XP now forgotten

The move from XP is definitely going a bit slower than expected.

We had a brief moment there with this (now ancient) Microsoft operating system with third party browsers standing in where IE 8 fell down – electronic banking comes to mind. Users moved to Firefox or Chrome to fill the security gap left by Internet Explorer, but things are getting more desperate now.

With newer versions of Java and releases from Adobe getting slow and cumbersome on older machines, XP seems to be dead in the water so to speak. The latest from Oracle does not work properly with IE 8 and certain of the custom software as used by motor manufacturers (thinking of MotoData used by Ford locally) will not work properly.java-logo

That I think is the biggest problem we have with the transition from XP to the later versions of Windows. In spite of Microsoft licensing options, medium sized companies still struggle with the “updated software” concept. We won’t even mention the SMBs who have a constant cash-flow problem in our depressed economy.

The biggest challenge eventually presents itself (to the dismay of users) when the hardware fails. Hardware manufacturers no longer cater for XP. Thus no device drivers. Our first experience with this was a graphics card upgrade and no XP support from NVidia. Not long after we received a compact media player computer for a main board replacement – same issue. Another customer refused a repair of an all-in-one media player and elected to scrap the system in favour of purchasing a Windows licence. With this we’ve also seen a marked increase in pirated use of Windows 7 Ultimate across devices by customers.

The biggest issue however is semi proprietary systems that can only operate on XP. Think PLCs and again the motor industry. Just as they are stuck on serial port connectivity are they stuck on the software used with these devices/equipment. In some cases a USB tors232 serial converter just does not do the trick. Antiquated book keeping software, authentication dongles and parallel printers – these ports/connections have gone from the modern computer at least five years ago. Laptop users are stranded with no HDMI connection for that recently replaced smart television and projector users have to pick carefully to find one with the standard VGA connector. Only recently we’ve seen the move to USB on point of sale equipment – bit behind the tech race, but at least it’s there now.

As with the Windows operating system and ever increasing demands on hardware by updated software, users of older machines are under pressure to do a complete tech update. And that can be expensive.