Why I won't miss Windows XP

Now that Microsoft has pulled the plug on XP support, maybe everyone else can move on, too

I never hated Windows XP -- I really didn't. I thought it was a great OS, albeit a bit cartoony for my tastes. But I wasn't married to it, like others apparently were. I was ready to move on when, after five years, Microsoft finally released Vista in 2006. I haven't used XP in years, and I don't miss it one bit!

The truth is that from the moment I installed Windows Vista and saw the new Start orb, I was sold. The features in Vista that really locked me in were its much better security, Bitlocker protection, Windows Service Hardening, Windows Integrity Control, parental controls, User Account Control (admittedly improved in Service Pack 1), improved search, and better power management.

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One of the first columns I wrote for InfoWorld back in January 2008 was entitled "Save XP? Why bother?" -- and did I get lambasted by readers in the comments. More than five years later, some of the comments still make me wince.

But I've moved on. Windows 7 replaced Vista, and everyone extolled it as a thousandfold improvement, despite the fact that it was basically the same kernel, the same GUI with a few polishes, and just a new name. Now we have Windows 8, which is taking the same bullet Vista had to take for Windows 7 to be liked (so we await Windows 9).

Yesterday, we finally saw XP drop from full support. Office 2003, Windows 7's XP Mode, and MED-V (Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization) also reached the end of their support from Microsoft. Yesterday's batch of security updates was the last; Microsoft will no longer provide functionality, security, or content updates for XP or that other software, nor will it provide support.

Microsoft will provide antimalware signatures System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection, Windows Intune, and Microsoft Security Essentials on XP until July 15, 2015. The Microsoft Security Essentials' installer is no longer available, but the Malicious Software Removal Tool wlll remain available until July 15, 2015.

But don't worry: The sky will not darken, and birds will not fall to the ground. All things will continue as before. You'll just need to rely on third parties for security protection and support. Your XP installers will still work, and all the patches released before the support period ended will still be available via Windows Update.

Some of you have been scrambling to upgrade your environment to a newer version of Windows (7 or 8), while others are taking a wait-and-see attitude and may limp along on the unsupported XP environment unless forced to purchase new hardware as the old PCs fail.

Windows XP walks off into the sunset to join other great Windows OSes like Windows 95 and Windows 98 SE. That's where it belongs. XP was a great advance in its time, but that time was 13 years ago. Today, XP deserves to be forgotten. In fact, I've forgotten it already.

Let's focus on the present with Windows 7 and 8, and look forward toward Windows 9.

This story, "Why I won't miss Windows XP," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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