XP Gets Yet Another Death Sentence

In the latest in a series of unconvincing announcements, Microsoft is claiming Windows XP really will die in 2014. All those previous announcements were just for show, but this time the company really means it. Honest.

Microsoft’s Stephen Rose has issued a statement that is, perhaps unwittingly, extremely telling about the company’s history over the past decade and the reason XP is still going:

Windows XP had an amazing run and millions of PC users are grateful for it. But it’s time to move on. Two reasons: 1) Extended support for Windows XP is running out in less than 1000 days, and 2) there’s an OS out there that’s much better than Windows XP.

He goes on to hype Windows 7 as said operating system. And what does that imply? That Vista wasn’t much better than Windows XP. Ouch.

The problem with all the various back and forth moves of extending XP’s official lifespan and then trying to encourage people to get off the system, particularly among business users, is that Microsoft is caught in a quandry. As well-received as Windows 7 has been, this isn’t a time in economic history when businesses will buy new software and/or hardware without a damn good reason.

And the most compelling reason Microsoft can offer is that when it pulls the plug on extended support, XP will become far more exposed to security threats. But if millions of machines get infected with malicious software, few are going to care that people are using the system past its official use-by date: the story will simply be that Windows is insecure.

Getting people off XP will be no easy task: some estimates put it on a 51 percent share of all computers worldwide. That figure will drop naturally as people either voluntarily upgrade or are forced into doing so when an old machine bites the dust. But it’s still one hell of a tough sell to tell the majority of computer users that their machine, which in most cases works perfectly well, is going to be thrown to the mercy of hackers in three years unless they stump up the cash for a new operating system and, in many cases, a new PC.

41 Responses to XP Gets Yet Another Death Sentence

  1. The person who wrote this has annoyed me a lot. Clearly doesn’t know much about firewalls and free software to detect and erase maleware. and saying “Windows is insecure. No, XP is insecure. When they stopped support for 98, windows didn’t become insecure.

    And also, Bill Gates said him self that Vista didn’t go the way the want it to, and that its wasn’t very good. Do some research on your awful mac, because this article is pathetic.

    • You didn't read the article close enough, or lack comprehension.

      The statement "few are going to care that people are using the system past its official use-by date: the story will simply be that Windows is insecure." means that -in spite of the facts- people will leap to conclusions and believe what they want to believe- kind of like how you believe the author of this article is saying "Windows is insecure"

      • Not OP, but the author is implying that lack of support = winXP suddenly open to security threads. It has NOTHING to do with an end of support for the same reasons that the OP said – firewalls, AV software.

  2. so what am i supposed to do, upgrade to 7? or 8? or 10 by then? or….what? get a new computer, cuz i dunno if this one could handle 7/8/10/15/ whatever windows does next.

  3. Learn to read dumbass, he said people wouldn't blame XP as being insecure, but Windows in general, as is always the case. As soon as 98 users got slammed, the jackasses of the world started calling all Windows products, past, present and future as being insecure. Why? Because they had nothing better to do but be jerks, just like you.

    You go GaS writer, ignore the hating fools out there.

      • I'm glad a smart go-getter like Bill is attacking world poverty, he can do a lot of good. But Linus never got all those dishonestly made un-earned billion$ in the first place. How about Bill gives back the money Digital Research lost because of his lies about MsDOS 5 & what Microsoft made through illegal but scarcely punished anti-competitive behavior? We'll never know how things would have been if DOJ had acted swiftly but it's possible Microsoft (& Apple) would never have become so dominant that the network effect made them even more dominant. A lot of other companies may have been able to offer a lot of better products & thrived.

  4. "Vista wasn’t much better than Windows XP"? Try again. Vista was a colossal failure, and people regularly were paying computer shop to downgrade their computers from Vista to XP just to get something a little more stable.

    That said, when people ask me which OS I say Linux. It's free, stable, and does not get viruses. What more do you want?

      • There are plenty of versions that have ease of use. And Ubuntu is probably one of the best ones out there. I'm currently running Ubuntu 11.04 right now on the machine which I am typing this on, and let me say, if it weren't for issues with my 4th gen iPod not wanting to update on my Ubuntu machine I wouldn't be using Windows 7 on my other one at all.

        And a not on Vista being a colossal failure, it was and it was not. As a Vista and 7 beta tester there were a lot of issues from even that point, the biggest blunders in my opinion were driver support (during beta and upon release there were barely ANY drivers out there for just about any device when it came to Vista,) networking (Machine running XP transferring data at a said amount of time over the network and then running Vista on the same machine and having it take at minimum twice as long,) and resource usage (minimum specs for a 64bit OS is 2gb ram and no matter what with Vista even after SP1s release I was still having issues with Vista always using up half of my memory right at boot up and I had 4gb of memory in there!) While these are major issues, I would not classify them as a colossal failure the way I would call Windows ME (anyone else remember that one???) was. After all, you were guaranteed about 6 BSODs an hour with ME (and yes, I know, this MIGHT be a bit of an exaggeration, but, damn it, it is probably very close to the truth.) All in all, I still classify ME as one of the biggest failures of Microsoft. Windows 7 is definitely a marked improvement over both XP and Vista. Besides, gamers, don't you think it would be wise to upgrade to 7 anyways, I mean hell, how are you going to take full advantage of your Radeon 6990 with XP since XP didn't even get DirectX 10, and isn't getting support for 11 at all? Food for thought.

        • Have you tried gtkpod? It works nicely with iPod finagling. And just my 2 cents here, I used ME and I didn't have issues with it. I used ME until well after SP2 came out. I'd rather use ME than Vista. However doesn't matter now, rocking Arch Linux, will never go back.

  5. I dunno if anyone here has noticed the trend but microsoft allready put a BSOD update out for windows XP.. I do computer restoration on the side and have run into many XP systems that have gotten a bluescreen after a windows update…. I recommend to advanced users never to upgrade past service pack 3… as far as my old P4 laptop.. nothing that required SP3 will work on it anyway so i keep it at SP2….
    all rseriousness though.. alot of computers with XP are recieving a windows update that will crash the computer, save some manufacturer specific OEMs.

    • Ummm don't give up your day job. Advising people not to keep their systems patched is about as stupid as throwing out car manufacturer recall notices.

      • um hello.. I'm talking about windows XP.. there are no more "good" updates from microsoft.. and when 4 out of 5 computers bluescreened by a windows update… why would you want the update? the only updates left are "security updates" which are mostly fixes for companies to see what your intrests are so the can focus their advertising… thinks like net framework and direct X and codecs can all be done manually without taking down more harm than good security updates from a company who wants you to stop using old software of theres

      • I myself was a victim of this. "Mandatory" XP update bluescreened me AND wiped my HD. Computer was COMPLETELY worthless. $1500 down the tube due to a "mandatory" XP update.

        Don't give up YOUR day job, Kellic.

  6. Windows is garbage. I would not load that mess onto any of my computers. Ubuntu Linux is so far superior to anything Microsoft could spit out! Sorry, but Microsoft could screw up a steel ball.

    • well there is one person. Anyone else going to use linux on their desktop….anyone? Anyone at all? Seriously. I love all the i Tards and NixHeads who scream Windows is crap. When was the last time you touched a modern version of Windows. Right….prob XP SP2. Windows 7 is easily as secure as any other OS. PERIOD. As long as you aren't using the crap installs that come with OEM PC's. Yah know…those installs that run user accounts with admin rights with is NOT needed in 7 anymore. The elevated privileges prompts in 7 makes running admin rights pointless now. But OEM's continue to do it because OMG change! *runs away screaming*.
      Seriously you guys need to shut up with the blatant fanboism. I can honestly say I've done Windows, I dabble in Linux from time to time. And I, sadly, own a MBP for 3 years. I've tryed most things. And keep going back to Windows because its a good inbetween solution as long as you aren't a freaking zealot about it.

      • right? not everyone wants to spend alot of time just making their computer work everytime they wanna try something new.. windows is easy to set up easy to use, and if you know what your doing you can easily fight off any potential threat that slips through if any…

      • I call bullshit. I bought a Windows 7 Laptop, on FIRST BOOT, I hadn't even been able to get to initial setup, I get a freakin BSOD. I am dualbooting Arch Linux and Windows 7 on the SAME laptop and Arch Linux runs MUCH faster and is a lot smaller than my Windows 7 install. Windows IS crap. I can take an Ubuntu live disc and install Ubuntu without even looking at a damn Terminal and it will install and work no problem. Get your facts straight.

        • Everyone thinks Linux is complicated and you have to do everything in a command line.. not true. You can install and get through all the basics (net browsing, word processing…) without looking at a command line once. There are quite a few instances where you have to do through there if there isn't, or if you don't want to be bothered

      • I have switched to Linux and find it just as easy to use as windows XP. I had upgraded to Vista didnt care much for it but all the new games liked it. After i got tired of the games i put XP back on. Got fed up with all the MS/APPLE bs and decided to go Linux 6 months ago. I do not miss WINDOWS at all. linux is easy, has a much smaller footprint on my computer, the programs that are multiOS actually run faster under Linux than they did under windows, and with a few exceptions i can run all my windows programs under linux thru wine.

  7. The state of the economy and the cost of upgrading from XP to 7 may make this the opportune time to get people to move to a free alternative. The old saw about TCO is starting to smell.

    • No it won't. Corporate purchasing agents couldn't care less about some minor enhancement in hardware architecture for disks they don't even own. It's like saying Rambus DRAM would kill AMD.

      • i think what he means is the software that may make some things run better that corprate wants will not run on winXP….. there for making the choice a bit tougher…… and did you forget there are developers that are "corporate? I don't think new software would make much sense developed to work in XP if it takes away from quality of the product

  8. • "there’s an OS out there that’s much better than Windows XP."
    • People don't want to spend money
    • XP will become insecure

    *Insert Linux Fanboy solution here ;)*

  9. Another problem with EOL on XP is that people still have computers that don't meet the hardware requirements for 7. They won't upgrade because they can't.

    • I'm sorry but if by 2014 you aren't running a system that can support it……*shrugs* What is left to say other then buy one of the bagillion used PC's in 2014 for $100 that can run Windows 7. Sorry but XP right now is an OS that is over 10 years old. A fraking decade old. That is insane. What is more insane is people are saying they should be supporting an OS that in 2014 will be a 13 year old OS. Where kids using these computers will be older then the OS they are tying on. KILL XP NOW.

  10. So what happens to Vista? Will that be on the chopping block too?

    I mean this isn't encouraging to deal with Microsoft if it's products expire after so many years. This is making Linux look all the more pleasing.

  11. 90% of the world doesn't write code or build U.I.'s for people so I can see how most view software and O.S.'s in general. I'm in the 10% that does have to deal with what the world (or at my user group) "accepts" as a solid U.I. or application. I agree vista WAS a cluster. It needed testing well beyond what it got even befor beta BUT after about 900 patches turned out to be (IMHO) a decent O.S. People wouldn't switch because of the initial holes and XP lived on. My point is they didn't make the same mistake with seven and people should switch but now they have the inevitable push-back from their user group because they've spent several years with XP and don't what to have to learn a new O.S. Any code shop's worst nightmare. Again this won't apply to anyone reading GAS because they are savy enough to run VM and any O.S. they want but mom and pop just want to get to the google!

  12. The survivability of XP really points to one thing, computer hardware has become very durable and is lasting years and years. Upgrade your OS, why through your money away, forced upgrade, they it is time to cross grade (change brand).

  13. Rose only said that XP was better than Vista if you go WAY out on a limb and pull that idea out of thin air. He didn't say that at all or anything of the sort. If I say it's time to stop watching VHS tapes because Blu-Ray is much better, that doesn't mean that DVDs are rubbish. It just means too many people out there are still watching VHS.

    Also, I had no idea that Windows had self-esteem problems. Be careful what you say around it. ("Insecure" and "not secure" are two different things, folks.)

      • I wasn't aware of that distinction & wonder if it's more than a connotation but anyway, the bad terminology that bothered me is "Hacker" as a synonym for "Cracker".

        Not all salesmen knock on doors & not every man who knocks on your door is a salesman.
        In the latter case, like someone trying to break online security, WHAT they are is indicated by their MOTIVATION.

        Of course some Americans from "The South" are called "Crackers" too. They generally hate more what real southerners (ie Australians) call them;- "Yanks", "Seppos" etc.

  14. It all boils down to the chip manufacturers – Chip / memory density hasn't increased, Moore's law is dead, nobody upgrades, there's an army of slower computers that probably won't run Windows 7.

  15. "But it’s still one hell of a tough sell to tell the majority of computer users that their machine, which in most cases works perfectly well, is going to be thrown to the mercy of hackers in three years unless they stump up the cash for a new operating system and, in many cases, a new PC."

    LOL. When have Windows users, and especially Internet Explorer users, NOT been at the mercy of hackers?

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