Microsoft pulls plug on Windows XP – Time to Upgrade!
Microsoft has finally decided the date to pull the plug on its aging yet spectacular OS – Microsoft XP. The good thing is, it is still a year away from actually retiring!
While this should not bring as much hue and cry as was made when Google shut down Reader, there will be many people who would feel its impact. The main reason for this is that unlike Reader, XP has lived a full life.
It was launched after the WinME debacle and it was a solid piece of software. It brought something that is considered default now- Plug and Play. It’s not that it was not present earlier but the sheer number of drivers that XP had made it almost ubiquitous.
People no longer felt the need to keep software/firmware CDs and the era of peaceful computation was found. Of course, I am exaggerating here but you get the point. XP was a big turning point for Microsoft. And of course, they milked it for long. And obviously they had to bring something like Vista to firm people’s love for XP.
Everything said though, XP is no longer a viable computing option as it is not as safe, period. This alone is reason enough. The question is to where?
While most consumers for PCs have shifted to either Windows 7 or even Windows 8and it’s the businesses that are more at risk who do not want to splurge the money. It is very ironical as they are the ones that need security more.
Additionally, even though Windows XP is over 12 years old (It was launched in 2001), it still reigns in at number two position in terms of OS market share with close to 25 percent users still using Windows XP.
So what should the users and majority of companies who are still on Windows XP do? There are four options that can be explored by these users –
- Windows 7
- Windows 8
While it may seem strange to put the two Microsoft options as separate but the difference between the two is enough to place them apart.
The first (Windows 7) would be the obvious choice. It is not just the closest jump from XP but is very safe and by now, a well-tested and liked OS. It is not the latest one from the Microsoft stable and hence faces the same dilemma as XP, just a few more years down the line. That is the only fault with it honestly.
Windows 8 is being pushed by Microsoft heavily. Some people consider that the step to pull the plug on XP is one of the steps for the same. It is the new staple for Microsoft and is not as bad an OS as it is pointed out. The major issue is the initial learning curve. It is an issue because if you are learning something new why not learn some OS that is free.
This brings me to Linux. Choose your poison and start to learn it. The best advantage for companies is that it is a whole lot cheaper than Windows. The downside, you need a better IT team else you run high risks. And I will not even talk about the software application compatibility!
And finally, if you can splurge the money and want to upgrade big time, Apple is always there. It might not be the best option for companies but individuals can of course consider it. On the other hand if anyone could buy it would buy it.
So, these are the four paths that begin from XP. While Windows 7 is the best option for companies in my opinion, it is Windows 8 that is the newest and hence holds most love from Microsoft.
The bottom line is- Upgrade!