It was October 25 in the year 2001, when the beloved Microsoft-made OS called Windows XP officially landed at the retail stores. That was the time when Windows came loaded in shiny circular discs that are a rare sight now. XP has been one of the well-received and iconic versions in the history of Microsoft operating systems.
Codenamed Whistler, Windows XP came out with an entirely redesigned UI featuring drop shadows and new visual styles that succeeded the Windows 2000 and Windows Me operating systems. It was part of the Windows NT family and the ‘XP’ stood for ‘eXPerience.’ Also, the famous Bliss wallpaper, which was a photograph taken by Charles O’Rear, was another limelight added to the OS.
Prior to the official launch, Microsoft even released a fake version of XP with Watercooler shell to hide the real cake it was going to offer. The real XP was offered in Home and Pro editions, along with Starter and Media Center editions for specific use cases.
Anyway, 20 years later the latest numbers from Statcounter suggest that 0.59% of the existing Windows PCs are still powered by the good old Windows XP. While cherishing the memories is a thing, we shouldn’t forget that OS went out of service in 2009, and received paid extended support until 2014.
In other words, any PC running Windows XP is prone to unwanted attacks. And not just everyday users, it could be some old ATM machine that still uses XP. But let’s not spoil the show here. Speaking more of XP, it continued receiving software updates in the form of service packs. Windows XP SP3 came out in May 2008 for general users.
Service Packs were a form of cumulative updates that included all sorts of new features and security patches meant for the OS. It had to be installed in a consecutive manner as it wasn’t a full-blown OS setup, which means you couldn’t download the latest service pack and get the ball rolling.
Windows XP’s successor Vista came out in 2006, only to be replaced by Windows 7 a year later. Windows Vista was one of the biggest disasters Microsoft ever saw. But the XP still wins the hearts of many and it will remain in our memories if not our PCs.