In May of this year, Windows XP will no longer be supported by Microsoft. Then, the release candidate for Win7 will be downloaded by millions of people and the transition will begin, leapfrogging the ill-conceived Visa OS. Except for the skilled, it is going to be one tremendous slap around for most of the country. Those who were learning, and those who thought that they knew are going to be in for one big setback. Their newly acquired and hard earned computer skills will be once again. obsolete.
Computer literacy has, in the main, been explained in terms of ability to work within the Microsoft product family. Right now, there are hundreds of thousands in job-retraining programs and in remedial instruction to give basic computer skills. Once those machines begin to flow throughout the system, a lot of marginally skilled workers who are just now being able to start up a browser and fill out their Unemployment claim online are going to feel left out once again.
The question is how long it will take the XP machines to work out of the inventory, and how long it will take the vast majority of the population to make the shift to a similar but different Operating System. Unless there is a compelling reason to change machines, XP is going to be around for a long, long time – supported or not. Those hardest hit in this economy are not going to be replacing things any time soon. And the idea of a retrofit to push Win7 onto obsolete hardware is going to be an exercise in frustration.
We’ll see if the forced conversion works this time. or if there is another repeat of the Vista push. Vista deserved an quick exit. Windows 7 may not, because of the Reset Recession, even get to go on stage until the Reset is completed.
I am all for this transition. I have run Windows 7 on a test machine for a while and really enjoy how the OS works. I think though that anyone with a Vista license should get a Windows 7 upgrade for a very low price. And just like with Vista, some printers will not be compatible with Windows 7.
XP will not go away even if Microsoft ends it. There are too many with XP knowledge that could keep an XP initiative going for years past. Nonetheless, I think that XP will eventually go, just like Windows 98 did only a few years ago.