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12/13/2003 Archived Entry: "Windows 9x, R.I.P."
I would like to dispel the rumors that, since her "Switch to Linux" posting, Wendy has been kidnapped by Penguinistas and locked in a room with a CP/M computer and a 1200 baud modem. Actually, she's just been suffering from a vicious cold.
You may have heard on CNN that Microsoft is declaring Windows 95 and 98 "obsolete," so no more security patches for them. Windows NT and ME are soon to follow; support for them next year will cost you. And the successor to Windows XP, code-named "Longhorn," isn't due until 2006...or maybe 2007 or 2008. While this might herald a period of unusual stability for Windows users -- and maybe a chance for Microsoft to catch up on bug fixes -- don't count on it.
As The Register observed,
"We think that if Microsoft can't nail Longhorn down absolutely to 2006 pretty soon, it's going to have to come up with some interim ideas to hold the fort."
On the other hand, this leaves a large window (no pun intended) of opportunity for desktop Linux to get established...and a nice stable period for you to plan a migration away from Windows. Right now we're awaiting the shipment of Xandros Linux 2, which I plan to make our standard Linux here in the house. Yes, even for Wendy...the Penguinistas will have their revenge at last, because it will run Eudora and Microsoft Office. It's a bit more expensive than the average boxed Linux, but well worth it if you need a migration path away from Windows and can't simply cut over to Linux applications. Stay tuned for further developments.
By the way, if you are sticking with Windows XP for the duration, be prepared for Service Pack 2 to break a few things.