Skip to content

Mourning The Death Of A Friend. . . And Worrying About Zombies!

April 14, 2014

It wasn’t really unexpected. In fact, we’ve really seen it coming for months. It really became clear a few months ago that the end was close. We’ve even know the exact date for weeks.

April 8th, 2014

Whistler was barely 12 years old. August 15 would have made Whistler officially a teenager. . .ancient really.

You probably didn’t call it Whistler, that was a development name. You called it Windows XP. I got busy with other posts last week and didn’t have a chance to properly say goodbye.

The name was meant to emphasize Microsoft’s Windows eXPerience. It was a great name for a great product.

I remember the release of Windows XP, August 15, 2001. It replaced the abysmal Windows Millennium (We Didn’t Come Here To Win The Boot). Millennium was so bad that we didn’t run it internally. We were still on Windows 98 when XP became available. Of course, we were running it well before August. But, we knew it was a solid product. I don’t think anyone knew how solid.

Microsoft’s biggest competitor has often been it’s own previous versions. Trying to knock XP off been very frustrating for the marketers in Redmond.

I have a personal software Hall Of Fame. There are only a few products in it. DOS 3.3, Lotus 123, WordPerfect 4.2 and Windows XP. So, it really is with a touch of sadness that I watch the death of Windows XP.

The product didn’t really die, of course. April 8th is just the day that Microsoft quit supporting it.

Big deal, you might think. Who really cares? My copy still works great.

And it does, but the reason you should care is Heartbleed. Heartbleed is the name of a security flaw in the OpenSSL standard that governs secure connection with your bank, online merchants and pretty much any site that puts that little locked padlock image.

What does Heartbleed have to do with the death of Windows XP? Just this, if someone finds a Heartbleed type bug in Windows XP, Microsoft will not fix it. Think about that for a moment. Many of us hate that autoupdate that sometimes reboots our laptops and resets our location in our Firefly viewing marathon. But, we know that the reboot was to make our software more secure. We grumble and then take our medicine.

Well, the doctor will no longer be making a house call. We are on our own.

This is where the fear of zombies comes in. Windows XP is still running all over the world. Of the 6 Windows PCs in my house, half of them are still running XP and will for the foreseeable future.

They are the walking dead. Not yet dead and gone, but not exactly alive. And while it may not be the Zombie Apocalypse, it’s still a serious security risk. I will run my ancient computers until they won’t turn on because the hardware is too old for Windows 7 or 8 and there are apps that only run on those ancient dinosaurs (Breaking Out Of The Upgrade Cycle.)

But, for new computers I’ll go with updated software.

Windows is dead. Long Live Windows!

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife and thirteen children.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (
LinkedIn (
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply