Windows XP is Almost Dead

Microsoft Windows XP officially terminates its reign today and heads for retirement.

Today Microsoft Windows XP finally reached its cul-de sac. It’s no big secret that Microsoft decided to stop selling Windows XP today and focus its attention on Windows Vista. Windows XP, R.I.P.—at least for most buyers of new PCs.

Today Microsoft will stop selling copies of the operating system to retailers and computer manufacturers. There are exceptions: Until June 2010, manufacturers of limited and lower-cost computers can place Windows XP Home Edition on their systems, and small businesses that custom-build PCs will be able to install XP on computers through Jan. 31, 2009. Stores that carry XP can still sell it if they have it in stock.

“We’ve spent more than a year consulting with our customers and industry partners to ensure that we’re doing the right thing,” Microsoft said at its Web site, “The Future of Windows XP.”

We understand that not everyone may agree with our decision—just as not everyone was happy to see Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows ME retire.”

Windows Vista is scheduled carry the baton until Windows 7 is launched sometime in January 2010. Vista, released early last year, has been scorned for several reasons. It runs better on newer computers with faster chips and more memory than on older or economy-scale PCs.

Many consumers and businesses are reluctant to spend more money to buy new PCs and the software and peripheral equipment needed to work with Vista. Also, all the drivers, or software programs, needed for Vista have not been available, something that is starting to change.

“It’s not a huge surprise that just over half the enterprises we surveyed don’t yet have Windows Vista deployment plans,” said Forrester Research in an April report. “Others are simply taking a wait-and-see approach.”

Businesses and individuals that buy a new PC with either Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate on it have the option of “downgrading” to Windows XP Professional through Jan. 31, 2009, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft, which last month released Service Pack 3 for Windows XP, with various operating system fixes, will continue to provide mainstream support for it through next April. Last week, Microsoft said it would provide full technical support for seven-year-old Windows XP through 2009, and limited support through 2014.

As of June, Windows XP, which was released in 2001, had 72 percent of the operating market share, with Vista at a little more than 15 percent, according to Net Applications.

I’m one of those making up the 72 percent market share. I’ve been using Windows XP for more than three years and feel no need to spend more of my hard-earned greenbacks to embrace Vista. Even with 140 million Vista copies sold, there are still extremely few programs that really harness the features of Vista.

Windows Vista has been nothing short of a disaster for Microsoft. It has been able to sell a reasonable number of copies, but only because Microsoft has essentially forced PC manufacturers to switch from pre-installing Windows XP to the new operating system instead. In terms of customer satisfaction, Vista has been a terrible product for Microsoft, and the sooner it is put out to pasture, the better.

Nope, I’ll keep on using my reliable Windows XP no matter what they say. Hasta la Vista baby!

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