The Life and Times of Windows XP

The first drama-filled decade of the operating system that wouldn't say die.

By  |  Monday, October 24, 2011 at 10:44 pm

If you’d been alive in 1924 and had enjoyed the comedy stylings of a young Vaudevillian named George Burns, you never would have believed he’d still be packing them in seventy years later. In 1963, you might have dug the music that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were making, but the idea they’d still be touring almost forty-five years later would have sounded insane. Those of us who watched Dennis Eckersley pitch for the Red Sox in 1978 would have scoffed at the notion that he’d be playing for Beantown once again in 1998.

And then there’s Windows XP. The press release announcing its release on October 25th 2001 called it “Microsoft’s Best Operating System Ever.” A decade later, so many people still agree with that assessment that it remains the planet’s most pervasive desktop operating system.

Nobody would have been prescient enough to predict that Windows XP would be flourishing so many years after its debut. Not Microsoft. Not consumers and businesses. Not the analysts who get paid to know where technology is going. And certainly not me.

No single factor explains XP’s astonishing longevity. The most obvious one, of course, is the failed launch of 2007’s Windows Vista, an upgrade so lackluster that many PC users simply rejected it, instinctively and intelligently. But I think you also have to give XP credit for being just plain good, especially once Microsoft released Service Pack 2 in 2004. And desktop operating systems, from any company, simply aren’t as exciting as they were in the 1990s; people are less likely to want a new one every couple of years, and more likely to drive the one they’ve got into the ground.

For all these reasons, Windows XP endures. I find that fascinating and oddly inspiring, even though I much prefer Windows 7 and heartily recommend it over XP.

To celebrate XP’s first ten years, I decided to trace its history–the ups, the downs, the successful updates and failed variants, the launch events starring Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, and the general progression of events that led to XP still mattering today. Return with me now to 2000–a year when the dominant version of Microsoft’s operating system was Windows 98, and plenty of people still ran Windows 95…

October 31st: Microsoft quietly ships a beta of “Whistler,” the next version of Windows to 200,000 beta testers. As the first version of Windows to merge the 9.x consumer and NT-based business versions, Whistler is by definition going to be a milestone. If it works, it’ll be both rock-solid and user-friendly. InfoWorld’s report says it’s supposed to ship in final form in the first half of 2001.

November 12th: At his traditional COMDEX keynote in Las Vegas, Bill Gates shows off a prototype Tablet PC, running an early version of Whistler. He refuses to talk about prices, ship dates, or hardware partners, but rumor has it that the machines could show up by the spring of 2001.

February 4th: Microsoft announces the official names for Whistler and the next version of Office: Windows XP and Office XP.  (At one point, rumor had it that the next Windows might be called Windows 2001.) The “XP” apparently stands for “Experience.”

Nine days later, at an event at Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project in Seattle, Bill Gates formally unveils Windows XP, providing a peek at the slick new interface, which suggests that the Windows design team has been looking at Apple’s next-generation software, OS X.

A Microsoft press release, as usual, describes the changes in grandiose terms:

Windows XP, built on the enhanced Windows 2000 engine, features a fresh new look and extends the personal computing experience by uniting PCs, devices and services like never before. Windows XP also represents an important step in delivering on the Microsoft .NET vision. The Windows XP-based PC will be at the center of the .NET experience, empowering people to move beyond disconnected applications, services and devices to complete computing experiences that redefine the relationship between people, software and the Internet.

Microsoft’s press release features sound bites from the CEOs of two then-major industry players: Compaq (which went on to be gobbled up by HP in 2002) and Circuit City (folded in 2009).

March 26th: Microsoft says it’s distributing Windows XP Beta 2 to half a million testers.

May 9th: Despite ugly rumors that Microsoft is going to delay the release of Windows XP until 2002, the company says it’s on track to finish it up on schedule. In fact, it announces a launch date–October 25th, 2001.

August 24th: Microsoft completes work on Windows XP and hands it off to PC makers in a manner that sounds a trifle melodramatic:

In an event today on the Microsoft main campus, Bill Gates and Jim Allchin presented the final Windows XP “gold code” to representatives from six major PC manufacturers. Commemorative CDs containing the final Windows XP software were placed into six gold ZERO Halliburton P5 attaché cases, and the representatives immediately departed via helicopters to begin the final stages of incorporating the new operating system into their computer manufacturing systems.

(What, they couldn’t have transferred the bits over a T1 line or something?)

The company also announces XP’s versions and prices. There are two: Windows XP Home ($199 full version, $99 upgrade) and Windows XP Professional ($299 full, $199 upgrade).

August 30th: Microsoft says that Windows’ ongoing antitrust issues in Europe won’t delay the release of Windows XP.

October 25th: Windows XP is here! No, that’s not me waxing enthusiastic. It’s the title of Microsoft’s press release trumpeting the OS’s official debut.

Deciding to stick with plans it hatched long ago, the company holds the XP launch event in New York City, at the Marquis theater in Times Square–and it’s doing so just six weeks after 9/11. Security is extremely high and the mood is understandably subdued. And the most memorable part of the event doesn’t have anything to do with Windows XP. It’s an unannounced appearance by New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who joins Bill Gates and thanks Microsoft for holding the event as planned. I think Rudy’s entrance is still the most electrifying moment I’ve ever witnessed at a tech-related event. (I took the photo at right with my circa-2001 digital camera.)

The event isn’t completely serious though, and, like most Windows launches, it isn’t trouble free. In this case,  the levity is provided by special guest Regis Philbin, and the glitch happens when a Webcam demo involving Reege (in the theater) and Bill Gates (outside in Times Square) goes awry. I capture the aftermath with the so-so video capability on my camera.

Despite the technical gremlins, Philbin claims to be impressed. “It really knocks you out,” he raves. “I guess the people who are more familiar with it are really impressed, and I am too, but I must tell you, there’s a lot to learn–but it’s easier this time to learn it.” In retrospect, that’s an oddly accurate analysis of Windows XP.

How do reviewers react to XP’s release? David Pogue of The New York Times is a fan:

No matter what you think of Microsoft, using Windows XP on a new or very recent PC feels sure, swift and satisfying. And that’s a big deal.

But The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg is wary of multiple aspects of the new OS, including its copy protection:

Unfortunately, there is a downside to this good news. Microsoft has burdened Windows XP with new restrictions and requirements for use. Every Windows XP PC must go through a process called “activation,” either at the factory or by the user, that allows Microsoft to gather and store a profile of each computer, and block each copy of XP from being used on a second computer. An activated copy of XP tracks which PC it is on, and can shut down if your hardware configuration changes too much.

The company has also turned Windows XP into a sort of Trojan horse. It has built in a bunch of “features,” such as instant messaging, online photo printing and a “passport” to the Web, that are just blatant efforts to lure consumers into using a set of new Web-based services Microsoft is launching, while ignoring alternative services that may be better. The goal seems to be to trap users in a sort of Microsoft company store.

Steve Manes of Forbes also doesn’t accentuate the positive:

As usual, Microsoft will try hard to convince you that its older stuff is basically crap–which many users will have little trouble believing. But if your current computer is working well, XP offers no compelling reason to replace it. And XP offers plenty of compelling reasons to avoid “upgrading” existing machines.

The time to join the Windows XP bandwagon is when your old machine has simply outlived its usefulness–and after Microsoft delivers the bug fixes that inevitably arrive several months after the original ship date. By November computers with XP preinstalled will be virtually the only Windows units you can buy, and within a year or so the computer world will no doubt be thoroughly XP-ified. Then you can upgrade your computer and peripherals with a lot less worry about “Broken Things.”

Amazingly, the default version of one prominent new feature of Windows XP–its “Search Companion”–features a warmed-over version of Rover, the dog who hosted Microsoft Bob, the short-lived, legendarily-wrongheaded 1995 “user-friendly” Windows shell. Even after Bob’s demise, even after Office 97’s Clippy is universally mocked, Microsoft still thinks that people–including users of the corporate-oriented Windows XP Professional–want adorable animated characters to be their software gurus.

The company, which had famously secured the rights to the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” to promote Windows 95, turns to Madonna this time. Her song “Ray of Light” plays in TV commercials as XP users soar about like Christopher Reeve in Superman. (As one moment in the commercial below indicates, this was an era when simply connecting to a wireless network was plausibly something that might amaze TV viewers.)

November 6th: Retail research firm NPD Intelect estimates that retailers sold 300,000 copies of Windows XP in the first three days–behind the very popular Windows 98 but ahead of ill-fated Windows Me.

November 11th: For the second COMDEX in a row, Bill Gates previews Tablet PCs, running a special version of the OS now known as Windows XP. He makes a famous, famously inaccurate prediction:

“The PC took computing out of the back office and into everyone’s office,” Gates noted. “The Tablet takes cutting-edge PC technology and makes it available wherever you want it, which is why I’m already using a Tablet as my everyday computer. It’s a PC that is virtually without limits – and within five years I predict it will be the most popular form of PC sold in America.”

(A decade later, I’m wondering: Does Bill Gates still use a Tablet PC as his main machine?)

December 19th: Cnet’s Joe Wilcox reports that while retails sales of XP are sluggish, it seems to be doing well overall.

January 17th: Microsoft announces that it’s sold over 17 million copies of Windows XP to date, on new PCs and as upgrades.

April 18th: Windows XP now comes preinstalled on nearly 60 percent of all PCs, says Microsoft.

July 16th: Microsoft announces Windows XP Media Center Edition, a separate version of XP (codenamed “Freestyle”) with features such as DVR capability and fancier music and photo tools, intended for living-room PCs hooked up to TV sets. The press release quotes a Microsoft exec:

“The PC has evolved from a tool for productivity to a device capable of entertainment, communications and so much more,” said Michael Toutonghi, vice president of the Windows eHome Division at Microsoft. “Consumers desire more fun and enjoyment from their PC and want it to contribute to their lives even more creatively than it does today. The time is right for Windows XP Media Center Edition; it maps to our vision of realizing potential with technology in ways people may not have thought possible.”

August 30th: Microsoft says it’s sold over 46 million copies of XP. It also announces it’s releasing XP Service Pack 1, with security fixes and changes decreed by its settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, such as the ability to remove Internet Explorer.

October 9th: Almost a year after XP’s launch, Microsoft is still trying to convince recalcitrant enterprise customers to upgrade from versions as musty as Windows 95:

“As I talk with IT managers, I’m hearing that they must justify their technology investments more than ever before,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. “With budgets tight, enterprises need to be confident of real returns before they invest in IT. Companies still on the Windows 95 or Windows 98 platforms are missing out on the incredible benefits that come with the combination of Windows XP and Office XP. Together they deliver more business value to our customers than any other solution available. And we’ll prove it!”

October 29th: Microsoft holds a launch party in New York’s Bryant Park for Windows XP Media Center. The celebrity guest: actor/comedian/Roseanne-ex Tom Arnold. (I guess the budget for that event was on the skimpy side.) “Lifestyle vignettes” show consumers enjoying the software in the living room, in a media room, and in a dorm. In a canned quote, analyst P.J. McNealy says that  “Consumers are becoming more comfortable with the words ‘digital content,’ and the PC is helping enable that learning curve.”

November 7th: If it’s COMDEX, it is, once again, Tablet PC time. After two years of sneak previews, the first shipping models are announced, running a pen-enabled version of Windows XP:

“The launch of the Tablet PC marks an exciting new era of mobile computing that is limited only by the imagination of its users,” Gates said. “The Tablet PC is a great example of how computers are adapting to how people really work, whether they’re taking notes in a meeting, collaborating wirelessly with colleagues or reading on screen. We’re just scratching the surface of what is possible.”

If Bill Gates’ five-year prediction still holds true, it means that Tablet PCs should surpass garden-variety PCs by the end of 2007. Instead, it’s clear years before then that they’re very popular with a very small percentage of users, and nothing Microsoft might do to refine them is likely to change that.

January 8th: Windows Smart Displays ship. They’re another Microsoft take on tablet computing, and let consumers use a remote wireless touchscreen to access their Windows XP PC. They instantly flop and go away before many people know they exist in the first place. (That’s Microsoft’s Keith White demonstrating one at COMDEX 2002 in the photo to the right.)

March 23rd: Microsoft announces that it’s wrapped up work on “Microsoft® Windows® XP 64-Bit Edition Version 2003,” a version of XP for Intel’s doomed-to-be-not-very-successful Itanium platform. Even for Microsoft, that’s a clunky name.

August 11th: Vast numbers of users of XP (and Windows 2000) suddenly discover their PCs displaying an alarming message and then spontaneously rebooting themselves. And then doing it again. And again. A wily worm called Blaster turns out to be the culprit. Who knew it was possible for any piece of software–malicious or not–to do this?

November 17th: At COMDEX, Bill Gates shows off a new version of Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. A year after Gates said he expected Tablets to take over the market within five years (which would have been 2007), Microsoft is still talking about them doing so in five years (now 2008, and it sounds less like a prediction and more like a goal).

January 12th: Shortly before support for Windows 98 was supposed to end, Microsoft decides to extend it–as well as support for Windows Me–until June 30th, 2006. The move is apparently made to placate customers who don’t want to upgrade to Windows XP anytime soon. “Better to have people stay on Windows 98 than to start investigating things like Linux,” analyst Michael Gartenberg tells Cnet.

April: Writing in PC World, Steve Manes says that he recently cornered Windows chief Jim Allchin at a press dinner and got him to commit to eliminating Rover the Search Companion from Longhorn, the next version of Windows. Worried that Allchin might not live up to the promise, Manes creates an e-mail address, [email protected], and asks fellow Rover haters to chime in.

Bill Gates introduces Windows XP Service Pack 2August 6th: After multiple delays, Microsoft announces that it’s just about ready to release Windows XP Service Pack 2. For a service pack, it’s unusually meaty, containing not just bug fixes and security patches but also a built-in firewall, a pop-up blocker, better Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, more multimedia features, and other new stuff. Unlike a more mundane bundle of miscellaneous updates, it’s important enough to get a Bill Gates keynote, which he gives at the RSA security conference.

August 11th: In much of the world, Windows is unaffordable, and –despite its copy protection–widely pirated. Microsoft responds by creating Windows XP Starter Edition, a cut-rate version aimed at computing neophytes in countries such as Thailand, Brazil, and Russia. It can only run three programs at a time, a limitation that Microsoft says is no big deal to the people it’s meant for.

August 27th: One of the features that was supposed to make Longhorn a great leap forward beyond XP was WinFS–a new file system that Bill Gates had described as a “holy grail” in 2003. But it proves so tricky to implement that Microsoft decides to remove it from the new OS.

October 12th: At LA’s Shrine Auditorium, Microsoft introduces Windows XP Media Center 2005. The event includes some awkward conversation between Bill Gates and a celebrity who seems to be there only because she’s a celebrity: Queen Latifah. Bill and the Queen turn out to be like peanut butter and tomatoes: Two great tastes that don’t taste great together.

At the event, I’m briefed by HP on its new Media Center PC, which the company has connected to a TV set. The machine freezes, and for several minutes multiple HP executives can’t figure out what’s wrong. It turns out that Norton Anti-Virus is displaying a prompt, but we can’t see it because the Media Center interface is on top. I take it as a sign that Windows XP may not be quite ready for the living room.

October 13th: The New York Times’ David Pogue reviews–and mostly likes–the OQO Model 01, a Windows XP computer that fits in your pocket:

Its creators have blown the concept of the digital hub to smithereens, and given whole new meaning to the term pocket PC.

PC World’s Tom Mainelli is less excited by the OQO:

Input proved frustrating. Designed for thumb typing, the keyboard itself has a decent tactile feedback, but I found the placement of some keys odd–and the spacebar was too hard to reach with either thumb. I became fairly adept at using the TrakStick input device on the right side of the keyboard and the two mouse buttons on the far left, but I had less luck using the included stylus. More than once I found myself repeatedly tapping the touch-sensitive screen trying to get a program to respond.

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95 Comments


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95 Comments For This Post

  1. gargravarr Says:

    I work for a large government department in Australia. We update our desktop systems every three years. In the last update we moved to an entirely virtual-machine based environment, but we still run XP. I guess in the next update, we MIGHT move to Win 7 (or 8, if it's out). I wouldn't bet on it, though.

  2. Digital Fruit Tech Says:

    You know, after reading this article and seeing some of the forgotten tech that Microsoft has developed over the years, I'm beginning to get the feeling they're just ahead of their time. Living room PCs, tablets, and smaller form-factors that look kind of like smart phones. I guess it was just too much, too soon. I guess this next decade will show us the real caliber left in the company, and lets hope they make it through

  3. johnwbaxter Says:

    Well done, Harry (I especially enjoyed the tablet thread).

    I made as little use of XP as possible (and on the Mac at that). I got a Vista laptop early on (CompUSA fire sale) and had essentially no trouble with it.

    I've forgotten what little I knew about how to do things in XP…if asked at our user group I divert the question to others (who increasingly also have trouble answering).

    That said, I'm 72. I'm pretty sure I'll die before XP does.

  4. FormerMSGuy Says:

    In the 1990s, there was work being done on a next generation operating system at Microsoft, code-named "Cairo". In Greek, Chi looks like an X and Rho looks like a P.

  5. The_Heraclitus Says:

    XP SP2 worked. For most people, there was no reason to spend $ to change what was working. MS was a victim of its own success with that OS.

  6. @carolynwinter Says:

    In a way, the survival of XP I think reflects the values of the other 99% who don't have an annual budget for upgrading their technology.. They are trying to pay off a mortgage, raise kids, take at least one vacation and have a normal life. How is spending money on stuff that keeps you tied to a screen 24/7 useful to those basic goals? I wish Microsoft would actually listen to the mass everyday customers in the first place not their techie fans or nay sayers, Who are they making this stuff for anyway? Why not start out building something to last? Or is that just too anti American?

  7. @cstechcast Says:

    XP was such a key OS, merging the consumer and the enterprise OSes. If you weren't around when you had to make the decision between rock-solid, but resource-intensive and application-starved Windows NT Workstation, or the more popular, but crash prone Windows 9x, then you missed out on some a time where there were real pros and cons to choosing an OS. As time moves on, the desktop OS matters less. We use our browsers for work and home along with a couple key programs, like Word. Other than that, most people don't care how they get it. XP is fine for that. MacOS is fine for that. iPads are fine for that.

  8. keating Willcox Says:

    How long must we wait for an OS that we can install without having to completely reinstall every single program that I now use, and make sure they run reliably. This is the key, why folks will upgrade a browser frequently but won't touch an OS upgrade. Can you imagine finding programs and passwords from 10 years ago, some on floppy disks. A smarter decision might be to get a second computer with Windows 8 and gradually use it for most day to day work, saving the XP computer for those programs that would be tough to install. Still, I have until 2014? Hmmmm

  9. James Says:

    The death knell for XP is realizing that it's so full of security holes that nothing can protect it from malware. If Vista had had a killer feature or two people would have overlooked it's shortcomings, but with nothing but incremental changes, why bother? Win7 is the same way but now 5,6,7-year old hardware is starting to die, so Win7 will be a success as people replace PCs.

  10. Benj Edwards Says:

    "In an event today on the Microsoft main campus, Bill Gates and Jim Allchin presented the final Windows XP “gold code” to representatives from six major PC manufacturers."

    I bet there is a 20-foot tall fine-art painted depiction of this event at Microsoft HQ.

  11. Benj Edwards Says:

    "In an event today on the Microsoft main campus, Bill Gates and Jim Allchin presented the final Windows XP “gold code” to representatives from six major PC manufacturers."

    I bet there is a 20-foot tall fine art painted depiction of this event at Microsoft HQ.

  12. David Says:

    The XP really changed how we are using our PC and after the 10 years it's not even that outdated to retire. Of course there are many fancy features in win 7 that makes your life a bit easier but still I think the real dead end for this OS will be only after Microsoft will announce Win 8 with even greater functions and less resource consumption for low price

  13. The_Heraclitus Says:

    REALLY? I never got any malware while using XP. But, I understand the subject. Most don't…

  14. charlie Says:

    I'm a programmer with several different win 7, vista, server 2008 machines but I still use my xp laptop the most. I wish microsoft would listen and make an interface to windows 7 that looks and feels exactly like xp.

  15. Albin Says:

    Another aspect of its longevity is that long term users have learned to avoid costly mistakes and tweak XP’s performance over years, and so know how much there is to learn about any replacement.

    The one historical point left out is that between the reliable Win 98SE and XP, came the utter failure Windows ME (Millenium Edition) – the “current OS” at XP’s launch. ME was the reason for initial skepticism about a brand new XP, and also the reason there was no excuse for Microsoft to offer the bolix of Vista prematurely, since it’s obvious W7 is just Vista the way it should have been offered.

    XP has been great for me – on the Inspiron 8100 I bought initially running 250MB RAM, and on my first netbook. Running W7 on a netbook is an exercise in discovering how many glitzy features can be disabled to try to achieve decent performance.

  16. Old mainframe guy Says:

    wonder if anyone in Microsoft ever conceived that about 10+ year’s back 99.9999% of their customers purchasing a WINTEL machine viewed and used it like a simple appliance, say your refrigerator. And when was the last time anyone looked for a user’s manual on how to use a refrigerator?

  17. Andrew Says:

    And can be customised to look as much like 98 as XP can…

  18. KJMClark Says:

    Wish I could give this comment a dozen thumbs up. There are quite a few of us, numbers growing by the day, that don't have the money to blow on constant upgrades. I'm still using Autosketch 5, and was using Money 3.0 until I decided I should move on. And the Quicken 2010 I switched to sucks in comparison.

    I'm planning to upgrade to Windows 7 in the next year, but I expect the total experience to be an expensive PITA, even if the OS works well.

  19. KeithC Says:

    OK, folks, let's set the record straight here!

    1) Apple sued Microsoft in 1988 for stealing GUI stuff. Apple lost.
    2) Xerox sued Apple in early 1989, again, for stealing GUI stuff. Xerox lost.
    3) Apple "hired" (stole) many Xerox PARC staff, of which includes Larry Kenyon (orig Mac Finder programmer), my step_Dad's cousin.
    4) Fast-forward to 1999 and Apple intro's Mac OS X. The "X" is a general moniker for unix; e.g, HP/UX, AIX, etc., as Mac OS X is Unix-based
    5) Jump to 10/2000 and Microsoft intro's Windows XP, of which Microsoft bills "XP" as meaning "eXPerience".

    TRUTH:

    A) Apple was quietly admitting it's GUI was stolen from Xerox by putting "X" in the name of its OS: Mac OS X
    B) Microsoft's way of saying "Look, we're being honest here. XP = Xerox Plagiarized."

    'nuff said!

    It's that simple. Really!

  20. T800 Says:

    > 2011

    I still use it on 2/4 of my machines.

    XP still stands against the time.

    No other OS will ever be so good.

  21. Luis Legarreta Says:

    A MAJOR curse of Win 7 is its file search which cannot search only for file and folder names. I hate it.

  22. Bob Says:

    XP has been around a long time but I think it's finally meeting it's end.

  23. JohnFen Says:

    I agree 100%. I absolutely loathe Win 7's search functionality.

  24. Vincent Says:

    Agree absolutely with long live of XP – it's simple and WORKING system. No tricks, no workarounds, no annoying "security" messages, no compatibility issues (HW & SW). I never believe M$ has talented programmers to rewrite XP from scratch. But if you didn't rewrite it, you just BREAK it! As a result, Vista and 7 became a dog – incompatible, but still weak security OS on old "message passing" paradigm.
    I installed Win7 FIVE TIMES. And all the times I replaced it with XP – I cannot work in system, which "protects" me from normal work. Despite M$ lie about "good sales" of 7, I'm sure many people return back to XP – “Microsoft’s Best Operating System Ever.” And that's true.

  25. Vincent Says:

    One more issue is a win7's "Start menu" what is a simply cr@p. Don't persuade with your ridiculous arguments, it's just ugly, inconvenient piece of hindu art. I never ever will use such "improvement".
    Much better solution is old, well developed 'TrueLaunchBar', just see: you have MANY "start buttons" each with its own program list – whoa! And every submenu can have its own design and categories, simply look: http://i40.tinypic.com/2dcesdw.jpg M$ couldn't copy even this simple idea.

  26. The_Heraclitus Says:

    Why are cowardly, Apple fanbois anonymously downrating this true comment?

  27. Guido Says:

    I've tried Seven with a little fear, but it convinced me fast. I've changed to a lower PC, and upgraded RAM to be nice with Seven and not fall on XP. With HTPC you have DXVA2 native support, so you install XBMC or any player and it plays everything really smooth, and dont have to deal with modified program versions or touch anything. Just enable DXVA2

    I've buyed a laptop and installed Seven. It's quite slow than with XP, but i like much more. Even when i have an English copy and i'm from Argentina :)

    XP was really good, but it's time to let it sleep

  28. Scott Meinhardt Says:

    There is a beauty in the simplicity of XP. My wifes laptop has 7 on it, our desktop has Vista, my old IBM laptop is still running XP, and my little netbook has Linux on it. Bells and whistles may look impressive but that doesn't make a program a good one. My choices for OS's – 1. XP 2. Linux 3. Win 7 4. Vista. I'm going to hate to loose XP when it finally dies.

  29. David Says:

    I upgraded my main machine with WIN7 in Dec. 2010. Transfered all the software from the XP machine. Then found I needed to upgrade to the Pro version of Win7 to run a few programs in the XP virtual mode. Of course later found out I could do that with out the upgrade to Win7 by running in a virtual box from other providers. My XP machine is used as part of my radio hobby, and will still be running long after I'm gone. Makes one wonder if Win7 or 8 will last as long?
    I doubt it. As stated by someone above, "MS is a victim of there own success with XP"

  30. dargoth11 Says:

    That's what everybody wants! The only thing the should change is the color of the start button…so we can tell it's not XP! I sure wish they would use public some research and ask us…just like politicians—I've NEVER gotten a survey from Microsoft asking what interface changes should be made. They seem to be on a mission to drive most of us crazy with Change For No Good Reason!

  31. Jeeves Says:

    There are two ways to be in front of the pack: Leading the way (being where people want to be in a few years) and striking out for yourself (being in front, but in a place no-one wants to go). Sure as **** MS was way in front, and many of the concepts MS created spurred other manufacturers to perfect them.

    IMNSHO, MS really has never understood the end user. It's sights have been set on two (diverging) paths: Making OEM's happy (creating new OS's to speed up hardware sales) and keeping corporate ICT staffers happy. Subsequently usability has never been a top priority and Vista's immense flop can be attributed to rising tensions between the two central stakeholders (the OEM's wanting to create sales, and the CIO's wanting stability and controlled evolution).

    I'm also still running XP, although admittedly as secondary OS on my Apple hardware. Simply because XP does everything I need to do – there's no compelling reason to upgrade (pay the price and climb the learning curve). Along the years XP has replaced W2K as my OS of choice.

    I think MS is somewhat in trouble, because they still expect the community to become excited by a new OS – something they got used to with W95 and W98. Though therein lies a paradox: If an OS is supposed to be something which works – does what it's supposed to and keeps out of the way, how can you get excited by that? Running water is something we take for granted – as we should – and can only excite someone who's not used to it.

  32. Jeeves Says:

    X (in OS X) for Xerox, UniX or just 10

    'Though I appreciate your humour :)

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  34. fandango Says:

    The primary reasons for XP's longevity?:

    1) Windows Vista — a half-baked piece of crapware that MS thought that it could foist upon an unsuspecting public ('The Market' in corporate-speak). Microsoft thought that they could release another unfinished product (as they have repeatedly done in the past) and that mindless Windows users would just slurp up whatever Redmond released to be the 'latest & greatest'. They would then release 'updates' to fix what should never have been broken in the first place. The 'Wow' didn't Start Now…

    2) Windows 7 — what Vista should have been out of the gate; At the time, the press had been relentless about Vista's 'shortcomings' ('sh!tiness': let's not mince words), and Apple had been kicking the sh!t out of MS's Zune with the iPod. MS felt that they needed to get a hot product out of the door and into consumers hands. Burned by the 'Vista experience', consumers were still too reluctant (some may say 'gun-shy') to let go of XP, no matter how compelling '7' may have sounded.

    3) Windows 8 — Complete and total interface redesign. In an attempt to be 'The Single OS for All Platforms' (Desktop, laptop, net-book, tablet, smartphone & X-box), it will become the Jack-of -all-trades and the Master of None. Unfamiliar UI and product dilution will confuse users and force them to continue to hold onto XP for their PCs and watch from the sidelines as Windows 8 flails about as an OS in search of a purpose.

    Before the flames begin: I am a Windows user and I personally own 3 windows machines that I use daily. I am CompTIA certified and a Microsoft Certified Professional. I also run Windows XP Pro on all my machines and have no plans on changing that until MS gets its head out of its collective a**. Or until Steve Ballmer gets fired; whichever comes first.

  35. robinmaster698 Says:

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  37. @Fawadyk Says:

    Before the flames begin: I am a Windows user and I personally own 3 windows machines that I use daily. I am CompTIA certified and a Microsoft Certified Professional. I also run Windows XP Pro on all my machines and have no plans on changing that until MS gets its head out of its collective a**. Or until Steve Ballmer gets fired; whichever comes first.
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  41. Jobs in India Says:

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  42. Ejercicios Pilates Says:

    I think that Windows is what it is today because of the leadership strategy and the differentiation in the market.

  43. WilmaOdus Says:

    I always choose the windows to my computer. In my opinion, Windows is easier to use, now I have my windows update to Windows7. Not much has changed operationally, it just looks that look nicer. sell textbooks

  44. Computer Says:

    Microsoft Windows XP is my best operating system before Window 7 was released to the marker. I think the was two operating system before the coming of Window 7, I did not buy any of them. Before I upgrade my Window XP to Window 7, I make sure that the Window 7 is much more better than my Window XP.

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  46. IVF Says:

    I'm also working on Windows XP at work. It's absolutely crazy that it's 11 years old! It works fine, not as pretty as windows 7 but it works.. Funny stuff (:

  47. dictaphone Says:

    I hear you man, we are still using Windows XP here too. I hope we will soon move up to windows 7…

  48. Apple Quarters Says:

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  49. Best Choice Destination Says:

    I still use windows XP in my other computer because its easy to use and user friendly. Great post anyway. Thanks for sharing.

  50. internapoli city Says:

    How long must we wait for an OS that we can install without having to completely reinstall every single program that I now use, and make sure they run reliably. This is the key, why folks will upgrade a browser frequently but won't touch an OS upgrade

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  55. Sazeni Says:

    David. I second that. XP had some magic inside. The only system that lives longer than computers.

  56. Heating Cover Says:

    I have recently upgraded to Windows 7, I am very pleased with it. Much simpler and more modern than XP. Vista to me has just got too much going on.

  57. TomPeris Says:

    I've tried Seven with a little fear, but it convinced me fast. I've changed to a lower PC, and upgraded RAM to be nice with Seven and not fall on XP. With HTPC you have DXVA2 native support, so you install XBMC or any player and it plays everything really smooth, and dont have to deal with modified program versions or touch anything on Team building games for children
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    I've buyed a laptop and installed Seven. It's quite slow than with XP, but i like much more. Even when i have an English copy and i'm from Argentina :)

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  58. grafik Says:

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  74. Cat insurance Says:

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  76. tayna Says:

    I too think that the Windows XP was the best operating system from Microsoft. Compared to XP, Windows Vista was a complete let down. Many people say that Windows 7 is much better than XP. However, I still prefer XP over anything.

  77. Office design Says:

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  83. MaoraBevita Says:

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