At a time when the virtues of Windows 7 are being eagerly anticipated and everyone is so keen to decry Windows XP, let’s be clear about one thing here. There is all the difference in the world between Windows 98 and Windows XP, but there is MUCH less of a difference between Windows XP and Windows Vista, and a smaller difference still, between Vista and Windows 7. What Vista does and Windows 7 does even better, is to protect users from themselves and each other. The rest is mostly bells, whistles and set dressing.
Now don’t get me wrong, there is every reason in the world for moderate-to-power users to upgrade. Do you run a Windows network? Do you stream rich-media around your home? Then the 6 / 7.x versions of Windows are a no-brainer, absolutely. But that doesn’t mean that XP is some horrendous abomination. It’s still very good and frankly, I’m sick of people saying that it isn’t.
Paul Thurrott wouldn’t even run it on your PC, but I’ve never heard a meaningful argument against XP. Security? Nope. It’s been on my PCs since Whistler and no virus or malware has darkened my door. Not once, not ever. Maybe that’s because I’ve always maintained a current Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware solution, but that’s not rocket science is it? Next up, let’s talk about compatibility. Well, there’s only one word to describe that isn’t there? That word would be “Yes”. XP will put up with you and your flakey software, even though it’s never seen it before. Try doing that on a Mac. Finally, there’s reliability. Well, let me put it’s this way: XP can be very reliable. It’s not as reliable as Vista, but just as the heat of a curry depends on the chef, the quality of the Windows XP experience depends on the user. Let me venture some scenarios:
1. You have filled your hard drive with “free” porn from the web, “funny” flash games from your mate down the pub and now every time you try to load BBC weather, you are greeted with IE pop-ups of women with big fake boobs, and you don’t know why. (well trust me, you’ll never know why).
2. You have one or more children (under 12 is bad — over 12 is worse) who spend more time on your computer than you do. When you come to use your computer, everything is “messed-up”. Your keyboard will usually be sticky from the pop they spilt on it and you also probably have the fake boob / suck-fest pop-up problem.
3. You bought your PC in 2006 with a 30-day trial version of Norton Anti-Virus. Therefore — you have Anti-Virus.
I could go on, but if any of this applies to you or sounds familiar, then it’s not XP that’s sh*t, it’s you. You’re sh*t. Pre-heat your oven on to 200 degrees (or gas mark 5), then open the door and climb in, because it’s idiots like you that make things like UAC such a necessity and an incompetent user, does not a crappy operating system make.
I’ve been around PCs all my life and I’m an avid Windows enthusiast. I used to work in IT, but now simply enjoy it as a hobby; however I do still take an interest in the industry. I’m a compulsive tinkerer and have probably re-installed my machine more times than many normal people have switched theirs on. I’m a novice XBOX 360 gamer, mostly playing a mixture of driving and platform games, which I mostly suck at, possibly with the exception of Ridge Racer 6, which I simply don’t have the time to play enough of. I enjoy all things tech and am a big fan of Leo Laporte and his “TWIT” network. I have a soft spot for high-tech in small packages and still miss the MiniDisc, just because it was so damn cool. I’m also a bit of a retro/nostalgia junkie and still have 20-year-old copies of C+VG magazine which I thumb through from time to time. Outside of technology, I like scuba diving and playing the didgeridoo (no, not at the same time) and I run a didgeridoo club with my dad.