Microsoft doesn't want to support Windows 7 as long as Windows XP

With Windows 8 only capturing a few percent of PC users so far, Microsoft hopes that the release of Windows 8.1 this October will have better luck in sales to both consumers and businesses. Meanwhile, there are still a lot of Windows 7 PCs operating in the world, but Microsoft claims they don't want to keep Windows 7 alive as long as they have done with Windows XP.

As we have reported many times before, Windows XP support will end on Microsoft's side on April 8, 2014 after over 12 years. Part of the reason for supporting Windows XP for much longer than predicted was the failure of Windows Vista to gain enough market share.

As a result, many people are speculating that Windows 7 will last as long as Windows XP because of the slow uptake of Windows 8. However, that's not what Microsoft wants to happen. Paul Thurrott over at Winsupersite claims that during Microsoft's company meeting on Thursday, Microsoft indicated that it will instead push for businesses to upgrade to Windows 8.1.

The thinking is that Microsoft has made enough changes to Windows 8.1, including the addition of a number of enterprise-based features, that big businesses won't bother to hold onto their Windows 7 PCs as long as some have done with Windows XP.

Currently, mainstream support of Windows 7 will end Jan. 13, 2015, with extended support (just bug fixes and security updates) ending Jan. 14, 2020. That's about 10 years and two months after the launch of Windows 7 in November 2009, but that's still not as much time as Microsoft has given Windows XP.

Will this happen, or will Microsoft be forced to extend its support cut off date for Windows 7 as it has for Windows XP? Only time will tell for now.

Source: Winsupersite | Image via Lenovo

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What makes me /facepalm is the people who say "oh yeah, why don't they just migrate to Windows 8 and be done with it?" Those who haven't worked for a large company or corporation haven't had to deal with software compatibility with thousands of applications, active directory group policy reworkings, local security policies with the new OS, etc. I too work for the government and we're in the middle of a Windows 7 deployment from Windows XP. Everything we're buying is licensed for Windows 7, but our servers we're getting Server 2012 with the downgrade capability to run Server 2008R2. It's a pain making sure each piece of software, database, and application work with the new OS, and if it doesn't, you try to make it work. Then you go back and forth with the company, if they're still around, or you try to find a way to port your work to a different application.

With Windows 8 only capturing a few percent of PC users so far, Microsoft hopes that the release of Windows 8.1 this October will have better luck in sales to both consumers and businesses. Meanwhile, there are still a lot of Windows 7 PCs operating in the world

And what planet do they live on?

Who can blame them. There's not another product I've ever bought that has such a long support lifespan. Usually it's 12 months and then you're sol with 3rd parties.

The reason MS supported WinXP for as long as it did is that they guarantee mainstream support for the previous release for at least two years after the next release comes out and the 5 years of extended support comes after that. Vista was released in early 2007, so XP received mainstream support until April 2009 and 5 years after that is where the infamous April 2014 end of extended support date comes from.

The OS industry is a tricky one. Most consumers NEVER buy new OS's... they simply just get it pre-installed on new hardware.

When Windows 7 came out, a LOT of cheap hardware came out, such as netbooks. But also, XP was getting old, so power users went out and bought it too. This is why it sold well.

I'm sure Microsoft already knows this. Especially, with them moving into a devices and services. I wouldn't be surprised to see Windows move into an OS Service somehow attached to a device sale, or who knows, even making the OS free eventually (like mobile OS's). This would allow them to keep their OSs up-to-date without relying on people to go out and buy it.

I agree with your reasoning.
I think the problem isn't so much that people don't want it, they don't need Windows 8. I I'm using a 6 yr old computer that originally had Vista and using Windows 8 on it, but I am the exception. Most people stick with what the computer came with. There is little need for many to buy a new computer if they can do what they need to do through the internet (very few do desktop software any longer).
Another problem Windows 8 has is that business won't want to switch to it, since they just switched to Win 7 and also because of the interface. Many employees will have difficulty with it. Even though you can more or less make it behave like Windows 7 for the most part, it is still different enough.
Microsoft really should have focused on a tablet/phone OS and left Windows 7 as it is on the desktop with slight updates to add compatibility with apps.

I'm generally not a huge fan of change, so as of yet, I still don't like Windows 8 very much. I've toyed around with it in a VM, and just find it awkward, especially with the whole switching between the "Desktop" and the Windows 8 type thingy, depending on what application you're running. However, if this is the direction we're headed, people need to either learn to like it, or switch to something else like OSX or Ubuntu. If those two options don't suit their needs and they don't want to eventually be stuck with an outdated, unsupported OS, they need to learn to deal with whatever Microsoft sends down the tubes.

I mean, they can't be expected to continue maintaining old operating systems years after they've been released. While it is free and there are no licensing fees involved, Canonical only offers updates for Ubuntu for 2 years, and a whopping 5 years if it's an LTS (Long Term Support) release. You can continue to use it after that, but you won't receive any updates unless you perform them manually by compiling newer versions of the software you want updated and making it work on that system.

My point is this. Progress is inevitable. Companies make money off these products, one way or the other, whether through licensing or support, and they can't be spending time and resources on issuing security patches to out of date products that they don't even sell or use any more. If people really aren't a fan of the Windows 8 UI and way of doing things, and they have a problem with 7 not being supported for 13 years like XP has been, then you need to either figure out a way to nuke the Windows 8 UI, learn to live with not getting updates, or switch to something else.

Is there a reason only Microsoft should be punished for planned obsolescence after 10 years, and no other software or hardware company? I'm generally confused by the comments on here. Most are written as if Microsoft owes you all indefinite support for one reason or another, when they honestly don't.

Microsoft's support lifecycles are one of the most detailed documented policies in the company. Even Windows 8 has a set EoL date already (Mainstream support ends 2018, while extended support ends in 2023). This shouldn't be news to anyone here that Windows 7 is set to expire in 2015, and be shown the door in 2020.

Microsoft's support policies:
Windows 7: http://support.microsoft.com/l...ndows+7&Filter=FilterNO
Windows 8/8.1: http://support.microsoft.com/l...ndows+8&Filter=FilterNO
Windows RT: http://support.microsoft.com/l...dows+RT&Filter=FilterNO

Edited by Dot Matrix, Sep 28 2013, 1:50pm :

As long as I can make 8.x function the same as 7, won't bother me any. I've got it running in a VM and when you put back a real start button, it pretty much runs like 7

There is a pattern.
When Vista released they stopped supporting Windows NT/2000
When Windows 7 released they try to stop XP
Now Windows 8.1 is about to go out/or has been and they're trying to stop Windows 7.

Even Windows 8.1 is improved version of windows 8, they're just shoving it in your throat. Microsoft! Don't you get it?

Kenny Kanashimi Chu said,
There is a pattern.
When Vista released they stopped supporting Windows NT/2000
When Windows 7 released they try to stop XP
Now Windows 8.1 is about to go out/or has been and they're trying to stop Windows 7.

Even Windows 8.1 is improved version of windows 8, they're just shoving it in your throat. Microsoft! Don't you get it?

Where are they trying to Stop support for Windows 7? We've known Windows 7's support cycle since day 1 of its release: 2015 for mainstream support, and 2020 for extended support. Nothing has changed here.

Kenny Kanashimi Chu said,
There is a pattern.

Yes, as newer versions get released they eventually stop supporting the older ones. They even tell you at day one how many years it's going to be supported, XP being the one exception to get extended, see above. 2020 is a good ways off yet, not sure how that's "shoving down your throat." Most Linux distros do the same thing.. upgrade to a newer version or get stuck with no updates.. some distros get a very short period of support before getting dropped in favor of the new ones. Run OSX Panther? Good luck getting support for that. There is a pattern, and it looks like it's nothing unique to Microsoft, surprise surprise. Stay with out of date software at your own risk. Don't you get it?

Obviously no business would ditch Windows 7 and its brilliant simplicity for that POS castrated failed Windows 8 flop OS. It's illogical to do so, it's even insane.

With Microsoft leading the push in marketing new devices, Windows 7 doesn't have much future viability on newer machines. Having owned a touch operated Windows 7 device, I must the the UX was "doable", but nothing I can use for long compared to Windows 8.

As more developers get on board with Windows Phone and Windows 8, it'll almost be impossible to maintain Windows 7 as long as they did XP.

give back the start menu and maybe people will switch back at least the usability will be improved for "LEGACY" users

Right now windows 8 and 8.1 its a complicated mess with uefi and secure boot which mess the machines and makes things more complicated....

eilegz said,
Right now windows 8 and 8.1 its a complicated mess with uefi and secure boot which mess the machines and makes things more complicated....

So you're saying a secure, mature, and an updated BIOS is bad and we should use a piece of software from the 70s?

I went to help someone who had a Windows 8 hybrid laptop/tablet yesterday. Shortcuts for some programs I installed didn't appear on the Start screen - I had to start the apps by going into the Program Files folder! How would a general user know how to do this? Also, I did actually miss the Start button on the taskbar. I'm glad it has returned in 8.1.

68k said,
I went to help someone who had a Windows 8 hybrid laptop/tablet yesterday. Shortcuts for some programs I installed didn't appear on the Start screen - I had to start the apps by going into the Program Files folder! How would a general user know how to do this? Also, I did actually miss the Start button on the taskbar. I'm glad it has returned in 8.1.

Press the Windows key and start typing the name of the program.

The general user does not know that either Blueclub. I did that once while somebody was watching and they freaked out. "OMG How did you do that?!"

Whose "thinking" does this paragraph from the article represent?

The thinking is that Microsoft has made enough changes to Windows 8.1, including the addition of a number of enterprise-based features, that big businesses won't bother to hold onto their Windows 7 PCs as long as some have done with Windows XP.

Hardly anyone with any serious production related experience. Hint: Its the UI, stupid. As long as MS is obsessed with touch-screens to the almost total exclusion of keyboard entry, enterprises are just not going to switch from XP or Windows-7.

TsarNikky said,
Whose "thinking" does this paragraph from the article represent?

The thinking is that Microsoft has made enough changes to Windows 8.1, including the addition of a number of enterprise-based features, that big businesses won't bother to hold onto their Windows 7 PCs as long as some have done with Windows XP.

Hardly anyone with any serious production related experience. Hint: Its the UI, stupid. As long as MS is obsessed with touch-screens to the almost total exclusion of keyboard entry, enterprises are just not going to switch from XP or Windows-7.

I kinda curious how Metro hinders the use of a keyboard? I use mine with Windows 8 daily...

~Written from my Windows 8 desktop.

if they don't want to support windows 7 for so long, then just scrap the idea of window 8 and release a proper windows.

forget all that metro crap.

Yup and let not forget make a upgrade and full ver as one package deal same goes with 32/64bit on one disc and sell them at $50 no more

mrp04 said,
There is still 6.5 years of support for 7. Sorry, start screen isn't going anywhere.

You can't say that, don't forget there is a new CEO incoming. Due to the massive user backlash from the removal of the start menu, they *may* decide that it is imperative to return it to try and regain the masses of users (and companies) who refuse to upgrade. Until the new CEO officially states the start menu is never returning, you cannot make that statement.

Xerxes said,

You can't say that, don't forget there is a new CEO incoming. Due to the massive user backlash from the removal of the start menu, they *may* decide that it is imperative to return it to try and regain the masses of users (and companies) who refuse to upgrade. Until the new CEO officially states the start menu is never returning, you cannot make that statement.

Unlikely. There isn't anything wrong with the functionality of the Start Screen. They can't cling to the Start Menu forever, especially since the UX wasn't future proof. Microsoft developers have already reaffirmed their commitment to Modern development.

Dot Matrix said,

Unlikely. There isn't anything wrong with the functionality of the Start Screen. They can't cling to the Start Menu forever, especially since the UX wasn't future proof. Microsoft developers have already reaffirmed their commitment to Modern development.


I agree wholeheartedly that there is nothing wrong with the start screen, however, the fact is many users (and companies) refuse to update because they don't want it. The new CEO will have the difficult decision of either alienating a large group of their customers (and losing money/marketshare as a result) or to accept they screwed up and bring it back as an option to appease the disgruntled customers. It's gonna be a hard decision.

Xerxes said,

I agree wholeheartedly that there is nothing wrong with the start screen, however, the fact is many users (and companies) refuse to update because they don't want it. The new CEO will have the difficult decision of either alienating a large group of their customers (and losing money/marketshare as a result) or to accept they screwed up and bring it back as an option to appease the disgruntled customers. It's gonna be a hard decision.

The problem, if MS dumps Metro now, is that it will kill itself in the long run.

MS is taking a new direction, computing has taken a turn, and bets have been placed. The future is being able to sync/use apps using the same interface on mobiles, tablets, laptops, and computers, all using an interface that looks the same, and apps that work universally. That is the future, this is what I think.

Xerxes said,

I agree wholeheartedly that there is nothing wrong with the start screen, however, the fact is many users (and companies) refuse to update because they don't want it. The new CEO will have the difficult decision of either alienating a large group of their customers (and losing money/marketshare as a result) or to accept they screwed up and bring it back as an option to appease the disgruntled customers. It's gonna be a hard decision.

Who are they alienating? Microsoft is over the hill with consumers and other users using the Start Screen.

What is so damn difficult for MS to bring the start menu back as an option at install time / SysPrep setting, or GPO?

Why is it 100% guaranteed that it will NEVER return? Even if businesses never upgrade passed Windows 7? If they lose a lot of money because of it?

Again, any company is not immune and can do whatever they want. If they do, they could go bankrupt. If businesses will not upgrade to the newer windows because of the start screen metro BS, you better bet that MS would make something available for businesses. Otherwise they will lose A LOT of money and market share.

xWhiplash said,
What is so damn difficult for MS to bring the start menu back as an option at install time / SysPrep setting, or GPO?

Why is it 100% guaranteed that it will NEVER return? Even if businesses never upgrade passed Windows 7? If they lose a lot of money because of it?

Again, any company is not immune and can do whatever they want. If they do, they could go bankrupt. If businesses will not upgrade to the newer windows because of the start screen metro BS, you better bet that MS would make something available for businesses. Otherwise they will lose A LOT of money and market share.

Loosing market share on a UI element people barely used? No. The Start Menu will never return for the same reasons other depreciated features will never return. Microsoft is ready to move on and do new things. The Start Screen is a valid replacement, and offers users enhanced functionality they'll never get from desktop icons, widgets, or the old start menu. It also offers a level of platform unification.

It's time to move on.

Blueclub said,

The problem, if MS dumps Metro now, is that it will kill itself in the long run.

MS is taking a new direction, computing has taken a turn, and bets have been placed. The future is being able to sync/use apps using the same interface on mobiles, tablets, laptops, and computers, all using an interface that looks the same, and apps that work universally. That is the future, this is what I think.

I'm not talking about dumping it, I'm taking about bring the start menu back as an OPTION for users who don't want the start screen. Historically MS have always done this, they have always given users a choice and never just told them "we are doing this way now so deal with it". After a couple of versions of Windows (and most users have warmed up to the new way by then) they silently phase out the old way (sure some users will still complain and get outraged, but the vast majority would have moved on). I think this is the one of the major reasons users are so angry and why they feel that must make a stand against MS, because they feel they have been robbed of their choice. Personally I don't see the big deal of allowing it to be a option you can turn on during setup, I won't use it personally, but it would shut up most of the complainers though and I'll all for that.

Dot Matrix said,

Loosing market share on a UI element people barely used? No. The Start Menu will never return for the same reasons other depreciated features will never return. Microsoft is ready to move on and do new things. The Start Screen is a valid replacement, and offers users enhanced functionality they'll never get from desktop icons, widgets, or the old start menu. It also offers a level of platform unification.

It's time to move on.

Alot of business will not upgrade to Win8 because they don't want to bear the cost of retraining their users and staff on how to use it, they don't have the time or money for it. My work for example refuses point blank to upgrade to Win8 because they feel the UI causes more problems then it solves and I'm sure many others do too. Sure some companies have taken the plunge and use Win8 now (and I commend them) but it's not many. Sticking to this path is dangerous for MS. They need to bring back the start menu as an option at least for the next few versions of Windows and I reiterate, as an OPTION, I'm not talking about ditching metro/modern.

Edited by Xerxes, Sep 29 2013, 12:58am :

Xerxes said,

I'm not talking about dumping it, I'm taking about bring the start menu back as an OPTION for users who don't want the start screen. Historically MS have always done this, they have always given users a choice and never just told them "we are doing this way now so deal with it". After a couple of versions of Windows (and most users have warmed up to the new way by then) they silently phase out the old way (sure some users will still complain and get outraged, but the vast majority would have moved on). I think this is the one of the major reasons users are so angry and why they feel that must make a stand against MS, because they feel they have been robbed of their choice. Personally I don't see the big deal of allowing it to be a option you can turn on during setup, I won't use it personally, but it would shut up most of the complainers though and I'll all for that.

Alot of business will not upgrade to Win8 because they don't want to bear the cost of retraining their users and staff on how to use it, they don't have the time or money for it. My work for example refuses point blank to upgrade to Win8 because they feel the UI causes more problems then it solves and I'm sure many others do too. Sure some companies have taken the plunge and use Win8 now (and I commend them) but it's not many. Sticking to this path is dangerous for MS. They need to bring back the start menu as an option at least for the next few versions of Windows and I reiterate, as an OPTION, I'm not talking about ditching metro/modern.

They're not going to. It's gone. There are reasons why it won't, either. Many of them technical.

Businesses migrating from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1? They are dreaming.

First, most enterprise web applications are barely compatible with IE10, let alone IE11 (Even VMWare's vCenter Web Client has troubles with IE10....)

Second, many businesses have JUST migrated from XP to 7 with all the corollary 3rd party upgrades, there's no way they're gonna drop another cent in upgrade licensing this soon.

Third, and this one is akin to shooting yourself in the foot, these IDIOTS at Microsoft prevent in place upgrades straight from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1, you have to use Win8 as an intermediary step. Why would anyone do a migration instead of a wipe/install? Because it works goddamn well (and is faster if well prepared). Even better, or crazier, your choice, the same upgrade path on the much more complicated server versions (2008R2 to 2012R2) is SUPPORTED and works !

I'll see our Microsoft rep this week for our yearly meeting, if he asks about that, I'll remind him we have migrated less than 18 months ago and blast his creeping roach ass into oblivion. If he dares mention Software Assurance (a.k.a pay 35% of the license price every year whether you upgrade or not), I'll additionally incinerate his remains.

Arkos Reed said,

Second, many businesses have JUST migrated from XP to 7 with all the corollary 3rd party upgrades, there's no way they're gonna drop another cent in upgrade licensing this soon.

especially since there is ZERO benefit, just bunch of cons.

nekrosoft13 said,

especially since there is ZERO benefit, just bunch of cons.

********, there are plenty of benefits if you look past the controversial elements. And you know it.

EXACTLY! Glad to see this from an inside perspective! I'd say an upgrade, in general might happen every 4-5 years? or when an IT budget allows?

Arkos Reed said,
Businesses migrating from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1? They are dreaming.

First, most enterprise web applications are barely compatible with IE10, let alone IE11 (Even VMWare's vCenter Web Client has troubles with IE10....)

Second, many businesses have JUST migrated from XP to 7 with all the corollary 3rd party upgrades, there's no way they're gonna drop another cent in upgrade licensing this soon.


6.5 years is soon?

Arkos Reed said,
Third, and this one is akin to shooting yourself in the foot, these IDIOTS at Microsoft prevent in place upgrades straight from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1, you have to use Win8 as an intermediary step.

There is an 8.1 ISO out on dreamspark, I doubt that is true anymore... let me try this on a VM.

Blueclub said,

6.5 years is soon?

Windows 7 was released in 2009, so where do you get that 6.5 years figure?

Blueclub said,

There is an 8.1 ISO out on dreamspark, I doubt that is true anymore... let me try this on a VM.

I have tested it, you can't preserve apps and settings when migrating unless you modify the 8.1 install DVD cversion.ini, which means: unsupported

Arkos Reed said,

Windows 7 was released in 2009, so where do you get that 6.5 years figure?


I have tested it, you can't preserve apps and settings when migrating unless you modify the 8.1 install DVD cversion.ini, which means: unsupported


Window 7 will get a 10 yr support cycle. 2009.5+10.5 = 2020 - 2013.5 = 6.5

Not able to migrate... that is stupid.

Is 10 years not enough for you all, Yes Microsoft is obligated to supported its users. But also realize that by the time mainstream support for 7 is up we will probably be at Windows 10 or even 11. Users that are that die hard of using an OS that old at that point are not going to care if they are getting updates or not.

I think Apple supports its last 3 versions of OS X as well.

Difference is that Apples support also last for just 3 years (max). Microsoft is now supporting Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8, and before XP goes, this group will be joined by 8.1. That are 5 different versions to support in a timeframe of 12 years. If XP goes, all supported Windows-versions are on the new generation kernels (6.x), which will improve the speed of development a lot. Most fixes for Vista will also work with minor changes on 7, 8 and 8.1. But XP need way more than that.

Now, If Vista nears end of support, we will have more versions than this supported. Microsoft will always support a Windows version for 10 years. So, when Vista's support end, we have Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 3 other versions of Windows (they want to release 1 every year). That's a LOT!

wv@gt said,
Is 10 years not enough for you all, Yes Microsoft is obligated to supported its users. But also realize that by the time mainstream support for 7 is up we will probably be at Windows 10 or even 11. Users that are that die hard of using an OS that old at that point are not going to care if they are getting updates or not.

I think Apple supports its last 3 versions of OS X as well.

Well XP was insecure, THAT we can all agree on. but windows 7, 8, 8.1 are supposed to be the most secure correct? I think the problem is, MS is trying to force its' hand by making people upgrade. I can explain why. What if we ended up having millions of XP users, millions of Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1, can you imagine the nightmare making software forward thinking but also backwards compatible? So MS simply states it will end support a version until X day and year. It is really a matter of people being brought or pushed into a newer OS to keep within some sort of fold to receive software support. It is a matter if MS mandating migration through a time hack. On the other side, this guarantees MS WILL get big $$$ layouts to upgrade enterprises, whether or not enterprises who have tight budgets can do it or not.

chrisj1968 said,
MS is trying to force its' hand by making people upgrade.

They're doing nothing of the sort. They're talking about a keeping Windows 7 support to a standard length. XP's extended support was the anomaly here.

Besides, we're all talking about a hypothetical scenario that is several years off into the future.

Gotta love the MS bashers sometimes.

it was an anomaly because they got caught with their pants down and saw that businesses DO NOT upgrade on the cycles MS had hoped. Businesses went to XP, skipped Vista and took up Win 7. Just because MS makes a new OS doesn't mean businesses will see a need. can MS cut support? sure- if they want to hack and chop up their customer base... enterprise.

Windows 8 would be perfectly fine, if they had a Start Menu and never have to ever see the Start Screen.

Windows 8 + Start8 = Windows 7 Enhanced. I would not dream of going back to Windows 7 if I had a choice. If MS just included a Start Menu (with a simple check box at install time / SysPrep setting), businesses and most of the complainers would be happy. I am glad I never see the Start Screen anymore.

This! If they just made win8 look like win7, i doubt anyone would even notice. except for the IT guys or people that keep up with tech news and stuff...

xWhiplash said,
Windows 8 would be perfectly fine, if they had a Start Menu and never have to ever see the Start Screen.

Yep. Our company is using XP right now and is not even close to completing the 7 rollout. But if MS wants us to even consider 8 (or 9) - give us something we can use. No one here is going to waste time training and retraining staff without a start menu or dealing with the bloody start screen. Or buy new hardware for 5600 employees. Will never happen.

Vocalpoint said,

Yep. Our company is using XP right now and is not even close to completing the 7 rollout. But if MS wants us to even consider 8 (or 9) - give us something we can use. No one here is going to waste time training and retraining staff without a start menu or dealing with the bloody start screen. Or buy new hardware for 5600 employees. Will never happen.

So then your company has a few options:
1) stick with Windows 7 after support ends until there are so many security holes that it becomes a nightmare
2) switch to another OS which will take a LOT more learning then a new start screen (takes 5 minutes to learn)
3) use third party programs that put a start menu in the corner
4) suck it up and spend 5 minutes learning the new start screen

Vocalpoint said,

Yep. Our company is using XP right now and is not even close to completing the 7 rollout. But if MS wants us to even consider 8 (or 9) - give us something we can use. No one here is going to waste time training and retraining staff without a start menu or dealing with the bloody start screen. Or buy new hardware for 5600 employees. Will never happen.

Training is part of the game. OS upgrades will always require it, no ifs, ands, or buts.

Dot Matrix said,

Training is part of the game. OS upgrades will always require it, no ifs, ands, or buts.


Not quite true. Training requirements from Windows XP to Windows 7 is negligible. Training requirements from Windows XP/7 to Windows 8 is extensive, with most users displaying a high level of dissatisfaction with the OS and its convoluted accesses. Windows 8 with a Start Menu and booting straight to desktop, ignoring the Start Screen completely, training is again negligible.

Tal Greywolf said,

Not quite true. Training requirements from Windows XP to Windows 7 is negligible. Training requirements from Windows XP/7 to Windows 8 is extensive, with most users displaying a high level of dissatisfaction with the OS and its convoluted accesses. Windows 8 with a Start Menu and booting straight to desktop, ignoring the Start Screen completely, training is again negligible.

Training for Windows 8.1 is also negligible, if that's what you want to argue. You click the Start button, click a tile, and boom, you're done. Same as the Start Menu.

Training is not "part of the game" here I am afraid. You are expected to just "know". And for those that believe that "click a Start button and click a tile and boom your done"...have obvious never worked support at a very large company. With a very large IT org and very large pockets of employees who do things a certain way.

I suppose I should have said - as soon as MS gets us a Windows version that ensures no employee can ever see the Start Screen or espeically the Metro area - I think we could roll with it.

And "third party" menus etc will never fly as that kind of thing would never get approved.

As long as we can use Windows 7 until 2020 - I think we are good.

VP

Vocalpoint said,
Training is not "part of the game" here I am afraid. You are expected to just "know". And for those that believe that "click a Start button and click a tile and boom your done"...have obvious never worked support at a very large company. With a very large IT org and very large pockets of employees who do things a certain way.

I suppose I should have said - as soon as MS gets us a Windows version that ensures no employee can ever see the Start Screen or espeically the Metro area - I think we could roll with it.

And "third party" menus etc will never fly as that kind of thing would never get approved.

As long as we can use Windows 7 until 2020 - I think we are good.

VP

If you are expected "to just know", then your IT dept isn't doing their jobs correctly. You'll always have to train users. There's no avoiding it.

Well - I have been there going on 17 years - and have never ever had or been offered "training" by anyone on anything (outside of the products we actually sell). Just getting hired here means you made the grade and know what you are doing. Our company views the OS the same way it does Outlook or Word. If you asked for Outlook training - you would get laughed at.

Hey - it's a corporate thing that has been that way since way before I got here - and is out of my control.

Over in IT - they could care less if you are trained or not. Their "job" is not to train and coddle employees - it's to support and maintain our infrastructure and the tech.

And with no corporate internal training policy - IT here will not issue anything that generates any "questions" or cause them any additional grief. So it's easy to see why Win XP and Win 7 win the day. These are very mature platforms that everyone is expected to just know how to use.

This is also why Windows 8 got laughed out of the place upon first look. 8.1 suffered the same fate. No one in IT wants to support that mess when Win XP/7 does everything we need with no additional hassle factor.

Again - I think if 8.1 was ever capable of staying on the desktop - like forever - with no possibility of ever steering a user to the Start Screen or to the Metro interface - I think we would probably try it.

But that's not possible as it stands - so we go with what we know.

VP

And this is why we need another OS that isn't made by arrogant companies. I really hope Linux triumps someday... we really need it.

Arceles said,
And this is why we need another OS that isn't made by arrogant companies. I really hope Linux triumps someday... we really need it.

Let me know when I can get updates for Ubuntu 7.10, the last version of that distro I personally liked on my main system. Arrogance, or just a cutoff on old versions?

Yeah if everyone had Linux, that would be great. Just think of all the support you would get! I'd need support just to get the thing working in the first place.

Microsoft has an obligation to support Windows 7 users as long as they are still using Windows 7. You cant just say, oh we don't want to support a product as along as another. It is like Ford saying, oh we don't want to support the Ford Fiesta and Fiesta drivers will have to buy a new model in several years.

Technically that is true. Ford, just like any other car company, will support your car for as long as you have a warranty. After which time you are on your own. Spinning that analogy back to MS, they will provide you support for as long as the product life cycle is available. After the software is EOL and mainstream/extended support is no longer available then you are out of luck.

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
Microsoft has an obligation to support Windows 7 users as long as they are still using Windows 7. You cant just say, oh we don't want to support a product as along as another. It is like Ford saying, oh we don't want to support the Ford Fiesta and Fiesta drivers will have to buy a new model in several years.

That's a failed analogy. There are plenty of Fords on the road for which their warranty has expired and if you want support for it, you have to pay for it or buy a new one.

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
Microsoft has an obligation to support Windows 7 users as long as they are still using Windows 7. You cant just say, oh we don't want to support a product as along as another. It is like Ford saying, oh we don't want to support the Ford Fiesta and Fiesta drivers will have to buy a new model in several years.

The irony being in your analogy that Ford will only support you as long as you have a warranty. How many warranty's are 10 years? Microsoft has no obligation to support anything past its shelf life.

Not really. Next year XP gets the plug pulled on support. It'll run, yeah, but it'll get preyed upon even more by people exploiting the gaping holes that are no longer being patched up.

Enron said,
Do you think Ford is still making replacement parts for their 1970s vehicles?

Are those 1970s models less than 10 years old?

.Neo said,

Are those 1970s models less than 10 years old?

The article says Windows 7 is still going to be supported for at least 10 years from its release date.

laserfloyd said,
Not really. Next year XP gets the plug pulled on support. It'll run, yeah, but it'll get preyed upon even more by people exploiting the gaping holes that are no longer being patched up.
Nah, it won't. Did people prey on Windows 98SE when support finally expired?

testman said,
Nah, it won't. Did people prey on Windows 98SE when support finally expired?

Who was still using Windows 98? Certainly not any businesses worth hacking.

well can't convince business to accept 8/8.1? force it on them by cutting support short for windows 7 and FORCING enterprises to buy Windows 8/8.1.

Then they'll trumpet how windows 8/8.1 is a success. Not difficult to see.

Is 10 years not enough time to support an OS? There's no 'forcing'. Vista has a 10 year support lifecycle. 7 has it. 8 has it. Where's the forcing again?

Sszecret said,
Is 10 years not enough time to support an OS? There's no 'forcing'. Vista has a 10 year support lifecycle. 7 has it. 8 has it. Where's the forcing again?

Businesses are NOT like you or I and just can got out to a retail store or download a consumer use windows 8/8.1. MS will shoot itself because companies have a thing called, "budgets." If they can't afford to swing upgrading X amount servers and desktops, well, they might end up looking elsewhere

Most PCs bought since October last year came with am OEM Windows 8 license, whether that got installed on the PC or not. Within 5 years, the majority of PCs in most companies will be covered by licensing for Windows 8, making upgrading not at all traumatic from a financial perspective, especially given that 90%+ of apps that work on 7, work fine on 8 to costs associated with upgrading will be minimal. It won't be anywhere near as much hard work as going from XP to 7.

chrisj1968 said,

Businesses are NOT like you or I and just can got out to a retail store or download a consumer use windows 8/8.1. MS will shoot itself because companies have a thing called, "budgets." If they can't afford to swing upgrading X amount servers and desktops, well, they might end up looking elsewhere

Microsoft said 10 years of support before the OS came out and is sticking to it. 10 years is a VERY long time. You'll go through 2-4 computers in that time. If businesses are too slow to upgrade the OS in 10 frickin years then that's their own problem.

chrisj1968 said,
If they can't afford to swing upgrading X amount servers and desktops, well, they might end up looking elsewhere

I've yet to see any other operating system that supports a single version for that long a period of time for less. There's a couple distros offering enterprise support for a long period of time (7-10 years) but you'll wind up paying more than what a Windows ugprade would have cost you, much more so on the server end of it.

it is if the enterprise makes up what? 55% - 60% of their income from the enterprise? I bet if Win 8/8.1 doesn't get adopted as they thought, a total rethink will be in order.

MS depends on its customers. A symbiotic relationship almost

chrisj1968 said,

Businesses are NOT like you or I and just can got out to a retail store or download a consumer use windows 8/8.1. MS will shoot itself because companies have a thing called, "budgets." If they can't afford to swing upgrading X amount servers and desktops, well, they might end up looking elsewhere

Just what about budgets would keep a business from upgrading? They need to constantly budget IT, I know of no business that doesn't perform a hardware refresh or OS upgrade in a 10 year span at least once. Do you still see companies using CRT monitors or beige boxes anymore?

Think about that.

Indeed Dot. What you just said is common sense. Unfortunately that particular sense isn't all that common on Neowin any more.

Then make an OS worth switching to... amateurs. Maybe with baldman Ballmer out of the picture we can actually start moving forward again.

Legacy software is really that much of a big deal anymore that we have virtualization available. If you're stuck with some old stuff from a company that doesn't event exist anymore, you can always setup an isolated VM to run it. There's only been a few cases where there's hardware (ISA cards believe it or not) that couldn't go on a VM.

Of course they don't. But if they change their conditions now they'll face an outrage, since many departments planned their Windows 7 purchases on very (relatively speaking as for the industry) long-term support, and what was said back then.

It's both a curse for Microsoft and something that makes them attractive.

Yea good luck MS.

What is it, 20%+ are still using XP. I know of major financial institutions here in NYC still using XP. One that does God's work rather recently migrated to Win7, and it still trying to get their ducks in a row from that migration. If companies like these who are really not having as many cash flow problems are still migrating, what must be the situation for other companies?

I have many clients who don't have any money in the budget for any sort of major upgrades or migrations. All I've been doing is maintaining the status quo.

Condere said,
Yea good luck MS.

What is it, 20%+ are still using XP. I know of major financial institutions here in NYC still using XP. One that does God's work rather recently migrated to Win7, and it still trying to get their ducks in a row from that migration. If companies like these who are really not having as many cash flow problems are still migrating, what must be the situation for other companies?

I have many clients who don't have any money in the budget for any sort of major upgrades or migrations. All I've been doing is maintaining the status quo.

Why good luck Microsoft? They decide when to cut off support, if companies don't want to or can't make the move in time, they have to shove fistfulls of cash at Microsoft of they want anything patched. In the end, Microsoft will keep getting money, regardless if they upgrade or not.

Condere said,
Yea good luck MS.

What is it, 20%+ are still using XP. I know of major financial institutions here in NYC still using XP. One that does God's work rather recently migrated to Win7, and it still trying to get their ducks in a row from that migration. If companies like these who are really not having as many cash flow problems are still migrating, what must be the situation for other companies?

I have many clients who don't have any money in the budget for any sort of major upgrades or migrations. All I've been doing is maintaining the status quo.

I feel what you're saying. But MS can just toss them to the wolves and force them to upgrade. In many cases business have the money, but they don't see the value in upgrading vs spending that capital elsewhere. MS can only support that decision making for so long. As soon as your clients find it is more expensive to keep old installs up and running more expensive than upgrading the OS license then they'll magically find the money.

McKay said,

Why good luck Microsoft? They decide when to cut off support, if companies don't want to or can't make the move in time, they have to shove fistfulls of cash at Microsoft of they want anything patched. In the end, Microsoft will keep getting money, regardless if they upgrade or not.

and THAT is the entire reason for this move! FORCE people to throw cash at MS to save itself from what has been a luke warm reception of 8/8.1. they won't buy 8 or 8.1? put them into a position TO have no choice but to buy into 8/8.1

Businesses could easily switch over to Ubuntu if they wished. Ubuntu does have good security baked in and is a pretty good OS. On the plus side Ubuntu is totally free and would be economically beneficial for businesses.

chrisj1968 said,

and THAT is the entire reason for this move! FORCE people to throw cash at MS to save itself from what has been a luke warm reception of 8/8.1. they won't buy 8 or 8.1? put them into a position TO have no choice but to buy into 8/8.1


If MS wanted to put people in a position where they had no choice, they wouldn't have extended XPs support date four years already. They gave people plenty of time to put a transition plan in action, and it was ignored so here we are.

chrisj1968 said,

and THAT is the entire reason for this move! FORCE people to throw cash at MS to save itself from what has been a luke warm reception of 8/8.1. they won't buy 8 or 8.1? put them into a position TO have no choice but to buy into 8/8.1

You think it's viable for Microsoft to be babysitting Companies who are clinging onto a 12 year old Operating system? They don't have to upgrade to 8, they could jump up to Vista or 7. If Windows is too expensive for them to upgrade they could leave Windows entirely. They extended XP beyond its intended life enough as it is.

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
Businesses could easily switch over to Ubuntu if they wished. Ubuntu does have good security baked in and is a pretty good OS. On the plus side Ubuntu is totally free and would be economically beneficial for businesses.
People have been comparing desktop linux to windows for over a decade. In the grand scheme of things the $200 price tag on Windows expensed out over the lifetime of the device (2-4 years) is pennies a day cost. Sadly, Linux being "free" doesn't stand up well to that cheap cost.

McKay said,

Why good luck Microsoft? They decide when to cut off support, if companies don't want to or can't make the move in time, they have to shove fistfulls of cash at Microsoft of they want anything patched. In the end, Microsoft will keep getting money, regardless if they upgrade or not.

Most people and companies do not need Microsoft support for the products.

Windows XP/ Windows 7 will live on without it. Even more so until Microsoft dump the Metro interface and give us back the desktop with start menu.

dvb2000 said,

Most people and companies do not need Microsoft support for the products.

Windows XP/ Windows 7 will live on without it. Even more so until Microsoft dump the Metro interface and give us back the desktop with start menu.

Microsoft isn't dumping the Metro UI. You can't expect to move forward, by reverting backwards.

dvb2000 said,
Most people and companies do not need Microsoft support for the products.

Windows XP/ Windows 7 will live on without it. Even more so until Microsoft dump the Metro interface and give us back the desktop with start menu.

You're right that they will live on without them. However, the risk isn't worth the reward as they need security fixes and as computing moves forward and they are left in the dust.

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
Businesses could easily switch over to Ubuntu if they wished. Ubuntu does have good security baked in and is a pretty good OS. On the plus side Ubuntu is totally free and would be economically beneficial for businesses.
It is kind of alarming that Ubuntu doesn't have a support offering on their site for their OS. Paying for support means someone has to answer you and that someone who answers you has an SLA they have to adhere to. Forums are not how you support an Enterprise.

I'm staring at a 100,000+ migration to Win7, we're 60% complete and have tested ~1,500 apps for Windows 7 and retired nearly 3,000 apps.

If anyone comes to my desk and says we're migrating to Linux and I have to lead the migration team and find Linux alternatives for our Windows apps and train users... I'll walk. Don't mention WINE or some other emulator. They are great at home or on a small scale, in a call center where Average Call Handle (ACH) means millions of dollars, they won't fly. People praised MED-V, it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. At home, I used XP mode to learn about it and found it worked fine, at work... bad idea on a large scale (few hundred users running mission critical apps).

So my reply has gone off the rails... XP needs to die ASAP and the year of Linux has been upon us for years. Some companies can pull off Linux, but I'd wager they are very small in numbers.

Edit:
Found the Support offering on Ubuntu's page: http://www.ubuntu.com/management

Edit #2:
So my rant was from my point of view of a very large Enterprise that was beyond comfortable under it's Windows XP blanket. The IT horror stories I've come across scare the bejesus out of me some days. Simple statements of "switch to Linux" drive me batty. It isn't that easy, that statement to me is like the guy who says "my kid upgraded our PC to Win7 in a few hours, what's the hold up here?". 1 PC vs. 100,000 PC's with countless software installation combinations... figure it out genius!

Crap... I'm ranting again.... walking away now.

Edited by zeke009, Sep 28 2013, 3:56am :

dvb2000 said,
Most people and companies do not need Microsoft support for the products.

Windows XP/ Windows 7 will live on without it. Even more so until Microsoft dump the Metro interface and give us back the desktop with start menu.


If any company stays with XP after it is retired and does not keep up with security updates, I won't be a customer. Any company that does not protect PHI and PII is one I don't want to do business with.

dvb2000 said,

Most people and companies do not need Microsoft support for the products.

Windows XP/ Windows 7 will live on without it. Even more so until Microsoft dump the Metro interface and give us back the desktop with start menu.

After the end of life if they wish to use XP, They'll have to pay Microsoft money if they need a vulnerability patched. Microsoft will stop patching XP for free. They'll only patch new security holes if a company asks them to, and pays them. Microsoft will also only issue the patch to that company who paid.

chrisj1968 said,
sure it is viable. MS has no say in whether an enterprises IT budget will authorize an upgrade.

Financially for Microsoft it isn't viable to keep supporting antique software, XP is 12 years old. That's ancient for an OS. They have to pay money to keep churning out patches etc when nobody is really buying new copies of XP.

Businesses have had 7 years to begin thinking about leaving XP, that's when Vista launched. You can't expect them to babysit companies who can't pull off a change like that in time. The companies have only themselves to blame. More often then not the money is there, but the IT departments don't or can't put accross a strong enough case to upgrade when the as far as the managers are concerned, it all works fine.

When their entire infrastructure is crippled by an unpatched XP exploit in the future, you can bet the money to update the IT infrastructure will appear.

chrisj1968 said,

and THAT is the entire reason for this move! FORCE people to throw cash at MS to save itself from what has been a luke warm reception of 8/8.1. they won't buy 8 or 8.1? put them into a position TO have no choice but to buy into 8/8.1

You act like this is the first time Microsoft have done this. Newsflash - Microsoft has been doing this since Windows 1.0.

I think the important number is how many years the old OS is supported after its successor comes out. That's what the lifecycle is based on, as that's when people start moving away from the old OS. XP is getting 7 years 3 months after Vista's release, and Windows 7 is getting 7 years 3 months after Windows 8's release.

PeterUK said,
I think Windows 7 should be supported longer for 64 bit.

It will eventually. its all microsoft pushing people to adopt windows 8 or 8.1 (which is reasonably a good OS)

PeterUK said,
I think Windows 7 should be supported longer for 64 bit.

I'm sure it will. Windows 8 is proving (as was predicted by many) to be a failure. Until Microsoft get back to giving their customers what they want, Micorosoft is heading headlong into oblivion.

dvb2000 said,

I'm sure it will. Windows 8 is proving (as was predicted by many) to be a failure. Until Microsoft get back to giving their customers what they want, Micorosoft is heading headlong into oblivion.


Not only that, Other os's are gaining users such as Linux.

soldier1st said,
Not only that, Other os's are gaining users such as Linux.

No, they aren't. General desktop usage has held that ~1.5% market share for years. Valve's hardware survey has Linux on the decline consistently, obviously that will change depending how well SteamOS does or doesn't do, I don't do fortune cookie predictions. If I were to dabble with crystal balls, if anybody would gain a small bit of Windows' desktop share, it'll be OSX.

I'm a defense contractor and work on U.S. Naval base. We just moved from XP to Windows 7 this year. This migration is STILL going on (That's what Aaron Alexis was doing at the Navy Yard when he flipped out and started killing people.) There is ZERO chance the Navy is going upgrade to a whole new desktop OS anytime soon. They keep servers pretty up to date but complete desktop version migrations don't happen every couple years. We'll probably move to Windows 9 (+latest service pack) about the time Windows 10 comes out.

Despite what you may think DoD doesn't actually directly run the military networks. They just run some common services that they provide to the distinct military networks. I work for the Navy and we are on NMCI which is the common network for the Navy and Marine Corps (technically part of the Navy). The Army has a completely different network. The Air Force probably does as well (or it's with Army, not sure.) Anyway the DoD deal you speak of is just for system DoD directly owns not their subordinate commands.

n_K said,
Really? DoD announced a deal with MS about windows 8 and you're not upgrading? Haha.

Just because Win8 licenses were bought doesn't necessarily mean they can magically just install Win8 on every machine.

In my experience, I've seen many instances where even some PCs at a company must be left with an XP OS because they have software packages (proprietary or off the shelf) that don't work with 7 or 8. This then requires new servers and other purchases that start to rapidly become cost prohibitive.

Asmodai said,
(That's what Aaron Alexis was doing at the Navy Yard when he flipped out and started killing people.)

And this has what to do with the story? Are you trying to imply that he went "postal" because he was still upgrading from Xp.

metallithrax said,

And this has what to do with the story? Are you trying to imply that he went "postal" because he was still upgrading from Xp.

He was simply stating WHY the shooter was at the navy yard, not why he shot the people. sheesh!

metallithrax said,

And this has what to do with the story? Are you trying to imply that he went "postal" because he was still upgrading from Xp.

No, but we just had the last few straggler machines in my office upgraded a few months ago and some were worried he might have been at our base doing those upgrades before going to the Navy Yard. So it just happened to be fresh in my mind.

chrisj1968 said,

He was simply stating WHY the shooter was at the navy yard, not why he shot the people. sheesh!

And like I said, what has that to do with the story?

answer - nothing

metallithrax said,

And like I said, what has that to do with the story?
answer - nothing

The story is about MS wanting users to upgrade to new OS versions faster so they don't have to support Windows 7 as long as they did XP. I was pointing out that some large entities are still doing the upgrade from XP to Windows 7 now so given the long time it takes these entities to perform these upgrades they are unlikely they will begin another one soon. In other words Windows 7 is going to be around for large quantity buyers for some time now.

The large entity I used in my example is the one I work for which is the U.S. Navy. Because it's a recent news story and, as I mentioned, still fresh in my mind I noted that the shooter actually someone performing this task. The fact that he was still actively tasked with upgrading XP machines to Windows 7 is demonstrative of the slow adoption rate and therefore related to the article. I'm not sure why the connection is difficult for you to understand but hopefully that clears it up for you.

n_K said,
Really? DoD announced a deal with MS about windows 8 and you're not upgrading? Haha.

just because they signed a deal to keep their software licensing up to date, doesn't mean they have ANY plans to move their business platform to Windows 8. Much like home users, business users want productivity, and Windows 8 isn't any where near as usable or productive as Windows 7.

n_K said,
Really? DoD announced a deal with MS about windows 8 and you're not upgrading? Haha.

It isn't cheap to upgrade a ton of servers to every new release of the os.

Asmodai said,
I'm a defense contractor and work on U.S. Naval base. We just moved from XP to Windows 7 this year. This migration is STILL going on There is ZERO chance the Navy is going upgrade to a whole new desktop OS anytime soon.

Like Asmodai, I work for a major aerospace company. We are also in the middle of a Windows 7 migration throughout the company, with the goal of being completed by the end of the year. That's the goal... the reality is that we continue to hit tools and applications that are unable to run on Windows 7, and those machines will not be migrated. 98% of the machines should be completed by the end of the year, but that just means that three years after starting the Windows 7 migration program, we're just finally getting done.

As for Windows 8/8.1, there is a test program in place but no plans to begin even limited migrations until 2016 (yes, you read that right). And if Microsoft goes to a yearly upgrade of the OS, well... that's going to cause a lot of grief. Businesses like the one I work in (and like the military) do not want to be constantly having to update their systems. We want a stable platform that will last more than two years... eight to ten is more preferred. Projects like company-wide migrations need to be planned long in advance, resources need to be allocated, budgets need to be submitted... and that's one thing that was learned already from our experience. Systems that supposedly would run Windows 7 ended up being unable to run the OS *and* programs at the same time. Hardware costs exploded, budgets were overrun, and it's one reason why the original completed migration date slipped back and kept slipping.

Migrations are easy for small companies. For the big ones, they're logistical nightmares.

Won't happen. XP was an anomaly - it was around for so long because the successor (Longhorn) took so long to develop (and partly because XP was so full of holes that they had to pull most developers off development to produce what we know as Service Pack 2), by which point XP ended up so entrenched, support for it had to be extended multiple times.

Windows 7 and all other future versions of Windows won't ever have that luxury again. At the very MINIMUM successor versions of Windows will go back to the usual 3-year cycle, as it was before XP, and older versions of Windows 3 generations back will be quickly forgotton as Windows moves on far into the distance.

You also have XP to thank for that too. Remember before SP2 it was so full of holes it was getting a dangerous reputation, so they had to focus on producing SP2, which slowed development of the successor to a crawl.

This won't happen again with Windows 7, 8, 9, 10, etc. It was a unique set of circumstances that conspired to give XP a lifeline it really shouldn't have had.

testman said,
You also have XP to thank for that too. Remember before SP2 it was so full of holes it was getting a dangerous reputation, so they had to focus on producing SP2, which slowed development of the successor to a crawl.
imo XP was unusable until SP1 came along. After that, it matured into a good product. SP2 added a few important things, but for a time, SP2 was causing issues, then it was fixed. MS made XP too good, so it hung around longer.
This won't happen again with Windows 7, 8, 9, 10, etc. It was a unique set of circumstances that conspired to give XP a lifeline it really shouldn't have had.

A lot of companies are also skipping Windows 8/8.1. Like XP, Windows 7 is a great OS. No reason to upgrade to Windows 8/8.1.

DarkNet said,
A lot of companies are also skipping Windows 8/8.1. Like XP, Windows 7 is a great OS. No reason to upgrade to Windows 8/8.1.

I completely agree with you.

soldier1st said,
imo XP was unusable until SP1 came along. After that, it matured into a good product. SP2 added a few important things, but for a time, SP2 was causing issues, then it was fixed. MS made XP too good, so it hung around longer.
Actually XP was pretty unusable till SP2 - Microsoft had pulled a ton of people off development of "Longhorn" to fix SP2 because of the ton of issues that XP had.

XP being around too long had nothing to do with XP being "too good", it was because of the protracted development of the successor and the issues of XP pre SP2.

Net said,
A lot of companies are also skipping Windows 8/8.1. Like XP, Windows 7 is a great OS. No reason to upgrade to Windows 8/8.1.

Totally agree. Windows 8/8.1 is Vista 2.0, it's not business friendly, and that playground of a start screen does nothing for business users except distract. Corporates won't waste their time deploying this when 7 works so well. I think we'll find MS will backtrack and end up supporting 7 far longer than they wish too.

If only they designed the OS in a more hybrid manner, start green = green on tablets, awful on desktops...

If you release a new version of the OS every year you probably won't have the same problem. XP stayed on the market for 5 years (too long) and Vista wasn't replaced for 3 years. If 8.0 was around for 3 years you might have the same problem, but even 8.1 will change some minds, they need to continue with 8.2 or 8.5.