Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 10th Apr 2014 10:44 UTC

It wasn't meant to be this way. Windows XP, now no longer supported, wasn't meant to be popular. For all its popularity and sustained usage, people seem to have forgotten something important about it: it sucked.

The Ars forums are a place for geeks to hang out and chat about tech, and especially in the light of the hostility shown towards Windows 8, we thought it might be fun to take a look at how our forum dwellers reacted when first introduced to Microsoft's ancient operating system.

How times change.

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Member since:

The linked article is plain bullshit.
And I'm not surprised to see the name of its author, Peter B., which basically suffer from many syndromes, including but not limited to, selective cognition, and Microsoft hate.

> The biggest problem with Windows XP was that it was Microsoft's first operating system to feature Product Activation,


Product Activation is now basically a hidden feature of Any modern OS with Cloud services support (Yes, including OS-X, Android, iOS and even Ubuntu, you are just not informed of it). If anything, it was a move ahead of its time.

I wasn't exactly keen either on that "feature", but using this forehead argument to conclude that "Windows XP sucked" ? Really ? Is it possible to look at WXP with a less encompassing view, only displaying cherry-picked side details ? And what's next, the colors of the default theme sucked ?

OK, I'm done, it gives ample information to provide good evaluation of the worth of the article and most importantly its author.

Selective cognition is not limited to Peter B., Thom is a big member of the community now. This is obviously a follow up of his previous article, where he felt alone in shouting "Windows XP sucked" to the world. From the myriad of articles available on Windows XP obituary, he selected this one, THE one which agrees with his definition.

This is becoming silly. I'll have to reconsider my list of favorite sites I regularly visit for news.

Reply Score: 2

BluenoseJake Member since:

Actually, back when XP came out, which is the time frame Peter B. is discussing, Windows Activation was a source of much geek angst. It may be everywhere now, but in 2001, it was a big deal. He is not talking about now, but back then. Feel free to reread the article.

XP did suck in 2001, no amount of revisionist history, or insulting comments about Ars writers, will change that.

Reply Parent Score: 4

benytocamela Member since:

So basically your issue ain't with cherry picking per se, but mainly with the fact that the author did not pick the cherries you wanted.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:


Your caps, that's a problem.
Seriously though, it was incredibly annoying and everyone hated it. The fact that it has since become more common doesn't mean it didn't suck back then.

(Yes, including OS-X, Android, iOS and even Ubuntu, you are just not informed of it)

Ubuntu as no activation.

XP sucked and it still sucks. The fact that it was better than 95/98/Me and Vista does not mean it didn't suck.

Reply Parent Score: 1

bassbeast Member since:

What EXACTLY was "annoying" about it? if you had a net connection it took less than 20 seconds and if you didn't it took MAYBE 15 minutes by phone. At the shop I have handled more activations than many here have had hot meals and in all my years I ran into exactly TWO installs where I had to get a MSFT rep on the horn, and in both of those cases the customer had reinstalled multiple times in a very short period of time.

In the first case the customer kept getting a bug (it turned out his router had been pwned) and in the second the guy thought if he kept reinstalling sooner or later WinXP would get his ancient printer to work. Time it took me to get it straightened out? Maybe 15 minutes from picking up the phone to hanging up. No hassles, no accusations, honestly it was one of the easiest and most pleasant interactions with a large corp I've ever had, certainly better than dealing with Dell or Compaq support by a country mile.

So I really don't see what was "annoying" to anybody, you clicked through a couple screens and had it activated in seconds. Considering that Windows is the most pirated software on the planet its even that much more amazing how well it worked. Unless you are talking about being annoying to pirates, but then that was the point wasn't it?

Reply Parent Score: 3

Lennie Member since:

What do you mean with product activation for Ubuntu ?

Reply Parent Score: 2

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:

The linked article is plain bullshit.
And I'm not surprised to see the name of its author, Peter B., which basically suffer from many syndromes, including but not limited to, selective cognition, and Microsoft hate.

Oh, it's even sillier than that. At the time XP came out, Peter B. (or "Petard" as he is "affectionately" known by most who've interacted with him in the Ars forums) was probably one of the most die-hard, enthusiastic Windows cheerleaders you could ever hope to meet. His only competition for that crown were some fellow Ars-holes, like Paul Hill and Evil Merlin (though none of them could hold a candle to David K. "Mackido" Every as far as batshit-insanity went, but that's another story). And at that time, he was practically shouting from the rooftops that XP was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

So basically the article is nothing more than a thinly-veiled "I told you so," from someone who apparently STILL hasn't gotten over online arguments from more than a decade ago. And the funniest part is that Peter has done just as much of a reversal - if not more so, given his brief forays onto to the Apple fanboy bandwagon a few years back. Then again, I can't say I'm surprised - after all, this is the same brain donor who expended at least 10,000 words arguing against the firsthand knowledge of a developer who actually worked on Android (Diane Hackborn), with nothing to support his position but uninformed outside-looking-in speculation:

Even Tony Swash didn't possess that level of arrogant presumption & had the sense to slink away after the fist spanking he received:

Edited 2014-04-12 17:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

BluenoseJake Member since:

Name drop much?

Anybody can search ars forums and find and type random fanboys names from back in the day.

Reply Parent Score: 2