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The Brave Last Days of Windows XP

If you've been to a grocery store--and it's hard to imagine that you haven't--then you've seen the tabloid headlines. Some Hollywood star, usually a washed-up sap whose fame flickered out 20 years ago, sadly succumbs to some awful affliction, and the tabloids at the supermarket checkout counter chronicle his or her journey into that good night.  

Almost inevitably, the tabs use the headline "Brave Last Days." Presumably, anybody who was ever even mildly famous is "brave" as the clock winds down.  But we digress...and this is getting a little morbid. The reason we bring up the "brave last days" meme, though, is because we're reaching that point for an old, trusted friend: Windows XP.

Oh, sure, XP is alive and well on my netbook and on the PCs of the majority of computer users. It ain't dead yet, you might be thinking (presumably in a Texas accent, which was what I just used to enunciate that sentence). No, it ain't dead yet. But it is dying. Microsoft is killing it softly.

This week, Redmond magazine columnist Mary Jo Foley revealed that the Windows Live Wave 4 application suite will join IE9 in not supporting XP. There will be more stories like this, obviously, as Microsoft rolls out new product and initiatives.

And Microsoft has to do this. It's not just because of profits or market share, although those are obviously big factors in Windows XP's forthcoming demise. It's also because Windows XP is nearly a decade old, and it really won't be able to handle some of the products Microsoft is about to release. One Windows expert told RCPU in passing a few months ago that Windows XP is a child's toy compared to Windows 7, or something to that effect. Having now used Windows 7, we believe it.

Migration to Windows 7 is a matter of time at this point. OK, so Microsoft didn't provide an upgrade path from XP. That was a mistake. But plenty of third parties are stepping in to fill that breach now. Partners, your customers can either get a jump on everybody else by taking advantage of everything Microsoft offers with Windows 7, or they can stagnate with XP until the old OS is finally pretty much useless. The evidence behind that statement is just going to get stronger, no matter how courageously old XP faces extinction. These are XP's Brave Last Days; it's time to fondly remember the old OS and move on.

We've had some good e-mails about this, but we want more: What's your take on leaving XP and moving to Windows 7? Send your thoughts to lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on 03/29/2010 at 1:22 PM


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