Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 8th Apr 2014 15:38 UTC

It's finally here. After 12 years, 6 months, and 12 days on the market, Windows XP has hit its end of life. It will receive its last ever set of patches on Windows Update today, and for the most part, that will be that. Any flaws discovered from now on - and it's inevitable that some will be discovered - will never be publicly patched.

How bad is this going to be? It's probably going to be pretty bad. By some measures, about 28 percent of the Web-using public is still using Windows XP, and these systems are going to be ripe for exploitation.

I never liked Windows XP (I used BeOS during XP's early days, and Mac OS X and Linux during XP's later days), so I'm glad to see it go. This terrible operating system should have died out years ago.

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"I never liked," "I'm glad to see it go," and "this terrible operating system should have died out years ago" . . . . c'mon Thom, stop being hateful for hateful's sake. I tried to use BeOS right after Windows 98, but it wouldn't let me install it on the shiny new AMD system I built back in 2002, because it only worked on Intel iron.

As far as using OSX, well, if WinXP is said to hold users' hands, OSX outright pushes them the direction OSX thinks users should go. I built what's now called a hackintosh back in 2004 on a PowerPC and I could feel my brain cells dying off by the second just by using the Apple interface.

I also remember all too well building myriad GNU-linux systems and needing to go back to my XP system to find out how to configure my Xserver or resolve a painful dependency or whatever. Well, one time, it just hit me: Why am I trying so hard to use some other OS when this one just allows me to get my work done?

This is what XP allowed so many people to do: just simply get some work done without the whole "WOW! I'm really computing here!" kind of bad-geek, early-nerd experience.

Now, you may well hate it for this reason: it provided a solid and high benchmark for other OSes to aspire to. Many of those other systems couldn't match it, so they decided not to compete with it and instead pursued other goals, whether it be acting as terminals for itunes or specialized, narrow-focus desktops that attempted to distinguish themselves simply by not trying to be XP.

You're European, so this following analogy may not mean much to you, but bear with it: Windows XP was the Ford Model A of the computing world. Some people loved Model A's, relatively few hated them, most were of the proverbial "meh" reaction, but that didn't stop a majority of people from buying one and using it for all sorts of simple, utilitarian purposes and then some. It may not have done anything particularly elegantly or been the best in its class in any way, but it could do almost anything and, treated properly, would last nearly forever. Windows XP is the analog of the Model A in the computer world.

I love operating systems just as much as you do, but there is no denying that Windows XP casts a long shadow over what we now consider a normal desktop OS experience. It certainly deserves the respect of anyone who runs a website centered around OS news, regardless of the flaws it had or has (which operating system has never had any flaws at all? Perhaps OpenBSD, but part of the reason for that is because users can do little of anything fun or useful on such systems~).

I love this website and respect your opinions on most things, but simply knee-jerk impulsive hate for Windows XP is just wrong and misplaced. For all its warts and flaws, it dragged the computer world, kicking and screaming, forward to a better, more coherent way of doing things.

Flame me if you like for these opinions, anyone, but I have to add that, even as a long-time XP user, I am still wishing HARD that I can finally get full 3D support for my AMD card in ANY linux distro (currently have a Debian system and a mongrel Ubuntu system I put KDE on myself because I don't like how Kubuntu does it, sorry). I really, really want to leave the MS stuff behind, but I need something more compelling and reliable than what I've been presented with or been able to hack together thus far.

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