Well I thought it might be the case and from my recent experiences it seems that yet again Microsoft have shot themselves in the foot. With coming so late to the mobile arena (and by mobile I mean tablets etc as well as phones) MS now seem to be wanting to force their desktop users into a touchscreen / mobile paradigm regardless as to whether that’s appropriate or even useful for their workflow. Given that the hardware requirements for their new OS are so redonkulous, the dropping of XP support has conspired to make the perfect storm which has no doubt blind sided MS.
I’ve noticed in conversation for a while now that people are generally uneasy with the direction computing is heading, whether its the future plans for the MS app store (have no illusions that before long it will be the only way you can install/publish software) or the absurd notion that TV advertisers would have us believe – that you MUST throw away old but perfectly functioning and usable hardware.
It’s from this perspective that I’ve heard increasing interest in Linux, for some its just replacing XP and for others its finding out if they might be able carry on their favorite activities but without MS.
At this point its well worth following an aside and asking does the lack of XP support really matter? Here’s a little thought experiment (which you could try if bored!) Take an unpatched original release of the XP install disk, after doing a default install connect the machine to the internet. Without the need to even browse any dodgy sites, just sat there connected to the internet, I would seriously doubt your experiment would last 10 minutes without being exploited – from now on your machine is helping with DDoS attacks or worse helping people anonymously download the most vile illegal material hopefully beyond your imagination …
This somewhat sobering look of what can happen to a machine without support shows what is to come for XP. I have no doubt that already there are some dodgy sites selling script kiddies nicely prepackaged tools that will scan for and use exploits that MS probably do know of but are now doing nothing about. As anyone who’s used Linux regularly knows this is where Linux scores very highly over Windows (any iteration) not only are updates much more frequent but they are much less of a drama even allowing the practical use of your machine (while they happen) and not necessitating the crossing of fingers.
This is one of the corner stones of security the prompt and frequent patching of exploits or even potential exploits.
So could MS have avoided all this? Well, yes actually – you see for years now MS have viewed an OS as some kind of “experience” (remind me what does XP stand for?) in reality all many of us want is a way to launch applications and a glorified file manager… and if a company really can’t make this run on even really modest hardware, even including an app store, then you have to wonder have they lost the ball let alone dropped it….