Future of Windows XP

Spotted on Custom PC:

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says Windows XP might not reach the end of its life in June if people still want it.

Microsoft’s infamous over excitable funny man, CEO Steve Ballmer, has said that Microsoft might not kill off Windows XP in June if customers still demand it. Still going strong after 6.5 years, Microsoft’s ubiquitous OS Windows XP has stood the test of time remarkably well, but the company plans to start phasing it out in June this year.

However, Ballmer suggested that this plan isn’t yet set in stone. Speaking to a news conference in Mons, Belgium, Ballmer said: ‘XP will hit an end-of-life. We have announced one.’ However, he then added that ‘If customer feedback varies, we can always wake up smarter, but right now, we have a plan for end-of-life for new XP shipments.’

Is that called a u-turn?

Hang on a minute, I’ll go and ask Gordon Brown.

Microsoft XP update cripples IE6

Spotted on PC Pro:

Patch Tuesday paralyses Internet Explorer

Last week’s critical security update to Internet Explorer has crippled the browser for many users. The problem is reportedly affecting Internet Explorer 6 users on Windows XP. The fault causes the browser to crash in a number of different scenarios, such as when printing web pages.

Read the full article.

But why are people still using IE6 under Windows XP?  Why haven’t they at least upgraded to IE7? Or better still moved to a better browser, such as Mozilla Firefox or Opera?

Moving to a new PC

My PC at work has been playing up over the last few months. Sometimes when I plug in a USB drive, for example, I get the dreaded Blue Screen of Death.   I suspect that it’s an issue with Windows rather than a fundamental hardware fault.

However, to prevent as much downtime as possible, I’ve been gifted a new PC

  • IBM/Lenovo ThinkCentre 8215-CTO
  • Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.20 GHz
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 200 GB HDD
  • DVD-RW
  • Windows XP Professional SP2 (version 2002)

which I’m now running side-by-side with my current (sick) PC. I now have 4 monitors on my desk!

Tomorrow’s task will be to migrate my files over, get the new PC connected to the network, and install printers and Microsoft Office 2003.

External IDE hard drive enclosure

My external drive enclosure (External Black hi-Speed USB 2.0 3.5″ Hard Disk Drive Enclosure Kit ) arrived this morning. It was the most beautifully wrapped parcel I have ever received, I was reluctant to unwrap it it was so neat.

It came with EVERYTHING I could need to set it up (except a hard drive!):

  • Drive enclosure
  • Vertical stand
  • Power supply
  • USB cable
  • 4 x screws to secure the IDE drive
  • A cross-head screwdriver!

It came with a screwdriver! Not a tiny, unusable one, but a real, decent-looking cross-head screwdriver with a plastic handle.  Now that is pretty cool.

It took me about 5 minutes to unpack, secure an unused Western Digital 40 GB IDE drive I’ve had in my Big Boy’s Box of Interesting Things™ for about a year, and plug it into my PC.

It worked straight away, was recognised as another drive (not Removable Media, but a proper hard drive), and now it’s reformatted and ready for this afternoon’s backup.