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OK, I never normally trash other journalists, bloggers and reviewers. Today I’m going to make an exception because I’ve seen so much coverage of the demise of Windows XP yesterday – and I don’t think it gives entrepreneurs enough credit.
The thrust of most of it is that after 13 years, Microsoft is retiring Windows XP. That doesn’t mean you can’t use it any more, but it does mean there won’t be any more security patches, and if you’re still using it and buy (say) a printer that it doesn’t recognise, nobody’s going to fall over backwards fixing it for you. As a growing thing it stopped yesterday.
This is fair enough from Microsoft. Car manufacturers don’t expect their customers to be coming back after 13 years and asking for a free refit; Microsoft doesn’t either. It’s fairly simple, times have moved on and if an operating system came out before Bluetooth or WiFi then expecting it to work with them rather than expecting to need to buy a new computer isn’t a realistic option. So the news wires are full of it: Google is doing an offer on Chromebooks because it thinks customers will be left adrift, people are being left unprepared, they’ll panic.
Entrepreneurs aren’t daft
My problem with this view is simple; it assumes entrepreneurs are basically stupid people.
It assumes that entrepreneurs and business owners will have based their livelihoods and those of their colleagues on more-than-a-decade-old technology and won’t have thought of updating it. It assumes that people with enough gumption to start their own company will have failed to anticipate that an old operating system is just that, and that new technology will be better and much fitter for purpose.
I don’t make any such assumption myself. I don’t think there’s going to be a surge towards Google from the Windows XP community because I think they’ll mostly have moved on. Those that haven’t are already using a very elderly system and will probably be happy risking sticking with it. But most will have seen this coming for years and will have put plans in place to anticipate change. It’s what business owners do.
Unless you know any different..?