In a series of odd, bordering on stupid news stories leading up to Microsoft’s end of support for Windows XP, another article has popped up from a tech press so totally out-of-touch with the real world of what they cover. Whether it be a “Windows XP Problem” or a full scale “Windows XP Apocalypse” – those still using Windows XP are in for a new kind of hell when Microsoft stops offering security patches for the operating system on April 8, 2014 (of course, assuming this isn’t extended). It seems abundantly clear to these folks that using these operating systems past available patches is akin to something like an extinction event.
This talk makes me think the people writing about technology news don’t support, work with, nor use it. While the technology treadmill continues to roll, those in the front-end of the treadmill are probably so far away from the real world that they probably shouldn’t be talking about it.
The fact is, China’s high number of Windows XP users probably makes sense. It’s an easily pirated operating system, coupled with it working on older hardware right now; and you have something that is probably working very well for what people need. Some of what I feel has made Windows XP as successful as it has been because it just works. You could probably also say that XP was released at the high watermark of the PC’s domination in 2001, so a good number of Windows applications probably work best on Windows XP and are frozen there in time because they may never get updated. There are probably precedents for why things that “just work” stick around and remain relevant past what appears a useful window (like, John Travolta, I suppose).
Being good and useful is not a sign of the apocalypse. But, perhaps our intolerance and non-support of these cool phenomenons are more likely to get us running for the hills.