A look back on Windows XP: Success, simplicity and stupidity

Discussion in 'Microsoft Products and Community' started by Ralph Bromley, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. Ralph Bromley

    Ralph Bromley Honorable Member

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    So consider this to be a bit of self indulgence as I give my own eulogy at windows XP's funeral.
    Windows XP was my first full time operating system, and as it ends its support cycle its time for me to do some fun looking back on one of the computing worlds biggest successes and how it all went so terribly wrong.

    Now how can one of the biggest successes in the computing world be in itself a failure?
    Well lets take a look at what Windows XP offered.
    Firstly XP was the first OS to become popular overall to the masses , sure Microsoft had successes with 95 and 98 but XP was the first true mainstream system that brought many to the wonders of the home computer.
    This is no small feat, Microsoft's PR engine was on all four cylinders with XP by creating a system that was super user friendly with a no frills approach to computing.
    Simplicity is a nice goal to have when making an OS, there are very good reasons why XP, OSX, Ubuntu, iOS and android has caught on with most of the computing world.
    All offer simplicity for better or for worse depending on your perspective.
    Lets take the better reasons why something like XP caught on:
    Firstly the OS is extremely accessible from the total newcomer to the most pro computer user, the average Joe user like myself has benefited from the skills I have learned from XP.
    Indeed XP taught me a lot about how an OS worked and functioned, how everything connected and how it all came to work.
    I actually owe a lot to XP, it is the OS that got me really into learning about computers and how they worked.
    Without it I would not be wanting to get a diploma for computing or even built the desktop I am posting this all from.
    But even so the holes in the armor of XP and the other Microsoft operating systems can be seen from outer space.
    How Microsoft integrated the whole kernel and the components of the OS into one big ball of insecurities, where if one pin was taken out the whole ship would sink.
    Its like the Titanic of operating systems, Microsoft claimed it was unsinkable and the boat kept on taking on water.
    Security holes were abound with XP, its “easy for everyone” approach was letting hackers become kids in a candy store.
    And tying Internet explorer to the core of the OS was no help, one of the most dumb things Microsoft has ever done and XP suffered greatly for it.
    But most learned to adapt to XP's shortcomings and soon Microsoft became complacent and frankly rather arrogant.
    Overconfident they blundered into windows Vista without any consideration to users of XP nor the computing world in general.
    Vista is the main reason why XP's lifespan was extended, it was a miserable release for many so Microsoft had to create windows 7 to bring back its consumer ratio.
    And now they made the same blunder once again with 8.
    Microsoft is a company full of blundering in when new challenges arise, first with apple now with android.
    This is something that Microsoft is good at, being rich but very little brain matter when it comes to actually producing a good OS half the time.
    And XP is the source of the blame for this mentality, so cocky was Microsoft that blundering stupidity was abound.
    As the new computing age began Microsoft just seems to slip and makes you wonder how in the hell did it get so big sometimes.
    Even from a pro Microsoft standpoint the blunders can be seen without the need of a telescope five million miles long.
    Nevertheless XP was a semi decent OS once you plugged all its holes and built a bomb shelter around it.
    C'est la vie Windows XP, and bon voyage.
     
    #1 Ralph Bromley, Apr 7, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  2. windowsfan

    windowsfan Banned

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    Windows XP was a very good operating system... I used it until the end of support, then I preferred buying Windows 7...

    :/
     
  3. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    At its peak Windows XP had at least 95% of the operating system market cornered. This is before the existence of tablets and modern processors. There is really no comparison, other than to look backwards. The only two real alternatives, during this time frame, were Windows 2000 (arguably the XP predecessor), and Windows 98 SE. Windows ME was the big flop that focused businesses and retail customers to Windows 2000. As far as it being a piece of crap, or whatever. Sure, it may look that way now. It is a dated operating system from 2001. Because most of the world had Windows XP, it was targeted the most. Red Hat and Slackware Linux servers were also targeted extensively. Internet Explorer was adapted to corner the Internet marketplace from the client end, and not the server. This was a miscalculation, as far as my opinion goes. Microsoft did not impose rigorous security safeguards into its quality assurance and update process until several major worms hit the Internet including Code Red and the Blaster worm. There is a correlation here as far as the commercialization of the Internet happened throughout the 90s and 00's, and the evolution of viri and malware. The more commercialized the Internet gets, the more there is to gain for criminals to bypass its safeguards.
     
  4. whs

    whs Extraordinary Member

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    XP was probably the most successful OS ever. From now on there will be more diversification to tablets, chromebooks, phones with different operating systems than Windows. And Linux also seems to get more attention - if they only could get their act together and focus on 2 or 3 main distros.

    I never liked XP and I hardly used it. But that may have been only me. There nust have been something to it if so many people used it for such a long time - and are still hanging on to it.
     
  5. Ralph Bromley

    Ralph Bromley Honorable Member

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    Linux having so many distros is not the issue with it, its lack of understanding and knowledge by the common user and companies not pre bundling linux on home pc's is what holds linux back.
    In reality there are only 5 linux distros that most others are based off of:
    Debian
    Redhat
    Slackware
    Gentoo
    And Arch

    Yes in the end most distros are in some way related to the others, even with so many listed on distrowatch most other distros have some relation to the ones above.
    Ubuntu and debian for example are cousin distros as Ubuntu is based off of debians unstable branch (thus why incompatibility issues crop up from time to time)
    Fedora, openSUSE, the former Mandriva and its spin offs like Mageia and ROSA all use the .rpm installer package (and again sometimes a .rpm does have incompatibility between distros but each one has its own set of developers to make up for some fallout)
    Slackware, gentoo and arch are for the hardcore elite of linux but I know of a few good spin offs like Sabayon, Manjaro and Salix that seem to do fairly well for newer users.
    Saying that having so many distros is the issue with linux is like saying the issue with Windows is that it tends to favor the color blue.
    Not the case as most of the other distros are made for a certain user in mind.
    Something like Ubuntu is made with the new user in mind
    Something like Debian or Redhat is more targeted at servers
    Sure you have stuff like linux mint but that is more for people who dont know what a codec is or wants something with a windows xp type of look and feel.
    Pretty much all distros have justification for existing.
    Look at it this way, Windows 8 has just upset the general public by not offering choice between the desktop UI and Metro.
    Now they have to create separate entries for their next release or they will go belly up.
    So yeah choice in the end is good.
     
  6. whs

    whs Extraordinary Member

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    Choice is good - no argument. But the uninitiated user cannot even find a way where to start when looking at Linux. Most start with Ubuntu because that is the most used, but a bad choice in my book - at least since they use Unity.

    Fedora and Red Hat is for the experts. You need a lot of Terminal skills.

    Zorin is easy to set up but limeited in it's facilities and quite buggy.

    I decided for myself to go with Mint Mate. That is a nice, stable system and has all I need. But that was a struggle to find thru many trials.

    My point is if all those diverse developers would bundle their efforts, they could make a killing. Nobody needs 100 distros in order to have choices. It could very welll be managed with options in only 2 or 3 distros. I once suggested that on the Fedora forum and got banned. Shows that they want to hold on to their little patch even if it does not sell. That way Linux will never be successful.
     
  7. Ralph Bromley

    Ralph Bromley Honorable Member

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    Distrowatch is a good place to start as is just asking around.
    Also google helps

    As for a starting point to be honest Ubuntu is not bad for beginners, its unity interface once you get used to it is very user friendly.
    Plus you are not looking at linux's success the right way as linux is far more successful then you realize.
    You think profit margins, market shares and how much influence something has not its real intrinsic value.
    Linux may not be successful on the desktop but it is certainly successful at the server market plus there is this little thing called android I am sure you heard of.
    Linux runs most of the worlds servers, even when not using it linux is still on the other end somewhere.
    Android is currently the most successful linux platform and has clearly gained ground on apples iphone and has all but obliterated microsoft on the mobile market.
    Linux also powers devices you would not suspect, like those Roku streaming devices?
    Totally linux based as is Tivo
    So no unlike Microsoft linux is not under some big umbrella company but it still has merits and is in places you would never believe and is far more successful then you would believe.
    Thinking the way Microsoft wants you to will limit you to thinking only market share and financial gain is important but success can be won in other matters too.
     
  8. whs

    whs Extraordinary Member

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    I know of all those Linux applications. They even have it in cars. I use Android myself and although it is a Linux derivative, it is quite different. For a while it was a bit like Linux - only band aids and tape held it together. But since V4, they got better.

    I am talking about the PC consumer and corporate end user market. And there the market share of Linux is minimal. The whole world runs on Windows and when MS puts out a version like Windows 8, everything comes to a halt and people scamble for alternatives. That's where a good Linux alternative would be welcome.

    Some large organizations have converted to Linux (e.g. the city of Munich). That worked well after initial hick-ups. But now they seem to be happy. The city of Berlin is sitting there with 60,000 XP end users and also look at Linux. They are a bit late given the state of XP.
     
  9. Ralph Bromley

    Ralph Bromley Honorable Member

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    Well yes the end user consumer linux market is minimal but that is hardly the fault of there being so many linux distros.
    No the real blame in the end is Microsoft, as it is they who bullied PC makers into using their systems and have stifled competition.
    With lawsuits, SCO and the like they are the real blame behind linux's lack of home PC market share.
     
  10. Joe S

    Joe S Excellent Member

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    Something else that doesn't get much mention is hardware development during XP golden age. When XP first came hardware like chipsets, memory and hard drives were also rapidly improving. At the beginning of XP if you bought a top line box from HP or Dell in a year or so it was getting doggy. By the time Vista arrived then advances were much less noticeable for many user. So for practical purposes Micrsoft's and the box maker's idea of a 3-4 year replacement cycle was no longer practical.
    Joe
     
  11. Annie

    Annie Member

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    I still use XP. If a program, such as IE, can't run on XP, I deep-six that program. I'd rather stick with an OS that does everything I want and use older programs that also do everything I want. Most "upgrades" seem to be designed to run on small devices with limited storage and processing power; I have a PC with plenty of both and I want an OS and programs designed to use them. I don't care about fancy icons & pretty screens; I care about how it works, and every time I've tried something else, I've gone back to XP. Write tablet programs for the people who want to play games and computer programs for those of us who want to work.
     
  12. ussnorway

    ussnorway Windows Forum Team
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    Wecome Annie, by all means use Xp if it floots your boat but please don't do any i-banking, paypay, ebay, amazion etc with it.
     
  13. Ralph Bromley

    Ralph Bromley Honorable Member

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    Well I sure hope that you don't plan on using this forever as XP should be buried it's no longer supported its insecure and has no reason to be on anyone's computer I don't care how good the system is for you you're endangering yourself you might as well light yourself on fire while diving into a barrel of oil next to A bunch of propane tanks located next to a dynamite factory located right next to the nuclear reactor that is on the side of a active volcano
     

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