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Windows XP given its twelve-month notice

Windows XP given its twelve-month notice

Windows XP is officially serving its twelve month notice, with security updates to cease on the 8th of April 2014.

Microsoft has reiterated its plans to kill off Windows XP - the operating system that just won't die - stating that support for the platform will come to an end exactly one year from today.

While Windows XP had its detractors at launch, largely thanks to a colourful user interface that saw it dubbed the FisherPrice My First Operating System, it has proved a persistent presence in the market. By market share the operating system commands an impressive 38.73 per cent - beaten only by Windows 7, with Windows Vista, Windows 8, OS X, Linux and the enigmatic 'other' making up a mere 18.3 per cent combined. This despite it being three full releases out of date and an impressive eleven years old.

It's not a platform Microsoft particularly likes supporting, however. The company has made numerous moves to kill it off in the past, officially phasing it out in 2007 only to change its mind following the poor reception of Windows Vista. Its support lifetime, originally planned to expire on the 30th of June 2008, was boosted to April 2014 - a date which is now drawing worryingly close for those who still rely on the platform.

Microsoft has done much to convince businesses and home users to make the move to a more modern operating system, introducing business-friendly features - including a virtualised Windows XP mode for otherwise incompatible legacy applications - to Windows 7 as a way of making up for the flop that was Vista. More recently, it's been going on something of a PR offensive: back in 2012 the company claimed that Windows XP was costing companies millions that could be saved with a switch to Windows 7.

For the third of the world that's still using Windows XP, however, the 8th of April 2014 marks a major deadline: after that date, Microsoft will make good on its threats and cease to publish security updates for the operating system. While it has long since stopped offering new features for the OS - you can't get DirectX 11 on Windows XP, for example, or Internet Explorer 10 - it still publishes security updates and bug-fixes, but that will stop dead next year.

That is, unless the company changes its mind. With more than a third of the internet still sticking with Windows XP, the company would leave a lot of clients high and dry with a complete cessation of patching - and while it's eager to convince people to pick up a copy of Windows 8, it's less eager to be seen as the reason why worms, viruses and other malware suddenly exploded in April 2014. Officially, this deadline is the very last for Windows XP - but, then again, we've heard that before.

36 Comments

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Bogomip 8th April 2013, 10:26 Quote
Yeah, probably about time - its possibly unfair to ask Microsoft to continue releasing things for its OS indefinitely. Windows 7 and 8 are substantially better, too.
Picarro 8th April 2013, 10:32 Quote
Thank god. That OS is an old PoS by now.
proxess 8th April 2013, 10:41 Quote
I'm still on a branded XP at the office. Not that I haven't implored for Windows 7, the company is just slow and dormant. Pisses me off...
SpAceman 8th April 2013, 10:58 Quote
I can't wait. Working with XP in a professional IT position was awful. The Windows 7 machines were always so reliable I never got to do much work on them.
lacuna 8th April 2013, 12:17 Quote
Still on XP where I work but I believe there is an upgrade program underway.
Almightyrastus 8th April 2013, 17:41 Quote
We are slowly moving over to 7 now but as our machines are all on a 3 year rotation there will still be a few left over after a years time.

Hey, at least we managed to get rid of Novell....
blackworx 8th April 2013, 17:45 Quote
Just moved to W7 at work (along with a spanky new dual head GPU and a pair of nice-ish monitors that were long overdue, yaay).

Every silver lining has its cloud though; I have also been unceremoniously dumped into the world of ribbon-infested MS Office. Too many clicks to do drudge admin work like reports and docs, but worse still it has destroyed the toolbars and menu entries for all the add-ins I develop and maintain. Thanks a bunch Sinofsky.

I assume Office 2003's support lifecycle will end at the same time as XP's?
Harlequin 8th April 2013, 17:51 Quote
it does - it was announced at the same time in 2009
NethLyn 8th April 2013, 18:45 Quote
OK that means Office 2007's next to get the bullet so I'll bear that in mind, would probably get Office 2010 before Windows 8, if I bothered with W8 at all.

To be fair I only got rid of the last Vista installation in the family recently, but MS have gone above and beyond what they had to in giving firms one more year of XP, I loved it, but moved on.

I'm thinking more of overseas where the machines might have been donated, they now have the year to decide what to do or get into a position where they can get one of those "N" versions of windows or whatever the code was for the cut-down copies.
schmidtbag 8th April 2013, 18:45 Quote
I personally like XP because it's very bare and very light on resources, though on modern hardware it is, to put it both bluntly and literally, retarded to use. I've used Windows 7 32 bit with PAE support specifically because the 64 bit counterpart nearly doubles the disk space and RAM usage with very little programs to actually benefit from the extra registers. For a while I even used XP with DX10 for the same reason, but once I got a DX11 GPU (around the same time Windows 7 came out), I decided it was time to move on.

I'm perfectly fine with XP disappearing as long as MS cleans up their code. Seriously, a fresh install of Windows 8 64 bit uses up about 17GB. That is more disk space than all my personal files, game saves, linux setup, and Mac setup COMBINED. Knock off 10GB and it's STILL a huge OS. HDD space these days is cheap, but SSD space is not. I don't feel like spending about $15-$20 of SSD space for an OS I barely use.

As a side note, I have managed to shrink Win8 to about 8GB, but I can't do much more than that without breaking the system.
Alecto 8th April 2013, 18:45 Quote
M$ should simply create an SP4 for WinXP, sell it for $40 like Apple does with their updates and extend support for another 4 years or so. This would bring in the money, people would get to keep the systems they are comfortable with and systems would be brought up to date on security front ... win-win for both M$ and customers, as opposed to them trying to shove Win8 down our throats. at that same price (while no doubt costing much more to create and maintain).
faugusztin 8th April 2013, 19:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alecto
M$ should simply create an SP4 for WinXP, sell it for $40 like Apple does with their updates and extend support for another 4 years or so.

I guess you never had to work with an old, crappy code.
mattyh1995 8th April 2013, 22:01 Quote
My college is still vastly on Win XP. They've got like 3 rooms on Win7 now and random computers in each other computer room. According to my teacher it Win7 works fine now, they just don't want to upgrade, why college? Why? :?
SighMoan 8th April 2013, 22:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackworx

Every silver lining has its cloud though; I have also been unceremoniously dumped into the world of ribbon-infested MS Office.
Be thankful you have Office. We are being nudged towards Google Docs at work!
woody_294 8th April 2013, 23:25 Quote
My work computer uses Windows 2000 and ie6, I cry a lot at work
nsymons 8th April 2013, 23:45 Quote
Worryingly almost the whole NHS is still based on XP and IE6. Trying to get IE8 on XP machines is hard enough
woody_294 9th April 2013, 00:05 Quote
Government... Was at a German hospital recently and they had i5 itx machines and awesome cherry keyboards with card reader and touchpads, running win7
Gradius 9th April 2013, 05:20 Quote
They should drop it right now!
Xir 9th April 2013, 11:27 Quote
They sold it new as a netbook OS till about 2-3 few years ago.
Stopping support is a problem for those.

Then again, I don't think my old macheine has ever gotten an update since install, it runs XP-SP3 without any patches and guess what, nothing happends. :D
Quote:
Originally Posted by nsymons
Worryingly almost the whole NHS is still based on XP and IE6. Trying to get IE8 on XP machines is hard enough
According to nexxo in the Win8 marmite thread, the NHS is on Win8 and tablets
win8 marmite thread
Quote:
Originally Posted by woody_294
Government... Was at a German hospital recently and they had i5 itx machines and awesome cherry keyboards with card reader and touchpads, running win7
They need the cardreader keyboards because of their silly card system.
Atomic 9th April 2013, 12:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
According to nexxo in the Win8 marmite thread, the NHS is on Win8 and tablets
win8 marmite thread
"The NHS" isn't one single organisation so different Trusts will run different software configurations.

It'd be impossible to run an organisation that big with a single ICT structure as needs vary depending on the area the trust serves (and the budget they have)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
They need the cardreader keyboards because of their silly card system.
The cards aren't silly, they are a security procedure. Three factor authentication (username/password/certificate) is pretty normal when identifiable personal data is concerned.

I've worked in numerous public sector organisations where a smart card is needed for logon. Often the same card is used for building access control and ID so you need to carry it anyway to get around the building so it's not something extra, it's part of your normal day.
Xir 9th April 2013, 13:57 Quote
...you've been in a hospital before?
The german health insurance card isn't an ID, it doesn't identify you, there's not necessarily a picture on it, it sure doesn't require a password or pin to access.
It's a convenience, as Germany has ~250 public health insurers (that's excluding the private ones) so it contains the name of your insurance, and your insurance number, probably your name, c'est tout.

Heck i've been in a hospital where the doctors asked for someone else's card, as it is too much of a hassle dealing with a foreign european health insurance.
Gareth Halfacree 9th April 2013, 14:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
...you've been in a hospital before?
I think the two of you are at cross-purposes: you're talking about the German healthcare card, owned by the person seeking help; Atomic is talking about the smartcard owned by the staff of the hospital, which acts as the "something you have" portion of a two-factor authentication system as well as unlocking doors around the hospital.

In the UK, we don't have the former - but the latter is standard throughout most hospitals.
tuk 9th April 2013, 14:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
I personally like XP because it's very bare and very light on resources, though on modern hardware it is, to put it both bluntly and literally, retarded to use. I've used Windows 7 32 bit with PAE support specifically because the 64 bit counterpart nearly doubles the disk space and RAM usage with very little programs to actually benefit from the extra registers. For a while I even used XP with DX10 for the same reason, but once I got a DX11 GPU (around the same time Windows 7 came out), I decided it was time to move on.
XP has been the best win os so far, XP with a win7 skin is the best of both worlds.

All that came after XP were bloated, resource hungry pos.

All M$ had to do was update XP for more powerful hardware platforms and provide some nice skins ..if it's not broke don't fix it, but then M$ would not make as much money re-selling the same OS over and over as something new, when really its just another vista service pack your buying.
schmidtbag 9th April 2013, 16:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuk
XP has been the best win os so far, XP with a win7 skin is the best of both worlds.

All that came after XP were bloated, resource hungry pos.

All M$ had to do was update XP for more powerful hardware platforms and provide some nice skins ..if it's not broke don't fix it, but then M$ would not make as much money re-selling the same OS over and over as something new, when really its just another vista service pack your buying.

I don't know, aside from the bloat and (IMO) mess of a Control Panel, Windows 7 is better than XP in just about every way imaginable. XP technically was broken - it was horribly vulnerable and it was designed for an age of single-threaded 32-bit computing. XP and the software it came with *cough*IE*cough* were single handedly holding back the entire PC industry due to it's limitations of modern hardware. When you compare everything that 7 can do that XP can't, you'll realize that it just simply isn't possible or realistic for MS keep up with XP. Hell, people got pissed off when SP3 came out because it made some PIII systems run slower even though it offered a lot of necessary fixes. On the kernel level, XP is a major maintenance burden. This is probably why Apple dropped support for things like Rosetta in OSX 10.7.

Linux too has been dealing with the burdens of maintaining old hardware for a while now. Just recently it stopped supporting i386, and it has been dropping support for a lot of other old hardware that would be asinine to use today. XP was a very nice OS for it's time, and it's still good on some simple modern systems such that use Semprons or Atoms, but it needs to go. All I want is for MS to clean up their damn code. There is no excuse for how bloated 64 bit Windows 7/8 are.
woody_294 9th April 2013, 16:31 Quote
I did like xp, but can you imagine a touch pc or htpc running it? What we use computers for has changed, and for the better imho. There comes a timw when the old way of doing things no longer makes sense
tuk 9th April 2013, 16:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
I don't know, aside from the bloat and (IMO) mess of a Control Panel, Windows 7 is better than XP in just about every way imaginable. XP technically was broken - it was horribly vulnerable and it was designed for an age of single-threaded 32-bit computing. XP and the software it came with *cough*IE*cough* were single handedly holding back the entire PC industry due to it's limitations of modern hardware. When you compare everything that 7 can do that XP can't, you'll realize that it just simply isn't possible or realistic for MS keep up with XP. Hell, people got pissed off when SP3 came out because it made some PIII systems run slower even though it offered a lot of necessary fixes. On the kernel level, XP is a major maintenance burden. This is probably why Apple dropped support for things like Rosetta in OSX 10.7.

To say XP is broken is a bit of an exaggeration & everything you mention could have been fixed with a simple update. IE is as much a part of XP as Firefox. iow not at all. If its broken like you say and has all these problems with hardware compatibility ..then why does it still run faster than later versions of win?

M$ routinely stop updating their OS properly because they basically want to sell you the same thing over and over again.

Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence in industrial design is a policy of planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time. Planned obsolescence has potential benefits for a producer because to obtain continuing use of the product the consumer is under pressure to purchase again,.......
Shirty 9th April 2013, 16:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuk
M$ routinely stop updating their OS properly because they basically want to sell you the same thing over and over again.

Last time I checked, I'm pretty sure that this is how businesses work.

Otherwise we'd all still be driving around in heavily patched up Model Ts and cooking our food in giant $50,000 Raytheon microwaves

After all they'd still get us from A to B and heat our food with the correct maintenance
tuk 9th April 2013, 16:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirty

Model Ts and cooking our food in giant $50,000 Raytheon microwaves

After all they'd still get us from A to B and heat our food with the correct maintenance
Really there are working model T's still driving around in your world getting people from a to b?

I think comparing XP to the model T ford is basically nonsense. ..all it shows is that you have swallowed the marketing & did not spit.
Quote:
Last time I checked, I'm pretty sure that this is how businesses work.
Yes, your right, M$ would release a new OS every month/week if consumers accept it ...but I think my point went over your head.
Shirty 9th April 2013, 17:03 Quote
Oooh you're a tough customer ain't ya?

XP still works fine in most scenarios, but it's an old product that has been superseded three times now. Of course Microsoft will be ending support for it, why on earth would they continue to spend time and resources supporting such an old product?

To give you a slightly less flippant analogy, manufacturers offer warranty on their products because you as a customer expect the products to work correctly. However, very few companies will cover items for more than 5 years, because in the mean time they have revised/updated/replaced the design with a newer (and theoretically superior) product. Microsoft continuing to patch old operating systems is essentially their warranty service. If a fault is found, they fix it, and the cost is covered by the money you spent up front all those years ago.

But the cycle has to be finite - it would simply make no sense at all not to retire products after a given period. Unlike you I am not clearly biased (referring to the company as M$, really? In 2013? :(), I don't care any more for Microsoft than any other supplier of goods or services - I'm just being realistic without a giant and uncomfortable looking chip on my shoulder.
schmidtbag 9th April 2013, 17:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuk
To say XP is broken is a bit of an exaggeration & everything you mention could have been fixed with a simple update. IE is as much a part of XP as Firefox. iow not at all. If its broken like you say and has all these problems with hardware compatibility ..then why does it still run faster than later versions of win?

M$ routinely stop updating their OS properly because they basically want to sell you the same thing over and over again.

Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence in industrial design is a policy of planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time. Planned obsolescence has potential benefits for a producer because to obtain continuing use of the product the consumer is under pressure to purchase again,.......

I said XP was technically broken, not actually. But, it isn't a matter of updates to make XP keep up, because it isn't that simple. It is certainly possible but an OS is designed to help you operate your hardware, and the kernel will become sloppy and struggle when it has to worry about hardware that would seem eons apart in human years. So, for example, suppose XP got the patches to support all instructions of modern processors, better multithreading support, DX11, and so on. There would be thousands of computers running XP that would not be able to use ANY of those features due to hardware limitations. So, people would buy a new game that claims to be XP SP4 compatible and find that it either doesn't work, is unusably slow (or unstable), or has visual glitches everywhere. The blame for such problems would would be pointed at the game devs, the MS devs, the hardware devs, or the OEM - none of which are at fault. If MS were to continue supporting XP, they'd have to make sure that all hardware from 2001 to 2013 are functional with every update, and that is not cost or time effective. Making a new OS helps devs focus on the hardware of that OS's generation. It may result in breaking compatibility, but sometimes that's a necessity in order for technology to move forward - people need to accept the fact that if you want to be apart of the computer world, staying in your comfort zone will mean you're going to be left behind.

Anyways, Windows XP performs better than future versions of Windows on hardware that was designed for XP. I would bet that a Pentium D or an Athlon 64 would perform better on XP than Windows 7 or 8. I would also bet that an nvidia 7900 would perform better on XP. But, I would bet that an i7 and an FX-8350 in Win7 would EASILY outperform XP.


EDIT:
I would like to point out that I think it'd be nice if there was basically an XP2 - something very barebone and lightweight like XP but uses a new kernel that only supports hardware from 2007 and newer.
steveo_mcg 9th April 2013, 18:15 Quote
Lightweight? XP? Does no one here remember the bashing XP got on launch for being bloated nonsense? Win2K was the last attempt MS made at a proper unintrusive lightweight OS.
schmidtbag 9th April 2013, 18:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
Lightweight? XP? Does no one here remember the bashing XP got on launch for being bloated nonsense? Win2K was the last attempt MS made at a proper unintrusive lightweight OS.

I was once one of those people who felt XP was pretty bloated at the time of it's release (and that was before I used linux), and today I'd say it's still pretty heavy on disk usage considering how little it can do. But, with SP3 it's still less than 3GB (not including paging files, hibernation files, or system restore). Considering how cheap and massive HDD storage is these days, such a size isn't really a big deal. That being said, on a mechanical HDD, the size of Windows 7/8 64 bit is... tolerable, but I personally find it unacceptably large for an SSD and I see no excuse for it to be as huge as it is.

I haven't used Visual Studio very much but from what I've seen, it adds a lot of unnecessary code. (in a similar way with Dreamweaver and HTML). That code might ensure accuracy (which in a consumer point of view is good) but it results in bloated code, which wastes system resources and takes longer to load. Bloated code also means that when a problem needs to be fixed, it's harder to locate the issue. I'm perfectly ok with a piece of software being released that is bloated due to precautionary reasons, but only if the devs intend to optimize and clean up the code in the end. This is something MS devs don't do (in fact they seem to cause the opposite) and this is one of the reasons why I'm a fan of KDE in linux. KDE started out as a fat glitchy mess. It was packed full of cool features, but it was otherwise coded horribly. But, once it reached version 4.5, the devs didn't have much else to add, so they just started cleaning it up. Every release of it for the past couple years seems to drop by at least 10MB with dozens, even hundreds of bug fixes. It's at version 4.10 today.
Xir 10th April 2013, 08:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
I think the two of you are at cross-purposes:
Thx ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by woody_294
I did like xp, but can you imagine a touch pc or htpc running it?
Nope, my HTPC ran 98SE for years, was way too slow for XP. (back in 2000)
Or wasn't that what you meant?
Nexxo 10th April 2013, 09:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
According to nexxo in the Win8 marmite thread, the NHS is on Win8 and tablets
win8 marmite thread


They need the cardreader keyboards because of their silly card system.

Nope, just one Trust I'm afraid, which is pioneering Windows To Go. The rest is still on XP and IE6 and Office 2003/2007. What can I say? Lazy IT.

We also have card readers for staff ID cards, but many people still use passwords which they are forced to change every few months and cannot reuse for years. That's NHS IT also: forces you to use passwords which are hard to remember for humans but easy to crack by machines.
Atomic 10th April 2013, 12:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
The rest is still on XP and IE6 and Office 2003/2007. What can I say? Lazy IT.
In a lot of cases, it's (incompatible) legacy applications and budget that are the factor in stopping/delaying migrations.

As soon as you introduce personal data into an application the costs for migration sky rocket as the data retention legalities come into play. No doubt the NHS has a fair amount of legacy systems like any other public sector employer.

I'm in the middle of such a migration project at work and it's been 18 months in planning and testing alone, rollout to the users is the quick bit at only 5 months as we are only based in a single county so travel isn't too bad.

I'm assuming that an NHS trust is going to be larger than we are and just the total man-hour costs of migrating/upgrading thousands of computers (whilst ensuring continuity of service) will easily be into the millions of pounds, and that's excluding any desktop hardware or servers that need to be upgraded.

Getting financial backing for a migration project is hard without MS putting a date on end of support, as any business is going to need a very solid reason to get the budget to switch away from a system that already works and is supported.

By the end of the project I'm involved in it will have been over two years in total, no doubt such migrations are under way behind the scenes in many ICT departments already, without any non ICT staff even knowing ;)
Xir 15th April 2013, 14:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
That's NHS IT also: forces you to use passwords which are hard to remember for humans but easy to crack by machines.
Actually that's IT in general, forcing people to use and change long passwords they can't remember anyway so they securely post-it them to their monitor :D
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