While I know we still have a little more time together I wanted to be one of the first to say goodbye. You have been in our lives for over 12 years and during that time we have come to depend on you. You have your quirks and issues but we have learned to work around them. Some days you move slower than I would like or run into issues doing your work. You probably have taken more sick days due to viruses or mental health than anyone else I know. You have worked hard to stay up to date in your job and have continued to be there for us personally and professionally. Some have built businesses around you that they have kept going even when you were not the best solution for them. But the time has come for you to retire and move on. You are just not of this generation. I know your father(s) and mother(s) are proud of what you have accomplished. You have touched more people than anyone before you. May your passing be quick and your replacement have all of your skills and less of your faults. May those of us who loved working with you find solace in knowing that you were here a long time and served us well.
If you haven’t figured it out yet I am talking about our friend Windows XP. We have been using it since late 2001 and it has one of the largest desktop footprints of any OS still to this day. Currently over 25% of the PCs and laptops Infinity is monitoring are still running it today. With only about 6 months left before Microsoft “puts it out to pasture” we all need to begin to say our goodbyes unless we want to be in a scramble come April. In case you haven’t heard, come April 8th 2014 Microsoft will stop proving patches for Windows XP. This doesn’t mean that your PC or laptop will stop working (no Y2K scare here) but it does mean that any further flaws found in XP will not be patched and no new features will be added. With XP being 3 generations of OS old it is time to upgrade. Yes I said 3 generations old, how quick we are to forget that Windows Vista was the first attempt to get us to move off XP. That OS only lasted until 2011 (first released early 2007 and end of support April 11th 2017).
So XP has had a great run and it has been one of the most stable OSs Microsoft has ever made (may not be saying much to many of you). Because of that and the large footprint, software companies have had to spend extra resources (money) to make their programs and services run on all 3 of the active OSs. With Windows 7 and now Windows 8 having totally different architectures that isn’t an issue/cheap thing to do. I think I hear a countdown from many of those companies each morning as we approach April. Even the latest browser technology (and security) isn’t on XP.
So what should you be doing? Well if you want to go the hard way you could find (I do mean find) a copy of Windows 7 online and do a PC reload from XP to 7. In some cases you can get a few PC models with Windows 7 still. But for the most part you are going to be buying Windows 8 machines when you purchase new. Windows 8 has some big changes to the “user experience” and even some software compatibility issues since many software companies haven’t readied their programs for it. There is an 8.1 Service Pack coming out soon that should give us some of the XP/Win 7 features back and should help with transitions. But until then you have some difficult choices to make.
So please wipe the tears away as we all say goodbye to Windows XP and begin anew with Windows 8 on the journey of desktop computing (or maybe you swap to Apple J). For those lucky enough to get/be on Windows 7 just remember January of 2020 isn’t that far off when we all will have to bid goodbye to it. Does anyone else wish to say a few kind or not so kind words about Windows XP? Please be sure to pass them along to me and I will be sure they are read aloud April 8th 2014.