Is Microsoft Playing Games With XP SP3?

Call it a Hamlet moment for the PC industry, filled with political intrigue and machinations worthy of the great Shakespeare play: to wait for XP SP3 or move to Vista now that Microsoft has released Vista SP1? Or in other words: "To XP, or not to XP?" That is the question.

It's a question that is burning up the blogosphere with some speculating that Microsoft has delayed XP SP3, a long awaited release that could boost the performance of XP, to get more users to adopt Vista, a potential cash cow for Microsoft and PC makers given the operating system's robust hardware refresh requirements.

With many in the blogosphere speculating that Microsoft could release the final version of XP SP3 this week, Microsoft late Tuesday snuffed out all hope that users would see the service pack, originally slated for release in 2006, any time soon.

Instead of a final XP SP 3 release, Microsoft announced late Tuesday a refresh to the XP SP3 Release Candidate 2 version it posted to its Download Center just last month. The software giant cited the need to elicit more feedback from testers, but some solution providers aren't buying it.

"I think Microsoft is withholding XP SP3 until all of the smoke has blown over with Vista SP1," said Patrick Derosier, co-owner of CPU Guys, a Hanson, Mass system builder. "They are dealing with a driver backlash from Vista SP1 which was released only last week."

Derosier said Microsoft is grappling with a raft of Vista driver issues that is hampering the adoption of the operating sytem. He said CPU Guys recommends users stick with XP rather than move to Vista.

Derosier said Vista is not ready for prime time yet. "Vista still needs a lot more hardware support in the form of drivers from major vendors before we can recommend it," he said. "You can tell there is a problem when a major Intel video driver on many chipsets has a problem."

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yes they are playing games or it would have been out already duh!
actualy they are probably just waiting for who ever they outsourced the work to..

its not fair the sp3 is for me to have and i want it NOW!!!!!
my panties are soaked and when it cums out i will have my happy ending :)

oh and id like to sign up to the "i'd rather have herpes than use vista" club

vista is like that snotty liitle red-headed step-child you hate

I have purchased XP for all 5 of my machines in the office and have tested Vista on 2 of them. The results were awful and as a result i have vowed not to install Vista for a long time until all of the bugs are ironed out.

That said, we are XP users and if MS are holding back on an update for us then I deem it as wrong and can only assume that they are indeed playing games.

I am not bashing Vista at all as it may be ok for some users but for me as a web developer it was terrible. MS should stop this now and release the patch but if we are being honest here it is obvious they are doing it to move you onto Vista.

More money for MS FTW

"I think Microsoft is withholding XP SP3 until all of the smoke has blown over with Vista SP1," said Patrick Derosier, co-owner of CPU Guys, a Hanson, Mass system builder. "They are dealing with a driver backlash from Vista SP1 which was released only last week."

Oh yeah, I am going to accept as "news" the opinion of some small system builder in a tiny unknown Massachusetts town!

BTW, I was probably using Vista betas full time before this Derosier guy read about it in PCWorld.

This place stopped being a source of real news a LONG time ago. Wonder what keeps me coming back?

Someone please clarify this for me: what is so wrong with XP SP2 that Vista won't fix or SP3 will? Why are so many people all frazzled by this?

I don't beleive the hype though. I doubt sp3 will run any faster on my configuration. I was surprised to hear the IE8 beta was available for XP. I thought for sure that they would make it a vista only feature.

Now why on earth would a known law-breaking monopolistic company do any sort of dastardly conspirator type of shenanigans trying to force consumers into an OS that is quite possibly the worst OS ever released by that company? (or any other company for that matter)

Typical consumer "mehh, I can't wait til th1s sp3 for xp comes out, may as well git teh vista and hope tehy fixed teh buggers in it".

Someone with brains "vista sucks"

Typical M$ fanboy strategist "there is nothing wrong with teh vista teh fault lies with you!111!!!1"

M$ rep "XP sp3 is not ready, just go buy vista instead".

(James Riske said @ #19)
Now why on earth would a known law-breaking monopolistic company do any sort of dastardly conspirator type of shenanigans trying to force consumers into an OS that is quite possibly the worst OS ever released by that company? (or any other company for that matter)

Typical consumer "mehh, I can't wait til th1s sp3 for xp comes out, may as well git teh vista and hope tehy fixed teh buggers in it".

Someone with brains "vista sucks"

Typical M$ fanboy strategist "there is nothing wrong with teh vista teh fault lies with you!111!!!1"

M$ rep "XP sp3 is not ready, just go buy vista instead".

Wow, another $ for an S! The clever ones are out tonight!

This isn't the first time microsoft has had delays in their development cycle. I really don't think there is some greater conspiracy at work here.

Its about time they should release XP SP3. Those who really want to work on XP will wait till it comes out, no matter even if they delay it by a month, its not making a major difference to them, they're still doing all the work they used to do.

So Microsoft, what exactly do you plan to do for all of us who still can't install Vista SP1? And before you guys go spouting off a bunch of solutions, I've tried them all, and none of them work.


SP2 for XP is rock solid for the things I do.. I can't really fathom how they could make it any better.

I actually have a dual boot xp and ubuntu set up, but these freaking capitalists from Microsoft are likely "forcing" me to get rid of their POS once and for all... not a big deal though... I cant seem to remember the last time I did boot into xp

Then get rid of it, then. Do something, rather than bitching about doing something.

By the way, someone earlier mentioned using explorer to find utilities... How about the start menu?! Why not download the app launcher gadget for sidebar and put links to all of your utilities there? Even still I can't see what you mean by you can't find them anymore, you must be daft. Explorer didn't change all too much in the way of functionality just appearance (and even that didn't really change too much). How about adding meta tags to your utilities with something like "utilities" and search from the start menu. Really, people, come up with something real if you're going to bitch.

Running Vista x64 and having built a few friends' machines with Vista I have yet to come across anything that doesn't run in Vista (VLC didn't until Feb 07, but other than that). Symantec doesn't work, but Symantec sucks anus anyway, so switch to ESET.

My god, a company that wants to make money, what a F&*^#&#^$(*&#(*^(@*^NG crime! Maybe you would start a company that would rain OS goodness on all the good girls and boyz! Oh What a magical land that would be.

BTW, f*&^ck SP3. Vista rocks. Not one hardware/software or other issue since Feb 07 and not one rebuild for any of my machines yet, and they still run stable. All you people who claim you have to overhaul your system must have had the same rig for over four years (or they just repeat the same drivel the FUDing MacLove hippies spout).

If you can't figure out how to use an OS, I'm sure geeksquad can give you some tips. (F^&%#$ing losers)

EDIT: Symantec works, but they can't patch the kernel yet like they would like to.

How is Microsoft forcing you to dump XP? Would you rather they rush out a service pack that kills systems? Would that justify your rage?

(Routerbad said @ #14.2)
Then get rid of it, then. Do something, rather than bitching about doing something.

By the way, someone earlier mentioned using explorer to find utilities... How about the start menu?! Why not download the app launcher gadget for sidebar and put links to all of your utilities there? Even still I can't see what you mean by you can't find them anymore, you must be daft. Explorer didn't change all too much in the way of functionality just appearance (and even that didn't really change too much). How about adding meta tags to your utilities with something like "utilities" and search from the start menu. Really, people, come up with something real if you're going to bitch.

Running Vista x64 and having built a few friends' machines with Vista I have yet to come across anything that doesn't run in Vista (VLC didn't until Feb 07, but other than that). Symantec doesn't work, but Symantec sucks anus anyway, so switch to ESET.

My god, a company that wants to make money, what a F&*^#&#^$(*&#(*^(@*^NG crime! Maybe you would start a company that would rain OS goodness on all the good girls and boyz! Oh What a magical land that would be.

BTW, f*&^ck SP3. Vista rocks. Not one hardware/software or other issue since Feb 07 and not one rebuild for any of my machines yet, and they still run stable. All you people who claim you have to overhaul your system must have had the same rig for over four years (or they just repeat the same drivel the FUDing MacLove hippies spout).

If you can't figure out how to use an OS, I'm sure geeksquad can give you some tips. (F^&%#$ing losers)

EDIT: Symantec works, but they can't patch the kernel yet like they would like to.

let me know when you get SAP up and running fully operational on vista... uhhh.... guess you and your friends have never seen this, as apparently you're too busy making VLC to work hahahaha

(ahhell said @ #14.3)
How is Microsoft forcing you to dump XP? Would you rather they rush out a service pack that kills systems? Would that justify your rage?

holding release of sp3 because of vista POS.... how come a collection of old patches and fixes with a few under the hood improvements will kill systems? too many M4 fanboys over here at neowin

I for one have tried Vista with sp1 and it still dont fill my needs,so Im waiting till the next version of windows hits the streets before i do anything.If the "its not the OS thats the problem its your computer" bugs are present in that OS im going to switch to a Mac.

I finally vistaed after sp1. even owning two legal vista licenses(business and ultimate), oem activation is still better. xp sp3 doesn't keep me because I used to use xp x64. after all this time since vista RTM, 99% of software now officially support vista.

(TCLN Ryster said @ #12.3)
From "RandomStatisticsWithNoBasisInFact-R-Us.com" of course.

that's 99% of the software I use.

(leo221 said @ #12.4)

that's 99% of the software I use.

OH OH OK. Software YOU use. So 99% of the software you buy is made for Vista. I can even say 100% of the software I buy is for XP. It's one percent better.

the questions would be why they would play with this... After all they have a bunch of clients and is not good play with them.
btw, no one in their sane mind that uses XP will move to vista even if the service pack is out.

Let's over-analyze everything and try to get people all riled up!

XP has not yet reached the end of it's support cycle. Microsoft is giving us a new service pack that includes previous updates, but as they have stated, does not significantly change the user's experience.

That's all there is to it. Whether XP users move to Vista now, later, or ever has nothing to do with this service pack and the only thing is will effect is how long XP's support lifecycle may last. Since SP3 doesn't really change the user experience Microsoft isn't expecting SP3 to "make or break" anyone's decision on Vista.

Whoop-dee-doo... A local system builder in one city thinks we should all stick with XP. What's the problem, is it harder for them to sell counterfeit copies of Vista?

Whoop-dee-doo... A local system builder in one city thinks we should all stick with XP. What's the problem, is it harder for them to sell counterfeit copies of Vista?

Oh wise one. I wish I had your valuable insight. What makes his opinion so invalid, and yours valid?!

(Chicane-UK said @ #9.1)

Oh wise one. I wish I had your valuable insight. What makes his opinion so invalid, and yours valid?!

Absolutely nothing. I'd prefer you don't listen to either of us.

I don't think they're purposely delaying it, I don't think they're delaying it for any Vista related reason and they should do testing well before releasing it, but they're taking way too long...they should have released a service pack for XP long back and another one now. Why, because XPSP3 is not simply a collection of all publicly released hotfixes, it also includes several hard to get and hard to keep track of hotfixes which've been out for years. So, in a way, they're giving insulting treatment to XP since Vista's their favorite baby now.

Possible MS is still ironing out the wrinkles of XP SP3; While most have successfully installed Vista SP1 there are lots of guys being troubled with its installation. Maybe MS doesnt want 2 issues on its hands

While trying to get to grips with Vista, I wondered why people are so polarised (me an XP fan). I worked out my reasons for the switch back, and they are fairly simple. I like to use Explorer to locate all my little utilities I constantly use. Vista's explorer is just the pits even with the GUI set to "classic theme" If I were just to use the start menu, and a few favourite installed applications then may-be I would be happy for the files created to disappear into the soup that is a Vista hard disk profile.

Vista yuck! XP SP3 please!

In late 2006, early 2007 there was a pretty bad bug with XP and Microsoft updates/WSUS updates. This bug would cause your CPU to rail near 100% on fast dual core CPU's and flat out rail older slower machines when the update scan process would kick off on a XP box

It was so bad that we had to shut off WSUS at work for over 3000 PC's at the main office of the company I was working at then. I also saw this bug on a few family members PC's that were running XP. You could go into services and stop the automatic update service and the CPU would drop to nothing right away. The problem was all over the internet.

http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums.../m/786004271831

http://www.excelguru.ca/blog/2007/05/09/wi...-on-windows-xp/

http://blogs.technet.com/asiasupp/archive/...e-high-cpu.aspx

http://www.somelifeblog.com/2007/05/window...0-cpu-high.html

MS finally fixed it in May......

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927891/

At the time there was massive speculation that this was a way to push users to Vista, since it did not have this problem. The problem starts right as Vista is released late 2006 and continues for the first 5-6 months of its release. MS always touts "use windows updates to be safe" which is good advice, but it was basically broken on the old OS and working fine on the new OS during its launch time.

I would not surprise me if MS is holding back SP3 in hopes of pushing people onto Vista. Put enough doubt about XP support out there like was rumored above and some people will move off of it. I would rather catch a bad case of herpes than use Vista again.

http://advice.cio.com/laurianne_mclaughlin...hrow_away_vista

In a 3000 PC environment, do patches not get tested before being deployed? We don't roll out anything that hasn't been extensively tested, no matter how critical or minor the update.

(snakedoctor said @ #5)
I would rather catch a bad case of herpes than use Vista again.

Best comment ever. Hurry up and go get it so you can shut up about both, then.

I'm sorry but trying to make something out of nothing much? SP3 is a freaking patch collection, mainly of patches already out or available from MS.... SP3 doesn't give people anything new, its not like SP2 is sp slow that people are gona jump to vista.... SP3 is just more patches for small problems, the majority of the large problems with speed and compatability have been fixed in XP...

You are wrong neufuse,this pack contains some new security features,boost performance,and updates to numerous essential files of the OS.

This Service pack is a must have in my opinion.

SP3 is almost all just a collection of all the patches since SP2. If you run XP you already have it. There are some minor new additions to it, but nothing most people will care about. Updates and security fixes are already there in patches.
Neufuse is correct.

(EduardValencia said @ #4.1)
You are wrong neufuse,this pack contains some new security features,boost performance,and updates to numerous essential files of the OS.

This Service pack is a must have in my opinion.

Yes, but is it essential to your life :cheeky: ? I rather wait until their iron out all the bugs before they release it.

Scirwode

(EduardValencia said @ #4.1)
You are wrong neufuse,this pack contains some new security features,boost performance,and updates to numerous essential files of the OS.

This Service pack is a must have in my opinion.


If you look at what they have in SP3 there is nothing major, 90% of the updates I can get now via WU or a call to MS... there are no new major features, this is not like SP2 where they implemented some relateively big stuff for a service pack. Almost all the performance enhancements you can get from MS right now if you call them and ask for it... security wise, there is nothing major in there.. NAP? They only put that in there for W2K8 domains so XP can be more secure on them... Adding black hole routing detection was in SP2 just not on by default... PMTU was there since RTM... just not enabled... a lot of the new features are just enableing of stuff that has been there for a while while MS tried it out to see if it worked well or not...

Scirwode
Yes, but is it essential to your life :cheeky: ? I rather wait until their iron out all the bugs before they release it.

Scirwode


Well, considering Microsoft have had since 2001 to iron out the bugs...6 years and 5 months later and they're still fixing the Operating System

(DjmUK said @ #4.5)

Well, considering Microsoft have had since 2001 to iron out the bugs...6 years and 5 months later and they're still fixing the Operating System :rolleyes:

I'd sure hope they are ironing out bugs over the millions of lines of code in this OS. If not, then you'd still have a really buggy Operating System.

All you've proven is people still remain ignorant to the fact that programmers are human too, an thus can make mistakes just like everyone else. Quit complaining.

(neufuse said @ #4.4)

If you look at what they have in SP3 there is nothing major, 90% of the updates I can get now via WU or a call to MS... there are no new major features, this is not like SP2 where they implemented some relateively big stuff for a service pack. Almost all the performance enhancements you can get from MS right now if you call them and ask for it... security wise, there is nothing major in there.. NAP? They only put that in there for W2K8 domains so XP can be more secure on them... Adding black hole routing detection was in SP2 just not on by default... PMTU was there since RTM... just not enabled... a lot of the new features are just enableing of stuff that has been there for a while while MS tried it out to see if it worked well or not...

It's funny to talk about a unpublished material.

Currently we are clueless about the REAL new features inside sp3, you can read (usually incomplete) microsoft whitepaper about this matter or to read some betatester gossip but nothing much else.

(Tikitiki said @ #4.6)

I'd sure hope they are ironing out bugs over the millions of lines of code in this OS. If not, then you'd still have a really buggy Operating System.

All you've proven is people still remain ignorant to the fact that programmers are human too, an thus can make mistakes just like everyone else. Quit complaining.

NO piece of software will EVER be bug free. I'm willing to bet there would still be bugs even if Microsoft decided to support XP for 10 years. As a programmer, I know how changing one line of code can screw something up somewhere else. If software were tested more extensively then yes more bugs would be caught, but then it would never get released. Bottom line....it's inevitable that software will have bugs.

"Who are you talking to? This article was just copied from another site. "

All the Mary Jo Foley wannabes. Mary Jo gets it massively wrong and all her groupies jump to her defense.

Agreed. If they released it now and it was found to have bugs, people would be up in arms.

People should quit moaning.

Additionally with regards to the Intel chipset... the reason it has a problem is because its a crap peice of hardware and Intel are crap at writing drivers. It's not Vista's fault.

(TCLN Ryster said @ #2.1)
Agreed. If they released it now and it was found to have bugs, people would be up in arms.

Like with Vista's SP1?

People should quit moaning.

Additionally with regards to the Intel chipset... the reason it has a problem is because its a crap peice of hardware and Intel are crap at writing drivers. It's not Vista's fault.

Yeah, if every Vista owner doesn't go out and buy the latest and greatest hardware every time Microsoft upgrades their OS than it is their own fault.... Remember, its not what Vista can do for you, but what you can buy for Vista. So be good little consumers and consume more and more since not to will let the terrorists win....

(Foub said @ #2.2)
So be good little consumers and consume more and more since not to will let the terrorists win....

Excellent :nuts:

(Foub said @ #2.2)
Yeah, if every Vista owner doesn't go out and buy the latest and greatest hardware every time Microsoft upgrades their OS than it is their own fault.... Remember, its not what Vista can do for you, but what you can buy for Vista. So be good little consumers and consume more and more since not to will let the terrorists win....

So let me get this straight, what are you actually suggesting?

1) Microsoft should write hardware drivers themselves?
2) Microsoft should not release any new operating systems or updates to them until all hardware manufacturers have released high quality fully compatible drivers for that operating system.

You can't seriously be suggesting that drivers come before the OS are you?

Lastly, no-one is forcing users to upgrade to Vista if they are happy with XP.

(TCLN Ryster said @ #2.4)
You can't seriously be suggesting that drivers come before the OS are you?

Well something's gonna have to change. What are you suggesting?

How are you gonna use the OS without any drivers? Seriously, the way it used to work was that MS would include very bare-bones drivers based on those specs with the OS, and manufacturers would be responsible for producing the full-featured drivers. Since a lot of hardware manufacturers don't spend a lot of time maintaining drivers every time they include a new chipset in one of their products (d-link I'm looking at you) and after a while they don't even bother supporting the devices anymore, the solution would probably be for them to open the specs of their hardware or at least release the driver source with the drivers, that way they can be maintained after profitability ends for the company.

If you pay for the hardware you should at least be guaranteed to be able to use it, it shouldn't just be tied down to one OS. However, companies don't really have the incentive to make sure of this because when you update OS and suddenly have to shell out for new hardware as well, then it's more money that could be used for buying one of their newer models, and it's not like you keep giving them money after you bought the hardware so it's not like you're going to cut them off of money as soon as they cut you off of support. And how many people want to pay subscriptions for using hardware they already bought?

Lastly, no-one is forcing users to upgrade to Vista if they are happy with XP.

If they're focusing on supporting Vista when everyone's on XP... it's kind of a big "screw you" to all of their current customers.

(Foub said @ #2.2)

Like with Vista's SP1?

Yeah, if every Vista owner doesn't go out and buy the latest and greatest hardware every time Microsoft upgrades their OS than it is their own fault.... Remember, its not what Vista can do for you, but what you can buy for Vista. So be good little consumers and consume more and more since not to will let the terrorists win....


Haha nice, I like how you bought the completely irrelevant subject of terrorism into this discussion about SP3 I thought this was Digg for a second.

(TCLN Ryster said @ #2.4)
So let me get this straight, what are you actually suggesting?

1) Microsoft should write hardware drivers themselves?

Of course not, they should make their standards more open. It is truly lame to blame the hardware. Windows is a consumer product meant for the average consumer. Not superusers who have the latest and greatest hardware. Windows should be for the majority instead of a minority.

2) Microsoft should not release any new operating systems or updates to them until all hardware manufacturers have released high quality fully compatible drivers for that operating system.

Again, of course not. Linux proves that you can have a stable and modern OS without having to also constantly be upgrading your hardware as well.

You can't seriously be suggesting that drivers come before the OS are you?

They should work in concert as much as possible. This is where open source succeeds over proprietary. There are many different varieties of Linux yet their hardware works well enough between them. Windows shouldn't be this problematic for what it is.

Lastly, no-one is forcing users to upgrade to Vista if they are happy with XP.

(Refuse said @ #2.6)
Haha nice, I like how you bought the completely irrelevant subject of terrorism into this discussion about SP3 I thought this was Digg for a second.

Actually, it was what Bush had said not too long again when he was trying to defend the war in Iraq... If people stopped consuming a lot than the terrorists would win because they would be upsetting America's way of life.... Way to stick his head in the sand.

(HalcyonX12 said @ #2.5)
Well something's gonna have to change. What are you suggesting?

How are you gonna use the OS without any drivers?

Simple, the hardware manufacturers continue to make the drivers. It's not Microsoft's responsibility to provide drivers for hardware. Yes, they provide very basic drivers for lots of hardware, but it isn't feasible to require them to supply drivers for every piece of hardware out there. The hardware manufacturers always have time to write drivers for whatever OS, be it brand new, older than dirt, and soon to be released (you do know they get pre-release software to test in, right?).

Since a lot of hardware manufacturers don't spend a lot of time maintaining drivers every time they include a new chipset in one of their products (d-link I'm looking at you) and after a while they don't even bother supporting the devices anymore, the solution would probably be for them to open the specs of their hardware or at least release the driver source with the drivers, that way they can be maintained after profitability ends for the company.

That's not a Microsoft issue, that's a third party issue. Take it up with them, and stop blaming the OS for it.

If you pay for the hardware you should at least be guaranteed to be able to use it, it shouldn't just be tied down to one OS. However, companies don't really have the incentive to make sure of this because when you update OS and suddenly have to shell out for new hardware as well

Again, that's a third party issue, not an OS issue. Stop making it that. And as for price, any IT department that's worth their salt knows up front the cost of migrating to a new OS and hardware. They don't sit around and say, "Hey, let's buy this" and expect it to run. They research the product, research any necessary upgrades to run the product, and make a decision based on whether the new features in the product is worth the cost.

(Fanon said @ #2.9)
Simple, the hardware manufacturers continue to make the drivers. It's not Microsoft's responsibility to provide drivers for hardware.

No, but it's in their best interest that they are available to allow customers to run their software. If they encouraged open drivers, even if the manufacturers weren't interested in building the drivers (or they were bought out for their IP and the new companies aren't supporting older hardware, or they went bankrupt, or whatever may happen) then they could still be made available for the new OS.

but it isn't feasible to require them to supply drivers for every piece of hardware out there.

They wouldn't have to, but this would allow for ongoing support if it was necessary, for the benefit of their customers. If you're going to choose an OS, it's something to take into consideration, and MS wants those tick-marks on their ads.

The hardware manufacturers always have time to write drivers for whatever OS

Look at Linux...

That's not a Microsoft issue, that's a third party issue. Take it up with them, and stop blaming the OS for it.

And it's an end-user and IT dept. issue if end-users and IT depts. have to deal with it. Hardware manufacturers go bankrupt and phase out old hardware for whatever reason. Are they going to keep pouring money into hardware that people aren't finding on store shelves and paying for anymore? Hardware companies do this all the time. But it wouldn't really cost them extra to release the specs and source for their drivers. It would improve the situation we have now.

Again, that's a third party issue, not an OS issue. Stop making it that. And as for price, any IT department that's worth their salt knows up front the cost of migrating to a new OS and hardware.

It wouldn't be an OS issue except other OSes are able to better support more varied hardware, so it is something people will look at when they have to choose. It wouldn't be an issue for IT if they didn't have to deal with it. It would cost them less in upgrades and migration if they didn't have to deal with it, so it's something IT looks at as well.

(HalcyonX12 said @ #2.5)
Well something's gonna have to change. What are you suggesting?

Again, that's a third party issue, not an OS issue. Stop making it that. And as for price, any IT department that's worth their salt knows up front the cost of migrating to a new OS and hardware. They don't sit around and say, "Hey, let's buy this" and expect it to run. They research the product, research any necessary upgrades to run the product, and make a decision based on whether the new features in the product is worth the cost.

Couldn't agree more with you. My former company spent 4 years testing Windows XP before rolling it out. You really don't want to push out a software that you aren't almost 100% sure, just to find out later that some other app won't run on it.

As for big companies, drivers is really a non-issue, as the hardware they have is all standard. If we were to buy 2000PC's from HP, they would already come with a set of drivers certified for the specific OS running on them. All you do is create your own image for that standard hardware and adapt it to your needs, including the drivers that came with it. From then on, you will never ever touch the drivers to those 2000 PC's again, until a few years later when it's time to replace them again.

The way I see it, this whole driver discussion is mainly only for the general consumer and hardware enthusiast, as they either build their own PC's or buy them from general consumer stores. It's not really an issue for IT Departments, as they only rely on standard hardware, for which the drivers have already been tested and certified to work on by their sellers (be it HP, Dell, etc...).

Again, that's a third party issue, not an OS issue.

Do you think someone's going to care about who to blame if they have hardware they can't use? If a solution exists, they're not going to care about blame, they're just going to care about the solution. The point is, this issue does not happen on all OS's whether or not it's a 3rd party issue. Look, if people see two boxes of crayons and one of them just doesn't come with certain colors, they're gonna get the box that lets them use whatever color they want. It doesn't matter who made the box or who put the crayons in there, as long as they can get the box they want and use it the way they want. To put it in words Ballmer might use: "If you're going to get a better experience on another platform, and if there's a better ecosystem surrounding that platform, then you're going to choose that platform."

When an IT dept looks at spending, they're going to take the hardware they get the most mileage out of. However they can't predict the future, and if a company stops supporting their hardware with driver updates for some reason it's good if you're still able to use your hardware. Why buy more if you already have perfectly good hardware? If you are just missing one piece of software, now your investment is going to be useless many times over in all of the computers you decided to use that in? That's a pretty lousy way to lose an investment.

As for big companies, drivers is really a non-issue, as the hardware they have is all standard. If we were to buy 2000PC's from HP, they would already come with a set of drivers certified for the specific OS running on them.

However even HP doesn't make all the hardware that goes into their computers, much less control the companies making that hardware. Plus your support contract with HP for that computer is going to last less time than the interim between Windows releases, if you even get one at all, after all it's up to IT to support it, that's what they're for. I mean if you never want to switch from Windows 2000 or whatever the computer came with, you'll be ok, but then support for Windows 2000 ends and they don't produce drivers that work fine in the other versions and you're going to be looking at a lot more money to upgrade than should be necessary, all because one interface isn't being described by a tiny piece of software.

There are tons of SCSI, video, network, scanner, etc drivers that many people use in production that just aren't available on later versions of Windows, even ones they market as server editions! HP, the company you mentioned, has even discontinued support for entire lines of enterprise computers. Yet the hardware is still functional and usable.

LoL! I love this part - "Microsoft has delayed XP SP3, a long awaited release that could boost the performance of XP, to get more users to adopt Vista". I really dig Vista, but c'mon man I'm still loving XP too! So gimme the service pack!

I'm guessing that SP3 is in escrow. The RC2 refresh pretty much confirms that, so if you're that impatent, you can download the latest refresh. Otherwise, it's just a matter of a couple of weeks to make sure there are no major regressions.

Yeah but what if your business is hanging on the line on Microsoft's software, it's a different story when your company's invested a lot of money in a computer infrastructure for their business needs, but some company's holding back software that could affect their downtime and profitability.

What bothers me though is that the article says "They are dealing with a driver backlash from Vista SP1"... Shouldn't MS be putting most of their effort behind the version that tons of businesses currently depend on, as opposed to the 10% that may be using Vista already?

Companies can't spend a lot of man-hours testing unofficial releases for use on production hardware for MS when they have their own problems to take care of, MS is supposed to be supporting them not the other way around!

(HalcyonX12 said @ #1.2)
Yeah but what if your business is hanging on the line on Microsoft's software, it's a different story when your company's invested a lot of money in a computer infrastructure for their business needs, but some company's holding back software that could affect their downtime and profitability.

I have a hard time believing that any company is 'hanging on the line' because of XP SP3. If a company already has XP SP2 in place, then there's no need to 'wait' for SP3 before moving forward with anything. The only way it could affect downtime and profitability is if they implement it and it hoses something up. In that regard, it's better if they take all the time needed to test it before release.

If you don't want to spend any man-hours testing an unofficial release, then just wait for the official release. It's as simple as that. Though best practices would dictate that you spend a good number of man hours testing any offical release as well. Man hours should be put into testing EVERY patch that Microsoft releases. It's best practice to do so, as different updates affect infrastructures and 3rd party apps/systems in different ways...both good and bad. Microsoft cannot test for every scenario or software package that's in use.

(The Burning Rom said @ #1.3)
I have a hard time believing that any company is 'hanging on the line' because of XP SP3.

Who knows? The point is, it's not their decision to make about software that other people depend on. If you sell software to be used on production machines, then businesses are depending on you for their operations, whatever they may be.

The only way it could affect downtime and profitability is if they implement it and it hoses something up.

Actually right now their computers aren't operating as ideally as they could be if it were installed, otherwise SP3 wouldn't be necessary, and MS wouldn't be throwing their money away putting it together to support Windows XP.

If you don't want to spend any man-hours testing an unofficial release, then just wait for the official release. It's as simple as that.

And if MS doesn't want their customers using less-than-optimal software, they should be focusing on their business partners' needs and not on pushing out software that's in its infancy.

Though best practices would dictate that you spend a good number of man hours testing any offical release as well.

Which may possibly be in the course of being delayed.

I'm not saying that any of this is going on, the story is simply positing that question, and I'm just playing devil's advocate here. It's interesting to see how MS is juggling all of their products and services. They have to focus on legacy products, current products, services, new markets, r&d, all of their purchases and mergers, etc.

(HalcyonX12 said @ #1.4)

Who knows? The point is, it's not their decision to make about software that other people depend on. If you sell software to be used on production machines, then businesses are depending on you for their operations, whatever they may be.

So what you are saying is that MS should have to support an OS as long as someone in the business world uses it? Do you know how many NT environments are still in the business world? I can guarantee you that my company's NT domain is bigger than two thirds of the companies in the US have of any domain. We still support over 4000 PDCs and BDCs running NT, it is ridiculous. It is outdated, not well supported(we pay through the nose for base support), unsecure, and beginning to be much harder to get hardware when stuff fails.


It is absolutely their decision on what to support and how to support it. The customer will decide with their dollars whether the support is acceptable or not. Many companies will test SP3 for at least 4 to 6 months, so they are not holding their breath for SP3. The corporate world is not where change occurs, plain and simple.

(schubb said @ #1.5)
So what you are saying is that MS should have to support an OS as long as someone in the business world uses it?

No, I'm saying MS should try and have the most well-rounded hardware support they can. In the past, this was a big selling point for Windows, and if they can't support devices just because drivers aren't being made for them, there are other solutions in making those drivers available. If this gives people an advantage in using Windows, it's in MS's best interest to at least encourage it.

As for supporting XP, a lot of people haven't moved onto Vista yet, and XP's support isn't even over yet, so if they actually are holding back SP3 for any reason as the article is positing, it would only be hurting their customers. The customers would be choosing Vista if that's what they want, not because they're being corralled into using it.