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XP Won't Go Gently by trevmun XP Won't Go Gently by trevmun
So, today marked the last day of official support for Windows XP and XP 64-bit from Microsoft. Technically. (I'll get into that later.) And for that reason, I whipped up this OS-tan image. Probably the first one I've ever felt good enough for public posting. I've actually had ideas for a spinoff series on OS-tans for years. Maybe someday in the near future I'll do something with it.

Anyway, all across the Internet, tech news sites have been hailing today as the death of Windows XP, calling it the "XPocalypse" and other vaguely witty names. Some of these tech newsies have even gone on spastic tirades over the fact that XP just hasn't gone away, berating anyone still using the OS like they were Duke Nukem Forever fans. To hear the journalists tell it, hackers are about to embark on a Wild Hunt, spreading malware and botnet programs across the Internet and condemning every XP user who didn't repent their sinful ways to a miserable existence. That's certainly what Microsoft wants us to believe, as they have really been amping up the Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt campaign in recent months. They added nagware as a Windows Update patch (I deliberately did not install that one), launched a really condescending "Friends Don't Let Friends Use XP" intervention campaign, treating their old OS like a drug habit(?!) ... They've even tried to tempt Windows XP users into buying a shiny new OS with the promise of $100 if they can prove that they own Windows XP and plan to upgrade. (It's a bait-and-switch, of course. It's actually $100 in Microsoft Store Credit, which Microsoft expects you to use on their $600~$1200 PCs.)

Gamers haven't been any more kind to XP users: go on a Steam Community forum for any game that doesn't have XP support, or is trying to implement support, and you'll be sure to find some extremely rude, condescending, and snide remarks from Windows 7-or-later gamers. "What about Windows 3.1 support?! What about MS-DOS support?!?!?!?!?!" (These kind of remarks are disgustingly hilarious in the case of older games that could be run on MS-DOS using MAME or something). It's true, however, that we're starting to see more and more games drop support for the XP family. It's also true that, on Steam, Windows 7 is far more dominant in the demographics. I'd personally chalk that up to Microsoft's tried-and-true forced obsolescence tactics they've been using since Vista, though: if anyone remembers the days of Halo 2's launch, that was when they announced that XP would not get DirectX 10 support in a bid to force gamers to buy the new OS. They delayed DirectX 11 support to Vista but didn't withhold it, but I think 7 turned out to be so much better than Vista that people didn't care. As of the date I uploaded this image, Microsoft has declined to comment on whether or not Windows 7 will receive DirectX 12 support, but I wouldn't be surprised if they made it exclusive to Windows 8 and beyond to continue pushing gamers to their newest products.

Though, I think that's what kills me about all of this. Conventional "wisdom" among the tech sector and most users who've bought Microsoft's FUD campaign is that XP is a "dinosaur" that deserves to die, as if this were the natural way of things. It's not! If Microsoft really wanted to, all the updates and improvements we've been seeing out of Windows 7 and the like could easily have been made into service packs for Windows XP. Just look at Linux and its myriad distros: they still support kernel versions all the way back to 2001. No, this is really just Microsoft seeing forced obsolescence as a legitimate way to increase profits. I don't think it has to be this way, but this is the path Microsoft's chosen for well over a decade, and they're not going to stop now.

Despite the FUD campaign, though, I think the rumors of XP-tan's death are greatly exaggerated: Up until today, Windows XP has been holding at just under 30% of the global market share. It actually increased a little in February, bucking the trend of a steady decline. It took forever for any of the newer Windows OSes to dethrone XP as the market leader. That'd be Windows 7, which is sitting around 48% according to that article. Windows Vista, 8, and 8.1 combined barely make up a significant percent of the market share compared to XP.

I do expect that there will be a significant change in the coming days, now that official support has finally ended. Sort of. But I hardly think this is the death of Windows XP, not when it still has a significant market share and, let's face it, is still freaking useful. I believe an OS can only truly said to be dead when there is no longer any practical use for it. As I've found out from discovering places like the Microsoft Software Network, the death of an OS can be delayed for a long, long time in the hands of hobbyist programmers. (Can you believe they can get Firefox working on Windows 98 and 2000? If that doesn't say something about their tenacity, I don't know what does!)

For those of you who've noticed my deviantID info, I personally use XP Professional 64-bit Edition (not the Itanium one). I've been using it since 2008, when I did the last major hardware overhaul for my machine (not counting replacement parts due to lightning damage, hard drive failure, etc.). And frankly ... I'm not giving up XP64 because of the EOS. I specifically chose getting XP64 over Vista because I wanted the lighter system requirements of XP (and the stability of a *ahem* mature OS) combined with access to 64-bit computing. XP64 is a black sheep of the XP family: it has a reputation for being ill supported by drivers, but I've actually had very little problem with that over the years. In fact, discounting last month thanks to what I believe is Renegade X's Open Beta at fault, I rarely have any BSoDs. I only had two in all of 2013, both directly caused by running out of available RAM (... I do a lot of heavy multitasking, okay). Hardware failure has been the worse problem for me.

When the inevitable does happen, and enough programs stop supporting XP/XP64 outright, I'm not sure where I'll go from there. Maybe Windows 9 or whatever comes afterward, maybe Linux. I'm already considering Linux (maybe even SteamOS!) as for a potential OS for a future and seperate dedicated gaming machine, unless OpenGL sees much more support among Windows games. Although Epic Games has announced that Unreal Engine 4 does not support DirectX 9 and therefore will not run on XP or XP64, I have seen a few threads on their forums where employees are planning on giving XP/XP64 support via OpenGL (EDIT: As of June 4, 2014, Windows XP support through OpenGL is happening). Also, Autodesk is currently in a "XP is unsupported wink wink nudge nudge" state of mind, as 3DS Max 2014 officially does not support XP64, but apparently it will still work thanks to a service pack. I've encountered a few other programs that do not list XP as a supported OS and yet still run just fine.

The real kicker is, Microsoft isn't actually ending support for Windows XP, either! Not yet, anyway. Several national governments have put up a lot of dough to convince Microsoft to provide continued support for Windows XP ... just not for the common user. It's also possible to get continued updates for XP64 through Windows Server 2003 patches, as Server 2003 and XP64 share a codebase and the former will continue getting support for at least a year. Another form of XP, 2009POSReady, is also still getting updates, and with a little tweaking they can be used on XP32.

But yeah, between all of that? XP ain't dead. And it won't die for a long while yet. I, personally, will continue to use it.
YarKramer Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
After reading the description, I almost want to see a "sequel" to this with XP-tan decking the other one in the face.
Gut-Funk Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2015
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Submitted on
April 8, 2014
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17.6 MB


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