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Risky upgrading to Windows XP - is Linux better?


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Who one considers to upgrade to Windows XP to achieve the best of two worlds – the versatility of Windows 9x and the reliability of Windows NT, one should understand that this will lead to some dependency on Microsoft.

The reason for this is the product activation which happens online or by phone. It ties the installation more or less to the specific hardware configuration of your PC. Since the activation can happen via phone (and thus is guaranteed to be anonymous), it is questioable if Microsoft really does this to reduce the number of illegal installations.
But maybe Microsoft’s biggest problem aren’t the users with illegal installations. Maybe they worry more about those users who still use Windows 98 or NT 4.0 (or even Windows 95) and are satisfied with it.

Even when Microsoft announced to discontinue support for these old systems, these people (usually not too technical folks) did not buy news computers or new operating systems. (Their old machines would be overwhelmed by Windows XP, that’s why I mention the purchase of new hardward.)
There are very few reasons to upgrade their PC/ software for people like my local small car dealer who still runs a Windows 3.1 installation to connect to the DMV and register cars.

Now Microsoft found something against these people who boycott consumerism: Product activation. As everyone knows, sooner or later you have to reinstall Windows for some reason. Maybe a new hard disk, or the installation is damaged. Fast forward to 2008. Microsoft has been selling „Windows Vista“ – the successor of Windows XP – for several years now but you did not feel like jumping onto that wagon yet. Now you bought a new hard disk (since it is supposedly impossible to crash a Windows XP installation, haha) and want to reinstall your Windows XP.

Microsoft’s server can simply reject your product activation attempt and force you to upgrade to Vista (or whatever they sell then).

But it gets better. As you know, Windows XP tries to reject unsigned (not certified) drivers, firewalls, utilities etc. In the current state it shows you a warning that you’re about to install possibly dangerous code that is not certified by Microsoft. With one of the many Windows security update you may have changed this behavior from a warning to a flat rejection.
So Microsoft can control what software you are able to install.

They can very easily render „old installations“ to be useless, outdated and even dangerous if security patches cannot be applied. At the least you would not be able to use your new scanner or digital camera with your outdated Windows. At the worst, you cannot install a non-Microsoft virus scanner.

The latest idea is „Windows Genuine Advantage”. Read the propaganda here:

The idea is that urgent security fixes are available for everyone and the full range of updates only for „validated genuine windows users“. Unfortunately Microsoft made news this month (September 2005) with a failure of their validation servers.

As you can see, the possibilities for power and abuse are endless and one does not need to be a pessimist if one prefers to stay away from automated operating system updates, online activation/ validation and Windows XP in general.

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2006-08-05, 20:46:16 from United States  
Earlier yesterday Saturday, August 04, 2006 I had finally got my DSL working and i started going online with 2 PC's on a network hub then doday I tried to do a windows update on one of my gateway PC's, both my windows is illegit and I put a crack on one PC and a valid activation code on the other when it got the windows update om my main PC it worked fine afterwards but I still had a warning the it was invalid on the other PC when it got SP2 it went and did the 30 days activation thingy so I tried a key generator but it took too long (3hrs) so I tried that crack again that replaces a file in the system it worked before the update and took off the 30 days activation thingy but now the system is not running at all when I boot up the system it'll do the Windows XP logo after that a window pops up stating Windows is starting up the the PC restarts and it just keeps doing this. I thing Bill Gates went too far with this Genuine Windows thingy and what if ur PC HDD breaks doe's anyone wanna pay $99.00 for a new windows + HDD costs I'd just rather stick with Windows Me.
2008-05-16, 13:59:29
anonymous from United States  
Having a valid copy of XP is not guarantee of stopping MS from trying to add WPS file during an updating. I do like the autofixes in XP. Currently, there is a move to extent the live of XP since the number of people who are rejecting Vista for XP is increasing. As to Linux vs XP, it would be a tough choice. Both have good point and bad. Should state a fix for XP problem, which have not seen mentioned relating to Internet speeds. Open up Window Task Manger, click on View, an menu appears, then move pointer to Update Speed, another menu pops up, move pointer over to hight, click on 'high' My rate of upload and downloads increased three to four time. It appears that SP controls connection speed. While this is true for my situation as I am at the end of transmission line, it may help others. I use DSL.
2009-09-10, 18:56:15
anything having to do with microsoft or windows is source rules!!!!
2013-04-10, 12:30:55
~Bax! from United States  
... This note was added to my desktop, also shortcut made.
Is this something I should note and cure or maybe only due
to ignoring a request to update java?
Shortcut reads: hs_err_pid1080-Not...

A fatal error has been detected by the Java Runtime Environment:
# EXCEPTION_ACCESS_VIOLATION (0xc0000005) at pc=0x6d86d831, pid=1080, tid=3296
# JRE version: 6.0_35-b10
# Java VM: Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (20.10-b01 mixed mode, sharing windows-x86 )
# Problematic frame:
# V [jvm.dll+0x7d831]
*+33 lines of text & data*
[error occurred during error reporting (printing register info), id 0xc0000005]
*+25 lines of text & data*
JavaThread 0x033f2c00 (nid = 3196) was being processed
Java frames: (J=compiled Java code, j=interpreted, Vv=VM code)
*+66 lines of text & Data, all threads blocked*
VM state:at safepoint (normal execution)
VM Mutex/Monitor currently owned by a thread: ([mutex/lock_event])
[0x00886d80] Threads_lock - owner thread: 0x02cdbc00
[0x00887190] Heap_lock - owner thread: 0x033f2c00
*46 lines of textdata*
0x78520000 - 0x785c3000    
*41 lines of text & data
Launcher Type: SUN_STANDARD
*12 lines of text & Data*
vm_info: Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (20.10-b01) for windows-x86 JRE (1.6.0_35-b10), built on Aug 28 2012 17:31:51 by 'java_re' with MS VC++ 7.1 (VS2003)

time: Wed Apr 10 12:19:31 2013
elapsed time: 44 seconds



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