Monday, July 12, 2010

Coming Soon: Last Patches for Windows 2000 and XP SP2

Tomorrow marks the effective "end of life" for Microsoft Windows 2000 and XP SP2. I hope you're ready for it. Also, the same fate will come to XP in toto in just four years (SP3 is its final incarnation). This is notable because Windows 2000 is often used at banks and other institutions. Hopefully, they've been on a fast track program to upgrade. However, that isn't all that likely in this economy and state of computer awareness in management. The truth is XP is so entrenched in business, government, and education, it will require major upgrade programs to be ready to pull the plug by 2014. Perhaps the feds can leverage extra support time for XP, maybe by playing a "monopoly" card. It seems fair, considering that Microsoft has enjoyed a monopoly in personal computer operating systems for the last 25 years. Perhaps, W2k's expiration will cause some alarm bells to start ringing. In the age of budget cuts, schools and government especially should look at ways to get off the monopolist's software, especially when a free alternative exists.

By the way, XP's approximate ten year lifespan is short by other software standards. The feds should have argued for twenty years of support in the antitrust case. Instead, they threw in the towel. I have agured that XP only gained enough maturity for general use at the service pack three level. That gives, in reality, about 7 years of useful life. (Of course, that depends a lot on your definition of the word "useful.")

A lot of users are still on W2k or XP because they wanted to avoid the upgrade treadmill, or because Vista had some big issues with compatibility and stability. It offered a new paint job and some new DRM restrictions - par for the course. It also moved the "furniture" around, as Microsoft is fond of doing. It certainly looks like a lot of fun to shuffle the deck chairs about! Of course, mac's got a lot of milage out of the vista upgrade fiasco. Here is the ad showing the "popularity" of downgrading to XP.

Here is slashdot's headline.

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