Tech Blog

Windows XP turns 10 years old, and refuses to die

by Blogger on ‎10-31-2011 08:27 PM - last edited on ‎04-27-2012 09:47 AM by Retired Moderator

wxp_v_illum_rgb.jpgIt might be a bit of a coincidental surprise, but 10 years ago, two of the most influential products from bitter rivals over the past decade were unveiled just 48 hours apart— the iPod and Windows XP. The iPod aside, Windows XP is a special operating system, not because it was that great, but because it just won’t go away.

 

I blogged earlier about the iPod’s birthday, but in this case, I’d like to muse about how and why Windows XP is still so relevant in today’s ever-changing tech landscape. Consider that XP debuted at a quiet post-9/11 event on October 25, 2001, just two days after Steve Jobs pulled the iPod out of his pocket publicly for the first time. Windows Vista followed in January 2007, only to fail miserably with end-users, helping ignite a renaissance for Apple’s Macs.

 

XP’s longevity is unconventional on so many levels when you think about it. Most operating systems at the time could barely last two or three years, especially when the name “Windows” was attached to them. From Windows 98, you had 2000, Me and then XP in the space of what, three years?

 

Why are millions still sticking to such an archaic OS? Because it still works, and because it’s considered ‘safer’ to stay put rather than upgrade. This flies in the face of the fact Windows 7 is a considerable improvement and upgrade from XP, but so many consumers and businesses would rather not make that move. Is it the price? One of Microsoft’s biggest cash cows has always been Windows licences, and if there are fewer new ones purchased, it hurts the company’s bottom line.

 

The truth is, XP lives largely because of what followed it — Vista. The botched launch of Vista and the subsequent PR disaster that followed made a pretty deep cut in the OS’s reputation. By the time Windows 7 came out in 2009, a lot of users figured they would just stick with XP until it was deemed safe to come out and upgrade. It’s been two years and the holdouts continue.

 

I don’t know if there’s a particular fact about this, but XP must be the most attacked OS in history by cyberattackers. It’s still full of holes even to this day, and heaven knows how many people out there are using infected XP machines without even realizing it.

 

And so, as the iPod’s anniversary was acknowledged for its impact on the music industry and the halo effect that followed, XP’s anniversary comes off like an old nuisance that won’t go away.

 

Do you still use a Windows XP computer? Have you thought about upgrading to Win7?

Comments
by mwashburn on ‎11-01-2011 06:24 AM

At Lakehead University's new Orillia campus, they purchased 200-300 brand new Dell slim clients that had W7 pre-loaded on them, then proceeded to downgrade them all to XP.  As bizarre as I think it is, I suppose its a tip of the hat to XP that at a time when Microsoft actually DOES have a reliable and viable alternative to XP out there, they still decided to go with the "ol' standby"

by Retired Blogger on ‎11-01-2011 09:12 AM

I actually still use a Vista computer! I don't really have any complaints about the operating system either!

by Trusted Expert / Community Ambassador on ‎11-01-2011 09:15 AM

I used a Vista computer up until a couple of months ago.  I've personally never had an issue with anything that Vista had to offer other than the constant need to give the OS permission to do stuff.  It ticked me off that there were some things that I could no longer use with Vista that could be used with XP, but sometimes, that's the way technology goes.  Can't hang onto the old stuff forever.

 

JB

by mwashburn on ‎11-01-2011 10:39 AM

@JB - That permissions issue you are reffering to is called "User Account Control" and can be disabled in both Vista and Windows & (no, it didn't go away)  I think one of the funnier of changes between the three as they transitioned was the mail going from Outlook Express, to Windows Mail in Vista - which was actually pretty good, to Windows Live Mail in Windows 7, which is actually pretty crappy.  I was, like you, also pretty happy with Vista.

by Trusted Expert / Community Ambassador on ‎11-01-2011 11:08 AM

I know what it is (not my first rodeo with a computer :smileywink:) - and while I know it can be turned off, there were some things that I liked having it there, because sometimes I accidentally clicked on something that I didn't mean to, and the UAC prevented it from happening.  It was all or nothing with Vista.

 

With Windows 7, while it hasn't gone away, it's not as prevalent, and Microsoft made it a bit more relevant for the everyday tasks that people do.  I've had no issues with the UAC in Windows 7.

 

JB

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