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In a fast paced world, three years after Windows 7, Microsoft’s upcoming successor OS, Windows 8 remains a hard sell. Does that mean it is not worthy of the buzz and hype?

Browse a tech magazine lately? Check out a news site about technology? Chances are, you will read something about Windows 8. Just two weeks ago, Microsoft released the Consumer Preview for Windows 8. It hasn’t even hit store shelves yet, and people are already complaining. This is nothing new in tech circles: Everyone is resistant to change. Sometimes, that resistance to change can be helpful, and even good feedback for developers. Other times, it can result in a shouting match that just remains unwinnable. But like many things, thinking in absolutes is often deconstructive, and seldom objective. Business men and women will judge Windows 8 with business acumen; savoring each bit of financial data and sales indicators to prove a point about the new system. Decision-makers in IT circles will look at security and reliability before weighing in with a more structured cost-benefit analysis that deals in infrastructure. Home users are likely to place more value on aesthetics, performance, and ease-of-use as major factors in the upgrade model.

It is the middle of the month: March 15, 2012 to be precise. It is hard to believe that already three years have gone by since the release of Windows 7. Many IT business people, including server administrators, are just starting to become acclimated with the Windows 7 client environment, its off-shoot productivity software, and the Windows Server 2008 family of products, including Windows Server 2008 R2. In one worldview, short and steady wins the race. While more tech savvy companies clearly saw the benefit of migrating quickly upon release, many SMBs, mid-range companies, and home users remain in a Windows XP limbo – either due to the economic mess that most of the world is dealing with, budgetary constraints, or simply a lack of knowledge about how to port all of their important data over to a Windows 7-based network. But as time has gone on, these groups are a minority, for as much as is known. While much of the third world may still be using Windows XP, and even older systems, it is difficult for that data to be chomped up and read by skeptics and true-believers. In agrarian, rural, and largely undeveloped lands, Internet access still remains a commodity that is seldom traded, and where mobile phone companies continue to make inroads.

Back here in the west, the difference is noticeable in how a company conducts its business, especially when you walk into one running Windows XP and Server 2003. It is not uncommon to see pending Windows Updates on every workstation, versus an up-to-date Windows 7 network. If the IT tasks are outsourced, how that time is spent, and for what purpose, will likely face scrutiny and prioritization. For instance, the administration of an important database may take precedence over the application of client operating system updates. Many system administrators may simply ignore, or be unaware of, the capability of domain controllers and file servers to push out updates across the internal network using WSUS. In many offices, however, you will be likely to find a hybrid network. With a lack of EOL policy and strategy, many businesses end up with certain departments stuck between Windows XP and Windows 7, and that difference takes place when they purchase new hardware – not due to a timetable, but out of necessity. A hybrid network of these systems is not exactly the best medicine for either a business or group of home users who rely on their Windows computer systems day-to-day activities, but it may be better than nothing.

A Trip to Seattle: Home to 90’s Alternative Music, Starbucks Coffee, and Microsoft
On April 1, 2011, I received the Microsoft MVP award for Windows Expert – Consumer. It was a real treat to know that Microsoft had recognized my contributions in the form of setting up forum websites and participating in them. I was certainly very thankful for the award, and presumably happy to know that I could continue to do what I do best, as that is why I received it. I wasn’t the first to be recognized by Microsoft for my contributions to my own website: Ross Cameron (handle: kemical) became one of our first Microsoft MVP’s. One of our former members, Greg (handle: cybercore), had contributed thousands of helpful posts on Windows7Forums.com and was nominated. As time went by, we were fortunate enough to see other MVP’s join our website, including Shyam (handle: Captain Jack), Pat Cooke (handle: patcooke), Bill Bright (handle: Digerati), and Ken Johnston (handle: zigzag3143). These people are experts in their field and genuinely reflect an attitude of altruism towards people. Such traits are hard to find, especially over the Internet, and in a field that is driven by individual competitiveness that forces group cohesion as a necessity. I started communicating with one MVP as a result of a disagreement, but have since gained an enormous amount of respect for her: Corrine Chorney, the owner of SecurityGarden. When I made a video that contained an error or two, about ESET Smart Security, I was suddenly contacted by a fellow MVP: Aryeh Goretsky. These types of people live and breathe technology, and thus, even having a brief e-mail exchange can be a breath of fresh air. It becomes recognizable and clear to me that Microsoft’s selection process and choices for those who receive this award is hardly based on pure number crunching, but on gauging a person’s enthusiasm and demonstrated expertise in a field. Understanding how that translates to a much broader audience is compelling. To me, this is a good thing, as it shows that even one of the world’s most successful corporations, in this case Microsoft, perhaps in one of the few acts of selflessness that one could expect from a multi-national corporation, finds customers who have made a mark in information technology and celebrates that. I become hopeful that they recognize the countless others who make contributions on a day-to-day basis. With half a dozen certifications under my belt, and nearly a decade and a half of experience, I am but one person. And for every Microsoft MVP I have met, their dialogue always translated into real energy and enthusiasm. How many countless others have not received an award, or merit, for helping someone “fix their box”? I suspect that number is in the millions. This in no way belittles the award, because to me, such an award really is about helping others.

Often times helping others is giving someone your opinion: even if your opinion runs contrary to running a system consisting purely of Microsoft software. One example is Windows Live: I have a fundamental disagreement about how I chose to use Windows Live, and whether or not I want Windows Live Services embedded into my operating system experience: something that home users with Microsoft-connected accounts will notice almost immediately upon starting the OS. I do not, in any way, undervalue the development of these services, or their potential market value to consumers. I simply have a difference of opinion. And this should no way diminish someone’s ability to receive an award. I am not an employee or pitch man for Microsoft products, but someone who conveys his own thoughts and expertise in that area. To me, the award would have little value if I was expected to tout the benefits of using Microsoft Security Essentials over a paid anti-malware suite. I think that even the developers of the software themselves would take exception to misinformation. And to Microsoft’s credit, they have asked me nothing of the sort. To me, that is a fundamental sign of an award that encourages community participation and expertise in a given area of technology, from a company that is now expected to set standards on the world stage.

Not everyone made it to this summit: For many of them Redmond, WA is far, far away. For me, living in New York, that also rings true. But it sure are the people who make it worthwhile – even when you’ve never met them in person, the way they behave and conduct themselves, towards you, speaks volumes. And so I’ve learned a lot from every Microsoft MVP that I have met – both online and off; in a five minute conversation, or a fifteen hundred word e-mail.

During the Microsoft MVP Global Summit in the Seattle-Bellevue-Redmond area, I had the opportunity to meet some of the most interesting and eclectic groups of people in information technology that I’ve encountered in years. Truly, the revolution taking place around technology in Seattle, and its famous campus grounds located at 1 Microsoft Way in Redmond, is in no way limited to laboratories that are seldom, if ever, open to the public. Quite to the contrary, acclimating with Microsoft’s extensive community of worldwide supporters and individual contributors doesn’t just result in hearing success story after success story (although that is fun too). Of the thousands of people invited to the event, from all over the world, including Japan, Asia, Indochina, North America, Brazil, and the world at large, I found myself welcomed by a remarkable group of individuals. These men and women were of no traditional demographic one would think of – in fact quite the opposite was at hand. At 29 years old, I met kids younger and more successful than myself, who had generated their own start-up firms. I also met much older men and women, who witnessed the transformative nature of technology and got involved, one way or the other. These men and women came from all walks of life, but I am reminded, in particular, of a few of them I met who had a real impact on me. As someone who had come so far to be a part of this event, I did feel uneasy knowing that I was there alone. The individuals I met at the summit were polite, courteous, helpful, and informative. It was not difficult to see why they are considered experts in their field.

Whether the issue for them was something simple, like MP3 players like Zune, the Xbox, MS SQL, or the Microsoft Windows family of client and server products, this entire network of community supporters really outlined why Microsoft continues to have far-reaching success around the world. The level of enthusiasm for their technologies is clear, concise, and breaks down the traditional barriers of race, color, nationality, and gender inequality.

At that summit, I was witnessing not just what technology would be capable of doing in the future, but as a first timer, I got to see with my own eyes what it had done for just about every participant I was able to strike up a conversation with. Having been severely jet-lagged and exhausted from my trip, I travelled all the way from New York City to Seattle-Tacoma airport in a few hours. Having travelled, for the first time, outside of my own time zone, suspended at 38,000 feet in the air, I found myself dizzy, drowsy, and often times downright sick once I got off the airplane. It was something really unfamiliar to me, but in a way, strange thoughts began to fill my head. I realized that in Seattle, it nearly almost always rains once per day. There is certainly less sunlight there than in New York. Perhaps this lack of sunlight had inadvertently made people more likely to turn on a computer and create some kind of innovative programming. It was a silly thought, but staring at the horizon in the distance, I could not help but think about Mount Rainier, Lake Washington, and the land I was now interconnected with. In many cases a landmark home to science fiction, Seattle’s own Space Needle is a national treasure. A marvel of all aerodynamic ingenuity west of the Mississippi River valley, the Space Needle is essentially a giant UFO-shaped tower that is capable of housing restaurants, sight-seeing tours, and shines a giant beam of light that was part of the original design, but was only recently added.

Perhaps, I thought to myself, this is how the term “cloud computing” had caught on. With a lack of major sunlight ever permeating this area, to my knowledge, and with rain and humidity always on the horizon in a constant lake effect, it suddenly made sense to me how the area had become famous for its murky alternative rock grunge music in the 1990’s, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the evangelical computer programmers, and a number of activities, like concerts and music performances, that are usually held in-doors! In a way, it all made sense to me now, and I spent a great majority of my time taking in the sights, sounds, and hospitality of an entirely different area of the country. The most populous city in the northern United States is also home and origin to Starbucks. It all began to make sense to me that it would be here, more than anywhere else in the USA, that they would need fresh coffee beans from Jamaica available at a moment’s notice. And as humorous and sophomoric as that may read, I still think there is some truth to this.

This summit was my first experience with my Microsoft MVP award for Windows IT Expert – Consumer on the road. It was certainly a bumpy ride, and I did not take advantage of all of the event activities I could have. Windows product group experts and Microsoft employees were available, nearly from the break of dawn to the dark hours of night, to provide on and off-campus sessions to enthusiastic individuals. Looking back, the path was worthwhile. While most of the people I met had embedded themselves in this event for many years, I was certainly a newcomer. Determined to act the part, I tried my best to overcome the massive jetlag I had encountered, and vowed to myself to never eat sushi after getting off of a six hour flight again. Who could not be anxious when arriving in such a foreign place compared to the east coast of the USA? I have certainly flown and driven up and down that area most of my life, visiting nearly all of the north and south, but I had no idea what to expect near Redmond. An acquaintance of mine from Los Angeles was able to help me deal with the insomnia and time difference that comes with this type of travel, and she probably helped me in a way that she still doesn’t know – all from a few text messages. I am constantly reminded that technology itself has made us all interconnected, no matter where we are. At the Microsoft MVP Global Summit, what I did find were individuals, many of whom who had a certain selflessness about them, and a desire, above all things, to learn more, experience more, and help even more.

Upon immediately striking up a conversation with anyone at the event, it was absolutely easy to see how these men and women achieved recognition of excellence from Microsoft. While many young people who attended the event had created innovative ways to help others by setting up websites or studying the inner-workings of the Microsoft entertainment platform, others had been part of the commercial information technology circles and big businesses that have changed the environment of the Internet. I even caught a glimpse of two individuals who appeared to be working for a former web host that one of my websites was hosted on. These businesses, powered by ingenious individuals, have swept the Internet. And while many people appeared to be there as part of a corporately backed package, it was clear to me that most others had made a name for themselves by creating their own platform for innovation and success. Most important, and pronounced to me, was that each and every person there reached that point through acts of selflessness -- for helping others. In each and every instance, you could go around the area and know that you were surrounded by people who could speak your language: whether that be ASPX, XML, C, PHP, JavaScript, or BBCode. While a person there from Asia may not have had any comprehension of what I was talking about if he did not speak English, if I showed him Process Monitor in Windows, I could probably communicate with him on some technical level.

To contrast that, I came home to an environment back in New York where the Windows 8 Consumer Preview had just been released. It was no surprise to me that Windows 8 had been getting some slag for replacing the Windows Start Orb and Start Menu with the Metro User Interface (Metro UI). Windows 8 still has some major feature improvements going for it. This early in the game, there is no question that many of these features have likely gone undocumented, exist under-the-hood, or simply have not reached a stage in development that was acceptable for the Consumer Preview. First, it is important to note that the Consumer Preview is as much of a beta release for public testing as it is a marketing tool for Microsoft. When we examine how this has been released to the public, it is not hard for me to conclude that it is also a way to gauge public reaction to the first serious and inherent differences to the way the Microsoft Windows GUI has been presented – ever. Other operating system releases have taken the idea of the Start Menu and added search capabilities and refined a core concept. Slowly, but surely, we see an improvement that has occurred over time, with the look and feel of Windows remaining consistent over the ages.

The Consumer Preview Was Released To Test Your Reaction; Not Just The OS

In fact, this is a public release of Microsoft Windows to appear in limelight, in what is essentially a beta (and presumably near release candidate stage), with some features either completely omitted or broken. But not all is lost for Windows 8. There are some under-the-hood changes that show promise. I am not a Windows developer or programmer (most of my tinkering involves Linux, C, HTML, PHP, and JavaScript), but I can start to appreciate the level of changes that are being made on a core level as I get more time to become acquainted with this system and allow various whitepapers and documents to enter my lexicon.

Those looking to upgrade, or who will receive the upgrade already as part of a plan, like Microsoft VLK Software Assurance, will reap some benefits by making the upgrade to Windows 8. Businesses that have been around long enough will be familiar with creating and following a comprehensive End of Life (EOL) cycle plan. Such plans are usually coordinated between an enterprise administrative team that manages the day-to-day changes of internal certificate authorities, domain controllers, and mail servers. This group usually (and hopefully) has the training and forethought necessary to look at the official Microsoft release timetable, as well as the support for commonly used hardware and software. Assessments can be made to better understand how, where, when, and why this software and hardware is deployed, and under what conditions it is upgraded or phased out entirely. Not only does this level of planning bring clarity to what could otherwise become a source of enormous administrative overhead, but it also helps to mitigate the risk associated with allowing systems to continue running under-the-radar and without proper security auditing. Under such a scenario, businesses may choose to have their internal IT department perform network-wide audits of all systems. It is an affordable alternative to bringing in an outside specialist, and comparisons with Microsoft’s official support timetable can help make the transition to new hardware and software – as well as what comes with that -- such as training and significant infrastructure investment -- a more conceivable possibility.

Home users can depend on a much more simple approach, and that is to monitor requirements needed for tasks like school, work, and entertainment, while keeping up-to-date with Microsoft’s in-band and out-of-band security patches. As mentioned previously, Microsoft already publishes a roadmap to indicate when mainstream support, and even updates, will be terminated for their operating systems. Combining all of these ideas together, it is not unreasonable to come to a conclusion that one can continue using Windows 7 for a few more years without much difficulty. When the time comes, an upgrade will be made easy, as the large system manufacturers and independent system builders will, no doubt, bundle OEM copies of the system after RTM (“release-to-manufacturer”). On the side, one could begin to upgrade a small office or a home network with new computers when the need arises, in order to take advantage of the new feature set that is sure to be setting a precedent going forward.

Very large enterprise networks usually already make use of proprietary, custom software and hardware. Those businesses can begin the transition planning in phases, and will have access to fully licensed Microsoft support personnel who work in the corporate sales division of the company. Those resources can be accessed by standard enterprises (approx. 200 clients systems) and by mid-range offices (approx. 50-200 client systems) using Microsoft Gold Certified Partner program members that also specialize in employee training, resource management, and all-inclusive maintenance plans. Even a few well-trained and certified IT consultants and managers could handle a migration and post-migration scenario with the right level of planning and funding.

Stay positive, here is some deductive reasoning as to why not all is lost, and how the feature improvements that Windows 8 customers will benefit from may actually start to appear after the OS hits store shelves. (The kind of stuff that may not be readily apparent in the incomplete Consumer Preview version):

Virtualization Scores A Win

Hyper-V Virtualization included in Windows 8 will allow you to take your computing experience to the next level. If you are not entirely enticed by the prospect of running Windows 8, or still have a co-dependent relationship with legacy applications, Hyper-V will be sure to help you in that area; much like Microsoft Virtual PC brought Windows XP onto the desktop for many Windows 7 users. While Hyper-V isn’t about to take the throne away from VMWare’s line of virtualization products just yet, especially Workstation and ThinApp, expect to see the inclusion of Hyper-V as an experience that has the potential to compartmentalize the installation of applications – even really old ones. With Hyper-V and Metro as platforms likely to be directly controllable and manageable from Windows Server 8, IT admins can rejoice at the concept of virtualizing what is left of the desktop – and preventing inappropriate use of computer system resources at work. With full control of Metro and Hyper-V under Active Directory, system management is about to get a whole lot easier. Windows 8 fits as the one OS that office managers can control directly from Windows Server 8 without remorse. Limiting access to the desktop will reduce headaches for employees who may only be obligated to launch specific company-approved Metro apps.

Metro: The User Interface Revolution
Metro UI will not be alien to anyone who is old enough to remember Microsoft Encarta, or to any youngster who has already owned a Windows Phone. I still remember using Microsoft Encarta’s slick navigation system to look up John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address. This was one of the first times I saw decent video footage in an encyclopedia. Back in those days, everyone was on dial-up, and an encyclopedia like Encarta was the be-all and end-all of factoid finding for non-academics and kids still in grade school. So expect Metro-powered applications, programmed in C++, C#, HTML, JavaScript, and even VisualBasic. This programming platform, dubbed, Windows Runtime or WindowsRT for short, is object-oriented and just getting started. With enough knowledge of HTML and JavaScript, many people out there with limited knowledge of C++ could create some pretty snazzy object-oriented apps that make use of jQuery and YUI hosted over the web. With the launch of the Windows App Store, don’t be surprised to see some amazing third party apps put long-time industry staples to shame. Once you start looking into the development platform for Metro, then you start to realize that it isn’t just a gimmick for touch screen users. Ostensibly, a great deal of time developing the .NET Framework is about to pay off, in bundles, for everyone who starts using Metro.

Gamers Not Doomed; HID Development Pushed Forward by Windows 8 OS
Gamers likely won’t be left out of the picture. Metro apps are designed to run in full screen, and as all hardcore gamers know, most high intensity games actually throw you into full-screen mode any way. The difference is likely to be negligible, but who wouldn’t like a concise way to manage all entertainment software and keep it running in the background every once in a while? Single player games that enter the market as instant classics like TES: Skyrim could suddenly appear more interactive in the future. Don’t be surprised to see some form of Windows 8 incorporated into the next version of Xbox (Xbox 720?) with DirectX 11 support. It would be nice to see cross-compatibility with the Xbox and Windows PC. Imagine if you could run any console game on a PC and vice versa: Now that kind of unification would prevent a lot of people from buying all those Media Center extenders and going wild on home entertainment systems. Only time will tell how far Microsoft will take us down the rabbit hole. For gamers, that is a great thing.

Multi-monitor and multi-touch support will bring Windows 8 to tablets and phones like never before with certified Metro applications that are programmed for Windows Runtime (WindowsRT). Expect a lot to happen in how we use our desktop and laptop systems. While major advancements in human interface devices are years away, it appears to be one of the major cornerstones of IBM Research and Microsoft Research. Unification across platforms is a recipe for redundancy, but in the case of sensitive data, redundancy is a very good thing. We want to be able to access our office files from home and our home files from the office, without necessarily having to do cartwheels with third party software. The integration of SkyDrive, and ultimately, shell extensions for third-party apps like Dropbox, is a given. Microsoft is never going to take over the cloud-hosted backup market, but they could pull off a pretty neat way of sharing, updating, and collaborating on projects between tablets, phones, desktops, laptops, game consoles, and more. Kinect for Windows is going to be scoffed at in the beginning, but once everyone has such a device linked up to their monitor, moving your hand around to change the active Window on your computer isn’t going to be that bad of a trade-off. In 2009, I gave a speech to a number of people in the public sector about what I saw as the cornerstone for future technology. That presentation included the fact that a device like the SmartBoard would be obsolete within five years’ time, due to the decreasing price of touch screen computers, and the ability for computing devices to detect human movement. While it didn’t go over well with the locals, it is happening, right now. That is something to be excited about. Whatever touch screen advancements Microsoft introduces with Windows 8 will once again push the hardware market to accommodate the software. This means all sorts of new human interface devices are already in development, even from third parties (see: Google Goggles/Google Glasses as one superlative example).

A New World for Software and Hardware Development

It’s not just a Microsoft world: Software companies, game studios, and all sorts of IT companies depend on the reliability and performance of Microsoft products and services, even when their customers aren’t in Microsoft Windows. This happens whenever an e-mail passes through an Exchange server, or a large database is designed for interoperability between a metadata retrieval system and Microsoft Access. Companies that specialize in document management, database administration, and even brand marketing will reap massive benefit from an interface that contains a display mechanism that has the potential to plot and chart raw data into something visually understandable. For example, if I tell you we ordered a hundred pizzas, each consisting of eight slices, and we only have 10 minutes to finish 25 slices, you’re going to wonder how many pizzas we have left. Once data entry software, even stuff that was initially designed with a Mac in mind, is designed for Metro, we’re not just going to be able to see how many pizza slices we have left – we may have the option to order some extras, or watch other people eat the ones left in 10 minutes. It’s that kind of world we’re delving into. We don’t see how great Metro can be: Only because software companies known for their great innovative capabilities like Google and Apple are just getting started on WindowsRT and Metro. This stuff is not going away, and when all the great innovator’s in the world get involved, we’re going to see sparks fly off the third rail.

Negativity Bias
Many people who try the Windows Consumer Preview may be inexperienced with running beta software. And when your whole operating system is a big chunk of bugs, in many cases unbranded, and in some cases feature incomplete, there is going to be a heck of a lot to complain about. I admit that I’m one of them. Take a look at my post about Windows 8 being a platform to sell Windows Live connected services. Well, of course that is what Windows 8 is, but it has the potential to be much more. Studies show us that, on average, people tend to remember a negative outcome 2.5x more than they do a good one. That means you’re 2.5 times more likely to remember when you got a bad haircut then when you got a good one. You’re 2.5 times more likely to dwell on the day you lost your job, than you are to remember the years you spent at the very same job when you contributed an enormous amount of productivity to the company’s bottom line. You’re 2.5 times more likely to remember that turbulence on the airplane. It was unbearable for ten minutes, and now you’re 2.5 times less likely to remember the time you struck up a great conversation with someone on that long flight. You’re 2.5x more likely to remember that woman or man who rejected you on that first date then you are to remember the laughs you shared going into the restaurant. This negativity bias is something we usually learn about in the first or second year of undergraduate psychology, but very few of us even remember or know what it is. In general, your body is trained to remember when bad things happened more than good things, and actually dwell on it. It is truly a response from the Stone Age, and is a very healthy response. It keeps you in balance. But in today’s high tech and demanding world, it can be taken too far.
So yes, we can look at Windows 8 and positively say, “Maybe this thing won’t be so bad. Maybe I can learn it, and enjoy it.”

The True Test: Greater Than The Sum of Its Parts?

Don’t forget that Windows 8 will include a Start on Demand model for all system-related services. For years, I found myself sending Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 customers to a web page called Black Viper (BlackViper.com). This site contained detailed guides on how to configure your Windows operating system to use as few services as absolutely necessary. That site became especially popular during the Windows Vista release. Essentially, the site goes through every single service running on your system and will tell you, not only what the default start setting is for it, but how best to optimize it to suit your needs. If you were trying to squeeze every last drop of performance out of the operating system, without much care for its ability to perform certain operations, you could always use BlackViper’s “Service Configurations” lists to decide whether or not it was safe to make sure that something like the Distributed Link Tracking Client service or the World Wide Web Publishing Service could be completely disabled or not. If I haven’t lost you on this one, Microsoft has come up with a novel solution that is sure to improve your experience with Windows 8, and that is by using “Start on Demand”. Under Start on Demand, when Windows 8 needs a service, it launches it – only when. So that, in and of itself, will save resources. And when we look at what is coming up with memory deduplication, we are looking at true advancement in operating system performance at its most basic level.

Yes, the Consumer Preview is flawed, but for all its flaws, let us all think about these things and realize that the best is yet to come for an operating system ahead of its time.

Windows XP: No IE9 for you

Windows XP: No IE9 for you
Microsoft becomes first major browser maker to drop support for world's most popular OS

Computerworld - Microsoft's new browser, Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), will not run on Windows XP, now or when the software eventually ships, the company confirmed Tuesday.

The move makes Microsoft the first major browser developer to drop support for XP, the world's most popular operating system, in a future release.

Although Microsoft excluded Windows XP from the list for the IE9 developer preview, it sidestepped the question about which versions of Windows the final browser would support. In an IE9 FAQ, for example, Microsoft responded, "It's too early to talk about features of the Internet Explorer 9 Beta" to the query, "Will Internet Explorer 9 run on Windows XP?"

This dialog box pops up during attempts to install IE9 Platform Preview on Windows XP.

That caused some users to demand a straight answer. "Please tell whether the final version will run on Windows XP SP3 or not," said someone identified as "eXPerience" in a comment to a blog post by Dean Hachamovich, Microsoft's general manager for the IE team. "If not, please be clear about it. Really, enough is enough of keeping users in the lurch about Windows XP support."

Others bashed Microsoft on the assumption that IE9 would never run on XP. "Dropping Windows XP support is one of the worst decisions ever taken by [the] IE team, probably even worse than disbanding the IE team back in the IE6 days," claimed an anonymous commenter.

Microsoft had offered up broad hints that IE9 was not in Windows XP's future, however. Tuesday, a company spokeswoman said the new browser needs a "modern operating system," a phrase that hasn't been paired with Window XP for years. "Internet Explorer 9 requires the modern graphics and security underpinnings that have come since 2001," she added, clearly referring to XP, which appeared that year.

Windows XP's inability to run the Platform Preview or the final browser stems from, IE9's graphics hardware acceleration, which relies on the Direct2D and DirectWrite DirectX APIs (applications programming interfaces). Support for those APIs is built into Windows 7, and was added to Vista and Windows Server 2008 last October, but cannot be extended to Windows XP.

Some users worried that by halting browser development for Windows XP, Microsoft would repeat a current problem, getting customers to ditch IE6 for a newer version. "Those who choose to stay with XP will be forced to [then] stay forever on IE8, which will become the new IE6," said a user named Danny Gibbons in a comment on Hachamovich's blog.

Tough, said Sheri McLeish, Forrester Research's browser analyst. "This is the stick to get off XP," she said. Windows XP users will solve the browser problem themselves when they upgrade, as most eventually will, to Windows 7. "What are they going to do, go to Linux or run XP forever?" she asked.

Still, IE9's inability to run on Windows XP will prevent it from becoming widespread until the nearly-nine-year-old OS loses significant share to Windows 7. According to Web metrics company NetApplications' most recent data, if IE9 was released today, it would be able to run on just over a quarter -- 27% -- of all Windows machines.

No other major browser maker has announced plans to stop supporting Windows XP, but several have dropped other operating systems or platforms. Last month, for instance, Mozilla said it would not support Apple's Mac OS X 10.4, known as "Tiger," in future upgrades to Firefox. Google's Chrome for the Mac, meanwhile, only runs on Intel-based Macs, not on the older PowerPC-based machines that were discontinued in 2006.

The IE9 Platform Preview can be downloaded from Microsoft's site. It requires Windows 7, Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 or Windows 2008 R2.

Windows XP: No IE9 for you

How to Upgrade XP to Windows 7?

One of the most controversial developments in the computer industry in recent memory has been the disaster that Windows Vista has become. Due to issues with compatibility and security, it has been universally panned by critics and end users alike, so much so that many businesses have simply refused to deploy it. Instead, they’ve opted to keep Windows XP on their machines for the time being until a better option comes along. Many computer pundits believe that time has finally arrived, as Windows 7 promises to address many of the issues the general public had with its much-maligned predecessor, Vista.

If you’re one of those holdouts who are finally looking to upgrade and skip an operating system generation, however, upgrading may be a lot trickier than you realized. According to Microsoft, if your PC is currently running Vista, you should have no problem running this new O.S. iteration. But if you’re still running XP or earlier, there may be some compatibility issues.

Fortunately though, Microsoft has recognized that there is a large number of Vista-skippers out there, so they’ve developed a tool you can download that will tell you if your PC will support Windows 7 with its current configuration. Simply download the Windows Upgrade Advisor from the Microsoft website (just go to the site and enter the title of the software in the search box), and it will tell you if you need to download any driver updates, or if there are components that just won’t work at all with Windows 7 at the present time. Before running the software, make sure to plug in all your USB and other components like scanners or printers so the software can check those out as well.

After the software finishes scanning your computer, it will let you know if you can upgrade your current computer, or if you have to buy a new computer to be able to run the new Operating System. One thing to keep in mind is that Microsoft’s website contains several references to the fact that the company doesn’t recommend upgrading a computer running an O.S. version earlier than XP, and instead prefers that the upgrader buy a new PC.

Should you choose to go ahead and upgrade your computer from XP to Windows 7, unfortunately it won’t just be a matter of inserting the DVD and choosing some options during the upgrade process. Instead, this upgrade procedure requires a clean install of Windows 7 after wiping the hard drive.

Obviously, the first step in this process is to back up all your files onto a removable drive. This can be done on a removable hard drive, a USB “thumb” drive, or even a CD-R or DVD-R, depending on how many files need to be transferred. Next, the Windows 7 installation program will provide the ability to reformat the hard drive so you can do a fresh install on the new, clean hard drive partition. Once the installation process is complete, your files can then be copied back to the hard drive.

If you’re not comfortable with this process, it’s always better to consult with a computer professional to avoid the possibility of losing any of your files during the upgrade. But if you have experience backing up files and reformatting a hard drive, upgrading from XP to Windows 7 can be done provided the Windows Upgrade Advisor gives you the green light.

I am getting this error quite frequent. This is the 4th time I've installed 7 beta. I've done 1 install with totally wiping out my XP installation. It worked fine then.

I started with a dual boot. This is when it happened all the time after I got a few programs installed in 7. So I did a clean install over my XP partition. I installed quite a bit. Worked great. But I really wanted my XP also, so I restored my backup of XP and reinstalled a dual boot. I have reinstalled 7 twice since then. And each time, after I get a few programs installed, it will say a certain application has failed and that I need to run chkdsk. No certain application does it. So anyway, I reboot and run the chkdsk, it finds a bunch of stuff it deletes. Windows restarts and another application pops up the error. I reboot again, run chkdsk, deletes a bunch. I do this about 3 times and this is where I am now.

My firefox won't respond. My steam won't run, it says "Unable to write to current steam folder. Move steam to a folder where you have write privelges." It's like each time I run the chkdsk, it gets worse.

If this matters, I use Acronis to partition and to backup images. I have 2 drives, 6 total partitions. Disk 0 has XP, 7 and a media (data) partition. Disk 1 has all backup partitions. My XP is C: My 7 install is in G: Maybe that has something to do with it. All my programs install in G: when I'm logged into 7. So it's not like it's trying to install programs into the XP partition when I'm logged into 7.

SO...any ideas would be great. I LOVE 7!! Im an XP user right to 7. So I never did experience Vista.

M$ has laid down the rules..... upgrading from an activated RC to RTM will not carry your programs and settings over.

Microsoft confirms Windows 7 RC upgrade rules

by Darren Murph, posted Jul 14th 2009 at 11:23AM

As October 22nd hastily approaches, Microsoft is slowly but surely dropping all sorts of knowledge on to-be Windows 7 buyers. The latest tidbit about the forthcoming OS revolves around upgrades, with a company spokesperson reportedly confirming that users running an activated version of Windows 7 Release Candidate will not have to "reinstall an older version of Windows before using a Windows 7 upgrade disk." Unfortunately, those who choose this path will see all of their files and such ushered into a folder labeled "Windows.old" when the final version of Win7 is installed, essentially putting a damper on what would've been an otherwise awesome experience. Interestingly, the fun doesn't stop there; if you ever need to reinstall the final version of Win7 from scratch using the upgrade copy you purchased, you'll first need to install (and activate) a copy of XP or Vista, which is different that Vista's somewhat more lax upgrade policies. Check out the read link for the full spiel, and make sure you wrap your noodle around it good before you go off pre-ordering the wrong box.

Ok, this is too weird. I have a T60 that I put a stand alone version of Vista Enterprise on not knowing the problems i would have activating. I have an MSDN license and figured i'd be ok since i had a key. Anyway, within 2 weeks, it has expired, and will not activate, and will not let me boot into windows anymore. The only thing i can do is enter a new key. I want to reformat and put on Vista Ultimate or even XP for that matter. I tried booting to a CD, and it ignores any disk i put in. I force it to boot to CD, and it bypasses it after checking it. I try the same thing in my XP laptop and it catches the install. These are SATA drives btw. I have a SATA ultrabay drive so i put the T60 SATA drive into the ultrabay, and put that in another laptop so i can format it. I format it, and now it boots and gives me a blinking cursor even when i put the XP CD drive back in. It ignores it. Thought it was the laptop booting to the CD drive until the next situation occurred.

I have an HP DV8000T that has SATA drives as well. Am running Vista Ultimate RTM and can't use it in a development environment. Too many security stops and i dont have time to mess with it, and want to go back to XP Media Center 2005. This laptop has a dual boot to XP, so i have both on it. Rather than go to XP like i should have and delete all the program files for Vista after unloading the Vista bootmgr, i formatted the drive. I now have the EXACT same issue as above on my T60, so i know it's not the laptop, it's something with Vista. Does Vista somehow exist outside of the hard drives on your machine? How does it know Vista was on there? If i take a vista drive from another laptop thats working, these dead machines will boot fine. If i take an XP drive and boot, it dies. They will now ONLY accept drives that are booting to Vista. HP wants me to send this back, and i'm sure IBM would want the same, but i can't be without both of the machines. Is there a way to make these laptops back to factory settings? I've never seen a laptop KNOW which OS it needs. I used to swap hard drives all the time, all makes/models without issue.

Please help, i'm so over messing with this issue.


I only got my very first computer last year in April 2011. So my only experience of using a computer at home has been with Windows 7. Before that I was going to Internet cafes to use the computer. And of course there they had Windows XP. But using a computer in an Internet cafe is very different from using it at home. As you do not have to manage any settings like you have to with your own computer. I have 3 Windows 7 netbooks,all HP Mini 210,with Windows 7 Starter, and the two others are Windows 7 Professionall. Which I upgraded,from Windows 7 Starter using Windows Anytime Upgrade.

But I wanted to try Windows XP,because I am a great fan of Windows.And based on my experience with Windows 7,it is very user friendly. So a week ago I went and bought a brand new Windows XP 1GB netbook from a department store. I was very lucky to get this netbook ,because in England they are no longer making Windows XP or Windows Vista computers and laptops. They are all being replaced with Windows 7. So you cannot buy Windows XP or Windows Vista laptops in most shops now. But I was lucky because the Windows XP netbook I bought was the last one they had in the store. And they told me that they are not getting any more in stock.

The netbook is an Acer Aspire one Windows XP Home Edition service pack 3 operating system. I would have liked to have got an HP netbook as I am used to using that. But because all of the computers now are being made with Windows 7 only,the Acer was the only Windows XP laptop that they has in the shop. And I looked in other shops and stores, and I could not find Windows XP anywhere. So I bought the Acer Windows XP netbook.

Most people would probably just install Windows XP over their Windows 7. And I have read online that there is a way to do this. But I have limited experience with computers. So I would not have a clue how to do this. And also you must have a valid and activated copy of Windows XP. Which I don't thing you can download or get now from the Microsoft website.As I read that they are ending support for both Windows XP and Windows Vista,in a few years time. So I did the easiest thing and just bought a Windows XP laptop. But is it as good or user friendly as Windows 7 is? Read on-

The edition of Windows XP I have on my netbook is Windows XP Home Edition service pack 3. Which I think is equivalent to our Windows 7 Home Premium.The first thing I noticed was that Windows XP booted up faster than Windows 7. And then of course I had to set up my account on Windows. And I was very happy to find that I did not have to have a password. Windows XP only requires you to set up a computer name-for example- Andrea. But on Windows XP like on Windows 7, you DO NOT have to have a password if you do not want one. Which is great as I hate having to log in with a password and enter it every time I do some thing on my own computer. Also on Windows XP you are set up as an Administrator by default,just like Windows 7.

Then of course I had to remove all of that branded and unwanted Acer software. I found that on Windows XP programs uninstall a lot faster than what they do on Windows 7. And I also found downloading software from the Internet to be a lot faster on Windows XP than on Windows 7.In fact Windows XP is a lot faster than Windows 7,to my surprise .

Then there are other questions that I and other Windows 7 users may be asking. On Windows 7,I have uninstalled the Internet Explorer browser,and I would like to do the same thing on Windows XP. I tested this out to and the answer is-YES,you can uninstall IE on Windows XP by deleting the IE file in programs on C/drive.And I did this with the help of a tool called Unlocker. And I found that removing Internet Explorer on Windows XP did not effect Windows at all. I was also able to remove Outlook Express,an email client which I and most people cannot use, as well. And Windows was not effected by this either. I found that I was still able to get and install updates on Windows XP without IE.

On Windows XP you have two choices of installing updates-

1-You can go directly onto the Windows Update website in a web browser. But the disadvantage of this is that you cannot do this on Firefox or Google Chrome. You can only install updates from the website in Internet Explorer or on another Internet Explorer engine based browser,such as Green browser or Avant browser.So although I did not have IE,I was able to install updates from the website in Advanced browser and Deepnet Explorer.Which are the Trident(IE engine based) browsers I use instead of Internet Explorer. So if you want to install updates directly from the website on Windows XP, but do not want to use Internet Explorer. You can use Avant browser,Advanced browser or another IE engine based browser instead of IE.But this will only work with Trident engine browsers only,not with Firefox,chrome or Web Kit based browsers.

2-You can also install updates directly from control panel without going onto a web browser just like you do in Windows 7. I choose this method because I think it is safer than going onto a web browser. You can also choose to turn off automatic updating and install only the updates that you want,when you want to. Just like you do on Windows 7 and I found that updates took a lot less time to install than on Windows 7. On Windows 7,if you have 50 updates it can take up to 30 minutes to install. But on Windows XP it takes just 10 minutes or less.So installing updates is faster on Windows XP.

Then there is the security issue. And it is true that based on what I have read, Windows XP is not as secure as Windows 7. And there is a higher risk of computer viruses and malware on Windows XP than what there is on Windows 7.But having said that, on Windows 7, I do not have any anti-virus programs on my computer. Because I don't believe in those. And so I do not have an anti-virus program on Windows XP either. And I do not intend to install any in the future on Windows XP.

But what I do have on Windows XP is Windows Defender. Windows Defender is bundled with both Windows 7 and Windows Vista. And Windows Defender can scan and check for spyware,and remove any it finds. But it is not an anti-virus program so although it scans and removes malware,it does not impose security settings or block programs, the way an anti-virus program does. Which is why I never use an anti-virus program. But PLEASE NOTE-Windows Defender is not included in Windows XP. But you can download and install it from the Microsoft website. Which is what I did. And I find that the Windows XP version of Windows Defender has additional settings that the Windows 7 version does not have. For example there is an option to set Windows Defender to keep a record of any new software you install,an option not included in the Windows 7 version. The Malicious Software removal Tool-MRT is also included on Windows XP like it is on Windows 7.

There was also a control panel but settings are not as clearly visible as they are on Windows 7. Windows XP also has Windows search and it found most files but not all. So I had to open some files myself and search inside of them. Where as the Windows 7 search finds everything.

Windows XP had no trouble finding my wireless network,which I was able to connect to. But there was no option to set it to a home or public network,like there is on Windows 7. Although I was able to enable the Windows XP version of Network Discovery and see my other Windows 7 computer on my Windows XP computer. Just like you can see your other computers on your network in Windows 7.

There is also the option to turn of some of the Windows programs in Windows XP.This can be found in under"add or remove Windows components."But this does not remove the programs,it just turns them off or disables them. And is the equivalent to Windows 7's" turn Windows features on or off." You can also turn off disable Outlook Express and IE6 by just un ticking the box here. But I found that on Windows XP it does not turn off the features completly like it does in Windows 7. That is it disabled some of the programs, but not all. For example,Outlook Express still popped up on my webpage,when I clicked on a email link. Even though I had unticked that box to turn it off. So from my experience it does disable IE6 and other Windows features and they do not appear in the start menu. But enables them if they are needed. Unlike on Windows 7,where the programs stay turned off, until you tick that box to turn them on again. You can also enable Windows features again in Windows XP by ticking the box.

I find Windows XP to be faster than Windows 7,and it installs and uninstalls programs faster than Windows 7. It also starts up and shuts down quicker than Windows 7. And another thing is that I tested out the restore to factory condition setting and I found that on Windows XP. My computer was restored to factory condition, that is a reinstall of Windows in -wait for it- 20 minutes. But on Windows 7 a factory restore takes from 2 to 4 hours to complete! What a difference!

Overall,Windows XP, despite being an older version of Windows is user friendly,unlike Linux which is not. It is faster than Windows 7 although Windows 7 is fast too . Windows XP takes up less space on your hard drive so you can store double the amount of programs on a netbook.But Windows 7 takes up more space. And there are a lot more default Windows programs on Windows XP than on windows 7.But then you have plenty of space.You can install and run all of the programs that you run on Windows 7 on windows XP. In fact most of the web browsers and media players we use on Windows 7 are older programs. Made for Windows XP but they run on Windows 7.

The disadvantages of Windows XP are that it has got Internet Explorer 6 and Outlook Express. But then we have also got several clones of Outlook Express on Windows 7 too. Another disadvantage is that the control panel settings are not as clearly listed as in Windows 7.But you can still find settings. Also there is no option to set your network to a home network,which would be a lot safer. There is just a general network setting only. On Windows 7 you set your network to either a home,office,or public network and Windows Firewall applies the settings. So you are more secure. But not on Windows XP,where there is just one setting,although they do have Windows Firewall. That you can turn on or off just like you can on Windows 7. But there is no Windows Defender on Windows XP,which is some thing that they should have included in this edition of Windows. And although you can install Windows Defender yourself,some people new to computers may not know about this. IE6 is also not very secure for browsing and not a very good browser anyway. But it is bundled with Windows XP,but then so is IE8 with Windows 7. But you can use other web browsers.

And some of the other software is out of date,such as MSN Windows Messenger 4.7 but you could uninstall it as I did or upgrade it. The version of Windows Media Player on Windows XP is,Windows Media Player 9, but it is working well. So I have decided to leave that and after I tested out the factory restore setting,I got IE6 back. But this time I am going to leave that and just use another web browser,Safefox or Google Chrome instead.

But I have found Windows XP to be user friendly and very fast and as good as Windows 7 but different of course. A lot of people install Windows XP on Virtual Box on Windows 7 but I do not know how to use that. And now days it is very difficult in England to find a Windows XP computer in the shops. But if you are lucky to find one like I did. Why install Windows XP on virtual machine,when you can have the real thing?

So now I have got my Windows 7 netbooks and my Windows XP netbook. And windows XP is a very rich and fully functional operating system,just like Windows 7 is. In fact windows XP is like Windows 7 just an earlier version of it. So if you do have Windows XP on your computer,you can still use it. As well as your Windows 7 computer. Andrea Borman.

Hi everybody out there.

I just really wanted to post this article/thread about why you should love Windows 7.

I'm born XP fan, and after Windows 7 came out, and i wanted a new PC, i was 100% sure i wanted Windows XP for everything, because XP is the OS i have had most best experience with (and very bad experience with Windows Vista ).

But my brother told me i should try Windows 7 - just try it out for his sake - and so i did. I am SO happy i tried it out, because it is really a amazing OS. It's not only fast, but compatible, secure and less annoying than Vista or EVEN XP is.

I first got Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit on my brand new MM-Vision laptop (danish brand) and works perfectly, everything is just working 100% without problems, and compatible with every software. Nothing to complain about, as it is a brand new computer, and everything should just work.

Last week i got Windows 7 on my old Inspirion 1525 who also had Windows XP installed, and i was amazed that Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit worked perfectly on it. As i did in the "old" days when i needed to reinstall it (as i did a couple of times) i always had to remember to install a lot of network (Wireless/LAN), grapich and all kind of drivers. But amazingly Windows 7 did all this for me. I just popped the Windows 7 installation CD in, and after about 30-35 minutes the old drive(harddisk) was formated and filled with brand new Windows 7. I configured it easily just like Windows XP (even faster and more "pain"-less). It restarted and boom - i could surf around the internet already without installing any drivers from dell manually. I was even testing my webcam, and amazlingly the "Dell Webcam Manager" software popped up (and i have NO idea why or how it got it, because the Windows 7 i got was not from dell, and had nothing to do with it). So i reinstalled my Inspirion 1525 faster than i ever reinstalled a computer, without having to install boring drivers or so.

I also just 2 days ago reinstalled my Dell Studio with Windows Vista to Windows 7 - as perfect as on my Inspirion!

So here are some good reasons to love Windows 7 more than you'll probbaly love Windows XP.

It's more faster than Windows XP, it's not just something i say. Even you think the Aero design should take a lot of your CPU - well - it doesn't.It automaticly installs your drivers (the most common at least, like network/LAN/etc) - which XP doesn't. Not to mention it takes around 30-40 minutes ONLY (or less) to reinstall it.It's not as annoying as Windows Vista is with all the security and administrator privileges if you ever tried it out. You might have to allow a specific program to be runned as administrator (which is pretty understandable) but you only need to click once It's as easy to understand as Windows XP is.
There's a lot of other articles about smart things you can do with Windows 7, so I'm not going to post it all here. But i could recommend this review: YouTube - Windows 7 Review.

I recommend Windows 7 for you, as i really ONLY experienced good things with this OS.

Remember, i was an incarnated Windows XP user, and could never dream about having anything else - but i took the chance and as i already told, i never regretted my choice. If you have to chance to choose Windows 7 then DO IT! XP will be outdated within a couple of years..

I will update the thread as i see fit.

PC Users Like Windows 7 -- and Windows XP
Early Windows 7 users like the new operating system, but many Windows XP users still like their nine-year-old OS. That's the word from two new reports by Forrester Research, which said that 86 percent of the first users of Microsoft's newest operating system are satisfied.

The Forrester reports, created from an online survey of 4,559 U.S. consumers, also found that about 43 percent of Windows XP users don't have a reason to upgrade to 7. "The biggest competitor to Windows 7 isn't the Mac," said the report. "It's Windows XP."

'Thinner Client' Helped Upgrading

Forrester noted that, in the past, most PC users did not upgrade to a new OS, although Mac and other technophile consumers have been the exceptions. Most PC users obtained a new OS when they got a new PC, which Forrester calls "replacement cycle upgrades."

But, noted Forrester analyst JP Gownder, "the upgrade behavior was much stronger for 7." He attributes this to 7's being a "thinner client program than was Windows Vista."

Previous OSes, he said, were designed with the assumption that they would be used on newer, faster hardware. Many users had to upgrade to new hardware to run Vista, but 7 runs on a variety of existing PCs. The growth of netbooks and the continued use of XP on older machines led to the need for a thinner OS, Gownder said.

The report found that about 43 percent of surveyed users upgraded to 7 on an existing PC from an older operating system, and about 45 percent got 7 when they bought a new PC.

The Forrester report also found that there is widespread awareness of Windows 7, with the vast majority of U.S. consumers -- about 90 percent -- aware of it by the end of last year. More than 60 million Windows 7 licenses were sold by the end of 2009, which made it the fastest-selling operating system in history.

'Universally' Positive

Laura DiDio, an analyst with Information Technology Intelligence Corp., wasn't surprised at the findings. In her company's research, she said, there was "no perceptible push back about 7, and the response has universally been positive."

After the difficulties with Vista, she said, Microsoft "had to knock it out of the park" on Windows 7.

DiDio noted that 7's adoption has been helped by the "amazingly low" prices on a wide range of computers, with some families and businesses adding more units than they would have otherwise.

Microsoft also undertook several initiatives, she said, so that the problems experienced with Vista could be avoided. A key one was paying attention to application and driver compatibility, since incompatibility was among the top complaints for Vista users.

DiDio said her data showed only 10 to 12 percent of the installed base of business users upgraded to Vista, so most movement to 7 will come as an upgrade from XP or when a new machine is purchased.

Here I state my little tiny opinion on the world wide web about Vista quite briefly. Know this, I'm very aesthetic. I look at every fine tuned detail of things in life and when it especially comes to computers and technology, I like to have the finest. In appearance, function and reliability. So here's by blurb:

I finally did it. I upgraded my OS to Vista Home Premium just this weekend. For years I have used Windows XP Media Center Edition and pretty much thought myself the hardcore savvy-est guy out there having fully customized the entire look and feel of it, next to always keeping things in order, clean and running smooth. Not without many, many re-installs mind you. That said I have learned thousands of things and have become quite the expert when it comes to changing the appearance, look and feel of an application as I see fit.

And now, there's Vista. I love it. I really have to say I love it. From the smooth animations to almost every single piece of detail inside and out I love it. In terms of detail however, I have to say, visually speaking, I am distraught with a few minor items regarding basic Icons and their existence withstanding.

Due to all my past experience modifying so many things in the past I've learned to do what I can on my own when I want to alter certain objects, say an Icon or even a theme, solely using a cute little program called Resource Hacker. With Vista, I have no desire to change anything in terms of the theme, nor do I plan to. But there are a couple issues with some Icons I changed.

The occache.dll, webcheck.dll, ieframe.dll files I altered simply for my own desire. Replacing them was a chore figuring out how to do, but nonetheless, once I found out how, it was very easy and, I still have the instructions saved so if anyone is actually interested in doing the same, I'm happy to share and assist.

However, what I have found interesting and could never change in XP either, are two specifics that I was more than astonished to find are still there in Vista! How bizarre is that!!?! So here we have it, XP will still haunt us for who knows how long to come.

So, that's that. Do you think we'll ever get updates to these? Or will it take an even better pro than myself to figure it out? No one knows. But I do know, I still do like Vista overall. I just wish I could change the latter two items, but I just can't. I wonder if I can spark anyone else's desire for the challenge?

Below I have provided examples of all that I have mentioned. Feel free to comment or reply even. There are still other things I have found, but these are just a few examples:

Here I have replaced the occache.dll and webcheck.dll files to update the two folders here. I know we never look at them really and it's funny that I'm the way I am but I just have to KNOW they're changed.

Attachment 72

Here I have replaced the ieframe.dll file to update the download animation. I like this one a lot better than the standard one. Oh this is if you use Internet Explorer. Please note also, if you update Internet Explorer at any time, these three files (occache.dll, webcheck.dll, ieframe.dll) will have to be replaced once more. As well as in IE 8 (which I've tested and don't like right yet).

Attachment 73

Here is the ugly icon that, even in XP, never looked good STILL being used for the Remote Assistance Panel in Vista. Golly - you think they'd have changed that one.

Attachment 74

And my favorite most of all that I could never figure out, even in XP, that we owe credit to the comctl32.dll file(s) in all Windows OS's, the ugly little XP toolbar buttons that appear when you use the Open File option from any 3rd party application. (In this screen shot I'm using IrfanView). Once, I tried changing them by replacing the bmp's in the file back when I was using XP and after I rebooted it wouldn't log on. It remained in a perpetual state of Starting Windows. So I had to endure these forever practically. In all the excitement of upgrading to Vista, I thought: "I wonder if those will change?" Alas... they didn't. I was quite sad.

Attachment 75

Just had my local computer shop install Win 7 Home Edition (had Vista Home Prem) along with 2 new optic drives etc. Vista came after XP on my HD & they originally set up an old C & old D for the XP programs & files. My question is...now that Win 7 is running, how do I get back into the older & some defunct programs/applications that I no longer need & uninstall/ blow them up & free up some HD space. I did find the" windows.old" file & will try to move some programs from the vista days over to Win 7 that I need (thanks to reading a thread on that). Any help would be great & I'm not very tech savey & need very specific directions.

I am setting up a new 250 GB harddisk to run under XP SP2. There is only one HD in this machine. I want a 4 "drives" (OS and all programs, Data, Downloads, Local "Backup"). How would you partition the harddisk:

a) c: as primary, and d:, e: and f: as logical partitions within the extended ?

[img]/forums/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] Four primaries ?

c) A combination, for example to accomodate a disk image/mirror program ? Although, I think I will not use this kind of software anymore. The disk image of my last setup is of little use. It probably has the same flaky file structure which finally blew up and the new active partition is twice as big, so I will not risk it.

I do not intend to run several OS on this machine. It barely meets Microsoft's _official_ Vista requirements and I already barely use Linux an another machine... But perhaps there is something I did not think of yet.

Best thanks in advance

About a year ago, I 'upgraded' from Windows 98 on an old computer to Windows XP Home on a reasonably fast new one (which I built). I had often seen folks criticized for running regularly under XP with admin privileges, as this supposedly increases one's risk from malware. I also wanted automatic login when I powered up; and, as I understand it, this can only be done for non-admin accounts. So I set up an account with limited privileges which I will call User. I also had my Admin account. Trying to run primarily as User has caused me all sorts of problems. I regret that I set up two accounts on the machine. I regret it so much that I am inclined to reinstall XP with but a single account. But before I do that, I thought I would check and see if there is something I was missing that could allow me to be happy running without privileges most of the time. So, in the following, I am going to describe some of the types of annoyances which I believe have arisen from my decision to create two accounts. Hopefully this information will enable some folks to give me some relevant advice and/or pointers. Thanks in advance for any help.

Whenever I install something, I have to run as Admin. There are a number of programs I have that I cannot run successfully as User. iTunes is one of them. There are plenty of others. Some will mostly run, but there are certain things that they cannot do. I think this is because such things requires updating information that 'belongs' to Admin, and these programs were not properly designed for XP. (A trivial example is Hoekey. With that, I frequently want to introduce new keyboard shortcuts and the like, but it keeps its configuration file in an area not accessible to User. But I am almost always User when I discover something I want to add.)

(An odd exception is an old version of BlueSoleil (a Bluetooth stack) which came with a USB Bluetooth adapter I bought recently. It works (most of the time) only for the first account logged in, which is User on power up. I cannot start it for Admin.)

As far as I am concerned, both Admin and User are really me, just with different privileges. Thus it is a constant annoyance that Admin and User cannot share the same profiles. I have separate user profiles for important applications like Firefox. I still need to use the browser when logged in as Admin - e.g., to get help for configuration issues from forums like this one. I want the profiles to be the same; but they constantly get out of sync. I cannot read my email when I am Admin, because the relevant profile for that is User's. (I can send email OK as Admin.)

When I have to log in as Admin to handle some configuration issue that I cannot as User, I no longer have the context that motivated me to make the change; so, to finish it, I have reconstruct what I was doing before I realized that I needed to be Admin.

I think I encounter Windows XP bugs as well. For example, if I leave Admin logged in when I go back to User, it is not unusual for Windows to 'lose' its profile for Admin. In particular, when I go back to Admin, I am told that Windows cannot find my profile data and that it is logging me in under a temporary account. If I reboot, normal access to my real Admin account (and the associated profiles) is restored. (This bad behaviour is a reason that I am considering reinstalling XP rather than just eliminating the current User account.) Another thing that can go wrong is that the graphics driver for Admin can get fouled up. We're talking about ATI Catalyst Center. It breaks and XP wants to "phone home" about it. (The problem is not even that serious, because it can be restarted OK.) As User I don't see this, and when I attempt to go to standby, I am surprised to discover later that it did not work because of the current hangup for Admin.

Clearly the solution adopted in both Vista and Ubuntu is a much better way to deal with these issues. You need only one account (with one set of profiles) and you normally run without privileges. However, you can acquire them briefly to do something that really needs them. I think something somewhat like this exists for an unprivileged account in XP, but it does not work when the Admin account has no password. Even though my computer is situated securely in my home where no one can access it without my knowledge, I figure I need to bite the bullet and go ahead and put a password on Admin.

I think there may be reasons to be less paranoid nowadays about running with Admin privileges in XP. E.g, I use NoScript in Firefox; I have a hardware firewall in the form of a NAT router; and I have a software firewall (Online Armor). The software firewall seems to step in with respect to all the dangerous sorts of actions that would require privileges. I.e., I am reminded that what I want to do requires privilege (that I already have - but before invoking). The SP3 upgrades to XP also seem to have introduced more of those "Are you sure you want to do this?" types of reminders.

So what do folks think? Am I foolish to go back to a single-account configuration? Or is there a better way to live with an unprivileged User account?

Question: If a Folder is marked for archiving but the files within are not marked for archiving,
does DOS XCopy create a folder but not the files? Or does it copy across the files, too?

A Google query for the subject line turns up many posts in many forums that seem to say "Duh!",
This Vista post seems typical, in that it discusses Files rather than Folders
(the query made by the originator of the thread), but there appears to be no real use of the Archive bit on the Folder itself.
I'm happy with the Archive bits on files, and have been using them for backup since July 1990, at least

I ran a small test last night; on the laptop: I created a Folder B:FCreate with three files.
Marked the folder and all three files Archive, using separate Right-Click, Properties, Advanced to do so.
Let my regular backup run work (XCOPY command line below)

This morning I note that the folder and three files appear on the backup drive (Good!),
the archive bits on the three source files are OFF (Good!)
but the source folder still has its archive bit set (Bad)

Over on the backup drive, the Archive bit is ON for the folder and the three files (Good),
so they will be collected in the next stage of backup.

I left the source files as is (Folder =ON, Files=OFF), deleted the target folder and three
files on the backup drive, and re-ran the batch job.
The source folder is copied across by XCOPY, but the files within it are not copied.
The source folder remains with its archive bit set ON.
The source files are not copied, presumably because their archive bits are set OFF.
The source indicates (Folder =ON, Files=OFF),

Answer: XCOPY appears not to set OFF the archive bit on a source folder after it has been backed up.
Second Answer:The Folder Archive bit will cause the folder to be copied, but not necessarily the files below it.
Third Answer:Judging by the paucity of data on the web, the Folder Archive bit appears to be used but little.

I realise that XCOPY is an old program, but it seems to me that any archiving/backup system ought to make a clear statement of its use, if any, of the Archive bit on a folder.
Setting the archive bit ON could be a useful way for a user to signal that a fresh archive of the folder tree should be made.
Leaving the bit turned ON after a copy has been made seems like a flaw/bug (in this case in XCOPY)

REM Cocuments and SettingsChrisLbackUPD.bat
REM Monday, September 17, 2007
::: (Generic backup batch file for use across the network)
::: /M Copies only files with the archive attribute set,
::: turns off the archive attribute.
::: /E Copies directories and subdirectories, including empty ones.
::: Same as /S /E. May be used to modify /T.
::: /C Continues copying even if errors occur.
::: /F Displays full source and destination file names while copying.
::: /H Copies hidden and system files also.
::: /K Copies attributes. Normal Xcopy will reset read-only attributes.
::: /Y Suppresses prompting to confirm you want to overwrite an
::: existing destination file.
XCOPY /M /E /C /F /H /K /Y
REM end of ( )

The latest video release showcasing Microsoft Windows 8 benchmarks, and a quick press release by Emily Wilson at Microsoft, shows that Windows 8’s boot time capability will be superior to Windows 7. No, the system was not in hibernation; otherwise we would have seen the restore from hibernation animation after the POST. And no, we have no involvement in the design or development of these marketing pieces from Microsoft, but that still hasn’t prevented YouTubers from around the earth clamoring to claim it is an advertisement for Hewlett-Packard, a fake video created by Ms. Wilson and Microsoft to drive sales, or some other technology conspiracy.

The reality is that Windows 8 will be a revolutionary step in the right direction for Microsoft if the current circumstances give us any pause. The release of an operating system that can boot faster than Windows 7 shows that Microsoft is still committed to the streamlined policies that led them to grand success with Windows 7. We know that Windows 8 is also being designed for ARM processors, such as those found in cellphones and tablets. This is a great concept for regular computer users. It means that Microsoft has to be careful about how they allocate resources during development. When services are redesigned or updated, their impact on system usability has to be measured carefully in order to ensure that users are not plagued by an operating system riddled with slowdowns. This was the case with Windows Vista, but was not the case with 7. During Windows 7 development, it was revealed that Microsoft had developed proprietary tools that allowed them to simulate every possible scenario under which a system bottleneck would take place, using software that would run every possible system interaction at an accelerated rate. While this method was used for Windows Vista to security harden the operating system, its use in performance led to stunning results: The streamlining of the system kernel, services, and essential applications led to a reported revolt from some processor and GPU manufacturers, who, as the allegations go, wanted the operating system to actually run slower than Windows Vista in order to spur hardware sales.

As we move closer to a future release of Windows 8, Microsoft Windows users around the world have a reason to look into this technology as a constructive alternative. One element that would help many business environments would be a direct XP to 8 upgrade. And although we know such an upgrade path is unlikely to ever be developed due to the epic problems it would cause on many system set ups, it would provide businesses with a direct path to get out of the way of obsolescence. Just imagine, though, a Windows XP to Windows 8 upgrade... while technically possible the number of support incidents would generate from people on ancient hardware would create a support volcano. The reality is old systems that run WDDM as the graphics model can't even run Aero properly. And that's just the price we often have to pay for innovation.

That obsolescence is becoming more and more apparent as Windows XP users curmudgeonly complain about the superiority of an operating system that was released in October 2001. While it has stood the test of time, after 3 Service Packs, it has already been placed on life support: Microsoft extended support for the OS due to business environments being incapable of handling the task of keeping their IT infrastructure up-to-date, even when Windows 7 itself has a virtualized XP Mode.

It is not hard to see why people still like XP: RAM requirements are minimal, the OS is simple to use, and it seems “good enough”. But under-the-hood, and for those of us in the known, we are keenly aware of the kernel-level security flaws that allow buffer overrun errors, system injection exploits, and systemic problems that lead to security, and system failure. Old customers with old computers running IDE hard drives that should be dead by now (the hard disk drives, not the customers) shouldn't expect anything less than a nightmare on their hands.

These problems are embedded deeply into the operating system and the components designed around it. They are from another era. A pre-9/11 era, and a pre-"Why is my computer so slow?" tech support nightmare era. While a lot of this is only known to long-time Windows users who have either serviced other computers, worked in the IT industry firsthand, or suffered catastrophic failures due to lax security, we know these problems exist in the core of the operating system – or the kernel – and will never be patched. The only time in recent memory that Microsoft has literally replaced a Windows kernel free of charge was during the Windows Vista Service Pack 1 rollout. Under that scenario, Microsoft decided to upgrade Vista with Windows Server 2008’s revised kernel in order to add boosted reliability and to squeeze out some additional performance.

There is nothing wrong with being content with using an old or different operating system, for so long as you understand the risks involved. Many businesses, instead of upgrading their IT infrastructure, or formulating an end-of-life cycle for their hardware and software, have instead decided to attempt to security harden their systems with utilities like Symantec EndPoint. Under such conditions, Windows systems are typically managed from a centralized domain controller and EndPoint is used to deter potential threats. But from my experience, this can still lead to additional problems. Programs have begun to require more memory and hard disk space, as well as processing power. All of the security software in the world cannot do away with internal problems that can be manipulated once a computer is on a network. And certainly, as we have seen with the “fortress IT” model of doing things, systems are prone to compatibility issues, lack of driver support, and a general tendency for employees to be beguiled or confused when approached with the concept that their computer – operating with a system that is 10 years old, might actually have some serious internal problems. While the model allows businesses to save money, it also allows IT admins to lounge around looking up Dilbert cartoons.

This intrigue has led me to pursue the latest breaking updates with Windows 8. It is interesting for me to see Windows XP proponents going hog wild at the idea that the next version of Windows may actually boot at twice the speed of their 10 year old bar of gold known as Windows XP. Meanwhile, back in reality, new processors, general hardware, memory modules, and peripherals are all being designed with the NT 6.1 and 6.2 models in mind. Game studios are prepping their million dollar productions to be optimized for multi-core processors and the latest version of DirectX that will ship with Windows 8. Website developers have stopped supporting Internet Explorer 6 and 7 and have instead moved back into a position of HTML5-compliacne and W3C validation. The good old days of Windows XP may still exist for some, in theory, but increasingly, those days are numbered. This is coming from a man who entered an organization with deep, systemic problems in their infrastructure. Unpatched Windows XP machnies running in 2008 with no service packs and IE6... the scenario could not have been worse. Half of one segment of a network on one workgroup, another half on another, and another chunk on a domain controller. Meanwhile no one could figure out why they were having problems sharing files... These problems can be the norm in many environments.

With Windows 8 looking at a traditional October-November 2012 release date, one is left to wonder when, if ever, Windows XP proponents will upgrade anything.

It is not unheard of to enter a government office, a doctor’s office, a small business, or even a large enterprise and notoriously see dozens of Dell machines with the Windows XP label gleaming on the back. The dust corroded ventilation shafts on the chassis are a reminder of age. This system, released in 2001, is incapable of fundamental operations needed: not just by publishers, but soon by content consumers.

Windows 8 has a lot to offer, and the bar has been raised high, ironically, even by those individuals who still recommend Windows XP as though it is the gold standard of our era. Even by Mac OS users who prefer Apple everything. What happens if Windows 8 doesn’t just meet those stringent requirements laid out by its biggest critics? What happens if it raises the bar? Such is the case with revolutionary operating systems. When we look at Microsoft’s operating system release timetable, Windows 7 was considered a minor revision. Yet its development has led to advancements in high-end SSDs, better monitor quality, enormous improvements in video graphic card design, and computer processors that are capable of simulating 16 cores on a home computer. Take a trip back to 1985, and the only concept of computers that most residential home users had was of a fictional DeLorean time machine powered by a flux capacitor that seemed to use vacuum tubes. In Terminator 2, the T-800 was using some kind of Apple debug code whenever his infra-red eyeball view was displayed (we now know that these eyeballs were likely highly advanced Logitech web cameras... or since Cyberdyne may have been acquired by Apple, perhaps he was using the iBall or something...).

In any event, and on a more serious note, Windows 8 seems like it will raise the bar and raise standards in information technology. With it scheduled as a major release, as a opposed to a minor one like Windows 7, we can expect to see some groundbreaking features that will entice many enthusiasts to upgrade. And that may surprise a lot of people. That alone should be good enough to say “Hasta, la vista” to your old computer. After all, how long are you going to keep using a dot matrix printer and then complain it doesn’t work right?

These are just my views, but I’ve seen enough OS releases to know that this one is going to surprise a lot of Windows customers. Why fear or reject innovation? It's time to say goodbye to our friend Windows XP. We can still visit XP once in awhile: in a virtual machine where he belongs.

I am very new to Windows 8. I only downloaded and installed the developers preview 3 days ago on Thursday.

Many Windows users are talking about the new Windows 8 and are trying it out. So my curiosity got the better of me and I installed Windows 8. I did this by mounting the ISO file on virtual clone drive.

Windows 8 looks different from Windows 7 and Windows XP at first glance but it is not. The good news is that when you first set up Windows 8,like Windows 7 and Windows XP,you do not have to have a password if you don't want one. That is you don't have to log in with a password or have a password on your account.Which is sheer heaven. As I hate security settings and having to enter password every time I do some thing on my own computer.

And of course the first thing I did was turn off User account Control as it is very annoying.UAC does not exist on my Windows 7 so I don't want it on Windows 8.

I was able to turn off UAC on Windows 8 but there is another similar feature that I was not able to turn off. And that is the Smart Screen filter.

Smart screen is an additional feature added to Windows 8 that every time you install a program from the Internet. You get a pop up from Smart Screen telling you that Windows has blocked this download. And it then asks you if you want to run the program or not.And if you want to run the program you just click run and if you don't want to run it click do not run.

Smart Screen will also pop up if you open a program on your computer not recognised by Windows. Smart Screen although it is annoying like UAC does not stop you running or installing any programs you want to. And there are settings to disable Smart Screen. But when I turned it off it came back on again.

And from what I have read on other posts on the web.It seems that although there is a setting that is supposed to turn off Smart Screen it may have been disabled in this build of Windows 8. As other people have tried to turn off Smart Screen but they could not. As every time they turned it off in the settings,it came back on again.

Fortunately Smart Screen will not block any of your downloads or programs or stop you doing anything on your computer unless you want it to. But it is certainly not something I want on my computer. And I would disable this feature if I could. As I feel that such a feature is unnecessary. But Smart Screen has not stopped me doing any thing I want to on my computer.

And then we have the Metro theme.Which is enabled by default when you first set up Windows. But the Metro theme can be disabled with a simple registry edit. Or with software such as Metro Controller,which can do this for you.

Although I did not have much problems using the Metro theme I found it slower than using the Windows 7 start menu.And most of the apps did not work but I think that is because they are not active yet.

But my own software that I installed myself,such as Google,chrome,Windows Movie Maker which shows up in the Metro theme as an app did all work.So any software such as web browsers,chat messengers and media players that you install yourself.Will show up as an app in the apps menu if you have the Metro theme enabled. And all of your own apps will work when you click on them.

But most of the apps from the app store did not work. Except for internet Explorer,windows Explorer and Control panel,desktop and other settings.

But you can still pin short cuts to your desktop while in the Metro theme.And launch your software from the taskbar and Windows Explorer. By going to your programs file and launching the program from there,the same way you can on Windows 7 and Windows XP.

But I have disabled the Metro theme which most Windows users will do. As that is the way I am used to working. And I would advise Windows users that unless you happen to like the Metro apps and are going to use them. You do not need to have the Metro theme enabled. As Windows 8 run perfectly well and faster without it.

And as I am using my own software I do not need the Metro apps.

Once you disable the Metro theme you get the Windows 7 start Menu.that looks exactly like it does in Windows7 and Windows Vista.And the ribbon toolbar in Windows Explorer will also be disabled once the Metro theme is turned off or disabled.

You can also install Classic Shell in Windows 8 if you wish to have the Windows XP or the Classic Start menu in addition to the Windows 7 start menu. Classic Shell will also put the classic toolbar buttons in Windows Explorer on Windows 8. just like it does on Windows 7.

Also if you do not want to disable the Metro theme in Windows 8 but you still want to have a full start menu. Classic Shell also works with the Metro theme enabled. And you can then switch between both the classic or Windows XP start menu or the Metro start menu.Just by launching Classic Shell and you will also have the classic toolbar in Windows Explorer. As well as the ribbon toolbar.Which looks quite good actually.

Now we come to running software in Windows 8. I like most people want to run my Windows XP and Windows Vista software that I was using on Windows 7 on Windows 8.

Well the good news is that you can run most of your Windows XP and Windows Vista software on Windows 8.

Here is a list of all my software that I have tried that works on Windows 8-

Software that works on Windows 8.

Windows Sidebar-

That's the Windows Sidebar from Windows Vista or the Vista Sidebar. This works on Windows 8 without any problems. Windows Sidebar works both with the Windows 7 start menu and also with the Metro theme enabled.There are no conflicts.

Windows Calendar-

From Windows Vista,this works on Windows 8.

Windows Movie Maker 6 and Windows Movie Maker 2.6-

Made for Windows Vista but works on Windows 7. Both versions of Windows Movie Maker works on Windows 8.

Windows Movie Maker 2.1 for Windows XP-

This works on Windows 8 and so does the web cam feature. Windows Movie Maker 2.1 works on Windows Vista,windows 7 and Windows 8 as long as you have Windows Movie Maker 2.6 installed. As it runs of of the dill files of Movie Maker 2.6.

Windows Live Essentials for Windows XP-

That's Windows Live Messenger,Windows Live Photo Gallery,Windows Live Writer and Windows Live Mail for Windows XP. Works on Windows 8.
Some people like me prefer Windows Live Essentials for Windows XP or 2009 as it is sometimes called over Windows Live Essentials 2011. Well the good news is that this works on Windows 8.

Windows Media Player 11 for Windows 7-

Works on Windows 8.
This is Windows Media Player 11 that has been adapted to run on Windows 7 for people who want to downgrade from WMP 12 to WMP 11. WMP 11 works on Windows 8. But first you must turn off WMP 12 in turn Windows features on or off to disable WMP 12.
But after that Windows Media Player 11 works on Windows 8.

Gmail notifier for Windows XP and Windows 2000-

Works on Windows 8.

Advanced browser,Pink Browser,Green browser and other IE based browsers.

Most of these browser were made for Windows XP but they work on Windows 8. Just like they do on Windows 7.

Pale Moon,Safefox,Firefox,Google Chrome and other web browsers-

Pale Moon,Safefox and Wyzo are based on Firefox 3 all work on Windows 8 and so does Google Chrome. Also the latest versions of Firefox work too.


A very handy registry cleaner that also has other settings to help you manage your programs. Works on Windows 8.

Media Player Classic-

Works on Windows 8. this is the old version of Media player Classic not the Home cinema version. But this works on Windows 8.

Programs that do not work in Windows 8.

Windows Mail-

From Windows Vista this works in Windows 7 after you delete the Windows 7 Windows Mail Program file and replace it with the Windows Vista version. But this does not work in Windows 8. Despite my best efforts Windows Mail is the only program I have tried which does not work in Windows 8.

There may be more software from Windows XP,Windows Vista and Windows 7 that will work in Windows 8. But I have not installed these yet.

But you can also import your software from Windows 7 that can be found in the Windows Old folder onto Windows 8. By copying the files and pasting them into the Programs file on Windows 8.

Even though I no longer have my Windows 7 operating system as the Windows 8 install wiped it out. I still have my Windows Old folder from Windows 7.That has all of my old programs from Windows 7.

Well I have got windows 8 now and before I tried it I was expecting it to be complicated and difficult to use. But now that I have Windows 8 I have found out that this is not true.

Windows 8 looks and is exactly the same as Windows 7. I have limited experience with computers. But if I can use Windows 8 anybody can. Andrea Borman.

I dislike Internet Explorer browser. It is so slow and backwards in the world of software compared to browsers like Flock and Google Chrome which are far more advanced and better than IE. which a lot of people including my self dislike it enough to want it gone from their computer completely. turning it off in Windows features setting does NOT get rid of it it only disables it. But I have successfully managed to get rid of IE permanently. That is I have uninstalled IE by deleting the file,Internet Explorer 9 from my computer. This is what I did,I had to change the ownership of the IE file on c/program files( program files on my computer disk) from Trusted Installer to my name. Then I deleted the file Internet Explorer completely with the help of a tool called UNLOCKER downloaded from the Internet. This removes any file that is difficult or impossible to remove. Now Internet Explorer is gone from my system forever as even if some one else tried to download it again it will not work anymore and all they will get is an empty file WITHOUT IE browser. But all my IE files have been deleted by me,but nothing on my computer has been effected by this change. Everything on my 2 laptops that I have is working,Windows updates yes,I am still getting them,windows media etc all working good. And what is even more interesting is that Green browser and Deepnet Explorer that are said to run off of Ie are all still working without IE. So it seems that browsers such as Green browser and Avant browser do not run off of IE they run from a component in Windows,so are still working,on my computers anyway.But what I have done has definitely uninstalled Internet Explorer and I do not regret removing IE. There is nothing about Internet Explorer that I miss and as i have several other browsers installed,getting online is no problem. It has been said that if you do uninstall IE Windows could stop working. I have Windows 7 a netbook that I upgraded from Starter to Ultimate. And this method of removing IE by deleting the file on your hard drive works in Windows 7. You cannot uninstall IE the same way you can with Firefox for example as it is not listed in uninstall programs menu. But you can by deleting the files in computer programs,delete the file delete the program/browser.IE cannot even be uninstalled though updates,except if you upgraded to IE9 then if you uninstall IE9 update you get IE8 back. But when I upgraded to IE9 which I hated I could not even uninstall the update to get back to IE8. IE9 has more problems than IE8 as it is a beta version and I could not even revert it back to IE8 like it was supposed to do. Another reason for uninstalling IE completly. But I love windows software and Windows 7 is very user friendly. but as there are so many good web browsers that work with Windows and Windows 7 and some are made for Windows only. Such as Pale Moon which is Firefoxes open source. So why does windows have to be bundled with Internet Explorer anyway? As most people do not use it much nowdays,as we have much better browsers. I am posting this to let people know that it can be done I have uninstalled Internet Explorer from my system and my computers both of them are still working as the same as before. The only difference is that I no longer have Internet Explorer browser anymore. This method of uninstall works with Windows 7 but I do not know if it is all right to do it with Windows Vista or Windows Xp or older versions of Windows. As they may depend more on IE to run than Windows 7 does. Andrea Borman.

Right then, this is my second time typing this because firefox crashed the first time so Im going to make it as to the point as possible! I installed Seven 64 Bit on a test Pc last night using a totally new hard disk and started installing some stuff... less than 24 hours later I have some bugs to report. Test PC:

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 Single core (Skt 754) 2.0Ghz
Motherboard: MSI K8N Neo Platinum
Graphics: Sapphire ATI Radeon X1950 Pro 512Mb (AGP)
RAM: 2Gb (2 x 1Gb) Crucial CT6464Z40B
Hard Drive: Western Digital Raptor X (150Gb)
Network Card: Bigfoot Networks Killer M1 NIC
Optical Drive: Samsung Lightscribe DVD Burner
Previous OS: Windows XP Professional (32Bit)
Peripherals: Saitek Eclipse keyboard, Logitech G5 mouse, Viewsonic VX2835WM Monitor, Western Digital Mybook 1TB

SO far what i have installed:

Killer NIC Vista driver and utility
Logitech Setpoint Vista
ATI Catalyst Control Center for Vista
Realtek AC'97 Vista Driver
Avast antivirus home edition
Mozilla Firefox
Lightscribe control panel
Nero 8
Valve Steam including Counter Strike Source
K-Lite codec pack (Full) including Media Player Classic

So far so good ALMOST... here are the problems as they have occurred. The sound is not right, when watching a film, listening to an MP3 or using the audio hardware in any way it goes crackly every now and again... enough that you notice it. Some programs worked at the start but do not now, steam is one such program. I played CSS for a good 3-4 hours last night and everything was good including the graphics and the ping (Killer driver seems to have installed great) but now steam will not run at all, not even on startup as its supposed to. I cant get the Windows update to work or the feedback system, same thing. I double click on these items and nothing happens. Every now and then my WD 1TB drive will not be picked up by windows 7. Memory sticks, my WD Passport drive and all other types of media work fine but every now and then the firewire driven Mybook wont get detected. Possibly an issue with my firewire driver rather than Seven though. Other than these few minor things everything else is great, I'm enjoying the beta so far except from a few annoying program freezes like Firefox.

Any feedback or help with what I've written here is most definately welcome!

Run Linux Apps On Your Windows Machine the Easy Way :: the How-To Geek

You might be interested in trying out Linux applications, but the idea of creating a dual boot system, using slow Live CDs, or setting up a VM doesn’t appeal to you. Today we take a look at andLinux which allows you to run Linux applications on your Windows computer.
andLinux is actually a full installation of Ubuntu that allows you to run Linux apps directly within the Windows environment. The user interface is the KDE flavor, which should be easier for Windows users to get used to. It’s completely free, easy to install, and is a great way for the Windows user to introduce themselves to Linux.
Note: andLinux is in Beta 2 stage, so keep in mind there may be some bugs yet to be worked out.

Installing andLinux
There are several steps following the installation wizard that are self explanatory, but we will take a look at some of the more important ones. You will need to decide how much memory you want to allocate for andLinux. This will depend on how much memory you have installed on your machine…you can experiment with different amounts and see what works best.

You can select to run it manually from the command line or the easiest option is to have it start automatically with Windows which is selected by default.
You can choose to have it access your Windows drives using Samba.

Select Install this driver software anyway when you get the unsigned driver message.

To complete installation, a reboot is required.

Using andLinux
After a successful installation and reboot, you will now see a small KDE icon in the notification area. This will essentially be your “Linux Start Menu” where you can select different included apps you want to run.

There are several KOffice apps included by default and you can start exploring programs like KMail, Kexi, KWord, and more.

After you’ve become acquainted with the different Linux apps offered, you might want to download more using the Synaptic Package Manager. You’ll need to sign in using the password you created during the installation.

You can browse through the insane amount of different applications or search for what you’re looking for. You’re provided with descriptions of the different apps and when you’re ready, mark the package(s) for installation.

When the latest app packages are downloaded and installed. Click on Details to see what is happening “behind the scenes”.
You can use Konqueror to browse for the newly installed applications and launch them. Konqueror is a staple in a lot of Linux distributions that works as a file manager where you can browse by category and also browse the web.

Here is an example of the Multimedia directory where you can launch different apps.

Here are a few shots of how different Linux apps look running in the Windows 7 environment. Here we take a look at using Konqueror as a web browser in Windows 7.

KSpread is a Linux app for creating new spreadsheets and running in Windows 7.

Synaptic Package Manager allows you to download and install new Linux application packages.

Remember andLinux is still in Beta stage so expect some bugs and some things not to work correctly. If you already have a Windows virtual machine set up, you might want to try it out there before installing it on your real machine. This provides and easy way for a Windows user who’s curious about the Linux world to explore Linux apps without much difficulty. There is currently no support for 64 bit systems, but andLinux will run on Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, and Windows 7 (32-bit Versions Only).

I want to install a PC game on Windows 7 RC that was meant for Windows XP or earlier. The game is called Ai Yori Aoshi and it is a Visual Novel from Hirameki International Group Inc., KID (Kindle Imagine Develop), and Anime Play.

The problem is: I cannot install the game.

I can run the setup.exe file; however, the installer for the game will not run.
I cannot run the game from the disks. I have to install the games on the Hard Drive to run.

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