Thursday, August 5, 2010

Microsoft; XP; Support; Marketing, Smart and Otherwise

"Microsoft's Not-So-Secret Plan to Cripple Windows XP"
PCWorld (August 4, 2010)

"Microsoft isn't particularly pleased about the continuing success of Windows XP, which has more than twice the installed base of Windows Vista and 7 put together. So it's trying its hardest to kill the operating system that won't die, including refusing to issue security patches for XP SP2, putting many XP users at risk. Is that the right way to get people to upgrade?

"A report out yesterday from Net Applications shows that Windows XP has more than twice the market share of Windows 7 and Windows Vista combined -- 61.87% for XP in July, compared to 14.46% for Windows 7, and 14.34% for Windows Vista.

"Gregg Keizer of Computerworld reports that XP market share is dropping very slowly, and that its current rate of decline, it won't drop under 50% until January 2010. And even then, it will far outpace Windows Vista and Windows 7, and likely have more market share than both combined...."

I'm one of the folks who's using Windows XP, although I'll almost certainly use a more contemporary operating system when I have to get a new computer. I'm satisfied with XP. And my priorities are to have a reliable system, rather than be able to tell someone that I've got the latest bugware.

I'm also not one of the 'hate Microsoft' crowd.

Just the same, I'm inclined to agree with the last two paragraphs of this article:

"...So there's both a carrot and a stick involved in the plan. The carrot: If you upgrade to Windows 7, you get to run IE9 and other software. The stick: If you don't upgrade, you'll be vulnerable to malware.

"There's a better way to get people to upgrade: Design an operating system so good that XP users will happily give up XP. I'm hoping that's what the next version of Windows will be."

On the other hand, I'm not sure that there was any agreement that XP would be supported indefinitely. I think it's a good idea to do so, considering how many folks still use that product - and the impression that cutting support will leave. But my guess is that Microsoft is free to chose what it'll do about spending money to maintain XP support.

I'd like to think that a large corporation's leadership would be sharp enough to realize that you don't retain customer loyalty by providing inferior service.

On the other hand, I'd like to think that America's automotive industry leaders didn't have to go on welfare: and look at what happened to the Big 3. (December 12, 2008)

What will Microsoft decide to do? What's PCWorld's interest? Will the Cubs win the pennant?

I haven't a clue.

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