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Doug's Mailbag: XP Is Cut Off

Here are some more reader thoughts on the end of support for Windows XP:

Win XP is going away...finally! I hate to say it, but those that are in love with it need to move on. I always thought IT needed to stay one step ahead of our end-users. IT becomes irrelevant or unnecessary when those we support are using more current systems at home than we can provide.

My organization has 10K+ machines at this time. Half are Windows 7, and I hope to upgrade or replace the rest by the end of 2012. Wish me luck!

I am a volunteer admin for a church. Most of the machines are running Win XP Pro with three being 64 bit, and only four are Win 7 Pro 64 bit. The XP boxes are stable, save for the fact that most are working on eight-year-old hardware. Yes, I have had to replace a few HDDs, power supplies and a motherboard -- the usual stuff. The Win 7 boxes are OK, but they don't seem to work nice with some of the firewall add-ons. It looks like I'll have to rejoin some of them to the domain. Other than that, everything is OK. I do set the swap space to a static 2x of the RAM and that does make a difference for me. Further, everyone is just a plain user too. No one has complained about strange behavior from Office. While performance may not be optimal, it is understandable due to the old hardware. Some of the boxes only have 512 MB of RAM. At this point I'd rather put the money into completely new hardware with a Win 7 upgrade at the same time. As with most non-profits, the money is just not flowing.

Well, you probably know already how I feel. I've got no sympathy for anyone who has not moved on to Windows 7 (or other viable Windows XP replacement) by now. (This is not about Windows vs. Macintosh vs. Linux.)

Those in the enterprise should have started looking at Windows 7 the day it hit the streets. And by the release of SP1, they should have been ready for the transition to Windows 7.

End users can use Windows XP as long as they want but they have no right to complain that Microsoft has not given them enough time. After all, it has been four years since Windows Vista was released and the looming deadline for XP support is still nearly three years away!

If you have a computer purchased as long ago as mid-2006, it will run Windows 7 and the upgrade price is $120. If needed, extra RAM will cost under $20 per GB.

Further, from my experience, Windows 7 outperforms Windows XP on the same Windows 7 MINIMUM hardware requirements.

It seems to me that this is a small investment for the advances in security and usability offered by Windows 7.

Need new hardware for Windows 7? Windows 7 hardware (Dell) starts at $300 ($430 with a monitor). Netbooks start at $300 as well and full Windows 7 laptops start at $450.

These are excellent prices for modern Windows 7 hardware.

If the end-user wants to wait until mid-2014, more power to them but 'late adopters' are no better off (and are usually worse off) than 'early adopters' when it comes to the cost of transitioning to a new operating system. Being under a looming deadline makes that process just that much more painful.

Staying with Windows XP in 2011 is one of those 'pennywise, pound foolish' decisions.

Share your thoughts with the editors of this newsletter! Write to [email protected]. Letters printed in this newsletter may be edited for length and clarity, and will be credited by first name only (we do NOT print last names or e-mail addresses).

Posted by Doug Barney on 08/08/2011 at 1:18 PM


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