Readers write about the coming XP end-time

Kathleen Atkins

After we published Woody Leonhard’s Feb. 6 Top Story, “A last reprieve for the enduring Windows XP?” we soon had more than the usual number of letters; most of them were from readers asking for help delaying the end of the useful life of XP on their computers.

This week, we share four of the more interesting reader reactions to the imminent — or not — end of life of Microsoft’s famous old operating system plus two reader remarks about the latest iTunes update.

Ready-made new business plan: support XP?

  • If you are correct in estimating the number of remaining XP users as being 500 million or more, I think Microsoft’s first noncrashing OS is in the position that Wall Street claimed a few years ago: “too big to fail.” Windows XP is too big to be EOL.

    The proper course of action with any EOL program would be to provide a business capable of astute computer support with 500 million ready customers. (Perhaps there are one or two former Win XP experts on the open market?) Wouldn’t this be a huge prize, with more discernible, concrete value in exchange for cash than, say, the hype, smoke, and mirrors of a Facebook $100 billion dollar stock offering?

    If I worked at Dell, or Apple, or one of the antivirus firms, or perhaps a retailer like Best Buy, it would seem like a good time to line up a staff of Windows XP experts. Thanks for following this in careful detail for the sake of humble XP users like me.     — Greg Rice

  • I agree [with Woody] about $20-30 updates. Personally, I’m considering a Linux boot disk then maybe moving away from Microsoft Windows, either in a partition or altogether. I’ve used Microsoft software since early DOS, and it’s obvious to me that they’ve lost their focus on the consumer.     — Charles Soos

Most annoying aspect of the end of XP

  • The thing that irks me the most about all of this is that I can’t run Win7 or anything later by Microsoft on my older machine. I wouldn’t mind upgrading to a better OS, but really, why do I need more than 1GHz processing power and more than 516MB of RAM? Only because of the bloat of the “better” OS, that’s why. Maybe they should think about creating a cut-down version of Windows 7 that can run on an older machine. What an idea that would be.     — Christopher Seri

Windows XP could go on and on and on

  • I have a computer here at the university with Windows XP Pro S.P. 1 and still running. It’s never connected to the Internet and still runs the software.     — Steve Anderson

Unexpected — or not — update trouble

In her Jan. 30 Patch Watch column, Susan Bradley noted some unusually trying user experience with the iTunes 11.1.4 update. She suggested to readers that they “[skip] it for now — or budget some time to install it manually and deal with its issues.” Some readers downloaded the iTunes update and then wrote letters to us about their dealings with it.

  • When attempting to load ITunes update I received an Error 7 and another error message that told me that file MSVCR80 could not be found. In addition I was notified that Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime Library could not be installed.

    I contacted an Apple technician for assistance and spent an hour deleting Apple files from my computer and reinstalling ITunes. We did this a number of times but the error messages continue to come.

    I searched Google and downloaded “fixit” software that scanned my computer and told me that the file was indeed on my computer (although I cannot find it). They also told me that “the latest update for iTunes is currently creating problems for PC users with symptoms matching yours (MSVCR80.dll ‘missing,’ runtime error).”

    The corrective instructions were to download all Apple applications and to reinstall iTunes. Did not work.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2014-02-13:

Kathleen Atkins

About Kathleen Atkins

Kathleen Atkins is the Windows Secrets associate editor. She's also a freelance writer, editor, and photographer. Prior to joining Windows Secrets, she worked at Microsoft Press.