An Era Ends, With The Retirements Of XP, Messenger, IE6 And Office 2003

As far as pure computing is concerned, there are only a select few eras. Though with our weekly updates to products and services, lines are blurred, but go little while back and everything could be classified into era and eons.

One such era was the age of Windows XP, Windows Live Messenger, Internet Explorer 6 and Office 2003. These were cutting edge products and solutions at the start of the last decade.

Fast forward to April 2013 and today marks the beginning of a major refresh for Microsoft’s family of computing products. Redmond is now hard at work retiring a number of key products.

Windows XP is perhaps the most major of the bunch — an operating system that is installed on more than 38 percent of computers connected to the Internet the world over. A figure that probably is higher when you tally the PCs that are not connected.

The 11-year-old OS only has less than a year to live, as Microsoft recently reaffirmed its plans to stop releasing patches, updates and security fixes beyond April 8, 2014.

Windows Live Messenger, the classic Instant Messaging platform just went dark yesterday, with users recommended to move over to Skype, Microsoft’s darling VoIP service. Third party clients, though, will still support the WLM platform for a little while longer.

Together with Windows XP, Microsoft has also outlined plans to kill off Office 2003 and Internet Explorer 6 — two popular products with a large number of users around the world.

Some people have already expressed their desire to stick with these products beyond the announced dates, even though Microsoft will no longer provide support for these applications.

But retiring all these products makes total sense for Redmond, as the software titan now offers newer, faster, better, stable and more secure solutions to replace them.

Regardless, all four products and services above have had millions of users and countless fans over the years. But they will pass into the annals of history soon enough, like other software before them. As the saying goes, only change is constant.

Thanks for all the memories XP, Messenger, IE6 and Office 2003!