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Backlash slaps Microsoft's 'help-a-friend-dump-XP' plea


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Backlash slaps Microsoft's 'help-a-friend-dump-XP' plea

Give us Windows 7 and we'll think about it, say customers, who reject the idea of helping others migrate to Windows 8.1

Computerworld - Microsoft's appeal to its technically-advanced customers to help friends and family ditch Windows XP did not quite work out like the company had hoped.

Rather than jump to assist people they knew who still ran the soon-to-be-retired XP, users blasted the plea in comments appended to Microsoft's Friday entreaty.

"Ummm...how about NO? Is the word 'NO' in Microsoft's vocabulary?" asked Steve Chabot in one of those comments posted Sunday. "I will not advocate upgrades that require people to relearn the basics of a user interface or replace perfectly good hardware simply for the privilege of running an overblown phone OS."

On Friday, Microsoft asked its technically astute customers to help others migrate from Windows XP, but mentioned only Windows 8.1 as a solution. "We need your help spreading the word to ensure people are safe and secure on modern up-to-date PCs," wrote Brandon LeBlanc, a Microsoft marketing communications manager, in a blog post.

LeBlanc suggested readers assist others in either upgrading their current Windows XP personal computer to Windows 8.1 -- assuming the hardware is up to snuff -- or help them pick out a new PC to replace their aged machine.

That riled users, many of whom cited their financial straits, saying that they had neither the money for a $120 copy of Windows 8.1 much less hundreds more for a new computer. Business owners chimed in too, noting that their businesses rely on software that only run on XP or arguing that to purchase new PCs would be foolish for their bottom lines when their current computers work fine.

LeBlanc's pitch stemmed from the impending support cut-off for Windows XP. After nearly 13 years, Microsoft will provide the last public security updates for XP on April 8. After that date, Microsoft and outside security experts have predicted, those XP-powered PCs will be in the crosshairs of cyber criminals.

Others blasted LeBlanc for writing what they viewed as an advertisement for Windows 8.1. "Honestly, this sounds more like a sales pitch for Windows 8.1 than any kind of interest in what is actually best for my friends and family," said Naru in a Saturday comment. "Had the article actually mentioned both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 as options, I would be able to take it more seriously."

Microsoft has pulled Windows 7 from its own online and retail stores, and stopped selling it to retailers last October. Still, most retailers have stocked up on Windows 7, and continue to move the 2009 OS at prices between $90 and $100.

Nor has the company offered XP owners a discount on Windows 8.1 to tempt them into dumping the ancient OS.

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as a business practice asking someone to hawk your product in the manner presented is absolutely tacky .

i hope someone is headed down the road for thinking it was a good idea to attempt to conscript "technically inclined" users/clients/customers .

 

yep ... you couldn't bribe me to hawk W7 or W8/8.1 under the prevailing conditions .

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I've used Windows 8 and 8.1. I've used XP for years. I consider both operating systems to be in the same category, namely the category of operating systems I prefer NOT to use if I can avoid them. I'll take Vista or 7 over either any day (yeah, I just said I like Vista better than XP, seriously). Hopefully 9 (or whatever they choose to call it) will be a real desktop operating system again.

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I think it's funny that no one from Microsoft has replied to the new comments today. They seemed so attentive yesterday, but now I think they are licking their wounds and trying to rethink their strategy. Either that or Steve Balmer has already fired the guy who posted the blog entry.

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@Samuel : believe it or not, here's another Vista fan (me), though I like W7 a little better for resource management, mostly. Kinda liked XP too, having suffered from Win9x blue screens for years, but stopped using it (XP) as soon as I "saw" Vista. I have W8.1 on a laptop and kinda like it as well, BUT : Classic Shell gives me the Desktop and Start button/menu I need, or else I can't work with Metro on a non touch device. My daughter has a new hybrid laptop/tablet, and W8 (8.1 now) is kinda fun on that one in tablet mode, BUT : she uses and loves Classic Shell for real work, from the Desktop.

 

Very curious to see Windows 9, due out next year. New MS boss surely knows what needs to be done, now that the old guard is out. No more excuses, just give us a UI choice we can live with. And work with..

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@Samuel : believe it or not, here's another Vista fan (me), though I like W7 a little better for resource management, mostly. Kinda liked XP too, having suffered from Win9x blue screens for years, but stopped using it (XP) as soon as I "saw" Vista. I have W8.1 on a laptop and kinda like it as well, BUT : Classic Shell gives me the Desktop and Start button/menu I need, or else I can't work with Metro on a non touch device. My daughter has a new hybrid laptop/tablet, and W8 (8.1 now) is kinda fun on that one in tablet mode, BUT : she uses and loves Classic Shell for real work, from the Desktop.

 

Very curious to see Windows 9, due out next year. New MS boss surely knows what needs to be done, now that the old guard is out. No more excuses, just give us a UI choice we can live with. And work with..

Yeah, now that I've gotten used to it, I do like 7 better than Vista. I loved XP before I got used to Vista and 7, especially once I got newer hardware and realized just how bottle necked the shell in XP seems to be (it's like it gets to the point where it just won't allow the machine to be any faster/more responsive than a certain speed, while Vista and 7 seem to speed up without such a ceiling when the hardware gets better).

I have a convertible laptop as well (Lenovo Yoga) and it came with 8 and I updated it to 8.1. Even with the touch features, I find it borderline unusable. Any time I get to any sort of interface where I need to type, I realize just how bad it would be if I didn't have a keyboard on the thing and when using it in tablet mode, that's not a good feeling to come away with. It also seems to defeat the purpose of having a bright, beautiful hi res screen only to have it covered with smudges from touching the thing all the time. I find the gestures and such to be annoying and the way so many basic things are hidden away now to be endlessly frustrating (though 8.1 did improve on this a bit, there are still issues). Even when I plug in a mouse to use it, I find myself wishing it was more like 7. I haven't installed Classic Shell or any of that other stuff because that would have defeated the purpose of owning that system (it's strictly for testing the Windows 8 user experience with our products). Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it's a great OS for strictly tablet (slate) type devices and smart phones, but a decent destkop OS it isn't. At least not in my opinion.

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  • Root Admin

Work as a network admin in a shop with hundreds or thousands of desktops and servers to deal with and you'll soon see how easy it is to have XP on the desktop vs Windows 7 (forget about 8)

 

Read some of those posts and some of the complaints for management and drivers etc etc and you'll see why I too prefer XP as it's so much easier to image and manage and no fighting the network card over the firewall issue if a computer is recognized or not.  Hands down XP is much easier to manage (IMHO).

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i installed 8.1 along with "classic shell" on the comp my gf uses (exclusively) .

i set it up to "avoid" heading over to or "requiring" the fisher-price (or "romper room" for those of us that remember) side as much and as best as is possible .

it has been about a month and a half ... i have had to *look at something* once in that time frame .

(mind you , she does not install/remove programs or beat on the machine as many of us here would or do)

still , it does show that for the average user , W8.1 is capable of "filling the bill" .

 

i am with ron on the XP vs W7 stance .

i like XP better than W7 for some things .

of course , i like linux mint13 over the above , for certain tasks/programs .

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