Today will be remembered as the day when Microsoft discontinued support for its Windows XP operating system. It will be remembered as the operating system that bridged the familiar “look and feel” of its predecessors with the simplicity and reliability that made it outshine Windows Vista, its unloved successor. As always, Microsoft had to take a step back to cater to its audience when Vista flopped. Consequently, Windows 7, while reliable and more capable in keeping up with time, came out like Windows XP2, it failed to excite, and the differences remained elusive to many users.
At the same time, Microsoft added geeky complexity offering several different ways to accomplish the same tasks culminating in Windows 8, a product that thoroughly spooked its audience and prompted it to just sit it out.
As the result of this product strategy, more than 12 years after its release Windows XP still remains installed on almost 25% of the world’s computers with no immediate end in sight (for comparison: Windows 8/8.1: ~ 10%, Mac OS X < 4%). Dr. Sheldon Cooper condenses consumer sentiment into one simple phrase:
Windows XP: your occasional blue screens will be missed – just not yet!