Windows XP is their Passion

Microsoft Corp.'s operating systems run most personal computers around the globe and are a cash cow for the world's largest software maker. But you'd never confuse a Windows user with the passionate fans of Mac OS X or even the free Linux operating system. Unless it's someone running Windows XP, a version Microsoft wants to […]

Microsoft Corp.'s operating systems run most personal computers around the globe and are a cash cow for the world's largest software maker. But you'd never confuse a Windows user with the passionate fans of Mac OS X or even the free Linux operating system.

Unless it's someone running Windows XP, a version Microsoft wants to retire.

Fans of the six-year-old operating system set to be pulled off store shelves in June have papered the Internet with blog posts, cartoons and petitions recently. They trumpet its superiority to Windows Vista, Microsoft's latest PC operating system, whose consumer launch last January was greeted with lukewarm reviews.

Fans of the six-year-old operating system set to be pulled off store shelves in June have papered the Internet with blog posts, cartoons and petitions recently. They trumpet its superiority to Windows Vista, Microsoft's latest PC operating system, whose consumer launch last January was greeted with lukewarm reviews.

No matter how hard Microsoft works to persuade people to embrace Vista, some just can't be wowed. They complain about Vista's hefty hardware requirements, its less-than-peppy performance, occasional incompatibility with other programs and devices and frequent, irritating security pop-up windows.

For them, the impending disappearance of XP computers from retailers, and the phased withdrawal of technical support in coming years, is causing a minor panic.

Take, for instance, Galen Gruman. A longtime technology journalist, Gruman is more accustomed to writing about trends than starting them.

But after talking to Windows users for months, he realized his distaste for Vista and strong attachment to XP were widespread.

"It sort of hit us that, wait a minute, XP will be gone as of June 30. What are we going to do?" he said. "If no one does something, it's going to be gone."

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Microsoft, Windows XP, Mac OS X, Linux, Operating System, Passion