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Windows XP served Microsoft well for over 7 years. Now the first phase of its retirement is being set into action, with the end of mainstream support. Security fixes for the OS will continue until 2014.  (Source: Microsoft)
A venerable OS is laid to rest -- sorta

Windows XP in its early years started off ambitious and enterprising.  However, in those early years (2001 and 2002), it also gave many a headache and received ample criticism.  With time (and Service Packs) it matured into what is today regarded as one of Microsoft's best operating system efforts of all time.

Now the time has come at last to take the first steps towards laying the OS to rest.  While sales of XP-downgraded computers will continue after July in the case of HP, and XP will still be installed on some netbooks until 2010, Microsoft is ending mainstream support for the OS on April 14, 2009.  The first phase of the retirement comes over seven years after the first Windows XP shipped.

The fact that it will still be selling XP machines after this discontinuation is a testament to the OS's strong public image, but it also puts Microsoft in a strange position.  Aside from new sales, an estimated 63 percent of internet-connect computers have Windows XP installed (as of March 2009), versus a mere 24 percent with Windows Vista.  In short, Microsoft is in the curious position of ending support for its most widely used product.

Laurence Painell, Windows marketing manager at Microsoft UK reassures customers that while the majority of product-related (i.e. mainstream) support will be ended, key security updates will not.  He states, "We will provide critical security fixes via Windows Update for all editions of XP until 2014."

However, Microsoft will no longer have the burden of answering any non-security issues, except for those users with an
extended support contract with Microsoft or one of its channel partners.  Microsoft says that the familiarity in the tech community with XP, should limit this becoming a problem.  It argues that customers have plenty of support resources to turn to online.

Gartner analyst
Michael Silver praises the move.  He states, "The only thing extended support buys you is creation of new non-security fixes, at a hefty fee for each one. After all these years, most people figure that most of the functional bugs [in XP] are already worked out."

Microsoft is encouraging XP customers to switch to its upcoming OS, Windows 7, particularly those who skipped Vista.  One curious aspect of Windows 7 is that it comes with an offer for an XP downgrade, again throwing a bit of a wrench in Microsoft's retirement plans.  The downgrade is a quick process, but ironically an upgrade from XP to Windows 7 requires a full install. 

Describes a Windows Team blog post, "There are simply too many changes in how PCs have been configured (applets, hardware support, driver model etc) that having all of that support carry forth to Windows 7 would not be nearly as high quality as a clean install." 

Microsoft encourages XP customers to download the Windows 7 beta to ease the transition.


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RE: Memory
By mindless1 on 4/9/2009 4:34:09 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, for a PC (versus a workstation), the memory limitations of XP 32bit effect less than 1% of the population.

Nice try, come back when you have a point.

Today 3.n GB _IS_ enough for the vast majority of personal computer users. If you have a special app that needs more, by all means you should have more, that's what is great about an open market where buyers have a choice.

There's a vast gulf though, between these uses, or maybe mostly techno-whores who pretend they need more as if it's an ePenis, and the real-world computing needs of the majority buying a PC.

Give us a break, or really I mean get a clue, browsing the internet, office, email, does not need more than 1.5GB of memory and even that much is only due to Vista's bloat. Maybe you edit video, ok it's a linear process that isn't all cached. Maybe you do photoshop, ok, if you have extremely large images unlike most people then you need an extra couple GB. Maybe you only want to point to some benchmark where someone purposefully tried to show a difference instead of accepting that most people still have no need whatsoever for even 3GB of memory.

That doesn't mean other people shouldn't have an option for more, it only totally invalidates your claim that it's a problem when we have had and still do have, multiple choices for which OS to use.

Choice is good. Be objective instead of subjective.


“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads














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