12 years, 7 months and 15 days ago, Windows XP was released to OEMs. Today the official support for it stops, though businesses and governments can continue to purchase support for it. This means that bug fixes won’t. It means that support will only continue if you can pay Microsoft to do it. And it means that if you’re hitched to Windows and not already running Windows 7 (or planning your Windows 9 deployment) then you should probably consider a new career.
Schools in Northern Ireland have done well out of Windows XP as of today, they’re (both primary and secondary) still running it.
At least we can say they were right when they insisted on Windows being the default OS – after all it is the operating system used by most businesses. I didn’t think they actually meant Windows XP.
Windows XP was the first time I felt comfortable with Windows. The pre-NT kernel editions were creaky as hell but I wished for the hardware compatibility and software ease of use of Windows 98 with the pre-emptive multitasking of Windows NT 4 and Windows 2000. XP was the first time it really worked. It’s stood the test of time as well – if you run a lean machine and keep the services under control, it still can be blazingly fast. On newer hardware it just gets out of the way. But that’s all coming to an end.
Today you die. You had a good run.
There’s a problem with online console gaming (and most MMOs). There’s a non-trivial effort required to maintain the server, lobby and match-making infrastructure which is nowhere near as glamorous as or perhaps as rewarding as developing the game.
For instance, the Resistance series is about to die:
If you’re a fan of Sony’s OTHER first person franchise – you know the one with aliens, not space fascists – you may want to tuck in this weekend as Sony will be shutting down the servers on April 8th. FOREVER.
This plagues consoles and how many MMOs have shuttered over the last four years, consigning to the bitbucket millions of hours of labour and craft in leveling, grinding and adding pretty textures.
It’s also affected the mobile industry as the early winners consolidate their gains. You only have to look at OpenFeint to see what happens. Matchmaking gone, leaderboards defunct.
For PC games, it’s been a little different. Some of them rely on the client-server model and they can lose their vital connection to ” lobby” services. Few have managed to transition them to community owned third- party services. But I can start a game that, without official lobby access, still manages to function.
There are reasons for doing it both ways but in my opinion if you’re going to shutter a service, it behooves you to find ways to work with the community.
My preferred solution is one that we thought of in Conquest Dynamics. Reducing the server component as much as possible while still allowing for match-making, interaction and sticky services. It does mean maintaining a server of some sort to act almost like a Torrent Tracker – a centralised location for the servers present in every client to find each other. We’re still working on it.
Just spent two breakneck days at the BelTech conference. Had a great time meeting dozens of techies on day one and hundreds of kids and educators on day two.
Thanks to Tom Gray of Kainos for the vision and congratulations to Sheree Acheson also of Kainos for launching Women Who Code Belfast.
Thanks also to Orlaith and Connla of Aisling Events for their military precision in running a tech conference. Apple and Google should hire you.
Thanks to Paul Braithwaite of the Building Change Trust for giving me a platform to speak about social innovation through digital.
Thanks to Willis McBriar of VIEW Digital for helping me man the Coder Dojo and 3D Dojo stand.
Thanks to Stuart and Ron from Mac Sys for paying for the island stand that would house not only Digital Circle and Coder Dojo but also Farset Labs and VIEW Digital.
And finally thanks to the US Consul General Gregory S. Burton and his wife for hosting us at the official residence at the close.