Is Microsoft Coercing XP Users into Upgrading to Win7?

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft's Windows XP continues to be, by far, the most popular operating system (OS) in the world today.

Recently, Microsoft released a security patch for all versions of Windows, but not Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), one of the most-used versions of Windows XP. So, is this a strategy to get users off XP and on to the new Windows 7? Computerworld blogger Preston Gralla thinks so.

In a report published last month, tech analysts Net Applications showed that Windows XP remains far more popular than either the recently released Windows 7 or 2007's Windows Vista. Almost 62 per cent of the OS market share is owned by Windows XP, with both Windows 7 and Vista at just over 14 per cent, each. (Source:

XP to Remain Dominant Into 2012

Looking forward, analysts predict it could be 2012 before XP's piece of the pie drops below 50 per cent. This is not good news for Microsoft, which would prefer to see PC users spending money on upgrades to Windows 7, released in October of last year. (Source:

According to Computerworld's Preston Gralla, the company may have been thinking about that when it refused to issue a patch for Windows XP SP2 addressing a serious shortcut flaw in each version of the Windows OS. Microsoft stopped supporting XP SP2 on July 13, a huge problem for many users of the operating system. nCircle Security's Andrew Storms recently noted that "There's a ton of people still running SP2." (Source:

Is Windows 7 Not Good Enough?

What other tactics might Microsoft be using to push XP users to Windows 7? Internet Explorer 9, the company's next browser, won't run on Windows XP, meaning anyone who wants access to its upgraded security will have to upgrade their entire operating system.

Computerworld's Gralla thinks this is the wrong way to get people to change their OS. "There's a better way to get people to upgrade: Design an operating system so good that XP users will happily give up XP. I'm hoping that's what the next version of Windows will be."

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