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OPLIN 4cast #329: The end is nigh

Posted in 4cast

RIP headstoneIn the technology world, success can be a problem. If a technology is good enough that users don’t want to give it up and move to something newer, companies can find themselves faced with the problem of supporting outdated products instead of focusing on new things that take advantage of advances in technology. And it’s not just companies; look at the Library of Congress’ continuing efforts to get catalogers to use newer metadata technology. Microsoft has faced this problem a few times in its history and has taken to setting deadlines after which they will simply no longer support or upgrade a product. So consider yourself warned: You won’t be using Windows XP (for example) forever.

  • Windows XP decline stalls as users hold onto aged OS, flout 2014 deadline (Computerworld/Gregg Keizer) “In the last 12 months, Windows XP has dropped an average of 0.68 percentage points, while in the 12 months prior it fell by 0.83 percentage points. In other words, in the second half of a 12-month stretch, XP’s decline slowed by 55%; in the second year of a two-year span, it slowed 18%. The slowdown paints a picture that must depress Microsoft, which has been banging the upgrade drum at Windows XP users for nearly two years, and has repeatedly warned them that free security updates will stop after April 8, 2014.”
  • The Windows XP deadline cometh (Redmond Channel Partner/Scott Bekker) “In technical terms, Microsoft is ending extended support for Windows XP. That means no more public, paid support per incident, per hour or otherwise; no more security updates; and no more guarantees that there will be Windows XP information in the Microsoft Knowledge Base or in other online resources.”
  • The Internet Explorer 6 countdown (Microsoft) “The web has changed significantly over the past 10 years. The browser has evolved to adapt to new web technologies, and the latest versions of Internet Explorer work with modern web sites while helping to protect you from new attacks and threats.”
  • Goodbye Hotmail, hello Outlook (CNN Tech/Harry McCracken) “The company is announcing that is coming out of preview mode and is now officially available worldwide. And so it’s going to start moving more than 300 million Hotmail users over. They’ll be able to keep their e-mail addresses — or or, if that’s what they’ve got — but the Hotmail service and brand will be going away.”

Stubborn fact:
If you look at a graph of current market share, Windows XP is still used on almost 40% of desktop computers, just slightly behind Windows 7.