Windows XP Hard To Kill, Continues To Gain Market Share

Megalith

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Major companies continue to end support for Windows XP, but it’s going be around one way or another. We saw an amusing rise in XP use in the summer, and now we’re seeing it again with a jump to 9% market share from 8%. There are some factors in play (like adblockers), however, that may make all of this just artificial.

…Windows 10 experienced a 14.4% increase in market share from December 2015 to December 2016, jumping from 9.96% to 24.36%. The most surprising trend, though, is Windows XP’s still growing market share. According to the data provided by NetMarkerShare, Windows XP experienced growth in market share in recent months. Microsoft’s third most popular OS had a 9.07% market share in December 2016, up from 8.27% in October and 8.63% in November. This is not the first time Windows XP has experienced a significant market share increase. Back in June 2016, the OS had a 9.78% market share that grew to 10.34% in July.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Yeah, I'm certainly hoping this is just due to errors in data collection.

Considering how many known open vulnerabilities XP has, that will never be patched since EOL continuing to use it on a machine connected to the internet is a REALLY stupid idea.
 

WhoBeDaPlaya

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I'm still running XP, but only for VMs though.
Hard to beat for being so lightweight (~4GB VHD) and able to run Win32.
Security be damned because all I use it for is browsing more questionable sites.
 

fdiaz78

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You realize how many POS systems still running XP connected to the internet?
 
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Zarathustra[H]

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Security be damned because all I use it for is browsing more questionable sites.

Is it just me or does that make no sense at all.

The more questionable the site, the more important security is :p

If I think something is questionable, I'm only visiting it inside of a Linux VM, which I have snapshotted just before and revert to after.
 

WhoBeDaPlaya

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Is it just me or does that make no sense at all.
The more questionable the site, the more important security is :p
If I think something is questionable, I'm only visiting it inside of a Linux VM, which I have snapshotted just before and revert to after.
Phrasing was a bit off. What I meant was I use it in _VMs_ to browse questionable sites.
The VHD gets replaced on a very regular basis (ie. the nuke it from orbit security approach)
Since this gets distributed to every system (folks, laptops, etc.) and I wanted to keep it WIndows (yes, I know I could have used a *nix distro), it's important for it to be compact.
 
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Susquehannock

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Zarathustra[H]

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Windows XP: Why hospitals are still using Microsoft's antique operating system

http://www.zdnet.com/article/window...ll-using-microsofts-antique-operating-system/

Three Hospitals’ Medical Devices Hacked Using Ancient XP Exploits

http://www.hipaajournal.com/three-hospitals-medical-devices-hacked-using-xp-exploits-3487/

90% of UK hospitals still use Windows XP-based machines

http://windowsreport.com/uk-hospitals-windows-xp-machines/


I can understand the problem of having legacy software that doesn't work properly in newer versions of windows though. replacing an entire infrastructure software system takes time and money and can cause all sorts of chaos.

They could use some simple IT tricks to work around it though.

They could have the XP machines on separate closed off networks that don't speak to the outside world. Run the XP programs on XP based VM's that are accessed remotely using graphical clients, and are locked down on the VM server, so they don't communicate with the outside world.

IMHO, a XP box today should never be connected to a network that also is connected to the external internet, but there are clever ways to avoid this. Or just the "not so clever" way of simply unplugging the network cables from the XP boxes.
 

Nobified[H]

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How about microsoft pull the dildo out of it's ass and make an up to date XP os that we all love? I will pay money for updated XP and others will. XP is a very decent OS easy to develop drivers. You can't tell me you can convert XP into a 64 bit updated OS. Microsoft fell off the bandwagon on pleasing customers. Frankly, I am just tired of bitching about everything and Linux isn't a 100% replacement yet.
 

MrGuvernment

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Was thinking how much of this could be from XP being in a VM for dev / test reasons or legacy apps....
 

Zarathustra[H]

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It's been a running gag on Slashdot for decades now - "This will be the year of the Linux desktop"

Yeah, linux will always suffer from the catch 22 problem. Businesses won't release commercial software and games for the platform, because the users aren't there, and users won't adopt the platform because the saoftware/games aren't there.

I love Linux on the desktop. I still reboot to Windows for games though :(
 

WhoBeDaPlaya

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*nix isn't doing itself any favors with the systemd bullsh*t / that a*shole Pottering,
but it is pretty much indispensable in a lot of areas, eg. VLSI / physical design.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Was thinking how much of this could be from XP being in a VM for dev / test reasons or legacy apps....


But who uses their dev test XP machine for browsing the public web? That's where their data is collected, through online ads.

Which makes me wonder if these things are under-estimating Chrome, and Firefox, and not to mention Linux use across the board. Chrome and Firefox are much easier to get ad blocking to work in, and Linux geeks tend to be much more likely to want to block ads than the general public.
 

nutzo

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Security be damned because all I use it for is browsing more questionable sites.

So we now know who's fault the up-tick is :p

I still have Windows XP running in a VM at the office. I need it for talking to some older equipment and for running some utilities for an old application.
Hopefully the hardware and the app will finally be replaced sometime this year and I'll be able to retire it along with a couple 2003 servers.
 

pxc

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I think this is just measurement noise. The percentages each month are made by sampling, and corrections using various weighting. The largest markets for XP usage are in Asia, and the trend of switching from PCs to phones could be throwing off some assumptions.

I like NetMarketShare numbers, but they're not perfect and IMO are better looked at using moving multi-month averages to discover trends.
 

serious

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Keep listen to PR speeches, it is good for you.

My XP PCs and VMs never have any anti-virus programs on them, never got hacked and never got any viruses. My nephew's computers' OS (Windows 10 and IOS) broke once every month or so, where HDD starts to overload once WIFI enables to a point sound doesn't play normally. To my nephew, WIFI broke. To me, he clicks whatever shit that pops up from his games. For him, the best way to protect his PC is to let him have his own PC and reinstall OS once a month or so.

Seriously, the true downside of XP is comparability, it lacks a lot of support like .Net framework and doesn't play nice with newer AD, but that is it. In comparison Win 10 is a nightmare. It tries to secure itself by doing all sorts of UEFI checks, followed by ensuring all information about its users are sent towards MS servers by default. What is security when the default is to leak information about users at setup level?

My mean PCs use the latest and greatest version of its respected OS simply because of all those bug fixes and new features, but never for a second that I believe my data will be more secure by updating OS.
 
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sir-gold

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How about microsoft pull the dildo out of it's ass and make an up to date XP os that we all love? I will pay money for updated XP and others will. XP is a very decent OS easy to develop drivers. You can't tell me you can convert XP into a 64 bit updated OS. Microsoft fell off the bandwagon on pleasing customers. Frankly, I am just tired of bitching about everything and Linux isn't a 100% replacement yet.

I think the tenacity of XP is a lost business opportunity, they should invest some R&D money into figuring out why it's still so popular despite all of it's drawbacks, and release a new version targeted specifically at the XP demographic.
A key requirement would be direct compatibility with all 3rd party XP drivers, since a lot of XP users keep it around to run old hardware that is too expensive to replace (large-format printers, CNC machines, etc)
 

kindasmart

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How about microsoft pull the dildo out of it's ass and make an up to date XP os that we all love? I will pay money for updated XP and others will.

XP 2017, Enterprise edition. $200-400. XP, with all the needed security updates/fixes. Is this even possible?
 

pxc

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How about microsoft pull the dildo out of it's ass and make an up to date XP os that we all love? I will pay money for updated XP and others will. XP is a very decent OS easy to develop drivers. You can't tell me you can convert XP into a 64 bit updated OS. Microsoft fell off the bandwagon on pleasing customers.
I don't get this view. What exactly should MS update? The NT kernel has continued evolving, and the UI has been tweaked, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Support in the core OS is added as needed to support newer hardware. That is the update: the OS evolves.

XP was a mess, and the awful practices that carried over from Win9x into the XP era (assuming admin privileges for execution and file location access) were a disaster. I can understand why some people would dislike UAC from Vista, but something really had to be done about that security problem. It forced developers to stop doing stupid things.

Should the NT 5.x kernel be revived? Should we go back to limitations of the windowing system in XP that crashed the shell? Should we go back to poor CPU optimization? Should we let all applications assume admin privileges? I don't get what advantages there would be other than a misplaced sense of nostalgia for a long-lived OS.

MS argues that you can convert XP into a 64-bit OS, as it did just that for both XP Professional 64-bit and WS2003 64-bit with the NT 5.2 update. :p
 

jassco2

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Currently navy pays MS millions per year for up to date XP patches. As a contractor I log into the custom site to download them every month. Many of our POS systems use them. We deploy many XP systems still and server 2003 still. They just can't bring in ships for replacement cycles fast enough. It's not our call. The equipment hasn't broken and it is patched. No functionality was gained in the new OS for them.
 
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Mohonri

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I think the tenacity of XP is a lost business opportunity, they should invest some R&D money into figuring out why it's still so popular despite all of it's drawbacks, and release a new version targeted specifically at the XP demographic.
A key requirement would be direct compatibility with all 3rd party XP drivers, since a lot of XP users keep it around to run old hardware that is too expensive to replace (large-format printers, CNC machines, etc)
I think you're onto something there. I wonder how close WINE is to complete API compatibility for XP.
 

rezerekted

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Currently navy pays MS millions per year for up to date XP patches. As a contractor I log into the custom site to download them every month. Many of our POS systems use them. We deploy many XP systems still and server 2003 still. They just can't bring in ships for replacement cycles fast enough. It's not our call. The equipment hasn't broken and it is patched. No functionality was gained in the new OS for them.

Then MS is lying when they say XP is not secure because obviously there are security patches for it but they won't release them to the public. Who pays for those patches? The tax payer, that's who.
 

BloodyIron

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I laugh when people say Linux isn't ready for gaming. I laugh because I'm already gaming all the time on it! I'm so productive in Linux I hate whenever I have to use Windows (rarely now).
 

tetris42

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I laugh when people say Linux isn't ready for gaming. I laugh because I'm already gaming all the time on it! I'm so productive in Linux I hate whenever I have to use Windows (rarely now).
I bet I play a lot of games you can't.
 

DPI

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Currently navy pays MS millions per year for up to date XP patches. As a contractor I log into the custom site to download them every month. Many of our POS systems use them. We deploy many XP systems still and server 2003 still. They just can't bring in ships for replacement cycles fast enough. It's not our call. The equipment hasn't broken and it is patched. No functionality was gained in the new OS for them.

Pretty scummy of MS not to release the patches to the public if they already did the work of creating them. But then it's MS..

The way they're being boat anchors about making Win7 and 8.1 updates slow now is also pretty despicable. And then they wonder why people aren't flocking to 10 when they undermine goodwill like that.
 
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WhoBeDaPlaya

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I bet I play a lot of games you can't.
Why not both? Or heck, 3 even.
While my rigs are primarily on Win7x64 Ultimate, I do a triple boot one (OSX, FreeBSD, Win7).

Hell, I isolate Win10 on its own mSATA SSD just to play the odd DX12 title.
I'm not about to let Satya Nuttella know what I fap to ;)
 
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tetris42

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Why not both? Or heck, 3 even.
While my rigs are primarily on Win7x64 Ultimate, I do a triple boot one (OSX, FreeBSD, Win7).

Hell, I isolate Win10 on its own mSATA SSD just to play the odd DX12 title.
I'm not about to let Satya Nuttella know what I fap to ;)
That route covers all your bases, it's just sort of a pain rebooting all the time especially if you want to take a 20 minute break from working on something else. It's really nice being able to have everything in one place.
 

michalrz

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I use XP on my home computer because I don't have a valid 7 license for that machine.
I'm behind a router, the install is trimmed to like 16 processes, I use Firefox and don't browse dodgy sites.
Does it mean I'm still vulnerable? If so, how? I mean - what do I need to avoid doing?
Obviously I'll drop XP in a while, but until now - what do?
 

elm669

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I have exactly ONE Windows XP machine left.. its an old PIII 1ghz laptop that contains all my legacy games.. while it does have a old cardbus wireless adapter in it... Its near useless for internet.. my 4 year old tablet is faster lol (not that I would because of all the exploits out there) But for the purpose of games it still works well.
 

blkt

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I use XP on my home computer because I don't have a valid 7 license for that machine.
I'm behind a router, the install is trimmed to like 16 processes, I use Firefox and don't browse dodgy sites.
Does it mean I'm still vulnerable? If so, how? I mean - what do I need to avoid doing?
Obviously I'll drop XP in a while, but until now - what do?
Download and run this: http://news.softpedia.com/images/extra/WINDOWS3/Windows XP Update.reg

Or, open up notepad, copy/paste the following 4 lines of text and save as a .reg file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\WPA\PosReady]
"Installed"=dword:00000001

Double click the registry file to import. Reboot and enjoy updates until April 9, 2019.

Edit: Please note, Microsoft issued a warning about this method and there are articles saying it is a bad idea. Use your favorite search engine (for me duckduckgo) to read these articles and, as always, backup everything first if you decide you take the plunge. This "hack" may break things as it is designed for Windows Embedded POSReady and Windows Server 2003. In my opinion, general preventative security practice, clean install and configuration are more important.

Every time an article XP shows up, it immediately goes into a security discussion. Blah. People are going to use what they like and best fits their hardware/software. Exploits will always be there regardless of how new and updated your OS is. People have already mentioned the many ways to ensure clean slate and lock things down. Those who know, will. You can't control those who don't know or don't care. Not everyone is running a production server environment and you shouldn't be treating everyone as a high risk target.

I think what most people miss from XP and Windows 7 is the sense of control over their configuration, policies, running processes, services and a confidence in knowing what the OS is -not- doing. It wasn't laborious to tailor your OS to specific tasks from a minimalistic standpoint. You weren't fighting Automatic Updates, knew what you were getting with each individual update and for the most part not worried updates breaking things (quality control). You weren't relying on registry hacks and/or removal of files simply because Microsoft no longer wants you in control.

Microsoft had it right with Windows 7/Server 2008 in the sense that most everything from a clean install was disabled until you explicitly chose otherwise. More importantly, the things that were enabled out of the box were not difficult to disable/remove. You weren't doing excessive research to accomplish your configuration goals. Most importantly, MS was listening to home and business customers at this point. Windows 8.x and 10 have made it very clear that Microsoft will do whatever it wants and it should be obvious to everyone by now the general public is -not- the main customer anymore. If Microsoft were listening and implementing these aforementioned positive traits from older operating systems into the current builds, you wouldn't have such a stubborn legacy userbase.
 
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michalrz

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Download and run this: http://news.softpedia.com/images/extra/WINDOWS3/Windows XP Update.reg

Or, open up notepad, copy/paste the following 4 lines of text and save as a .reg file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\WPA\PosReady]
"Installed"=dword:00000001

Double click the registry file to import. Reboot and enjoy updates until April 9, 2019.

Every time an article XP shows up, it immediately goes into a security discussion. Blah. People are going to use what they like and best fits their hardware/software. Exploits will always be there regardless of how new and updated your OS is. People have already mentioned the many ways to ensure clean slate and lock things down. Those who know, will. You can't control those who don't know or don't care. Not everyone is running a production server environment and you shouldn't be treating everyone as a high risk target.

I think what most people miss from XP and Windows 7 is the sense of control over their configuration, policies, running processes, services and a confidence in knowing what the OS is -not- doing. It wasn't laborious to tailor your OS to specified task(s) from a minimalistic standpoint. You weren't fighting Automatic Updates, knew what you were getting with each individual update and for the most part not worried updates breaking things (quality control). You weren't relying on registry hacks and/or removal of files simply because Microsoft no longer wants you in control.

Microsoft had it right with Windows 7/Server 2008 in the sense that most everything from a clean install was disabled until you explicitly chose otherwise. More importantly, the things that were enabled out of the box were not difficult to disable/remove. You weren't doing excessive research to accomplish your configuration goals. Most importantly, MS was listening to home and business customers at this point. Windows 8.x and 10 have made it very clear that Microsoft will do whatever it wants and it should be obvious to everyone by now the general public is -not- the main customer anymore. If Microsoft were listening and implementing these aforementioned positive traits from older operating systems into the current builds, you wouldn't have such a stubborn legacy userbase.

Impressive stuff. Thanks!

As was noted in this thread, I really dig the audio back-end soundcard manufacturers provided back then. I mean, writing machine code directly for the card's DSP and running it on an electric guitar? Sci-fi! :D Or, an audio normalizer that basically removed the need to ever touch the volume dial on my amp - it bucked/boosted volume on the fly. They pulled that feature from Vista upwards.

I'm typing this from a random Vista laptop, and while it's one of the prettier windows, I don't like the default file manager.

Also, my current rig is just an E7500 @ 3.85, 3 gigs of RAM and some 80 Gig spinner HDD. So I kind of need XP, badly, until I upgrade.
I used to have a Q9550/4Gig/SSD/9600GT/Buckets@11, but went bankrupt and sold it off. At that time I was using 7 and Debian on dual boot. 2008-2015.

Also it's super responsive. And I have it legally.
I think I shouldn't be using the point of sales trick due to license issues - I'm kind of concerned a future update might lock me out one day. But it's an amazing trick you've shared!

Anyone tried this on their home/pro setups?

I agree with the rest of your points, to a tee. If you don't want to give full control to users, at least provide sane defaults.
 

ManofGod

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Pretty scummy of MS not to release the patches to the public if they already did the work of creating them. But then it's MS..

The way they're being boat anchors about making Win7 and 8.1 updates slow now is also pretty despicable. And then they wonder why people aren't flocking to 10 when they undermine goodwill like that.

I am sure the patches are specific to the systems they are being used on.
 
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jassco2

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Then MS is lying when they say XP is not secure because obviously there are security patches for it but they won't release them to the public. Who pays for those patches? The tax payer, that's who.

For anyone who wants to know how much per year just google it. I'm sure it's not just the navy paying MS for patches, but many other organizions. There is an effort to move to windows 10 but that will take years still. Yes, the patches are real just like any others, but can only be downloaded on a specific non-public site.
 
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jassco2

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I am sure the patches are specific to the systems they are being used on.

Not at all; they work on our baseline systems and standard images. Plain old usual .net I.E. and a few others per month. That will probably piss more then a few off I'm sure. There are many articles from last year that reported on it.
 
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Using XP here on my 2009 atom 10" netbook. Works great with 2GB RAM and a SSD. Still going strong in 2017. And yes, I'm online with it. I think the whole XP being so easy to hack is just a bunch of non-sense they use as propaganda to get people to use an OS with more backdoors in it (Windows 8 and 10 for sure). I use Win 7 on other machines, but when it comes to a system with 2GB of RAM or less... nothing performs better on it than XP. Yes, XP has security issues, but so does any OS. First you have to navigate over the OSI before you can hack it though, and you also have to know it exists and is accessible somehow...

Run it behind a Linux powered router with a firewall using NAT, and you shouldn't have any problems. Just don't do anything stupid on your machine, and it will be fine. Also, run a firewall on your machine. My XP atom is running one... and no, it's not MS' crap utilities either.

Fear mongering I say. Monitor your networks and traffic and you can usually catch just about anything. If it weren't for gaming and the fact that I love Windows Explorer's speed for browsing files and UI responsiveness, I'd be using Linux all over the place.
 
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