Microsoft Really Wants You to Buy Windows 8

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Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) wants customers to switch to its Windows 8 operating system so badly that it's willing to abandon nearly 30% of the entire personal computer market.

On April 8, Microsoft officially ends support for its Windows XP operating system, which according to Net Application as reported by USA Today, still held a 29.2% market share in January. That places the OS only behind Windows 7, at a 47.5% share, and well ahead of the two released versions of Windows 8, which have about a 10% share, according to the study.

What does no support mean?

On the plus side, nothing specifically terrible happens to a computer running Windows XP on April 8. The actual damage will be further down the road as Microsoft will stop creating system patches for the OS and will no longer issue updates that protect XP users from viruses. That may well be like letting a 10-year-old loose in a candy store as hackers -- always an opportunistic bunch -- likely won't follow Microsoft's lead and will continue making viruses targeting newly helpless XP users.

Microsoft explained the decision on is website.

"Microsoft has provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years. But now the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences…. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive anti-malware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to protect your PC.)"

If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.

How much money is at stake?

Windows, which has had the same basic design since 1995, has been a huge source of profit for Microsoft. In 2011, according to CNN Money, "Windows brought in more than $18 billion in sales and $11.5 billion in profit. On its own, Windows would be big enough to place among the largest 150 U.S. companies by revenue, and its 62% profit margin would rank among the highest in the world."

That, of course, was 2011 and since that time, Microsoft's empire has shrunk. PC sales have declined dramatically and a large percentage of users have moved from the Windows-based PC world to iPads powered by Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) iOS or tablets running Google's (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) Android.

Windows 8, which also powers tablets and phones (unlike the Apple and Google operating systems, which are specific to tablets) is Microsoft's attempt to keep users in its infrastructure. The theory is that while iPads and other tablets are tempting, users, especially business IT people, will want to have one OS for all their devices. If that proves true, it should help Microsoft grab a bigger share of the expanding tablet market shown on the chart below.

Statistic: Number of tablet PC users in the United States from 2010 to 2015 (in millions) | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

Is it working?

While its market share compared to XP and 7 remains poor, there are signs that the strategy of having one operating system for all devices is winning a still small but growing share of the tablet market for Microsoft. in January was bullish on prospects for Windows 8, driven by the enterprise market (where Microsoft has always dominated).

"The stars are aligning in Redmond, and there's a good chance that Microsoft can lead the tablet race after being smothered by Apple and Android in 2013. Microsoft hasn't been in such a strong position for years," wrote Tom Kaneshige.

Microsoft also reported some good news in its Q1 2014 earnings reports. "Surface revenue grew to $400 million with sequential growth in revenue and units sold over the prior quarter," the company said.

Say goodbye to XP customers

"There is a risk," Microsoft spokesman Tom Murphy told USA Today. "How big a risk we can't quantify." But Murphy is unequivocal in advising consumers to part ways with the operating system that many have loyally stuck by all these years. "We're really black and white about that."

Clearly, it's too early to declare whether the Windows 8 strategy of one OS for all devices will work, but at least the news is more positive than it was when Windows 8 first launched. Another big step is whether some of the abandoned XP users will upgrade to Windows 8 devices (be they tablets or PCs) or leave for Apple, Android, or even devices running Google's Chrome operating system.

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Read/Post Comments (49) | Recommend This Article (13)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 9:38 AM, Starfire wrote:

    An axiom of Warren Buffet is "buy what you know". Well, we acquired a new PC with Windows 8. What a miserable OS, at least as far as the GUI. We had to download Classic Shell to make the PC somewhat user friendly. From my perspective, Microsoft failed the segment of the market that is not interested in having a PC that resembles a play station. So I'm not interested.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 10:11 AM, bigbrostyxsixty wrote:

    Microsoft is wealthy enough for their wants not to hurt them.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 10:30 AM, Maree wrote:

    Remember "New Coke" when a major company abandoned it's most loyal customers, telling them what they SHOULD like, instead of respecting and building on what they already DID like?


    . . . I guess I have finally received the push I needed, to move to Android (or maybe Apple) systems.

    bye-bye, Microsoft.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 10:31 AM, cds1949 wrote:

    I agree. Windows 7 was great so what foolish gamble to go to "apps".

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 10:33 AM, sfb5761 wrote:

    I had no trouble with Windows 8, which is basically an overlay over Windows 7. All you have to do to get back to what you're used to is click on the "desktop" tile on the start screen. And it has some nice features, such as pressing the Windows key and X, which will bring up everything you need to run your computer.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 10:44 AM, MSUser wrote:

    I purchased a new Laptop recently with Windows 8 installed. I have no complaints with it so far, but I have a Desktop running Windows XP and I can't upgrade it because the stores removed Windows 7 from their shelves to make room for Version 8 and the latest version will not install on XP systems. I refuse to buy another Desktop to solve this problem. How does one locate a Version 7 in order to upgrade to Version 8?

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 10:50 AM, notrozer1 wrote:

    what I dont get is people say M$ is giving away business by not supporting Windows xp for more than the 12 years it has....

    Since Windows Xp is not a Subscription based software, and updates are free... just how much are they giving away?

    It looks to me like they are loosing money on this one by making updates etc...

    Windows 7 and 8 work just fine.

    Also Crapple doesnt support any version of OSX for 12 years, google doiesnt support a version of Android for 12 years... why should M$ have to?

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 11:13 AM, IndustreeWag wrote:

    Lots of people (probably millions?) both at home and in business stick to older OSes because of a very good financial reason: They have lots of old machines that simply cannot run anything newer than XP.

    That makes it a huge financial investment to get new machines JUST so they can buy and run an OS which may or may not work out for them, and may well hinder their business if the upgrade doesn't go well. Employees may also spend so much time trying to 'figure it out' that they stop being productive.

    This can be deadly in business, which explains why most business are slow to upgrade ANYTHING, especially and including their hardware.

    Microsoft has never addressed this issue; instead, they beat us over the head with a new OS suddenly and demand we accept it. A new 'roll-out' scheme might be more profitable for them - in the long run.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 11:37 AM, GuitarJim wrote:

    Microsoft needs to admit it blew it with Windows 8. Metro is possibly the worst portal metaphor they've ever released, possibly even worse than Bob. People don't use mobile devices like phones and tablets for the same purpose they use desktop and laptop computers, so trying to make one OS run on both is just stupid. I guess I'll be switching the rest of my systems to Linux.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 11:43 AM, scotty3281 wrote:

    Look, if you think MS is "abandoning" their XP users then you need to be educated.

    For one, their policy on support says that after two successors the support will end for that operating system. Well, it has been almost four operating systems since XP was released and they still are supporting it. (Win 9 is rumored to release next year) That just shows you how much they put stock into this operating system. XP is only the most successful operating system MS released. So, it was only natural for them to support it for as long as possible.

    Of course, it was the market that pushed this actually. The software industry said that you need hardware that XP either simply won't support ( more than 4 GB RAM cause screw that so-called 64-bit mode).or can't handle easily. Take, a triple or quad core processor. XP may have used it but is was not designed to utilize that many processors. Now that a dual core is standard on everything, including cell phones, it is time to upgrade anyway.

    To the people that either will not try Win8 or think it is difficult to use because of the opinions on the Internet. I will tell you this.. Opinions are like butt holes - everyone has one and they all stink. Why don't you just give yourself a month to try Win 8. After a month then you will see that all the crap these people give Windows 8 is simple nonsense. Win 8 is faster, more light-weight, more secure, and (I argue) just as easy to use as Win 7/XP. Just because it isn't in a familiar place doesn't mean anything. Win8 does a great job at integrating search that allows you to find anything within seconds.

    @MSUser... You don't need Win 7 to upgrade to Win 8. You can do a clean installation of Win 8. If you want to go through the hassle of upgrading from Win XP to 7 to 8 then you will find it will be more cost effective to just by an external hard drive to back up all of your documents and buy a Win 8.1 disk. You will also find that you will get more use out of the external hard drive than the Win 7 disk, and they cost about the same. However, Tiger Direct does sell a version of Win 7. If you want help just e-mail me at my username at Just mention where you got the e-mail address from since I usually do not respond to unknown addresses.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 11:43 AM, zeek wrote:

    "Windows 8, which also powers tablets and phones (unlike the Apple and Google operating systems, which are specific to tablets) is..."

    Tell us, Daniel, what operating system powers Apple's iPhones?

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 11:47 AM, treesmiths3 wrote:

    Just another reason that I am glad I switched over to Apple. What a huge difference and it is well worth the price.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 11:49 AM, marcopolo80z wrote:

    Back in the Win 95 and Win 98 era, very few people outside of a certain corporation in Redmond, Washington had a clue as to how to deal with a Windows technical issue. Help is now as close as a yahoo or google search. And free anti virus products such as Lavasoft actually work better than the MS downloads. I will continue to use my antique (but loved) XP machine, and keep a 98 machine or two around to run vintage games and software. MS still doesn't get it that the are no longer King of the Hill.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 11:55 AM, windstar205 wrote:

    I am a senior and use a computer to email, buy things I need, sometime sell items on Ebay. I have had windows 7 OS for ten years. Recently I upgraded my computer to windows 8. For me and people like me it is a nightmare. I do not want or need all these 'apps' I must have done something wrong when downloading different things because it just does not work right. It will occasionally freeze, the page jumps up and down or quivers so I have abandoned it to a member of my family also old??? and bought a refurbished windows 7 which I know and love. Not everyone is a young whizz kid and we are happy with the old OS.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 12:20 PM, idd4s wrote:

    I have been through many operating systems since the beginning of personal computers. Windows XP was a good one and Windows 7 works great for my desktop. I do not, nor do I want to, own a laptop or tablet. I had to have a tower built for me by Milw PC because they would load it with Windows 7 and because most stores are not offering a good choice of towers anymore, expecting everybody to follow the trend to laptops and tablets. I tried Windows 8, but that is designed more for a tablet or touchscreen laptop, it is not desktop friendly. I prefer my tower computer and I will pay to get what I want, not what the computers companies are trying to push me to buy. I want choices, I am not a carbon copy of everybody else.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 12:22 PM, PJNevada wrote:

    What idiot wrote this article? XP was introduced over *12* years ago. The writer apparently thinks Microsoft should throw more money into updating and supporting an obsolete operating system that is 2 generations old.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 12:36 PM, moopert wrote:

    Microsoft's antivirus updates are junk. Any person with half a brain has an additional antivirus program on their computer. The world will continue to run XP because people either cannot afford to upgrade a system to one that can run windows 7, or just too computer illiterate to upgrade.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 12:45 PM, NoWindows8LockIn wrote:


    Many people keep saying that the reason that Microsoft is pushing Windows 8 is because Microsoft felt that customers would be happier with one OS across all devices.

    This is patently false.

    It is true that that customers would be happy with one *CORE* OS, *with* the ability to flip the thin surface (no pun intended), the user-interface, of the OS as they see fit.

    The real reason that Microsoft is pushing Metro on everyone is because they are looking at $25-$40 billion extra revenue/year if they do.

    It works like this:

    If Microsoft were to declare, suddenly, that every software company that produces applications for any version of Windows must now give 20% of the sales-price to Microsoft, the companies would howl foul, and the US Federal Trade Commission would be all over Microsoft, because that would be blatantly illegal.

    So what Microsoft did was to create a new programmer's API (Metro), that is strictly incompatible with XP/7, and with this API, Microsoft declared: "Any software developer who uses this API to make an application must pay us either 20% or 30% of sales price to us!!!"

    Of course, many software developers said, "Uh...heck no...guess I will not be writing Metro apps...not going to you 20-30% just because you have a monopoly on the OS. I will continue writing Windows XP/7 applications for my customers, and keep 100% of my sales price, and my customers will be just as happy with that."

    Microsoft anticipated this.

    So Microsoft said - "No worries. We will just kill-off the Windows 7 user-interface so that users will have no choice but to eat/sleep/breathe Metro. Then, you obstinate software developers will be forced to write Metro applications, and we will get the 20-30% that we demand."

    The users saw Windows 8 and said, " thanks...looks like it was designed by Fisher-Price."

    Some of theses user did a registry hack that brought by the Windows XP/7 desktop on a Windows 8 computer. So Microsoft told Microsoft engineers to go into the registry and kill the possibility of bringing back the Windows XP/7 desktop on a Windows 8 computer.

    A few companies popped up and figured-out a way to recreate Windows XP/7 desktop on a Windows 8 computer anyway, and of course, these companies now have millions of avid customers.

    So let us not pretend that Microsoft had the best interests of its customers at heart in creating Windows 8. Microsoft wanted the $25-$40 billion / year that they would get if they are successful in capitalizing on 25+ years of monopoly by creating vendor-lock-in via a concocted contractual scheme that depends on third-party software developers falling-in-line and being unable to separate their business models from Metro.

    It's actually border-line illegal, if you ask me.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 1:09 PM, gezzerx wrote:

    I am an XP user & have a duel boot system with Puppy Linux works great for me. So MS don't hold your breath for XP users to buy Windows 8 ! Your secure boot system SUCKS ! ! !

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 1:28 PM, ipinsao wrote:

    If youre happy with xp or win 7 then dont upgrade simple as that. Stop whining about win 8 if you dont need it. Im using win 8 with no problems. You need some common sense to use windows otherwise you are better off with an overpriced apple product.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 1:48 PM, auggybendoggy wrote:

    They want me to buy 8, drop the cost to 20.00 a license and I'll buy a dozen of em. Unlike most cry babies, I admit 8 works just fine - but frikin 100 dollars for 1 pc. Come on MS! You wan't people to buy it, then lower the cost because other OS's are frikin FREE!

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 2:17 PM, wgcross2 wrote:

    Get off this Win 8 rhetoric! Win 8 had a disasterous launch and 8.1 showed itself to be nothing but lip service. Now essentially 8.2 is being readied for launch. Next year is Win 9. Why would anybody jump on the Win 8 bandwagon and not just wait to see what plays out? Win 7 Pro and Enterprise are everywhere. You can still get Win 7 loaded by Dell, HP and Toshiba. All three saw the writing on the wall and the huge customer base that will NOT use 8. That metro interface is obscene, Many of us run programs, NOT apps. The touch screen is a nonstarter for most businesses. Yes, the keyboard will remain for quite a while. And, not one of these silly peripheral keyboards, but a robust ergonomic keyboard. Most companies have a variety of software outside of MS, including in-house software and will not go through extensive re-writes nor learning curves for Win 8.x. A business must be cost effective, productive and efficient and apparently MS forgot this. We are not moving to the smart phone nor the tablet, but continue to require desktops, workstations and higher end laptops as business professionals. Maybe this other nonsense is great for users who surf the internet, spend an inordinate amount of time with social networks and the like, but there is a whole community out there, that does not. My laptop provides true mobility. I don't need to be connected nor using the cloud to be fully functional and get my work done, anywhere. Packing it up and hauling my system is a piece of cake, as is setting it up on location. If you're happy with Win 8, good for you, many many are NOT. MS did NOT honor the business community, professionals, power users, gamers, etc. Instead, the focused on the phone and tablet. The fact that every machine came with Win 8 preinstalled, is NOT a sign of acceptance nor success. This is what happened when you let Ballmer set the future course, and likely, all these foreign visa workers who have NO clue about American culture nor the business community. MS either gets its act together quickly or become a second rate company.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 2:29 PM, wgcross2 wrote:

    I'm not worried about the onslaught when XP is no longer supported. XP has had regular updates/upgrades for years, as has office. It's likely pretty secure at this point. Additionally, I have a robust firewall coupled with a very good anti-virus and general monitoring and real time security. Weekly, I run a variety of malware scans and rootkit checkers. My email routes through a special port and is fully checked by AVG Pro. Spybot immunizes the machine and software monitors web pages real time and also checks against extensive databases for known trouble sites. Common sense while on the internet pays off big dividens too. I do very little business online and I do no online banking. I don't go to porn sites and stay off social media all together. I feel pretty good about my security after April 8th. I will not go with Win 8 and will likely by a new computer next year with Win 9 on it.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 2:50 PM, shibadude wrote:

    I'm still wondering why MS decided to use their worst system (Vista) for their future systems. Which is what Windows 7 & 8 are based off of. I'm tired of companies, this would include Apple, telling me how my computer system should look and feel as well as run. System 8 has not only PO'd customers but HP and Dell as well. Because of that system their sales are way down.

    I've chosen the lesser of two evils and have pretty much gotten rid of my PC machines. MS can go to hell.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 3:49 PM, alejandroillini wrote:

    you know ford no longer supports the model T nintendo no longer supports the NES Apple no longer supports the apple 2 MS no longer supports windows 3.1. guess what companies usualy drop support for older technology especially after 2 generations when windows 9 is out they will drop support for windows 7 this is not news. and windows 8 is not nearly as bad as people claim yes theres a learning curve but I never use apps I run everything on the desk top I may use metro to lauch software that Irarely use that I dont have a short cut for on the desktop

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 3:56 PM, dikzenormous wrote:

    So let's just say that I am in the middle of a Deployment. Do you want to know how effective Windows 8 is? So effective that the purchase order included about 1000 Windows 8 laptops that were then re imaged to Windows 7. Say, Microsoft, do you count how many people continue to use Windows 8 after the initial purchase or just that first purchase to validate your sales because a lot of folks are buying your product with the intention of destroying it in favor of another. Its like being forced to buy a car but you know you will have to swap the engine. Used to be able to get the car and the engine together? What happened MS?

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 4:24 PM, Amadeus19 wrote:

    Can we say Edsel anyone?

    As for me, I am thinking Linux...

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 4:29 PM, luckyagain wrote:

    "Microsoft Really Wants You to Buy Windows 8"

    Really??? The last time that I looked MS was a for profit company and they OWNED XP. So its their corporate decision to stop supporting XP. Am I happy about it? Nope, but all software ages and is replaced so that the manufacturer can make more money. Capitalism at work.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 4:36 PM, btc909 wrote:

    Just bought another Windows 7 Dell with the latest gen Intel Haswell core.

    I'm no fan of XP anymore. Windows 7 is the way to go. Hopefully Windows 9 is decent.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 5:36 PM, kellenbmiller wrote:

    The only thing that is stopping me from installing the Windows 8 that I purchased is that it does not come with pre installed games like Chess of Titans and all of the other games they used to include. Other than that Windows 8 is great.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 5:49 PM, kellenbmiller wrote:

    My sister is not that great with PC's and she loves windows 8. She is not biased one way or the other you would have to point out what you don't like and she just might look at you lik

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 6:25 PM, okjerryds wrote:

    If Microsoft would stick with an OS that works and perfect that system with updates that work, then maybe people would be more willing to buy into it. Personally I'm selling all my Microsoft stock and investing in Apple...

    Good luck Microsoft...

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 6:41 PM, mchipman wrote:

    I bought a new desktop and a new laptop and both came with Windows 8. I can't tell you how much I dislike it. I think it is really difficult to navigate--I even bought "Windows 8 for Dummies" but I am still miserable. When I whine, everyone else I know who has it agrees it is awful! If anybody has an alternative, Please post it. Thanks.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 7:05 PM, fwe43 wrote:

    The fact that XP, an OS that is 13 years old, is still so popular shows the root of MSFT's problem. The have a customer pool that are complete luddites. They don't want to change their ways, at all. Win 8 could have been the most perfect, most awesome most easy to use OS ever invented and their consumer base would still whine and complain. They don't want to change, they don't want to do anything at all. That's why Win 8 has gotten so much criticism. It's not perfect, but it's not nearly as bad as the rap it's gotten.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 7:08 PM, fwe43 wrote:

    To all of you people whining about Windows 8. I seriously just do not get it. I have a WIn 8 laptop and I use the desktop mode 90% of the time. I don't see metro unless I want to. It's really not that hard to change a few default settings so that you stay in desktop mode and go to metro only when you want. If you people had half a brain you could figure it out. Instead you prefer to whine. I mean honest to god it's NOT difficult to figure out if you have common sense and put in a mild amount of effort.

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 7:34 PM, biketires1363 wrote:

    For the few of you who are proponents of Windows 8 and jab at people who have a problem with it, I note with interest that many of you make the same point, you simply go to the desktop mode, most don't bother to go metro. Well... That would be the point of most users who don't like 8. Its a massive waste, I too despise the metro version of 8 and just simply go to desktop. This does not make 8 a good operating system. It is cumbersome and for those of you who say its faster, wow, you must be coming of a ME machine, on the rare occasion I use a tile, it takes way long to load and after 4 or 5 tiles even a bigger pain to go back. So the 5 percent who say its great can thump your chest at the 95 percent who say it isn't. But here is reality... You are still very much in the minority,.,.,. Really!!!

  • Report this Comment On February 15, 2014, at 10:05 PM, rcmpvern wrote:

    "Windows, which has had the same basic design since 1995"


    The GUI is the same basic design as Windows 95, but the operating system fundamentally changed in 2000. Windoes 95 and 98 were built on the 9x kernel, and all Windows since Windows 2000 were built on the NT kernel.

    So it is more accurate to say that Windows has had the same basic design since Windows 2000 was released.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 5:36 AM, eljaykay wrote:

    People who are commenting on this from a consumer viewpoint are missing the point. I work for a huge healthcare organization that still uses XP for its computer systems. We still have IE 6. Both those programs are the darlings of industry, which is what keeps them high on the popularity charts. Our company is in a quandry--how to get their in-house proprietary software to run on anything other than XP without breaking the bank, and how to train over a million employees to use the new software if they can manage to create it. It's not like porting software from Vista or 7 to 8. It's about taking programs that were designed for the last OS using 9x architecture and completely revamping them to work on the base architecture under the newer three OS's. Companies developed these software suites starting with Win95 and just tweaked them to run on newer 9x OS's as they came along. When Vista introduced a new type of underlying structure, abandoning all links to DOS, it became the elephant in the room for business IT departments who were looking at expensive total rewrites of software that employees already knew. That's why XP has lasted so long, not because consumers liked it better. So companies are scrambling to completely rewrite software they've used for almost 20 years. Expect consumers to get hit with a share of the expense.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 10:35 AM, JRP wrote:

    Microsoft made a bad move this time. Keep your old windows and switch too Linnux or make it only for home use and seek another company for a future computer, for online.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 11:11 AM, moonwatcher2001 wrote:

    I'm not a "Linux evangelist", but what concerns me is that there are millions of perfectly good, serviceable PCs out there that will end up needlessly in landfills after XP is no longer supported. What to do?

    If Microsoft really cared about customers and about the Internet, which will be ripe for all kinds of denial of service and other attacks by unpatched XP boxes that will be eventually be compromised, they would offer XP users a nearly free upgrade, not to Windows 8 but to Windows 7. Why? Because many legacy motherboards made in the 2006 time frame will not run Windows 8, but will run Windows 7 just fine, especially if they have at least 2 GB of RAM.

    The other choice would be for people who are tech savvy to help out their relatives and neighbors by installing Ubuntu Linux or another flavor on those older PCs and do about 20 minutes of training, showing people how to get into LibreOffice, use Firefox (you can import all their older bookmarks so they'll be ready to go), and download some other freely available programs (GIMP maybe for photo editing and some audio programs).

    At least all these older PCs could be used for several more years until they REALLY die from hardware failure. Then the users can decide if they want to buy Windows 9, 10, or 11, go with Apple, Google Chrome, or who knows, Android may turn into a viable desktop operating system by then, or of course just stick with the easy to use Ubuntu.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 11:35 AM, snatchmo wrote:

    Its simple. Buy an Apple. Yea they are expensive but they are worth it. No more freeze ups, or getting slow. Upgrades to the operating system are either free or very cheap. Ask anybody with an Apple if they would go back to a windows based computer and see the looks on their faces. I've owned my Mac desk top for 2 years now and never any issues.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 11:36 AM, moonwatcher2001 wrote:

    The 800 pound gorilla in the room is not getting used to a new operating system (no matter how inane you think it is), but the cost of buying new software to do the things you already do just fine with the software you already have.

    I have two old XP boxes, one a lap top, the other a 2006 vintage Dell E520 Core 2 Duo machine. It runs Roxio, Nero, and older version of Adobe Photoshop Elements, Chessmaster 2000, Microsoft Office 2007, and numerous third party shareware and freeware utilities, such as the keyboard mapping Clavier+, that I have come to know and love.

    I did have to buy a new PC last year, and yes, I have Windows 8.1 on it. I needed it to be able to run a CAD program called Solidworks for work. But I have not put any other software on it other than iTunes because the expense of buying all new versions of the software I use would cost far more than the PC did.

    So yes, for many people still using older XP boxes, we just don't see the economic bang for the buck in any upgrade to a newer PC with Windows 8.1, especially if you factor in the cost of buying all new software packages to do exactly what we are *already* doing just fine.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 1:22 PM, VegasSmitty wrote:

    I did buy Win 8, but I went back to Win 7.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 2:10 PM, Jeffkory wrote:

    I bought a laptop with the DOWNGRADE from 7 windows 8 on it- I sold the laptop at a loss and had my windows 7 laptop repaired- MICROSUCK really screwed up with win 8- DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY- If you use a computer or laptop- YOU WILL HATE IT. My favorite was xp- It was so user friendly- I still use it in my studio. Every 2 years MICROSUCK brings out a new system to suck more money out of us- Were stupid - it works for them. MICRO= The size of your wallet after they SUCK your money out every 2 years.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 2:22 PM, Jeffkory wrote:

    I changed my horrible win 8 laptop to desktop mode- It still SUCKS- Every time I scroll unusable crap is always sliding in the screen or it switches to the apps { that is sure a stupid word- apps } page. MICROSUCK-- MICRO= the size of your wallet after they SUCK your money for a new OP system EVERY 2 YEARS.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 3:22 PM, wareagle1971 wrote:

    I like a desk top PC. ... I like to kick my feet up, lean back, put the keyboard on my lap and r e l a x when I browse the net! i do not like being hunched over a laptop, even if it's a touch screen. I do not like squinting @ tablets, or smart phones. I want a HUGE screen, a kicked back chair, and a pillow behind my head...not awkwardly holding something, or hoovering over something. LONG LIVE THE PC !!

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 4:12 PM, casper06067 wrote:

    I've used Windows OS beginning with Win3.0. I progressed through the many new versions of Windows up to Windows 7. Along the way, I skipped a few versions of Windows such as Windows ME and Windows Bob, because they offered nothing special to me from what I had at the time. I've looked at Windows 8, and as with all of the previous Windows OS's, without any special training of manuals, I was able to sit down with it and figure out how to run it to do simple things. I did not find it to be better than Windows 7. After a quarter century of working with Windows operating systems, I fell in love with Windows 7. From the first day I installed it, it worked, and it worked quite well I might add. It never ceases to amaze me how good an OS it actually is. There isn't anything compelling about Windows 8 except that it's marketing strategies would have us believe that we must upgrade to Win 8. I won't be upgrading to Win 8. Not now and not in the future. When the guys at MS finally get the message that we like Windows 7 and we don't like Windows 8, I can only pray that they'll make a Windows 9 or 10 that goes back to the Windows 7 model. If they don't, then they've lost me as a customer and I'd say that they will have lost a sizable number of other customers as well.

    Is Windows 8 a terrible OS? It's okay for a kids' toy computer or handheld, but it doesn't compare to Windows 7 on a desktop system like those that I use for high end applications. I have five Windows computers at home and four of them run Win 7. My Asus Netbook runs Win XP, but that's because Win XP is all it can run. It doesn't meet the system requirements for 7 or 8. So what, may I ask, am I supposed to do with it since it can't be upgraded? I suppose that I will have to switch to one of the iterations of Ubantu if I want to continue using it. But this is another matter all together.

    I understand that it is a good thing for operating systems to be improved every few years. Technology changes rapidly and computers must naturally keep pace. If I didn't believe this, I would still be using DOS. But, no, I have continued to upgrade and change my OS each time I saw the value in making the change. I just don't see it with Win 8. And like many loyal MS customers and PC users, I've reach my cut off point when It comes to shelling out more money for the "next best thing". I'm done! I like what I am using today and that is Win7. If MS does to Win7 what it is about to do with WinXP, then, by that time, I will switch to a MAC. I use both a PC and MAC in my profession. I never thought I'd want to work on a MAC, but in all honesty, it isn't such a bad OS after all. I don't own a MAC, but I will not hesitate to dump my PCs when I am faced with no other options than the likes of Win8. When I had some issues with DELL several years ago, that they would not resolve, I told them that I'd never buy another DELL computer. I gave my DELL computers away and switched to HP and Visionman. I'll never buy another DELL computer. I guess it's eventually going to go the same way with me and Windows in the near future if they continue to ignore their long-term and older customers. Like many others, once I'm done with something, I will never go back.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2014, at 8:35 PM, marty27 wrote:

    Dump Windows and go with Linux, you don't have to worry about all the BS from MS

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2014, at 4:16 PM, RMaichin wrote:

    I am a XP Pro user using Avast Anti Virus free version and MalwareBytes Pro ( Free version available). Did some research, many users comment this combination as potent.

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Daniel B. Kline

Daniel B. Kline is an accomplished writer and editor who has worked for the Microsoft's Finance app and The Boston Globe, where he wrote for the paper and ran the business desk. His latest book "Worst Ideas Ever" (Skyhorse) can be purchased at bookstores everywhere.

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