Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion


by patenter123 / November 11, 2011 6:50 PM PST

I've seen so many semi-dysfunctional XP updates over the past months -- including one that TOTALLY hosed one computer and required a complete restore from an earlier date -- that I want to raise the Q of whether it's time to stop adding any more XP updates.
The bottom line/sad fact is that Microsoft has powerful financial motivations to drive as many people as possible, to Windows 7. So, what better way to do that, than to begin a gradual process of assigning less and less skilled programmers, to prepare updates for the no-longer-wanted old version? As more and more not-so-good updates make XP slower and more crippled, more and more people will simply give up, and buy the newer version.
BTW, I'm an engineer and patent attorney, working with computers more than 35 years. And I've seen how companies really and truly are driven by profit motives and profit margins, rather than any sentimental desires to keep customers happy, or to keep older systems running when new ones make more profits.

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Absolutely disagree
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 11, 2011 7:37 PM PST

I could not disagree more!

What you are saying is there is some "Conspiracy at Microsoft" to distribute malicious files marked as "Updates" that will corrupt the Windows XP Operating System and force those users to switch to Windows 7 and so increase Microsoft's profits.

Frankly? I have never heard such a strange idea.

You say you have been around computers for over 3 decades. During that time therefore you will have seen the countless legal actions taken by governments and states against Microsoft over anti-trust and other matters, and yet never once has their been any indication of conspiracy to cause OS corruption in favor of newer products.

You say that you have seen so many semi-dysfunctional XP updates over the past months, yet no details and no specifics. I can tell you, as a voluntary (unpaid) member of the CNET team and a constant and consistent user of Windows XP since it was released in 2001 that none of the updates issued by Microsoft for my machine has caused what you are claiming,and my system is fully up to date.

What you do not state is the condition of these systems you say you are aware of and, presumably, inspected, and the knowledge of the users who have these systems.

If you would care to browse through the many thousands of posts and discussions in these forms, you might find a continuous running theme in them that would tell you the following;

1] User intervention. Windows is by and large completely customizable. Users can add whatever 3rd party software they wish, from whatever sources they wish, to customize their OS as they decide. Microsoft has no control over the software that users decide to install and this is one of the great strengths and weaknesses of the OS. Unlike Apple where the Apple Corporation maintain a tight grip on what can or cannot be installed on their systems, Microsoft allows the user a free hand. Simply put, if the software developer fails to write the code properly, either because they are inadequate or because they simply cannot be bothered, then at some stage that software may cause problems.

Users make the decision to install software and if that software causes problems the users then often blame Microsoft.

2] Malware. Because of Microsoft's comparably "Open Source" policy, Windows is the OS of choice for the majority of malware writers. You will know in your 35 years of knowledge and expertise how the fairly recent phenomenon of malware can destroy an OS in seconds, or can cause damage so deep that it affects the OS in many different ways. Indeed there is much malware out there that actively attempts to prevent the user from installing updates which might close the vulnerabilities that the malware writer is taking advantage of to gain access to a computer.

It can be safely said that all malware is installed by the user either by bad practice or lack of knowledge.

3] You mention how updates make XP slower and more crippled. You make a good point in that the OS does slow down over time. It is bound to. But updates are only marginal in that compared to the 65 million lines of code that a stock install of XP contains. All systems get slower over time, not because of updates but because the user does not 'maintain' their system properly. They allow software to install "Run at Startup", or set Services and Processes to run that soak up memory that is needed elsewhere. My system is now nearly 10 years old and it is slower than when I first purchased it. But that is not the basic OS. That is because I have been continuously installing software over the years and I want that software to be available immediately I boot up. I am aware of this and accept it, and I also take particular care of this OS because I am aware of its age, and I am aware that newer software demands more from an OS and from hardware.

There will be many others here who will give you plenty of other examples why your contention is incorrect. Your contention and complaint, accusation and allegation is incorrect.


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Disagreed too
by Wim_Damstra / November 18, 2011 7:43 PM PST
In reply to: Absolutely disagree

I learn for both programmer and systemanalist around 1965 (from the school of Max Euwe, the chess grand master) and have therefor been using all kind of computers since nearly the beginning; phenomenons like corrupting by Microsoft of older operating systems, as mentioned by patenter123, I never encountered; I suppose it's both a lack of keeping good service of your operating system and installing bad written programs.

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As an engineer and lawyer
by Jimmy Greystone / November 11, 2011 9:50 PM PST

As an engineer and lawyer, you should know better than to buy into these idiotic conspiracy theories. It would be supremely bad for business if Microsoft were ever caught doing anything even REMOTELY like what you're suggesting. Not only would every major company out there probably immediately start formulating a migration path to Mac OS X or Linux, but Microsoft would likely be sued by just about every company out there, not to mention they'd attract a whole lot of unwanted attention from various government agencies the world over. Then the shareholders of the company would pick over whatever was left of the corpse.

Most of the time, when an update hoses an OS install, it's because there's some kind of malware or some other deep seated issue with the OS. Every couple of blue moons there is some kind of toxic interaction between an update and say a bug in some driver, but it's pretty rare.

So my suggestion to you, would be that next time you spend a little time thinking this through. Maybe take a few business courses at a local community college or something. Yes, companies are driven by profits, and that's exactly why your hypothesis falls apart with even some basic scrutiny. I don't care how many businesses have been ruined by short-term decision making to meet quarterly projections, a manager would have to be a complete and total moron to do anything even remotely like what you suggested.

Far too often these days, people never really seem to carry a thought through to it's logical conclusion. They just stop somewhere along the way because they stumbled upon a possible answer. In your case, you have this preconceived notion, from your work as a patent lawyer, that companies are driven by profit motives. You fail to take into account that working as a patent lawyer might skew/color your view of the world. Kind of like how a lot of divorce lawyers tend to become soured in the idea of marriage because they only see people at their worst. You arrived at a conclusion which fits what you've seen, but then failed to ask yourself what the potential consequences might be if that were indeed true. And it doesn't take much to see that the potential consequences would far outweigh any potential benefits they might get from moving people to a new product.

I've always found it curious that the more intelligent you are the more likely you are to buy into idiotic conspiracy theories or be sucked into a cult. Seems to run counter to what you'd expect, but then people like yourself post these things, and even if I can't explain the why, it's kind of hard to ignore the evidence right in front of my face.

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(NT) Would love to respond, but the CNET system won't let me ...
by patenter123 / November 14, 2011 3:47 AM PST
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Okay, Mark and Jimmy, here's back to you . . .
by patenter123 / November 14, 2011 7:07 AM PST

Mark and Jimmy, you both need to back up a few steps, and take another look at what I actually wrote.
Mark, you want specifics? Fine. I decided to upgrade two machines, so that either one could drive a new hi-def monitor via an onboard (rather than add-on) HDMI port> So, I bought an Intel Core i5-2400/LGA1155 quad processer for each, and a Intel DH67BL mainboard for each, with 4 GB memory, all from a local MicroCenter store. In August 2011, I installed XP with Service Pack 3 onto each, and a few basic and well-known programs (Firefox, iTunes, Acrobat 9). Both systems were stable and working fine. Then the Windows Update system took over, and began installing dozens and dozens of updates. By the time it finished, BOTH systems were aggressively unstable, and would crash into a "totally frozen" mode (I couldn't even get Task Manager to run, to help me look for problems) within about 3 to about 20 minutes. Each one crashed like that, at least 4-5 times. I tried unplugging all non-essential components, swapping SATA hard drives, swapping DVD drives, and everything else I could think of, between the two machines, but nothign worked. I took both units back to MicroCenter, and the guy at the help desk told me I should basically quit trying to run XP on a machine that new and that fast, and shift to Windows 7 instead. He also told me to turn off Windows Update on all of my XP machines, or at least shift it entirely into "Custom" mode so that I could pick and choose any updates while keeping others away. And, his comment is largely what got me to thinking along those lines.

Is it a "conspiracy theory?" No. It's what the service tech at a reputable store told me. So, in reply to your comment, "Frankly? I have never heard such a strange idea," my suggestion would be, oh, grow up. Sure you have. This isn't UFO or 9/11 talk, by some wingnut.

Jimmy, your comment, "Maybe take a few business courses at a local community college or something" was clearly intended to be insulting and derogatory. FYI, I took two full years worth of night courses in finance, accounting, marketing, labor relations, etc, at the UCLA School of Business, between engineering colege (Univ. of Texas at Austin) and law school (Harvard Law). And, whiel at Harvard Law, I cross-registered for (and took) the course in Business Policy, at Harvard Business School. I would suggest that maybe it's you who does not understand what the business peole at that level will do, to try to prove to the big bosses that they will do anythng and everything to maximize company profits, and to hell with anything or anyone else.

And finally, I've been married for 30 years to a remarkably skilled woman who has worked her way up through a substantila number of computer companies. She now manages over 1000 programmers, at one of the world's most successful computer service companies. I probably know more than you do, about the difficulties in finding and retaining truly top-quality programmers.

Now, I didn't say that there's a sinister conspiracy, at Microsoft. What I said was, in essence:
(1) the XP system is no longer the top money-maker at Microsoft.
You guys agree, or disagree, with that statement?

(2) there is a powerful tendency, in ANY company (Microsoft included) to shift the BEST employees to the high-profit areas, while allowing the "backwater" areas to gradually fill up with -- shall we say -- "somewhat LESS optimal" employees.
You guys agree, or disagree, with that statement?

Based on those two basic starting points, I raised a simple and straightforward question, which largely grew out of the advice that a skilled tech support guy at a computer stoire told me: is it time to turn off XP updates?

Now, instead of going up in flames, and saying, "That guy must be cah-RAY-zee for even ASKING a question like that!", maybe you guys -- since you're the REAL experts here -- can tell me why two different brand-new, premium-quality, high-powered systems, within brand new Intel mainboards and brans new Intel processors and absolutely NO other software other than a few simple, standard basics -- worked just fine, when all they had was XP/SP3, and then began crashing, repeatedly and aggressively, immediately after a big batch of XP updates finished installing.

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Can anyone correct a spelling error, on this board?
by patenter123 / November 14, 2011 7:19 AM PST

Man, with all the computer expertise here, you'd this this board would figure out a way to let a "contributor" review his work, after it has been posted, and then edit it, if he sees any spelling errors.
Apparently t won't, so here's a quick list of known errata:
"HDMI port>" should be "HDMI port."
"nothign worked." should be "nothing helped."
"engineering colege" should be "engineering college"
"whiel at Harvard Law" should be "whiel at Harvard Law"

Sorry to get into that level of trivia, but I get the feeling Mark and Jimmy are going to attack and criticize me, any way they can, for any reason they can find or think up. So, I'd just as soon set THOSE matters aside, in the hope that we can focus on the REAL issues here. Which center, not on me, but on Windows XP updates.

And oh, BTW - Mark, and Jimmy, do either of you guys have some kind of connection to Microsoft? Are you, for example, employees or contractors of theirs, who get paid to counter-attack, if anyone asks a potentially difficult question about Microsoft?
Just thought I'd ask. In case there's something there.
Or is that just another completely crazy question to even think of, let alone ask?

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Final example, to support my initial comment
by patenter123 / November 14, 2011 7:34 AM PST

A quick final statement, to further support my initial comment, "I've seen so many semi-dysfunctional XP updates over the past months . . ."
I have a computer that had been working fine, for years, running XP.
I deleted AVG anti-virus and went to Microsoft Security Essentials.
Everything started running really, really slow.
I found some board posts which said, "Microsoft screwed up on that release, and Security Essentials keeps trying to scan its own directories, so any user must go in and tell Security Essentials to stop trying to scan its own directories."
So, I did that. And it was okay, for a while.
But then, Windows XP installed a few more updates on that machine.
And then, the machine immediately slowed to a nearly-dead crawl.
When I opened Task Manager to find out why, it told me that some unidentified "system idle process" was consuming 90 to 99% of my CPU's processing capacity.
I'm not a computer repair guy (I do other stuff, like patent work, and design engineering), so I reinstalled a clean copy of my OLD operating system (from several months earlier) onto that drive, from an Acronis True-Image backup.

So . . . that is yet another example of an XP machine that was working just fine before Windows Update added stuff to it, and that turned into a, "this isn't working any more" condition, the first time I booted it up, after an XP Windows Update.
Mark and Jimmy, you guys can come up with all the reasons and excuses you want. But the bottom-line question remains an entirely valid question:


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Unidentified "system idle process"
by KenHusveg / November 14, 2011 7:54 AM PST

Try one of these programs to find the (unidentified "system idle process") culprit.

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time to turn off
by tedtks / November 18, 2011 9:41 AM PST

YES.... hahaha hell,, I turned them off a couple years ago - for the same reason.
would slow down or mess up something in which case I got tired of it all and just reloaded xp pro w/2
and have been a happy camper ever since.
Been messing with computers since 1968 and pc's since trying to get an altair 800 working hahaha.
MS,, I have complained before about some of their ' ' fixes ' ' and updates. some are just stupid
as if they have programmers just sitting around makeing changes to look busy. I was usually too
busy testing programs before release to users - unlike MS ! If I had ever released a pgm that had
the problems ms has - I probably would have lost my job - or when I managed - would have fired
someone since my biggest edict was to test test test ! !
A programmmer cant test his own program completely just out of habit of knowing how it works.
The user - who usually just barely knows how to turn the thing on is going to have problems with
usually the simple things.
Just had that happen on installing Avery Card maker - ran it and it locks up. Avery says that we
shouldnt do the downloads from Cnet - just use their online pgm. but they had a fix - click ' cancel '
and it runs just fine ! a simple thing - makes one do the ' why didnt I try that ' (head hitting desk)
dance. hahaha.

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Swapping DVD drives / Too fast for XP
by seth1066 / November 18, 2011 9:36 AM PST

1. I find the staff at computer stores woefully unknowlegeable;

2, Too fast of XP? Or any operating system for that matter. Never heard of this one and I find it highly suspicious that one would rely on the gerbil at a computer store, if the story is even true;

3. You claim you are: "an engineer and patent attorney, working with computers more than 35 years."

Further, if 3. above is true, please explain how swapping a DVD drive will alter or affect an alleged dysfunctional O/S? If this is part of your diagnosis then you don't have a clue and your entire story is now suspect and one can easily conclude is bogus.

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RE: Swapping DVD drives
by AdolfoMN / November 22, 2011 8:59 AM PST

>>explain how swapping a DVD drive will alter or affect an alleged dysfunctional O/S<<

As an example, if the UpperFilters registry entry or LowerFilters registry entry become corrupted, your optical drive (CD or DVD) and/or certain removable drives can disappear or malfunction, i.e. that could be perceived as symptomatic of a "dysfunctional OS". The causes could be that the entry was not properly cleared for the new hardware, or it could be corruption or incompatibilities with these entries caused by the Bonjour service used by iTunes (very popular - by the tens of millions) and several other programs; the fix has generally involved manual registry edit(s), which should never be considered a "trivial" pursuit.

In addition, lest we forget, each of the Service Packs (major patches) for Win XP has brought on a slew of missteps that required a slew of minor patches afterward to correct. This has been well-documented in computing media, so that "Patch early, patch often" has brought its own set of risks and pains as well as rewards.

As to the assertion of "less experienced" programmers writing the patches for Win XP, that is not beyond the realm of possibilities. Much as less experienced mechanics get trained in on oil changes and tire changes eventually graduating into debugging FCU/BCU diagnosis. Since most patches for Win XP only fix "little" things, there would be more fault tolerance for correcting a "mis-patch" on the next patch. Learning the nuts and bolts in the "simpler" Win XP code base would prepare them for the more complex Win 7 code base. The approach would certainly make business risk and technical risk sense.

For more heady or complicated tasks in patching the code base, though, as others have indicated, it would serve Microsoft interests to use more experienced programmers to ensure the absolute minimum negative impact that a more extensive patch might bring to the diverse Win XP installed base ecosystem. This only serves the competitive platforms to have more fodder to toss at you in their marketing and/or the subject of ridicule on this and other computing sites.

As for the question of Win XP updates, I have always taken the approach to let the system download them yet let the installation question reside under my choice after reviewing what each patch is supposed to fix. The monthly "malicious software removal tool" is generally recommended for the virus/malware/security conscience. Avoiding Win XP updates altogether, however, will only leave you exposed and/or prone to attack, and in some cases, possibly turn your system into a "zombie" infected system that relays the attack unto other systems, including Denial-Of-Service attacks.

As for A/V software, if you must pair Security Essentials with another package, I would choose Avast, AVG, or Avira to run concurrently with Security Essentials or preferably in lieu of Security Essentials. I have not observed Security Essentials inhibiting, let alone halting, most of the viruses in the wild or drive-by malware. Conservative surfing (which includes partner tools that preemptively rate and/or secure you from linking into compromising sites from your search results) and at least one strong A/V tool should prove adequate in the majority of cases to secure your system.

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RE: Swapping DVD drives
by seth1066 / November 22, 2011 1:39 PM PST

The request to the OP was, just as you have quoted:

">>explain how swapping a DVD drive will alter or affect an alleged dysfunctional O/S<<"

Ok, you've got a dysfunctional O/S due to an XP update and one of the side effects are an inop optical drive due to "the UpperFilters registry entry or LowerFilters registry entry [having] become corrupted..."

You can try 1 or a dozen different and perfectly good optical drives and cables, but none of them will work; in your example, it's a software issue. You might as well swap the power supply or the rubber feet on the bottom of the case.

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Reguarding Xp
by darow1 / November 18, 2011 11:30 AM PST

There have been more and more problems with Xp particularly with new hardware and new drivers whether they come from Micrsoft update or the vendors site. The problem with Xp is that it is antiquated and not well supported by vendors. It was a great os but its day is over give it up. Windows 7 is both fast and stable unlike that dog they called vista. Try it you will like it really.

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Somehow missed this one
by Jimmy Greystone / November 18, 2011 12:03 PM PST

Somehow missed this one until now, and experience has taught me that when you have someone who takes the time to post 3-4 times in a row, it's just not wise to spend a lot of time on it.

So, you buy a bunch of parts at Microcenter, parts which are pretty new and probably don't even have the proper XP drivers -- but that's actually a whole other side topic I won't get into -- but it never seems to occur to you that there may be some other issue. You don't appear to have the system running for all that long a period of time before things go wrong and you leap to the conclusion that it's these updates. And naturally we're all supposed to just accept that your singular experience is more important than the tens of thousands, if not millions or even TENS of millions, of people out there who have absolutely no problems whatsoever installing these updates. No, we should all ignore this MASSIVE collection of evidence to the contrary because you, patenter123, had a bad experience. It couldn't POSSIBLY be that you screwed something up while putting these systems together, or that you have some bum hardware, or trying to run a 10 year old OS on hardware that was only on the theoretical stage when XP came out, and likely without full and proper drivers at that. No, YOU had a bad experience, so clearly we should just set all of that aside because it means absolutely nothing.

I would go on, but I think you pretty much discredited yourself better than I ever could when you pulled out the "they disagree with me so they must work for Microsoft" line in one of your responses. Not really sure that anything more need be said after that. All that's left is for someone to mention Hitler, and threaten a lawsuit. In the effort of saving us all some time, I've taken the liberty of doing the first one for you.

Personally I do find it rather difficult to believe that anyone who actually worked as a lawyer, let alone was accepted to Harvard Law School, would ever make such a sloppy (on several fronts) post. I don't really care either way, so you can spare us the autobiography, I'm just saying I'd expect quite a bit more from someone as highly educated as you claim to be. Apparently I'm not the only one. So make up whatever paranoid fantasy you want about how I'm some evil minion doing Microsoft's bidding (those that know what I do for a living will certainly get a chuckle out of that) and toddle along.

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STill using my beloved XPpro
by pfarley10 / November 18, 2011 3:46 PM PST
I have been using xp for so long I would not no what to do without it. I have another computer running windows 7 and find it to be a great OP sys. I see no conspiricy on M.S. part and thank them for keeping up support on this sys. I see the newer op running at slower speeds. In fact as muscian a lot of programs would not work right on newer op sys. The time to upgrade is coming but for now my windows 7 is chuggin along same as always. Happy
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Great debate!
by Bkess / November 18, 2011 4:25 PM PST

I'm really enjoying this debate! Patenter, Mark and Jimmy all make very good points - even though they disagree strongly.

I'm a retired computer engineer with 30+ years experience with a major computer mainframe designer/ manufacturer so have first hand experience of the inner working of a company that markets computer products, both hardware and software. I am also a long-time home pc user and have been a Windows user for most of those years. I am not a heavy or sophisticated user and have been on XP since about 2003 and keep it up to date with the regular updates. I have never had a problem with any of them.

I am definitely not a conspiracy advocate - I believe we did land on the Moon and that Lee Harvey Oswald did shoot JFK - but believe Microsoft, like any company, wants to develop and market new products. This is natural, and the basis of any successful business. So they will, and should, put greater emphasis on development of new products over support of older ones. As a patent attorney Patenter, if anyone, should appreciate this fact because if it were not true he would soon be without a job!

But accusing Microsoft of undermining an existing product in order to promote a new one is well beyond the realm of creditability. As Mark and Jimmy say, the risk/reward comparison is just too disparate to be believable. Microsoft, like any reputable business, will carefully budget their costs, looking to get the biggest bang for their buck - and new product development will always win out over the support of existing ones. But they will achieve their successes by providing new and better products; not undercutting their old ones. XP will definitely die, but it will be a natural, timely death due to old age, not some evil plot by backroom conspirators.

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We landed on the moon?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 18, 2011 8:41 PM PST
In reply to: Great debate!

Glad you are enjoying the debate.

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And what about
by Jimmy Greystone / November 18, 2011 9:11 PM PST
In reply to: We landed on the moon?

And what about the grassy knoll? We can't forget about the grassy knoll or the terrorists win!

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by mwooge / November 18, 2011 10:09 PM PST

> than to begin a gradual process of assigning less and less skilled programmers
They have to. It's how less skilled programmers become better skilled programmers.

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As Long As People Use It
by Flatworm / November 18, 2011 10:12 PM PST

Windows XP is still a very heavily used O/S. It is absolutely essential that security updates be maintained.

Every exploited computer threatens all of us. Microsoft has GOT to keep patching security flaws in XP whenever such a flaw is discovered. The installed base for XP is still really enormous and that has got to be taken into account.

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re rime to stop windows xp updates
by ajharry1 / November 19, 2011 2:38 AM PST

A couple of points.

1 All the symptoms described can be cause by somthing as simple as a failing hard drive or RAM Stick.

2 Microsoft can be pigheaded at times, but they are not suicidel. Deliberatly pissing off Mabey half of the bussness community (a lot of whom still use windows 2000) would not be good for thier bottom line at all.

3 Microsoft corrects what it sees as bugs when they update. Many programmes see those same bugs as undocumented features and use them. You can see the problem. Microsoft fixes the bugs and some programs stop working. Lazy programmers blame microsoft update. Reputable programmers fix thier code.

4 Somtimes Microsoft makes mistakes (Windows ME for example) but they fix thier mistakes. Thier fixes don't always satisfy every one, but that is just how it works.

5 Flatworm's point is well taken and over rides any reason to stop updating xp. Any system that is compromised is a danger to the rest of the internet.

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I disagree! Keep a site for XP updates!
by Stubbykca / November 19, 2011 2:18 AM PST

There are a lot of people who still have XP, and some of them just can't afford to upgrade or buy a new PC. I still have XP on one of my computers which I keep updated all the time. I also have Vista on my other Laptop, and Win 7 on this one. I think there should always be a site where people can go to find fixes, updates and software for XP or whatever they are using.

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Windows 7 not quite supported by enough companies yet:
by pfarley10 / November 19, 2011 2:53 AM PST

I am a singer and musician and a lot of the programs I use will not function under windows7 not to mention the cost of upgrading all of the virtual instruments I use. I am still receiving software that is not ready for Windows7. Every day more and more of the items I use are supporting Win7. Unfortunally I do not have the thousands of dollars it would cost to upgrade. I do however support Win7 for the average person and highly recommend it to people without special programs. IE: expensive, just wont be compatible. etc.

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xp vs other os
by MN_kat55 / November 19, 2011 3:22 PM PST

i think it was much easier to maintain 98 than XP and I've hear Vista was a nightmare. Anytime I had a problem w/98 I could use the rescue disc. Doesn't work with XP, at least any fix is not that simple and since I don't have my product key and even if I did it wouldn't work because it's stored on the mother board or some such nonsense, I can't even do a lean re-install!

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I'm scratching my head
by Jimmy Greystone / November 19, 2011 9:30 PM PST
In reply to: xp vs other os

I'm scratching my head here trying to figure out what this has to do with the rather ill conceived notion that there is some kind of conspiracy on Microsoft's part to sabotage XP updates so as to drive sales of Windows 7. Which is what this whole discussion was about. One person's crazy paranoid fantasy based on a whole lot of supposition, incomplete understanding of several key topics (including technical and business), and not even bothering to even attempt something approaching a proper diagnosis before leaping to said ill conceived notion.

I will say that the XP product key is NEVER stores in some chip on the motherboard. Some OEM copies of XP are modified so that they will only activate if they find the proper BIOS. So a copy of Windows from Dell will only activate on a Dell/Alienware unit, HP on HP/Compaq units, etc. There was often a sticker affixed to the bottom of a unit with the product key if you bought a name brand system with Windows already installed, but the restore media should never need it unless you changed the hardware. Then there was/is the often overlooked limitation of the OEM copy of Windows, that it lives and dies with the hardware it was first activated on. It is there in the EULA that most people never bother to read, and admittedly most that do, won't fully understand. That's why the OEM copy is cheaper, that and there's no support options from MS.

In any case, I'm still at a loss as to what several of the latest posts to this thread have to do with the OP's crazy assertion that Microsoft is conspiring to sabotage XP in order to try and drive people to buy Windows 7.

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Re: product key
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 19, 2011 9:46 PM PST
In reply to: xp vs other os

Mine is safely stored in the registry. I can find it with regedit and Belarc advisor even prints it in that invaluable list I use when reinstalling Windows XP.
But, of course, it's also on the sticker that came with the disk.

Where's your disk? Where's your registry? Didn't you download Belarc (it's free for personal use)?


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Several comments, by OP
by patenter123 / November 20, 2011 4:11 AM PST
In reply to: Re: product key

Several comments in reply to the above:

1. Don't know how this got shifted into Q's about finding XP key. A quick search of Google for "xp keyfinder" will quickly find several free utilities that will quickly find and report the key to just about any Windows version.

2. In reply to Seth, about staff at computer stores being "woefully unknowlegeable", try to avoid sweeping generalizations like that. Most may be, but there are exceptions. I've found 2 guys in particular at the Help Desk at my local Micro Center store to be good, and I will find a way to get a computer to either of those two guys, if I have to take it there. I've worked with at least 8 computer service specialists over the years, who come to my house/office to fix problems, and I would rank those 2 guys at Micro Center as being as good as all but 2 of the best guys I've encountered.

3. WRT Win7 being a better program, I don't disagree, and I would mention that a "family 3-pack" of the Home Premium version, licensed for 3 different computers, is still available via places such as Amazon, even though most stores no longer carry it. My problem is, I've still got a lot of XP software, and I was hoping to bypass Win7 and delay that unwelcome transition until the new Win8 system reaches at least a "Service Pack 1" level of stability. Is that stupid, or some kind of conspiracy theory? No. That's just logic and common sense.

4. Anyone who reads Jimmy's comments should realize that he's got a serious problem, in dealing with people rather than computers. I didn't show up with wild-eyed conspiracy theories, about malevolent plots within Microsoft to sabotage computers. Instead, I showed up based on 3 specific examples, which I did indeed encounter, all of which "indicate" (that is actually is a rather useful word, quite helpful when used properly; the problem is, people like Jimmy often try to twist and distort it into things it didn't originally mean, if they want to abuse it for their own purposes) that problems are gradually creeping into the WinXP update system, which is no longer a major profit center for MS. So, I raised a reasonable Q, and Jimmy launched into a set of attacks and tantrums, apparently because he didn't like me raising what was, and what remains, a reasonable Q.

Here's a quick comment by an experienced attorney: did anyone notice that when Jimmy "replied" to my Q about whether he might work for MS, he tried to change the subject, and the focus, back to me, with a bunch of aggressive and distracting attacks against me, without ever actually answering the question? The best comment I can offer is, Jimmy, I wish I could take you on, in a deposition. You'd be fun.

I've seen a lot of potentially talented inventors (and talented computer programmers, too, mainly through my wife), who seem to think that talent and creativity ENTITLE them to be arrogant, aggressive, and abusive toward anyone else who (i) might be competition, and might try to steal the spotlight and attention that THEY think THEY deserve; or (ii) doesn't see the world in quite exactly the same way as they do, and who therefore are clearly wrong and defective, in their reasoning and mental abilities.

Without getting into the difficult questions of whether, when, and to what extent real and true talent DOES or CAN entitle someone to be an aggressive a-hole toward others, the basic truth I try to steer and guide inventors and others toward, is that it won't help -- ever -- to act like an aggressive a-hole. It just puts people off, and makes them LESS willing to listen (and less willing to try to actually understand what the a-hole is trying to say).

So, good luck, Jimmy, with your efforts to vent your anger and frustration (and I'm sure there's a LOT of it) toward anyone who happens to cross your path. If you ever get serious about wanting to become a better person, the two books on human psychology and self-improvement that I would recommend are:

(1) The Denial of Death, by Ernest Becker. It was written by a professor who had been teaching psychology for 40 years, and who was dying of cancer. He did his absolute level best to summarize everything he had learned, about why humans do what they do, in his final book. It won the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. Skip the chapter on Kierkegaard, the first time through it; it's a digression that doesn't help the main thrust. Other than that, it's a great, great book, about people, and humanity, and why people act the way they act.

(2) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. It's been on the best-seller lists for years, because it really is one of the best self-help books ever written. No one can make you change, except through violence or other unacceptable means; only you can change yourself. The problem is, people don't change because they want to. They change, only when they realize they will not be happy again, unless and until something about them changes.

I would also mention that Covey's follow-up book, "The 8th Habit", takes up an entire book to expand on a simple theme: "This 8th habit is to find your voice, and to inspire others to find theirs".

Focus on the word, "and" in that sentence. It is not enough to just "find your own voice". Jimmy, you clearly have found your own voice, for now. The problem is, it is filled with arrogance, aggression, and abusiveness. Okay, so that's your voice, and your style, for now. But that kind of self-expression, by you, will never, ever be able to reach or even remotely approach the "and" requirement of what Covey formulates as the key to greatness and leadership. Instead of inspiring others to also find their own voices, you seem determined to try to drive them in the opposite direction, into submission to you, your will, and your viewpoint, by using abuse and mockery to try to taunt and offend them.
Dude, that is never going to make you happy. And it's never going to make you a better person.

So -- to anyone and everyone else -- one of the key factors, in measuring and defining true intelligence, is whether you can learn, not just from your own mistakes, but from the mistakes of others. I sincerely hope you can look at how Jimmy communicates, and tell yourself -- in a way that manages to cut through the outer shells and layers, and resonate and be heard in the center -- "Hmm . . . that really isn't the best way to communicate. I can, and I should, find better ways."

Now, back to the start, to complete and close the circle, and to try to focus attention on the real and serious question here. As described above, I've seen not just 1, and not just 2, but three different specific instances, where XP updates ended up pushing 3 different computers into "non-working" status. So, I have raised a Q, as a serious and realistic Q that I believes deserves consideration by others:

Is it time to stop running XP updates?

Now, the Q of how to protect computers against viruses and other malware is a related and overlapping Q, but it is -- importantly -- a different question. Obviously, anyone and everyone needs good anti-virus software. So, that gets into a different set of Q's, about whether a computer which is running at least two such programs (such as MS Security Essentials, combined with any or all of Spybot, AdAware, Malwarebytes, etc.) also NEEDS to add the "malicious software removal tool" that MS issues every month.

And, what would people recommend as a combination of the two-best-when-combined "safety/security/anti-virus" programs that are currently available, today, for an XP machine, and for a Win7 machine?

That's a separate question, and we shouldn't try to tackle it in THIS thread. I assume it has already been addressed elsewhere. Can anyone provide links to a couple of good threads which address THAT question?

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And at this point
by Jimmy Greystone / November 20, 2011 7:49 AM PST

And at this point, I think it's time to drag out the "do not feed the troll" sign for this entire thread.

As it stands now, things appear to be devolving more into character assassination and ad hominem attacks than actually discussing the question asked. Further, the question has been answered by several people, but as the OP apparently doesn't like the answer received, becomes increasingly erratic in some kind of futile hope of getting someone to agree. Pretty clear case of someone seeking to convince themselves more than other people, and seeking validation in the number of people who believe similarly to them.

So, given all that, and the fact that several people now seem to have started posting in here about completely unrelated topics, I'll float the idea to the mods that perhaps this thread has been left open a little too long and it's maybe time to shut it down.

I also have some serious doubts about the numerous claims the OP has
made about himself, as too many things simply do not seem to track or
line up. Too many OBVIOUS things, not just little things. The OP's idea
of what passes for legal decorum seems to be based off of TV legal
dramas, not anything actually resembling an actual legal proceeding.
Anyone who is as sloppy as the OP is in his posts would be lucky to be
working as a paralegal. Which, I grant, is not pertinent to this particular discussion topic, but it might be something to keep in mind should the OP choose to persist in posting here. I am not a lawyer, so I don't know whether or not it is technically a crime to claim to be one when you are not, same for claiming to have a degree from some university, but I know if it were me, I probably wouldn't take the chance. In any case, not my call to make, just mentioning it for any internal discussions that may go on.

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should microsoft stop updating windows xp.
by ajharry1 / November 20, 2011 8:02 AM PST
In reply to: And at this point
Forget all the silly stuff spouted above. The answer is no. Microsoft should update XP till there is no demand for updates.
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Get rid of XP
by 3rdalbum / November 20, 2011 10:11 AM PST

Microsoft should do whatever it can, within reason, to kill XP.

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