Don't kill my Windows XP!

As Windows 8's official arrival date nears, it may be time to remember that many of us are still happily using Windows XP and we aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Are you ready to throw Windows XP into the trash? I'm not.

October 25th is the official release date for Windows 8, but I, for one, have no intention of "upgrading" to Windows 8 from Windows 7 or XP. Indeed, I still think XP SP3 is one of the best versions of Windows ever, so why exactly should I switch?

Yeah, so XP SP3 is five years old. So what? Does it still work? Yes. Does it still run all my Windows applications? Yes. So, tell me again, exactly why I should upgrade?

Oh sure, Windows 7 SP1 has some good points. It's a bit faster, it's a bit more secure, it has some nice network features such as Libraries and DirectAccess,  and it has Internet Explorer (IE) 9, which is better than IE 8. Of course, Chrome 21 is better than any version of IE and it runs just fine on Windows 7 and XP.

The bottom line is that while I prefer desktop Linux, especially Mint, on my Windows PCs I'm still using XP on many of them. Why? Because it just works.

I've always been a big believer in using what works. One of my pet phrases is "If it's not broke, then why fix it?" When it comes to Windows, it seems I'm not the only one who sees it that way. Windows 7, after three years, has only in the last month passed Windows XP in popularity.

One of the reasons why I'm so hostile to Windows 8 is that it breaks all the old ways of doing things in Windows and offers no real improvements over Windows 7 or XP. True, Windows 8 will have antivirus Defender/Security Essentials built-in, but any business IT person worth his or her salt already has those running. The simple truth is there's no reason what-so-ever to "upgrade" an older computer to Windows 8.

Be that as it may, XP has recently been getting a bad rap for security. Contrary to some reports, properly maintained and updated XP is as secure as any version of Windows. Besides, if safety is your number one concern for your desktop operating system, you should be running Linux, not Windows.

Eventually -- April 8, 2014, to be exact -- Microsoft says it will no longer support XP. But, Microsoft has extended XP's lifespan several times before. XP was supposed to have been taken off life-support years ago. Then, because Vista was such a flop, XP Home was brought back from the dead.

Oddly enough, it seems Microsoft will still let you "downgrade" and buy Windows XP after April 8, 2014. That's another reason I expect XP's support to be extended still further into the future. I can't see Microsoft's business customers putting up with paying cash money for a system that Microsoft then won't support.

Heck, if the Windows 8 launch turns out to be as big a disaster as I think it will be, who knows? Maybe XP will yet see its end of support life extended for a few more years. I, for one, would be happy to keep running XP for another few years. In short, don't kill my Windows XP!

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