Enough Already With Windows XP

Sara Peters, Editor in Chief | 5/1/2014 | 32 comments

Sara Peters
It's time for an intervention. This addiction to Windows XP has gone too far.

Microsoft was supposed to stop enabling this. It asked you nicely to change. It was supportive. You said you needed its help. You needed more time. It said OK and extended the deadline. But you weren't ready then, either.

You begged Microsoft to give you more time. You even blamed it for your XP addiction, saying that you would never have had this problem if it had given you a better operating system. You said that you wouldn't need so much help if it hadn't put so many holes in XP in the first place. You said it had failed you.

Finally, after giving you a second chance, a third chance, and more, Microsoft said enough is enough. It sat you down and said, "This time, we mean it. We will no longer support Windows XP. At all. As of April 8th. You're done. And we mean it this time."

Microsoft meant it. And it made good on that threat... for 28 days.

Today, Microsoft broke its streak and released a new patch for XP. As Adrienne Hall, general manager of Trustworthy Computing out in Redmond, wrote today:

Even though Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and is past the time we normally provide security updates, we've decided to provide an update for all versions of Windows XP (including embedded), today. We made this exception based on the proximity to the end of support for Windows XP.

This is called "enabling," people. It isn't fair. Oh, sure, I know this is a giant corporation. I know that it's not the cuddliest company. Maybe it's not great at expressing affection. But hasn't Microsoft proven that it loves you? Do you really want to keep causing it so much pain?

Get it together, CIOs. Depending on whom you ask, Windows XP still accounts for anywhere from 17% to 26% of desktop OS usage. Still.

For an industry that is supposed to be so forward thinking, so innovative, so brave, so tech-savvy, you sure are being unreasonable about XP. Think about it. What other technology from 2001 are you still running? Are there any other instances in end-user computing where you'd consider a refresh cycle of 13 years to be too brief?

I understand how it is. When I was three years old, I didn't want to stop playing with my cool plastic slide, so when my dad tried to put it away, I crawled underneath it in a place he couldn't get to, crossed my arms, pouted, and held my breath until he agreed to let me keep playing with it.

My mother was terrified. My dad told me to go ahead and hold my breath as long as I wanted. I relented.

It's time to grow up and take responsibility for yourselves and your end users, XP addicts. Microsoft isn't strong enough to stop enabling you. It still has a picture in its wallet of you back when you were a fresh-faced entry-level sysadmin. It cannot give you the tough love you need.

Install the patch if you must. But if you're going to install something new, why not make it a new operating system?

View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
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tekedge   Enough Already With Windows XP   5/30/2014 11:43:30 PM
Re: Is Apple different?
Both parenting styles have distinct advantages!!!
tekedge   Enough Already With Windows XP   5/30/2014 11:40:16 PM
Enough Already
Ha ha . I totally agree with you. Instead of working with patches we should look around for a different operating system. But old habits die hard and making changes is not easy. But will take your advise on this one
singlemud   Enough Already With Windows XP   5/16/2014 3:58:55 PM
Re: Measured by xp
After use windows 8 for a while, I am still addict to windows 7.
kstaron   Enough Already With Windows XP   5/16/2014 7:41:07 AM
Measured by xp
This post made me laugh. I'd still be holding my breath about xp if I thought it would do any good. The problem is that it was a really good system, not too bulky, reliable, did what I needed it to do, like my first car. And like my first car I measure all those that follow on memories of the best one. I've had cars that were newer, faster, and cooler looking than my first car, but it always got me where I needed to go, I could fit into any parking spot and still haul most of my possessions in the trunk. Thought it wasn't my first operating system, it was the first really good one that got me where I needed to, wasn't too bulky and did what i needed it to. All others will be measured by xp, even if it is time to put it away.
Joe Stanganelli   Enough Already With Windows XP   5/10/2014 7:00:52 AM
Re: Is Apple different?
Backwards compatibility is essential in the business market when CIOs et al. are looking for devices and software that they can fit into their existing infrastructures.  (And they typically don't have the will -- let alone budget -- to change or upgrade their entire infrastructures wholesale.)  In the consumer market, however, it's a lot easier to push consumers into buying bigger and better.
Joe Stanganelli   Enough Already With Windows XP   5/10/2014 6:59:11 AM
Hey, I'd still be using MS-DOS if I could.
SunitaT   Enough Already With Windows XP   5/7/2014 7:55:42 AM
Re: This surprised me
I think you are right Sara to some extent. It is true that Microsoft should at least try to pull the cord and make their customers to move to another level by giving out a new OS a part from windows XP. On the other hand I think that Microsoft have been loyal and caring to their customers and this is what is making them to be reluctant, many people are just loyal and are obsessed with windows XP in that they cannot let go of it. But on my side I think I will not blame Microsoft for bringing another OS apart from XP.
Technocrat   Enough Already With Windows XP   5/7/2014 12:29:59 AM
A Kinder, Gentler Microsoft ?
Really surprised to learn MS relented on providing further updates to Windows XP.   Is this the "kinder, gentler Microsoft " ?   Not sure what to make of this - also surprising is the 26% who are in denial or living under a rock or both.

I understand they reasons some might continue to use it but just move on, the kinder, gentler MS has.
LuFu   Enough Already With Windows XP   5/6/2014 7:13:45 PM
Re: Is Apple different?
Maybe the difference is Apple chooses to take the "Tough Love" approach with their kids while Microsoft gives in to their tantrums, backsliding, whining, and general contrarianism.
soozyg   Enough Already With Windows XP   5/6/2014 4:53:07 PM
Re: Is Apple different?
Sara, another thing I want to point out--or emphasize--is that despite all Apple's marketing to the contrary, Apple products, on the whole, are for consumers and Windows products have largely been for businesses. The consumer market is much faster and the marketing and advertising must keep up with the rapidly changing consumer market. The Windows B2B market is a much different place, based in larger quantity sales.
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