March 2005


I am The Cyberwolfe and these are my ramblings. All original content is protected under a Creative Commons license - always ask first.
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I’m not dead yet! (But you should be)

Okay, not you specifically, unless you happen to be an older version of Windows.

This article at the Washington Post goes into a survey that shows a rather scary percentage of computers today are still running Windows 95, 98 and Millenium.

Well, duh, I could have told you that.

While the big boys of business may have the budget to upgrade all of their systems to XP, most of your average businesses either don’t have the money or don’t have the pressing desire to do so. They aren’t worried about security or new features – the software they are running is old too, and runs just fine on their older systems.

Of the companies I have done work for this year, the ones that have upgraded anything have done so for one of two reasons: their software went obsolete or their hardware gave out. Anything that is still working, is well, still working and therefore does not need to be fixed.

Some of these might have migrated to XP for the better security, if it wasn’t for the fact that there is no way to run it on their older hardware. $1000 for 7 new licenses they could have done, but not $7000 for new computers.

Some have done partial upgrades by accident – they needed to buy a new computer for expanded staff, and were unable to get an older OS. Most times, they just have to make some minor tweaks to get the old software working on XP. A medical office that calls us has recently had to scrap all of their computers, though, because the software they use has finally been axed, and the new solution won’t work on less than XP.

For the home user, there’s no need to upgrade until it breaks or they get new toys that won’t play nice. (A customer who ended up buying a new computer to use with his new iPod comes to mind.) Avid gamers spend the dough on hot hardware, but solitaire and tetris players chug right along. I still hear alot of “What do you mean it won’t work now – it’s only 5 years old!”

Imagine their expressions when I tell them about Moore’s Law and what it means about hardware obsolescence. These are the same folks who buy a car and drive it for 15 years. Then I have to tell them it will cost them $700 to use the iPod they got from their kid for Christmas.

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