It’s been seventeen years since Microsoft Windows XP was first released to the public as one of the most iconic and popular Microsoft operating systems of its time, until 2014, when Windows XP’s extended support ended for good, leaving troves of users in a sort of “breakup” mode, making sense of a world that has since moved on to a whole new kind of operating system, one that is no longer bound to a desk, and built for devices far more limber than the dear old traditional laptop and desktop ever could be today.
Windows XP was, to today’s 30 and 40-something, as deliciously retro as Windows 95, and just as momentous in its shift from a previous generation of bulky beige boxes, to the hulking towers of the 90s and early 2000s, lined up like robot soldiers on rows of shelves, before a generation of consumers still making sense of what makes a computer great.
YouTube user Kamer Kaan Avdan has picked up on the very sentimental attachment many former Windows XP users still feel a connection with, and created a concept video, telling the story about an alternate universe in which Windows XP was never gone, but rather evolved to incorporate everything that makes Microsoft Windows 10 a superior operating system, in a re-thought retro look that, as impossible to bring back in today’s reality of ever-changing trends, is guaranteed to give tech enthusiasts, and Windows XP fans, a filing of satisfaction.
Since 2015, when Microsoft has first introduced its free upgrade program for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users to Windows 10, Microsoft Windows XP has almost completely disappeared, and exists today on a measly 6.13 percent of all devices worldwide.
The vision brought on by Kamer Kaan Avdan is unmistakably retro, but as a 2018 concept of Windows XP, is does pay attention to modern trends, not only in terms of features, but also in regard to design, as it leaves behind the rounded corners and dramatic embossing typical of the late 90s, early 2000s, in favor of thin, sharp lines, and modern delicate gradients that reference Microsoft’s latest Fluent Design, with subtle hints to Google Material Design, although the latter may be accidental.
A cute little cameo that some may remember from the old days is the integration of Rover into Cortana. Rover was initially introduced as a character in Microsoft Bob, a software feature designed to replace Windows 3.1 Program Manager, which was meant to provide a more intuitive way to use Windows, by displaying applications accessible through a cartoon house interface. Microsoft Bob received horrible ratings by users and tech critics, and is mostly remembered as a short-lived experiment, put to rest by Steve Ballmer. Rover “survived” and briefly “couch-surfed” within the search feature of Windows XP, until December 1st 2013, when Microsoft removed Rover from Windows XP, with the Longhorn 4008 update.
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