Monday, June 25, 2007

May Vista be with you!

Windows in all it’s versions eventually will die. The lifecycle of an operating system is designed that way. Just as the computer industry forces you to upgrade and update, so do the software manufacturers. The rumor is that Windows XP will not be supported by Microsoft by the end of this year. These are unsubstantiated, but nevertheless, the outcome is inevitable. This is nothing new. Windows 95, 98, 2000 and XP all have a lifespan of about 5 years from release to retirement. Some however, like Windows Millennium had even less of a lifespan. WinME is like the ugly duckling of Microsoft Operating Systems. Sweep it under the carpet and forget about it.

What does the term unsupported really mean? Well, it means that Microsoft will no longer release patches and fixes, nor support the product (for free) via their technical support lines, websites, and forums. You will be able to purchase support, and will of course be able to use 3rd party services for support. Bottom line, if you have a problem with a driver, or a software conflict, you’re on your own to resolve it. There may be some exceptions to patches being released – if there are major security issues or events that warrant a patch. Microsoft of course will make those determinations on a case by case basis.

Negative press of course also helps, and the power of the public can definitely have an impact. Social networking sites like digg, reddit, technorati, and allow the general public to submit and vote on popular links, and of course vote on the unpopular ones as well. This feedback is often noted by traditional press, and of course the manufacturers as well. It never hurts to visit these sites to also learn about potential computer and technology issues that may soon effect you. A proactive approach never hurts. You’ll be ready for when Darth Vader uses that familiar force gesture with his hand, and says “You will upgrade to Vista… now.