A new poll into Operating System popularity by a British computer magazine has revealed that an incredible 37 percent of respondents are still using Windows XP. That's more than Windows 7 which managed to woo 30 percent of the folk taking part, and Vista could only garner a pretty poor 16 percent of support. This being a PC magazine it should come as no great surprise to see Linux being used by 8 percent of respondents and Mac OS by 7 percent. However, what was surprising was the sheer number of people who refuse to let Windows XP die.
Was it really over three years ago now that I penned a story here on DaniWeb entitled Windows XP 2001-2008 R.I.P in which I suggested a suitable epitaph might be good riddance to insecure rubbish? mind you, some 18 months later the doubts were starting to stir and I even went as far as calling Windows XP the invincible OS and suggested that perhaps Microsoft just didn't have the stomach to kill off this dinosaur of the Windows world.
Microsoft could best be described as killing XP gently, I guess, and the first real twist of the knife happens on July 13th when Windows XP SP2 reaches the end of its life . What that means is Microsoft will stop releasing security updates, hotfixes and other updates from that date. Which could be problematical when you consider that some people, including a number of large enterprises, have yet to upgrade to Windows XP SP3 let alone Windows 7. The precise danger levels are hard to predict; on the one hand you have reports of Microsoft investigating a new critical flaw in XP and on the other reports that the developers of malware have started to give up on XP and are releasing Trojans which no longer execute under it.
For once, I think that the bad guys have got it right. Vista, despite being something a resource-hogging mess of an OS was, at least, more secure than XP. Windows 7 is far and away more secure, by design, than both. Yes, there's a secure OS argument for using Linux here but truth be told, and I apologise to our Linux evangelists, it's simply still not user-friendly enough for the kind of people who find themselves clinging on to an old age pensioner of an OS such as Windows XP.
So, why does Windows XP refuse to die? Perhaps the real question should be why do Windows XP lovers refuse to do the decent thing and have it put to sleep? That would be the kindest thing after all.