Ten years of Windows XP

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Peter Bright:

But in many ways, the thing that cemented Windows XP’s status wasn’t Windows XP itself: it was the lack of any successor. Microsoft’s Longhorn project, an ambitious plan to radically rework Windows, with an all-new set of APIs and a database-like filesystem, was delayed and ultimately abandoned entirely. Windows Vista, a massively scaled back, more conservative release, eventually arrived in 2006, but by this time Windows XP had become so dominant that users, particularly business users, didn’t want a new operating system. That Windows Vista had trouble in its early days, thanks to its steeper hardware demands, its polarizing appearance, and display driver issues–mirroring, in many ways, Windows XP’s own introduction–just served to entrench Windows XP further. Business users stuck with Windows XP, and Windows Vista struggled to ever make a serious dent in its predecessor’s market share, peaking at just 19 percent in the final days before Windows 7’s release.

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