RIP Windows XP: The last of the great operating systems (video)

With support for the 12-year-old OS coming to a close, Adventures in Tech delivers a video eulogy, and explains why no operating system will ever match the significance of Windows XP.

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Twelve years, five and a half months.

That's how long it's been since Windows XP went on sale. Today nearly one-third of the world's PCs are still running the veteran operating system -- an enduring popularity that's proved a double-edged sword for Microsoft, which has been forced to extend support for the elder statesman of OSes. Press play as CNET's world-renowned Adventures in Tech! takes a fond look back.

Tomorrow Microsoft's 'extended' support for XP draws to a close, pressuring both customers and frantic IT departments to search for an alternative. Hit play to flood your memory-banks with the features that made XP great, including perhaps the most famous .JPEG in tech history.

Double-edged sword

By the time the much-criticised Windows Vista went on sale, Windows XP had been hogging the limelight for more than five years. In that time, customers and corporations had become entrenched, unwilling to upgrade to an unappetising sequel.

"XP has the curse of being good enough", explains Rupert Goodwins, IT expert and former Editor of ZDNet UK. "Why move to a new operating system when all that will happen is you have to re-learn where everything is and perhaps buy new versions of all your software? If you're a company you'll have to check all your own software, retrain all your employees -- why would anyone want to do that?"

  • Fond memories of Windows XP? Hit 'play' on the video above to learn more

The last great OS

Windows XP harks back to a different age, when our choice of operating system completely defined our computing experience. Today services like Netflix, Facebook or Spotify can be found online, across multiple platforms, and even on our TVs and in our cars. With the operating system becoming a less crucial part of our daily tech lives, we may never see another OS as significant as Windows XP.

"The sad fact", Goodwins told us, "Or happy fact if you're not Microsoft -- is that OS doesn't matter too much any more, and where it does matter is running old stuff and various business things where change is bad."

What are your XP memories, and what do you think of Windows now? Watch the latest episode of Adventures in Tech! then have your say in the comments, on our Facebook wall, or drop me a line on Twitter.

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