Friends, it’s great to be here at the retirement party for Windows XP. As you all know, he’ll be leaving his full-time job at Microsoft as of the end of June. Just like Bill Gates, it won’t be an abrupt break with the company. You’ll see XP wandering the halls for a few years to come. Keep your guard up; when you least expect it you’ll be hit by an XP practical joke. Just last week I noticed he tried to hide file extensions for known file types.
The first time I met XP, back in 2001, he hadn’t yet been released. He was in a mental hospital with Windows Me. Just kidding, he was in beta at the time. Actually XP was quite stable even back then, and you could tell he was bound for glory. It was a great relief to finally have an adult OS after the crazy-frat-boy days of Windows 3.1, 95, and 98. He was a bit possessive at first, with all that My Computer, My Network, My Music stuff, but eventually you learned that XP’s stuff was your stuff too. Even the kids loved XP, thanks to his brightly colored Fisher-Price user interface.
Yes there were hard times too, but we got through them. Who can forget the viruses and worms like ILOVEYOU, Nimda, Storm, and MyDoom? Some people blamed XP for those problems, even though most were a simple case of users falling behind on patches or opening mail attachments from Anna Kournikova when they should be smart enough to know better. But XP took that job performance review to heart; spyware dropped when XP’s SP2 extreme makeover was revealed in August 2004.
XP’s been a hard-working member of the Microsoft family for years. When I need to go somewhere and get things done, I know I can find an XP driver. XP is pretty secure if you follow some simple rules about safe computing. What more could XP do to protect the truly clueless users from their own gullibility? Sure, you could prompt them with “Cancel or Allow” every time they touched the keyboard, but that would be just plain annoying. (Sorry, Vista, I didn’t see you there.)
I don’t want to sound bitter, but Microsoft seems to be playing games with XP’s emotions. We all know that they’re planning to keep XP on in a consulting role for those notebook and desktop computers where Vista just can’t fit. (Hey Vista, just eat one slice and not the whole cheesecake, okay?) Is that any way to treat an OS that has spent its whole lifecycle doing real work for customers and delivering value to Microsoft stockholders? I just have to wonder whether Microsoft created the whole Service Pack 3 fiasco to force XP into retirement.
Well, XP old buddy, Microsoft didn’t have the decency to get you a gold watch, just a grudging pledge to provide an “extended support” pension through 2014. I’ll be happy to give you a silver stopwatch courtesy of PC Pitstop Optimize. Thanks for a job well done, and you can bet that your friends here will still provide all the support you need–you’ve earned it.