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Happy Birthday! Windows XP is 10 Years Old Today

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 70 comments

Do you remember the first time you hit that "Start" button?

Ten years ago, on October 25, 2001, Windows XP was released on retail shelves for sale.

Until September, Windows XP has still been the world's most popular operating system and will be, according to StatCounter, surpassed in market share by Windows 7. Born as the sixth major generation of Windows, the software was introduced in 25 languages around the globe, but did not sell well initially. Within the first three days after launch, only 260,00 copies were sold in the U.S. Windows XP only gained traction when drivers became available and system vendors began offering computers with XP preinstalled.

By 2006, XP had reached a milestone of 400 million active copies, according to an IDC analyst. The successor Windows Vista was launched in January of 2006, but enthusiasts as well as the notebook segment held on to XP and widely rejected Vista. Microsoft announced the discontinuance of Windows XP several times, but delayed the end of retail sales until June 30, 2008. OEM distribution of XP ended on October 22, 2010. Extended support for XP users is still available until April 8, 2014.

Even if it is a decade old, Windows XP is far from being dead. StatCounter suggests that Windows XP lost its OS market share leadership position to Windows 7 this month. Windows 7 has 40.41 percent of the market, while XP has fallen to 38.51 percent. This is still far more than Vista ever reached; Vista peaked at 23.60 percent in October of 2009.

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Top Comments
  • 30 Hide
    jlats26 , October 25, 2011 1:23 PM
    happy bday XP, you served me well for some time
  • 24 Hide
    gmcizzle , October 25, 2011 1:21 PM
    No reason to fix that which is not broken...
  • 23 Hide
    pug_s , October 25, 2011 1:17 PM
    mindless728and it should have lost support the moment that Windows 7 came out


    You would think, but Windows XP is a fairly stable and usable OS compared to Microsoft's predecessors.
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    pug_s , October 25, 2011 1:17 PM
    mindless728and it should have lost support the moment that Windows 7 came out


    You would think, but Windows XP is a fairly stable and usable OS compared to Microsoft's predecessors.
  • 23 Hide
    mavroxur , October 25, 2011 1:20 PM
    mindless728and it should have lost support the moment that Windows 7 came out



    Unfortunately, several software companies have yet to update their products to support Windows Vista/7. And due to that lack of support, corporate America has held on to Windows XP. We have *several* very expensive apps at work used in various departments that just flat out will NOT work with Vista/7, which forces us to maintain XP in various areas. It's not that we want to support XP, but we're forced to because there's no upgrade option with those particular vendors yet.
  • 24 Hide
    gmcizzle , October 25, 2011 1:21 PM
    No reason to fix that which is not broken...
  • 30 Hide
    jlats26 , October 25, 2011 1:23 PM
    happy bday XP, you served me well for some time
  • 4 Hide
    igot1forya , October 25, 2011 1:35 PM
    Some day we will upgrade from XP to 7 here at work.
    I've had a budget meeting where I pitched Windows 7 to our CFO... then the question comes up on where Microsoft extended support to 4/8/2014... now I'm stuck with XP until the 2013 budget year.

    Why Microsoft!?!? Why?!?!? If you keep extending support, venders wont have any reason to develop support for Windows 7! ARG!!!
  • 6 Hide
    subliminalaffect , October 25, 2011 1:51 PM
    keep up support for xp and give consumers more choice =)
  • 4 Hide
    alhanelem , October 25, 2011 1:51 PM
    i still got xp installed on my second HDD, i use windows 7 as my main OS
  • 6 Hide
    custodian-1 , October 25, 2011 1:54 PM
    Happy Birthday XP you've seen a lot of hardware changes over the years and kept up. You serve the world well.
  • 2 Hide
    dark_lord69 , October 25, 2011 2:03 PM
    Windows ME sucked. That is why Windows XP didn't sell well right out of the gate. People were skeptical that the new OS would be any good. (Plus no one made drivers for it.)

    Vista also sucks. Just like Windows ME techs didn't like it due to excessive issues so most companies did NOT implement Windows Vista but Windows 7 is similar but more relyable, plus Windows Vista drivers are (for the most part) compatible with Windows 7, so no waiting for drivers to be made for your hardware to work.

    While trying to upgrade to Windows 7 I got to a point where I couldn't even get Windows Vista to boot. It was a dual boot OS and XP worked fine. In the end I just wiped the Windows Vista drive and did a fresh install of Windows 7. I grabbed the windows vista disk and slapped it on my knee hard enough to make it shatter then threw it in the trash because that is what is was.
  • 2 Hide
    lassik , October 25, 2011 2:14 PM
    XP is an amazing OS and has aged very well over the years.
    I think Win 7 could have been the same if it wasn't for Win 8 coming out next year, but that's M$ for you.

    Happy birthday XP!
  • 0 Hide
    jacobdrj , October 25, 2011 2:24 PM
    I never 'liked' XP. Always more clunky than either 98 or 2000. Just as stable as 2000, but more sluggish on hardware available until around 2004. I didn't upgrade until my hardware choices basically de-supported 2000/98. I never liked the activation scheme they introduced (Windows Vista's and 7's activation scheme of any disk, 1 key, makes much more sense than loosing the media, but still having a now worthless COA). Driver installation was a pain. So were SPs. Loved the 'partially supported' XP SP3 thing, with incompatibility for AMD chips, even from Microsoft Updates, that auto-downloaded it... The only thing worse than XP was that Vista was such a resource HOG that it make XP seem downright spiffy, despite Vista being much easier to install, with better auto driver support, even though Vista also lacked a lot of legacy support...

    I am so happy with 7. I can't wait for XP to die. I love that even old old systems and underpowered netbooks work better with W7 than they EVER did with XP... Even with a gig of RAM and a 60GB HDD...

    I celebrate XP independence day... Do you?
  • 3 Hide
    alyoshka , October 25, 2011 2:25 PM
    Go XP Go!!! I think we'll be seeing the same headline after another 10 years..... only difference is going to be the added 10 for XP years.....
  • 12 Hide
    mchuf , October 25, 2011 2:33 PM
    mindless728and it should have lost support the moment that Windows 7 came out


    Right, and piss off countless vendors and customers. Good thinking there!
  • 0 Hide
    mchuf , October 25, 2011 2:39 PM
    lassikXP is an amazing OS and has aged very well over the years.I think Win 7 could have been the same if it wasn't for Win 8 coming out next year, but that's M$ for you.Happy birthday XP!

    Win 8 will bomb. It gives very few reasons to switch from Win 7. Most couldn't care less about ARM or touch screen support and most people have only just switched from XP. This is why ME and Vista both failed, very little reason to switch from a stable and viable os just because a new and shiny os is released.
  • 5 Hide
    NuclearShadow , October 25, 2011 2:41 PM
    XP still makes tons of sense for people who just use a computer or laptop for minor tasks. For these people upgrading to 7 will only use more system resources and slow their PC's down. This is the crowd that still uses XP when it comes to non business purposes. XP is a solid OS that I believe will be remembered favorably by most. I think it will take Windows 8 to finally make it no longer a impressive % still using it.
  • 1 Hide
    ta152h , October 25, 2011 2:48 PM
    pug_sYou would think, but Windows XP is a fairly stable and usable OS compared to Microsoft's predecessors.


    Actually, most people find it less stable, slower, and more resource intensive than Windows 2000. NT 4.0 was also very stable.
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