Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The end of an era - The sunset of Windows XP

On October 25, 2001, Windows XP was released to the general public.  Today, Windows XP is no longer a supported operating system, joining the ranks of Windows 2000, Windows ME, Windows 98, Windows 95, Windows NT 4, etc...   Thirteen years is a long run.  XP came out less than a year after my fourth child was born.  My oldest child was almost eight years old.  What an incredible run.  I don't believe that even Microsoft understood the magnitude of XP's success on the computing world at that time.

Since then we have had Windows Vista (dud), Windows 7 (the true successor to Windows XP), and Windows 8.x (I hate that OS and I absolutely refuse to buy anything with 8 on it).  In the last four months, I have upgraded my own mother's computer (Windows 7) and my mother-in-law's computer (also Windows 7).  If you are still running Windows XP, it is time to move on.  Buy a new computer and put a modern OS on it.  Windows 7 OEM runs $139 at Newegg.com.  If you're a bit of a nerd and you want free, you can go with a Linux distribution and then run LibreOffice as your office suite.  My new favorite Linux distribution is Linux Mint.  I have Linux Mint running on some low-end hardware as my Plex media server and it runs just fine.  In fact, I'm writing this blog entry on that PC.  In 2001 there were no viable Windows OS alternatives.  Today, there are a few more viable options.  The two major options are Mac OS X and Linux.  If you don't care about a having a thick desktop, a Chromebook might be in your future.  (I have been pleasantly surprised with my Chromebook.)  Your mileage may vary with Linux as it will take some experimentation to find a distribution that suits your tastes.  I digress.

As I stated above, XP has had quite a run.  It is probably the most popular desktop OS of all time.  Today is a significant day indeed for the millions of users that still use it daily.  It is time to upgrade or install something different.  It really doesn't matter what it is, you just need to move to something that is supported.  My personal preference is 64-bit Windows 7.  I have it running on computers that have anywhere from 8 to 32 GB of RAM with as few as two cores to as many as eight CPU cores.  It is solid.  It is familiar.  It is fast.

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