A Decade of Windows XP: It's Time to Let Go
Article by George Norman
On 26 Oct 2011
I know it’s been a long time and I can understand if you forgot about it: the Windows XP operating system reached general availability on the 25th of October 2001. That means that Windows XP, as of this week, is ten years old.

The simple truth of the matter is that for the last decade, Windows XP has dominated the OS market. Back in 2006 for example, it had about 76% of the desktop and laptop market. The fact that when Vista came out it was such a media flop did not help decrease its market share. A lot of people refused to upgrade from XP to Vista. Many even exercised their downgrade option and after getting a PC loaded with Vista, downgraded to XP.


Windows 7 came after that and it was a huge media success. Users who did not upgrade to Vista were more than happy to switch from XP to Windows 7. A lot of people bought new PCs with Windows 7 loaded on them. In about two years since Windows 7 was released to the public, Microsoft sold more than 450 million Windows 7 licenses. With all its popularity, Windows 7 struggled against XP. It took Windows 7 about two years to overtake XP’s market share.

With Windows 7 proving to be a big success and with high hopes for the upcoming Windows 8, which is expected to be even better, Windows XP is on the way out - as any piece of software that is a decade old should be. The thing is that XP will still hang around for a few more years. Microsoft will drop all support for the operating system on the 8th of April 2014. Windows XP has a few more years to live.

Windows XP was a great operating system and it did its job. But it is now an old OS and if you’re still on it, you’re very well advised to make the switch to something newer - like Windows 7. Think about it like this: you’re using an OS that’s 10 years old, which means that you’re missing out on all the great features a modern OS like Windows 7 has to offer.

Ten years is a lot of time. Microsoft released the infographic you can see below to show what a difference a decade makes.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows XP, Windows 7
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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