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SQL Server Devs Clamor for XP Support in Denali

When I first glanced at the proposed list of OSes to be supported in the next version of SQL Server, code-name Denali, I actually thought: "Windows XP isn't supported? That's odd. There are a lot of XP machines still out there."

My immediate second thought was: "No, that's cool. It's getting too long in the tooth. Time to move on." But it appears a lot of SQL Server developers agreed with thought No. 1. Yes, the nearly 10-year-old OS still has its proponents in the dev field (it's hard to believe XP was actually released to manufacturers before we all knew about Osama bin Laden).

Case in point was this reader's response to the blog announcing Microsoft's supported OSes and upgrade plans:

"Sadly, that Windows XP is not supported. I know many developers use SQL Server Express + SSMS on their Windows XP corporate workstations. And they do not plan to move to Windows 7 soon. I do understand, that life is going on, but still ... I wish it would support XP."

There were many more posts like that one, leading to a good deal of give-and-take among the readers on both sides of the issue. Two readers reported companies they worked at (or recently worked at) still had more than 10,000 XP machines!

Comments like those made me gravitate back to my thought No. 1. After all, Wikipedia says, Microsoft continued to sell XP through certain channels up until the beginning of 2010. And the Denali CTP was released later that year. Isn't it a bit premature to abandon the vast XP user base in introducing an important new SQL Server release when XP hasn't even been officially expired for much more than a year and half? Granted, I don't know when Denali will be officially released, but a lot of people think it might be this year.

But other readers make good points, too. Like this:

Good list and I support it. No reason to go backwards anymore. Those companies that still run XP on every desktop and mandate it, or have SQL2K, aren't going to run to Denali. If they think they need it, they'll make exceptions for the people that need it.

Any IT professional that wants to work on Denali, but has XP at work. Either invest in a machine that you can run it on at home or learn to set up a VM, but there is no reason for MS to invest time or testing efforts into supporting XP at this point.

Those kinds of comments made me reconsider thought No. 2.

Ah, I'm just too darned wishy-washy. Decide for me. Which should it be? Comment here or drop me a line.

Posted by David Ramel on 07/07/2011 at 1:15 PM


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Reader Comments:

Tue, Jul 19, 2011 Paul Chippendale Australia

The reason people (like myself) keep XP going is that we have a large investment in perfectly good hardware such as laser printers, which cannot be connected to windows 7 as no drivers are available :(

Wed, Jul 13, 2011 SteveO Earth

I want XP like I want my gear selector on the steering wheel column.

Wed, Jul 13, 2011

Those who want XP support most likely aren't using the latest and greatest anyways. Time to move on. We have some XP/2003 TS clients and if they require connectivity to a newer SQL server, then we'll migrate them to a Win7/2008 TS box. I'm sure our Network Admin would love to turn down the aging hardware anyways.

Wed, Jul 13, 2011 NoXP

Time to cut the cord. Companies justify NOT moving to XP using "I have no compelling business case -- everything still supports XP" for example IE8 on XP. All future MS development should cut the cord on XP and this will force companies to accelerate their migrations.

Wed, Jul 13, 2011 NoXP

Time to cut the cord. Companies justify NOT moving to XP using "I have no compelling business case -- everything still supports XP" for example IE8 on XP. All future MS development should cut the cord on XP and this will force companies to accelerate their migrations.

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 Anonymous

Definitely Windows XP has to be supported. It's the most popular domaint OS STILL and it's not users' fault Vista turned up to be a dud. Supporting Windows 7 and XP would be the right thing to do. Expect MS to lose a lot of Denali sales with this one.

Fri, Jul 8, 2011

Definitely time to cut the cord on XP - it has been out for way too long, and we all need to move on. I can't wait for the school I work at to move on to Windows 7 - but we won't until MS stops doing security updates in 2014.

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 Goyo United States

I think it ought to support Windows 95, too! Hey, it's 32-bit isn't it?

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 Dave

There comes a time when Microsoft is going to have to finally cut the cord on XP. It's holding Microsoft back at this point from moving forward.

Thu, Jul 7, 2011 moveOn

Thought no 2 for me. Obviously seems wrong to support something thats now obsolete

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