10 things we won't miss about Windows XP

March 27, 2014

10 things we won't miss about Windows XP

It's had a good run, but 2001′s Windows XP is finally being put to bed by Microsoft. Things are changing out there in Microsoft land. Windows 8.1 ha...

1. It’s a ticking time bomb…
…at least in terms of security. Windows XP is a virus hot bed waiting to happen. Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Reports (SIRs) clearly show that XP is a magnet for malware. This is one of the reasons the computing giant is putting the kibosh on XP support. After extended support ends in April 2014 the gates will open for cyber criminals just itching to hack into outdated XP systems. It’s enough to send chills up your spine.

2. You can forget about BYOD
If your business wants to implement an of-the-minute BYOD policy, you seriously need to move on from XP. Windows 7 and 8 are all set up and ready to support smartphones and tablets, while XP doesn’t have the mobility features to support a notebook, let alone newer technology. If you want any time, any place connectivity – XP will get you laughed out of town.

3. You just can’t get the drivers
Forget about hooking up new technology with the greatest of ease. Outdated XP doesn’t have the drivers to make it so. If you’re using new hardware, chances are you’re going to need to trawl the internet to find a driver that works – all the while risking downloading one of those many XP security threats by accident in the process.

4. Ugly gaming makes us sad
If you’re a gamer you should have jumped off the good ship XP many moons ago. The operating system is only able to support DirectX video cards up to version 9. In 2010 the vast majority of games were designed for DirectX 10 and 11, leaving gaming on XP a graphically rubbish no-no.

5. Intrusive Windows updates drive us crazy
Whatever you’re doing, no matter how important, Windows Update interrupts asking to restart your computer. In a blind mid-work panic it is all too easy to hit OK rather than to stall the little blighter for 15 minutes.

6. Burning to DVD shouldn’t be difficult…
But XP makes it so. You can burn to CD using XP but if you want to copy files and movies to DVD you’ll be wanting a more up to date operating system.

7. File searches take ages
Hunting for a particular file? Don’t worry, XP will find it in about 8 years’ time. File searches are far faster on recent OSs, overcoming the rage incurred by a 30 minute trawl for a Word document.

8. Faffing with wireless connections is infuriating
Later operating systems remember and organise all of your wireless connections wherever you go so you only have to set them up once. XP doesn’t do this which made working on the move a royal little pain.

9. Incompatible applications were a headache
IE9 and IE10 just aren’t compatible with XP, if you want to run anything above IE8, an upgrade is in order. Meanwhile, HTML5 is a total no-go on XP and you can forget all about .NET Framework 4.5 or above. .NET Framework 4.0 is supported but you’ll need to upgrade if you want anything more evolved.

10. Desktop provisioning is tricky
Desktop provisioning was a bit of a pain in XP. If you want to increase control over numerous VDUs via Windows thin clients while cutting costs and boosting security, XP is not the perfect platform by any stretch of the imagination. Windows 7 meanwhile has several features installed as standard which make provisioning for both physical desktops and VDI far simpler. These tool help to migrate user personalities, assist deployment of Windows 7 clean installs and enable the upgrade of existing scenarios across to Windows 7. Available standard tools include:

  • MAP 4.0
  • Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.5 (including Standard User Analyzer)
  • Automated Installation Kit (including USMT)
  • Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010
  • and many more tools at your disposal

If you’ve written off XP but don’t much care for Windows 7 or 8 either, provisioning tools are also available from Atalantis, Vmware and Citrix.

View 10Zig’s Windows XP countdown to EOL clock at http://www.10zig.eu/static/xp/.

Pete Campbell, 10ZiG
Software & OS