Are the Windows XP and Vista Eras Over?
There is a lot of buzz doing the rounds that Microsoft will soon pull the plug on support for both XP and Vista. This has caused a lot of panic among Windows users. There is no need to act in haste and get yourself in a muddle. But the fact is that XP is a nine year old Operating System and Vista a four year old one. And support is being phased out.
What's Age Got To Do With It?
Windows 7, the latest Operating System from Microsoft, gets its name because it is the seventh version of Windows to be rolled out. Maintaining support and developing service packs to keep operating systems running takes time, money and a lot of man hours – all for no monetary return. It is the duty of the manufacturer to provide support to its customers, but this can not be done indefinitely – it's just not practical. Support for Windows 98 and ME stopped some years ago. It did not have much of an effect because everyone had switched over to XP. This time around, because of the debacle that was Vista, users are cautious about upgrading; fearing that they will only be making life difficult for themselves. But Windows 7 is a good operating system and in time may prove itself to be a great one – perhaps even better than XP. Microsoft wants to put XP to rest after nine years and although Vista is younger, because of the mess that it is, the company wants to bury it as soon as possible.
So What's Going To Happen?
Support is being stopped in a phased manner. Microsoft has said that on July 13 of this year it will stop support for XP users who have installed only service packs 1 and 2. Since most, if not all users, have installed service pack 3, they will be ok for some time. But no new service packs will be issued and it is clear that the company will completely stop support for XP as soon as it can. Rather than wait for the inevitable, not knowing when it will come, switching over to Windows 7 makes sense. Not only is it a slim, stable and easy to use Operating System, it does not require high end hardware. Requiring just 1 GB of RAM and a 1.83GHz dual core processor, even two and three year old computers will be able to run it without any upgrade. Also keep in mind that applications and hardware that are XP compatible will soon be hard to come by, since the developers know that XP's days are numbered. Combine all this with the fact that Windows 7 offer another level of computer use, and there really is no need to postpone the upgrade.
In the case of Vista, the company has already announced that support for users who have not installed service packs stopped on April 13th of this year. That again will not be much of a problem because everyone who uses Vista has installed the service packs in the hope of a better usage experience. And it is possible that a third service pack may be introduced in the future. But the fact that support is being limited clearly indicates that Microsoft is looking at pulling support for Vista as soon as it can do so. And anyway, these service packs are only patch up jobs for a defective Operating System. Continuing to use it, with all its problems, when you know that support is ending soon enough, just does not make sense. It's burying your head in the sand. Since you're going to have to change to Windows 7 in the near future, why not do it now and put all the Vista hassles behind you?
There are many versions of Windows 7 to suit all budgets and requirements. And since it is designed to work on older computers also, unless you have a very old PC, its illegally that you will need any hardware upgrades. So rather than sitting around waiting for the inevitable stopping of support for XP and Vista, its better to be proactive and upgrade now. Not only will you be assured of an Operating System that will be in use for years to come, the whole computing experience will be better.