Even I don't always agree with my opinion


Windows XP – Going, Going, Gone!

Posted April 7, 2014 by jim young in Business

“(XP) needs to die!” – Anil Somayaji

If you are reading this on a computer running Windows XP – you are no longer being supported by Microsoft.

Microsoft has decided to pull the plug on Windows XP after 12 years, leaving an estimated 1/3 of all the computer users in the world in the lurch.

One third of all computers in the world by one estimate equates to 500 million computers.

Among this group of 500 million computers that are still running XP you will find – all Canadian banks, most bank ATM machines, merchant point of sale systems, medical devices and diagnostic computers in hospitals just to name a few.

Without Windows XP support and updates, they are all vulnerable to security threats.

And even if you don’t use Windows XP – if you’re doing business or connecting online with any of these XP users – you’re still at risk.

Microsoft offers 2 solutions:
1) upgrade to a new operating system
2) buy a new computer

And Microsoft will make money on either option.


Option number 2 of course was offered since option number 1 is not a viable option to many users whose computers may not be able to run the new operating systems. At the very least they might have to also upgrade their RAM and video cards to add to the expense of upgrading the operating system.

Cha-Ching! Cha-Ching!

Of course even with option number 2 you might also have to upgrade your computer’s many software programs and even peripheral devices such as your scanner.

Whatever happened to making things “backward compatible”?

Cha-Ching! Cha-Ching! Cha-Ching!

Microsoft stands to profit in two ways.

1) By reducing their costs in supporting Windows XP AND
2) Increased sales in newer Operating Systems such as Windows 7 and Windows 8.

But Wait! There’s More!

If you are lucky enough to be considered one of the elite – a premier level Microsoft customer – a class reserved for “big business”, Microsoft will provide you with dedicated support at $200 per computer for the first year, $400 for the second year and $800 for the third year.

Let’s say only 1% of the current Windows XP users are eligible AND opt for this dedicated service.

1% of 500,000,000 = 5,000,000 computers at a total cost of $1,400 for 3 years “dedicated service” = 7 billion dollars to Microsoft.

I would hope it’s damn dedicated service that Microsoft is offering for that kind of revenue.

With Windows 8 on the market – which is 3 Operating Systems newer than Windows XP, one might wonder why there are still so many computer users that are hanging on to Windows XP?

There’s an old adage “if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it”.

So why is Microsoft so hell bent on breaking XP?

For the computer users that tried the leap from Windows XP to the infamous Windows Vista – or heard the gruesome tales of the disastrous results from those that did – can you blame them for being a little gun shy about upgrading to a new operating system?

While Microsoft is bragging about how they’ve supported XP for 12 years, let’s not overlook that it wasn’t until 2009 that Windows Users had any real viable option (considering what a disaster Vista was) with Windows 7. So Microsoft’s CONTINUED support for XP has really only been 5 years – NOT 12!

On Nora Young’s CBC Radio program, Sparks, Anil Somayaji, Computer Science Professor at Carleton University however, defended Microsoft.

“Microsoft is not the bad guy here. I think Microsoft has gone to heroic lengths to keep Windows XP working and I can’t think of another company in technology that’s come anywhere close to providing the kind of support that they have for XP, for home users. They’ve done what they can. They should be commended for what they’ve done, but the Windows XP gravy train is mostly over and as a computer security researcher I kind of celebrate that. It needs to die.”

Really, Somayaji? So just who IS the “bad guy” here if not Microsoft?

Perhaps it’s that kind of mindset that needs to change.

Isn’t Somayaji really suggesting that it’s okay to pull the plug on XP because “that’s the way we’ve always done it?”

When 30% of your customers are still using your product – do they not deserve continued support from both a financial and moral perspective?

Who else would ignore that kind of demographic?

I guess anybody that can!

Fortunately I have yet another option available to XP users. It may be just as costly as Microsoft’s solution but it might also prevent this from happening again.

One word – Apple.

And you can be certain that Microsoft won’t laughing all the way to the bank then.


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