Tag Archives: windows XP

Mainstream support has been ended for XP, but it’s nothing to worry about… yet.

Basically, as planned, Microsoft ended Mainstream Support for Windows XP today. As far as I am aware, this means that Microsoft will no longer provide non-security updates to private users. As Extended Support is still available (and will be for years to come), Microsoft is still going to provide security updates for free as and when they are required. Microsoft is not planning to cut security updates for XP until April 8, 2014.

The company is also going to continue providing support both over the phone and on the web.

Basically, there’s not much to worry about. However, when Windows 7 is released, I would suggest that people start to think about moving to that rather than hanging on an earlier version of Windows that will only provide security fixes for a limited period.

The same Mainstream Support has ended for Office 2003, so users may also consider upgrading to Office 2007 or waiting until the next version of Office is released with Windows 7.

Update: It also seems to have become apparent that you need to be on Windows XP SP3/Office 2003 SP3 to continue to receive important security updates.

Windows 7 will offer downgrade to Windows Vista and XP

Microsoft has confirmed to news site The Register that Windows 7 will offer a downgrade to Windows Vista and Windows XP for up to 6 months after general availability. The news page seems to suggest that the downgrade will be available for Windows 7 Pro and Windows 7 Ultimate.

I would guess that the downgrade availability would be becuase there are still a large group of people who prefer Windows XP to Windows 7 and Vista.

So, if you still love Windows XP, you don’t need to worry about buying a new computer. Personally, I think Windows 7 will be much better than any previous Windows version, so see what you think before you downgrade.

Netbooks are the future. They just are.

I’ve been having a good play-around with a couple of recent netbooks. The first one being the EeePC 701 and the second being the Acer Aspire One. They are both really good laptops. They both will run Windows XP (there is some difficulty one the EeePC – I’ll explain later), they are both relatively fast, they both have decent battery life, and both have expandable memory.

The EeePC 701 uses an 8GB solid-state drive whilst the Acer Aspire 701 uses a 120GB normal hard drive (although it is available with a solid-state drive). 8GB will not get you very far, even if you don’t have any music or video, but you can expand it with any SD or SDHC card. The 120GB hard drive in in the Aspire is relatively fast whilst fairly quiet, although it does drain the battery quite a lot. And ofcourse, because the solid-state drive has no moving parts, it saves battery and is less suceptable to damage from drops.

As for the battery power, they are both very good. The EeePC will run for just over 2 hours whilst working quite hard, and the Aspire just a tad longer. I believe the Aspire does have a slightly better battery, but there isn’t a huge amount of difference and both are fine for going on short trips.

Neither have an optical drive which is quite a downside if you want to watch a DVD on the move. You could add a USB DVD drive but this would probably hammer the battery life. There are netbooks available that will cope with a USB DVD drive, but these two will both struggle to make it through a DVD movie on one charge.

The screen size is definately a bit of a pain on the EeePC. The 7″ display is quite hard to work with, especially in Windows XP. It will run 800×480 without scrowling the screen, but you can run 800×600 or 1024×768 with the catch that you’ll have to scroll down the screen. The 8.9″ on the Aspire One (also available in 10″) is much more usable and can run 1024×768 without screen scrolling.

As for trying to install Windows XP, it can be a right nightmare on the EeePC. It will install fine, but trying to get programs to work properly is utter hell. Windows Live Messenger seems to fail horribly, and then you get issues which collide with other pieces of software. The Aspire is much better and will install software with ease. It will even run Google Earth with fantastic performance.

I really think notebooks will be the future. They aren’t perfect at the moment, and you definately get what you pay for. I wouldn’t go and buy one right now, but give it a few months and I think they will definately be the thing to have by next year.

When you see the potential of these mini laptops, you begin to think why you lug around these huge 15″ laptops which are several kilograms heavy every day.

They just don’t have the power right now. I couldn’t bear having to use a 1Ghz computer for general use – I can’t live without my lovely dual core processor – but I think this technology will come as processors get smaller and less power-hungry over time.

So, no, don’t go buying one now. If you’ve got a decent laptop now, it isn’t worth it. But give it a little while, and hopefully manufacturers will be able to get more RAM, bigger harddisks and better processors without costing a bomb. It will all come in time.

XP just can’t be friends with Windows 7

Well, it’s bad news for anyone using Windows XP who thinks that maybe they’ll be doing an upgrade to Windows 7. Microsoft have said that you will only be able to actually upgrade without cleaning your hard disk if you have Vista. Windows XP users will have to do a clean install, and whichever way you put it – that’s not an upgrade, it’s a clean install.

Microsoft does this every time and it does bug me quite a lot.

In my opinion, Microsoft should have an upgrade system for XP because they know very well that there are a huge amount of us still happily using out XP systems, and if Microsoft even wants to make us think about moving up a gear, they should at least make it a little easier for us. Instead, we have to go through all the hassle of backing up files, finding program disks and product keys. Oh it’s just such a hassle.

Come on Microsoft, put your thinking caps on!