Windows XP support ended today (or rather, yesterday due to posting this late), and to be fair, it had an amazing run. As someone who never got to play around with Windows 98 (reading and bike riding was my childhood), XP was definitely the OS that I came to use. So, a trip down the old memory hole eh?
Windows XP came out in 2001, and was part of my life since 2002, when Service Pack 1 came out, and my family bought a (then) new Dell Desktop. It was one of their low-end, family price desktops, and apart from the hastily upgraded, pre-SP1 machine we had, everyone wanted to use that. It was on that machine that the forum roleplayer in me started to develop on a site called Gaia Online (it is still currently going on, but in a manner I never want to go back to). I learned and grew as Windows XP went through its normal life cycle, and at the time, I didn’t realize it was everywhere, even though when I left my home for school, I would get on a computer at the library with that familiar rolling hills or windows background.
XP was, for a lot of millennials, the OS they cut their teeth with. XP for a lot of us 90s kids, was our introduction to the world-wide web. Many of us didn’t really have access to Win98 machines and if we did, we can count ourselves as the lucky few. That’s about two generations of kids growing up on one OS. And it wasn’t just us kids. As the world became increasingly wired, people who never really needed to use a computer in their lives also had their first experience with XP. And to be perfectly fair to Apple and others, XP was THE windows version. I also don’t like Apple.
It had its shares of problems, no OS is perfect. But many features it had made technology easy for the uninitiated. And mind you, I’m doing this through nostalgia-tinted lenses. XP was on my laptop (which I still have, though I can’t lay claim to it unless I ask it from my roommates, since it is theirs by use).On that same laptop I reached my first peak in RPing and where I got to stretch my legs in the whole creative writing department, I also played my first MMORPG on there, playing on the FaithRO lowrate and highrate private servers for Ragnarok Online, among other many things.
And to be truthful? I never had a problem with it. I was a careful internet user, hell the only reason my laptop died was because someone other than me decided to visit video streaming sites and said yes to popups (looking at my mom). I was damn near fanatical with security, well, not as much as some, but way more than the average computer user. It was around that time that my life started to revolve around my laptop, in terms of my day to day, need to get crap done, meet with friends, etc etc. I barely texted andcalled. Why if I had skype?
In all, I look back at it fondly, that the OS was user-friendly as it was to use, and that it was quite prevalent, that it allowed me to switch from laptop to school computer and etc etc, as well as making installing and uninstalling things easier for me. It was the unsung thing in my late-teenage years.
Good times, much good times.
I had skipped Vista, and went straight to 7. I can say 7 is definitely XP’s successor, even though this lovable OS will soon meet the same fate XP has later next year with mainstream support ending on January 13, 2015 (but extended support till 2020). I have Win7 installed on my desktop, the one I built myself, and it was really not much of a change in functionality and UI for me. Oh sure there were major changes and things took some getting used to, but not in the same way it took me a few days to work around Windows 8.
What will the future bring? I’m not sure, but for me, I can at least have XP as a benchmark.
I’m gonna miss ya. You weren’t perfect, and you had your share of detractors, but for the job, you did alright for me. Some might say personifying an OS is weird, well, to me it’s no weirder than giving a teddy bear a name and a personality.