Microsoft is planning to cut off support for Windows XP in April 2014, just a few months shy of the legacy operating system's 13th birthday. Many computers have long moved on from Windows XP and are now rocking Windows 7 or Windows 8 (or even Vista), though it's estimated that between 20 percent (StatCounter) and 33 percent (NetMarketShare) of PCs around the world haven't yet upgraded. What happens to all those users come April?
Microsoft has made many successful products over the years, but unfortunately they’ve also made a lot of mistakes as well. With Windows 8.1 coming out on the horizon, we’ve decided to compile a list of the company's five biggest successes and blunders.
Windows 7 is two months away from becoming the second newest consumer desktop operating system from Microsoft (it already is, if you count the Windows 8 Release to Manufacturing, or RTM), but will it surpass Windows XP in market share before Windows 8 is made generally available to the public? It's going to be a tight race, but it looks like Windows 7 will jump ahead by the end of August.
When Microsoft released Windows 7 in late 2009, it became an instant hit, especially in the consumer PC market. In contrast, enterprise users did not display quite the same eagerness in adopting the operating system, with most of them choosing instead to cling onto Windows XP for as long as possible. Earlier this month, though, Microsoft triumphantly announced that over 50 percent of all enterprise desktops were now running Windows 7. But stats don’t always tell the full story, do they?
Over the weekend, Symantec revealed that a recent antivirus update wreaked havoc on certain Windows XP machines, causing them to crash with the dreaded “blue screen of death.” According to the company, the update in question slipped through the “compatibility testing part of the quality assurance process for SONAR signatures” and remained available via LiveUpdate between 6:25 p.m. PT July 11 and 2:51 a.m. PT July 12.
At a special event in San Francisco earlier today, Microsoft raised the curtain on the 15th version of its Office productivity suite, which has historically been a huge cash cow for the company. Speaking at the said press event, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer the new Office “will fully light-up when paired with Windows 8.” Well, turns out there really aren’t an awful lot of things out there beyond Windows 8 that can fire up the new Office, for Office 2013’s pyrotechnics are reserved for Windows 8 and Windows 7 only and users with older operating systems will need to upgrade in order to get in on the action.
Windows 8 is almost here but Windows 7 is nevertheless just starting to hits its stride, nearly three years after its launch. According to StatCounter, Microsoft's flagship operating system snatched the "Most Used O.S" crown from Windows XP sometime in September 2011, but last month, Windows 7 cracked an even more monumental plateau: it now owns over 50 percent of the total O.S. market.
At the time of the Windows 8 Release Preview’s release last month, Microsoft spilled the beans on a special upgrade offer for those who buy eligible Windows 7-based PCs between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013. It did not reveal anything regarding the upgrade path for existing Windows users, though. But you may no longer have to wait until an official announcement from Redmond to know where you stand on the road to Windows 8, as a veteran Microsoft watcher claims to have the scoop on Microsoft’s Windows 8 upgrade plans.
When even the purpose of our own existence continues to be a mystery, Taiwan-based ITG has every right to sell a desktop OS-running phone that apparently has no clearly defined purpose. By the same token, it also has the right to come up with a successor to that pointless phone. And that’s exactly what ITG plans to do.
All things eventually come to an end, and for Windows XP and its legion of holdouts, the end is nigh. It's a dead OS walking and the governors at Microsoft aren't going to pick up the phone at the last moment and give it yet another stay of execution. Microsoft general manager for Windows Commercial marketing, Rich Reynolds, confirmed as much in an interview with InformationWeek.