Windows XP User? You are an Outcast

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Yes, that’s the feeling I am getting now being a Windows XP user myself. Despite the fact that I am using World’s most popular operating system, I am more and more getting the feeling that I belong to a clan which is looked down upon.

It is not that I got up today morning and somehow got this feeling (that did happen a bit, though), this feeling had been building up for quite some time now. But today was the day when someone hit the final nail in the coffin.

Now, you might be wondering who might be responsible for causing this feeling. Let me assure you this has nothing to do with Mac vs. PC ads. In fact, I got a sense of “patriotism” in Microsoft when I watched I am a PC ads.

Despite all this, you might be surprised to hear that these feelings have been inflicted in me by none other than Microsoft itself. Surprised? Read on.

Till a few years back, Microsoft was quite notorious about making software that serve needs of business community more, and not many decent free software came out of Microsoft’s stable. However, Microsoft bulged to the competition from tons of freeware, and came out with some really good software like Microsoft Security Essentials, Windows Live suite, and of course, Bing. I am a regular user of all of these, and enthusiastically write about many of these on this blog of mine. Again, these great free software from Microsoft further increased my attachment with Microsoft.

And then something went wrong.

Microsoft somehow decided that it will not let most of its Windows users enjoy its free software. It is a known fact that every two out of three Windows running PCs run Windows XP. So, we are Microsoft’s biggest users. Still, by some virtue infused in Microsoft by some stupid executive (as if on payrolls of Apple / Google/ Firefox), Microsoft decided to remove support for XP in latest version of its free software.

First they launched beta of Windows Live, and openly denied any support for XP. Instead, they ask you to upgrade to Windows 7 to use latest version of Windows Live. Really? Microsoft – are you so stupid to think that I would upgrade to Windows 7 just to use Windows Live?

And now, they launched IE9 beta yesterday. And guess what – it does not works on XP. Instead, you are again asked to upgrade to Windows 7. Seriously – Microsoft, how stupid can you be? Do you really think you would be able to tempt people into upgrading to Window 7 just to use IE9? My advice – fire the executive who is giving you this advice.

In all this stupidity of Microsoft, who really gets to gain? All its competitors. For example, Firefox and Opera recently came out with their newest versions, and both work on XP. There are some features that they disable on XP, because they can’t work on XP. However, you are still allowed to use all other features.

Microsoft is already losing the browser war, with its competitors gaining ground constantly. So, I would think that Microsoft would try to explore uncharted territories to expand user base of IE. Other browsers are already doing that – Firefox, Opera, Chrome work on all the OS. And Microsoft, in a stroke of genius, decides to not support its own browser on its own operating system!

I will reiterate again – IE9 is not something I would shun my XP for. I have used Windows 7 (was one of those who got Steve Ballmer signed Windows 7 DVD), and love it. But, I love XP as well. IE9 is touted to be fast, but am I really craving for fastness that much? The real bottleneck in my browsing speed is always my internet connection, and not how fast my browser can render my pages. If my browser starts rendering pages 1 second faster, do I really care? And even if I do, what is stopping me from moving to latest versions of IE competitors – all of whom work perfectly fine on XP.

Microsoft – you need to get your common sense back. You do not gain anything by shutting out two thirds of your users. Even the biggest corporations are still using XP (and many of them still on IE6). I have been one of the avid fans of Microsoft, and let me assure you, you have done a pretty good job of pissing me off, and tempting me into exploring other free and better options that welcome me with both hands, instead of making me feel like an outcast.

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