Monday, March 17, 2014

Why people don't want to stop using Windows XP

Windows XP, arguably the best Windows OS that Microsoft ever created, is scheduled to die on April 8, 2014. Oh, the OS will continue to work just fine, but that's the date when Microsoft will stop supporting it or issuing security updates and patches for it. After April 8, if you want to use Windows XP, you're on your own.

Yet people won't stop using XP. (Remarkably, most ATMs in the world run on Windows XP, even with three weeks remaining before the end-of-support date.) Why not? Because it works.

Not only does it work, but it has proven over the years, from its inception in 2001 until now, that it is a healthy, robust, easy-to-use version of Windows. It is such a good operating system that Windows Vista was unable to unseat it in 2007. Windows 7, released in 2012, was more an apology for the bloated, sluggish, dead-out-of-the-box Vista than it was a replacement for Windows XP, and it did not surpass XP in market share until August 2012 (according to Wikipedia). The only reason Win7 got any market share from XP was that Microsoft stopped shipping XP. After June 30, 2008. if you wanted to get an XP license, you had to buy one on eBay or Amazon. The latest version of Windows, known as Windows 8, has been received almost as poorly as Vista was.

XP has proven so robust and so popular that Microsoft has had to provide "downgrade paths" and "compatibility modes" for Win7 and Win8 users who wanted to revert to XP.

Some critics, Microsoft included, will say that Win7 and Win8 have a greatly improved feature set over XP. Well, so did Vista, and nobody wanted Vista.

They will also tell you that XP is riddled with security holes - not to mention regular old bugs. Well, so is every version of Windows that has come after XP.

The Linux heads will tout the superiority of Linux over any version of Windows. That's a religious debate that I don't want to get into here. But the pervasiveness of the Windows OS, in any flavor, is undeniable. And XP is the best OS that Microsoft has come up with yet.

Note: This post was written on a Windows 7 computer.

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