Tuesday, 18 November 2008

(Column) - Microsoft’s decision to shut down retail sales of Windows XP is a good one, for Microsoft and consumers alike. One of the growth hurdles that Vista has faced is because of XP’s continued popularity. Of course, you can’t fault the users for not willing to spend to purchase a substandard product, but the fact continues to be that XP has limited Vista sales. And after a disappointing launch of Vista and its market adoption rate, Microsoft couldn’t be super excited to fix its anomalies. True, some of them are unfixable, and the company would much rather work to launch a clean Windows 7 than continue investing heavily in Vista, but shutting down XP will at least give them some incentive.

With everyone focused on the greatness of XP, Microsoft was demoralized. Can you blame them? Now that it’s out of the picture, what other choice do they have but to fix it? Even users don’t have the option to stick to XP, so they are naturally (and forcefully) going to have to purchase Vista. Again, that should prompt Microsoft into bandaging up Vista until Windows 7 rolls out. We know the software maker isn’t going to rehash it, but they might as well bandage it up temporarily until their new OS release.

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Obviously with XP out of the picture, developers will be more inclined to look at Vista as well. After all, that’s the only platform they’ll have to work with. Combine all of this, and Vista sales should rocket.

Of course, Microsoft has even more responsibility now. There are going to be a lot of users on Vista, and the more users there are, the more problems there will be. The platform will be tested into oblivion, and users are going to find faults in areas that Microsoft thought were perfect. The company needs to realign itself and fully concentrate on fixing these issues. Relevant patches should roll out quickly and on time. The company must understand this and move forward accordingly.

Certainly, we are going to miss XP. We didn’t quite appreciate it as much as we should’ve, and now that it’s gone, it’ll be sorely missed as one of the best operating systems in computing and certainly Microsoft’s history.

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