ZDNET just posted a very interesting article about how the Windows hate is nothing new. The article talks about how Windows XP wasn’t well-accepted for the first few years of its life and how many clung on to Windows 98/2k and even ME. It’s hard to believe– accept I was one of the haters.
I NEVER liked Windows XP. I loved Windows 7 instantly, though- why? I’m not sure, I just was instantly drawn to it.
Back to talking about XP. My dislike for Windows XP was so strong it drove me to Mac OSX for a brief period of time. What was so ‘scary’? I didn’t like the new UI. The blue and green start menu was ugly as sin compared to my wonderful Windows 2000 Pro. I didn’t like the fancy new start menu either. The old look did what I needed and I found I could get around in the control panel without a problem.
“Why change for change’s sake!?” I remember arguing. The fact that you had to activate Windows XP also meant it was evil and that Microsoft was spying on us and controlling what we do with our own copy of Windows! Those monsters. Now I look back and it seems quite silly.
Again, I was just a teenager. With that in mind, I still like Windows 2000 Pro. It was solid and was a massive improvement over Windows 98. Was it better than XP though? Hell no. The truth is that I didn’t want to change. I hated the change so bad that I was willing to change EVERYTHING to adapt to OSX instead of the one or two changes needed for Windows XP. I realize it made no sense.
Microsoft takes its time and expands support cycles for the very reason that the geek crowd hates change. Want to know something? Most of the ‘common users’ actually seem to move on quicker. It is what comes with their PC and it does the job after all. You would think that us technical folks would move on quicker, but we tend to hold on to the past more.
Windows 8 is the beginning of a massive shift, just like XP
Taking things a step further, let’s talk about how XP was such a massive leap from what we knew. Windows 2Kpro and Windows XP both represented a move from the old DOS-based Windows core we knew and loved. It was a change in the way things got done and had a few compatibility issues with old stuff. It had limited support for DOS applications and a Command Prompt that still worked with the old stuff.
Eventually, users moved on and today you’ll find many Windows 95 applications that relied on DOS don’t work with modern Windows variants– at least not without some very serious tweaks along the way. XP was the beginning of a shift to a DOS-free world and it also moved away from older 16-bit application support.
Windows 8 might similar in that it is moving away from the desktop. Sure, the desktop is still there, but it isn’t at the forefront of things. Windows 9 might see an even greater push away from this older interface. By Windows 10– we will likely have moved on from the desktop mode altogether and most won’t of us won’t care. Those that do, may be clinging to Windows 8 and talking about how awesome it is.
Windows 8 is looked on with controversy now, just like XP was looked at as somewhat different and requiring ‘crazy’ things like activation. Windows 8 in ten years? It might be the golden child for those that want old school program support that still works with “modern” Windows Store applications. I have a feeling that future versions might phase out 32-bit support as well.
Now to pose a question: Have you had trouble letting go of past Windows versions? Maybe you loved Windows 3.x? Was Windows 95 or 2kPro your favorite?
Share your thoughts below.