[clug] Anyone heard of a "Windows XP End-of-Support" Day?

Jessica Smith jessica at itgrrl.com
Sat Mar 22 22:32:25 MDT 2014

Hi Steve,

On Sun, Mar 23, 2014 at 12:44 PM, steve jenkin <sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au>wrote:

It depends on the people still using XP: are they a roughly homogeneous
> group or not?

I wouldn't think so.

> Are they mostly older people who've had "the computer" for 5-10 years and
> don't want to spend money on it or waste "brain bandwidth" on learning a
> new system. [That's a powerful argument: change involves a lot of work &
> learning, if there's no compelling reason, then change for change's sake is
> a waste of valuable time/resources.]

The stats for XP market share are skewed by the high percentages of the
market share it still has in China, and it's generally asserted/assumed
that many/most of those instances are illegal copies. I'm not aware of any
detailed demographic info on the breakdown of XP users themselves.

Personally, I expect (FWIW) that it's a mix of people with old computers
(whether the users themselves are 'older' is beside the point, in my
experience), people for whom XP meets all their needs (and who have no
idea/interest/concern about the security implications of running an old,
unpatchable OS), and of course enterprise customers with large fleets for
whom the pain of migration, regression testing, yada yada is seen of more
of a problem than lack of security/features until they literally have no

Existing Windows users are far more likely to choose switch from XP to
Windows 7 (if they can get it), or more likely Windows 8 than they are to
switch to Linux, even if they're aware of it as an option. The dramatic
change in interface that is Windows 8 is the more likely reason that a home
user might be open to switching to something 'more familiar' than it. But
more would much rather switch to Windows 7 than any Linux distro (assuming
they've even heard of Linux). Corporate users will end up upgrading to
Windows 8 if they must, or Windows 7 if they can get the volume licences.

In the end, for both home users and corporates it will often come down to
what they see as a lack of viable support options. For home users, their
access to technical support will be "a friend/relative who knows
computers"--by which they mean someone who is competent enough with Windows
and (maybe) PC hardware. Finding "a friend/relative who knows Linux"
narrows their support options considerably (likely to zero for many
people). For corporates, the problem of support will usually be seen as a
similarly difficult option. Their options for *NIX support on the server
side are pretty decent. On the desktop Linux side, not so much.



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