This evening I downloaded the latest OS updates for my trusty and old Dell Mini 9 netbook. This computer, which is now an ancient six years old, runs Windows XP. The updates included a notice from Microsoft. Next Tuesday will mark the end of extended support for Windows XP, meaning virtually everyone who still uses it will no longer get any updates from Microsoft. Any security exploits from then on will never be patched. The OS will be left to fend for itself in the virtual wilds.

Windows XP has always treated me well. It was the first version of Windows that seemed reliable, secure, and powerful. I was in my first year of grad school when I got my first look at XP. Through the computer science department, all students got free access to certain Microsoft products, which included XP. At the time, I was slightly hesitant to move away from Windows 98SE but I knew it was time, after all, this was 2002!

XP was the first version of Windows that I used that made going online seem seamless and easy. Streaming video, online gaming, torrents, and porn became very easy to access on XP. It also crashed a lot less compared to 98SE and 95.

I was so content with XP that I didn’t upgrade to Windows 7 until 2011. I actually had a copy of Vista at home but then saw how poorly received it was and decided not to install it. By the way, if anyone wants a copy of Vista Ultimate, you let me know.

Just because Microsoft is ending support doesn’t mean I’ll stop using my Dell with XP. It primarily is just my torrent machine now but beyond next week, it will still serve me well, even as the wolves circle closer with their new, undefended attacks.

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