A couple of days ago Microsoft announced that one of the March patches for Windows XP would alert users on every 8th each month that the product is beyond end of support data which causes a security risk. We had a chance to hear a lot of funny comments on how XP is not upgradeable to Windows 8.1 and how XP users ended in a dead end street.
While I agree with some commentators that the End of Support reminder patch release date is good 6 months late at least I don’t share the funny feelings about users used to XP. The operating system, which debuted in 2001, has become a victim of its own success and Microsoft mistakes made prior and after XP launch. Millennium Edition was a wrong way to finish non NT kernel based systems path. 98 Second Edition was limited but a stable environment and I refuse to believe ME couldn’t have been made better.
Vista on the other hand carried great designed but failed on delivery. Software promised great security features for business world and substantial user experience improvement for consumer segment. Even though Redmond giant had five years to develop and test Vista the final product received a lot of criticism. Most of it was actually valid points on how the system was stubborn with security prompts, how the Aero interface was resource thirsty and slow and how general experience was just plain not up to standards set by XP. Despite engineering and marketing effort they couldn’t shake off the bad product id badge.
Among those involved with Windows operating systems from work perspective Vista and Windows 7 are completely separate product but I’ve heard dozen times how 7 is actually a working version of Vista. All this made XP users hesitant to upgrade and by the time 7 was out the PC computers that shipped with XP got too old to get away with partial upgrades such as RAM expansion or faster video card in order to upgrade to latest version of Microsoft operating system for PCs.
Windows 8 put XP users even deeper into to the abyss. Yet another OS which received heavy criticism for its user interface being a bad approach for desktops and laptops. It seemed like Microsoft wanted to catch up with mobile devices market so hard it was willing to bet on PC users demand. Unfortunately it lost, even 8.1 with start button back feels awkward on a laptop not mention multi screen desktop. When I show Windows 8 to some older folks who still run XP they raise their eyebrows and ask “Do you really think I’d give up my old computer for this and pay for it?” This sentence kind of says it all, XP still runs and 8.1 remains unattractive to many. What’s really scary is that people think that XP stability and reliability kind extends in the security area too and without new patches it’s hard to get more wrong than that.
The author is a founder of QuickIDcard.com the custom id badge creator, a complete online identification solution for small and medium size businesses.