(This is a long ~2900 words post, I recommend reading this from a tablet or computer)
Windows XP is the second-longest supported operating system (OS) in Microsoft’s history. Support by Microsoft finally ended on 8 April 2014 after a record-setting 12.5 years. The number one rank is technically* held by Windows 1.0 at 16 years from 1985 to 2001.
*I say “technically” as that was when Microsoft finally declared Win 1.0 obsolete but I doubt Microsoft was updating Win 1.0 during its final years. This was unlike WinXP which was updated up to its final moments and even had an emergency patch after its support ended.
This page here also puts XP’s length of support in perspective with other Microsoft OSes.
Released in October 2001, it is almost 15 years old today. I was only 11 years old when this OS was released so you can imagine I pretty much spent much of my teen years using XP machines other than Red Hat Linux of course.
Despite its age, XP continues to live on in embedded systems like ATMs, factory and medical machines where replacement costs and re-certification (timelines) makes them infeasible to be replaced in the near future. An extreme example is how the 23-year-old Windows 3.1 which crashed is still used in a French airport as of late last year.
I work in a startup called Algoaccess where we deal with medical devices specifically optician-related ones. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say we occasionally have to handle such older systems and test to make sure our product can work with them. This means we actually need a Windows XP installation for testing purposes. No, virtual machines like VirtualBox or VMWare will not cut it, we need a native installation for realistic testing.
My company could easily procure a machine of an older era with full Windows XP drivers. There are guides like this where people have used an older system to install WinXP in 2016.
But where is the fun in that? I saw this as an opportunity to determine if it is really possible to install WinXP on a much newer system. It was also a good way to relive a bit of my childhood that way.
First thoughts? It shouldn’t be that hard right? I know drivers could be an issue but it shouldn’t be a show-stopper? Turns out things are not so easy to put WinXP on modern hardware.
A photo to show that I have successfully installed WinXP on this machine abet with lots of missing drivers.
A short video for “extra proof”
The target machine is a Lenovo Ideapad U330p which was manufactured in 25 July 2014.