I still see a number of articles and blog posts about prolonging the agony that is Windows XP. Now, before I go on, I have to admit to a certain fondness of XP myself. XP was great for its day. Its day, however, was over in 2006. XP was already long in the tooth then and its successor was still a few months out. Vista didn’t release to the general public until January of 2007. XP should have been gone by 2005, but Microsoft’s constant delays in getting Vista out the door forced XP on the market way longer than it should have been.
We are now two operating system releases beyond XP. Windows Vista was, for many, a dud and, for others like myself, a great reason to ditch XP. Vista was far more modern and robust than XP. The false perception that Vista was a steaming pile of dog poo and the general negative press was enough to convince many, if not most, of the then current XP audience to keep using the antiquated operating system. Indeed, many companies, like HP, even offered a DOWNGRADE program so that people could buy a computer and have Vista replaced with XP. Numerous articles detailed how to make XP look like Vista-I posted a few myself-but allow one to keep using the ‘reliable’ XP. Which is truly funny since, just a few short years prior, people were constantly dogging XP. XP, until 2006, was thought to be, itself, a trash heap. It was the butt of jokes, the recipient of numerous malware infestations and, in general, a good reason to buy a Mac. Yet, with the release of Vista, XP became this mythical perfect operating system. It suddenly gained the respect it should have had in 2002.
Well, here it is, 2010. Windows 7, the best version of Windows yet, is out and a success. At least, in the public’s eye, it is a runaway success. Truth is, Windows 7 has sold only slightly better than Vista. Its SHRINK WRAP sales, however, is way better than Vista. Something like four to one. People aren’t just getting Windows 7 on a new computer, but they are also upgrading existing machines, something that did not happen much with previous versions of Windows, including XP.
Even though Windows 7 is better than Vista and tons better than XP, even though it can run well on lesser hardware than Vista, there are those who STILL want to cling to XP. This is just absurd. There is no good reason to continue running this dog of an operating system. You can run Windows 7, comfortably, on a machine that is three, four or even five years old. And if there is a piece of software that doesn’t like 7, you can run XP in a virtual environment like Virtual Box. In fact, you can run some older hardware this way as well. Say you have a scanner, printer or some other esoteric piece of hardware that is not compatible with 7. You can install XP on a Virtual Box instance and continue to use that hardware. The latest releases of Virtual Box can run in a ‘seamless’ mode where your XP stuff blends in with your 7 desktop. You can even play some DirectX 9 games under Virtual Box.
Upcoming hard disk drives also provide another reason to ditch XP: XP isn’t supported by these new drives. The way in which the sectors are written makes the drives difficult for XP to handle and the drive makers aren’t likely to help fix the problem. You can be sure that Microsoft won’t help. As technology moves on, XP will be further and further behind. Question is, how much longer will XP users cling to this sinking ship? Let it go, folks, let it go.