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 Despite it being superseded twice, by Windows Vista and Windows 7 respectively, it is till the most commonly used edition of Windows.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:
- 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.
- Internet Explorer 9 is due soon as well, and it won’t run on XP.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.