Discuss: Windows XP's Dominance

Hewlett-packard / Hp pavilion g6 notebook p...
February 3, 2012 at 07:18:08
Specs: Windows 7, 1.4 GHz / 5610 MB
Hi all,

This week's poll question is about news that more computer systems still run Windows XP vs. Windows 7. Discuss here if any of your computers still run Windows XP, and, if you like, the poll results themselves.


See More: Discuss: Windows XPs Dominance

February 3, 2012 at 10:21:51
I've always thought XP would hang on longer than W98 did, partly because it was better than 98 and also because it is NT based so not so difficult to continue programming it alongside newer systems.

I guess it will get ditched when later systems can do more useful things - seems slow happening.

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February 3, 2012 at 10:34:51
I'm not surprised to learn that more PCs use XP than Win7, for although Win7 is way better than XP (and I should know, I've used every consumer version of Windows since Windows 3.1), it does mean spending money, either on a new PC or a copy of Win7 if your existing PC can run it. Fewer people have that kind of money to spend these days on something which is not vital.

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February 3, 2012 at 13:44:46
I know a large group of businesses that still use XP. They have spent countless dollars acquiring software that may or may not work with Win.7. For the most part I hear that they are not about to start over just because something new and pretty is on the market. It’s not like replacing fleet vehicles where you can get a chunk of that investment back selling it off. Who buys ten year old business software or rather used components that can’t run new software?

I am sure slowly but surely they will change over but it may be another five to ten years before XP is gone from that arena altogether. One company that I do business with uses an XP machine to run a couple laser cutting machines. They tell me that a chunk of their hardware in those machines would have to be replaced to move up to 7. I am not sure I understand that but ok. I would think the commands the cutting machines receive from the computer would be the same regardless but I could be wrong.

I have two XP systems myself that won’t handle Win.7 but are still in good shape. Should I just throw them out? I also have a 98SE system that I keep only because of a handful of games that I have. I know I could duel boot it on one of the XP rigs but again the machine itself is still in good shape and there is no way I am going to get much cash out of it so I play with it. All the final updates for XP will be stored on countless sites for years to come just like 98. Are they going to be outdated? Sure they are but not every person or company has to have the most absolute up to date security platform.

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February 3, 2012 at 15:20:31
With enough hype people will believe anything, XP is past its sell-by-date, by at least 5 years.

Linux is a far better alternative on older hardware IMHO !

Googling is quicker than waiting for an answer....

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February 3, 2012 at 15:46:29
Sure XP is a ten year old system but when MS say "It's not necessarily a revenue issue" then I'm sure the accent is on the word "necessarily". Although I can understand them stopping XP updates in 2 years time, the fact is they could (if they wished) continue them. For MS to say it is a security issue, well, yes, it becomes one if they choose to pull security updates.

It would be much more to the point if they said it would be no longer make commercial sense to continue updates on such an old system beyond 2014.

As for Linux (#4), sure it is great but unfortunately Joe Public are not taking to it so much as Windows and Mac's. Rightly or wrongly Linux still projects a geeks image - its getting there but still has a long way to go to. Marketing hype, perhaps sadly, does work.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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February 3, 2012 at 16:24:18
About seven years ago I set up an office network for someone using three Windows XP computers., Casper, Pollux and Orion. Orion is still in daily use. There would be three of them but a couple of years ago Casper and Pollux got destroyed in a fire. It is now one Windows XP and two Windows 7 computers.

The Windows XP computer is retained because it still does everything that is required of it and I suspect that applies to most businesses. Why spend money replacing something that still works as well as the day it was bought.


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February 3, 2012 at 16:50:31
Not sure why this should be such a surprise. I'm sure businesses favor it simply because it does pretty much everything they need, and with the lousy economic climate, they're not very likely to fork over money for a "new and improved" PC/OS when they can get by with what they have. Where I work we bought new equipment last August and most of what doesn't run on Red Hat runs on XP.

Most home-PC users that use XP likely still use it for the same reasons (being cash-strapped).

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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February 3, 2012 at 22:08:59
My dad still runs XP.

I stopped using XP the week Vista was released. I never thought XP was great, at least when compared to other versions of Windows. IMO, Win2000, Vista, and Win7 are much better.

I don't even have to put up with XP at work anymore. A few months ago the school installed new Core i5/6GB machines with Win7 Pro, Office 2010, and IE9. Before that, us teachers used XP/Firefox on ancient P4/1GB boxes, and the kids' labs ran XP/IE7 on old Celeron-2200s. What a difference the new stuff makes. Finally, our computers just work.

It is a little sad that my work computer runs circles around the dual-core AMD I use at home. :P

Super PIII | Unlocked ES Tualatin @ 1.8GHz (150x12, 1.65v), 512K L2
3GB PC2700 | 500GB | Radeon x1950Pro | Apollo Pro 266T | Win7 Pro

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February 4, 2012 at 02:40:40
A few months ago the school installed new Core i5/6GB machines with Win7 Pro, Office 2010

There's the difference between a school spending taxpayers money and a business spending their own money.


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February 4, 2012 at 04:03:19
"There's the difference between a school spending taxpayers money and a business spending their own money."

Amen to that.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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February 4, 2012 at 08:18:42
Most businesses will stick with what they have unless a new OS is a compelling upgrade. As long as the current OS and hardware serves the need most managers see little reason to upgrade. If it isn't broken don't fix it. The benefits of a new OS don't offset the potential for software incompatibility (which can be a deal breaker) and the costs of retraining users and support staff.

XP was a compelling upgrade over the 9x platform and NT 4, particularly in large organizations. Windows 9x had some serious issues, primarily due to it's hybrid nature. It was designed to be a bridge between the 16 bit systems of the past and the 32 bit systems of the future. It had served this purpose but was no longer needed.

In spite of Microsoft's efforts, Windows 7 is still not a compelling upgrade over XP, at least not for what most business users are doing. Some will upgrade out of necessity when old hardware must be replaced. Otherwise, if it isn't broken, don't fix it.

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February 4, 2012 at 08:30:37
I just wiped XP Home off my older HP laptop (A64 3200+ w/1.25GB RAM) & installed Win7 32-bit. Given the specs, I was surprised at how well it runs. I still have 2 desktops with XP Pro, one with Win7 Ultimate, & one Win7/Mint 11 dual boot. I was not a fan of Vista & never ran it on any of my systems. I do give it credit for pushing me into the world of Linux though :)

I have a civil service job & although my title isn't IT related, I manage & support over 100 laptops used in the field & also offer limited support with desktops in the office. All our systems run XP Pro. AFAIK, there are no plans to upgrade anytime soon. Statewide, it would mean 10's of 1000's of computers would have to be upgraded or replaced. In this current economy, I just don't see that happening. Converting to Linux would save the state millions if not billions, but I doubt that will ever happen. It is being done in other countries though:


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February 4, 2012 at 09:19:24
In this economy, as others have mentioned, there isn't any desire to upgrade to the new pretty Operating System if there current one still works.

I have 2 XP machines, one that could probably run Windows 7, one that could not under any circumstances (Pentium 3). I have already had the Windows 7 experience with my Lenovo Thinkpad Edge, but there are some things that are driving me insane with it (No floating toolbars!!!).

Like many people, I haven't upgraded my personal computers to Win 7 because I don't see any need. What's the point if it still works with XP?

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February 5, 2012 at 09:02:47
I still run XP Pro on my machine along with Win 7 Ultimate. I use two separate Hdd's with a dual boot option. My wife has an older Dell desktop with XP Home and still uses it. Unless a person buys a new machine with Win 7 installed on it, none of my friends have made the switch. It is largely an economic thing and the fact that it still works well. My wife works for our local county, and they just upgraded all the machines to Win 7. This really stirred things up in the hen house. They also got Office 2010 and they're not used to it. This didn't sit well with them. We are basically creatures of habit and change doesn't come easily. I ,personally love Win 7, but am weaning myself off of XP gradually. My only complaint would be the compatibility issues with the hardware and some of the older software.

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February 5, 2012 at 21:54:58
Oddly, when reading over this topic I was reminded of THIS one.

The OP hasn't posted since...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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February 7, 2012 at 00:25:22
From the number of posters here that buy a computer pre-configured with Windows 7 and post here after trying unsuccessfully to downgrade to WinXP I would have to assume the issue is the learning curve.

Many times I have had to boot to WinXP in order to help a user with a problem by walking them through the XP steps. I primarily use Windows 7 now and so I don't always accurately remember the subtle differences in how you perform certain tasks. I never really used Vista enough to learn those differences so I don't even respond much in the Vista forum.

While MS seems to think users want a newer fresher look and feel I think what users really want is for everything to work like it did with XP.

For my part I wish MS would keep things the same where it counts. Simple things like setting up a home network would be much easier if the default name would stay "workgroup" instead of changing with each version. Computer vs My Computer, Network Neighborhood. You get the idea. I think they shoot themselves in the foot by doing that.

Microsoft learned a lesson with Vista. That is if drivers are not available for legacy hardware users are not going to be happy with the new OS.

I have noticed that Microsoft has been very proactive in this regard. In many cases I have found that MS provides a basic driver for hardware they didn't sell when the original manufacturer has failed to provide one themselves.

I agree with comments above that users see no reason to upgrade if the current hardware and software is still getting the job done.

There was talk a few years ago that MS would be going to a different marketing model where you would not buy the OS but just lease it. Seems to have gone by the wayside. I do understand why Microsoft would want to do that. As a home builder I wouldn't want to provide a warranty on my products for free for more than ten years. That wouldn't seem to be reasonable to most people. Microsoft has to do just that though with older versions of Windows.

Overall I do think Windows 7 is superior to WinXP but I do get frustrated with the changes in structure that didn't need to change.

I still have a juke box running Win98se, a Win2000 pro desktop and a Vista box my wife uses for email. Also have a laptop running Windows 7.

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February 8, 2012 at 23:22:35
Commenting on T-R-A's post #15

It would seem the poster believed that when MS support for XP stops our XP machines would stop working. I don't see a whole lot of businesses jumping ship from XP even then. I have a hell of a time finding parts for my '68 impala but it still runs on pump gas so I am not about to scrap it and buy a brand new one. It's not the prettiest thing and it doesn't have all those silly controls on the steering wheel but it still gets me just as far down the road as a new one would.

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February 9, 2012 at 07:38:07
I quite agree, XP doesn't suddenly stop working when MS support stops. Perhaps more to the point is lack of security updates. I rather hope XP users will either run with limited rights, or use "Drop My Rights". I really can't understand why more XP users don't use DMR. It's so simple to do, uses no resources and you hardly know you are using it. Every little helps in my opinion.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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February 9, 2012 at 17:02:27
In all honesty, it wasn't (in my #15-referenced post) that I wanted to dampen the guy's enthusiasm for Win7, but to come out (only weeks after the RTM release) and state that Win7 was, "by default", better than XP seemed way too brazen at the time. As seen by the Tom's Hardware report that Justin references at the top of this article, apparently the claim is still too brazen. I don't deny that Win7 is a decent OS; on the contrary, it is. And it's performed quite well on my old 1.8MHz Duron, once all the "bells and whistles" were silenced. But given the install-base that XP had (and continues to have after almost 2⅓ years of Win7), I don't think it would be prudent for anyone to claim that overall Win7 would be better than XP...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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February 10, 2012 at 00:20:03
Personally I like Win 7 and I am using it now on a machine that started out with XP Pro. I tried out the beta or pre release whatever it was called as a duel boot figuring that when the free trial was over I would go back to XP Pro by simply formatting the Win 7 drive. Just after the RTM came out I was basically given Win 7 Ultimate so I just installed it after the format and continued duel booting for a while as I did have a few programs that I used at least weekly that would not work with Win 7. It didn't take but a few months before I had either found a replacement for them that did work or the manufacturer of the program I had provided an update that would fix it.

It's pretty! I like some of the aesthetic features. As for it being faster or more secure than XP, heck I don't know. I've dialed back some of the built in security features so I am betting as I run it, it may not be more secure. All the things I do now with Win 7 I could do just as well I believe with XP. Then again I am not a "power user" either. I don't do many things that would cause those differences other than aesthetic to show up.

All that being said I liked Win 98. I started out with 3.0 or was it 3.1 I am getting old and 98 was a big leap up for me. I understand by todays standards it has no security and is very unreliable but it was comfortable to me. It is what I started gaining knowledge with. In the time I used it I learned so much about how to tweak it to make it faster more streamlined. I had to on a 300mghz machine with dial up. Then I decided to jump into building my own system. By then XP was out and had been for a bit. I had already heard the stories about ME and 2k so I went with XP. UGH! None of my tweaks I had spent so long learning worked. Nothing it seemed was in the same place. Not all but most of the batch files I had put together were useless. It took some time to get used to XP.

Along comes Vista. I don't need it. Why start over again? Then I started hearing all the stories and seeing questions here about getting rid of Vista to go back to XP and my mind was made up. I didn't want it either. I don't personally know many that had Vista but out of those few only a very small percentage liked it. For a bit a chunk of the work I was getting was in upgrading folks computers to 7 or moving them back to XP.

I continue to try Linux. It's not bad but to me it's not dummy friendly. At least once a week I boot into whatever destro I have at the moment and try to do some work on it but I have grown so comfortable with windows that I doubt I'll ever be completely a Linux user.

Is Win 7 the "BEST YET"? I am not qualified to answer that question. I think there is too much personal preference involved to say to be honest. Is XP going to stick around for a while yet? Just my opinion but I have to say yes. I wouldn't be surprised to see it still used quite a bit in 5 years. Just my opinion though.

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February 10, 2012 at 12:20:32
shelybycan - Re #20.

It's not often I see a post that was so near to my experience and view that I had to do a double take to make sure I hadn't written it myself and somehow forgotten.

My wife uses Vista and likes it. It was a bit slow to boot so I tweaked it over a period. The HD still flashes a while after the desktop arrives but some of the background activity might be due to Toshiba junk. No doubt Process Explorer would give me a lot more info but as my wife is happy I tend not to intervene too much - especially as she likes gimmicks. However it whacks along quite nicely once it has booted. I think that by the time we bought it the hardware had caught up with Vista's bloat so that's why it does so well.

I must say that apart from speed and lack of bloat I don't really find a lot of difference between Win 7 and Vista - most things are in the same places. I know I risk getting scorned for this, but I tend to be one of those folk who largely regards Win 7 as Vista put right.

Ironically, if there is anything we can't do on Win 7 or Vista I go back to "my" XP workhorse and do it on there. If it is something we need regularly I always manage to find a way to invoke it on the newer computers. I have yet to find anything that the later OS's do that I can't somehow achieve on XP, so apart from financial aspects that might be why XP is hanging on so well.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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February 14, 2012 at 12:12:27
Well, I'm still running XP Pro on my gaming rig at home. That PC is about 5 years old now and only viable as gaming rig due to having dual highend video cards running in SLI mode. Since I recently found a game that won't run on it, I'll likely be replacing it in the next year or so.

I suspect I could run Win 7 on it but I see no point or advantage. The computer itself is very stable and running perfectly and after 15+ years working in computing I've made it point to follow the principle, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"

My wifes newest gaming rig (purchased about 8 months ago) is running Windows 7 and she likes it a lot.

I ran Windows 7 in beta format at work to help our PC department do some testing. At the time it lacked some necessary drivers. My present desktop unit has XP Pro on it. I could upgrade this to 7 if I really wanted to but again, it ain't broke. Our department laptop runs 7 and my next work PC will also run 7 when this one gets evergreened.

I've been working with windows since it was a program that ran on a DOS operating system (v3.x) and have actively used all the iterations to date with the exceptions of ME and Vista which were both alike in that they never worked worth mentioning and for the majority of user stuck with them, were more trouble than they were worth.

As with any new operating system, there's going to be a learning curve. With 7 I had to get used to looking in new places for tools and of course there are new features to learn about. Overall, I feel pretty positive about 7 and I suspect that once I do buy a new computer and start using it at home, I'll continue using it long after the next version is out just like I'm doing now with XP Pro.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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March 5, 2012 at 08:10:33
"[..] although Win7 is way better than XP" could be a quite subjective statement. ;p

For example, Windows XP could be locked-off from network access and allowed to perform only certain things online, to and from specific ports. This is now impossible to do from within the Windows 7 Operating System and needs a software firewall in the least. In reality it needs a hardware firewall in order to be secure, because its services (and not to mention kernel code and hardware instructions) are fully network integrated.

That is just the tip of the iceberg (& it's only going to get much, much worse in the future). :s

PS. ^^ I mean without crippling the system.

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April 19, 2012 at 14:40:07
I can see a lot of pre installed WindowsXP users moving to Linux as it's free and works great. Even MS is adapting Linux idea's into Windows versions.

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April 20, 2012 at 11:40:14
It is not Microsoft adopting Linux's idea that is going to bring people of to Linux but Linux adapting Microsoft's that is going to tip the balance

The deciding factor is when programmers start writing programmes for Linux and hardware manufactures provide the drivers for the hardware in the same numbers they are writing for Windows.


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June 9, 2012 at 20:02:11
For now I use XP Pro I have no intentions of ever using any version of Windows beyond XP. I have also used Linux and would probably be doing so if the Linux Mint I had installed did not fall apart. Now I am back in XP until I can get a good Linux install working.

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