Less than two years to go before Windows XP is unsupported

Windows XP logoThere’s still a sizeable proportion of computers in schools, TAFEs and universities that are running Windows XP. Whilst I know that some staff will like this (after all, they have a reputation for resisting change), it does mean that students are probably getting the worst deal.

97% of students have their own PC at home – and the overwhelming majority will be running Windows 7 on it.

And then they come into the classroom. And they are expected to use a computer running Windows XP – an operating system that was launched in 2001. And that doesn’t do any of the cool, media savvy things that they can do on their home computer.

What’s my point?

Students are used to living, working, collaborating and communicating in a digital age. And if we want them to be engaged in the classroom, then perhaps asking them to turn their clocks back ten years when they switch on a computer isn’t fair, and isn’t going to engage them.

So, to put it into perspective, here’s ten things that your students have never lived without – and which didn’t even exist when we launched Windows XP…

Ten things that didn’t exist when Windows XP was launched in over 11 years ago

  1. The iPod (came along in November 2001)
  2. Xbox (also November 2001)
  3. iTunes for Windows (that didn’t arrive until April 2003, nearly two years after the iPod)
  4. 3G phones (didn’t arrive in Australia until April 2003 either)
  5. LinkedIn (that wasn’t invented until May 2003)
  6. Skype (August 2003)
  7. Facebook (that arrived in February of 2004)
  8. Xbox 360 (ie the connected one. That arrived in May 2005)
  9. Video chat as part of MSN Messenger (came along in August 2005)
  10. Video chat in Skype (even later, January 2006)

So if you’re still running any Windows XP in your network, and your users are using them, then not only are you leaving them living in the last decade, you’ve also got the added risk on the horizon of running an unsupported operating system (see info here on end of support for Windows XP, due April 2014)

Please make sure you’ve got a plan to fix that…