Service Pack 1 for Windows XP 1.1

This service pack features essential software upgrades that can patch large security holes in the OS

  • Category:

    Necessary Components

  • Version:


  • Works under:

    Windows XP

  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Free
  • Vote:
    5.8 (44)

Although Microsoft ended free support for XP on April 8, 2014, sticking with Windows XP offers at least seven significant advantages:

· Costly to upgrade

· Speed and stability in both workstation and server environments

· Full compatibility with familiar productivity and design software

· Native, hardwired COM1 support and support for legacy peripheral hardware

· Reliable access to legacy in-house or proprietary software

· No learning curve for currently productive workers

· Lower up front training costs

With Windows XP Service Pack 1 Microsoft presented the consumer marketplace with the first stable version of the Windows operating system. Having earlier forked the market into separate consumer and commercial lines, Microsoft scrubbed plans to upgrade Windows 2000. Instead they used the stable, commercially successful Windows NT kernel, built Windows XP, and offered it to both consumers and businesses.

Consumers, in particular, saw huge performance improvements after upgrading to XP from either the unpopular Millennium Edition (Windows ME) or Windows 98 SE. Windows XP is fully backwardly compatible for most software written for Windows 98 and Windows 98 SE. However, new users of Windows XP may find that some software originally written for earlier versions of Windows no longer runs or requires updated drivers.

While consumers enjoyed the greatest benefit from upgrading both business and government users also benefitted from the improvements in Windows XP. After three versions and 11 years many small-to-medium sized businesses (SMB) still choose not to upgrade. One surprisingly common reason is that Windows XP supports a wide assortment of legacy peripherals like printers, external drives, and tape drives, not to mention the older hardware's native COM1 peripherals like point of sale terminals. Many simply won’t run even with USB-to-COM1 adapters. The time and engineering required for hardware workarounds does not come cheap.

Windows XP offers a reasonable fit for users that want upgrade their browser, security, wireless, or network connectivity, while retaining access to legacy software and peripherals. Either issue might drive the decision not to upgrade. As one business programmer on the Spiceworks forum noted, even if each little fix to legacy code represents a trivial issue a project that requires doing something 100,000 times won’t be easy, fast, or trouble free. Similarly, while expensive proprietary software written for Win XP or Win 98 SE might run on a modern virtual machine, there are no guarantees.

Two other advantages round out the reasons to stick with Windows XP. First, almost everyone already knows how to use it and upgrading isn’t free. Most legacy productivity software already runs faster than the workers can make changes to it. Many of them may be reluctant to start over with new technology, preferring instead to stick with known technology rather than incur the opportunity cost of switching until either they or the machines retire. Likewise, retraining incurs direct costs that gobble up the bottom line. By contrast, a more gradual transition turns the early adopters into force multipliers that can train coworkers over time while maintaining continuity with past systems.

The decision of whether to upgrade from Windows XP now, put it off into the future, or opt for a gradual transition depends on many factors. Not all of them lead to realistic improvement in the bottom line.

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