Windows XP has divided software history in two – before and after XP. But with popularity for XP showing no signs of abating, isn’t it time for Microsoft to relaunch it and give its customers what they want?
People hardly remember Windows 98 or ME but after all these years, not only has the almighty XP stuck in people’s minds but more importantly, it is still the most used operating system in the world.
According to W3Schools, XP has almost half of computer users on its side (47% Dec 2010). Quite impressive if you bear in mind the XP platform has its days numbered – the extended support ends in 2014.
Why is XP so popular?
After almost two years on the market, the massively improved Windows 7 hasn’t been able to win the popularity contest in the mind of millions of users. So what’s behind this massive support for XP? Could it be down to its groundbreaking interface, speed and security?
Maybe it’s to do with the fact that its successor wasn’t very successful – it’s widely acknowledged that Vista got a fair amount of backlash (although I have to say my experience with it was ok). Could this have contributed to the XP popularity, making users nostalgic of the “old” technology?
I can’t deny that for a product that’s been around for more than a decade, XP is still current and keeps up with emerging technologies. Even though trends are changing, (at this year’s CES, most new products were touchscreen tablets using a brand new version of Android) I reckon businesses will hold on to XP for more years to come.
XP and home users
This love affair with the old platform is reflected repeatedly in the emails we receive via the Which? Computing Helpdesk. Windows users often struggle so much with younger OS models that they have a change of heart, wishing they had never switched.
We even get requests to help people make the brand new Windows 7 look like the old XP. Funnily enough, you can find very comprehensive guides online to do exactly this, suggesting it’s a more popular activity than you might think.
And I’m pretty sure Microsoft acknowledges all this. One of the selling points of Windows 7 was – and still is – the option to run an XP mode in order to minimize any compatibility issues.
So am I the only one wondering if all this nostalgia and affection for XP can be harnessed by Microsoft, with the development of a brand new OS “XP 2012”? That, I reckon, would be a great business idea for Microsoft.
Would you ditch your current operating system in favour of a new XP 2012?
Yes (47%, 466 Votes)
No (33%, 329 Votes)
Not sure (21%, 207 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,003