Microsoft wants Windows XP to die, but the general public clearly doesn’t. With XP enjoying a 30 percent market share for all versions of Windows, this outdated operating system released in 2001 isn’t going to go away quietly. We assumed the MakeUseOf readership would be geeks determined to look to the future rather than the past, but we were wrong. Because luddites.
We Love You, Windows XP
We asked you, Do You Agree That Windows XP Needs To Die? The majority of people who commented rejected the statement, electing instead to argue why Windows XP should stick around for the time being. The fact is that the 30 percent market share is important, as it means millions of people are still using Windows XP, and are happy to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.
The MakeUseOf readership is made up of (mostly) enlightened, educated, and informed geeks, so when they speak, we listen. On this occasion they have suggested in the strongest terms possible that Microsoft is wrong to end support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. Even some of those who use and like Windows Vista, Windows 7, and/or Windows 8, still feel XP has a future.
It soon becomes clear, while reading through the 100+ comments, that many of those commenting still use Windows XP on a daily basis. And it still does a perfectly fine job for them despite the world having moved on so much since 2001. No amount of badgering, or even Microsoft’s ending of support, is going to persuade people to move on from XP, especially if they own older hardware.
One of the interesting threads running through the comments suggested Microsoft has erred in releasing brand new operating systems rather than gradually evolving a previous iteration. So, while Microsoft abandoned XP and built Vista virtually from scratch, Apple has concentrated on incrementally improving Mac OS X since 2006. If Microsoft had emulated Apple then XP could still be the basis for the current version of Windows.
Comment Of The Week
We received a lot of great comments, including those from Jerry, JAD, and Patrick. Comment Of The Week goes to Bill Fleet, who won with this comment:
Right now, I have one Win7 box and a number of old WinXP laptops for my kids. The rest of our machines are Macs and iPads. The only thing WinXP really lacks is a current version of IE (It tops out at IE8), but seriously, we use Chrome. Everything else is still up to date, and rock-solid stable, stable, stable, especially on old hardware.
The laptops are ex-business machines from Goodwill. I have over the years acquired a site license for WinXP, so no issues with registration there. New installs are essentially free.
And don’t forget all that lovely 3- to 8-year-old computer hardware for super cheap at Goodwill and other outlets. It’s great for slower applications, media servers (not players), and 10-year-olds doing homework. Pop in a new HD, install XP and off it goes.
Once XP is officially retired by Microsoft, I imagine it will become ‘free’ (unofficially) and live on for decades. New licenses for Win7/8 are very expensive or not simple to find cheaply. Since XP already covered ALL of the basic functions of a modern PC (Business correspondence, Web/Email, Basic Media/Gaming), there’s often no reason to upgrade.
Contrast this with Macs, where one pays through the nose for hardware, but gets the OS and all the major apps for free. (OSX is best-in-class, as are its apps, and if one peels back the pretty interface, there’s a BSD command line underneath it.)
XP won’t go away. It’s too useful.
We chose this comment because it offers a good explanation as to why Windows XP will never die, and adds a personal spin on why this is a good thing. Reading between the lines suggests this is a family that has weaned itself off Windows, with Macs and iPads the computing devices of choice. Which implies Microsoft peaked with Windows XP… sparking another debate for another day.
We Ask You is a weekly column in which you have your say about a particular subject. We ask you a question each week, with the results compiled and compressed into a follow-up article the following week. This column is nothing without your input, all of which is valued.