Sigh, it's an OS upgrade conspiracy

So with a combination of Christmas presents and my own money, I finally get the parts together to upgrade my PC. Everything is running fine, but it just doesn’t seem as fast as I expected, so I decide to benchmark it.

The benchmark scores come out about 40% lower than people running similar rigs (for example, 11000+ 3DMarks to my 7200). Eventually I figure out that the AGP driver never loaded, so I download the necessary stuff and try to install (it is an Asus P4PE board, using an Intel 845PE chipset). Sorry, Intel has dropped AGP driver support for the original release of Win98 - only 98SE and above are supported, and the driver won’t install.

I’ve already exhausted my upgrade budget, so now I have to start saving my pennies for Microsoft’s piece of the action. I thought about a cheap copy of the SE upgrade from Ebay, but even those are going for $75 or more. OK, fine, they got me, I’ll migrate to XP. Bastards.

You won’t regret it. I mean, I hate the upgrade cycle too, but at least XP is worth the hassle. It’s a hell of a lot better than the mess that is Windows 98 (which is what I upgraded from). More stable, nicer interface, better OS all around.

Not only that, but it was the easiest upgrade (of Windows) I’d ever done. I direct upgraded 3 machines (2 Win98 and 1 WinME, egad!) without a single problem. I’m not a big MS fan, but XP is one of the lesser evils to ooze out of Redmond.

I find it difficult to believe that avid gamers would have any difficulty getting a warez copy of the corporate edition of XP. Sure, you have to install with the pirate key, which means no SP1 or windows update, but all you need to do at that point is run the keygen… it really does work.

I would never advocate copying games, but MS has its hand in so many different pies that I don’t see anything particularly wrong with copying XP. With product activation, the technical bar has already been raised far enough that joe six-pack won’t be able to copy it; it’s hardly a floodgate of piracy.

Okay, here’s a question. I have six computers here for Shoot Club, all running Win98 (I don’t even think it’s the SE). Would I have to buy six separate fucking copies of Windows XP to upgrade? Say it isn’t so…


You’re missing the point. The license agreement hasn’t changed that substantially, just the method of enforcement. In other words, you were supposed to have already purchased 6 copies of Win98 for Shoot Club’s computers. If you’re going to steal those five licences, you may as well just use wumpus suggestion to get 6 XP licenses. :!:

Or you could just ask someone in Redmond to go to the company store and buy it for you–it’s offered at an incredibly discount. I spent $25 on full version of Win98. :idea:

But to state explicitly what is implicit in Tim’s reply: yes, you would have to buy six copies of XP, unless you go with warez versions like Wumpus said.

That’s one thing that Apple does very well… A single license for OS X Jaguar will cost you $130 (much bitching has been done about this from the faithful already, who feel they’ve been charged for beta testing OS X from the Beta to OS X 10.0 to 10.1). But a 5-user license for OS X costs only $199, so if you have multiple Macs in your home, you’re set.

Of course, you can’t game on OS X. But I like it on my PowerBook for just taking notes down at the library and such.

MS needs to have done something like this, though. Tons of people have multiple PC homes. God knows they would have helped XP adoption a bunch if they’d just been a bit more consumer-friendly in that.

Wow, where do you get the stats for like computers? Also, don’t you have to buy a license for 3Dmarks? I was looking for some benchmark software not too long ago but it was all pay for software, but I didn’t want to spend for a license.

I thought about a cheap copy of the SE upgrade from Ebay, but even those are going for $75 or more.

Wow, no kidding? I am going to have to clean out my closet. I know I have an ME and an SE disk lying around somewhere. Half price books only gives you a pittance for those things.

But Apple doesn’t have the business customers MS does, so I can sorta see why they don’t do the same thing. What’s to stop a 100 machine shop from only purchasing a fifth of their previous order with this sort of plan?

Of course apple can bundle their OS for $199 for 5. They didn’t write the core of their OS, they picked it up for free. That saves quite a bit.


Mad Onion, now named Futuremark, makers of 3DMark, have a search & compare page on their site. When you run the benchmark, it gives you the option to upload the results to their database. If you click on the Accelerator Comparison link on the left, it compares your score to similar computers but with different graphics cards. Mine shows that systems with the same card are 43% faster than my computer - and that is after I OC’d my video card and cranked up my memory timings.

There is a free download for 3DMark2001SE, but it lacks a few features from the full release. Most popular benchmarks are free. The UT2003 demo has one, Vulpine GLMark, and the Comanche 4 benchmark come to mind immediately.

WinXp Professional Full is all of $30 at the Microsoft Store, all of the software is 10% of MSRP (not Xbox Games though, they’re…$25 i think, for the first party stuff). No, I won’t pick you up a copy.

Fer real? I paid full price for four XP Pro licenses (and I got another via my MSDN sub). Where’s the link? cuz I didn’t find any such pricing.

Sorry Derek, wasn’t clear enough - The Microsoft Employee Store :P Someone else mentioned it above so I thought I’d jump in with current pricing. will sell you copies of Windows at OEM prices if you buy them with hardware. Of course, their definition of “hardware” is pretty loose: a mouse pad qualifies. ;)

What Ben said…most online retailers will sell you XP at OEM pricing if you buy something as simple as a mouse or keyboard.


Newegg is typical, they’ll sell you an OEM copy of XP Home, with SP1, for about $90. You can buy an upgrade to XP Home for about the same price from a retail store.

You might as well buy just one Win2000 Pro and use it on all 5 computers – you get the stability of WinXP without all the glitzy front-end stuff. I do think the photo thumbnails XP puts on folders full of picturs are way cool though, so that’s one thing you’ll miss.

You won’t be able to run older games, but you can’t run them with XP either. I haven’t had any issues with games not working in 2000 that do work in XP.

I don’t get this. If you’re going to pirate anyway why would you spend whatever W2k costs and pirate an old OS? This makes no sense. Just do the thing wumpus said and be done with it.