[Interest] [Development] Windows 7 support will be dropped in Qt 6

Konrad Rosenbaum konrad at silmor.de
Sat Jun 13 10:14:07 CEST 2020

On 2020-06-13 09:42, Filip Piechocki wrote:
> for me not updating a system, software etc for many years is just
> equal to building a technical debt. Any serious company should be
> aware that this will finally kick them in their butt, should have
> measure the potential cost and decide where is the point where they
> should switch. If a company decides to not care about this then
> someone else will decide for them for example by dropping support for
> their OS/hardware/whatever. 
> Backwards compatibility is nice but the world (especially IT world) is
> moving forward and lagging behind is a potential risk and cost.

Believe me: they are aware of it. But there are other constraints that
overrule this:

From the perspective of the factory: they paid hundreds of thousands or
even millions for a machine. They pay that money for the functionality,
not the OS, so an outdated OS is not a priority. This machine is
probably one of only two options that are workable and the other one is
even worse. While they may exert some pressure on the supplier to fix
this problem, they exert even more pressure to have the machine work
properly. The factory itself does not change the OS on those machines -
even if the IT department demands the ability to update, it usually
means total loss of warranty/support and may mean total loss of
production - watch the engineers overrule IT, but watch closely it is
very quick.

From the perspective of the supplier: they have a very narrow margin on
those machines and it took them years to "qualify" Win7. "Qualify"
basically means they discovered all the pitfalls and problems the hard
way and found some fix that barely works. They are going to work on that
basis for as long as is humanly possible. If the customer does not talk
about it - great. If the customer talks about it - explain. If the
customer demands - whine and cajole. If the pressure is too high - do a
"cooperative long term project" - i.e. let the customer pay for it. ;)

In most cases upgrading from one major version of the OS to another
restarts the qualification cycle - you can't be sure whether the machine
is still stable.

I have worked in factories in which a day of downtime means several
millions in cost. A bottleneck machine can cause the factory to go down.
The technical debt of an old OS is dwarfed by this.


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