Why Windows XP Is Still So Popular

There comes a time when even the most stubborn computer user decides to upgrade their system. But when it comes to Windows XP, the prevailing logic seemed to be “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” As it turns out, that logic might be better expressed as “I’m broke, so I can’t fix it.”

Windows XP, recently named the third most popular operating system in the world, remains in use some nine years after it was superseded by the heavily maligned Windows Vista. Even though Microsoft released a succession of (mostly) praised operating systems since then, XP has remained in use around the world.

Above: Home, sweet home. Microsoft's Windows XP remains popular around the world 9 years after it was replaced by Vista.
Above: Home, sweet home. Microsoft’s Windows XP remains popular around the world 9 years after it was replaced by Vista.

Why? A number of U.S. businesses can’t afford to upgrade their computers, or are using them for purposes that are perfectly functional with XP (think digital cash registers or simple employee interface machines). XP finds its biggest use in after-market computer sales in Asia, as well as parts of the developing world.

As Uproxx points out, XP’s second life may actually pose a security threat to all of us:

“This might be a serious security problem. Since Microsoft doesn’t update it, if hackers find a critical security flaw, it won’t be patched and will open millions of computers to serious problems. And if you’re wondering how this would possibly affect you, we’ll point out that as of 2014, 95 percent of ATMs were running on XP. Set up those account alerts.”

Yikes. Looks like it’s time for everybody to get that free Windows 10 upgrade.

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Timothy Bertrand
Writer and journalist living in the Houston, Texas area. Follow me for breaking news, editorials, pictures of cats doing human activities, and other such content from around the web.


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