Windows "Next" hate is nothing new

Conventional wisdom has it that Windows 7 is destined to become the new Windows XP – the reliable old friend that you just can’t let go of because your other friend, Vista, is a total jerk. But it turns out that if you actually go back and dig into the history of XP, it seems to have a lot more in common with Windows 8 than Windows 7.

Well, at least that’s the impression we’re getting from ZDNet’s Ed Bott, who’s gone back and collected a number of articles from around the time of Windows XP’s launch.  It’s hard to believe now, but Windows XP wasn’t overwhelmingly embraced at launch, or even a year after release:

On the first anniversary of Windows XP's release, Microsoft has little to celebrate… Less than 10 percent of Microsoft's installed base has upgraded to Windows XP since its release last October.

And get this – Windows XP was so bad that businesses preferred Windows Mistake Edition – err, ME. So many people were holding on to older OSes, whether it was 98, 2000, or ME, that Microsoft had to extend support for those OSes. Kind of like they had to do with XP.

Looking back on things, what was so bad about XP? It turns out that it was that wonky interface, universally despised by the common folk. Actually, they even used the same insults that are once again all the rage:

More than 700 of you demanded its survival--as opposed to 3 who liked the new Windows XP look. Many complained about XP's "Fisher-Price interface" and noted that the first thing they do on any XP machine is switch back to Classic View. I wholeheartedly agree.

Since Bott's article is mostly focused on Windows XP, we decided to do a little digging of our own, and guess what? Windows 95 - and virtually every other release to date - has gone through something similar. Now, it's true that in a couple of cases the negativity did have some basis in reality, but we don't think that anyone would argue that Windows 95 was anything but a success.

You wouldn't know it, though, judging by some of the headlines that were being thrown around at the time. Even after the tremendously successful launch of Microsoft's overhauled OS, analysts, in all their wisdom, were still heralding the end of time:

Sales of the Microsoft Corporation's Windows 95 have fallen sharply in stores from the first week of availability, analysts and executives said yesterday.

Heck, even when Windows 2000 came out, people complained; obviously, DOS was a far superior OS. Even though naysayers who believed that it was impossible to do serious work with a GUI were a thing of the past by then (yes, graphical interfaces in general were once considered 'Fisher-Price' computing), there were still plenty of folks who moaned and groaned about Microsoft abandoning Windows' DOS heritage. As this article attests, there was a time when it was almost inconceivable that a power user could survive without a real DOS command prompt.

Does this mean that everyone is going to drop Windows 7 in favor of 8? Probably not; chances are that a ton of businesses and consumers will still be running it when Windows 9 (or even 10) comes out. But that’s not necessarily because they hate it, it’s just the way people adopt new OSes – with new hardware.

Even the folks who hate Windows 8 will probably end up using it in the end. Wouldn't it be really ironic if they ended up falling in love with it, just like they did with Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows 95 before it? And what about those who don't? They end up like this guy.

At any rate, Ed Bott’s article is pretty interesting stuff, and if you’re interested in checking out some of the actual articles he cites, we suggest you head over there.

Source: ZDNet | Image via ObamaPacman

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