It has now been a decade since Windows XP revolutionised the world of computers and on October 25 of this year the world’s most popular operating system turned ten years of age. Although the world has been flooded with wave after wave of new technology since the initial launch of Windows XP, the simple fact remains that Microsoft’s most successful and longest lasting operating system is not going anywhere, anytime soon. It is still the computer software of choice amongst millions of people and companies worldwide, and despite the hype and marketing surrounding Windows 7, Windows XP will still be used by many of us another ten years from now.
Let’s take a look at the beginnings of Windows XP, why it became so immensely popular, and why only a fool would bet against it still ruling the roost by the time it turns 20.
A Star is Born
Initially, sales were slow for Windows XP when it first hit the high-street and was introduced around the globe in 25 different languages. For example, in the United States only 260,00 copies were sold during the first three days. However, with little steps epic journeys begin and when system vendors began selling computers with Windows XP pre-installed it took off in a big, big way.
The Rise and Rise of Windows XP
The XP in Windows XP stands for experience, and Microsoft’s ambition was to have one codebase covering everything from consumers to corporate desktops. By 2006, Windows XP was being used by 400 million computers worldwide. With its user friendly interface and options to personally adapt and customise, Windows XP was hailed as one of the most reliable operating systems ever released. Reviewers lined up to write line after gushing line about its gorgeous design and innovative features and called it a marvel of conception. In short, nothing it seemed could come close to Windows XP.
The Champ’s Title Defence
Windows XP’s successor, Windows Vista was launched at the beginning of 2006, but it was widely rejected by the growing legion of XP adherents. Vista never caught the imagination of the public of businesses due to bugs and poor hardware driver support. Consequently Windows XP still reigned supreme, and despite announcing it was discontinuing the sale of Windows XP several times, Microsoft only stopped the line on June 30, 2008. Extended support for XP users is still available until April 8, 2014.
If it isn’t broke don’t fix it
Windows 7 was released in 2009 and according to recent statistics, Windows XP is just starting to lose its grip among PC users. Yet estimates show that XP still has a hold of 48% on the Windows market, which is far more than Vista ever did, after peaking with 28% in October, 2009. Businesses especially are reluctant to part with a tried and tested model they have used for the last ten years in favour of a major upgrade they feel they do not need – despite Microsoft’s urgings to the contrary. With Windows 8 on the horizon, many feel XP will shortly expire, but ten years from now you can bet your bottom dollar there’ll still be a large number of PCs worldwide operating through Windows XP, because if it isn’t broke there’s no need to fix it.