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Want iCloud With Windows? Ditch the XP 393

Posted by timothy
from the what-about-linux dept.
halfEvilTech writes "Microsoft isn't the only company denying equal online footing to Windows XP users. Apple will not give PC users access to iCloud – its great digital locker in the sky – if their machines are running Microsoft's aging but still popular Windows XP. Tucked at the bottom of the iCloud announcement, Apple says you'll need a PC running Windows Vista or Windows 7 to jump into Steve Jobs' version of the interwebs."
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Want iCloud With Windows? Ditch the XP

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  • by Mr_eX9 (800448) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @11:07AM (#36388302) Homepage
    It's a 10-year old operating system. It was all Windows users had for a long time, and Vista was a flop, but Windows 7 is really good and has a strong adoption rate.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Heck. Apple does not support their own OS after about two days. Why not XP too?

      But the point is, would windows user ditch their still working fine enough desktop/laptop to buy new shiny windows 7 just to get icloud? I think non-Apple land is little different, and people tend not to buy toys just because the master asked them to.

      • Do you really think that? I seem to recall people standing in lines the night before Windows 95 release. I think the main reason people haven't jumped to upgrade since XP is the simple fact that there hasn't been a compelling reason too. That's starting to change. XP is coming out of security update coverage in a couple of years, it can't use the latest Internet Explorer, and other software is starting to require at least Vista. Adoption is going to start to pick up as it becomes more and more a matter

        • XP - Will be supported weather MS like it or not - It will run on machines Win7 cannot hope to run on

          IE9 is not a good reason to upgrade, Firefox, Opera, Chrome all run on XP

          iCloud and similar are not a good reason to upgrade, most people do not give a damn about this ...

      • by mcvos (645701)

        I'd rather not give money to MS just because Apple wants me to.

    • It's a 10-year old operating system. It was all Windows users had for a long time, and Vista was a flop, but Windows 7 is really good and has a strong adoption rate.

      Agreed, but will these small nudges to get users away from XP be enough to get them to change their OS? There are other options available to XP users that provide similar functionality to the applications and/or services that are starting to exclude XP.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @11:30AM (#36388620)

        >>>Agreed, but will these small nudges to get users away from XP be enough to get them to change their OS?

        No. Rather than spend $200 or whatever upgrading to Windows 6.1, my operating system will remain stagnant until my P4 machine dies (which should be soon). In the meantime I'm perfectly happy to use older programs (Office97) or free alternatives for my software addons. Most of it is better than what MS or Apple offers anyway - like VLC or Winamp or Utorrent - and supports stuff as old as 98.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      On the one hand, what you say sound perfectly reasonably from a corporate perspective.

      However, the actual reality of the situation is a little more subtle. There are still plenty of XP machines out there. There are even new machines being sold with it. It wasn't discontinued that long ago and it's intermediary Vista went down in history with Microsoft Bob as one of the most notorious Microsoft products ever.

      Although all of this ultimately just hurts Apple. It drives people to buy newer PCs and newer copies

      • by daid303 (843777)

        Although all of this ultimately just hurts Apple. It drives people to buy newer PCs and newer copies of Windows. It drives sales to "the enemy".

        Or people iBuy a shiny new iMac or iBook. Or iSomething, to go with the iCloud.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          Yeah. This is what happens when you surround yourself with too many sychophants.

          You start believing your own propaganda a little bit too much.

          • I don't think that name calling is warranted when the poster makes a valid point. At this point, XP support is fading from all aspects. Win 7 is slowly starting to replace it everywhere. However those people who have to purchase a whole new computer to get an OS upgrade (like me because my desktop hardware is 10 yrs old), can choose to get a Mac instead of another PC.
      • by Yvan256 (722131) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @11:34AM (#36388702) Homepage Journal

        Although all of this ultimately just hurts Apple. It drives people to buy newer PCs and newer copies of Windows. It drives sales to "the enemy".

        Does it really? If it pushes people to buy a newer PC, it also opens the option of switching to a Mac while they're at it.

        If they need iCloud for their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, then it means they're already familiar with how Apple software works, switching to Mac OS X isn't a big leap to do and using VMWare Fusion or Parallels they'll be able to keep using their Windows software.

        • Does it really? If it pushes people to buy a newer PC, it also opens the option of switching to a Mac while they're at it.

          That's a bit like saying red-light cameras are a ploy to sell more underwear. And, no, having an iPhone doesn't mean you automatically know how a Mac works. If anything, it'll show you that you'll need all new software and it might even imply (even though it's inccorect) that doing things like attaching files to emails is hair-rippingly obnoxious on a Mac.

          The reality of the scenario you just painted is this: "well, you can spend $200 to upgrade to Windows 7, or you can buy a whole new machine and your g

          • by Yvan256 (722131)

            Attaching files to emails is hair-rippingly obnoxious on a Mac.

            What do you mean? You think that a simple drag and drop is too complicated?

          • by Yvan256 (722131)

            You're also taking for granted that the current computer will be capable of running Windows 7 in the first place. It's not always going to be the case.

      • by saider (177166)

        When people go to buy a new computer in order to get iCloud support, they just might choose a Mac. Remember, the people are already interested in an Apple product.

        Also, they simplify the development and support of the Windows client, by only supporting the most recent major release. Windows XP has 3 service packs out, some of which might be a nightmare to code workarounds for.

      • They seem to be doing fine with the iDevices and iTunes store. Mac sales are pretty much a "halo effect" from those things these days.

        If Apple considers MS an enemy, I'd think it's in the same way that the Road Runner considers Wile E Coyote an enemy. He might have a lot of resources at his disposal, but he's a complete bungling idiot when it comes to actually executing any new plans. Zune and WP7 have completely failed to compete with iTunes and iOS..

      • See, that's exactly the problem.

        When you switch off an OS you have to examine the entire ecosystem effect. Because XP was the only sane choice for EIGHT YEARS that's what Windows computing grew up with.

        Suddenly Win7 hasn't really been out that long, and the early reports of Windows 8 are dubious, so it does suddenly seem like they're trying to make continued use of XP painful like a Pavlov experiment.

        I won't switch off XP until the upgrade path through *Windows 9* has shaken out. MS is thrashing pretty badl

    • by eepok (545733)

      You are very right in what you say, but you don't address what most "... but XP will not be supported..." articles take issue with: that the computer companies are still being run like they're part of a high-turn-over consumption-based industry.

      The annoyance with not supporting XP is that systems that were shipped with XP towards the end of its support cycle are still "good enough". A then-modern 2009 computer with 3GB of RAM, 500GB of HDD space, and just about any $40 PCI-e video card is enough for a famil

      • by Old97 (1341297) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @11:59AM (#36389164)
        With iCloud and iOS5, Grannie can buy an iPad and toss the PC she never learned how to use or manage. iOS5 will use iCloud instead of depending on an iTunes client running on a Mac or Windows PC.
        • With iCloud and iOS5, Grannie can buy an iPad and toss the PC she never learned how to use or manage. iOS5 will use iCloud instead of depending on an iTunes client running on a Mac or Windows PC.

          I recognized this as a good idea for Apple the day I first used an iPad about a year ago. The vast majority of computer users use their computer for one thing, surfing. Adding email, light word processing, cute games, pictures and video... and you've damn near covered the needs of well over 90% of typical home computer users. Macs won't kill the home Windows market... iPads will. And hardcore gamers who haven't switched to dedicated gaming consoles (the only reason left to have a Windows machine for home u

        • by eepok (545733)

          You somehow missed what I said about not buying more gear. How is buying an iPad going to help someone NOT spend money?

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      It's a 10-year old operating system.

      This isn't Windows 95 we're talking about: you could still buy PCs with XP last year.

      And I don't get the Windows 7 love myself; I don't see what it gives me other than more pointless eye candy and the poorly designed UAC nonsense.

      • I'd say you haven't tried it then. Honestly it's a much better operating system (feel free to check my comment history, I'm not a shill for any OS vendor and own computers that use all three of the majors). I resisted upgrading to 7 for quite a while too, but now that I have done so on my home machine I'm just waiting for license purchase to upgrade the work box (No, my company doesn't have volume licensing. Why, when we have a ton of Windows machines? I have no idea. At least we're going that route fo

        • I have a shiny new Win 7 machine - and honestly, beyond the prettyness, it does nothing I could not do quicker and less annoyingly on XP ..

          It's slower, and uses more RAM than XP - my old XP machine was only slower due to it's lack of RAM, my Win 7 machine does not seem significantly faster for most tasks, even though it has a faster processor .... Where it excels is when I am running many tasks, the memory management and process management seem to be significantly better

      • Eye candy isn't pointless. There's research out there that indicates things that look better, work better. Don Norman has done a lot of work on this.

        This [alistapart.com] is a decent article about the phenomenon.

        BTW, the UAC nonsense is pretty much working as it should now. The only thing missing is the ability to sudo from the command line. Powershell may have this feature, but I haven't looked into it yet. Far too many XP users were running as administrator all the time.

      • just 1 year ago I bought an xp netbook. you'd be nuts to run win7 of them if you were stuck at 1gb of the 'maxed out' (forced by MS) ram on the netbooks.

        if this was now+7 I'd agree with you, but I'm going to demand that I get my use out of that xp that was forced on me at time of netbook purchase. and no, it was impossible to buy it 'naked' as MS used to refer to unbundled hardware platforms.

        unless there is a FREE upgrade to win7, I'm not paying a MS tax twice.

        the custom is for large companies to support

    • But..but..but jumping into Steve's version of the interwebs sounds bad!

    • Windows 7 ... has a strong adoption rate.

      Yeah, but that's only because Microsoft has such a solid reputation for providing such a stable and secure operating system.

    • but this is a NETWORKED thing; tell me, oh wise one; what has to be in the o/s in order for a thin client to access a network? clouds are just servers to thin clients, renamed for popular effect.

      xp had all the chops needed (and many of us finally feel ok with xp as a system) to do any kind of network access that anyone would normally need.

      shit, even linux 1.2.x kernel and its ancient collection of utils back 10 or so years ago also had all it needed to 'access the cloud'.

      wtf? what has apple up their sleev

  • by BKX (5066) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @11:10AM (#36388320) Journal

    We need to start getting away from XP anyway. It's ancient and insecure compared to other, not-ten-years-old OSs. It annoys me every time I have to work on an XP machine for someone, since I haven't used XP myself in four years, and it's damn near impossible to walk someone through OS related tasks over the phone at this point.

    • by jez9999 (618189)

      Nah. I still use XP on my home machine, and I prefer its interface to that of Windows 7. It's fast and snappy. I have a firewall and no virus protection. I don't install untrusted EXEs and I use secure software. Haven't had a virus/trojan problem... ever. Screw paying MS a ton of money to upgrade; I'm more likely to more to Debian full-time.

  • Stupid Decision. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Haedrian (1676506) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @11:16AM (#36388406)

    This is a bad decision on their part.

    Granted XP is ancient and not very supported, but its still heavily used. If we're talking about end-users, its more likely to go:

    "Aww, not supported. I guess I'll use something else"

    instead of

    "Aww, not supported. Let me pay a few hundred euros to upgrade my OS (and maybe need to improve my hardware) to use this product/service."

    • by rsborg (111459)

      This is a bad decision on their part.

      Granted XP is ancient and not very supported, but its still heavily used. If we're talking about end-users, its more likely to go:

      "Aww, not supported. I guess I'll use something else"

      instead of

      "Aww, not supported. Let me pay a few hundred euros to upgrade my OS (and maybe need to improve my hardware) to use this product/service."

      And when confronted with the choice of paying those hundreds of euros/dollars for a silly OS license on their non-compliant box as opposed to a few hundred more shekels for shiny new Mac...

      I don't think it's a bad idea at all. Not only is supporting a 10 year old OS more costly, forcing the upgrade could net Apple some new Mac owners (perhaps they'll choose a PC for upgrading, that's ok too)

      Again, Apple doesn't lose if Microsoft somehow gains by their actions.

      • Your point assumes that the end user doesn't just decide to use the Amazon Cloud Drive [amazon.com] for free, instead. We're talking about people that have been resistant to change or cheap enough to stick to a 10 year old OS. We're not talking about people that like to waste money on a new iProduct or want to figure out a different UI. Apple will be lucky if their existing users move over to the service, much less use it to encourage new customers to spring for the expensive walled garden.
    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Either way it goes the most likely set of choices will be:

            a) Not bother with iCloud at all.
            b) Buy a new Dell with Windows 7 on it.

      Neither is really in Apple's interest.

    • by dbrueck (1872018)

      *Is* it a bad decision on their part? Have you done some sort of cost vs benefits analysis? There are hard costs associated with developing, testing, and supporting each version of each OS.

      It doesn't take a ton of imagination to come up with scenarios where it makes sense to drop XP support. Some factors they might take into consideration:
      - How much of their focus is on Mac users
      - How much of their Windows user base will be in corporate envrionments
      - The creator

    • by SheeEttin (899897)
      You have to consider your demographic, though. The former you might see from your average Slashdot user, but for most people, the response might be "I need a new computer", because I doubt most people have the operating system and the physical machine separate in their minds.

      Of course, I note you said "euros", so I assume you're in Europe. The general attitude may be different from here in the US.
    • by Graymalkin (13732)

      Granted XP is ancient and not very supported, but its still heavily used.

      Supporting older OSes is not free. If iCloud's was Apple's only product this might be a problem but it's a follow on product. People with Windows XP can still spend money on iPods, iPhones, and the iTunes Store. Their iOS devices will get to use iCloud services and when they decide to upgrade their computer (to a PC or Mac) they'll get to use iCloud on there as well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09, 2011 @11:19AM (#36388446)

    you'll need a PC running Windows Vista or Windows 7

    Is this "Windows 7 or above"? Because I'm 91 versions ahead.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @11:24AM (#36388522)

    Not only do they not support 98, or 2000, or XP, they also don't support any OS X older than 10.5 (example: Safari and iTunes).

    It is simply part of Apple culture not to supply software to older OSes. It forces the user to upgrade (i.e. spend money), and I'm not surprised Apple applies the same tactic to PCs that has worked so well for Macs.

    • by DdJ (10790)

      It is simply part of Apple culture not to supply software to older OSes. It forces the user to upgrade (i.e. spend money), and I'm not surprised Apple applies the same tactic to PCs that has worked so well for Macs.

      That "i.e. spend money" part is misleading, IMHO. Apple does not make a ton of money on OS upgrades. 10.6 was incredibly cheap and 10.7 is looking to be even cheaper.

      That said, the reason I said "misleading" instead of "wrong" is that it does force hardware upgrades. My old Macintosh that's got a Core Duo CPU instead of a Core 2 Duo CPU will not be able to run Lion at all -- it's going to be 64-bit-only with no 32-bit CPU support. If I could upgrade the OS on it, doing so would be cheap, but I cannot, s

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        >>>Macintosh that's got a Core Duo CPU instead of a Core 2 Duo CPU will not be able to run Lion at all

        Precisely. Apple makes money the same way Atari and Commodore used to make their money: Off the hardware. By obsoleting hardware after only 3-4 years time ("Sorry this won't run Safari 5 or OS 10.6 - you need to upgrade your machine"), Apple forces users to trash perfectly good hardware and jump to the next ~$2000 product.
        And managers smile.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Not only do they not support 98, or 2000, or XP, they also don't support any OS X older than 10.5 (example: Safari and iTunes).

      It is simply part of Apple culture not to supply software to older OSes. It forces the user to upgrade (i.e. spend money), and I'm not surprised Apple applies the same tactic to PCs that has worked so well for Macs.

      Actually, considering the current version of OS X is 10.6 (Snow Leopard),, it means they should've dropped 10.5 support a long while ago - 2009 or so when 10.6 was releas

    • by dbrueck (1872018) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @12:37PM (#36389762)

      Well, it doesn't force anybody to do anything. It's actually more of an exchange - *if* you want latest features (and, granted, bug fixes and the like), *then* you have to be willing to move forward.

      I'm surprised more software developers aren't chiming in here because it is really, really hard to support older and older versions of stuff /and/ still try to keep adding new features. You can end up spending very large percentages of your time not really innovating at all, just trying to work around old bugs that have long since been fixed, or in aging hardware that just really isn't up to snuff anymore. That stuff kills innovation - from a developer's perspective, it's just not fun. It sucks your creativity.

      People want to have their cake and eat it too, but really there's a tradeoff - if you want a device and a feature set then buy it and stick with it. If you want to be always up to date, latest fixes and latest features, then be prepared for some instability and also for change. If you want to ride the wave of innovation and always get all the latest bells and whistles, then you have to keep buying the latest and greatest hardware because the hardware and the software are interconnected - newer hardware enables more bells and whistles in the software.

      The fact that there are *any* upgrades at all by any device vendor is remarkable to me. I think we're actually pretty spoiled. Back in the olden days you'd buy an appliance or a device and that was it - it never changed. If it had quirks, that was part of what you got. As newer features came out, they were available only in the newer models of the device or appliance. Nowadays you can buy e.g. a phone or a TV and even after you buy it, the manufacturer can come along and add new value and fix problems. That's incredible! But it's also incredible how much complaining people do when this value adding doesn't happen indefinitely, especially in the realm of computers where the life spans are traditionally very short.

  • Oh darn, I guess I won't be jumping on the cloud bandwagon since 50% of my computers (lappy Core 2 Duo [woe unto him who does not get the lappy reference]) are still on XP. I was looking forward to... well, I'm not really sure what iCloud does, but I'm sure it must be exciting since I see mention of it (but very little explanation) all over the place. Maybe it involves BitCoins?

  • by jockm (233372) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @11:32AM (#36388658) Homepage

    I love how little credit The Register gives Apple when they say "According to the latest stats, this means that almost half of all PC users will not be able to access iCloud." Given that Apple has usage statistics of the people who use iTunes, I am willing to bet they know exactly how many of their customers with iCloud compatible devices are running on XP and made a very educated decision that dropping XP support wouldn't alienate that many users.

    As others have already pointed out, XP is a decade old OS now, and two versions back. It is OK to start phasing our support. First for apps that run primarily in peoples homes, and then eventually to what runs in business environments.

  • And I mean specific -- "In order to interact with iCloud, we need OS function calls DoFooBarian and MangleDataButGood and built-in networking service XMLSmell" and not some generic "its older and less secure".

    Whatever Apple is doing with iCloud probably is more in their code and less in Windows and probably has no real dependency on Windows 7.

    My gut instinct is this is less about some technical need of iCloud on Windows but more about Apple making a cost benefit decision that providing the broader support (

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      I suspect that this is just a broader general support policy. They drop support for older versions of Windows. They may or may not even put any serious thought into the process. They simply might not bother with the finer points since they will gladly leave their own users out in the cold. Once they think they are doing something "for your own good", there's probably nothing that's going to stop them.

  • Why use such services as iCloud when you can buy a good synology with a few HDD and get ultra fast speed on your LAN and good support through the internet (including smartphones... My android has he official Synology audio application installed for easy and secure access to music streaming)

    No big brother to watch what you're storing on your system, shared folders which work under PC, Mac and unix systems, dlna server, ...

    • by Ixokai (443555)

      Dear lord, because the vast majority of people are not nerds, man.

      I mean, I'm a nerd. I got me my NAS with many many terabytes of storage and nice control and features.

      Most people would like to just buy something and just use it and not bother thinking about it.

      Also, iCloud is FREE -- for up to 5gb, which when you consider does NOT include apps, music, photos, etc, but only your personal data you and your apps upload, is actually quite a bit more then most people will need (Yes, I know, not all)

      Are you real

  • by halfEvilTech (1171369) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @11:51AM (#36389048)

    Some reason this story also makes me think of this:

    http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2010-05-04/ [dilbert.com]

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