I have repeatedly told people I do not support Windows XP. The fact of the matter is that the more people that I deal with, the more people have XP installed. The program itself is great, I don't deny that. The fact of the matter is, when I get called out to fix it, it is normally buggered beyond repair. I have spent many an hour fixing broken drivers, files, viruses, spyware etc, only for it to decide I have removed them illegally and put them back in. It also comes with such delights as remote access. Now correct me if I am wrong, but I'm not too keen on anybody, authorised or otherwise, having the ability to take control over my pc from anywhere in the world. At best they could delete my work, at worst they could delete my porn collection.
So, here I am, spending a few days sorting out another XP victim with a Sony Vaio desktop PC. The PC itself is a flyer, and I have to say I am really impressed with the hardware. The problem is getting *anything* for windows to work with. I just sent this email to Sony themselves...
I have just spent the past 24 hours working on a Sony Vaio that is approximately 18 months old, when due to a virus Windows XP had become damaged beyond repair. I could not reinstall windows, because I had no restore CD and I could not anyway, because this would have deleted all data on the PC. I chose to safeguard the owner's PC by installing 2000 instead, but came across one problem after another with drivers. All of the hardware seems to be completely invisible to other users via the internet, and to find support for this hardware has been quite frankly pathetic. I have sat on the US website, downloading drivers for an incorrect model. I have sat on the UK website downloading updates for hardware that haven't got the drivers installed. I have had to open the case of the machine to find out ID numbers of each and every component, and that way I can then search for the drivers from external manufacturers. All in all, I would not call this support from your end at all. As an affiliate of the British Computer Society, I have on many occasions done independent reports for customers on situations such as this, and the inconvenience that large retailers seem to make so as not to have to provide support in the first place. You are a prime example of this incompetence, and as such, I will not be recommending Sony Vaio Desktops in the future when people ask for my advice. This is purely because when things go wrong, and let’s face it they do, you will offer no help whatsoever.
In the meantime, I will work with XP, but I think I shoujld indicate to people just how lousy it is, and give them a choice of being charged by the hour, or paying an additional supplement because they have XP in the first place. The problem then being they won't pay it, or they go elsewhere and get their PC wiped, which is what I want to avoid in the first place.