A lot of people I know are wringing their hands over the fact that Microsoft is pulling its support for the old stalwart operating system, Windows XP, on April 8th. Simply put, most of these people don’t know where to begin to upgrade to a newer Microsoft operating system, can’t afford to do so if their lives were to depend upon it, and certainly are in no position to purchase a new computer.
This is one of the dumbest things Microsoft has ever done. According to Internet measurement company Net Applications, 29.5% of the world’s PCs ran XP in February. If you use estimates of the number of Windows PCs now in operation, that “user share” translates into approximately 488 million systems. Microsoft is pulling support for 488 million machines.
I won’t be upgrading Windows XP. Clearly, this is all about money. Microsoft wants you to stop using that old product that they’re not making profit from anymore, and purchase one of their shiny, new products (whether you want it or not). It’s essentially extortion. You won’t buy our new product? Fine… we’ll stop supporting the old one. So there!
Microsoft has already damaged it’s brand with me. I see pulling support for Windows XP no differently than if an auto maker decided to stop making engine parts for your older car and insisted your only solution was to purchase a new engine from them. Yes, I understand Windows XP is an old operating system. Yes, I understand a newer operating system on a newer computer might be an ideal solution. But there’s nothing wrong with the computer I have (a newer computer with Windows XP installed). Microsoft should not feel like they can dictate what I do with own device, and I won’t put up with it.
In view of potential future vulnerabilities to the Windows XP OS, my chosen solution will be to remove my main computer (a digital audio workstation) from Internet access altogether when the time comes (rather than surrender to MS Extortion). I’ve already started getting my e-mail and surfing the Web on my tablet. Our other less critical, Windows based machines will be moved over to Linux. And when the time inevitably comes to buy new computers, they won’t be devices with a Microsoft OS on it.
Apple has likely just gained a new future customer. That has to do with the way Microsoft has handled this, more than anything. Microsoft doesn’t seem to think I have a choice, and I will prove them wrong. The most absurd thing is that there are probably a lot of people out there like me who would have gladly paid a subscription fee of some sort for continued support. Microsoft apparently is so successful that they can afford to just turn off revenue streams from millions of potential customers.
This customer, for one, won’t be upgrading to MS Extortion.