XP: The OS that won’t die

Microsoft announced yesterday that a public beta of the forthcoming service pack for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 is available for download.

In his post yesterday, Brandon LeBlanc, Windows Communications Manager at Microsoft, said that after only 7 months in market, Windows 7 had nearly a 14% share of the global operating systems market; and Windows 7 has become the fastest-selling operating system in history with 150 million licenses sold so far.

Terrific metrics. As someone who has embraced Windows 7, I can say from hands-on experience that it is the best operating system Microsoft has produced since, well, Windows XP.

And there’s an interesting aspect to Microsoft’s wishes for businesses to move to Windows 7 – what’s happening to Windows XP.

According to ComputerWorld, Windows XP will be available as an option if you prefer to have that OS instead of Windows 7 until sometime in 2020 – ten years from now.

[…Microsoft] announced on Monday that people running some versions of Windows 7 can “downgrade” to the aged operating system for up to 10 years. […] While few consumers may want to downgrade from Windows 7 to XP – unlike when many mutinied against Vista three years ago – businesses often want to standardize on a single operating system to simplify machine management. […] Although Microsoft said it made the change to simplify the work in tracking licensing rights for PCs, the continued popularity of Windows XP may have had something to do with it. At the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), which opened Monday in Washington D.C., a company executive acknowledged that 74% of business computers still run XP. The downgrade rights are available only from OEM copies of Windows 7, those that are pre-installed by computer makers.

A dilemma for Microsoft – if you’re happy with Windows XP, why choose any other flavour of Windows, even when the advantages of 7 seem very clear?

Looks like another decade of use and support awaits you.

Keep up to date

Add your email address to receive notifications of new blog articles by email.