Remember this? This is a very popular image clicked by former Nat Geo photographer Charles O’Rear on June 24, 1996 in the Sonoma County of California, United States. This photograph titled ‘Bliss’ was the default wallpaper for Windows XP, one of the most popular operating systems in the world.
If this doesn’t make you nostalgic, what follows will. Microsoft has decided to stop providing support to one of its biggest product Windows XP w.e.f 8th April 2014. This will leave millions of XP users around the globe vulnerable to all kinds of malicious attacks on their systems as there would be no more security updates for Windows XP.
Microsoft released Windows XP to the public in October 2001. Windows XP followed Windows NT and Windows ME which never got as widely accepted as Microsoft envisioned, and were relative disappointments in the field of emerging Operating Systems. With XP, the goal was to combine the consumer oriented Windows 9x series(Windows 95, Windows 98, etc.) and the architecture introduced in the Windows NT series. Microsoft aimed to provide a better user experience over its DOS-based predecessors. Looking back, one can confidently say Microsoft delivered what they promised. Windows XP had a redesigned, simplified user interface, with an improved Start menu and the Windows Explorer. Windows XP also introduced us to the infamous IE6, but it’s a mere black spot on the glorious history of XP.
Now that Microsoft will no longer provide support to XP, millions of XP users are finally starting to migrate to other OS’s. And according to various reports, Linux OS has been the most preferred choice for these migrating users over their Mac or Windows counterparts. If this transition pans out successfully, it will help Linux leapfrog Mac OS as the second most popular PC operating system after Windows. As of March 2014, Linux has around 1.49% market share to Mac OS’s 7.58%. Windows XP still enjoys a 27.69% market only topped by another Microsoft product Windows 7 which has a hold of 48.77% of the desktop users. As is evident, the tide of XP users migrating to other OSs could change these figures significantly.Another fact working in favour of Linux is that XP currently powers nearly 95% of ATMs around the world, and based on recent reports, Linux is the new goto OS for these ATM machines.
It has been a long, fulfilling journey for XP. And the time has come to bid farewell. Microsoft has tried to ease the woes of XP users by offering them 100$ credit on buying news PCs to switch from XP. How this works out for Microsoft is to be seen. For now though, XP still remains their second most popular product, miles ahead of their most recent offering the Windows 8.
Check out one more infographic from the Microsoft Services team to get the facts on the end of support for Windows XP.
(Click on the image to download the file as a high quality pdf.)
Provided by Microsoft.com