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Online Safety: Why You Should Give Up Windows XP For Good (Updated)

windowsxp

Most geeks will tell you it’s well past time to get rid of XP and upgrade to newer, safer operating systems. It can be tough to explain, so keep reading this list of real world reasons to let XP go.

Maybe you’re not sure why you should upgrade to a newer operating system. Maybe you’ve tried to explain it to friends but can’t quite explain why they should. Read our reasoning below or join the conversation with your own experiences—whether you’re a Windows user or not, it’s time to put XP out to pasture.

Happy 10th Birthday, XP: You’re (Probably) The Least Secure OS

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It’s a scary world out there, and for-profit cybercriminal thugs are filling P2P networks and the internet with more malicious software by the day. Even something as simple as receiving email can bring infections into your computer, and there’s a huge library of malware and viruses mostly focused at taking down XP and stealing your information. Because XP is so old (10 years as of August 2011) malicious developers have had more time to create software targeting it, and while Microsoft has been able to patch some of the many security problems with the aging operating system, the fact remains that they simply can’t get them all. And as far as we can tell, all platforms, including distros of Linux, OS X, and newer versions of Windows, like Vista and Windows 7 (and now Windows 8!) are all more secure by many factors. Let’s briefly talk about why XP has become so insecure.

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The nature of software is timely—it fits into the needs of the time it’s created, and XP was created for a simpler world of tech. The screenshot above is how Microsoft.com looked when XP was first released—formatted to fit on a screen only 640 pixels wide, it showcases Internet Explorer 6, a browser reviled for being non compliant and behind the times, as new product.

Smartphones were more or less unheard of, laptops were a luxury, and tablet computers like the iPad still seemed like a science fiction fantasy. XP was created for the needs of a simpler consumer, and performed admirably with changing needs, as more and more home users started getting computers. However, at a certain point, only so many band-aids and fixes are going to keep things going—to properly address the reality of today’s security needs, the problems need to be addressed from the ground up.

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Here’s a metaphor. You might be able to drive a car that was built years and years ago, and even keep it in good working condition if you were a clever mechanic. But that car was made in a time when fewer people drove the roads and had less safety features to keep drivers and families safe on more crowded roads. Newer cars also benefit from years of engineering knowledge built on top of the mistakes of those older cars, and have safety features and more fuel efficient engines for a world with rising gasoline prices. XP fits into the computing world in much the same way—it doesn’t properly address the problems of today and can pose a definite danger to the user, while giving an illusion of security.

It’s Becoming Less Secure: Support and Security Patches Are Ending

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Even with the landscape of malware looking pretty bleak for XP (the data above released 2011 from 2010 statistics) the future of the aging operating system is looking worse and worse. Windows XP System Pack 2 was discontinued and extended support stopped as of July 2010, with XP System Pack 3 extended support ending as of April 2014. Mainstream support for XP ended years ago in April 2009, with only critical security updates being offered in Extended support. When these dry up, XP will continue to have layers of its security chipped away, with more and more holes found in its browsers and basic functions. This is a very big deal; in a short period of time, XP will be completely abandoned, and huge flaws discovered by malware developers will never be fixed.

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Microsoft has to protect the interests of their users (it is in their best interest), but supporting an OS as old as XP will only become more and more expensive over time, and distract from improving current products and creating the next line. So MS will unlikely be reversing their decision to terminate support for XP, nor can anyone expect neverending support for their newer operating systems. Can you continue to use XP? Sure, but with more malware than ever, it’s never been more dangerous to surf on any version of Windows. XP will become, by far, the most vulnerable platform to connect to the internet to. Coincidentally, Windows 7, like most modern operating systems, has a long list of features meant to help tackle this problem of security—Windows 7 is far better prepared for the modern world of malware and viruses. If you’re a die-hard Windows user, you’ll be interested to see this list of features Windows 7 offers to help keep users safe.

The World Is Leaving It Behind

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When XP was released, USB 2.0 was not supported, RAM limits were capped at 4GB, and it would only support hard drives of about 137 GB, with some drives only recognized at 127 GB. At the time, this might have seemed pretty ridiculously large. Modern drives are almost always 500 GB or more to accommodate large libraries of movies and music; drives now are so large and cheap that they often cost as little as $0.05 per GB. Five cents! XP era computers weren’t expected to do quite so much of this, and the need has evolved, partly as a way to market PCs to a wider audience.

XP’s  64-bit  edition actually does support 64 bit processors, which many of us are transitioning to. But most users of XP are using the 32 bit version, and XP64 remains fairly rare even today. This 32 bit version can be installed on many 64 bit PCs, but will not take advantage of the newer technology. But as new video cards, hardware, and technologies are developed, XP will not be updated to take advantage of them. While many users won’t see the geeky need to stay on the cutting edge, using only the newest and best, XP users will stay frozen in time: vulnerable to new attacks, unable to use new technology, bound to old computers and hardware.

Are You Serious? XP Was Three Major Versions of Windows Ago!

Vista was released several years ago and was largely panned by geeks and casual users alike. Despite the many problems the new operating system had, it was still a newer, more modern operating system than XP, and at this point, actually is a better, safer option for Windows users than XP is. Windows 7 is very widely adopted, and now Windows 8 had been released as a developer preview and will be released before too long.

The world has moved on, and XP simply can’t.

One Last Look: The World When XP Was Released

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Ten years is a ridiculously long period of time for an operating system. To further make the point of how old XP is, let’s take a look at how the world looked in the summer of 2001, when XP was released. This was one of the PC games everyone was talking about in 2001. Here are the minimum system requirements for this game, Max Payne:

  • 450 MHz CPU
  • 96 MB RAM
  • 16 MB video card
  • 4X CD-ROM drive, DirectX 8.0

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For those of you that don’t play a lot of games, here’s something more modern to compare to, the very recently released game Rage, and its minimum requirements:

  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo or Equivalent AMD
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Hard Disk Space: 25GB
  • Video Card: GeForce 8800, Radeon HD 4200

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These were three of the summer movies released mere months before Windows XP.

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AI: Artificial Intelligence starred a young Haley Joel Osment, shown above left. This (above right) is how he looks today.

Youtube_logo4 gmail-logo myspace-logo

YouTube, Gmail and even MySpace didn’t exist when XP was released. They were all released after Windows XP.

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So was Firefox, Ubuntu Linux, and the first iPod, which was released later that year. In a world where the fifth major update to the iPhone has just been released, nobody should be left using an operating system that pre-dates the first iPod.

From the Comments

Let’s address some of the comments about this article. This article was intended for readers to share with their less geeky friends, but evidently many of you are die hard XP fans! Here are some thoughts on your comments, in an attempt to expand on this article’s content.

Brian Mills: But regarding the chart, all it proves is the obvious truth that Windows 7 is more secure than XP (just as it is also more secure than Vista); it does not logically follow that XP (or Vista) is therefore so insecure that readers should immediately dump it, as your strongly-worded conclusion suggests.

XP is statistically more dangerous than any other OS in the market as there is more malware developed for it. It also has security holes that Microsoft can’t allocate the resources to fix. It’s basically the biggest target out there and support is running out fast. Every day a user continues to use XP is a day closer to a malware attack, rootkit, or keylogger that goes unnoticed. It bothers me because so many people are cavalier about malware. Patched or not, XP is more vulnerable than anything else in the market, the two supported versions of Windows included.

Lee: My company makes some software for the care industry, and it’s installed on many companies systems including local authorities. I work in the support dept and we have a few OS’s including XP and Win7. One of the issues I find is the security portals and gateways to log on to a local authority server only work on XP machines. So for us as a department to ditch XP would mean we couldn’t support them.

This is why it’s important to convince users and businesses to move on from Windows XP. Hopefully we can start to weed XP out so your job gets a little easier.

Jay: I think a lot of people don’t realize how much different XP SP3 or even SP2 is versus the original release candidate. The amount of options that grew up on XP are amazing. From USB to integrated WiFi client to Plug and Play that actually works, later versions of XP are far from being as antiquated when compared to the 2001 release. It’s like stating that Mac OS 10.1 is the same as 10.6 because both share the title of OSX.

Great point. This is really a testament to XP’s success. It was a really amazing product and MS did a pretty great job of massaging it along with the changes in tech along the years. You can only patch and update an OS for so long, though!

CarlB: Why pay a mint for Windows of the Month when I don’t need it. Why do so many others use XP? It works fine and does not require a system upgrade to newer and faster hardware.

Many commenters have pointed out there are lots of free options for operating systems, including Ubuntu Linux and Linux Mint. These have better security than Windows XP, loads of free software, and are getting easer to use and better supported by the day. They also run on lots and lots of CHEAP old hardware as well.

TechLogon:Fully patched SP3/IE8 (preferably FF7/Chrome), top security suite, limited user a/c and up to date Flash etc and you will not be wide open to malware.

Yes, it’s true that Flash infects lots of machines. It’s also true that fully patched SP3 XP machines will fare better than SP1 or SP2 machines. However, XP is still the biggest target with the most malware in the wild, and still the most insecure major platform. Patching doesn’t change that, and Microsoft is getting slow to fix major security problems popping up in XP. It’s dangerous to say that ordinary users can get by just being careful. The best practice for users should also involve upgrading to a more modern OS, be it Linux, Mac OS X, or Windows 7. There are so many valid options, it really doesn’t make sense to stick to an OS that old.

Weezyrider: However, I do have some specialty programs that run best on XP, so they are on separate boxes with NO ONLINE ACCESS. With no access, security is not a problem.

Can’t disagree with that. Sandboxing XP programs or running them as virtual machines, or even as machines with no WAN access is a pretty great way to keep them secure.


The conclusion is clear—XP is a relic from a very different world, and is probably the most dangerous way people still use the internet. Use it at your own risk, and say goodbye to it as soon as you possibly can, for your own sake! Readers, join in the conversation by leaving us your comments about your own experiences with XP, and maybe about how you’ve moved on to more modern operating systems, like new the Ubuntu, Mac OS, or Windows 7.

Image Credits: Trash by Bastian, available under Creative Commons. 1940 Ford DeLuxe convertible by Stephen Foskett, available under GNU license. Image of Birthday Cat found on Reddit, used without source, assumed fair use. Trash by Mathieu Thouvenin, available under Creative Commons. All other images assumed fair use.

Eric Z Goodnight is an Illustrator and Graphics Geek who hopes to make Photoshop more accessible to How-To Geek readers. When he’s not headbanging to heavy metal or geeking out over manga, he’s often off screen printing T-Shirts.

  • Published 10/24/11

Comments (205)

  1. Cherrybomb

    My husband REFUSES to give up XP. Then he complains that his computer doesn’t work properly and he can’t play modern video games. He has brand new hardware (less than a year old) and has XP on it. 10 years together and we don’t fight about many things…but XP vs 7 is a full-on war in our household.

  2. Dan

    Hear, hear! I ditched XP for Vista back in 2008 (it’s not as bad as incompetent whiners think). Now I’m happily using Se7en. I cringe whenever I’m forced to even use XP for anything. Much the same way when I had to use Win98 when I already use 2000, and even Win 3 after upgrading to Win95.

  3. Meena Bassem

    why you should give up xp? why not just say it’s considered crap?

  4. George

    I moved to Ubuntu as my primary OS. I dual boot with Win 7 to play a few games and kept XP as a VM to help with support for friends and family.

  5. Greg Toland

    I still have one desktop as a XP computer and one XP laptop. The desktop (a salvaged shuttle box) holds my cassette music converter and has a USB turntable connected to it. As you can probably guess this is used to digitise my music collection and I cannot see me ditching it in the near future until all my vinyl and cassettes are converted. I have not been able to find software that will run on W7 for the cassette unit.

    The laptop is very old but is used for a USB ‘flexi-webcam’ so I can poke around in engine blocks and the like. Works fine and saves me getting a more expensive laptop oily and greasy!

  6. Groff

    It was hard for me to move on to 7. I had debated for a while about switching to Vista, because I wanted that shiny Aero polish, but held off because I knew 7 was somewhere down the line. I got 7 3 months after it was released and put it onto my desktop after much hesitation. But after 3 days of constantly using it and learning all the nifty shortcuts and productivity enhancements, there was no turning back. I now have some trouble using an XP machine, because everything is so much faster, efficient, and flowing in 7.

  7. Eric Z Goodnight

    @Groff: I was in the same boat, just about to get Vista when they released the preview for Windows 7. Once I tried it I knew I couldn’t go back. It did take me an embarrassingly long time to get a copy. I was stuck using XP 64bit for so, so long.

  8. Michael Sammels

    Yeah, I dual boot Ubuntu and the Windows 8 Developer Preview (talk about living on the edge), but our College uses a mix of Windows XP and Windows 7. I don’t get the point, the program compatibility engine in 7 is so much better than that of Vista, and even then XP Mode *could* be installed if something just refused to work.

  9. arjunKR

    awesome article :)

  10. Jason

    Anytime a new OS comes out I am a bit skeptical and like to wait a few months to see how it performs. When Vista came out there were so many problems and security flaws in it I decided to stick with XP for a little longer. Then Windows 7 came out and at first I didn’t really see any improvements, to me it looked just like Vista. It was all “under the hood” improvements that impressed me. Now I have Windows 7 and I am about to upgrade my netbook as well. My poor sister is still struggling with XP and her system won’t support 7.

  11. Hassan

    It is now ridculous to use XP.

  12. Road Dog777

    I’m still no fan of new Windows OS-es as I struggle to re-learn, but for those M8′s who are still sending me E-mails or (worse) ones with Active Scripting/attachments, I get a bit p/o-ed when my mail scanners lights-up indicating it’s infected with God only knows what system crashing malware. Like driving on a freeway with bad brakes smashing into my new/expensive car! Maybe there’s a way to block XP inbounds with some coding that sends a polite auto-message back to the sender: “Sorry but for valid security reasons this Version of Windows 7/8 does not accept XP [or older] Windows E-mails, please upgrade or call me.”

    R D

  13. chris

    the Problem is not the readers of HowToGeek. the problem is the people who got a first computer during those 7 years between xp and vista. those that don’t know a lot about computers or why to upgrade them.

  14. Lady Fitzgerald

    Actually, when I do my weekly scans, the only thing I ever find is the very occasional ad cookie.

  15. Glen Harness

    Are there any utilities that would let me upgrade from XP to 7 without having to reinstall everything? I’ve got quite a few programs on my computer and the prospect of having to reinstall all of those on a fresh Windows installation is daunting, to say the least.

  16. Cryptic

    My work refuses to let me upgrade our systems to Windows 7. I might just print this out and give it to all the people who keep telling me to leave XP on them. The problem? I have to keep fixing these POSs. Also, as unsecure as they are, we are an Emergency Response agency! We keep very private and important files on these that include patient’s information. I hope this will convince them.

  17. curleb

    And yet the corporate landscape is riddled w apps that need WinXPsp3 on life-support…

  18. ben

    Yeah, but then what will I do about my XP 4 LIFE tattoo?

  19. Lee

    My company makes some software for the care industry, and it’s installed on many companies systems including local authorities. I work in the support dept and we have a few OS’s including XP and Win7. One of the issues I find is the security portals and gateways to log on to a local authority server only work on XP machines. So for us as a department to ditch XP would mean we couldn’t support them.

    I know this is down to their IT departments but even they’re often stuck as the 3rd party security software they use is only compatible with XP!!

  20. TechLogon

    W7 is more secure than XP (overall) which shouldn’t be used after 2014 but to suggest not using the internet on XP NOW is over the top – the biggest vulnerabilities are Adobe and Oracle not MS.

    Fully patched SP3/IE8 (preferably FF7/Chrome), top security suite, limited user a/c and up to date Flash etc and you will not be wide open to malware. User education is key – moving to W7 isn’t a quick fix for ignorance/carelessness and won’t stop infections of non-geeks (only in as much as a new PC will at least come with IE9 and flash etc will be only a few months out of date)

    The infections graph is skewed by millions of pirated, outdated XP copies (& IE6) used on old hardware (India/China etc) which will account for a boatload of those XP infections – the situation isn’t as bad as it suggests except for the terminally dumb.

  21. carol

    I don’t care about games…my only concern is, will MS Security Essentials protect XP or not?

  22. Jeffeb3

    I recommend switching to ubuntu, mint, or another free operating system. If you are using XP on an old computer, chances are running these new OSs isn’t going to be very fun (they are system hogs) and you’re likely not using a lot of programs that are windows only (such as new video games). Linux is secure, free to upgrade, and can do Internet just fine. The office suites (also free, secure) can do just as well for the casual user. It’s worth taking a look. Pretty much the only thing my old computer can do in windows that it can’t do in Linux is stream netflix, but there are alternatives for that too.

  23. Tidd

    I’m a Mac user. About a year ago I was in the rare situation of not having a computer for a few weeks. I couldn’t afford an iPad so I bought a little HP netbook running Windows 7. I was actually quite pleasantly surprised – the ugliness of XP was something I had always fled from, but Windows 7 – while infuriating in a few ways that only Microsoft knows how (“That feature is not available in the Home Starter edition of Windows 7″… automatic updates that prevent you ending your computing day for a full 20 minutes … “Your 30 day free trial of this incredibly useful software is about to end – please go online and cough up £89 for the program” … “Your Norton trial is over and your computer is now vulnerable to malware, Trojans and viruses”) – was nevertheless easy to use and pretty to look at.

    Win7 is fairly intuitive to a Mac user. XP isn’t. And it’s ugly as sin into the bargain.

  24. anon

    Upgrade your software, which requires upgrading your hardware, which requires upgrading your software, …. Thinking about how a few companies control the fate of millions … The next time your car breaks down simply by a new car, the manufacture tells you thats what you need to do , most people aren’t competent enough to understand the features of XP anyway ( did you know about the built in document management application, technology M$ copied from numerous independent developers, monopolism that’s the name of the game … )

  25. sean

    I’ve used xp for 10 years now, have had no virus etc in that time. I keep the os updated as well as flash & every other program. I don’t use p2p to download & am careful where I surf. I do regular scans for various types of nasties as well as get 2nd opinions from online scans..I keep my system tidy & do regular imaging of the hdd.

    No doubt sooner or later my system is likely going to be infected, but the same can be said for 7..a lot of the problem is not the os but the person sitting at the keyboard.

    And as one person said, what percentage of the infections on xp machines are due to not keeping the pc updated, etc.

    I’ll update when I build my next pc, once 8 has been out long enough for others to beta test it for me. Soon after its release, we should be reading articles on the security improvements 8 has over 7.

    btw, some people don’t like xp for one reason or another, others hate vista or macs. Imagine that, people have opinions..;-)

  26. infmom

    What would happen if an automobile manufacturer abandoned all its products after ten years and told everyone tough beansies, you have to buy a new one because we’re not making parts for your old clunker any more? Oh, and we’ve also made sure the price of the latest models is so high that a lot of people couldn’t fit it into their budgets?

    That’s the main reason we’re still using XP. No money to buy Windows 7. The cost of any edition worth having is simply out of the question for our household. I managed to buy one copy of Win 7 Pro with my community college ID, and installed it on my computer, but I can’t do that again for the three other non-Mac computers in the house. And no, we’re not into piracy, but the more I check prices the more I understand why some people would risk it.

    If Microsoft wants us all to have the latest and greatest, they can darn well make it not only accessible but affordable. Otherwise, people are either going to stick with XP forever or they’re going to get Linux or buy a Mac. (By the way, my first generation Mac Mini, which won’t run anything newer than Leopard, is doing just fine.)

  27. Anonymous

    The only thing worse than XP is Windows 2000 – or NT!

    When I had the disappointing situation of getting laid off I wound up needing to file for unemployment benefits. For me, it was either that or go live in a park somewhere. But one requirement for filing for unemployment required me to sign up with the State Works Program. And when I went to my local Works Program office, which was in a nice building in a affluent area of town no less, I noticed they were all still using Windows 2000 machines. I think a couple of boxes may have even said Windows NT too. These “terminals” (which were really old computers) were available for anyone to use but were required to be used at least once in order to enroll in the State Works program.

    My initial reaction was OMG! It was like walking in on a bank robbery or something. Forget about Windows 7, Vista or even XP which might have offered a bit more security. And don’t even think about booting/using a free Linux distro either. They were all disk less ssystem booting into Windows 2000 – or worse! But the thing that amazed me was that there were about 30 people in there using these relics. They were all connected to the Internet and probably using Microsoft Internet Explorer six or even IE four! I couldn’t tell. I didn’t hang around long enough to find out. I really wanted to do a Norma Rae scene here and start chanting “Attica” or something but I just couldn’t do it. I mean, talk about kicking a person when they’re down requiring them expose themselves to potential security problems like that – and the people for not knowing any better either.

    That was just this year (2011). And at the time I tried to make my objections known but was basically told to either “deal with it” or not file for unemployment benefits. Needless to say, I walked out and haven’t been back since.

    …And the park I’m now living in seems quite nice.

  28. Eric Z Goodnight

    @infmom: Hey, I totally agree with you on the price of Win7, but that doesn’t mean that people should stick with XP. Win7 is great but Linux is perfect option for people that can’t spend the money to upgrade.

    BTW Leopard is only a few years old, and Mac OS is light years more secure than XP is.

    But keep this in mind: computers change at a much faster pace than cars do. That’s why I made that car metaphor. Going back ten years in computer security is like riding around in a car from the sixties without seatbelts, airbags, or a frame that crushes to protect the passengers.

  29. Jay

    I think a lot of people don’t realize how much different XP SP3 or even SP2 is versus the original release candidate. The amount of options that grew up on XP are amazing. From USB to integrated WiFi client to Plug and Play that actually works, later versions of XP are far from being as antiquated when compared to the 2001 release. It’s like stating that Mac OS 10.1 is the same as 10.6 because both share the title of OSX.

    I’m not saying that XP isn’t old or is as secure as 7 but people forget that there’s a reason why XP has stayed dominant for (now) over 10 years in the market. It was a great OS that was extended well past what the original end date was meant to be, and it has performed admirably well. Even now in business and industrial settings XP is useful virtualized to help resolve many compatibility issues.

    I myself am writing this on an XP system at this moment, and I know I will be using XP for at least the next few years. (Don’t get me wrong though, all of my Windows home systems now run the 6.5 kernel, I understand that progress needs to happen)

  30. Anonymous

    To Infmom who said;

    …[Affordability] That’s the main reason we’re still using XP. No money to buy Windows 7. The cost of any edition worth having is simply out of the question for our household. I managed to buy one copy of Win 7 Pro with my community college ID, and installed it on my computer, but I can’t do that again for the three other non-Mac computers in the house. And no, we’re not into piracy, but the more I check prices the more I understand why some people would risk it.

    My only question is have you even tried a free Linux distro? Something like Ubuntu or maybe even Mint? Fedora or even SuSE are other good choices too that seem to have a huge following. And they’re all free!

    IMO, you just can’t beat “free”. But then again, I can almost hear the argument: “We don’t have the time to learn a new OS”. So if that’s your gripe then just what do you think Microsoft requires you to do when they move on to a new version of Windows?

    Maybe now is a good time for us all to start looking at making the Linux plunge. (Says the man on a compromised Win 7 machine.)

  31. infmom

    Of course we’ve tried Linux. It’s great, I’m all for it. I resurrected an old laptop with Ubuntu. It’s easy to learn, easy to use, the whole nine yards. No question about it.

    However, my husband’s work-related software isn’t designed for Linux. He has to use some version of Windows, and XP is what he’s got. Even on the laptop assigned to him from his office. They’ve got a pecking order there, and he’s not at the top of the list and therefore eligible for a new laptop with Win7. He’d have to take someone’s cast-off with Vista. No thanks.

  32. Anonymous

    To Eric Z Goodnight who said,

    BTW Leopard is only a few years old, and Mac OS is light years more secure than XP is.

    (Imagine hearing a game show buzzer here.)

    I guess you missed the HTG article about how MAC OSX is really “not vulnerable through anonymity” and that OSX is not necessarily “immune” or even better. This “I’m better than you” attitude seems to be very common among MAC users and for that very assumption too. So, I hope you’re not like that.

    Nevertheless, if you think that a MAC is the answer, which you seem to have implied, try reading Apple’s terms of use. Basically, you are required to buy the MAC hardware before even thinking about using their OS. And last time I looked, buying a MAC (which starts at about $1000 and goes up from there) was way more expensive than updating or even obtaining Windows for the first time.

    So I just gotta say, “(A)bort, (R)etry, (F)ail” on that one.

  33. Eric Z Goodnight

    @Anonymous: Maybe you should reread that article, particularly the part where it says that I wrote it.

  34. Brian Mills

    While I appreciate the author’s sincere concern for the security of the How-To Geek’s readers’ computers, I found this article somewhat disappointing. The bulk of the article is devoted to demonstrating what no one (not even the most rabid XP fanboy) would dispute–that XP is the oldest of the extant Microsoft OSes. Apart from XP’s age, however, I found little evidence to convice the reader that XP is now so insecure that it should no longer be used (as the article’s conclusion forcefully states). I wonder how much malware is “focused on taking down XP” to the exclusion of Vista and Windows 7, especially since the main attack vectors these days are not the operating system, but third-party software (especially Adobe products and Java). No evidence was cited in support of that claim. Certainly the newer versions of Windows have fewer vulnerabilities out of the box than XP; Microsoft has learned over the years how to make the operating system more secure. But to be convincing, the author needs to compare fully-patched versions of XP with fully-patched versions of Vista and Windows 7. This he did not do. And while it is certainly true that Microsoft can’t get all of the vulnerabilities in XP patched, the same is true of Vista and Windows 7, which are also constantly being patched. (In fact, from time to time Microsoft issues patches that address vulnerabilities in Vista and/or Windows 7 that do not exist in XP.) His claim that XP “doesn’t properly address the problems of today and can pose a definite danger to the user, while giving an illusion of security” is not supported by the evidence presented in the article. Such a claim ignores the reality that XP, three service packs and innumerable updates later, is a far cry from the original 2001 version.

    It is true, of course, that support for XP is going to end. But that is still more than two and a half years away (July, 2014), and hence is irrelevant at the present time. Eventually, support will end for Vista, Windows 7, 8, etc. as well. It is also true that ideally everyone should update to a newer version of Windows. But until XP is no longer supported, many people will stick with it (last I heard, XP is still used on almost half of all computers running Windows). That is particularly true since, as has been pointed out in other posts in this thread, updating to a newer version of Windows isn’t cheap.

    In short, I found this article to be well intended, but poorly reasoned, and not up to the standards I have come to expect from this excellent website.

  35. Eric Z Goodnight

    @Brian Mills: You’re criticizing me for not comparing XP to fully patched Vista and Windows 7. Did you read the section in the middle where I link to Microsoft’s test of exactly that?

  36. CarlB

    I have XP with the latest feature package. I use it to run Quicken. I have Norton/Symantec anti virus on it and I have no problems. Why pay a mint for Windows of the Month when I don’t need it. Why do so many others use XP? It works fine and does not require a system upgrade to newer and faster hardware.
    That’s my reason.

  37. Brian Mills

    @Eric Z Goodnight

    First, I apologize if you felt I was attacking you personally, That wasn’t my intent. I was merely questioning the validity of some of your arguments. But regarding the chart, all it proves is the obvious truth that Windows 7 is more secure than XP (just as it is also more secure than Vista); it does not logically follow that XP (or Vista) is therefore so insecure that readers should immediately dump it, as your strongly-worded conclusion suggests.

  38. Frank

    No way, Jose! Now that I have almost come to understand how to do things in WinXP [yep, I am a slow learner!] and now that it is a stable OS [no more "blue screens of death" and other inconveniences!] … why I have not had to re-install this OS for a whole year! There is no way I am going to stop using it until the very last minute!!!! As CarlB justsaid, “It works fine …” So no thanks … although truth to tell I do have Vista and Win7 on my lap-top … for emergencies! (Smile!)

  39. Hisa

    I do IT Support for a living, and we STILL have some XP 32-bit systems here!!! All because there are software designers out there who still refuse to support anything else or 64-bit OS. We have rolled out Win7 to every possible person, but have to hold back because of other companies. I wish everyone would get on board with the times.

    And for the record, the whole IT department groans, moans, and pounds their fists into their desks everytime we have to use or watch someone use an XP machine. It is torture!!

  40. LMS

    I deeply appreciate the comments from the person who said he was tired of relearning how to do familiar tasks. With Mac OS 10.2 though 10.6 I did not need to relearn much to keep up with changes. To go from Office 2003 to Office 2007 or XP -to- Vista/7 it nearly caused a panic in everyone at my workplace when things disappeared or moved, etc.

    Win7 is way better than XP in many ways. They should have a “skin” for the old-timers that allows them have the exact same user experience with the benefits of the upgraded security and access to newer hardware features.

    Apple understand UI and how it affects society. Microsoft may be doing great on technology but changing the UI is like rebranding your company. After a while people get tired of it.

  41. Hisa

    @LMS
    They do have a way to change the look back to XP. I believe you can find that information here.

  42. gene

    I have lots of games.. word processors that run very well on XP so the marketing boys and girls want me to buy all new (and improved) games every time I upgrade OS’ … so this is my objection to ditching XP

  43. Eric Z Goodnight

    @Brian: No worries. XP is statistically more dangerous than any other OS in the market as there is more malware developed for it and it has security holes that Microsoft can’t allocate the resources to fix. It’s basically the biggest target out there and support is running out fast. Every day a user continues to use XP is a day closer to a malware attack, rootkit, or keylogger that goes unnoticed. It bothers me because so many people are cavalier about malware. Patched or not, XP is more vulnerable than anything else in the market, the two supported versions of Windows included.

  44. anekretia

    as a musician, xp professional, is the most usable windows OS. All the new fangled versions, every version since XP has issues with hardware AND software that make the good sound cards we spend so much on as recording artists, useless, or very troublesome. I didnt read every response, but I am willing to bet not many, if any were from a musician that records on their home pc. Dont even get me started on live performance issues that xp doesnt have vs. those other OS’s and let us not forget that every windows od released, had issues, massive ones, and were released early regardless as the next big thing.
    Unless someone is going to give me a apple mac pro, then i have to remain with xp until i can no longer. Apple is the only other alternative for me, and I simply cannot afford those machines.

  45. Weezyrider

    When there is nor more security from the AV, FW and AMW I use, the laptop will be switched to a form of Ubuntu. However, I do have some specialty programs that run best on XP, so they are on separate boxes with NO ONLINE ACCESS. With no access, security is not a problem.

    Windows still needs a way to strip out all the extra crap like Ubuntu or rooted Android.

  46. Mark the Unruly

    CarlB,

    I’m with you on this, I have 10 PC’s at home, 9 of them are running Windows XP, all 9 of them are patched and running fine. The now sit behind a hardware firewall (previously it was Mandriv Multi Network Firewall on PC 11). All of them have free or ISP supplied AV and I haven’t had a virus on any of them.

    Tell me, why should I spend the money to upgrade to Win 7? The 10th PC which I’ve recently built for my wife to replace her old PC has Win 7 , but I see no need at all to upgrade the rest. Why spend several hundred pounds to get somethiung I don’t seem to need.

    Mark

  47. kk

    I would love to upgrade, but I do not have the money, and or the system to handle windows 7…. I am still on windows xp, and not really by choice…

  48. Roger W

    I work from home. Through a VPN set up I copy data from the office and paste it in forms on web sites I am working with. For me that function is very important and reduces my efficiency 50% if I cannot use that. Unfortunately for me, the copy-paste which works beautifully with XP does not with Win 7. Apparently one of the Win server 3 updates has caused the problem and it appears there is no fix in the works. All the work arounds I had researched and tried have failed. I had to drag out my old computer with XP. Thankgoodness I still had it.

  49. daeh ttub

    Upgrade from XP to Vista? Ha! How much ad money/swag do you get from Microsoft? I enjoy your articles but this is a bit much. My new laptop runs Windows 7 and it constantly freezes/crashes and restarts itself. Very annoying. My backup laptop and old desktop runs XP and it’s nice and stable. There is a reason corporate IT departments stick with XP. Yes, by 2014 I will be all Windows 7 but as long as XP is supported I will continue to use it along with Norton 360 Premier for protection (yes it’s a hog and bogs down even my new quad core…). I have been disappointed by the lack of quality control from Microsoft with its new releases of Windows, Office, Outlook, etc. and am one of many reluctant and disgruntled Microsoft users that keep a backup PC/laptop running with the old stuff when the newer stuff crashes.

  50. @knipknup

    Well, upgrading to windows 7 would require me to buy new hardware. Then what would I do with my two laptops and desktop? Well, exactly what I’m doing with them now… running LINUX!! Thanks but no thanks. I’ll save my $$ for something cool.

  51. Patrick

    Funny how everyone is trying to push the latest crap from Microscoft. Funny how they can’t make a product, let alone something reliable.

  52. Joel Andes

    When i first upgradeed to XP all my game contollers no loger worked because the game controller manufacturers refused to make drivers for them same with my scanner an webcam I was especially disappointed when my steering wheel an peadls didn’t work so all my need for speed games were useless.When i upgraded to Vista in 2007 all of a sudden games were not compatible my burning rom was not compatible 1 out of 3 software programs were not compatible. I upgraded to win 7 in June same thing not compatible not compatible not compatible why should win 8 be any different. This is the kind of crap that mac users love to here.

  53. dump_

    So XP is old but is still supported, the information/detail of a users must be adhered to is all… eg: paid av…a descent firewall…patching adobe or any other software used. Writing an article like this is obvious and really boring htg.
    Get solid information from MS and i will read the next security piece of info you post. XP is still safe and is not dumped…..requirements are patching and with a half smart user….sigh…pebkac htg..
    Listen to some users who know what they are talking about in these posts…greetz
    -2 geek points

  54. Anonymous

    To Eric Z Goodnight who replied,

    @Anonymous: Maybe you should reread that article, particularly the part where it says that I wrote it.

    I did read it. In fact, I read both articles. Thanks! Sorry I didn’t mention that you were the author there too ( http://www.howtogeek.com/76628/online-safety-who-says-macs-dont-get-viruses/ ). Frankly, I forgot who wrote what since these articles do go by quite fast.

    In any case, my point about Macs was simply that no one should “assume” that a Mac is “better.” And it looked to me like that’s what you wanted to say. Comparing Macs to Windows is like trying to compare Tomatoes to Oranges. (Sorry, I could use the more familiar saying but I didn’t want to confuse anyone). But in the case of Windows XP to Windows 7 it’s like comparing ripe tomatoes with rotten ones. (And I bet you can guess which OS is the rotten tomato.)

    But personally, I object to the arrogant mind set that Macs are somehow “better” or something. They’re not. Your own article(s) shows partly why too. And when you throw in the price of a Mac and the draconian Mafia-like terms of use – especially when it comes to third party commercial software on a Mac – some might even say that Macs are worse! So sorry if my point was unclear.

    But since we’re really talking about affordability it sounded to me like you wanted to make the suggestion to @infmom that he/she should get a Mac. And that’s where I say (A)bort, (R)etry, (F)ail since I think we can all agree that Mac’s are not very affordable – - even when compared to Windows.

    L8R

  55. The Unbeliever

    Seriously? With only limited exceptions, there is no real reason to move beyond (hold on to your mice here, boys and girls) Windows 2000 SP4. “What crazy talk is that?” you just screamed. I have a P3 1GHz, with 512 MB RAM, a 256MB AGP4 graphics card, and NO security software. For almost all my work, and this is my primary system, this is more than sufficient and more than fast enough. True, I don’t game (except maybe some Sudoku) but I do stream audio and video regularly. I have had zero (0, no, none, zilch) malware infections in the past 6 years and only one forced shut down in the past 4. I run the system 24/7 and routinely reboot every 4 weeks when I complete a battery of diagnostic tests and other maintenance activity (dust it out, etc.). I did have to completely abandon IE a couple of years ago, but this was really no big deal as I had all but stopped using it in favor of Opera and FF. BTW, I am a professional IT guy with experience going all the way back to pre-Win3 (can you even remember a command line prompt for DOS 5?) so think twice before discounting my opinion.

  56. Joel Andes

    hey if you don’t make a minimal middle class wage of $55.00 an hour then stick with XP corporations are only concerned with people with lots of disposable income. I had to build my own computer in 97 because I couldnt afford $5000.0 for a measly 1000mhz pc and having building them evere since except for 2 laptop purchases

  57. Patrick

    @Eric
    That is why you get prevention software. If doesn’t matter what you run, if you don’t protect it. You can run the newest os, but if you run it naked, you gonna catch viruses, etc.

  58. dump_

    lol…@theunbeliever, the real IT crowd is speaking @ htg now.
    Listen up ladies and gentleman….I hope the guy who wrote the article duznt get flamed….
    Peace.

  59. Mark the Unruly

    Unbeleiver, sounds like you’ve been using PCs as long as me :) Sadly I can remember a command line prompt for DOS 3.3…. I think I’m showing my age.

  60. Ian

    I completely agree with TECHLOGON….safety/security majority of the time depends on user knowledge…. ofcourse windows made something newer cause they implemented more this and that….

  61. lostnsavd

    Yup! Here we go again! Next thing we’ll be hearing, “Time to get rid of Vista, and Windows 7 now that Windows 8 about to make its debut.” Please!

    If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. But if it isn’t working to your standards, by all means…upgrade.

  62. jdwalcott

    What about XP on a corporate intranet, 1700 stores,,, still a problem?

  63. Dave Wilson

    Maybe I’m easy to please, but I enjoyed the article more than many I’ve read lately and the sharing of reasonable but differing points of view is refreshing.

  64. Svend

    Changed my Dad’s computer to Win7 about a month ago. He is 75 and he has taken to it quite well. I enforce UAC but he knows tha admin password. It means less junk gets installed without him being aware of it.
    Hopefully no more fixing dreaded Red-X fake AV infections.

    It’s interesting that the infection rate for Server 2008 R2 is actually higher than Windows 7. It may reflect that the IT department is quicker to adopt newer OS for the datacentre than they are to deploy to the desktop. Naturaly deploying to the desktop is uaually a bigger project. However I would have thought that servers would have been more tightly controlled and less exposed and hence less succeptible to infection. It’s a little disconcerting to be honest.

  65. jdwalcott

    All of the people who keep saying this is a ploy to make users get a newer product,,,,,,,COME ON!!!!!
    Windows is more felxible and compatible than most. Look at smart phones like DROID,,, after a year, no more Android OS updates without a new phone, apple the same way. XP is 10 years old, what a great investment for someone who bought it five years ago or more. Try that with a smart phone.

  66. Speedo2626

    Wow so I guess I shouldn’t complain about the sparse support for my Windows 95 laptop…
    But then it never goes surfing anyway, can’t keep my balance and keep falling off!
    But hey is still putts along all 32 megs of memory and 40 meg harddrive….
    Can’t go anywhere with it since the battery died long ago and now it only survives via it’s remote power supply….. Someday when that dies then I guess I’ll take it out and shoot the old compaq…
    Till then party on!!!
    Guess that’s what we all have to look forward to in the end!!!
    NO SUPPORT!!
    OH NO My stockings are falling down….again!

  67. Joe O'Loughlin

    Standards are wonderful, everyone ought to have at least one.
    I’m perfectly happy with my still running Win98 box – the newer
    stuff won’t run several app’s and re-writing them isn’t an option.
    I have numerous XP boxes. All of them are perfectly functional
    and none have had a virus – ever. Do I use the net, you bet I do
    but I am extremely careful.

    I have one Win 7 box – NOT stable at all. Win 7 is not an option
    on most of the XP boxes due to hardware limitations – memory
    size in particular. Speed is not an issue. My XP boxes, as a
    group, are visibly faster than a Win 7 box.

    I should also mention that I also use a DOS based box for some
    of my activity. It has WIN 3.1 which I used once and have left
    it alone since then. As late as 2000 I was doing half of my
    productive work on that box.

    My Win experiences are confined to WIN 98 and WIN XP except
    for my lone WIN 7 box. I will cruise along with the old stuff well
    past the 2014 dead time – if I have the luxury of being among
    the living at that time. I’m well along in age and may well be
    gone from the scene by 2014 in which case it won’t matter
    and neither will the endless grousing about WIN upgrades
    and expenses.

  68. Anonymous

    To The Unbeliever,

    You say you still use Windows 2000 have it on 24/7 and haven’t had a virus, malware or been compromised? Really? How do you know? Have you seen what Wikipedia has to say about it? ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_2000 ) The following paragraph almost leaped off the page at me:

    Microsoft marketed Windows 2000 as the most secure Windows version ever at the time;[17] however, it became the target of a number of high-profile virus attacks such as Code Red and Nimda.[18] For ten years after its release, it continued to receive patches for security vulnerabilities nearly every month until reaching the end of its lifecycle on 13 July 2010.[2]

    Microsoft hasn’t even been supporting Windows 2000 for 15-months now. Any holes that anyone may have found since it’s demise still exist! And there have been plenty of holes with it’s close cousin Windows XP too. So I ask again. How do you even know you’re safe with an OS that has had a history of security problems month after month for over 10 years especially now that it’s unsupported? How do you know someone isn’t cracking into your (Win2K) system right now? How do you know your system’s data is secure – or do you even care? When you get hacked (and it’s only a matter of time), do you think you’ll actually see a guy like in the movie Tron or something?

    Get real! Admit it. You’re just too cheap (maybe too stupid/lazy) to update. There’s a name for people like you – victims!

  69. Alfred D

    Assuming one stops using IE, doesn’t click on the dancingbunny.exe attachments and avoids Outlook Express with its hideously insecure preview pane etc, XP is fine. Used it for ten years without issue. Avast free antivirus is handy for the thousand to one chance a random click takes you to a shady script (which, using updated Chrome or Firefox with noscipt, is really unlikely to do any damage).

    In business, on the other hand, the number of corporate networks whose clients exclusively use IE6 is terrifying. Accidents waiting to happen.

    Regardless of that, Win7 is not a panacea. It will not save you if you don’t know that the free screensaver with malware toolbar can hurt you. Experienced users can make any OS get up and dance, so they know not to feel pressured by articles like the above.

  70. john3347

    Forget XP, I am refusing to give up Windows 2000 until something more stable comes from along.

  71. Ivydapple

    I’ll be sad to see XP go. Windows 7 is and forever will be my favorite OS, but still. ;( Valid reasons for giving it up, though….

  72. AUDIOMIND

    People won’t give up XP because it WORKS, regardless of any window (pun intended) dressings you can put on Vista or 7. People don’t like change, especially when what they have works for what they do.

  73. Don

    Oh, Windows 7 is secure, alright. So secure that half the time I’m denied access to my own “libraries”.

  74. Steve

    XP is fine, especially for the geekier set.

    For me, I invested countless hours/months/years becoming an expert on XP and am frankly not nearly as interested in getting that geeked out over “7″, although it is on my main box. (and I’m sorta geeky on it but not like XP) Using XP on my backup/media box is perfectly secure and acceptable. Maintenance is also a breeze, unlike Linux that gacks on even the tiniest update.

    Age does NOT equal insecurity although the author implies it does.

    OK, for the neophyte, yes they should ABSOLUTELY move to 7. Who of us hasn’t seen an XP device LOADED with malware/rootkits/virii, etc. But ya know what? In no time at all, those same people are gonna have those Win7 boxes full of crap too. Maybe a little less than the XP of old but, I’d bet not.

  75. Ian

    Yes XP is a dinosaur. but the danger to XP is not the OS itself, it’s the silly stupid windows abuser that believes everything they see on the screen via pop-up.
    I have 2 XP machines, 1 Vista and 1 running W7.
    My two XP machines are a Dell D610 laptop, still ticking away just fine and nice. The other XP machine is the dual boot option on my Tower, which is also a W7 rig.
    My Asus G2K-A1 is my vista rig.
    The most twitchy, and whacky behaviour I find is from my Dual boot tower.
    The danger to Vista & 7 [the same OS really; Vista is "paid for beta-ware] is Microsoft.
    I’ve told them time and time again,.. remove the holes BEFORE YOU RELEASE.
    Fact: Microsoft changes things needlessly. 2000 to XP. lot of pointless changes to make things pretty for all the know nothing tools out there. Takes us that know more about the systems to find things all over again, because XP and everything afterwards were designed for idiots, by idiots.
    W7 is by far the most twitchy system I’ve encountered. Crashes my games like every 2 hours. I can set an alarm by my system crashes. And I neer report them to MS Goons, because I’ve never seen a patch-fix from them that works.
    Eset NOD32 and XP is a good combo, but turn off the firewall. it’s a joke and ches on your resources.

  76. Wayne Riker

    I simlpy can’t afford to switch. I’ve been laid-off over a year.I’m using my XP machine for school so I can GET a decent job in IT. Microsoft’s test says my machine will not run Windows 7. So I’m stuck. Can’t buy a replacement on unemployment benefits.

  77. DakDik

    Unless my CAD and other software will run on a newer system, I will never upgrade. At $4,500 each copy for CAD it is ridiculous to buy a new OS and then have to purchase new software just because of a sales pitch from someone about the sky’s falling. That also applys to all my software from word processing to spreadsheets to drainage to highway design to water line design to sewer design to pavement design and on and on. It has to be backwards compatible with older software being used in the private sector, by cities, military, states, county and federal government. All these entities work together and swap files daily. Neither the private sector or government can afford to run out and buy hundreds of thousands of copies of software just because Microsoft decides to issue a new OS.

    In Figure 17 do the numbers pertain to each copy or do they need to be adjusted to reflect how many copies of each OS are running?

  78. Larry Jacobsen

    I have two machines and my wife one. Hers runs Win 7 Home premium and has had one virus/malware that she probably got from Facebook. I upgraded my laptop from Vista to to Win7 Professional with a clean install so that I could run Virtual PC on it. I can’t begin to be productive on it for it is too slow since the upgrade.
    My 4 yr old XP machine was crashing so often I bought a new 64bit Win7 Ultra with 16 gBytes of ram. It flies, but crashes too often. Worst of all, it has Windows Live mail which creates problems for some recipients in that they cannot do a siimple “Reply.” but have to retype my address in manually. A number of people do not even receive mail sent by it and I have to use my gmail account to get it through. What irks me the most however is the fact that I can’t do refined file searches the way I did in XP. The only virus I ever had was in an earlier ME machine I had upgraded to XP. I had been away and my virus protection had expired. My first act was to renew that protection, but got an instant virus instead.

  79. Chasboz

    I would love to be rid of XP but reality keeps dragging me back to yester year. I support a community library catalogue which needs MS Access to use complex macro’s that do not exist in any open source alternative database programme; and yes I have tried WINE with very poor results.

    So tech heads find me a Linux based database application that can match MS Access for macros and it will be goodnight Vienna for Xp finally.

  80. Clarence

    Have 2 computers one a Dell Optilex GX270 2.8 gig and one an old Athlon Thunderbird 800 Mg. The Dell runs a three OS boot: XP SP3, Vista SP2, and Win 7. The Athlon runs a dual boot: Win98se (with all availble patches applied) and XP SP3. My set up runs an automated backup on a daily basis from the main system I use (Dell) to the Athlon. If one goes down the other just steps in without missing a beat. Works grreat. With Win 7 and Vista the back up won’t work at all no matter what I do. (This includes all the suggestions from MS,etc.) With XP SP3 no problems. I’ll stick with something that works for me and when I can’t then switch. Already have plans to redo the Dell to a XP, Win7, Win8 system when it comes out, but until XP isn’t supported anymore, it will be my default boot system.

  81. BAW30s

    Anonymous, the Unbeliever is dead right. I used Windows 2000 sp4 until recently and was sorry to give it up. One of my friends has been using it for two years on a computer I gave him with no security software and has had no trouble. This is being written on an XP machine which was given to me because it was slow: now I have removed AVG, it runs well, and after two years was checked today and no malware was found despite the fact that no real time anti-virus is installed. If you have experience, you get to know if you have malware and how to avoid it. I do use on-line scanners for suspect files. I am not going to panic when extended support for XP ends – after all, as the newer systems become more common, they will be targeted – and frankly I question how essential all those patches are. My ladyfriend works for a big company and was contentedly still using Windows 95 at work last year until her computer’s hard drive finally failed. I dislike Vista and 7 for a number of reasons, including its appearance, the constant nags and the irksome need to get the appropriate permission whenever trying to install a program or make other modifications. Furthermore, they are so bloated. XP fits on a CD with room to spare and does just about anything worthwhile that its successors can do. It is still the most widespread operating system in the world because it is effective.

  82. George

    Well I bought Windows 7 Ultimate and ran it for a week and was so frustrated by it I dumped it and went back to Windows XP pro. Windows 7 trying to delete files and directories took forever to do so,a simple task under XP I will run Xp into the ground I hate Windows 7!

  83. Neb

    The problem that I believe we all have is that we are considering any kind of Windows whatsoever.
    If we have to stick to Windows (how ever ridiculous that is) I would rather have XP then any other Windows simply because it is cheaper, smaller and works relatively good if compared with other versions.
    However, if one is after security, speed and stability and for less money or even free – Linux is the answer.
    I know – Windows guys are to brain washed to admit it…

  84. Dave

    I grew up on pre-DOS, DOS, and Windows, so I’m very adapted to OS’s changing. However, with all the problems in the Windows world and the bloated prices of Mac systems, I switched to Linux about nine years ago. I’m not here to bash MS or push Linux – it’s just a fact that Linux is a more stable, secure system. I understand that most software is written for the MS platform, not saying it isn’t. However, unless it’s some specialty software…. why not give Linux a try? I’ve used many, many versions of Linux as well as Windows. Ubuntu or Mint are probably the two most user-friendly Linux desktop environments, they are free, and are a lot less aggressive for hardware requirements and system resources.

    When governments start dropping Windows because of security and cost issues, it’s probably time for the average user to at least consider it as well. (Google it. You’ll see.)

    Is Linux the answer to every computer-based argument? Absolutely not – but compared to systems running XP there is no competition.

  85. Rob`

    If windows was so insecure as the author of this article would have us beleive then why are most bank, and major corperations still using windows xp on their machines? I have replaced hundreds of new machines in banks most of them have a windows 7 sticker or are a duo core or quad core cpu, but they install window xp on their machines. If it was so unsafe as the author would have us believe then why do these companies still refuse to use windows 7 or vista???

  86. Tim McDonnell

    Yes it’s going to happen over time. Around this home network we have just added a 2nd Win 7 PC for my wife’s birthday. Two down and four PCs to go. The hipster comments about XP above are amusing but not always helpful. Having a fleet of largely the same Dell 8200 boxes had it’s advantages but I’m starting to let go now. Work is going over 2012 budgets and I was asked if I could get by another year out of XP pro laptop and I replied I could. Seriously people, it’s going to be okay it’s not right away.

  87. Rob`

    I doubt your statement is true that Most geeks would recommend people to upgrade to windows 7, this just is not true. Unless you are typically talking about a home geek, but not IT techs in the computer field. I agree many people use what they can afford, and if they can only afford a cheap pc, or keep their family pc, why would you reccommend people to ditch xp. This is the operating system that most people are familiar with, and it takes much fewer resources to run then does vista or windows 7. I have removed many viruses on systems as part of my IT work although the majority of them may have been on xp machines, but then the majority of the machines out there still have windows xp, at least on the systems I work on. Most of the malware was on the machine due to third party software like java and adobe products, and not due to the os itself. I do beleive that there may be more holes in the operating system but most of the patches are doing a good job protecting the system. I recommend my customers to keep the system updated and ensure that you have a good antimalware/antivirus program running on the system and 95 % of the time they do just fine.

  88. Cliff K.

    You say up grade from XP ,so what do i do with softwear not compatible with Win 7/8 no longer in production?? My disks are used in family history research and even win XP has a problem with some.
    Your article comes a cross very supportive of Microsoft and some what bias and if your advice were followed we would make Microsoft even a richer company…Security is not a problem with most people as you perceive as the average person has nothing on the computer of interest to a hacker.
    I for one who is a senior citizen consider Microsoft and the constant incomplete Windows that constantly get released as revenue raising and a waste time to use,will they ever produce a system that is basically complete that only needs refinement in some areas????
    Cliff K.
    Australia

  89. Cerveza

    What is MS doing about supporting Netbeui for Vista and Win7?
    There are a lot of shops where their CNC machines will only support NetBeui.
    That means an XP machine to transfer programs back and fourth.
    NetBeui was made by IBM? I have not seen any 3rd party alternative to it
    to plug into Win 7. Would love to be able to upgrade but the CNC world moves
    at an even slower pace.

  90. Gary

    Any user regardless of which operating systems he or she is using must follow a simple rule. If you drive a car then you know that maintenance is a must if you want to get mileage and safety for years. The same applies to your computer. I use a free cloud anti-virus software and an installed software that warns me when an executable file previously unknown tries to execute. A small footprint that works. I defrag my drive regularly with 3rd party software which is very fast and I run an anti malware detector once a week. Microsoft Security Essentials is also a must. My XP desktop of ten years is fast and reliable. Yes, I’ve experienced trojans but they are easily quarantined and destroyed. When your machine slows down it’s not hard to analyse the problem. The best part of my learning curve is teaching people of all ages how to use their computers safely no matter what operating system they are using. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. . .

  91. DH

    My last MS OS product that I purchased and installed on my personal systems was Win 98 SE and i remember the wailing and gnashing of teeth when XP came out….just Google some old archived material and you will stir up some fine memories of yesteryear. I do have XP installed on a couple stand-alone systems devoted to Ham Radio operations (these were junkers that I resurrected), but for day to day use, Linux has been my OS of choice for use since Mandrake (now Mandriva 6.1) but currently use Ubuntu 11.10 and have been a fan of Ubuntu since 4.10 Warty.

    I’m not commenting to extol the benefits of Linux, far from it….I found XP, properly maintained IS a competent operating system for most day to day uses, and most business/office needs….but so is Linux, Mac OS, Vista….heck back in the early 80′s my Commodore 128 running CP/M was an office centerpiece and was able to keep up with any other computers built by Heath/Zenith (remember Z-Dos) or IBM running DOS or Windows 1.0 (or my old trusty Kaypro with 8 in floppies)?

    The grim reaper is definitely waiting behind the door to strike on April 9th, 2014, but I suspect that XP will be with us until the end of the decade (or longer). Too bad that the XP Kernel/OS isn’t open source…. considering the total systems still operating out there, it would sure take a bite out of Microsoft’s sales for the foreseeable future….I doubt any operating system will ever match the market saturation level that XP enjoyed, given the coming of the inevitable cloud.

  92. Ronnie

    Some of you computer geeks are really disparaging to the non geeks in your coments,calling us stupid and losers. I had to smile a little as I read your comments and noted all the misspelled words and poor sentence structure. I have to marvel at your ability to understand computers. Sorry..just poking a litle fun at you, I am glad for you. Many of us who are not geeks have very busy lives and our reasons for needing to use the computer does not include delving into the workings of the OS. As for me I have spent the last five years trying to get along with XP and it does run my cad system. I have no intention of learning any new Windows system, because I know if it becomes as widely used as XP it will be hacked mercilessly. I will install Ubuntu for surfing and dual boot it with windows. I will only use windows to run the programs I can’t run with Ubuntu. Hopefully when hackers and malware move on XP will become a safer OS.

  93. yovi rendri

    Windows XP for Intel Atom.

  94. dayOne

    Unbeliever, you are right on target. I started as a Fortran IV coder on an IBM mainframe. Bill has succeeded in 1) brainwashing early users & 2) making it too expensive for businesses to change later. Thus, we now have an unethical coercive global market model which has spread widely largely (IMHO) due to his influence.
    The answer is simple: all users need to educate yourselves & learn to think critically. I apologize in advance for my obvious arrogance, but I could not refrain from commenting this time. Thank you all!

  95. V10

    @Rob` The reason they use XP is because the people who make the decisions on the move typically are the people in charge of the money, not the IT. Large companies have policies for things like what operating system will be used on the computers. It is not as simple as “Oh, I’ll just have windows 7 on any newer computers and leave XP on the rest”, it’s more of an all or nothing thing.

    The employees large companies have are also not necessarily good at learning new things. If you change the OS for the entire company, there are bound to be some slower workers that will lose hours of productivity simply because they cannot cope with the change. Is this W7′s fault? No. Does it mean XP is still as good as W7? No to that too. It just means that the company would suffer delays as collateral damage… Delays that cost money.

    Another unfortunate fact is that large companies often have custom written software commissioned for them.. sometimes for tens of thousands of dollars. This software is often poorly written and given no support in the future.. meaning that updates for new operating systems are expensive or impossible to come by. This again is not W7′s fault, but a lack of foresight on either the company or programmer’s part.

    All of this to say that just because companies do things a certain way doesn’t mean that they are particularly good practices. Businesses are businesses. They’re there to make money. Often times that means sacrificing and cutting corners, which is exactly what anyone who still uses Windows XP is doing.

    @Everyone else complaining

    If your Windows 7 is unstable, you’re likely doing something wrong. I do tech support for a user base of several hundred people, and upgrading as many as I can to windows 7 has nearly put me out of business. Why? Because each customer who switches from their 5-8 year old XP computer to a new W7 one goes from needing to call me for support every few weeks to every few months or years.

    As for the price.. Windows 7 Home Premium is only $99 for an OEM copy. That’s how much it costs me to fill my car’s gas tank twice, or what some people spend in a single night out on the weekend. If you can’t spend that much on a piece of software that is the foundation for everything you do on your PC, you need to get some perspective on the value of things in life.

    It’s not Microsoft’s responsibility to halt innovation just because some of you are unable to get a job. They’re not trying to trick you. There’s no conspiracy. Get over it.

  96. jdwalcott

    Business XP users I understand and agree with. For the average home user and home networking user, try windows 7. Its feature packed and efficient. Its easier for the person who has a fear and a lack of understanding of computers to learn. Microsoft made some great improvements with win 7. I was set on XP during the Vista era and skipped it. Vista may work well for some people but it was a half ass attempt at capturing sales by microsoft. I have used the win 8 developer preview and it leaves a lot to be desired. We will see what the final product brings I guess!

  97. Pettros

    As a user of windows since 3.1 I think, can only see development and better OS continue to roll out. This is life, lets get on with it.
    Comment on credit for Ford Convertible???? Picture I see would guess is 48 Buick or around there.
    Great stuff here.
    Thank you

  98. Gordon

    If I want to use XP (which is the same exact NT kernel as 7/8, by the way) and I do not care which OS you use, why do you care what I use?
    I have several computers (various reasons, members of the family, etc) and have set them all up the same way, which is working just fine:
    Win XP Pro or XP Home
    MS Win Shared Computer Toolkit -OR- MS SteadyState on all, with Windows Disk Protection set to not allow any changes that don’t come from the admin (me). Yes, I’m a dictator.
    All current with latest Service Packs and updates installed manually by me, about once a week.
    Antivirus updates run about once a week. I despise auto-updates, and with the SCTK or SteadyState I don’t need to put up with updates delays on boot up.
    Most machines only go to standby and get rebooted only about once a week, but a few are shutdown after every session. Nothing goes without reboot longer than about a week.
    Any family member that insists on using MSIE is ridiculed and reprimanded, and shown Firefox or Iron. MSIE is ONLY used for Windows Update, by me.

  99. Ken

    I too had a terrible time changing over to windows 7. I have always had XP pro in Spanish, and realized that I could not get win 7 here in the US in Spanish. Finally I got Win 7 Ultimate, which allows you to pick your language, and am very pleased. The only problem is that it seems to take forever to load some of the programs, much longer than XP. I have a Intel core2 duo installed, about 1.5 years old.

  100. rur42

    Thanks, I’ll keep using XP as my primary OS. Win7 seems clinky and awkward by comparison and worst of all, I can’t use my old Dos programs without a clumsy workaround — I could perhaps if I got a copy of Win7 32 bit, but all the new machines run 64 bit 7.

    I use Wordstar as my chief wordprocessor and still use and old simple database called Datastar. With XP I am able to work in a Dos window (ok, command window), and I use several other dos utilities to quickly change directories, find files and so on. Run batch files too, and back up from a …floppy (!) These are indispensable and have prevented me from moving into Vista and Win7 — which I am loathe to do given my aversion to the interfaces. Shall I mention that all my computers with XP also have …parallel ports because Wordstar works best for me with Postscript printers and my old Laserjets have parallel interfaces–which is just as well because ya can’t print with Wordstar through a USB parallel connection, just saying. This bit of old technology has been with me through CP/M, early Dos, Win95, 98, Win2000 (I skipped ME) & XP. I’m extremely reluctant to give up this system which has worked so well for me for the past 25 years or so through all the MS OS changes up until Vista and Win7.

    I know what you’re thinking, yes, I am a geezer, and I do have a notebook that runs Vista, one that runs Win7 and a netbook running 7 starter just for the heck of it. But XP runs my bidness machines, and will undoubtedly do so until I’m reduced to the pondscum from whence I came.

  101. apf888

    Don’t want people spreading trojans, viruses, and rootkits? Make it mandatory to take an “internet test” like a driver’s test. The majority of infections are self-inflicted, owing to not patching your PC and exercising safe computing practices.

    It’s not really a function of Windows 7 being more secure than XP — whether a system gets exploited or not is primarily dependent on the user. It’s like your house — even if you buy the most fantastic, state-of-the-art alarm system, it can be easily defeated if a legitimate user willfully turns it off and lets the burglars in. The parallel would be if someone in the family downloads something questionable and then presses “Yes” to Windows 7s’ UAC prompt. Heck, it could be done even without the UAC prompt, since the reality is that anything running with any level of privileges can still do damage up to that level of privileges (it only needs administrator to do GLOBAL system damage or open a server socket… you can still have a background process grab passwords and then send them to a remote server using internal means that wouldn’t trip UAC).

    Sure, XP might be less *safe* compared to Windows 7 since it’s been around for the last 10 years and most rootkits/trojans haven’t been adapted to Windows 7 yet, the fact remains that it is still possible to properly secure an XP machine if you know what you’re doing (and don’t run IE6… run Firefox or Chrome ;-p).

    Also, as far as widespread Windows 7 adoption, corporate (which accounts for a sizable chunk) will not change all their PCs “just because”. In fact, Microsoft had to back down from dropping XP twice and offer downgrade rights (once for Vista, once for 7) because corporate refused to budge, though some corporations are finally moving to… (surprise surprise) VISTA. ;-) ;-) ;-) Well, some are also moving to 7, but a good chunk are keeping XP for as long as they can. For IT departments, a new OS means evaulating and retesting everything, getting everyone trained and experienced with all the quirks, etc — also, add to the fact that there’s potentially dozens of lost productivity hours per employee because they would have to learn and adapt to the new OS.

    My personal experience with Windows 7: I have three Windows 7 machines and many more older XP machines (one *was* Vista) and I feel that I’ve been effectively bullied into upgrading to Windows 7 because newer equipment won’t work properly or fully on older PCs (ex: DirectX11, SSD TRIM, >4GB RAM requiring 64-bit, etc.).

    Main gripes about 7:
    1. Lots of automatic stuff in the background that goes tick tick tick boom… my first experience was Windows 7 automatically restarting after applying a patch without asking — easily fixed with a group policy adjustment, but that happened twice on two different computers resulting in lost data. Or, how wireless network uploads jump to 100% completion instantaneously…. because it’s buffered in the background by some service and the program blocks until the actual transfer is completed.

    2. Constantly busy doing stuff in the background even when “idle”. WinXP is a lot slimmer than Vista and 7. Vista was really bloated, and although Windows 7 successfully masks startup times by prioritizing and better-managing the order at which things load, it’s evident the system is heavier since the drive is always working in the background (whether it’s defrag or indexing or something else).

    3. The UI doesn’t behave the way it should sometimes, I actually had some false “empty folder” indications when sorting out some of my data rather than getting a block or disk error. Some places the UI would keep scanning the folder and take forever to copy or move things to the point using an Administrator command box would be much faster.

    4. As with any major OS change, some legacy hardware gets dropped.

    That aside, there are many fancy enhancements which can be only found in Windows7 that could but never will be backported to XP.

    Coming from the pre-DOS days and having seen many major OS transitions, only time will really tell how long it will take for Windows 7 to become the defacto standard (though it doesn’t really help that Windows 8 has been announced).

  102. Gordon

    Microsoft has an article in their knowledge base about how to use Steady-State techniques on Windows 7, as their Steady-State program is no longer available for download from them (and didn’t work on Win7 anyways). But evidently it is possible to run the newer MS OS’s in kiosk mode.
    So if and when I ever get around to upgrading, that’s probably what I’ll do. But in the mean-time, nothing at all is wrong with my Steady-State running XP.
    Really. If nothing is wrong, and there is nothing new to entice me, why should I upgrade?

  103. Speedo2626

    DH;
    Never could afford the 128, but we got by with the C64; Skiles IEEE interface and 7 SFD1001 1meg floppy drives. Used Color BBS back then, Oh yea and a whopping 2400Baud modem! Picked up the drives at a computer show one at a time! What ever happened to those shows, don’t see any of them anymore! They were fun…Lots of great stuff and Ideas from the local gurus!
    I think I still have the 51/4 floppy with Window 1 on it somewhere, probably in the attic with all the othercartridges and 31/4 junk I ve bought over the years.. Got rid of the 64 and stuff to some guy out in SanDeigo Swapped me for all that stuff and I got an Amiga 500 with a 25meg HD! Believe it a straight swap!
    Cost me almost 60 bucks back then just to ship all the stuff to him…
    Family is all grown and moved on to better things, but it sure was fun watching and learning from the kids, and how fast they grasped all this tech.
    Now I have a built unit with an AMD duo64 Athalon and 4 gigs of memory! Has a Nvidia 1gig card also PCIE I think he said….Has had XP Pro from day one and hasn’t looked back since, bout 5 mabe 6 years….Did have to change a power supply though once, the 350 wasn’t cutting it had to go to a 450…
    I have used the AVG free forever and just recently got the suite from my kid. Seems to work pretty good.Best thing is to ignore all those toolbar addons and don’t open any email you don’t know! Never ever respond to unknown emails even to unsubscribe…
    Suppose to cool off up here by the windy city, looking forward to the season change and snow!

  104. jdwalcott

    Dear Mr Gordon,

    I don’t want you to care what os I use, nor do I care what you use. Point is this… Microsoft has supported XP for over 10 years. That seems over the top to me. Get over it and move on. Win 7 has many improvements and you can’t argue that. Stop complaining and move on.

  105. Keith

    I completely agree with TechLogon and Brian Mills. I too was a bit disappointed by the article.

    I run a computer repair business and I do see more XP machines with infections than Win7 machines, but that makes sense because there are more people using XP than Win7. As many others have pointed out, you are automatically safer out of the box with Win7 because the updates are more current. If you don’t update your OS and programs, then it doesn’t matter what version of Windows you are using.

    The report from Microsoft is a bit misleading. First, it is a report from a company that has a vested interest in selling their own new software. It would be nice to see an independent analysis. Second, all vulnerabilities are grouped in that graphic. If you read the actual report from Microsoft, it explains that ” Application vulnerabilities continued to account for a large majority of all vulnerabilities in 2010, although the total number of application vulnerabilities declined 22.2 percent from 2009. Operating system and browser vulnerabilities remained relatively stable by comparison, with each type accounting for a small fraction of the total”. As others have mentioned, a majority of vulnerabilities are tied to 3rd party applications and not the OS itself.

    Another aspect missing from this article is hardware compatibility. It’s not likely that a 10 year old computer (or even anything older than 2005) will run any Microsoft OS besides XP (or below). I often have clients ask me if they should upgrade their OS from XP to Win7 and I generally advise against it, suggesting they instead upgrade their computer and get Win7 thrown in for “free”. If they are adamant then I look up their computer model and see if the manufacturer has even made available drivers for Win7. It is getting better, but there are still a lot of cases where it’s just not practical or even possible. Also, there is not a way to keep installed programs when moving from XP to Win7, which is a big turnoff for a lot of people.

  106. jjb

    It took me ages to try and get my dad to give up XP. In fact I never succedded, after I stopped tring his boss offered him a new PC; it had windows 7 on and he had no choice to downgrade it.

  107. sleeping cat

    I like XP I surf and email and for me its good, why should I pay for a new computer with Windows 7 on it.

    If I do change then maybe I will look at Linux I hear good stuff about that OS.

  108. Rainholz

    As the result on this intense discussions I will stay with my W XP SP3.Changing my computermachine at a few years,I chance the OS.

  109. Cyp van de Bult

    Of course it is better to upgrade the operating system. But there are other arguments to keep PC’s with Windows XP available:
    Most computers in my house run under Win7, but I keep one PC running under Windows XP, because else I cannot use my printers anymore (Epson Aculaser C900 and HP Laerjet 100) and because I cannot use my scanner (HP Scanjet 5100C) anymore. I even keep a PC (on the attic) avalabkle running Win98 because else I have also to replace my diascanner.

    In the past (before 1990) they wanted to eliminate the punchcard machines in our computercenter (Leyden University); I worked there at the user support department. I knew that many scientists came from abroad with boxes full of punchcards. To be able to read them in in our IBM 360 system it was necessary to make (per dataset) jobcontrol cards; these had to be punched in. It was a big fight, but the scientists were very happy that I was succesful in letting at least one punchcard machine available.

  110. Mike

    I tried upgrading to Windows 7 a while back and it slowed my operating system down so much that I got rid of it (I have 896 MB of RAM). I have a good upto date anti virus and I don’t open any emails I am not sure of. I am reasonably careful of what internet sites I use too. A few years from now people will be saying how unsafe Windows 7 is and how everyone should upgrade to Windows 9 or 10 and put even more obscene amounts of money into Bill Gates’ pocket. Windows XP is a simple system without all the unwanted extras of Windows 7, and without it’s operating problems so I’ll stick with it while my desk top and laptop last.

  111. Anil

    As per me XP is the best OS microsoft ever produced.

    I am using Win7 and testing Win 8. but for me XP is the Best stable os from Microsoft after Win98. Just compare how many years it was used. 10 years its great. Just See how many years Vista or 7 will be used. Vista ended in some 2-3 years and now Win 7 is going to updated to Win 8 with in 3 years from its release.

    No body can tell it is a scrap. we know there should be an upgrade to every thing. Windows was upgrading but tell which os we have used a lot.

  112. RobCr

    Your articles mentions -
    “something as simple as receiving email can bring infections”.
    I wonder if you could elaborate on that.
    I am assuming that I am safe, provided that -
    - I don’t open attachments
    - I don’t click links.
    If I am still at risk, I would appreciate details as to how ?

    Thanks,
    Rob

  113. Cliff Winter

    To me XP is still a good o/s. easy to understand, and stable.I have XP om my desktop, and Vista Ulitamate on my laptop. Vista far to complicated, just full of useless extras. I have no intention to update my desktop, and may even downgrade the laptop..

    Cliff

  114. Kasalacto

    XP lasted and survives so long as 10 years only because Microsoft released its predecessor Vista 5 years after its release, along with its 3rd service pack, AND because there are tons of 3rd party softwares acting as its life support covering its insecurities.

    It’s a shame people refuses to ditch XP only because their software and hardware won’t work with the newest OSs around. C’mon now, you’re just being lazy to find a better alternative. I migrated to 7 and Ubuntu with that same problem with software & hardware compatability, but survived after updating to their latest releases or finding better and even free alternatives.

    XP is a legend, so let’s give it a rest and put it in the Hall of Fame.

  115. Daniel

    As a IT tech. I love users who have XP.. I mean I would not use it myself with a 100 foot pole but all you peolpe who think your safe on that system. Thank you, from the bottom of my wallet thank you. You keep my house paid, my lights on and my toys bought in mass cause I get paid a ton to fix all that malware you so seem to love getting.

    Please keep on installing it. I got kids and collage to pay for you know!

  116. Daniel

    RobCr
    Your request seems honist and not sarcastic so I will answer.

    Just the act of opening a browser to any site in the world.. even your bank. can get you infected if that site has been hacked. Major sites are infected every day and then cleaned up. No one will get told about it if the company can hide it.

    Opening a email can based on the software you have installed run rogue code.
    Pretty much if you can see it.. then some code somewhere had to be run to open something and based on your machine it may or may not execute the hidden code in the email.

    I can 100% promise you. you may not get infected today, it may not be tommorow it might not even be this year but you absolutly 100% will get infected on XP.

    Lets be real people this is not the 80s where hackers were just out there for fun and kicks.. this is big business where millions are at stake, full teams of hackers are starting to come together in a effort to make more money…

    If you dont understand why then here. Hacker A infects 1 million machines in a year, Hacker B is not so sucessful and only gets 1000 Machines but really REALLY hates Bank of whatever… Hacker B will now days go to a site and ask for a botnet, Hacker A who has tons will sell/lease Hacker B a few 1000 machines so now Hacker B can point his code at Bank of whatever and try to steal your cash or bring its web site down with a DoS attack.

  117. Harry

    @Anonymous
    Windows 2000 was actually a very stable and very nearly break proof OS. I only retired mine 2 years ago.

  118. myztic

    Retired xp only when 7 was released. Vista was too much hassle with the bugs and security pop ups for everything. xp was good but like all good things …. they just dont last forever…..

  119. RoBanJo

    Ya Know…. I had 3 different versions of linux on my laptop and the WiFi support on all of them was lacking. Let’s see first one drops the wifi connection when going full screen with a youtube video (great), next one the wifi link drops and you need to reboot to regain connectivity and the final one the wifi link drops but it doesn’t tell you. Compare that to XP – go full screen and the wifi connection stays, wifi link drops the software automatically reconnects and finally when it does drop the software tells me it has done so. And as to other MS products – an intel core 2 duo laptop chokes on the ridiculous overhead. Till linux gets its game together I am stuck with XP (oh yeah, did you ever try to run iTunes from Linux? Give me a break!)

  120. Harry

    Never read so much rubbish in my life. I stopped updating XP over a year ago and my Firefox is version 3.5 – not 3.6, not 4, not 5 or 6 or anything else. And I download gigabytes of data every day.

    I use MSE to stop malware and I scanned my C: drive completely two weeks ago with both MSE and Malware bytes.

    The number of infections: 0.

    The commenters who are saying Windows 7 is good are the non-geeks or people who never used XP and don’t know what a good O/S feels like.

    You write more rubbish like this and you’ll lose readers.

  121. Chris

    Well, why stick to XP?
    Cause the thing is actually working and running fine for 10 years and so it will in the next years. Why bothering with the new stuff?

  122. Danielle

    Lots of good thoughts here. But changing to Win 7 will cost me a new scanner, two new printers and the need to upgrade much of my software! That’s just too expensive for me!

    I’d like to use Win 7 (or beyond) but not at the cost of having to upgrade thousands of dollars of image-handling programs. The problem seems to be that Win 7 is a 64-bit system and I have tons of apps that are 32-bits only.

    Is there a version of Win 7 that will allow me to gain Win 7 benefits without needing to buy new, 64-bit software?

  123. Daniel

    Harry
    Thanks for being one of the ones I will soon see to fix. if you think a 10 year old app is able to continue to keep up with today’s time and software then.. by all means please keep on using it. At my 155$ a hour rate. You will soon help me buy a new tablet…..

    Just because you can walk down an interstate the wrong way with a blind fold and not get killed for miles and miles does not mean you are better than anyone else, right or even intelligent.. it just means you are lucky and well.. soon to be extinct.

    And yes, I call XP a 10 year old app because any OS is just that.. a application with a splash screen that shows users a pretty pretty picture while users open other applications so like Duke Nukem.. in its day it was awsume but today. its just junk.

    Oh.. and just cause you scanned your system and your AV said its not infected. Does not mean its clean. It might just mean your infected and the infection is smarter than your AV is… catch up with the times man…. Any AV solution will tell you they cannot catch them all, some infections are designed to fool specific AV products.

  124. rd123

    For the security problem wouldn’t it be easier if all of us contributed a dollar or two to fund having the perps of these malicious programs tracked down and terminated with extreme prejudice? When we find out which Anti-Virus companies are funding these A–Holes then we can put them out of business!
    Just a thought that seemed reasonable.

  125. indianacarnie

    Well,@Harry …… I’ve used Windows products since windows95 and while I don’t consider myself a “geek” , I am the one friends and family come to for computer help. I think win7 IS “good” and I used xp for many years. I cringe when I have to work on my stepmothers,sisters and friends xp installations. If you are comfortable with the “rubbish” that is xp, that’s fine and dandy, but to imply that anyone who “knows” computers and prefers 7 over xp “don’t know what a good O/S feels like” shows your limited grasp of the discussion. Your overall tone was one of……. its new so its terrible.F.F. 3.5? XP? Come on….. there’s a whole new world out there,after all,it IS the 21st century. (if you are worried about a learning curve theres many tutorials on line to show you how to work with win7……. maybe with all gigabytes of downloading you do on a daily basis,you could check a couple of them out)

  126. Holden

    This article is about business, and is full of false statements. I have a Pentium D processor with 2 G RAM, I have a triple boot system with grub bootloader, one MS-DOS 6.22 on which I play Blockout, a Windows XP on which I work, and a Windows 7 which I never boot, simply because XP is much more comfortable.

    I have a router with built-in firewall, I have another software firewall and I have Avast Free antivirus. I make backups with Paragon, and I never lost a byte. Once I got a virus from a crack but restored my machine from backup, and did not lost anything. It’s a very crap talk that XP is not safe. You shouldn’t download cracks and You never got any virus. But if You deal with cracks You can get very nasty monsters even on Windows 8.

    I watch videos, I listen to mp3-s, flac-s, CD-s, I edit pictures, music, I program with Delphi, with Java, with Visual Studio Express, I edit my web sites, I browse the net, I use ftp and torrent, I run Linux-es on virtual machines, I use tons of free software, I can do anything with my XP on 2 GByte RAM! I rip CD-s, I write CD-s, I convert audio, video, I make fractal images, I have star maps, I can play music with my MIDI keyboard, I can record my guitar play, I grab images from my phone, I edit them, I write poems and short stories, and I write blogs and sometimes leave replies on somebody else’s blog. And this is always done on Windows XP! Nobody ever could say a thing that I can’t do with this machine, except real time simulation of the Universe.

    So don’t tell me, that my XP is ready to be replaced. Never! Only when my PC will be completely dead, and there will be no substitute parts to repair it. But only then…

  127. indianacarnie

    And if men were supposed to fly, they would have wings……….

  128. Nume Prenume

    In fact, while reading this article and following comments, I’ve just finished an up-to-date nLite’d version of Windows XP x64 SP2 (unattended install and all patched slip-streamed) which I plan to install as my main OS, replacing the current Win7 x64 SP1 OS I currently have. Been trying to find time to do this for months, while, in the meantime, I’ve been struggling with this Win7 OS that’s simply bloated.

    I have 5 years-old system with 4GB of RAM and it’s simply unusable under Win7. Networking is sluggish, system memory is loaded 67% right after boot, processor is 10% when idle. All I can do is keep a browser with 20 tabs opened and that’s about it. To top it all, I just loathe the daily updates I see when shutting starting up the system, and the fact that my 33 GB system partition doesn’t seem to suffice anymore for this disk space “hog” that Win7 has become.

    While in XP, I can keep an Oracle server running, maybe even start a Linux VM, not to mention i have the luxury of 512 MB RAM Disk all the time for temp.

    So there you have my arguments for NOT giving up XP on older hardware.
    Cheers!

  129. K9

    A lot that you say in this article are true. But can you tell me when Microsoft has ever fix a problem with Windows before going on to the next screwed up version. Now there ready to come out with another version and this version is still screwed up. And yet you are advising people to buy something thats not been fixed yet when a newer version is on the way. Please explain this!!!

  130. Adamboy7

    I have read the article (current XP user) And after seeing this, I really want to switch to a newer version of windows. My dad is normally the one who works with all the major computer updates and what not, so I am not all that in the know when it comes to the subject. So I have a question: If I upgrade from XP to windows 7 (if not 7, anything newer will be good), will I loose the files on my computer?
    Thanks,
    Adam

  131. Phil

    All of the arguments that XP is an antique because it’s old and outdated are as absurd as saying you should get rid of your house or spouse because they’re old and outdated and newer better versions are available. Granted technology keeps improving over time at an extremely rapid pace – but so has XP! It’s had three service packs so it can support USB 2.0, large hard drives, wireless networking, and other features it couldn’t support when it first came out. This won’t continue in the future – USB 3.0 will almost certainly never come to XP, but XP does what it needs to do now.

    Who cares that Youtube, Gmail, and Myspace didn’t exist when XP came out? Of course new internet applications and uses for the internet are going to come out over time. Guess what – every single one of those items supports XP and should continue to do so for a very long time!

    There are *LOTS* of accessories which work with XP and won’t work with newer operating systems. I’ve got over a dozen webcams, printers, video digitizers, and other accessories on my computer where the manufacturer has said “It’s an old (read: over two years) product so we’re not going to provide any drivers for Windows 7.” While it’s true that Windows 7 does include driver support for “legacy” devices – it isn’t anywhere as good as it should be. A combo printer-fax-scanner on XP may only have printer support under Windows 7.

    If I do upgrade to Windows 7 then a whole bunch of accessories become useless and will probably end up in a landfill – not exactly something good for the environment. And in addition to having to purchase a legally licensed copy of Windows I’ll also have to purchase new accessories.

    It’s true that you can get a copy of Windows 7 for $99 – but that’s a stripped down version. I was disgusted when I saw the “starter version” of Windows 7 so stripped that you couldn’t even replace the wallpaper! It’s way more expensive to get Windows 7 x64 ultimate professional super-powerful other fancy adjectives version. Then multiply that by the number of computers that you use.

    One of the nice side-benefits of sticking with XPs is I’m getting lots of hand-me-downs for free. My webcam (an incredibly high quality super low light model which can be modified for extremely sophisticated astronomy), my color laserprinter, and a bunch of other items were given to me for free because the person had upgraded to Vista or Windows 7 and the accessory wouldn’t work anymore.

    As a rule (and this certainly includes Windows 7) vertical markets are supported very badly when operating systems are upgrade. Other commenters have mentioned musicians, transferring cassettes, and ham radio. Even more significant is business – industrial machines which are computer controlled, cash registers which work with a particular bar code reader, etc. In many cases businesses would like to upgrade to newer operating systems but can’t because their equipment won’t work anymore.

    The argument for malware on XP you give is incredibly flawed. Malware doesn’t magically appear – it’s written by malicious programmers who want to damage as many computers as possible. That’s the key reason why there’s so little malware on Linux and Mac. If you write malware for Windows it’ll affect a lot more people. (Granted Linux, Mac, and Windows 7 all have stronger protection from malware than XP, but the argument I’m presenting is still valid). It wasn’t until very recently that the number of Windows 7 users exceeded the number of XP users. As the active number of XP users have a smaller percentage of the marketplace (as people transition to Windows 7 or 8 or other operating systems) malware writers will concentrate on producing malware for newer operating systems. (Anybody who thinks Windows 7 is malware-proof just because it’s new and has lots of programmers patching security flaws is naive.) So others transitioning away from XP is actually a benefit in terms of less future malware for XP users.

    Because there are still so many people using XP (right or wrong) many manufacturers (although not all) are continuing to support it. I just purchased a brand-new incredibly tiny USB wireless stick which is N-compatible – state-of-the-art. It supports XP, Vista, Windows 7, Linux, and Mac – not too shabby. Granted new hardware which supports XP is something which won’t last forever, at some point manufacturers stop supporting earlier operating systems as the number of users decrease.

    I’ve got no problems with upgrading my computers and operating systems when it make sense for me. My first disk operating system was version 3.1 (and I’m not talking about MS DOS 3.1 – I’m talking about Apple II DOS 3.1 which came out in 1978) and I’ve upgraded through many different operating systems – Apple II, Macintosh, MS DOS, and Windows. I’m not averse to upgrading, but sometimes it doesn’t make sense. It just isn’t worth the hassles (incompatible software and accessories) for me to transition to Windows 7 or 8 right now.

    At some point I will have to give up using XP when it no longer suits my needs. It may be next year, it may be five years from now. It’s possible I’ll transition to a new version of Windows as my operating system of choice, but more likely that I’ll go to Ubuntu because of all of its advantages (not to mention the cost difference). The most likely scenario I see is a new computer running either Ubuntu or a current version of Windows for most of my day-to-day activities and I still keep my current computer as-is running XP for specialized tasks which are incompatible with the new computer. I already do something similar – a 14-year-old Macintosh shares my network and is used whenever I need to access something on it which is incompatible with Windows.

    It’s amusing that you show items from 2001 (and earlier) to bolster your claims that XP is outdated and rusted out. I’d like to remind you that the Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990 and built with 1970s technology, is still functioning today and because of many improvements over time is still incredibly powerful. It’s main processor is an 80486 (no kidding!). When you don’t have to run a GUI operating system a 16 bit processor from the era of stone knives and bear skins is perfectly adequate for state-of-the-art science.

    It isn’t just because of the servicing missions which have made repairs and upgrades to the science instruments. Many satellites which have never been serviced by astronauts (most notably Voyager, Galileo, and the International Ultraviolet Explorer) have been improved because of better software on the satellite and improvements (hardware and software) on the ground – just as Windows XP’s performance has been improved over time by service packs and newer hardware which is just as compatible with XP as it is with Windows 7.

  132. Charley

    I am the owner of a computer company and see no valid reason to switch from Windows XP Professional.
    We do have computers in the shop with Windows 7 Pro on them. I use them to stay on board with the technical knowledge so we can repair Win-7. All of our business customers except one, use Win XP Pro and have no plans to change. Microsoft still sends out updates every week for XP. Our customers are Insurance companies, Real Estate, Title companies, and Electrical Utility companies. We don’t purchase a computer just to get the operating system, we purchase them to perform certain tasks. Office programs and other business related software will continue to work very well with Windows XP for many years to come. At a customers request we also convert XP to look like Win-7. Makes them feel good or something.

  133. Dan

    I wouldn’t be so opposed to upgrading if Microsoft didn’t screw up the UI with every version upgrade. I have Windows 7 on a box but it took a lot of time to turn off a lot of the garbage (I don’t want a Mac-style launch bar, the glass effect is ugly and distracting, the window snapping gets in the way, etc.) and I lot valuable features that stopped working after XP (such as multiple taskbars). It’s a pain to find settings. Now Windows 8 is going with the smartphone look. XP stays in the background and lets you work while newer versions of Windows try to take center stage.

    If you are stuck with Windows 7, I do recommend:
    http://rammichael.com/7-taskbar-tweaker
    http://www.locate32.net/
    (I haven’t found a good toolbar replacement)

  134. Tom Hall

    10 years old and Microsoft STILL hasn’t got it sorted! If Microsoft tried to get ANY o/s right (preferably BEFORE releasing it) we could take thwem seriously. Discontinuing support for a system like XP is just another way of forcing customers to but even more money into Bill Gates’ bank account!
    I will NOT switch fromusing XP to one of the ‘better’ (??) operating systems.
    Scrapping XP does NOT just mean buying a new (incomplete) o/s. It means buying new hardware AND new software, because MS decided to change the way things work on a PC using Vista (although nothing ever did work right on this abortive o/s) or Win 7 and Win 8.
    Many software and hardware manufacturers followed the MS lead and refused to update drivers etc, so they are no longer compatible with anything beyond XP.
    In the 0 years sinve XP, MS has introduced Win 2000, Win Millenium, Vista, Win 7 and now Win 8. NONE of these were free from problems when they were released (most of them STILL not OK) so first we must ask (1) WHY do we need FIVE new operating systems in 10 years? (Other than to boost MS staff bank accounts) and (2) WHY is MS allowed to foist their substandard, incomplete systems on to the public? (3) WHY do so many so called ‘experts’ apparently supported by HTG, continue to follow the Microsoft line that ‘Bill knows best’ and scare people into changing their operating systems.
    SHAME ON YOU!!

  135. Digitaldude

    Ok everybody’s got an opinion on XP. You make some good points in rebuttal but now I have got to ask. Who really is How To Geek and are you connected in any way whatsover with MicroSuck?
    Your rhetoric sure makes a good sales pitch for them.

  136. XXX

    I have to disagree with Windows XP being less secure then other Windows OS’s. Because Windows XP has had such a huge amount of viruses targeted at it also means that there have been a huge number of Antivirus/Anti-malware to protect it. Besides that doesn’t most viruses and infections start off with some form of human interaction like downloading it by accident? If so then it is NOT Windows XP’s fault, it is the user’s fault.

    Just cause Windows Vista (lol) and Windows 7 is newer and supposedly has more security features doesn’t mean everyone likes or uses them. I and probably a lot of people hate the “User Account Controls” that pops up every time they use or start a program. Along with other things that I don’t quite see people using like Bit Locker.

    As far as the old car- new car analogy. I would rather be in an older car like from the 1960′s or so since back then the cars was made out of metal. I’m pretty sure metal is stronger then fiberglass and plastics which is what most cars are made out of. Considering that the engine also had to move such a heavy vehicle I would even claim that their engines are better and more efficient then so many of the modern vehicles such as a Hummer. Our family owns a 1991 3 cylinder Geo Metro and it still runs and we only have to fill it up once maybe twice a month. We drive it every day.

    As for car safety features same thing. There are a lot of annoying little things like car alarms and that thing that prevents you from starting a car where you have to fiddle with your keys for like 10 minutes. Not only that but look at how many recalls companies have had because of problems like the braking systems and steering.

  137. v10

    @Phil – $99 is for the Home Premium version, not starter. Go to newegg.com and search for “Windows 7 Home Premium OEM” and you will see it there. The only things that are missing from that version are remote desktop (incoming) support, bitlocker drive encryption, and other business related tools.. which you would have no need for anyway.

    @Nume Prenume – That can’t be right. The computer I’m typing this on is a single core 2ghz processor PC with 2gb of DDR1 ram, and handling Windows 7 Ultimate without a problem. I’m going between 3-5% CPU usage and 800mb of RAM in use. Most of the ram is being used by my anti virus and Firefox and has nothing at all to do with the version of Windows I’m using.

    @Danielle – 32-Bit software runs on 64-Bit Windows 7 by default. The incompatibility issues are problems with the software and need to be checked on a case by case basis. I often even set people up with software from as far back as 1995 in comparability mode for users who insist on using their old stuff.

    @Adamboy7 – When you perform the upgrade the hard drive should be wiped. Microsoft has created a great free product called “Windows Easy Transfer” to help you migrate your files from XP to the new Windows 7 installation. You can download it and use it to automatically move your documents/photos/software settings.

  138. Bruce

    @Digitaldude . To quote Meatloaf – you took the words right out of my mouth. HTG has said before it is an active supporter of MS. QED

  139. Rocky Cassiano

    An IBM 360-30 Mainframe, running JCL, DOS-E, and COBOL… ah… those were the days……. I migrated to XP only after hardware drivers for ME were no longer available. Any one have W95 drivers for a HD5870 video card?

    How many “bugs” are looking for W98, WME?

    As long as there are after market browsers, firewalls, and anti-virus programs; XP will continue.

    After the “pulse”, cars with points, condensers, and carburetors will be the only vehicles rolling……….. think about it.

  140. Carolynn

    I just love the way computer companies find new ways to make consumers spend, “Money”. That’s the bottom line, isn’t it? Any detective will tell you, when there’s a crime, follow the money. The crime here is that companies prefer NOT to make a good product. By introducing intentional flaws to products, including computer programs, they can ensure future sales.

  141. Nigel

    Children,

    This is a long thread. And from one who is even longer in the tooth, who remembers the Sinclair zx81 .
    No issues of vulnerability there with the old tape deck.
    My point is, a friend of mine purchased a new vw car and came to show it off. He pointed out to me all it’s new security features. The car will not unlock its doors unless the ignition key is within range. Amazing. One month later, it was stolen or rather, taken. He left the keys in while he nipped in the shop.
    I have several machines around the home and all use a different OS. I love all of them like my own kids. They are tended to regularly. But like any other property, if you leave the front door open someone is going to walk in and claim your stuff.
    Win7 love it, xp love it and I even loved win 3.5. All you’ve got to do is remember to close the doors behind you.

  142. Dan

    @v10 – The OEM version is only for use with a new computer. Home Premium Upgrade is $120 and Home Premium (full) is $200.

  143. Korey

    In this economy everyone is looking for new ways to save a buck, and corporate america is looking for new ways of prying that buck out of the consumer’s hands. It’s a power struggle to say the least. The geeks can tell you, “Why pay for a product when you can hijack it off the internet through some anonymous server?” But we are not all geeks, hackers, computer nerds, etc. Most of us are just plain folk, and use our computers just to stay in touch with the world outside. The unfortunate part about all of this is that the nefarious part of the world is waiting out there, like alligators in the swamp, just waiting for us to dip our toes into the water and have them hacked off by some loner kid, in a back room somewhere, full of computer hardware, for no better reason than his/her disdain for the world outside. So what’s the difference between the loner kid in the back room somewhere and that guy who goes into the cafeteria of his high school and blows a lot of folks away. But then there are the corporate cyber criminals, stealing property, money and assets from those of us who worked so hard for it…

  144. Patrick

    @indianacarnie

    If something works, why fix it? You are not comfortable with a OS that has a proven track record, that is your problem. If you don’t like to fix the computers of those who use XP, then don’t. It is individual taste and I hate giving up all my working hardware for a glitchy bloated OS. When I leave XP, it will be to Linux because they support my hardware. 7 does not.

  145. Bill Zeidlik (aka: SuperZ)

    If XP is so bad why then do most of the major health Care Providers still use it? Kaiser in Colorado has nothing but XP at each station. So do all of the ‘outside’ caregivers use XP! My problem has not been security but speed and godd programs for XP!

  146. dump_

    ARTICLE FAIL (Updated)

  147. Robert

    I weill continue to se my XP3 & IE7 as long as possible only because I absolutely love Outlook Express and cannot live without it. Micro$oft even took OE out of IE8. I absolutely hate Windows Live Mail & can’t download it into OE as I can my ISP webmail.

  148. Andre

    @ Bill Zeidlik (aka: SuperZ)

    Appeal to authority: major health care providers
    Just because some big companies use XP doesn’t mean that XP is secure and better than W7
    It it simply because upgrading an entire company to W7 is a huge hassle.

  149. Nick Pull

    I run 2 XP desktops, a ubuntu laptop and a Win7 laptop. I think the classic car analogy is relevant but only to the point that you learn to drive it within its capabilities. Yes XP has its flaws, so does my 1986 Austin Mini, but I don’t expect modern capability. I use XP within its limitations and that’s fine for me.

  150. tokiyo

    I still use xp sp3 and i still havent got any virus into my system unless i want to,i think antivirus softwares are designed for that,i dont want to upgrade my vey old system for an operating system that runs slower than xp……….my opinion

  151. Falcon Blue

    One of many reasons why people don’t upgrade is the cost. At least from the country I am from, XP has been on many systems and also easier to pirate, compared to Win 7. So Win 7′s market is comparatively less too.

    Another reason is the hardware demand that Win 7 requires. Again, from where I am, buying a rig that can run Win 7 smoothly means spending more money, which is really expensive, compared to what people generally do with their PCs / Laptops, browse the internet, email and play Solitaire.

    One more reason, for me personally would be “Win 8 beta” being available already. Hence, I would want to wait for the even more stable and secure OS before spending a high amount on Win 7, which is over 2 yrs old now! :)

    These reasons are some of the many that I, would want to use Windows XP. But as it turns out, I bought a laptop that shipped Vista. Vista was so bad that I removed that and installed XP. As fate had it, all hardware was not recognized in XP and had to end up buying Win 7!

  152. Duljoni

    no matter what people say about the beauty of the latest OS, i want a windows with classic mode in it. windows 7 doesn’t have it.

  153. Donna

    My eight-year-old XP laptop is free of viruses…it’s paid for…I can’t afford a Windows 7 right now. I have friends with Windows 7 and they miss XP. I’d rather have the best of XP and Windows 7.

    Until my bank account will have enough money in it for me to move on to Windows 7, this machine will stick around.

  154. KatsumeBlisk

    A lot of you are failing to realize how low the system requirements for Windows 7 are. I’m running it right now on a desktop from around 2004 with a Pentium 4 CPU and 2GB of RAM. It runs just fine. I am also running Home Premium on a netbook with a processor only slightly better than my phone (AMD C-50 1Ghz) and it runs just fine as well.

  155. Ben B.

    I have a desktop with XP SP3 and Windows 8/Doveloper Preview. Windows XP, when taken care of can be a great OS. (I’ve gotten past most of the limitations above) Windows Doveloper Preview has some improvements, but i’m not going to ditch xp. I also use ubuntu linux. Side by side all of these have their strengths and weaknesses, but i’m not ditching any of them.

  156. Soufiane

    XP, for poor computers ;)

  157. Greg

    XP does everything I do with a computer. Windows 7 does not. I have 6 computers all networked. One is 7 the others are XP Only 1 computer is on the internet. The others, shut off the firewall and no antivirus speeds the performance of the other computers to the max. Don’t put 7 on a single core computer. It takes 2 to 3 times longer to do any task. I compared Vista with XP. The duel core Vista is a memory hogging sloth compared to a single core XP machine. XP even outperformed Vista on a duel core. Quad core machines work best with Win 7. Windows 8 desk top reminds me of Windows 3.1. Instead of scrolling across the desk top looking for what you want, you open up icons looking for what you want.

  158. snoop

    ill wait for windows 9 (if there’s any)

  159. Casual

    I with computer since 1983 when Commodore PET3030 was a big name, so I think that I understand most what is said here.

    I switched to XP-SP3 immediately after it’s release from ME, browsing, using P2P, chatting, camming, gaming, trying new software, receiving tons of e-mails with attachments from people I know and don’t….i.e doing everything a PC can do but never had a serious infection. Not doing any updates since I installed XP-SP3 years ago and never did formatting during those years, only running registry cleaning and SFC scan from time to time……so why spending hard earned money to buy a new OS?.

    Using:

    Browser Firefox 3.6.18 with a ton of add-ons including BetterPrivacy to clean Super cookies.

    AVG free anti virus.

    ZoneAlarm firewall.

    SpywareBlaster.

    Intel Core Duo E-8400.

    RAM 3 GB DDR2

    Nvidia GeForce 9500 GT video card.

    500 GB SATA WD HD.
    160 GB PATA WD HD (for storage of game’s iso images).

  160. Joe

    Might as well wait for Windows 8. I have just bought new TV & Home Theatre & want to buy the Canon 1DX, so upgrading computers can wait, seeing as they are all still working fine.

    Maybe I should migrate to Apple, seeing as I have ipods, iphone, ipad2.

    Might go to an Apple store & see what their spin is, in getting a Windows user to cross the line.

  161. grayhoose

    XPsp2 was great in its day, ran tons of virus scanners like Casual’s but after switching to Vista than W7, all i use now is MS Security Essentials, plus the GUI looks dated like 98 is.

  162. Aashish Vaghela

    First Up, it’s a nice article. The Author has almost convinced everyone to move to a better OS like Win7.
    However, just like when WinXP was released, it was a prodigy for Microsoft. Now, 10 years down the line, it seems like a war-veteran, who can’t lift the latest automatic rifle anymore. Hence needs to be retired.

    Trust me guys (& gals too), 5 years from today (or a bit more), we would be cursing Win7 in the same fashion & trying to convince each other to move to Windows 11, may be. The author is correct. What seems to be magnificent & mesmerizing at one point of time, may seem out-dated a few years later. Try saying the same thing to your wife & be prepared to face the (possibly horrible) out-come later.

    I still know a few oldies who are happy using Win98SE & Win2000 Prof. for their home computers, running Pentium III 966 MHz CPU on 256 MB RAM. Surprisingly, it works great for them & they are happy with it. I still have retained my old Pentium-4 CPU with 512MB RAM with Win98SE on it. My kid sibling has obsolete curriculum at the university teaching C/C++, COBOL, PASCAL, FORTRAN, & LISP programming languages, which I presume, would run better in a complete DOS environment, compared to the CMD Shell provided by WinXP / Win7. Practically it depends on the kind of usage you have & the nature of activities intended on it. If it is merely surfing the internet, my old P-4 still works great, though I’ve Fedora-9 Dual boot on it.

    If it was about a better OS, I would say go either with UBUNTU or MAC LION (v10.7). Win7 & Win8 seems great as of now only as it’s security vulnerabilities are not exposed yet. It’s like marrying a beautiful girl just to find out later that she can’t cook & also prefers to wake up late in the morning.

    Choice is entirely yours. Choose wisely. God Bless all. … !

  163. Andreas

    Great article however, there might come a time when Virus developers see no market any longer in producing viruses to XP and then will move over to Vista and Win7.

    It’s not like XP will entirely be left behind, rottening in a swamp with swarms of viruses assaulting it.

  164. Rick S

    Yes I agree with the article but I’m staying with XP for a while yet.
    I’ll let them fine tune it before I install it on anything. It looks like a winner to me.

    A guy can learn a lot from the comments while everybody is explaining their point of view. I have learned that Windows 7 Ultimate is most likely the best to replace XP with.
    I have also learned that a lot of people should do some more learning before commenting. lol.

    I no longer let anybody use my XP computer but let them use a computer with Linux on it.
    It’s fast and they can click away without hurting a thing. They love it and so do I.

  165. Rick S

    I just learned that I should read my comment before posting it. That’s Windows 7 I’m talking about when I say I’ll let them fine tune it before I install it on anything. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. lol.

  166. Old School

    @Casual

    I’m glad someone besides me doesn’t have their head up their ass. The statistics are faulty as most users are still using XP by far then any other system. So it would only be logical that they would have the majority of the infections.

    At our company of 6700, we use XP and with a good image that has Firefox (preferred choice) / chrome, we rarely come across issues. It’s a safe and stable business solution and it works with money making apps and is a good solution overall. We’ve been using it for the past 8 years without many issues. That cannot be said for any other OS.

    I’m not sure if MS is pumping money to advertise their win7 but really it has its share of bugs, hardware / software compatibility issues and cannot be cost-justified as it offers mostly cosmetic changes… As far as windows 8, I can’t believe that Microsoft is going back to children’s blocks and lego pictures, what are we 6?? http://www.lego.com

    I too have been using computers since 1982 Commodore Vic 20 era. Consumers beware that most technology firms have technology 10 years before they release it to the public. They make sure that the market is saturated until they release their next version of hardware / software. It’s good to wait until you have a real need before upgrading anything as the shiniest car does not mean the best.

    You should also never be on the bleeding edge as that is far worse then being behind.

  167. patrick

    I run a windows XP computer and a 64 bit Windows 7 computer. It would be stupid to quit using XP when my newer PC will not run many programs I want!
    I used to get much Malware on my computer. More than a year and a half ago, I QUIT updating XP and Windows 7 and QUIT using anti-virus programs… I started using Firefox! I have not had one speck of malware of any kind in way over a year and a half. I do check regularly with the best program, Malware Bytes and it has not found one infection. Why change?

  168. Chuck Anderson

    The whole OS upgrade question may soon be moot. We are quickly moving away from full on PCs to specialized tablets. I imagine there will be specialized tablets for every aspect of industry and personal entertainment and communication. One tablet for a particular medical application for instance, while another tablet geared for chemical engineering, or another for mechanical engendering, and yet another model specializing in gaming and net browsing. When these tablets become cheaper than upgrading to a new OS, we probably won’t worry about upgrading the software. We can just get a new tablet every so often and have all our data accessible through the cloud. Imagine upgrading will be as simple as buying a new television once was.

  169. sims

    The author states over and over that Windows XP is the most insecure OS. This is simply not true. I’m not sure what the most insecure OS is, but Windows 95 is definitely more insecure that Windows XP.

    Why not use FOSS and stop paying the MS tax?

  170. Stefan Noack

    Hah.. My parents bought a “new” laptop with Windows 2000 (!) on it. It took not long until it was infected – oh why?! lol..

  171. Not so Techy

    My brother has been my IT guy for all my computer needs, When I got accepted to an online university, I asked him what would be the best system and computer to fit my needs. Since I am not a gamer and use the computer only for email, social networking and college, he recommended Windows 7 without hesitation 2 years ago. I have had no problems with this system, ever, and I am grateful for that. I am so glad I didn’t try to revive an older windows power suction device. No, really a vacuum cleaner makes less noise than the older pc’s I have at home. Thanks Bro, and Windows for keeping me secure!

  172. Bob1001

    After reading through all this stuff, I’m too tired to join the argument.

    I use only free software I get from filehippo on Gizmo’s techsupportalert’s recommendations with one or two purchased good programs like System Mechanic 10.5. I use XP Home SP 3 with Secunia telling me it’s 100% up to date. Right now I am now on my home-built Windows 7 Pro (not an OEM) with an Intel 4 core. Secunia tells me with it’s green tray icon it’s also 100% up to date. I have never had a virus in ten years. I use my two desktops for fun, and they do what I want them to do. And I live a nice clean life staying away from dicey web sites and social sites. And I enjoy both my desktops. And neither give me any trouble.

    How’s that for a happy PC life?

  173. locknload1

    While I can agree that shelving XP is a good idea I still like it and will continue to use it on my media devices to run Netflix and the like. The XP devices are not used to run anything else and hold no critical acct info. I have some form or another of Linux on all my “professional” machines.

  174. Charvin

    You guys just keep on saying XP is Bad, Exposed, Dangerous like that!!
    Well what you can do to make your OS safe is to put some good software’s in it :

    1 – avast! Internet Security / Comodo Internet Security [Basic Item For Security]
    2 – Comodo Firewall / Zone Alarm [Firewall Solution]
    3 – USB Disk Security [USB safety software]
    4 – Spybot Search & Destroy / Spyware Terminator [AntiSpyware tool]
    5 – Firefox/Chrome/Opera [The Browser you choose]
    6 – LastPass password Manager [Superb password Manager~]
    7 – CCleaner + CCEnhancer [Cleaner with more options!]
    8 – TuneUp Utilities [System Utility]
    9 – Ultra Surf / Super Hide IP [Proxy Software - Anonymous Surfing]
    10 – Team viewer [in case you need Trouble shootting Help from Friends]
    11 – File Hippo.com Update Checker [for Latest Software's...!]

    [These are just suggestion, Which I found easy and less resource hungry than Other alternatives!!]

    These are some simple things what you can do to make your XP secure. And no one is going to run an OS and connect it to the Web-world without an Antivirus {at least!} if the Security suit can’t protect the OS, then it’s not the fall of the OS, Get another Suit or stick with the same (If you wan’t).! There are Simple ways to Stay Safe, {never forget that We have been using XP for 10Years and moved only after that. If there were no Vista or 7 we all will be still using our Lovely Copies of XP on our PC}
    Get the Software’s above and it will make you’re Systems secure; regardless of the Operating System

    I LOVE WINDOWS AND I LOVE WINDOWS XP..
    WINDOWS LOVE DOES SAY’S THAT I LOVE WINDOWS 7
    BUT THE FACT AND TRUTH IS THAT
    “XP” IS A LEGEND, AND LEGENDS NEVER DIES!

  175. shibu

    I am a software technical whatever bad news i will stick with Xp for the time being.I know why the news coming for windows 7 I have been in marketing field so very easy for me to catch the intention .. XP still good for home users.

    and finally if you have enough money to spend then there are may windows coming out may be ten will come out

  176. cocobiskits

    I just ditched my XP because my desktop failed. I use Vista. I am definitely not incompetent since people seem to use me as a kind of superuser. XP made my life more efficient than Vista. Vista will not print on my HP printer, but XP did, as does my wifes Windows 7. Had more problems with Vista than any other system despite plenty of ram. Theres a reason people kept XP. No need to learn yet another way of doing the sames things and it worked extremely well.
    Having said that, 7 is looking good. I now only have to learn how to do things again. Why do I have to feel like a first grader every time the os changes?
    I’m done now thanks :)

  177. mug_

    You are using funny math. Per Microsoft as of July 2010 74% of computers still are using XP. If you figure percent of attacks to percent of computer systems it is a whole new picture and very equal. The only reason XP is the most targeted is it is still the most widely used. If you are going to write a virus you try for the most bang with least effort. So the high number of XP systems make it the target of choice. When and if ever win7 becomes more widely used then it will also become the most attacked.

  178. Emil

    I switched to windows7 for three months, but missed my XP64 so much I had to switch back, never had a major prob, well, at least nothing that could not be fixed.

  179. Snicker

    I have had repeated problems with Windows Vista and XP over the past 9 months. Hard drive is not potentially dead. Microsoft helped me in June with my last crash, and although the tech that helped me could not say that Windows was the cause, I now know it was. BUT, what do I do now? Called Dell, yea sure, want $$$ to help, and with no guarantee that I will not need to purchase additional software or even hardware from them, NOPE, not doing that again. Course my first call was to Microsoft, I trust them, they were honest in letting me know after a couple of hours of trying, that they could not help. I need a really good Geek, that will help me – I will pay for the help. thank you.

  180. Snicker

    Need help, looking for an honest geek to help me restore what I can, yes, xp/vista.. ulk, now possible hard drive damaged? Tried the help with Microsoft, couldn’t help, recommended I call DELL, no more calls or forced purchases to Dell, learned that the hard way, this is my 4th home computer and last from them. I am also ditching xp and vista soon as possible. I have been doing backups on Pg usb, I just do not know what to do, how to pass the blue screen of death. HELP, greatly appreciated with your costs.

  181. Albert Hay

    I have been using Windows XP but my compter was condemed because it had a faulty Motherboard.When I purchased a new computer it had Windows 7 and I dislike it. It may be partly because I have Virgin Broadband that requires me to go to theVirgin Internet site to get to eamil and to give my email address and password each time. I was happy with XP with Outlook Express and could get around it easily but 7 has been made too complicated.

  182. The Dave

    Folks, it’s about the money machine called MICROSOFT. Not everybody has the funds to feed the monster the require moooola to keep up. Economically speaking it is not a good time to let the cash flow. So how about Microsoft stepping up to the recovery of the economy and coming up with some real deals on Windows. Fat chance of that ever happening!

  183. bmadtiger

    Well I thought this was going to be an enlightening article. I’ve been using Windows XP since I bought my first laptop in 2003 and although getting Win7 on a new laptop in 2009, I have had no reason to update my first laptop (which is still working fine and my kids use it quite happily). Even the 2nd hand laptop I bought to fill the gap between the original and latest, came with XP Media Center edition and runs quite happily.

    Any infections? Only minor, and nothing that wasn’t easily resolved. So why would I upgrade? As I said, I thought this article was going to tell me why. Instead I just read a whole lot of unsubstantiated inuendo and pure subjective opinon rather than any real facts. Oh, except I now know I have until April 2014 before Microsoft leave me in the cold. I think I can save up enough money by then to change over some of the older computers. And so will the organisations that I support that are still using WinXP.

    Yes, “It’s a scary world out there,” but not that scary that we can’t protect ourselves. Do we really think hackers are still investing time creating malware specifically for WinXP? Surely by now they have moved on to the more challenging tasks of hacking the new more secure OSes. Of course anything that breaks Win7 will most likely also break WinXP, but let’s not single XP out on this.

    Yes, “The nature of software is timely..” but so is the hardware we run the software on.The software may be 10 years old, but so is the hardware I’m running it on – and it still works just as good as day one! I’ll upgrade my software when I upgrade my hardware – they go together. “XP was created for the needs of a simpler consumer…” If I wanted to be a more “sophisticated” consumer, I would buy the newer hardware on which I could run the newer software!

    “Here’s a metaphor. You might be able to drive a car that was built years and years ago, …” So when you need a “safer” car, what do you do? You buy some new hardware! You don’t upgrade the engine management system! And there is no “illusion of security” with XP – everyone knows it’s not the best, but it does okay for now.

    So the world has moved on from XP. So what?!? Who cares what others are doing. If it works for me and meets my needs, then I’ll stick with it. I’m not going to be told I should upgrade because it’s the fashionable thing to do.

    Yes, “XP Was Three Major Versions of Windows Ago”, but so was MS Office 2003 and I’m still using that on my XP machine too! And for your information, I’m still using PaintShop Pro v5 – and again it works for me.

    Yes, 10 years ago was a long time, but that just goes to show how well Microsoft have looked after their baby. As others have noted, XP SP3 is very different from 2001 – I do recall their were huge complaints at the number of changes SP2 introduced to enhance security. Some things change, some things stay the same. My needs have not changed that much in the last 10 years, so why bother upgrading?

    So what of all the comments that you responded to? What extra info or weight could you add to your argument? Absolutely none! The only thing you added was to reinforce your opinion (which you are of course entitled to) with more hyperbole.

    No I’m not convinced, and I won’t be recommending that anyone upgrade their XP just because it’s 10 years old. If they want to buy a new computer and do more with it than they could on their old computer, then yes, by all means get Win7 (or Ubuntu or Mac or whatever else meets your needs), but don’t waste the money upgrading the OS just because it’s 10 years old!

    That’s my twenty cents worth.

  184. Raymond

    Sounds like Microsoft propaganda. XP is still alive because people and business are keeping it alive. If you upgrade to one of the newer OS’s you would have to buy new versions of all the programs you use.

    I have worked on my neighbors laptop which has Win7 on it and it is even more stupid/harder then Vista.

    FROM MY CONSULTANT GURU Wiondows XP works and with AV, Firewall etc is the bestg still
    > Micro$oft screwed up with WinXP… they developed an OS that *worked*. Outside of no more security patches, etc. from M$, there is no reason to completely screw up your computers trying to update them all to Win7. The aftermarket security software, your router, and ISP should do an adequate job of blocking any malware. And then there’s the $$$$$.
    >
    > There are thousands, if not millions of companies that are *not* moving off WinXP. That’s Micro$oft’s target, corporate licenses.
    >
    > The last time I did work at the NUMMI (Toyota) plant, all their computers were still running Windows 2000. It worked, and would cost a fortune to change over. And *that* OS should’ve been updated.

    SORRY to disagree, Raymond

  185. Ian

    Big Moan, apologies in advance!! Good article above, but got my ire up I’m afraid !!
    I’ve been supporting around 200 XP Desktops connecting to Windows servers for 8 or so years and I can honestly say that since I’ve been “forced” to purchase and support around 10 new Windows 7 laptops and PC’s the support burden for OS has rising significantly…especially for x64 systems. Print drivers especially are a massive problem…printers regularly just disappear from the users session whether IP based or print server based. Windows XP since SP2 has been super reliable for us. Windows 7 takes an age to install, an age to configure and is basically a MacOS look-and-feel rip off !! I’d have to chuck away 60% of my companies PC estate to upgrade to Win7 for a bit better security. Don’t think my directors will like those numbers!!

  186. Michael

    I agree that Windows 7 is much better than Vista, which was loaded on my HP desktop when I bought it in 2009. But its XP emulation sucks: I needed it for just one purpose, to use my elderly Epson scanner, for which Epson won’t supply a 7-compatible driver, hoping that you’ll buy a new scanner. But 7′s XP emulation also couldn’t bring itself to run the old software, leaving me with no choice but to bring in my XP laptop, scan something into a RAM stick, and then transfer the scan to my desktop – a royal pain in the butt. I ended up buying a 7-compatible Canon scanner, which has the added advantage of getting all its power from its USB cable (how, I can’t imagine). I certainly wasn’t about to buy another Epson!

    I’ve been using computers since 1978, when I bought my 16K Radio Shack TRS-80, with storage of both programs and data on cassette tapes. When I got my first HD with 15mb of storage, I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven!

  187. vgamesx1

    I really Loved XP back when it was around but about 4 – 6 years ago I got me a new computer with Vista on it SP1 btw.. and it was even better I mainly feel in love with the search right on the start menu
    plus how cool aero looked, then I noticed windows 7 beta came out so I dual booted with that for actually about 6 months because as soon as I started playing with it I knew I was going to keep it.

    I have tried the new windows 8 preview and well I just do Not like it much other than new taskmager and some other cool new features, only other thing I really like about it is even with my old laptop that still uses IDE drives it can boot in about 5 – 10 sec, including bois screen.

    but basicly windows 8 its like a tablet OS so why there bringing Windows Phone 7 to Windows 8 makes no sense because thats why they have there tablet support, so the FEW people that have a touch screen can use it.
    I mean not only that but, what company is going to use Windows 8 on there tablet when you can go get a copy of Android OS for free.

  188. ROBERT BURELL

    I THOUGHT THIS WAS GOING TO TELL ME HOW TO SWITCH FROM WXP TO LINUX. BUT ALL I SEE IS A HISTORY OF WXP AND HOW IT IS GETTING INSECURE.
    HOW DO YOU SWITCH FROM WXP TO LINUX??????????

  189. lrussell

    Ok, the thing is our house is loaded with XP PC’s (~5) and in the lifetime of the pc’s, I’ve seen quite a few viruses, trust me. In fact, I’m still using XP as we speak. The main issue is money, we can’t give up $1000 to upgrade all 5. And the fact is, our pc’s will run like crap with 7! Our fastest pc is 2.8GHZ with a measly 1GB of ram! Our slowest is 1GHZ processor with 512MB of ram. But everything is fast and well with XP. Every year I backup all the data and do I fresh install of XP, to get rid of any crap… I am getting a windows 7 laptop soon, but seriously, for the others, I see no harm using XP ’till 2014, at that point, we will probablly buy a few new ones, and upgrade our old ones to the max and put maybe lubuntu on them.

  190. havewrotesoftware

    techlogon could not have said it any better .
    there so few vista’s out there and to see vista that high with infections is alarming to say the least and makes it worse than XP for infections . with so few linux in use what scammer is going to write malware for them its beating a dead horse there is no point .
    it is rumored that there is well over 3 billion XP’s out there in use today and don’t know how true this may be but there is many XP’s .

  191. flav0dave

    One thing that XP excels at is network hardware setup. Network settings seem to be intentionally hidden in Win7 as if MS thinks no one ever needs to change them once Win7 sets them up. With XP you have easy access in just a few clicks.

  192. abhijit

    agreed XP is ridiculously prone to hacking and malware, but a question to the esteemed writer of the article.

    Which server/Computer you will say to be absolute 100% secured… I guess the one which has no data, is in a powered off state and kept in a isloated ware house in a remote corner of the world..
    is ti posible and are we willing to have such level of security ???
    my question is what is the cost, we are ready to bear for the security??? what about the computer my dad uses which is nothing but one from my collage days meant for a video call to me ??? if you consider upgrading that computer too can you analyse the cost that needs to be borne and the advantage (he do not prefers financial transaction from computer) so he gives a damn to the malware and

    If you have used tandem or old compaq servers then you can understand what is stability…

    corporate houses still use windows XP and the first question they will ask if you tell them to replace the OS is WHY??? and the next is HOW MUCH PROFIT IT GIVES ME

  193. Adam

    I know people that still use XP as their main OS, because they are either getting a new computer soon, or work refuses to pay for their upgrade.

    For myself, from ubuntu: sudo apt-get install arch-linux. (you linux nerds will get this)

  194. Argie W

    Microsoft slowed the transition from XP by not supporting the older software that will only load and/or run on XP. I wasted my money getting Windows 7 Professional that supposedly supports XP programs–it doesn’t. So, I have no choice other than keeping an older computer with XP to run a large database program that will not even load on my Windows 7 computer.

  195. Joegum

    I started in DOS, and moved up the ladder to Windows 7 Ultimate, and still use XP Pro most of the time, I have 6 laptops and 6 desktops, that use both systems, and haven’t had any virus problems with any system, and with XP you can keep ahead of problems, by going to the Register, and also if you have a good virus software, and use the temp folders and other folders to keep ahead of any problems, and I use 1TB and 640GB hard drives on my XP machines with no problem, you just need a good partition software, and my machines all have up to 2GB or 4GB of memory, to make them real fast machines, but if you are a new computer user you might want to stall away from XP, but I think XP is still is the best operating system out there, and I can make it do anything I want it to, I can control it which I don’t fell like you can not do with the 7 system, and I have a ton of older software, which I still use, and I can take most of these computers or laptops apart and put it back together, and also fix most problems, and I speak with a lot of experience in computers.

  196. Forrest Charnock

    3 years ago I started playing around with Linux and it is improving at an incredible pace! I can salvage old computers and not worry about the cost of software. Save for SoftMaker Office and Quicken all the software I use is free! Quicken will run under a program named wine in Linux which will let you play some windows games like World of Warcraft. If you are a real serious gamer you can run Win in a virtual box but there are plenty of Linux games for most people.
    . A month ago I was forced to use IE to take a test and the instant I logged on to the testing site it wiped out my machine and my router and I had to rebuild everything! NEVER AGAIN! From now on if I have to use Windows it will be in a virtualbox under Linux.
    I have grown to love Linux and detest windows. 7 is of no interest to me because I would be forced to upgrade all my machines .
    If you think it through it is an easy switch. If you are a somewhat skilled user check out Puppy Linux for very old machines , if not LinuxMint or most any flavor of Ubuntu would be a good choice as long as you have a minimum of 500 mgs of ram , 1 gb is good, 2 is very good .
    Linuxmint is very similar to windows in appear {Lubuntu and Xubuntu work well on older equipment -minimum 256k ram -512k excellent} be sure that your printer is compatible and be aware that aside from Puppy Linux setting up dial-up on Linux can be a challenge.If you are on dial-up Puppy {or any Linux after it is set up is way cool because you don’t have to wait for the virus protection to update, there is no need for virus protection! Besides that it is self explanatory for the most part and there are very good tutorials , forums, and irc chat rooms to help you.

  197. Forrest Charnock

    Carol

    Security essentials etc. give a false sense of security. If you have to use XP NEVER go online logged on as an administrator! Vista and 7 force you to normally use a limited account which Linux has done since day one. You also need to nuke the automatic installer. Those 2 changes will do more than all the virus protection money can buy.
    You are still better off to switch to Linux , it is a superior system , it’s free, the software is free! , it’s FAST! it is getting better everyday and you can use hardware Windows users throw away because it is too slow

  198. Wakka

    7 is a very good OS as is XP, Vista sucks, Mac Sucks and so does Linux. XP is old but it works and is still stable. I’d still use it if the 64bit version was usable.

  199. amthierry2

    There are many differing opinions out there…but one thing you all seem to forget or, are not aware of is there are MANY of us who have been using computers for many…many years and we are getting up there in age…don’t worry you all will get there…LOL, We use computers but when we need them fixed we take them to the people who do this. My question is…..to up grade to a newer version do I need a whole new computer? I have no idea about Linux? But would love a simple way to use my computer and not keep learning a new system…just wait when you get older your memory will slow down….so what is THE best way for me to go?

  200. FlightDreamz

    I still have a copy of Windows 98SE on CD that I plan to install on a dual boot system (I have 12 programs or so, that REFUSE to run on Windows XP or greater). My question is how insecure is Windows 98SE compared to XP? My guess is lot’s I either Firewall it off or possibly use a registry hack to remove Internet Explorer completely from Windows 98. Just wondered what everyone else thinks about that…

  201. Vic

    These were not “reasons”. Comparing the minimum requirements of the games at 2001 or 2011, or released movies, or comparing the actor at his childhood and now, etc were nonsense.

    One can use XP and play the cutting edge games too. Even since XP uses less system resources, it is faster and more compatible with games. How someone calls this article awesome?! A 14-yr old geek?

    This is not reasonable that since it is old, it should be changed. Haven’t you heard don’t fix something not broken? You didn’t give one single real reason for converting from XP. Only the security reason was relevant, but not correct. XP can be boosted by lots of IDS, anti virus, and anti rootkit applications. Even since it is old, most of its exploit codes are old too, so they are mostly detectable by usual virus detection mechanisms.

  202. Vic

    This “minimum requirement” and “old-fashioned” things are actually tricks of hardware and software business owners to keep people buying and buying. They try to convince you by exactly what was told in this article.

    They release resource eating software/games to force the user to buy new and more advanced hardware and then again release bloated “new” software with some few advancements to eat all those resources up. The loser: the user!

    Sometimes the discrepancy between the old and new software is small. So the user doesn’t feel necessary to replace to the newer version. Here comes the other force: Fashion… Articles like this serve as the second one, since there is a small difference between XP and 7; even in many cases, XP beats 7. For example XP is compatible with every existing hardware today, it can run well with 200 megs of RAM. Instead, 7 needs at least 2 gigs of RAM!! I know many users who converted back to XP after working for months with 7…

    So remains this “fashion” factor to force children, women, and all who don’t know about computers to buy a new software (operating system here) and then again to upgrade their hardware, and fall into that vicious cycle.

  203. robert

    so that being said. which windows do i upgrade to? which windows is free to take the place of xp? i didn’t or i missed the os that you are giving away free to take the place of xp. are you giving windows 7 away free to take xp’s place? if on the other hand you are not giving any replacements away for free. i would think you just wasted your time and space talking about this for nothing. i am on a low fixed income and have no indention on paying a high price for any windows that Microsoft is forcing people to buy. there ought to be a free no charge permanent replacement for windows xp.

  204. Steven G

    You must have had a horrible eXPerience with XP (Pun fully intended). Generally yes the security is awful. I am personally a Windows 7 user, however I still use XP on a new Core i7 machine I built with a 64-Bit Edition and it works well. And to talk about security, XP is hundreds of times more secure than the Windows 9x series, due to it’s NTFS file system and user rights and priveledges control. There are still quite a suprising number of people who still use Windows 98, that goes without saying that there is a need for an upgrade, but you really would not believe in my experience how many Windows 98 computers I have come across. Windows 7 was a breath of fresh air indeed. But many may have older single-core processors with 64-Bit and use a 64-Bit edition of XP. I think that is really the only benefit to having XP anymore is the 64-Bit edition, and there is becoming less support for that. To sum it up, unless you are tech savvy and can better secure yourself with a firewall such as Astaro Security Linux and use a 64-Bit edition to it’s full potential, XP is rather useless. 32-Bit is JUNK. It’s junk because Windows 95 was 32 bit as well. Ahhh XP. The days of WinMX, Server 2003, and nokia cell phones were still popular =D

  205. TAG

    Would Love to add im a die hard computer repair man service networks home computers and businesses as well i will gladly install Windows 7 for a customer any day but i myself refuse to use it yes windows 7 might be more secure but also hogs up entire hard drives and gigs of ram just to run windows and for what more security features….If you stay off of porn infested and illegal download sites and music sites and watch your email wont have much to worry about and use a good virus program such as F-secure instead of mcafee or norton witch i would never in my life sell a customer as there about worth less and resourse hogs. call me frozen in time but i absolutely hated windows xp when it was released as well im sure ill be forced over to 7 sooner or later but on my personal computer XP 64 bit will remain its a dual car 3.0 pentium d with 8gb of ram and is split second response on anything im sure if i put windows 7 on it it would crawl along

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