Why XP must be saved

The costs are too high and the benefits too low to be forced to switch to Vista

The clock is ticking: Microsoft will end OEM and shrink-wrapped sales of Windows XP on June 30, 2008, forcing users to shift to Vista. (System builders, meaning those who do white-box PCs, can sell XP through December 31.) Don't let that happen!

Millions of us have grown comfortable with XP and don't see a need to change to Vista. It's like having a comfortable apartment that you've enjoyed coming home to for years, only to get an eviction notice. The thought of moving to a new place -- even with the stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and maple cabinets (or is cherry in this year?) -- just doesn't sit right. Maybe it'll be more modern, but it will also cost more and likely not be as good a fit. And you don't have any other reason to move. That's exactly the conclusion people have come to with Vista. For most of us, there's really no reason to move to it -- yet we don't have a choice. When that strong desire to stick with XP became obvious in spring 2007, major computer makers such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard quietly reintroduced new XP-based systems (but just to business customers, so as not to offend Microsoft).

But come June 30, even that option goes away. (See InfoWorld's live XP countdown clock. To use this clock on your own Web site, please e-mail Executive Editor Galen Gruman for the code snippet.)

So what to do? Let Microsoft decide where your personal and enterprise software "lives"? Or send a loud and clear message that you don't want to move?

We're going for the loud-and-clear option. Join us, and tell Microsoft that you want to keep XP available indefinitely. Not for another six months or a year, but indefinitely. Sign InfoWorld's petition today. And consider submitting a "Save XP" video to our site to help spread the word.

And ask your friends and colleagues to join in, too. Just point them to SaveXP.com.

Don't think Microsoft will listen? Consider this: Although Microsoft denies that anything is wrong with Vista or that most people don't want it, the company has already postponed XP's demise by six months. That's a start, but it's not good enough.

Microsoft doesn't have to admit failure; it can just say it will keep XP available indefinitely due to customer demand. It can take that opportunity to try again with a better Vista, or just move on to the next version that maybe this time we'll all actually want.

There is a precedent for that, too: In many respects, Vista is like the Windows Millennium Edition that was meant to replace Windows 98 in 2000 but caused more trouble than it was worth. At that time, Windows 2000 was promising but didn't support a lot of hardware, so users were stuck between two bad choices. Without admitting Millennium's failure, Microsoft quietly put Windows 98 back on the market until the fixed version of Windows 2000 (SP1) was available. Microsoft needs to do something like that again today.

Make your voice heard to Microsoft. Sign our petition to save XP today. We will present it to Microsoft.

For more on why Vista isn't the right replacement for XP, check out InfoWorld's analyses: The (post-SP1) Vista verdict: Wait for Windows 7 Randall Kennedy's assessment is that for the vast majority of enterprise IT shops, Vista is not -- and likely never will be -- the right choice for their immediate desktop computing needs.

The (post-SP1) Vista verdict: Wait for Windows 7

Randall Kennedy's assessment is that for the vast majority of enterprise IT shops, Vista is not -- and likely never will be -- the right choice for their immediate desktop computing needs.

Service pack vs. service pack: XP SP3 beats Vista SP1

According to tests by Devil Mountain Software comparing the release candidates for the last Windows XP service pack and the first Vista service pack, XP SP3 performs twice as fast as Vista SP1 on the same machine -- and slower than the initial release of the Vista OS as well.

Businesses having second thoughts about Vista

Fewer businesses are now planning to move to Windows Vista than seven months ago, according to a survey by patch management vendor PatchLink.

Forrester: Businesses still saying no to Vista

An anticipated rush by businesses to adopt Windows Vista hasn't materialized as IT managers stick with familiar systems and wait for the release of Vista Service Pack 1.

Microsoft: Vista follow-up likely in 2009

With Vista just out the door, Microsoft is now drawing up plans to deliver its follow-up client operating system by the end of 2009.

Farewell Vista, hello XP

From PCWorld.com: How to make the switch back and deal with the gnarly problem of transferring your Vista e-mail, contacts, and user data back to the old standby operating system.

HP CEO: Vista never had its moment in 2007

From CIO.com: Wondering what's happened to momentum for Microsoft's Vista operating system in corporate America? Fact is, enterprise IT has continued to decline the Vista plate like it's an undercooked holiday casserole. Listen to what Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd said: HP never saw a "Vista moment at any time over the past year."

UK government report: Don’t upgrade to Vista

Report warns British schools not to upgrade to Microsoft's Vista OS and Office 2007 suite, and to avoid Microsoft's OOXML document format because of compatibility concerns.


Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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