Windows XP users face an upgrade conundrum -

News that Microsoft will discontinue support for Windows XP in a year from now is bound to cause some dismay for quite a few people.

The estimate is that some 37 percent of people are happy with using what turned out to be a very stable operating system. In my own case, I own a Sony Vaio which came installed with Vista but with the operating to "downgrade" to Windows XP. That, I duly did.

After reading about the Redmond plans this morning, I decided to see just how compatible my rather reliable Viao is with Windows 7. Needless to say, it's not very compatible at all – and re-installing four or five years of valuable software doesn't exactly fill my mind with glee. So that makes the decision to carry on using XP as long as my notebook lasts an easy one.

In the old days, we found ourselves more or less blackmailed by the Wintel axis powers into upgrading our machines. But these days, I can see very little compelling reason to do so.  I have another machine that has Windows 7 installed and while that OS is pretty stable,

I can see no reason on earth to spend an awful lot of money on an Ultrabook – especially considering the fact that I've every reason to suspect the Intel platform isn't particularly good. I asked Intel if I could have a look at a machine some months ago – the answer was "no". It's almost as if Intel doesn't want tech people to review Ultrabooks.

And like many other people, these days I spend a great deal of time using my Samsung Galaxy III and my Apple iPad 3 doing the fun things in life.  It's only when I need to use a proper keyboard that I'm forced back onto the X86 platform.

I'll be damned if I spend goodness knows how much money just to have a modern version of Office and an operating system that offers little additional functionality over Windows XP. Instead, I will maintain and protect my old Vaio XP jalopy to the best of my ability.

Incidentally, you have only to boot up ancient versions of software you might have hanging around on your shelves to see that new is not necessarily good. Microsoft Word for Windows 2.0 was a good version of the word processor – it really zings along on Intel platforms several generations ahead of it.

I suspect many of the 37 percent who still use Windows XP will do the same thing I'm doing.  Both Microsoft and Intel are, I believe, slowly realising that their gravy train is hitting the buffers.  This year and next year are crunch times for both the corporations.