For the past year or so I have been counting down (on Twitter) the days left until the #EndOfDaysXP… as of the date of this article it stands at 591 days. Some of my followers think it is silly, others thank me for it. Some want to know why it matters, and there are a few who not only understand why it matters, but have taken up the cause… to a degree.
John Marshall is a Microsoft MVP in Microsoft Office Visio, and is (usually) on the side of right – meaning that he thinks that companies should upgrade already. He chides me about it of course… I am reasonably sure that following an accident as a child a doctor sutured his tongue into his cheek. However when it comes down to brass tax, he knows that XP is the past, and it’s time to bury it… mostly.
Recently he sent me this e-mail about his position… why he still does have Windows XP running on one machine, and what companies who claim fiscal hardship (especially charities) can do to get off the old and onto… if not the new, then at least up to Windows 7.
During the Vista days, I was one of the MVPs who pushed for (and got) a five year extension to the XP end of life. At the time, the problem was that we were trying to protect those first time computer users on the trailing edge. They were first time users who could not afford new machines. The ones they had were donated. Parents, kids and charitable organizations. Now, the quality of donated computers is far superior and there is no longer as much a need. XP still has more than a year to go and even then, it does not mean that the machines will automatically stop, they just will not get the support.
I still have one machine running XP and it runs only one program that prints labels. The label printer I have uses the parallel port and the software has not been updated since the XP days. A few years back, my favourite store for PC support went into receivership. The store was very profitable, but they were a part of a group and the receivers refused to split the group. So I picked up a lifetime supply of labels when the company was dissolved and lost great support.
So if I do find anyone running XP I fervently recommend they upgrade. Most are unaware that there newer versions of Windows. To them, it is a computer and it works. For charitable organizations I recommend that they investigate one of the local companies who can donate used machines that are far better.
So it will come as good news to the people that are running Windows XP that if they want to upgrade to Windows 8 when it comes out they will be able to… for $40. Yes, that is ten x four… FORTY dollars. Of course, if you have the means to invest in a new system I strongly recommend taking a look at some of the cool toys that are going to be released with Windows 8… but the newest Microsoft client OS works great on older hardware as well. You can download it today to evaluate for 90 days. See for yourself how fast it really is!