Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 8th Apr 2014 15:38 UTC
Windows

It's finally here. After 12 years, 6 months, and 12 days on the market, Windows XP has hit its end of life. It will receive its last ever set of patches on Windows Update today, and for the most part, that will be that. Any flaws discovered from now on - and it's inevitable that some will be discovered - will never be publicly patched.

How bad is this going to be? It's probably going to be pretty bad. By some measures, about 28 percent of the Web-using public is still using Windows XP, and these systems are going to be ripe for exploitation.

I never liked Windows XP (I used BeOS during XP's early days, and Mac OS X and Linux during XP's later days), so I'm glad to see it go. This terrible operating system should have died out years ago.

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RE[2]: Comment by Tractor
by Tractor on Fri 11th Apr 2014 13:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Tractor"
Tractor
Member since:
2006-08-18

Well, since you decided to confirm your view with the cherry-picked article on Win XP, I'll answer your points, one by one.

And I'll start by a simple sentence : In what kind of world are you living ? Are you sure you remember properly the events from 2001-2007, or just can't help but selective compare some of them with 2014's situation ?

- Updating it was a mess. WU on XP is my definition of hell.


Updating was relatively new back then. It was only starting to make sense. Before that, you had updates for Win98 too, and they were even worse.
Which Linux Distro was proposing live & packaged updates in 2001 ? You might find one or two cherry-picked example, but the overwhelming majority did not provide any.

Updating started to become a mandatory feature during the Windows XP era, and now it's everywhere. Thanks to the progress of telecom infrastructures, but also because Microsoft was showing the example with Windows XP.

If anything, WinXP was in the right train, and allowed broader progresses in this area.


- Security was a total and absolute nightmare.


The most important and most valid, but also the easiest point of your argumentation.
Sure, Windows XP has been lambasted for its lack of security.

But the truth : it's the first time, ever, that an OS has attracted so much attention from armies of hackers, pirates & governments. And they learned it the hard way.
They did not just "stay stuck", they worked and provided remarkable progresses in the course of the next 2 release candidates. It anything, it made them a better product.

Consider this with the stance of direct competitors, such as Linux Distro and Apple's Mac. "We are bug free". "There is zero attack on my desktop". How many systems relied of these imprecations to just maintain the illusion of being safer than Windows ?

We all know the rest of the story. These systems are not more secure, if anything, they are much worse. They are only less targeted, and the day someone or some group start to pay attention, the number of flaws to exploit is mind blowing. And it's even worse for users, since they are kept in the blank, such as Apple's order to its own selling force to outrightly deny any malware allegation on OS-X, as long as the situation remained sustainable (hint : it is not).


- It had a terrible graphics subsystem powering the UI, leading to artifacts, slow responsiveness, tearing, and god knows what else - especially compared to OS X or even BeOS, using XP felt like running through wet sand while wearing concrete boots


Total nonsense.
I had a lot of configuration back then, tested many different Linux systems, and even alternative OS.
None of them was stable.
None of them provided even a sense of stability, as much as Windows XP did.
So sure, WinXP wasn't perfect, but pretending that it was basically one or the worst of its kind is pure History rewriting. It was among the best of its generation, miles better than Win9x, and eons better than Linux desktop.

But sure, if you compare Windows XP from 2001 with OS-X from 2007, yes, indeed, you have a case...


- Booting it was a nightmare. It took forever, and just when you thought the desktop was ready to use - NOPE more waiting for a million things to load in the background.


This one I agree,
although most of the problems were coming from additional crapwares, typically installed by system admin within corporations. But WinXP did not provide a good defense against this inflation.

But to be fair, I'm not sure any other OS would have fare better back in 2001 with an equivalent workload. Most other systems were faster to boot because there was only so little possible to do with them.


> - No proper package management whatsoever.


Really ? Never heard of InstallShield ?
Or if you want to limit to Microsoft : never heard of MSI ? (Microsoft System Installer : http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Installer)


- Incredibly BSOD-sensitive, especially during the early years.


Total nonsense.
Windows XP was miles better than its predecessors Win9x. AND, it was miles better than most Linux Distro of the time. Yes, all the shout about the "better stability of Linux" was plain bullshit. All Linux Distro I tested back then were much *less* stable, too dangerous for production use.
I knew people pretending otherwise. They were little else than Linux evangelist, blind on Linux issues, and always criticism to Microsoft.
Even OS-X was and is known for its stability issues, but here also, you can count on Apple evangelist to hide this fact and pretend otherwise.

Linux & OS-X (and alternative OS) had an advantage though : they were so limited in what was possible to do with them that the range of cases, and therefore of possible problems, was multiple order of magnitude lower.
But just put your foot one inch beyond the nominal case, and you're good for a crash.

I'm sorry, but XP was NOT a good operating system if you were used to the modernity of OS X and the speed and compactness of BeOS.


BeOS was a jewel.
You can't compare XP workhorse to it.
BeOS was an ultra-limited system, working on limited configurations, with limited applications and use cases. Inside the walled garden, BeOS was exceptional. Just get out, and you're in for an unsolvable nightmare.

XP had the duty to work on all kind of configurations. Just cherry picking the worst ones is dishonest. If you had to use the same methodology with BeOS, it would get a zero.

Windows 7 around, there is absolutely NO reason WHATSOEVER to still be using that mess.


I agree with that, and so does Microsoft by the way.
This is a tribute of how bad large corporations and administrations are managed. Pile of average corporate individuals, trying to be the least useful as possible, pushing problems and risks around to be in charge of nothing.
This has nothing to do with the rest of the post though.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Tractor
by oiaohm on Sat 12th Apr 2014 00:26 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Tractor"
oiaohm Member since:
2009-05-30

Tractor some points you miss that make a few of your statements flawed. Linux started the idea of distributions using Internet to push out updates.

Back in 2002 Linux workstation computers did run Linux stable, My current Linux install was a clean install in the year 2000. So I have used a Linux Desktop over all that time frame. 2002 Linux certified hardware was a lot rarer than today. Yes lots of people who say Windows XP was more stable than Linux you ask what hardware they test on and its uncertified hardware for Linux. Running windows on uncertified hardware can be impossible as well. Take current day chromebooks yes they are x86 but Windows XP, 7 and 8 are all not run-able on them without being highly unstable.

The rule has not changes "Run an OS on uncertified hardware expect crashes".

Dangers to Linux in production usage back in 2002 did not come from stability. Security yes. X11 has been security poor. The other issue is document compatibility. Document compatibility was fairly much non existence in 2002 when XP was released. Even websites were likely to be IE only.

Which Linux Distro was proposing live & packaged updates in 2001 ?

That would be providing live and packaged updates and the distributions would be like debian or redhat or .... many others. So fairly much has not changed much. Debian distribution releases are fairly much service packs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Packaging_Tool

On-line and packaged updates updating Linux world you are talking 1998 and before. 1998 for working stable. Most of the early package update solutions include it in Linux.

Debian was using dselect in 1995 that also supported online and off-line update solutions. But it was buggy. 3 years of development later and a stable update solution appears.

By 2002 when XP releases updating in the Linux world is a very old thing and highly mature other than lacking perfect GUI for X11. So its valid for Linux people to look at Windows XP update system and complain. Because truly Windows Update has been crap compared to Linux update solutions.

InstallShield is not a proper package manager. Where is the list of installed files so you can work out what file owns to what package. These databases of files is a properly of all Linux package managers after slackware. Slackware uses a tar compressed file even modern day slackware installs maintain lists of installed files. InstallShield is not much better than an a tar file because a key feature to be called a decent package manager under Linux is missing.

The Linux world was in fact slow to pick up on-line updating. BSD in the form of Freebsd gets started http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreeBSD_ports yes 1994.

Reply Parent Score: 2