Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Nearly every longtime Windows user looks back on Windows XP with a certain fondness, but the party's over according to Microsoft. 'It's time to move on,' says Tom Murphy, Microsoft's director of communications for Windows. 'XP was designed for a different era.' But Ian Paul writes in PC World that many people around the world refuse to give up on XP. But why? What's so great about an operating system that was invented before the age of Dropbox and Facebook, an OS that's almost as old as the original Google search engine? Bob Appel, a retiree based in Toronto, says he uses 12 PCs in a personal Dropbox-like network—10 of which are running XP. 'I use a third-party firewall, a free virus checker, and run Housecall periodically,' says Appel. 'My Firefox browser uses Keyscrambler, HTTPS Anywhere, Ghostery, and Disconnect. I also have a VPN account (PIA) when traveling. For suspicious email attachments, I deploy private proprietary bioware (me!) to analyze before opening. All the "experts" say I am crazy. Thing is, I stopped the security updates in XP years ago after a bad update trashed my system, and yet I have never been infected, although online for hours each day. So, crazy though I be, I am sticking with XP.'" (Read more, below.)More from Pickens: "Mike Merritt uses an XP PC to run his online business in rural Ontario and cites Outlook Express as one of his major reasons for sticking with XP. The once-popular email client isn't available with Windows 7 or 8.1, and for Merritt, alternatives such as Thunderbird or webmail clients like Outlook.com are a non-starter. 'Webmails have a slower load time than a desktop app like Outlook Express and they would have their own learning curve and modification to my current workflow,' says Merritt. 'The upgrade path for me would require replacing a bunch of things that work just fine as far as I'm concerned.'
The same day that Windows XP reaches its end of support on April 8, Microsoft will roll out a major update to Windows 8.1 that will make it easier for traditional desktop users and the company recently announced that the Start menu will return to Windows sometime in the coming months. Mike Eldridge says that since his computer is currently on its last legs, he's going to cross his fingers and hope for the best until it finally dies. 'I am worried about security threats, but I'd rather have my identity stolen than put up with Windows 8.'"