I recall recently seeing a news article about how Microsoft has extended the date when it will stop supporting Windows XP, from January 30th of next year until some undetermined point in the future. Apparently, when the launch of Vista was being planned, Microsoft thought the new OS was going to be such a success that they’d be able to stop supporting the current OS as early as the beginning of 2008. Hah! With many users, such as myself, having no plans whatsoever to ‘upgrade’ to Vista, mostly because the OS seems to be basically a prettified version of XP, with some improved search capabilities, a huge RAM appetite, but with all the same security annoyances as before, akin to what Alan Cooper likes to call badly designed software made to look pretty: a pig with lipstick on it. Ok, I’m being a bit unfair – I’m sure Vista has some interesting innovations. But that becomes not very relevant in the face of what appears to be a general rejection among both individual users and large corporations alike – is there a single Fortune 500 company out there that has made the switch to Vista? And even if there has been (I’d be surprised if there has), I would imagine that the majority have not. So, the more interesting question (or pressing, if you’re Microsoft) to me seems to be: what will happen when Microsoft stops supporting Windows XP? Will users:
A: Give in and switch to Vista?
B: Switch to OS X? (Cnet seems to think so)
C: Switch to something like Ubuntu?
D: Stop using computers altogether ;)
Come to think of it, D maybe wouldn’t be so bad. As for me, I’m probably in the B category, but what I think would be most interesting would be if a lot of people picked option C, especially a few large corporations – that could very well spell the death-knell for Microsoft.