It’s been over a decade since it first came out, but in my opinion Windows XP is one of the greatest versions of its series to ever be released. A combination of stability and simplicity led to it being adopted quickly wordwide, and it remains amongst the most-used operating systems today, despite the distribution of it’s successors Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Though it becomes officially obselete and unsupported in 2014, I would like to explain why Windows XP remains best for me.
Minimal Bloatware and Clutter
I won’t lie, I am a Linux user, I would say 80% Linux to 20% Windows. I have used both constantly for about 10 years. One of the highlights of Linux for me when I first started playing with it was that you receive an empty bare-bones system after installation which is yours to configure how you like. Whether into a media computer, a server, a workstation and so forth. I always felt the same was true of XP. It fits happily on a single CD-ROM, and comes with the bare essentials.
Windows 7 and Windows Vista are cluttered with unecessary junk, or at least thats how it feels to me. I understand that to the regular computer user it’s extremely handy to have everything preinstalled and not having to worry about adding more on. Even after an XP install, I spend half an hour stripping off software that I don’t need.
Oh, and start-up processes really get on my nerve. Windows 7 and Vista run so many needless tasks in the background during startup. They hog up CPU cycles, slow the computer, and are mostly unnecessary.
A final piece of clutter that irritates me in Windows 7 and Vista is the ‘Do you want to grant Admin privaliges and access to this program’ nonsense, or however it appears. It comes over too ‘Noddy’ and Early Learning Centre aimed. I know you can strip all this away if you like, but I really don’t see why it needs to be there in the first place.
I have never had a blue screen of death on my XP computers. I have probably tempted fate in saying that, but I doubt it. I know that some people have terrible trouble with crashes, blue screens and so forth, but I seem to have been lucky.
On the Hardware Of Today, It’s Fast
Windows XP was originally designed for computers which are now over a decade old. I have a ToughBook with a 400mhz processor and 256mb RAM around somewhere, which runs XP just fine. On the hardware of today, 32bit or 64bit, XP is incredibly fast. I run a 32bit version on a 64bit dual core laptop, and whilst some people may call that a waste of resources, it does me just fine. Everything still runs almost instantaneously, and since I never run CPU-intensive programs, I don’t need to make complete use of the hardware inside my machine.
All Software Still supports XP
Many computers in the world still use XP, and for that reason most software developers have to ensure their work is backwards compatible to XP. So in staying with XP I am not missing out on any software releases.
Sadly – Poor 64bit Support
Something that keeps cropping up for me in my quest to keep using XP is 64bit architecture support. I know there is a 64bit version of sorts, but from what I have read combined with my own experiences, it doesn’t make full use of the hardware offered. Neither is it a particularly ‘stable’ build, in that applications running on it often get confused as to the architecture they are on, sometimes inexplicibly crashing and so forth.
I Grew Up With It
Besides all the reasons above, it is the version of Windows I grew up with, and used the most throughout my late childhood and all through my teen years. I expect that because of this all future versions of Windows will feel a bit odd to me when I use them, unless I dedicate myself to using one of the new versions so it gets engrained in me as much as XP was. I can use Vista and 7 just fine, but they never seem quite as nice as XP does.
I am probably just slightly sentimental and clinging on to the past, but I do genuinely believe XP to be the best operating system Microsoft put together.
As always, please leave your own thoughts in the comments area below.