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People with Windows 7 problems mystify me.

I’ll never understand the problems people have with Windows 7. I’ve never had a problem with Windows 7 that couldn’t be attributed directly to failing hardware. We run an exclusively Windows shop at work and we just don’t have these problems.

A friend posted a warning on Facebook whose provenance I haven’t been able to track down, but apparently there MAY BE a new hack out there for Internet-connected Windows XP machines, that downloads a file that crashes your machine.  Apparently this happens even if you have Windows Updates turned off on XP, which should be your first clue that whatever this is, it isn’t coming from Microsoft.  He posted this picture of the dialog box that appears asking you to OK the download:

Which to me would be automatically suspect and set off a number of mental alarm bells, particularly if it popped up out of the blue.  I’d click “cancel” on that so fast, I’d probably break a nail.  If I had an Internet-connected XP machine, that is.  Which I don’t.*

Then he goes on to say, essentially, screw XP, screw Microsoft since he’s never been able to get Windows 7 to run without crashing, and hello, Apple, I’m off to MacOS.

OK, rather than get all religious and anti-fanboi here, let’s break this down a bit.

If you are still running XP and connecting to the Internet, you get what you deserve.  And that’s because Microsoft very specifically warned people that there would be no more software updates for XP after the extended end of life.  It’s not like they just up and abandoned you; they pleaded and begged and all but got on their knees in the dirt asking you to upgrade to Vista or Windows 7 before XP end of life.  They even extended their usual support lifetime for XP by a couple of years when it became clear that people (generally businesses with large farms of XP machines) were clinging to XP.  Continuing to support an obsolete operating system that was over a decade old when they finally said, “enough” cost Microsoft a shitton of money.  Who does that?  The answer is that nobody does that.  But Microsoft did, because they knew the switch to Vista or Windows 7 was going to be a pain in the neck for users (which it was, because there was no simple upgrade path to Vista or Windows 7 from XP, but at least it was a one-time pain in the neck).

And after that, people wonder why they literally wrote automatic “upgrade me to Windows 10” code into Windows 7 and tried (and in many cases, succeeded) to force people to upgrade. While I completely disagree with their method — which to me was sneaky and probably actionable, even if Microsoft was offering an upgrade for free that would later cost $100+ — given the XP debacle, I can fully understand their business case for doing it.**

And the one Windows 10 machine I have? It’s going to be kicked back to Windows 7 as soon as I have the time. And I’ll fight attempts to upgrade until it isn’t feasible to run Windows 7 anymore. But I have three years left 🙂

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* I have one XP laptop left, and it’s only used for packet radio.  It never connects to the Internet, not even to my own local intranet.  It’s strictly a “sneaker-net” machine today.

** I also very quickly found the GWX Control Panel software that stymied Microsoft’s attempts to upgrade my work machine to Windows 10, which would have been an absolute debacle, and still would be.