world isn’t ready to change. If 1 out of 6 computers in Malaysia are still using Windows XP it’s clear Microsoft is not providing a reasonable choice. Even if a cost was attached to continued support the option should exist. There must be a path available besides a completely new OS that may not support all the existing hardware or software.

Microsoft has sponsored a white paper which demonstrates the costs connected with continuing to use Windows XP. All data and costs predictions  are based on a world with no alternate support from Microsoft. No where in the paper are cost estimates if Microsoft was still involved in minor ways.

By not providing some kind of extended support Microsoft will fail to attract a new generation of users of microprocessor based devices. Many of us remember the quote, “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM”. By ignoring history Microsoft is damaging its brand at a critical time in the market place. Modern customers want to hear the quote, “We’ve got your back.”

scotty128Ironically, Microsoft’s decision will increase sales of my own WinPatrol PLUS product which does support Windows XP.  WinPatrol has been in the market for over 16 years and while I will take advantage of many new Windows 8 features I’m still able to protect Windows XP users.

Let me be clear!
If you’re using Windows XP I strongly recommend you find a cost effective way to upgrade your computers. I’m happy if you upgrade to WinPatrol PLUS but to really be safe you need to a different version of Windows. After you upgrade, continue to use WinPatrol along with other security programs.  Millions of Windows XP machines will soon become malware infected “bots” sending out spam and attacking computers across the world with software vulnerabilities  as soon as they’re found.

Even if you aren’t running Windows XP let Microsoft know how you feel.  Use hashtag #april8th

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Blogger Dad said...

Thanks for this - one correction, multiple courts around the world (including in the EU and the US) have ruled that Microsoft DOES have a monopoly! Some sanctions were overturned for various reasons but no-one doubts the monopoly even if it slipping a bit.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Bill has valid points that the majority of PCs still use XP and for such a 'bold' move by MS smacks of poor corporate stewardship. The average PC user is being treated like sheep to be shorn at market. I have vowed not to make this subject political but other national changes occurring, ACA, incandescent light bulbs etc, are eerily similar.

I've used Windows 7 and it's suitable for my requirements but the Windows 8 is an unnecessary 'toy' for users who have no intention or need of swiping or flipping their monitors, oh yes this is OS is marketed to tablet/smart phone users.

I do not feel the need to run out & upgrade to the latest and greatest HW, still use a flip-phone, have a land-line in the home (no VoIP for me), my newest car is 7 years old and the list goes on but I am cognizant of the ever evolving pace of technology due to my job. I see the amount of funding that needs to be budgeted for technology refreshes (no one ever budgets for maintenance contracts) that IMO are unnecessary.

Oops, a soapbox has caused me to ramble. Carry on and someone else reply as well lest our collective weariness & silence be construed as agreement.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Camelot said...

Make one for Linux OS, UXPatrol, or PatrolUX, etc, as many XP users are dumping Micro$oft for free Linux distros.

1:23 AM  

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