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Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP? 650

Posted by timothy
from the here-you-hold-the-thumbscrews dept.
An anonymous reader writes "If Windows XP were a photocopier, Microsoft would have a duty to deal with competitors who sought to provide aftermarket support. A new article in the Michigan Law Review argues that Microsoft should be held to the same duty, and should be legally obligated to help competitors who wish to continue to provide security updates for the aging operating system, even if that means allowing them to access and use Windows XP's sourcecode."
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Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?

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  • by will_die (586523) on Monday April 07, 2014 @03:29AM (#46681411) Homepage
    Microsoft has been really clear on their end of life policy for probably a decade if not more. The only way to say they have not is if you say all those increases in time they have given are an indication of unclearness.
    However with your definition of $100 USD, cost to upgrade OS from XP to Windows 7, as being "an arm and a leg" not to sure about the rest you wrote.
  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Monday April 07, 2014 @04:02AM (#46681537)

    Oh c'mon, you know how it would work in this time and age. If some blunder in MS software caused a nuclear meltdown, MS would be declared too big to fail and you can shove your damage claims where the sun doesn't shine.

    If you use MS software (or anyone else's software) in a situation where it could cause a nuclear meltdown, you are using it against Microsoft's explicit terms and conditions, so they wouldn't be at fault at all.

  • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Monday April 07, 2014 @07:09AM (#46682135) Journal

    "The Joint Stock Companies Act 1844 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that expanded access to the incorporation of joint-stock companies.

    Before the Act, incorporation was possible only by royal charter or private bill and was limited owing to Parliament's jealous protection of the privileges and advantages thereby granted."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J... [wikipedia.org]

    Prior to this Act, companies were governed by the Bubble Act of 1720. They had a charter given to them by the nation. They earned profits, ridiculous profits, but they were a governmental entity responsible for enriching the nation at the expense of other nations, in the same way that a non-profit earns profits but reinvests them in the pursuit of the company charter rather than paying out to shareholders. This was the time of Mercantilism, not Capitalism.

    In the USA, forming each individual corporation required a separate act of legislation until New Jersey adopted an "enabling" corporate law, with the goal of attracting more business to the state in 1896. Citizens governed corporations by detailing operating conditions not just in charters but also in state constitutions and state laws. Incorporated businesses were prohibited from taking any action that legislators did not specifically allow. States also limited corporate charters to a set number of years. And, if you broke the rules, you didn't get a fine, the company had its charter revoked.

    In 1819 the U.S. Supreme Court tried to strip states of this power by overruling a lower court’s decision that allowed New Hampshire to revoke a charter granted to Dartmouth College by King George III. This was done on the basis that the charter was a contract between the King and the College, and that it violated the Constitution to pass laws to invalidate a contract. The US was no longer a part of the Commonwealth at this time, but that was deemed non-relevant to the contract.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... [wikipedia.org]

    That decision was the beginning of the modern corporation. This was when they moved beyond the control of democratic processes, were relieved of any duty to serve humanity and became all about contracts and shareholders and their duty became empowering the shareholders above all other concerns.

  • by sjbe (173966) on Monday April 07, 2014 @08:20AM (#46682443)

    7 is a nice upgrade over XP, if you don't see or understand that, I'm not sure what I can say, 5 years on, that will help you understand.

    If you say so. I'm typing this on a Windows 7 machine and running my older XP machine in a virtual machine. Frankly Windows 7 does not have a single feature I need that I did not have with XP. NOT ONE. I know I am not alone either. I'm sure it's better here and there under the hood but frankly not in any way that was causing me problems. Plus it requires a much faster machine to accomplish the same tasks I already could do.

    Besides proper 64 bit support, the seamless way it installs and updates drivers and software for almost anything you plug into it is vastly improved over XP.

    64 bit doesn't provide me any noticeable benefit as an end user that I can discern and Windows 7 does not handle drivers any more gracefully for me than XP does. I still have to download and install a googly percentage of my drivers and software manually and it doesn't update them any more effectively either. I'm sure you can find some cases where that is not true but whatever differences there are are so small as to be trivial for most of us.

  • by Zmobie (2478450) on Monday April 07, 2014 @10:45AM (#46683645)

    Bear in mind that aside from security patches, Microsoft essentially provides ZERO support to most users of XP anyway. Not like I can call them up and get questions answered. Claims that continuing to support XP would be some enormous financial burden on the company are pretty absurd.

    You CLEARLY do not understand how time consuming and costly it is for a company to provide even basic patches for a piece of software. On SMALL SCALE application my company has deployed it is costly to have even one developer have to do this repeatedly (I know because for one of our system I am this guy...). Having repeated interuptions for support calls, entire sets of days that have to be blocked off to patch some bullshit, and a sales department breathing down my neck because the longer this goes on the worse it looks on the company. All the while the 3 other projects I was working on (as the damn lead at that) are getting behind and it is my ass to catch them up.

    It IS an enourmous financial burden, especially when they have to invest in researching the security vulnerabilities because if one is discovered and exploited before they patch it hits them in the court of public opinion (and their sales directly). Upgrading is expensive, yes everyone knows this, but guess what, this happens with every other consumer product on the market today. It is unreasonable for people to expect software companies to do it indefinitely FOR FREE. Even if they could do it with a paid service, they do still have the right to refuse service. Normally I am all for the consumer over the business (because most businesses are cut-throat douches), but what people expect with Windows XP is just insane and they don't apply basic sense to their arguments.

  • by BUL2294 (1081735) on Monday April 07, 2014 @12:33PM (#46684975)
    XP was legally sold on netbooks made as late as October 22, 2010 ( http://windows.microsoft.com/e... [microsoft.com] ). Those computers were still in the sales pipeline into early 2011.

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