Say what you will about Microsoft, but they have a way of creating software that sticks around. In fact, it sticks around so long that even Microsoft tries to eliminate it. First, Internet Explorer 6 wouldn’t gracefully go away. Now, it appears that the resilience has rubbed off on ten-year-old sibling Windows XP. 

Long Live Windows XP

Ten may not sound very old, but software age is kind of like dog years. Ten-year-old software has gone through bumps, bruises, reconstructive surgeries and is ready to be put out of its misery. Windows XP came in a brand new shiny box at the end of 2001 with substantial improvements to the previous generation of Window’s products. It quickly became the desktop operating system of choice. 

Windows XP is probably one of the most recognized pieces of software in existence. It’s quite the feather in the cap of the Seattle giant, but there’s one tiny problem, it’s no longer making Microsoft any money. The company’s balance sheet depends on customers upgrading to newer versions of the Windows operating systems like Windows 7. But it seems that some people just don’t want to move on: the operating system still holds an over 50 percent share of the desktop market. Quite frankly, Microsoft is sick of it. Kevin Turner, Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer, said last month in a call with analysts, 'It’s now time for it to go.'

Now Die Already

Microsoft has announced that support for Windows XP will end in 2014.  Redmond usually eliminates support for its operating systems 10 years after their introduction. However, it made an exception for Windows XP, extending support for three years because of the product’s popularity in the corporate market. Microsoft is so giddy about laying the product to rest that they offer a Windows XP end of support countdown gadget on their site. In addition to ominous end of support messaging, Redmond is also appealing to user ego and subtly suggesting that using Windows XP is ridiculously uncool. The blog entry is complete with its own infographic in case you are in too big of a hurry to read the attack on your techno swagger.

Microsoft’s action aren’t quite an assassination squad, but it is an indicator that the company is serious about getting rid of its progeny. Do you have a special affinity to Windows XP? Are you holding on to the last possible minute to let go? Let us know your Windows XP love story.