IT & Network Infrastructure : Microsoft Windows XP at 10: How It Thrived and Survived
It Really Was Microsoft's Best
When Microsoft announced the launch of Windows XP in 2001, the company said that it would be the best version of its operating system ever released. Now 10 years later, its hard to argue with that statement. The operating system is still holding on, even though Microsoft would like to see it disappear. Most users would agree that it was far more stable than its predecessors, especially Windows Me. Windows XP lived up to the hype.
Each Service Pack Made It Stronger
When Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for Windows XP, many folks in the security community groaned. Although Microsoft said that it would make the operating system more secure, it clearly failed. However, once Windows XP Service Pack 2 launched, the OS really hit its stride. Windows XP reached its peak with Service Pack 3, which has allowed this version to remain widely used to the present day.
It Overshadowed Its Successor, Windows Vista
When Microsoft launched Windows Vista, it expected that operating system to put XP into retirement. But it did nothing of the sort. In fact, due to Vistas many troubles, PC vendors were offering downgrade rights to customers, allowing them to convert Windows Vista installations to XP. Windows Vista still sold relatively well, but it has never won the confidence of PC users the way XP did.
It Brought More Markets Into the Windows Ecosystem
Windows XP was arguably the first operating system for Microsoft that really focused on the idea of bringing people from emerging markets into the Windows ecosystem. Windows XP Starter Edition was perfect for those markets and also perfect for those who were just getting into personal computing. Windows XP bridged a gap that had yet to be crossed. Now, there are many more people running Windows because of it.
The Enterprise Loved It
The enterprise has long been invested in Windows, but Windows XP is undoubtedly the corporate worlds favorite operating system. To this day, companies are still clinging to XP, even though Microsoft is doing all that it can to get them to switch. If that doesnt say something about the operating system, what does?
Security Woes Were Even More of an Issue
As popular as Windows XP was, it also proved to be one of the biggest security issues in Microsofts long history. Part of the issue related to Internet Explorer, but it was also due to the fact that Microsoft did a relatively poor job of securing its OS. Subsequent Service Packs addressed the issue, but Windows XP is one of the chief reasons software security is such a hot-button issue today.
Many Enterprises Are Sticking With XP
As noted, many enterprises are unwilling to retire Windows XP. With that in mind, Microsoft has tried to make it a selling point for Windows 7. If enterprise users run Windows 7 Enterprise edition or Windows 7 Ultimate, they can access a virtual version of Windows XP from the OS. The move not only helps Microsoft sell more Windows 7 licenses, but it also allows companies to keep using applications and peripherals they heavily rely on.
It Was a Developer's Haven
Thanks to the success of Windows XP, the operating system proved to be a popular platform for software makers. Whether it was sophisticated software, such as PhotoShop, or something simple, such as a childrens video game, Windows XP proved to be a great place for developers to make some money with their creations.
It Cornered the OS Market
If it werent for Windows XP, the operating system market might look much different than it does right now. The operating systems popularity and its ability to fend off threats from Linux and Mac OS X allowed Microsoft to remain the most dominant OS maker in the world. Furthermore, its success ensured that Microsoft would endure even the worst fumblessuch as the launch of Vista.
It Inspired Today's Mobile Operating Systems
Some people forget that before the launch of Apples iPad and before tablets became all the rage in the consumer market, Microsoft was bundling Windows XP onto tablets. Granted, those devices had interfaces that required a stylus to work and werent the most capable products, but they did prove to be the inspirations for everything from the iPad to the Samsung Galaxy Tab.