The Death of Windows XPltadmin
By: Corey Cleary
In April of 2014 Microsoft will officially drop support for the beloved Windows XP. I know what you are thinking… “Yeah, we’ve heard that before.” This time it is real. Get used to it.
Windows XP was a great OS that was released before it was ready. It was not meant to be released until November of 2003, but due to issues with the “unmentionable” predecessor, it was forced out early. You all hated it when it was released. I know, I received a lot of complaints about the interface and how it was “so different” from Windows 98. Well, that’s life, just deal with it.
Once Windows XP SP1 was released, some grumbling died down. Then the malware war started. Many of you heard from other sources that it was all Microsoft’s fault for building a bad OS, but you found that not to be the case when the first university revealed that Windows XP had fewer security holes in it than any other popular operating system. Wow, that was a shock! Windows more secure than Linux? I can’t believe it! Other reports came out with similar results using different methods. Finally, some skeptics began to believe in Microsoft again.
After six years, Microsoft released Windows Vista, an operating system that was meant to be better than Windows XP. It was in some ways, but you HATED it, and demanded Windows XP back. So Microsoft released Windows 7 (I personally liked going back to the numbering system). BUT, many Macintosh (also known as Hackintosh) users started to talk badly about Windows 7 before it even hit the manufacturing market. At first I was worried, but then I saw it, used it, and LOVED it. Windows 7 had finally targeted all the complaints about its predecessors and fixed most of them. It presented the single largest hardware support I had ever seen. I was absolutely floored with how great Windows 7 was designed. BUT, you, my customers and fellow techies yelled, “We want Windows XP!” So, Microsoft continued to support the tired old man and even made improvements.
Now the inevitable must happen. Windows XP must die! And you say to me, “But I don’t like Windows 8, so can I use Widows 7?” Let’s face it, “Everything changes!” My MacIntosh friends are still using the very tired interface of Mac OS X interface that almost didn’t get released on Mac. That is a history lesson for another time. The truth is Windows 8 is the future. I know you don’t like change. That is why so many different companies now make “open source” products that fit into your new operating system. I am not wild about the Start Page in Windows 8, but I like the fact that it is customizable. You can put what you want right from the start.
The truth is there are two kinds of programs: applications (also known as programs) and applets (also known as apps). Here is my big lesson for you. I have been programming since I was in second grade (that was a long time ago), and we used to call all programs applications. The industry tries to change the terminology to make it hip and new, but it is still the same thing. An “app” in today’s standards merely displays information from a website in a better interface with different features than the website. In other words, it is a scaled down program that is more of a script concept than re-inventing the wheel. Give any pretty GUI attached information from a website and add some bells and whistles and you have an app. Applications (programs) on the other hand tend to be stand along software that has all the bells and whistles built right into the GUI. So…Windows 8 brings both worlds together. You can have the apps you love on your tablet and the programs (applications) you run on the desktop pc in one nice and easy to use package of hardware and software. Then let’s make it go across platforms… tablet, desktop, laptop, and wait… phone? Yes, PHONE! That’s right. You can now seamlessly move from one device to the next without having to learn how they work all over again. I know you don’t like tiles. In order to make the next generation better than the last, there must be change.
Let me not end my rant on a bad note. I will forever love Windows XP. I will mourn the loss of a great operating system that you and I have adored for the last twelve years. BUT without it the future would be dim. It has served its purpose; it led us the course to a better computing world. Now like any piece of history, it must die. But I don’t think this a sad thing, Windows XP made us all love computing, and for that Microsoft, we are forever thankfull.