Lightroom: Why isn't Lightroom 4 supported or installable on WIndows XP?

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  • Question
  • Updated 8 years ago
  • Answered
  • (Edited)
Lightroom 4 Beta does not install on my Windows XP system and indicates I do not have a system newer than Vista,
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Robert Carlsen

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Posted 8 years ago

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Anita Dennis

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Official Response
Lightroom 4 does not run on Windows XP. Here are the minimum system requirements.
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Jim Wilde, Champion

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Anita, a couple of Adobe web-sites (UK and Germany at least, there may be others) are currently showing that XP SP3 will run Lightroom 4 in the Tech Specs page. See this thread from the U2U forum for screenshots:

http://forums.adobe.com/message/48562...

Inevitably, this will cause some confusion....
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Arnold Bartel

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Please make LR4 also run under Windows XP.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
I'd like to run LR4 (beta) under Win XP.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Sorry, it is very expensive to create and test software for multiple architectures.

Windows for XP is over 10 years old (Aug 24, 2001), the latest service pack is over 3.5 years old (April 21, 2008). . Unfortunately, we can't support platforms that aren't being actively supported.

Lightroom really benefits from 64bit support so we wanted to focus on 64bit OSes for Lightroom 4. (Yes, there is a 64bit version of XP, but not many 64bit printer and video drivers - and device makers aren't making a lot of new drivers or updating the ones that are available)
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Alan Holman

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If it's so expensive to test on multiple architectures,why waste resources testing on Windows 8? It's not feature complete or even in beta and won't have a significant market share until after LR5 is released.

let's have a reality check;
XP IS still supported, until 2014 by which time LR5 will be along.
Just because it's reached a level of maturity that means it's stable enough not to need any more service packs doesn't mean it's no use.
According to most sources XP is still the most widely used OS in the world at the moment.
What's the problem with at least allowing the installer to install onto XP ? past installers have allowed installation onto hardware that fails to meet the published minimums, but many of us still can use LR3 effectively on it. (eg laptops without DVD drives or big screens). I'd be happy to run LR4 on XP even if fluff like video playback and mapping didn't work, I know I'm not alone having that attitude.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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I think John Verne already addressed your questions, but here goes:

"According to most sources XP is still the most widely used OS in the world at the moment."

Maybe for people running Excel, Word and resource sipping business software. That doesn't necessarily mean it's popular with photographers editing increasingly large catalogs of increasingly large megapixel images.

"What's the problem with at least allowing the installer to install onto XP?"

XP is much different than Vista and Win7. We haven't developed any of the features in LR to run on XP, nor have we tested it. The experience would be terrible. We're already hitting the boundaries of memory fragmentation/32bit memory space with Lightroom 3.

If users are still happy with XP/LR 3, run with that.
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Alan Holman

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"That doesn't necessarily mean it's popular with photographers "
I run Colourprofiles.com, a custom printer profiling business, and XP was the most commonly used OS amongst our customers in 2011. These are your customers for Lightroom too, all very serious about their digital photography, the ones who demanded soft proofing so vigorously.

I assume from the above that if none of the features in LR work on XP the next release of ACR won't work on XP too, so that means PS CS6 will have the same system limitations too.

This won't win you any extra business, you've already lost a lot of goodwill for the mess over the change in upgrade policy.
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Nicolas Gee

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"I'd be happy to run LR4 on XP even if fluff like video playback and mapping didn't work, I know I'm not alone having that attitude. " (Alan Holman)

Me too - at least for the beta, so I can have a peek at some of the new features (2012 process and softproofing, as far as I'm concerned), and see if the OS upgrade is worth it. I'd know my system is unsupported, and would expect the odd crash, but I'd be in a better position to decide then!
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Robert Carlsen

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This means I have to invest in another computer after only two years of use on my current computer. You've made a decision not to design for the XP platform. Sorry but even though I update my computers fairly often I can only believe you are cutting off a significant portion or your customers.

I'll just stay with 3.5 until I decide when it's time to get another computer, not you.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Robert,

Thanks, that's correct - No one is forcing you to upgrade. If you see value in Lightroom 4, then purchase it. If you're happy with Lightroom 3 and XP, stick with what works for you.
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Anthony Ralph

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Not a new computer Robert, just upgrade your OS to Win 7 - apart from running LR4, you can hop over to a 64bit system which is another good reason to act.

Anthony.
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brian brains

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I you got an XP computer as recently as two years ago you're nuts.
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Anthony Ralph

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Who is nuts? Robert or me?

Anthony.
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brian brains

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Sorry Anthony, a bit harsh but unless you had a good reason to, why buy a 21st century PC and run XP?? And if it was to run legacy hardware, why not run LR on Win 7 anyway?
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Anthony Ralph

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All I was saying to Robert was that he didn't have buy a new PC, just an upgrade to Win 7 from XP, which would give him the advantage of stepping up to a 64bit system as well as being able to upgrade Lightroom to V.4.

From my own point of view, I purchased a new PC about 12 months ago and wouldn't have chosen anything but the latest OS - which was Win 7 of course. I upgraded to Vista (which gave me no problems at all by the way) and before that XP of course.
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jdv, Champion

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Unfortunately, Vista messed up Microsoft's support schedule. XP support has been extended to 2014.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/wi...

This extension is more about their corporate users, of course.

Even more unfortunately, this means that developing an app to run on all "supported" versions of Windows means having a separate process just for XP, since it is completely unlike any of the modern releases on modern architectures.
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Axel Rietschin

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Sorry but no, you messed up (as well as a lot of other people)

Don't confuse

"Extended Support until 2014"

With

"Support extended to 2014"

One is a fact with a very clear definition, the other is a gross mis-interpretation of that fact.
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Rob Cole

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I totally understand and actively applaud Adobe's decision to drop support for XP.

I'd rather have them spend time improving Lightroom features than keeping it running on legacy equipment.

Perhaps those with XP systems can use Lr4 as an excuse to upgrade their OS's, hardware willing, and if hardware not willing, Lightroom wouldn't run very well on it anyway...

I realize it's a bummer if you were hoping to eek a couple more years out of XP, but you knew this day would come, right?

Rob
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Son Nguyen

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Look at it this way, if your computer is running XP, it's not powerful enough to run LR4 smoothly anyway. Don't tell me you got a quad-core PC with 8Gb of RAM and still using XP.
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Alan Holman

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Yes, my system dual boots to keep legacy hardware in use.
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Robert Carlsen

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What I've "heard from Photoshop personal is, too bad for you for not updating your OS beyond XP. It's not our fault but yours.

Whatever the case, I believe there are many loyal Lightroom users who are disappointed with this decision and the attitude of the Photoshop personal who've supported and promoted this policy. I'm confident I will be disappointed with the next release of Photoshop for likewise not working on XP.

Thank you.
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Gary Peterson

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I would assume that Adobe can tally the OS statistics from this site (something Google Analytics readily does). I wonder what the percentage of XP and Vista users are on photoshop.com?

On my photo website, for the past six months, I see that ~40% of visitors are still using XP or Vista (about evenly split between the two). Of course, most of these are not hardcore photographers, but still, that is a fairly high number out in the general population.
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Anthony Ralph

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It is not a though LR3.6 will stop working the day LR4 is officially released. Anyone who wishes to continue with Win XP can carry on with a pretty good version of Lightroom.

To hold back development of Lightroom so that it can run on a legacy OS seems perverse, particularly as during the LR4 cycle, a new Windows version will be released. By the end of the LR4 cycle, Win XP will be twelve years old. Yes, I know people may have bought it more recently, but the *technology* is twelve years old - things have moved on - significantly. And if they hadn't, we would all be complaining about that surely?
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
Official explanation for the decision to drop XP support with Lightroom 4 from Lightroom team:

Lightroom 4 and Windows XP
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Axel Rietschin

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It's about time. Anyone involved in software development (and software testing in particular) should be VERY relieved to learn that Adobe is *finally* dropping support for that antique system called Windows XP. The immediate benefits will be better overall quality and less bugs in Adobe products, to everyone's advantage.

What most people don't realize is that forward compatibility - running a Windows 98 or Windows XP-era application on newer operating systems – is virtually a no-brainer and the responsibility for this to work mainly rests on Microsoft’s shoulders, which does a pretty good job at it.

Backwards compatibility, on the other hand, is entirely in the software developer’s hands. Since Microsoft has introduced its overhauled OS platform in 2006 (Vista) followed by a minor update called Windows 7, thousands of new system calls and capabilities have been added to the platform as well as to the development tools.

Software developers need to either not use any of these (so their app still loads on antique platforms), i.e. they need to stick writing XP-era apps, or use some of the new platform capabilities with parsimony, then figure out ways to back port the functionality (for example emulate it) when their software is running on an older OS. This leads to a lot of extra work, compromises and added complexity.

At the end everyone suffers. The developers have a lot more work just to make their app load on obsolete platforms, and the rate of innovation is slowed down dramatically as the app does not take full advantage of what newer platforms offers.

As a side note, Windows XP mainstream support as ENDED on April 14, 2009, that’s THREE YEARS AGO. People parroting the 2014 year should learn to read: http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycl...

Hint: "Extended Support until 2014" is NOT the same things as "support extended until 2014". One is a fact with a very clear definition (look it up on MS website: what is Extended Support?), the other is a gross misinterpretation of that fact.
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Donald Erway

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Vista and windows 7 are detestable, from this user's point of view. Bad UI. Silly security junk. Far too much wasting of MY time!
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Lee Jay

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Windows 7 is faster, easier to use, and more reliable than XP, and I used XP for 7 years on 6 computers!
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brian brains

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Make your bed and lie on it
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Donald Erway

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Never had an reliability problems with XP. Nor win 2k for that matter. Just keep using ccleaner and auslogic's disc defrag.

And Windows 7 faster! Hah. Check out every benchmark out there. How about these 2?

http://www.overclockers.com/windows-x...

http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/22/wi...

The only thing win 7 actually wins in benchmarks is games based on dx10 and dx11. Unless you big gamers, win7 is an overall loss.

Adobe, please do the right thing here, or at least release a linux version. No collusion with M$ please.
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Lee Jay

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They already did the right thing.
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brian brains

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I'm fascinated by the psychology typified here but also on many, many forums, by those who resist change i.e. choose to stick with XP, as a for example.

Everyone is entitled to their view and we could argue the technicalities back and forth, but it is the mindset I'm intrigued by. My best mate is of that mindset and we have many pleasant discussions on it but I'm none the wiser! It's like asking why someone prefers black to silver coloured cars.

I'm an early adopter in general, although I'm not going to rush into Windows 8 until I've tried and evaluated it for my own benefit. It is due for release this year so that will make XP 3 generations out-of-date won't it? Clearly that doesn't bother some people.
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LRuserXY

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Why is LR4 not supported on WinXP, but PS CS6 is?

See http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/ph... => Product Details => System Requirements => Windows.
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brian brains

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Quite apart from any technical reason, I agree with previous comments that support for XP has to end. Full stop. End of. Deceased. Dead. An ex-OS. Defunct even.
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john beardsworth

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What have Adobe ever done for us, eh?
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john beardsworth

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"Why is LR4 not supported on WinXP, but PS CS6 is?"

See http://blogs.adobe.com/photoshopdotco...
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Donald Erway

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I started with DEC and SUN Unix, and X windows. I have been forced to use both MS and Mac, over the last 3 decades. Unix is better. The only reason I don't want a newer version of windows is I don't see any reason to give yet more money, for yet more bloat ware, that takes yet more cycles and memory to run, than the old version.

I have no problem using any system. Most of my family have laptops with windows 7. I have no problem using it. I just don't want to give any more money to proprietary Operating system companies, that are not as good as the freeware, public domain alternatives. Wake up.

Most companies are still running XP, because vista never was any good, and they have no reason to convert to windows 7.

Give us a linux version of LR, and we will all stop complaining!
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brian brains

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Linux is clearly best for someone like you then Donald! But I doubt Adobe will ever port LR or CS5 to Linux. I do wonder what sort of software you need or want to use that runs OK on old hardware and obscure operating systems. I run Win 8 on a fast Intel cpu and need that speed and functionality for my photography and have just installed CS6 Beta! You are the exception and of course there will be a very few who use software or hardware that only works with XP and there are usually solutions for that anyway.

I'm glad you are comfortable with Win 7 even if you choose not to use it on your own computer. Too many seem to have a phobia against change that borders on the irrational.