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Monday, February 11, 2008

Windows XP - Will Vista Kill Support?

KillXP If Microsoft has its way, you won't be able to buy XP after June 30th, 2008. According to some sources, the public wishes otherwise.

Like all new operating systems, Windows Vista ushered in a new era of incompatibility for existing Windows users. In spite of this, Microsoft plans to start retiring Windows XP on June 30th. Some users, however, want to keep XP alive for years to come so that they can continue to work reliably and efficiently.

Continued...

According to a Popular Science report, there's a grassroots effort to force Microsoft to keep selling XP to customers in shrink-wrapped packages and to OEMs. What's behind this movement? Just to clarify, it's not really a “grassroots” movement. It's actually being orchestrated by InfoWorld, an online news publication.

That said, with 71,386 people signed up as of noon Jan. 30th, 2008 to the Save Windows XP petition, clearly the movement is tapping into a well spring of resentment opposing Vista operating system upgrades.

That's bad news for Vista but it's not in any way surprising. Windows XP works well enough for me and millions of other people all over the world. Why should we give up all the great applications we've relied upon for years only to find out they're either crippled or refuse to run at all on Vista?

There really is not a compelling reason to switch to Vista for most people. If you want the cool 3D Vista task switcher that previews your apps, you can just buy TopDesk for $20 and XP will do the same thing. Nothing special there.

If XP's not fast enough and you need more speed, then buy more RAM, a faster hard drive or clean up your PC and install anti-spyware software. These methods will work and It'll be much cheaper and less frustrating than trying to deal with the plethora of driver issues that many XP users are reporting when they make the switch to Vista.

What Microsoft doesn't want us to realize and accept is that there's nothing wrong with us wanting to stay with a tried and true operating system or program. Windows 2000 and 98, for example, still have their business users, even though neither operating system has been supported by Microsoft for several years now. The difference this time around is how little success Microsoft has had in getting users to switch to Vista.

It's such a bad operating system that web sites are turning up that show people how to DOWNGRADE their Vista systems to XP. And the Apple folks are having a field day showing their Vista vs Apple guys commercials. Vista is spawning a slew of Apple converts! Talk about shooting yourself in the foot with a marketing program gone wrong.

I'm not saying there's no room for improvement in Windows XP. Dual processor support is a much needed feature but you're going to have to do a lot better at convincing me to change. Some fancy whiz-bang interface features or some less-than-practical security features are not going to do it for me. There's just not enough benefit to make me want to change.

Clearly, Microsoft has dropped the ball with Windows Vista.

Anyway, I won't be hopping on the Vista band wagon anytime soon. If you have Vista and like it, that's great. But I need the reliability and ease of use that for now, belongs to Windows XP.

Obviously, Vista or perhaps the upcoming Vista replacement Windows 7, will eventually replace most XP systems. Change is good but not if that change creates problems that never existed in the first place. So let's hope that Microsoft delays killing XP support at least until it can make Vista a worthy choice for upgraders.

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