I recently asked this:


the question was first closed as opinion-based (since I asked for the potential reasons); that might be a bit strict but I rephrased it to make it more strictly informative.

Still, it remained closed, and a moderator (?) referred me to meta to appeal/contest/discuss his/her decision.

I believe the question doesn't break the terms of service. Am I wrong?

  • 1
    Questions seeking the reason a particular software does or does not do something almost always make a bad question. Question seeking the reason a particlar software does or does not exist almost always are a bad question. It is very tough to ask a question why software doe something, most of those types of questions, cannot be answered unless the reason has already been stated by the developer ( developers behind Windows has publish many great books that explain the reason something was done) otherwise we are simply guessing at the reason ( unless its obvious ).
    – Ramhound
    Oct 25, 2015 at 14:09

2 Answers 2


Yes, cause comments are the worst place to handle that.

Quite honestly, I suspect "all of the above" would be a potential close reason here.

Lets start with the original question title

Why have the "black editions" been popular for Windows XP but not for Windows 7?

I hope it would not be a stretch that popularity is very clearly a matter of opinion:

And the original question wording that was opinion based (and I hope we agree on that):

Why is that? Is it because Windows 7 has been inherently more customizable? Is it because there's the issue of "what to fit on 1 CD" with Windows 7 not fitting on 1 CD anyway? Other issues?

And the new version

Why - to your knowledge, not speculation - have similar modified versions of Windows 7 and Window 8 or 8.1 not been released, at least not regularly? Have the people/groups maintaining Windows XP "black edition" issued statements about this choice?

They might have been. They might not. It might be due to better or worse copy protection. It could be due to economics, with people in previously poor countries able to better afford copies of windows. Hardware could have changed more slowly. Too broad? Potentially

Essentially none of these elements are something that the end user directly has to deal with. So… off topic (plain and simple). Oh and asking “have people/groups maintaining Windows XP black editions issued statements about this choice?” Learning material recommendation maybe. I didn't even think about that yet until writing this answer. And in any case, that’s not something an end user deals with directly, its almost like asking “Why didn’t Microsoft release Windows 9?” or “Why isn't there an ultimate edition in Windows 10?”

So, at this point, outside of "this is off topic" plain and simple, I guess this could be too broad, deals with the mental processes of "Freelance software repackaging groups" (since of course, we've not come to to talking about piracy), as well as the popularity of this group.

I believe there’s an analogy to marijuana made here. I don’t know anything about drugs so I apologize for the ridiculously made up names, and non existent strains of weed mentioned here.

Let me quote something you said in the comments.

Can you not discuss trends in worldwide cannabis agriculture on US news broadcasts because it's illegal to grow it in the US (mostly)?

Lets rephrase that to fit the analogy:

"Since legalisation of marijunana in notreal state in the US, the popularity of XP black has gone down. Everyone seems to be buying mainstream, licenced w8 and w10 weed from licensed dispensaries. Why is that? Have the growops who used to grow XP black made a statement about it?"

And well, if we had a “Marijuana.stackexchange” and by some weird coincidence, I was a moderator there… I’d close it as being opinion based, since its a matter of choices made by customers and freelance herbal packaging groups!

Now, lets talk about legality. By its nature, something like Windows XP Black or various distributions like that are infringements of copyright. The act of creating such a distribution for personal use from your own copy may not be, but the moment you put a iso online, it is. Essentially, any question about such distributions involve piracy, and in many cases such a question, even—if it were otherwise on topic—would be closed. This is also the underpinning of our policy on Hackintosh questions (and I’ve answered the rare TOS respecting Hackintosh question!).

I am not a lawyer but to me—as a moderator—this part of the Stack Exchange TOS is what’s in play here:

Subscriber represents, warrants and agrees that it will not contribute any Subscriber Content that (a) infringes, violates or otherwise interferes with any copyright or trademark of another party…

And a question on XP black essentially interferes with Microsoft’s copyright on Windows XP, and is against the Stack Exchange TOS.

Now, lets talk about what might be an acceptable question. Lets talk about nLite and such tools. A question about a replacement for nLite may be on topic for software recs. A question about working out what to remove on an OS install might be overbroad but potentially on topic here. With the limitation that you might have broken your own install preinstall, some questions on stripping down and running a stripped down OS may be on topic.

  • Certainly the question (and relevant answers) do not infringe or violate the copyright. you're claiming that discussing trends in distributions of unsanctioned software - which in the US would violate Microsoft's (and others') copyrights - is breaking the TOS. I think that is an extreme and invalid intepretation. Remember that even under US law, for purposes of scholarship and research, you can even copy the actual copyrighted material itself. So, I'm certain you have taken this much too far. Also, I'm hopeful that other higher-rep users may voice different opinions.
    – einpoklum
    Oct 24, 2015 at 14:45
  • 2
    I'll welcome well explained, dissenting answers. That's the whole point of meta. I'd note that I already counted three reasons to put the question on hold including "this question is not about computer hardware or software" in the context of superuser before I touched on legality.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Oct 24, 2015 at 14:56

It’s because you are utterly stuck on thinking the question was closed due to the software being unlicensed, but the actual crux of your original question is this:

Why—to your knowledge, not speculation—have similar modified versions of Windows 7 and Window 8 or 8.1 not been released, at least not regularly? Have the people/groups maintaining Windows XP “black edition” issued statements about this choice?

What knowledge could one have on this topic that is not speculation? Maybe Microsoft changed things in the way the OS is setup to prevent this? Maybe the prevalence of online applications and web applications has destroyed the desire to develop such a setup? Maybe it’s a combination of both things? Who knows.

But you state this straw many bit of logic:

the question was first closed as opinion-based (since I asked for the potential reasons); that might be a bit strict but I rephrased it to make it more strictly informative.

Still, it remained closed, and a moderator (?) referred me to meta to appeal/contest/discuss his/her decision.

I am looking at your original posting—which was closed—and comparing it to the latest version and honestly your “rephrasing” doesn’t change the core spirit of the question which is simply one word: Why?

Why is why? None of us know or could explain or understand the why of this type of thing. Why is “New Jack Swing” an unpopular form of music in the 2010s when it was popular in the 1990s? Who knows!

Your insistence from this meta post that the reason it was closed down was due to it being about “unlicensed” software is just a tad tone deaf to the idea that it was not “strict” for this topic to be closed as “opinion-based.” It is very appropriate for this very wide open, opinion-based question to be closed. This site is not a chatroom where questions are just jumping off points to endless, overwrought, opinionated and fact-devoid discussions go on for hours and hours.

If you feel this question does deserve discussion, just head over to Reddit, MetaFilter or even Google Groups. I’m sure you can start a discussion in any of those forums. And here is how those discussions might loop back to here:

Let’s say one of those discussions mentions some technical issue preventing such images from being created. You could then post a question here stating, “I heard the reason custom disc images for Windows past XP no longer exist is because of this thing. Is this true? Why is this thing such a roadblock to custom images being created?” Even provide a link to your discussion on another site with the pertinent details and then—and in my mind only then—would you have a question worth posting here that would not be shut down.

This site is about tangible issues that can be pinned down by other tangible solutions; not open-ended “Why?” discussions.

  • I believe your bias is showing when you supposedly argue against "why"-type questions. TCP checksum - why? Pallindrome passwords disallowed - why? etc. etc. And the last example has 25 upvotes, too. Also, arguing against a former, rather than a current, version of a question is also borderline inappropriate. The question I'm claiming should be open is the current one, not the previous one.
    – einpoklum
    Oct 24, 2015 at 16:58
  • Not 100%, but one-million percent? I'm impressed by your excitement. How about this for example?
    – einpoklum
    Oct 26, 2015 at 10:52

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