What is Windows XP for you?

I just “love” this quote from this PC-Magazine article:

… the amazingly enduring Windows XP—easily Microsoft’s most successful enterprise product ever…

Which is a really cock-eyed way to look at the operating system market, which completely ignores purchasing decisions by millions of users world-wide. A better description of Windows XP might be:

The last reasonably well-made operating system that Microsoft made

Users aren’t migrating from Windows XP because its so good(1) – they keep using Windows XP because every later OS is really bad.


  1. hint: it isn’t []

9 Responses to “What is Windows XP for you?”

  1. Amir:

    It just works and there is no pressing need to change, especially when upgrading requires an adjusting period that does not pay off. It’s not just Windows XP vs. later versions – I also switched to Xubuntu as soon as there was no more Gnome 2 left in Ubuntu.

    • Oded:

      Unfortunately I know your kind of people ;-) I agree that “change for change’s sake” is not a good idea, but GNOME 3 is a different because it tries to offer something different and better (though I agree that some of their choices are annoying). Same thing for KDE 4 and Unity. I’m not sure I can say the same for the Windows >= 6.

      • Amir:

        Hey, I don’t mind change – I switched to XFCE. What I hate is regressions in abundance with no alternative in sight. I suppose it was a bad example, since I recall Windows 7 as being more usable, and it had no major UI regressions that I could tell.

        • Oded:

          Windows 7 has so many regressions that only Windows 8 rivals that. One of the more annoying things in Windows 7 is that they didn’t seem to make up their mind about what type of UI they want – some parts use the Vista “I want to be a web page” look, some things are a bunch of icons like in XP, other things are old style win-forms dialogs. Some things are all of these at once (like the start menu), and you never know what you’re going to get until you got there.

          Also folders and network access don’t work like you might expect them to (what are “libraries”? what is “Network Neighborhood”?). Even the task bar behaves differently then before (though I would tend to say that that is a good thing they stole from Apple).

          I would tend to agree that GNOME Shell’s usability rivals that of Windows 7 (with being very bad, that is), but KDE4 is just fine (better then fine) and Unity isn’t that bad either.

          • Oded:

            BTW – an update from the future – GNOME 3.10 is rather good. They fixed most of the problems I had with the initial release (which mostly centered around the window/workspace preview being the only useful window navigation method and not being very useful at that), and the GNOME addons system has really come a long way to being a great way to customize your setup.

  2. Eran:

    Well, while 7 annoys me at times, I would consider it a markable improvement on XP.
    I think it’s mostly about enterprises still afraid of the Vista backlash.
    I get that companies move slower than users but this is a bit ridiculous. Someone should have tried it already.

    • Oded:

      The main improvements in Windows 7 are small UI changes (basically the dock and start menu come to mind). Most other UI changes in Windows 7 are annoying at best and really degrading to the user experience at worst (please try to find the display power saving settings in 7, and compare that to XP).

      Under the hood, Windows 7 is mostly identical to Vista (After all, it’s a minor upgrade from vista – from version 6.0 to 6.1) and is really bad: the networking protocol was made slower and more complex, the graphics performance was made more complex and slower, more security (basically targeted against the user, not for him) makes the kernel slower, and its not even more stable: the main improvement in Windows 7 over Windows XP is that now the BSOD automatically reboots your computer instead of waiting for you to press CTRL-ALT-DEL

      • Eran:

        I do agree that the settings and behind the scenes stuff was made more complicated. But the start menu was improved. I even think that the Ubuntu dash is only slightly better.
        But I will admit that my main reason for moving was because I wanted things that just weren’t targeted at XP and that sucks. What would it have taken to have DirectX 10 and 11 for XP?

        • Oded:

          Rewriting the display path in the kernel. DirectX 10 requires “secure video path” which cannot be done in Windows XP, mostly because without UAC XP users always run in admin mode (even when you are supposedly not an administrator).

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