Windows XP support has ended today: A farewell to the venerable OS

Today, Microsoft terminated support for Windowsxp, their most popular and most successful OS of the past decade. This means that Windows XP will not receive updates automatically through the Windows Update service and Microsoft will not release security patches any more for it. Windows XP had Microsoft's support for 12 years. Regardless of its age, XP is still very popular and takes the second place (after Windows 7) in terms of popularity.


Windows XP (codenamed Whistler) was released on October 25, 2001. It was a very notable, major update to the Windows family with tons of new features. With Windows XP, Microsoft merged the two branches of Windows, Windows NT/2000 for professional users and Windows 9x for consumers in an attempt to create a single code base on the stable, reliable NT platform.

Windows XP went on to become Microsoft's biggest successes ever and continues to be extremely popular even after it's unsupported. As many users who had never used Windows 2000 or Windows NT 4.0, switched to Windows XP directly from Windows 9x, they found it extremely stable. For them, reliability and configurability of Windows XP was a huge step forward. Thanks to the NT core, Windows XP was rock solid as long as you had the proper drivers. To counter modern, sophisticated forms of malware prevalent today, Microsoft bolstered Windows XP's security further with Service Pack 2, making it highly secure.

Windows XP will always be remembered as the gold standard of Microsoft operating systems. To show our readers how special Windows XP is for Winaero, we have the original Bliss wallpaper available today for you to enjoy at 4K resolution! That's a 600 DPI image and 5 times bigger than the Bliss image file which ships with Windows XP. Download it below by right clicking it -> Save picture as.

bliss 600dpi

Final words (and a rant)

With Windows XP, the classic Windows era where the professional user was Microsoft's main customer, has ended. Today, Windows caters to consumers only and has become dumbed down, slow, and bloated in size. In fact, despite growing enormously in size, it is less customizable and that is my main issue with it. Microsoft also fails to retain any continuity of features from past releases so every new version requires some adjustment and feature compromises. The Start Menu debacle in Windows 8 is a good example of this, but hundreds of minor features that got removed in Windows Vista, in Windows 7, and in Windows 8 may never make it into the future as Microsoft's focus has shifted from the professional, productivity-oriented user to the hipster generation.

What remains special about Windows XP is that it retained the end user control, advanced features and continuity from past releases that power users and IT professionals need. Even with its unprecedented ease of use, Windows XP was highly customizable and had the most logically designed, productivity-focused user interface. In contrast, newer Microsoft Windows versions have moved away from power users and focus exclusively on being friendlier to casual users/consumers, which gives IT pros, power users and developers a tough time customizing and setting up the OS to their liking.

Microsoft today continues to reduce the choice that Windows users enjoyed for the past two decades - they are different company today. Modern versions of Windows which have the NT6 kernel have removed an enormous amount of features and yet they eat your hard drive over time, work slower and have reduced configurability in many aspects. Even Windows Explorer, which is a core component of Windows, works many times slower than XP's Explorer and is far less customizable. From my point of view, newer versions of Windows are worse than Windows XP as far as versatility goes, although they may be more secure.

Today, it is time to say a final goodbye to Windows XP. If you have not switched to another Windows version, it is time to do it now to stay secure although you lose many features and end up sacrificing productivity, usability and customization. At this moment, you have a choice between Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. Windows 7 is closer to the classic Desktop metaphor, but Windows 8 is a crazy mess of a touchscreen oriented UI and the Desktop mode that does not result in an overall great experience. Where will you switch? Tell us in the comments.

Microsoft's challenge ahead remains not just catching up in a mobile-first world, but also re-creating XP's level of success, if they understand for their own good, what made Windowsxp so enormously popular.

10 thoughts on “Windows XP support has ended today: A farewell to the venerable OS

  1. Oxendine

    I suppose I’ll test Windows 8.1 some more and then switch to Vista. After all, its EOL is in 2017.

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  2. zydrius32

    What a great article! I liked the most the part where you philosophised about Microsoft works on different versions of Windows. Honesty makes your words look more live and more meaningful.

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  3. JB40

    I, too am gonna miss XP as I still have my 12 year old Dell as my back-up when Win 8 goes out on me – WinVista went out on me like a switch, so I’m not gonna keep my hopes up for Win8 or any future versions of Windows. To Microsoft, it’s all about $$$, and not its user base; it tries so hard to keep up (as you mentioned) with the hipsters, the Android/i-device/Facebook/Twitter-Heads, and want to outdo Macintosh (I notice with the Mac OS-X, they don’t have to issue a new OS(except with the codenames) – just MS). With XP, we didn’t have the annoying UAC, security features and all the glitzy stuff of what Vista and 8 offered, plus we wasn’t pressured to switch over to a new one whether it was s software/hardware issue. WinXP was kept simple for the user, and still maintain it’s greatness throughout the years. Well, WinXP will still leave a special place in my heart.

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  4. chanda

    yes very true. I applaud you for speaking the truth. In this industry many bloggers are not honest about how Microsoft is dumbing down their products and ignoring power user base

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  5. Phil

    That’s TOO sad!

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  6. Ryan

    I am so sad at the retirement of XP. It was the only Windows that worked well. :(

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  7. Erin

    For me, Windows XP was the best computing experience I had definitely. Windows 7 is okay but still gives me pain sometimes. Vista and Windows 8 are plain crap.

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  8. Vishal

    XP for life. Or until Microsoft comes up with a better OS. I hate Windows 8/7/Vista. They are bloated and limited in customization.

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Welcome to Winaero, Vishal ;)

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  9. Someone

    I don’t like what the Hipster movement has done to technology. The iPhone’s attack on the smartphone market (I know it was stagnant and dying, but there were multiple reasons there beyond it being “outdated”) did little to actually advance the prior technology and was, in many ways, major step backs (the whole lack of cut and paste due to planned obsolescence is a major issue for me.)

    I look at what we’re doing today, with Apple screaming about how much technology went into designing its new iPad Pro and its Pen (items aimed at artists)… and wonder why we don’t use resistive multi-touch which would allow artists to use any item, from pencils, to paint brushes, to that piece of cardboard that makes interesting textures. Resistive is pressure sensitive and multi-touch was in development before Apple went all “capacitive or nothing”, making a hybrid of the two could offer nice characteristics for both worlds as well.

    But I know that the hipsters consistently claim resistive is “inferior” technology and Apple reversing their position, despite how superior resistive is, would have the hipsters claiming Apple is no longer with the times.

    I look at how the startmenu has been destroyed due to hipsters. The unfounded praise windows 7 got for having a searchable startmenu really did mark the death of it. If you need to search your startmenu, you don’t need one.

    Seeing how freedesktop.org standards has done its best to destroy all functionality of the startmenu (for linux variants) as has microsoft, people seem to forget that you can reorganize it in 10 min and massively improve productivity. In fact, unlike freedesktop.org startmenus, windows startmenus were MADE to be reorganized, have applications moved in or out. Why does Adobe Acrobat Reader need an icon in windows, pdfs automatically call it! You install classic shell, and find that it creates a menu group to access its settings… looks useful until you realize you can right click the startmenu icon to get the same menu. USELESS!

    Cleaning it out, making your own folders, subgrouping things (i.e. productivity folder that also subgroups with programming, office, and graphics) general basic things that microsoft made dirt easy to do, people can’t be bothered to do.

    I look at things like Mirasol which provides a revolutionary new technology, buried because old fashioned LCD is too coolz. Flexible electronics and e-paper has demonstrated expandable smartphones (the screens can be pulled out from a cache in a tape-measure like fashion) which would mean you could get a tablet sized screen in a very small device; but it’s gone nowhere… hipsters don’t like the technology.

    Technology driven by the lowest common denominator is prehistoric tech and, especially with how interesting flexible electronics versions of things (with the expected performance differences) can be (such as replacing the tablet with something that looks like a newspaper, can be bent, folded, contorted, and has sensors everywhere to interact with no matter what. Modern Tablets look like a thinner Tablet PC… without the keyboard, software, functionality, or really anything nice ;p

    Google glass? Why not apply a wire mesh to the retina, we are doing bio-electronics and what we’re achieving can easily go beyond restoring sight to blind people by interfacing their eyes with an external electronic camera. Voice Assistance? Brain to machine devices ARE here, and we’re even trying to do brain to brain communication (in the odd attempt to build a computer… out of brains!)

    How does pushing lithography and printing higher DPI lcd screens, more ppi in cmos camera sensors (more noise = better pictures), and general power reduction due to miniaturization of parts, constitute next-gen technology?

    What we are capable of doing vs what we are capable of marketing, unfortunately, are very different things.

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