Half of IT pros plan to use XP after support ends?

Cnet says half of IT pros plan to use XP after support ends. I’m not surprised, but I’m not certain this article means exactly what you’re thinking it means. They may not necessarily continue running it as their sole OS until the end of time, but on secondary PCs, why not run it as long as possible? That Windows XP license wasn’t cheap, so why not continue using it for as long as there’s useful software to run on it?A lot of IT pros hung on to Windows 2000 for a very long time too. I still have a Windows 2000 box operating. I’ll replace it with something running XP eventually, but for now, it works and it isn’t hurting anything.

I expect a fair number of consumers will continue running XP for a long time too. Someone I consider a good friend ran Windows 98 right up to a couple of months ago. His new computer running Windows 7 was, to say the least, jarring. The start menu is completely different, and he asked me where Outlook Express was.

And I know some other people who will continue running 98 for as long as they can find hardware that will run it. There are a couple of people on a model railroading forum I used to frequent who take every opportunity they can to take potshots at anything newer than “tried and true” Windows 98SE. Now, I can understand XP being a rocky road at first. I sure didn’t think much of it the first couple of times I saw it. Maybe they tried XP early on and had a bad experience with it. Or maybe they’re just afraid of anything they haven’t seen before–entirely possible at that place. Maybe they just think none of the software they have now will run on a newer version of Windows and they don’t want to change.

Any time Microsoft has made a big change, some people have refused to go along. The NT kernel caused some to stay behind at 98SE. XP activation caused some to stay behind at 2000. Vista gave people all kinds of reasons to stay with XP. And, well, compared to previous versions of Windows, XP just works well enough.

Despite that Apple ad, “it won’t have any of the problems the previous version had,” really stopped with XP. Unless you inadvertently installed malware or had some device with exceptionally bad drivers, XP worked well, especially after SP2.

I see Windows XP now has 59% of the Windows market, followed by 7 (18%), Vista (13%), and older versions splitting up the remaining 10%.

If 10% of the Windows market is still running on versions that made their debut in the 1990s (remember, Windows 2000 came out in 1999), then XP’s going to be around a long time, whether the computer press likes it or not.

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