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Before everyone loved XP, they hated it.

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I didn't hate XP at all; I thought it was a really great OS right from the start. Yes Luna was rather ugly but with just a few clicks you never had to see it again (and I preferred the classic theme at the time anyway). Not to mention some really nice looking themes came along later on. I also loved that you could customize almost everything to your liking and using a winnt.sif answer file you could install it exactly the way you wanted. Everything from the system folder names and locations to what components were installed. Those days of customization and user choice are long gone sadly.

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Many users here ( and even more that you may support) have looked back upon XP as the greatest OS to come out of Redmond. But very few remember that before XP was loved, it was hated. In fact, it was more than hated, users loathed it. WGA (product activation), the Luna theme, and numerous other technologies had users in a fury, ready to pounce on Redmond as if they were a misbehaving child not listening to their mother (customers), in much the same way users are now with Windows 8. Thanks to the Flux Capacitor we know as the Internet, traces of the frustration can still be found. Ars Technica writer Peter Bright (@DrPizza) brought forth some of that evidence in a new article of his. 

 

Ready for a trip down memory lane? Let's take a look... Memory lane: before everyone loved Windows XP, they hated it!

Great article!  I worked at a Gateway Country Store in college when XP launched... it was an interesting time for sure.

 

I gotta ask... since people hated things like WGA, the Luna theme and other annoyances... did Microsoft remove or fix those features in a later update to XP ?

 

No they did not ;)

 

Microsoft stood by their decisions with XP... however radical they were. (they weren't that radical, though)

 

Windows 8... on the other hand... has already had 2 major updates to fix some of the crazy decisions Microsoft made at launch.  How on Earth did Microsoft think "Boot to Desktop" was something to leave out of Windows 8? And they're just now getting around to improving the experience for those who use a mouse?  (which is *cough* A LOT of users)

 

I don't think the situation with Windows XP is very comparable to Windows 8.

 

Sure... the hatred was there in both cases.  But it looks like Microsoft realizes they went a little too far with Windows 8... not so much with Windows XP.

 

At least they're trying to remedy the situation with Windows 8.  And for that... I say thank you, Microsoft! :D

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I think I was still using Windows 98 up until 2004 (because games ran slightly faster, and I had nostalgic feelings about Win98)...

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From what I can gather most of the initial hate for XP was aimed at the fact that they were upgrading Windows 98/ME era computers which meant driver support was a nightmare for the first couple of years after RTM (that and the fact that it was riddled with security flaws). Most of the usability changes to XP were visual, it wasn't as different from 2K/98/ME as 8 is from 7.

Still, it DID differ visually from 2000 Professional (under the hood, it hardly differed at all) - which is why 2000 Professional users loathed it.  It also had taller system requirements than 98SE or ME (the security was far stiffer than ME, which was both good AND bad - good due to the security woes of ME, but bad for users because driver requirements stiffened up, which meant that a lot of SE/ME-era hardware either had late drivers or no drivers at all).  Windows 2000 Professional could be said to be the last truly "corporate" (in a UI sense) Windows OS for desktops - how much did XP Professional and XP Home differ in terms of default UI?  Windows XP was indeed truly a "bet-the-company" operating system, and early issues nearly ruined Microsoft's OS business.  The UI change between 7 and 8 was entirely due to the lack of a visual Start button.  (Yes - I'm quite serious; how much did the UI, not the UX, change otherwise?)  The UX changes did - to an extent - feed off that UI change - however, the UX changes could have happened without a UI change - remember, the 78xx and 79xx builds prior to the first public Developer Preview kept the Windows 7 UI.  Go back (Microsoft Beta forum here on Neowin) to early comments about both builds 7850 and 7989 (the two widely-disseminated pre-WDP leaks), and especially the criticism of the new UX retaining the old UI; look at exactly how many folks were calling this "Windows 7 Service Pack 2".  What did they REALLY want - the new UX with a new UI, or the old UX and old UI?  Going by a lot of comments since, apparently they didn't want either a UX change OR a UI change - how much did THAT differ from the Vista launch angst (and the changes, though apparently far less major, in Vista's UI and UX compared to those of XP)?

 

Given their druthers, most computer users are decidedly averse to ANY changes in UX or UI - even if the change is for sensible reasons.

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I loved XP from the start. Just not the Product Activation...At the time but fair enough they had to do something to "try" and stamp out piracy and I had to embrace it because that's the future. 

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My belief all those years ago is that if MS kept the 'watercolor' theme that was used during the early whistler betas instead of switching to luna then maybe the early perception problems wouldn't have been so bad.  I personally loved the watercolor theme...thought it looked very professional.

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My belief all those years ago is that if MS kept the 'watercolor' theme that was used during the early whistler betas instead of switching to luna then maybe the early perception problems wouldn't have been so bad.  I personally loved the watercolor theme...thought it looked very professional.

or at least kept it as an option instead of that horrible green theme that no one used (i think that green was the 3rd color option anyway. been forever since i used xp at home)

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or at least kept it as an option instead of that horrible green theme that no one used (i think that green was the 3rd color option anyway. been forever since i used xp at home)

Yep. Blue, green, and silver were the original three. Strangely, enough, I really like the green theme... Until I found the Luna Element series of themes...

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Indeed, we had the Windows 2000 Professional desktop crowd going nuts over how XP only offered "ugly" themes. The DOS/Monolithic crowd complaining about how their drivers and programs didn't work under new DOS (Sigh, command prompt) - never mind Windows 2000 / compatibility awareness had been pushed heavily at retail. This was back in the days where I used to read printed magazines.

 

Windows 7 was despised here by some people, it wasn't an exception. I remember someone on here with a Windows 7 logo with a prohibited overlay as their signature and avatar.

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Indeed, we had the Windows 2000 Professional desktop crowd going nuts over how XP only offered "ugly" themes. The DOS/Monolithic crowd complaining about how their drivers and programs didn't work under new DOS (Sigh, command prompt) - never mind Windows 2000 / compatibility awareness had been pushed heavily at retail. This was back in the days where I used to read printed magazines.

 

Windows 7 was despised here by some people, it wasn't an exception. I remember someone on here with a Windows 7 logo with a prohibited overlay as their signature and avatar.

As I pointed to in an earlier post in this thread, I ran 2000 Pro at work, but XP Pro beta at home (and I could access my work desktop FROM home via an extranet/VPN solution offered by the company I was working for - which demonstrated how little the two OSes differed structurally from each other).  And before we upgraded TO 2000 Pro, a lot of folks (without having tried it) dreaded the move; I was already running 2000 Pro at home, and had for six months.

 

That was, in fact, my first major experience with FUD in a corporate/enterprise setting - fortunately, I was able to fight it with facts and examples, due to volunteering to be one of the first in my team to migrate to 2000 Pro (we kept the same applicaitons and hardware, therefore, what was needed was new images of our software loadouts).

 

Do you know what was the biggest "win" in terms of getting folks to buy into going from NT4WS to 2000 Pro?  Oddly enough, it was "printer queue browsing" - we could sort (and re-sort) printer priority by length of printer queue, printer capabilities, location, etc. - all little things that NT4WS (same network!) couldn't do.  We didn't change any of the hardware - not client hardware, server hardware, or printers.  And there were printers with different capabilities all over the place; however, the biggest problem is that certain printers - due to their capabilities, naturally - had the longest print queues.  With the OS change, we could actually queue-shop among printers with similar capabilities, wherever they were.

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XP was awesome for me back in the day. Never disliked anything, except the lousy Luna theme. Always used em3's theme and Konfabulator to dress it up. I miss the days when you could easily customize Windows. Admittedly, I'd probably not bother now, beyond wallpaper.

Me too, I miss the ease of customising windows, custom startup and shutdown, themes etc...

Like you, now I stopped caring purely because 7 works (personal preference)

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That is an interesting argument implying 8x will be loved like XP did, however, that same logic would apply to both Windows Me and Vista.  

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That is an interesting argument implying 8x will be loved like XP did, however, that same logic would apply to both Windows Me and Vista.  

the problem with that is

 

1. ME had stability issues hence why no one liked/likes it

 

2. Vista also had legit reasons not to like it when it came out (mostly OEMs being flaky with their drivers and the minimum requirements were set too low). there is one reason that people still don't like it as well, and that's Vista has poor memory management

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the problem with that is

 

1. ME had stability issues hence why no one liked/likes it

 

2. Vista also had legit reasons not to like it when it came out (mostly OEMs being flaky with their drivers and the minimum requirements were set too low). there is one reason that people still don't like it as well, and that's Vista has poor memory management

 

Vista once SP1, time for hardware driver's to mature to (learn the new model) was not bad. MS certifying an Intel graphics gpu they was under powered didn't help matter's either. 

 

I never had the opportunity to use windows Me. For me was it was 98SE to Xp for me. 

 

Was trying to point the basis for the argument was flawed, I like Win 8.1 U1 w/ Stardock's Start 8 myself. 

 

Microsoft may be on "9" before the final configuration of 8 is decided, since MS keep chances the start screen.

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I remember first getting an XP Machine.  We had an old Packard Bell PC 75 Mhz,  slow, windows 95.  

 

It died,  so we got a XP Machine shortly after it came out.  Loved the OOBE music and setup.  

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I didn't mind WinXP. I just always switched it to the classic theme.

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i didn't like 98 it was really buggy, i never used 2000, ME was terrible. I was glad when XP came a long and used it for years.

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I remember first getting an XP Machine.  We had an old Packard Bell PC 75 Mhz,  slow, windows 95.  

 

It died,  so we got a XP Machine shortly after it came out.  Loved the OOBE music and setup.  

 

I miss that music - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lwuvmeFVJY

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Indeed.  There was some from Longhorn too.  That was interesting.   Nothing beats the XP one though.  

 

The music pretty catchy..

 

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I loved it but then I came from windows ME which would crash at least twice a day. :|

 

Aaah brings back HATEFUL memories! My mum and Dad's shiny new Packard Bell iMedia Celeron 800MHz PC, had to be factory recovered at least twice every 6 months because of Malignant Edition, XP made the computer a wonder to use! I'm glad General Protection faults disappeared with ME!

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The music pretty catchy..

 

Ahh yeah thats it!

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The only real reason people started to enjoy XP was because it wasn't Visa :)


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Given their druthers, most computer users are decidedly averse to ANY changes in UX or UI - even if the change is for sensible reasons.

 

Not in my experience. Almost everyone I've worked with had no problem with the changes introduced in any of those versions of Windows, nor did I. This whole "people just don't like change" trope is just getting stupid now. I don't like the start screen experience because I genuinely do find it to be crap and annoying, and frankly I can't see why people like you and dot struggle so with that idea.

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