Having been launched in 2011, Windows XP is considered ancient in operating-system terms. But perhaps, in seeking to understand why it is seemingly having such a hard time getting users to upgrade from the 13-year-old software, Microsoft should take some genuinely ancient lessons on board.
Aesop's fable of The North Wind and the Sun teaches that brute force is not as effective a show of strength as gentle persuasion. The sun proves its power, and gets the traveller to do as he wishes, with pacific warmth, while the wind's bullying bluster is just met with more and more resistance.
One reseller has characterised Microsoft's attempts to convince users to migrate as "scaremongering". It is certainly fair to say that the vendor's awareness campaign has focused a good deal more on the claimed security perils of staying on XP past today's end-of-support date than it has on the benefits of adopting its newer technologies.
Much like a child with a cherished toy, it can prove impossible to strong-arm someone into parting from a technology they know and trust, and that still works. The most effective way to separate a child from its favourite plaything is invariably to capture its imagination and its attention with a toy it loves even more.
XP is clearly a product that people love and, rather than huffing and puffing, perhaps Microsoft could trade a little more on the warmth generated for its brand by the ageing software.
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