The end of manufacturing of Windows XP is coming at the end of June 2008, and according to the almost 100,000 signatures from the Save XP campaign, Windows users are not happy.
Opinions differ wildly on the subject. One blog rails about the campaign to Save XP.com. My colleague and friend J. Peter Bruzzese was lambasted by readers when he wrote his blog post Save XP, Why Bother?
But its not just the technology community and geek squads of the world uniting. Major publications like the Wall Street Journal have weighed in on the matter as well, with one of its user commenting that Windows Vista is to XP what Windows Me was to Windows 2000.
But before you choose to build your barricade and defend the last bastion of Desktop PC freedom, take a moment. Before you break out that duct tape and begin scouring websites for parts (sounds like the movie ROBOTS released by Fox Movies, doesnt it) to keep that Pentium 4 running forever, consider the facts.
What does the end of XP really mean?
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To begin with, what you might not know is that June 30th is not the absolute drop dead date of Windows XP. That date is the date that Microsoft will stop manufacturing Windows XP, which means no new copies will be produced. OEM manufactures like Dell and Compaq will cease to sell the product on or about June 30th.
However, some retail shrink-wrapped copies are bound to be available for some time. If you need to be on Windows XP, a retail version can be put on any (one) machine. Nothing is stopping you from buying a new system in late 2008 or early 2009 that will run XP.
Buy a retail version now and hold on to it until youre ready for a new machine, but remember these rules do not apply to OEM versions. Support will continue until 2009, so there is really no issue there (extended support will go until 2014). If businesses and home users havent made a decision by then I think they have more to worry about other than what OS they are running. But until you come to that impasse you can hold onto your precious XP.
What are people really afraid of?
Windows XP is now 7 years old. Vista just turned a year old and quite frankly, Windows 7 is quickly following behind. Now from someone who runs XP Professional on my laptop and Vista Ultimate on my desktop. I can tell you I see no reason to fear whats new.
Its weird that we eagerly await the newest game systems, the newest mobile devices, yearn for next years cars to hit the dealerships all because we want the latest and greatest. Somehow this rule stopped applying to operating systems. Now while ME was a disaster, I dont recall anyone decrying Microsoft for replacing Windows 98 with Windows 2000. And there was no uprising when Windows 2000 gave up the Windows crown to Windows XP.
So what is really at the core of the user rebellion?
Consider two things that have been introduced with Windows Vista. Now there are more than two, but its my opinion (based on many conversations with clients and friends) that these two are of the greatest concern to users. .
First: Vista is secure. Wait isnt that what we all wanted, better security? Well, thats what everyone said. But I have been Beta testing Vista since Beta 1 and the minute I saw that dialogue box pop up and ask me for a password and then ask if I was sure I wanted to continue I knew users would go out of their minds.
But I didnt just think it, I asked some partners, managers and staff for the New York accounting firm I was working for to try working with Vista. 100 percent of them hated it instantly.