Microsoft Takes Their Revenge On XP Users

by Bob Poole on January 21, 2010

What is MS thinking? How many Windows machines do you think are still running the XP operating system? If you said millions you'd be correct. In fact, there are more machines running XP than running Vista. Vista was a dog and smart users never upgraded from XP which finally became a stable OS. The last number I saw said that over 60% of Windows users still use XP.

So what did Microsoft do with their new Windows 7? They made it so difficult to move from XP to 7 that you might have to hire someone to help. Basically, you have to do a clean install of your computer which means backing everything up to an external hard drive, wiping the system clean and then building it all over again.

Yep. That means you're going to need all the original disks for all the software on your computer. MS doesn't quite mention that in the directions you can see in the photo. They tell you that you will need to reinstall your software like Word or Office. I guess in their world computers only run software from Microsoft.

We have 4 computers running XP in my home and one running Vista. On just my laptop alone I have over 60 programs. That means I will have to find all the software on disks along with any necessary installation codes. Many of my programs were direct downloads from a company on the net. Again, I will have to find out where to download them again and I will need their serial numbers which are not always easy to find – at least for me. Many small businesses (me included) have powerful workstations running RAID for a lot more programs and complexity with it comes to wiping out the software and starting all over.

We will all have the issue of video, audio and network adapters. Many people will spend hours just trying to make their home network work again. By the way, you did write down all the wireless and network codes and put them where they are easy to find again – right?

If you bought your anti-virus or anti-spyware software more than two years ago it might never work with Windows 7. And, make sure you save a copy or all your documents and photos on that external hard drive. Otherwise it will be hasta la vista baby.

I'm fairly knowledgable about this kind of stuff. I've built many computers from scratch. But, I know I'm going to spend hours doing this and I have a pretty good idea of what I'm doing.

What about all the millions of people who only know how to turn on their computer and use it? What will they do? Will they put the disk in and think it will upgrade like most all software they have ever used? What will they do when it doesn't work or worse destroys their information?

If you're a small business with a dozen or 12 dozen computers running Windows XP what are you doing to do? Windows no longer supports XP. You'll eventually have to upgrade. And, you'll most likely have to pay someone to do it. I suggest you have them do it on a Saturday and hope that your back in business by Monday.

From where I sit, Microsoft's decision to ignore Windows XP systems for upgrades smells like revenge for the installed base's overwhelming refusal to upgrade from XP to Vista.

How is that for treating your customer like you really value them!

Maybe it is time to visit my local Apple store.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jodi Kaplan January 21, 2010 at 11:25 am

Sorry to hear you have to do all that! Yuck!
Small businesses without in-house IT will have to do is hire someone to fix it all. My brother (the geek) does this a lot. I guess it’s policies like that which keep him in business.
Meanwhile, I’m glad I have a Mac. Upgrading is pretty simple. And, you can run Windows programs on it if you need to.

Bob Poole January 24, 2010 at 11:26 am

I’ve hesitated moving to the Mac because of all the other software I use and would have to buy. But, at this point I think I’m going to by one and replace the others as they get too old.

Paul Sherland January 28, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Hi Bob,
I made the move to Mac two years ago when I noticed my XP machines getting slower with every security patch. The transition was much easier than I’d thought and I don’t use the MS Office Suite for Mac.
A great Apple good deal is the One-to-One training package offered through Apple stores. Pay $99 a year and you have as many one hour dedicated sessions with an Apple trainer, in-store, as you’d like. You can even reserve a three hour project slot where a trainer is available to help you with a presentation, movie editing project, web development project, etc., and the trainer only steps in when you have a question.
By the way, I recommend your book on Linkedin. As a Navy man myself, I enjoyed your story about launching a shipboard newsletter and your encounter with BMCM Brashear.
Good luck!
Paul

Bob Poole February 2, 2010 at 9:44 am

Hi Paul – great comment! We had a power outage here a couple of nights ago and I ended up having to call MS to re-authorize a copy of Windows XP on one computer and mess with another one until Windows would work. I didn’t know about their One-to-One training program. It sounds like a good deal. Thanks for your recommendation on Linkedin. Chief Brashear was one of a kind.

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