This week, I wrote a blog post urging consumers to let go of Windows XP and upgrade. Why? Because Windows 7 is a secure, modern OS that’s fun to use, and the new laptops on which it runs have never looked better or costed less. Also, new market share numbers show Windows 7 is grabbing share from XP and Vista (though not from the real enemy, Apple).
Yet despite my case for the death of XP, nearly all of the 15 or so readers who made comments aren’t having it.
The bottom line on the comments — which I appreciate by the way — is that Windows XP works well and there’s no compelling reason right now to buy a new Windows 7 PC or upgrade to the OS.
“It does everything I want it to do”, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, “Why change for the sake of change” were the common refrains.
One reader spoke of being perfectly content running Windows XP on an eight-year-old desktop.
“I am still running XP, with all updates, on my 2002 desktop because it still does everything I need to do, including photo and video editing. There is no reason to buy a new anything when what you have works well — that is what got this country in to the financial mess we are in now.”
Maybe my Windows 7 enthusiasm made me come across like a PC salesperson or Microsoft shill, and for that I apologize. But honestly, the post came from my day-to-day experience using XP at work and Windows 7 at home. It’s two different worlds. I work my Windows XP work machine hard and it’s become a slog – slow startup and shut down times, multiple apps sometimes run like they’re trapped in mollasses. I’ve had a couple computer viruses in the past year. I just got more RAM, which has helped, a little.
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But like many companies out there, IDG is still on Windows XP, and only slowly rolling out Windows 7 on an as-needed basis.
Needless to say, I go home to a substantially better experience on my Windows 7 personal laptop.
Windows 7 isn’t just way prettier than XP, it has much faster boot up, sleep and wake up times, joining wireless networks and connecting external devices is much easier, the UI navigation with thumbnail previews and jumplists from the revamped taskbar is far more intuitive than XP’s made-in-2001 user interface, and fun features like streaming Netflix movies through Windows Media Center don’t exist in XP. And so and so on.
While no reader directly criticized Windows 7, they’ll be damned if they’re going to pull out the credit card to replace XP when it gives them what they want. Here are some comments.
“Your perspective that XP users switch to W7 just “because” (e.g. new, shiny, and has fewer migration issues than Vista) seems like a paid-by-Microsoft advertisement. For those of who have endured PAINFUL and TIME WASTING OS stabilization and upgrade experiences from days gone by, XP has been and continues to be what we all sought in the first place: a utility-like OS – turn it on and off without worry.”
“I’m not going to throw away my 3 year old XP laptop — that would be a waste of good hardware. I’m not going to upgrade my laptop to Win7, its not worth it to me. I’ll enjoy Win7 if and when I get a new laptop, and I’m in no hurry.”
“Why should a person spend this money if what they have works for them? I use 7 and it is much better than Vista, but the price ofthe windows 7 upgrade from xp is extremely hard to justify for many. Why not wait for when you NEED a new computer, not just upgrade because “Forrester” say people are “satisfied” with it.
“Part of the reason is the economy. Why spend the money if I don’t need to? XP is running fine and I don’t see the point in spending money on an upgrade when I’m pinching pennies.
One reader (responding to another reader comment) did say Windows 7 is worth the investment now.
“Hey man I know XP is probably stable with the applications you run (lord knows after a decade of development they should be!) but I can tell you without any hesitation that 7 is amazing. I’m previously an Ubuntu user and I love it. Have no fear!”
I appreciate everyone’s comments and thank you for reading. I would still recommend upgrading from Vista if you are having any performance problems. It’s an easy as pie “in-place” upgrade and it’s certainly affordable ($100 on Amazon for Windows 7 Home Premium).
As for XP, it may be giving you what you think you want, but I’m just saying it could be better. If you don’t have money now for a new PC or the patience and tech acumen for an XP-to-Windows 7 upgrade, put some money aside to make a new purchase when you’re ready.
Whatever you do, don’t still be on XP in April 2014 when Microsoft completely cuts off support. If you are, your problems may run deeper than choice of operating system.
Shane O’Neill is a senior writer at CIO.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/smoneill. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter at twitter.com/CIOonline.