Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Time to dump XP

Spooky Trees
Later this year will be the ninth anniversary of the launch of Windows XP. Despite it being superseded twice, by Windows Vista and Windows 7 respectively, it is till the most commonly used edition of Windows.
But there are some events on the horizon that should begin to turn the tide:

  1. Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is due shortly. Corporate IT departments usually don’t upgrade to the next version of Windows until the release of the first service pack, as by then most of the initial teething troubles with the OS have been sorted.
  2. Internet Explorer 9 is due soon as well, and it won’t run on XP.
  3. Other programs like Firefox, in its next version, will run on XP but will be optimised for Vista and 7. In an update to Windows Vista, and in Windows 7 from the point of release, Microsoft included support for 2D graphics acceleration which may see more programs making use of. Consequently, more modern software may run faster under Windows 7 than XP on the same hardware.
  4. Back when Vista came out, nearly 4 years ago, only the most recent computers were capable of running it. 4 years on, and Windows 7 will run on the same machines as Vista; consequently most reasonable computers built in the last 5 years will run Windows 7 with no problems. Some Netbooks won’t, of course. Windows 7 also had a better launch than Vista, with a wider number of peripherals and devices supporting it.
  5. There will be no more service packs for XP, and, like Ed Bott mentions today, XP has more security issues than 7 or Vista. This month’s Patch Tuesday had 6 critical updates for XP but only one for Windows 7.

Microsoft has recently renewed its marketing campaign for Windows 7 with television and Spotify adverts, and has re-launched the family pack allowing people to upgrade several machines at once. Computer manufacturers will also be unable to ship machines with XP very soon, so getting hold of a copy will be more difficult. But while XP has had a very good innings, it’s time to move on; Windows 7 offers a better interface and makes better use of modern hardware, while being more secure.


  1. Hmm.
    1. Tech support at work have started migrating ‘shared use’ PCs to Win7, but mine isn’t centrally-managed, and my home machine’s obviously my own.
    2. I really, really don’t care. 😉
    3. My PC runs fast enough. I’m not interested in shaving off the odd extra millisecond.
    4. Is that really a reason to switch? My hardware would support linux, too, but the mere fact that it could doesn’t automatically mean I should.
    5. Okay. That’s the sole compelling point on your list.
    Well, maybe. I’m not worried about the cessation of Service Packs so long as individual critical updates are still provided. When they stop, your argument will carry a lot of weight. Not yet, though. 😉
    It’s not that I’m especially resistant to change, and my next PC will indeed almost certainly run Win7 (it won’t run OSX, anyway!), but I’m in no hurry to replace a machine that does everything I ask of it, at a more than adequate speed.
    Hence, I do have to question your headline – apart from Point 5 this reads as if you’re advocating change for change’s sake, chasing the latest shiny thing whilst XP still does everything well enough.

  2. XP is still going to be supported until 2015, and although programs will try to phase it out, it just WORKS. Some offices still run Windows 2000, even NT 4.0 for the same reason.
    On Amazon UK , Windows 7 Home Premium is £96, including both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. That isn’t a bad price, but i’ll move to 7 when it’s bundled with a new PC… my old Trigger’s Broom ain’t worth it, and I have a Mac to more than tide me over!

  3. I dunno bout you guys, but until Windows 7 has integrated well with the market nowadays, I still prefer the much more stable and easy to support XP. Cheers always.