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Backlash slaps Microsoft's 'help-a-friend-dump-XP' plea

Gregg Keizer | Feb. 11, 2014
Give us Windows 7 and we'll think about it, say customers, who reject the idea of helping others migrate to Windows 8.1

Although the comments added to LeBlanc's blog -- and the hundreds posted to a story Computerworld published last Friday -- included a handful praising Windows 8 and 8.1, with the usual Linux fans touting the open-source OS as an alternative, most objected to the new two-headed Windows 8/8.1, which features both a traditional desktop and a new tile-based, touch-first "Metro" user interface (UI), as a replacement for XP.

"Help my family and friends get on to Windows 8.1? I wouldn't curse my worst enemy with your Windows 8.x OS," contended Dhev in a comment to LeBlanc.

And calls continued for Microsoft to reopen sales of Windows 7 and then discount the OS. "If a sub-$100 upgrade path to even Windows 7 Starter edition was available (it even ran on low-end 1GB netbooks), it would be much easier to encourage non-technical users to migrate," contended secristr, a reader of LeBlanc's blog. "Please try to help us by giving us another option besides Windows 8.1."

Windows 7 Starter was a crippled-by-design edition that Microsoft offered to computer makers then building netbooks -- small, lightweight and underpowered laptop computers. The company never sold Windows 7 Starter to users, however.

Some users noted the irony in LeBlanc's pitch, which was aimed at people who provide ad hoc Windows technical to friends and family members.

"Problem is, these are the very people telling [those friends and family] not to move to [Windows] 8, and helping them move to [Windows] 7 instead," said Paul68 in a comment to Friday's Computerworld story.

LeBlanc said he read every comment, and replied to a few, but did not touch on the underlying theme, that Windows 8.1 is a poor replacement for Windows XP and that Windows 7 would be a better fit for the stragglers still running the operating system.


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