2,125 Canadians want to save Windows XP

Microsoft Corp. has stopped selling Windows XP through retailers andis strongly encouraging users to upgrade to Vista, touting the newoperating system as more secure with a better interface.

But more than 2,000 users beg to differ.

Before we removed it from this blog site, 2,125 people signed ourSave XP petition, which asked Microsoft Corp. to continue offeringWindows XP beyond the June 30 end of sale date. At ComputerWorldCanada, we launched our Save XP campaign last February.

Though the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant has stopped sellingXP in retail stores, XP Professional is available to some users as adowngrade option with the purchase of Vista Business or Vista Ultimate.

PC manufacturers offering the downgrade option include Dell, HP,Lenovo, NEC and Sony. Businesses will also qualify for download rightsif they are part of a Microsoft Volume Licensing Program.

Companies have complained to ComputerWorld Canada that upgrading toVista is too expensive and some applications will not run on XP.

Infoworld magazine collected 210,562 on a similar petition.

One Canadian user who signed ComputerWorld Canada’s petition was ArtRichmond, director of information systems for Mosaid Technologies Inc.,an Ottawa-based company that designs semiconductors for componentmanufacturers.

“On the several occasions that we tested Vista, we found that itperformed poorly in comparison to XP and that it was incompatible withmuch of our existing hardware and software,” Richmond wrote in ane-mail to ComputerWorld Canada. “XP on the other hand is working wellas the core of our PC environment and I don’t see any need to replaceit.”

Of the 50,000 enterprise users surveyed by Cambridge, Mass.-basedForrester Research Inc., 87.1 per cent were still running Windows XP atthe end of June, compared to 8.8 per cent for Vista. According toauthor Thomas Mendel, that implies that the majority of PCs upgraded toVista were those running older versions of Windows, such as Windows2000 or 98.

Mendel described Vista as the “new Coke” of software, in referenceto Coca-Cola’s decision in 1985 to change the formula of its soda pop.The same year, the beverage maker scrapped New Coke and resumed salesof its old drink under the Coca-Cola Classic brand.

Microsoft is encouraging companies to upgrade to Vista through theWindows Vista Small Business Assurance, which is available tobusinesses with fewer than 50 employees or 25 PCs. It also said it willprovides free telephone support through the end of October to companiesthat buy new PCs with Vista Business or Vista Ultimate between now andSept. 30.

But this does not help users like Richmond.

“The plain truth is that nobody is moving over to Vista willinglyand so Microsoft is trying to jam a failed product down our throats bykilling a product that works well for us,” he wrote.

With files from Eric Lai and Gregg Keizer

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