Ten years later, Microsoft celebrates Windows XP by asking everyone to move on

Source: NetApplications

Ten years ago today, on Oct. 25, 2001, Microsoft released Windows XP to the world. A decade later, much of the technology world is completely different, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at many PCs today. Almost half of personal computers around the world are still running Windows XP — like a threadbare winter coat so comfortable that it’s difficult to take to the Goodwill.

Microsoft is marking the anniversary by acknowledging the significance of Windows XP in the evolution of its flagship product line. But for business customers, in particular, the company is also using the occasion to make the case that it’s finally time to move on.

Click image for Microsoft infographic.

The company has come up with a fun infographic to support its argument, pointing out everything that has changed in the world since 2001.

“If you think back to XP, obviously it introduced a bunch of different things,” said Rich Reynolds, Windows Commercial general manager. “The user interface made it easier, faster and fun. It mainstreamed photography. It mainstreamed wireless, it mainstreamed plug-and-play. There was a bunch of great things that it did in its time … but the nature of work has changed.”

To illustrate how much things have changed, Reynolds told the story of recently connecting over WiFi on an Alaska Airlines flight somewhere over the Rockies and using the DirectAccess feature of Windows 7 Enterprise to access the corporate network and collaborate on a document in real time with someone in India using the Lync collaboration tools — not doable on a Windows XP machine.

Rich Reynolds

One reason that so many business are still using Windows XP is that so many of them were reluctant to shift to its successor, Windows Vista, which was plagued by glitches and compatibility problems with drivers and software. Microsoft has seen much faster adoption of Windows 7, which already accounts for more than 30 percent of the market.

Apart from touting the virtues of Windows 7 and Office 2010, Microsoft points to the upcoming April 8, 2014, end of support for Windows XP.

“In most enterprise customers it takes anywhere from 12 to 18 to 24 months just to plan the deployment,” Reynolds said. “We want to make sure they are starting to move because they may be at risk of making the April 8 2014 date, because of the time it takes to plan and deploy applications.”

OK, fair enough, but in the meantime, we can’t help but reminisce with this awesome Bill Gates video.

  • Guest

    I think it’s incredible that Windows XP has been such a robust operating system that nearly half of all PCs still run it ten years later. Think about what your PC was like 10 years ago. Hell, ten years ago Apple was still preloading Mac OS 9 — and customers were still using it — because Mac OS X was still in its infancy. Linux on the desktop in 2001 was an unusable mishmash of committee thinking UIs meant to ape Windows. The must-have mobile phone in 2001 was the Motorola StarTAC which didn’t even have a touch screen, let alone “apps.”

    Congratulations to Microsoft for creating an operating system not just for the masses but for the ages. Imagine how many 10-year-old PCs are still enjoying daily use. That’s billions of kilograms of toxic hardware that has been kept out of landfills, preserving our planet for generations to come.

  • Anonymous

    Todd, you missed a few
    1. XP is too good. XP + my free web apps = remarkable capability
    2. Innovation has shifted from the OS to the cloud
    3. Cloud costs are inconsequential compared to Win 7 licensing

    • Guest

      1. XP is far inferior to W7
      2. Yeah, that explains the lack of innovation and interest in Android, iOS5 and W8.
      3. Huh? Data centers to support cloud computing cost billions per, and what company or even individual is going to currently use an all-cloud solution instead of an on device one?

      • Guest

        Every cloud computing user needs to spend “billions”? Try harder next time, Gort.

        • Guest

          Reading impaired?

          • Guest

            Yes, he is. To individuals who won’t use an “all-cloud solution,” go into your local coffee shop and see how many of the lappies are on Gmail. Flickr. Facebook. Yahoo! Groups. All of these are hosted services. Moving the rest of one’s data to the cloud is inevitable.

            For businesses, just wait 5 years. The businesses that will still be around are using “the cloud.” The ones that went bankrupt were not.

          • Guest

            Yes, he is. To individuals who won’t use an “all-cloud solution,” go into your local coffee shop and see how many of the lappies are on Gmail. Flickr. Facebook. Yahoo! Groups. All of these are hosted services. Moving the rest of one’s data to the cloud is inevitable.

            For businesses, just wait 5 years. The businesses that will still be around are using “the cloud.” The ones that went bankrupt were not.

        • Guest

          Reading impaired?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H2KG2YCEHOJRH365X33B5AKUBA Trevor Marshall

    I have no plans to change. Windoze XP does the job well for me right now, I have ten years of software invested in my desktop. In two years time, mobility, the cloud, and tablets may have changed the whole computing environment. Who knows? But I can certainly see myself using more and more Linux and Android by 2014…

  • Donm

    I am not so much an OS geek as I am a spreasheet geek. But I bought my wife a new laptop that had Win7 and I cant get it to do anything. They diffenately need to put the setting to use “Classic View” in it for us old foggies who dont really care about OS. And since when do all computer users want fluffy boarders and flowery icons. Damn just give me square windows with tool bars I dont have to re-learn what I already know by another name. I just want to get some work done.

    • Guest

      I’d recommend installing Linux, Don. UNIX UIs haven’t changed materially since 1985. All you really need is twm.

      • Guest

        I recommend iOS. It’s magical.

      • Guest

        I recommend iOS. It’s magical.

  • Guest

    If MS made it easier/ cheaper to upgrade the software on an existing machine they could certainly move the needle on this. I looked in to upgrading from Vista and the sheer number of upgrade choices was daunting and confusing. Only the “Ultimate” version offered all the features I want, but it cost hundreds of dollars. I have Windows 7 on another machine and frankly its not worth the cost. Contrast this to Apple where I gladly paid to upgrade all of my machines to Lion for $30… Plus it was easy and painless to do this. The MS stance on upgrades is buy a new computer. Why?

  • Guest

    There’s nothing like a Windows story for bringing out the troll comments.

  • Artman41

    I am NOT going to re-purchase thousands of dollars of software/programs that work exceptionally on XP(and NOT on newer OS’s) just so I can “move on”!! Also, where is the logic in no longer supporting a very successful OS? Microsoft continues to upgrade to new systems rather than improve existing systems for the sole purpose of being able to charge more for the new ‘bells and whistles’. While that may work as a business model, I am NOT interested in having the latest just because it IS the latest.

  • http://stopjon.com Jon Pederson

    This seems to be the trend for Microsoft’s upgrade path on all their products. It only reinforces the opinion that MSFT products == outdated products.

    • Guest

      Considering they offer one of the longest support lives of any vendor, and XP’s has been extended further still, your comment makes little sense. Sounds like you already have a meme and just bend the evidence to fit that.

    • Guest

      Considering they offer one of the longest support lives of any vendor, and XP’s has been extended further still, your comment makes little sense. Sounds like you already have a meme and just bend the evidence to fit that.

  • http://ClaussConcept.com Jason Gerard Clauss

    Microsoft should continue supporting XP and dump Vista.

  • http://ClaussConcept.com Jason Gerard Clauss

    Microsoft should continue supporting XP and dump Vista.

  • TedLNancy

    The good news is that Microsoft also has a Lync Client for the iPhone and iPad too. :-)

    But for my money, I’d virtualize XP on Parallels for Mac, and then put the iPad/iPhone in Airplane Mode.  Plus if the iPad/iPhone stops working (which I don’t believe it will– the platform was recently approved by the FAA..) you can stop at any of the nation’s 357 Apple stores, and get assistance, especially if you have an AppleCare warranty!

    Besides, with an iPad/iPhone, you can exchange email, and do video conferencing, which is great unless you’re collaborating (read: arguing) with someone in india.   And when that’s done, you can also watch a movie in case the inflight entertainment is a rerun of Jerry Seinfeld.  Also, Apple products are designed in California!

    “Reynolds told the story of recently connecting over  WiFi on an Alaska Airlines flight…. collaborate on a document in real time with someone in India using the Lync collaboration tools — not doable on a Windows XP
    machine.”

    • Tyronegli

      Advertise much?

  • TedLNancy

    The good news is that Microsoft also has a Lync Client for the iPhone and iPad too. :-)

    But for my money, I’d virtualize XP on Parallels for Mac, and then put the iPad/iPhone in Airplane Mode.  Plus if the iPad/iPhone stops working (which I don’t believe it will– the platform was recently approved by the FAA..) you can stop at any of the nation’s 357 Apple stores, and get assistance, especially if you have an AppleCare warranty!

    Besides, with an iPad/iPhone, you can exchange email, and do video conferencing, which is great unless you’re collaborating (read: arguing) with someone in india.   And when that’s done, you can also watch a movie in case the inflight entertainment is a rerun of Jerry Seinfeld.  Also, Apple products are designed in California!

    “Reynolds told the story of recently connecting over  WiFi on an Alaska Airlines flight…. collaborate on a document in real time with someone in India using the Lync collaboration tools — not doable on a Windows XP
    machine.”

  • Sourav Dey

    Still XP is a newly wedded bride, isn’t it?