[SeMissourian.com] Fair ~ 77°F  
River stage: 34.69 ft. Rising
Sunday, July 13, 2014

Passionate users beg for XP; potential slim Microsoft will agree

Saturday, April 12, 2008

SEATTLE -- Microsoft Corp.'s operating systems run most personal computers around the globe and are a cash cow for the world's largest software maker. But you'd never confuse a Windows user with the passionate fans of Mac OS X or even the free Linux operating system.

Unless it's someone running Windows XP, a version Microsoft wants to retire.

Fans of the six-year-old operating system set to be pulled off store shelves in June have papered the Internet with blog posts, cartoons and petitions recently. They trumpet its superiority to Windows Vista, Microsoft's latest PC operating system, whose consumer launch last January was greeted with lukewarm reviews.

No matter how hard Microsoft works to persuade people to embrace Vista, some just can't be wowed. They complain about Vista's hefty hardware requirements, its less-than-peppy performance, occasional incompatibility with other programs and devices and frequent, irritating security pop-up windows.

For them, the impending disappearance of XP computers from retailers, and the phased withdrawal of technical support in coming years, is causing a minor panic.

Take, for instance, Galen Gruman. A longtime technology journalist, Gruman is more accustomed to writing about trends than starting them.

But after talking to Windows users for months, he realized his distaste for Vista and strong attachment to XP were widespread.

"It sort of hit us that, wait a minute, XP will be gone as of June 30. What are we going to do?" he said. "If no one does something, it's going to be gone."

So Gruman started a Save XP Web petition, gathering since January more than 100,000 signatures and thousands of comments, mostly from die-hard XP users who want Microsoft to keep selling it until the next version of Windows is released, currently targeted for 2010.

On the petition site's comments section, some users proclaimed they will downgrade from Vista to XP if they need to buy a new computer after XP goes off the market.

Others used the comments section to rail against the very idea that Microsoft has the power to enforce the phase-out from a stable, decent product to one that many consider worse, while profiting from the move. Many threatened to leave Windows for Apple or Linux machines.

Microsoft already extended the XP deadline once, but it shows no signs it will do so again. The company has declined to meet with Gruman to consider the petition. Microsoft is aware of the petition, it said in a statement, and "will continue to be guided by feedback we hear from partners and customers about what makes sense based on their needs."

Gruman said he'd keep pressing for a meeting.

"They really believe if they just close their eyes, people will have no choice," he said.

Although Microsoft may not budge on selling new copies of XP, it may have to extend support for it.

On the Net

n Save XP Petition: weblog.infoworld.com/save-xp/

* Microsoft's Windows support timeline: support.microsoft.com/gp/lifepolicy


Fact Check
See inaccurate information in this story?


Comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on semissourian.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

PCs suckólong live Apple!

-- Posted by RocketSurgeon on Sat, Apr 12, 2008, at 6:19 AM

I have a Macintosh at work and hate it. Windows XP works well for me.

-- Posted by bobby62914 on Sat, Apr 12, 2008, at 4:39 PM


Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration. If you already have an account on seMissourian.com or semoball.com, enter your username and password below. Otherwise, click here to register.

Username:

Password:  (Forgot your password?)

Your comments:
Please be respectful of others and try to stay on topic.