Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Windows is dead. Long live Windows.

Three weeks ago, I wrote about the impending death of Windows XP, arguably the best version of Windows we have seen yet. Well, today is the day that Microsoft pulls the plug on XP. Here is Microsoft's official announcement.

(I'm writing this on a Windows 7 computer. Windows 7 is a worthy successor to XP, and in many ways it improves on the XP, ahem, experience. But if Windows 7 is so good, then why does it have a "compatibiity mode" to enable it to run WinXP programs, and why did / does Microsoft have an official "downgrade path" for those who wished / wish to downgrade from Win7 to XP? Yeah. That's right.)

No matter how much you loved WinXP and want to keep it, it is now vital - critical - for you to switch to a modern operating system. With the end of official support, WinXP will become increasingly vulnerable to hacks and malicious programming. You need to protect yourself by switching to Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OS X, or a recent flavor of Linux.

It's always tough to see an old workhorse retired, especially when there's so much work left in it. Windows XP wasn't perfect, and it was plagued with security holes its entire life, but it was the best operating system Microsoft came out with - better than any Windows OS before it, and better than any Windows OS that came after it for almost ten years. We bid Windows XP a fond farewell, and we park it next to the Big Boy locomotive, the Willys Jeep, the A-10 Warthog and so many other inventions that went obsolete long before they wore out or stopped being useful.

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