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March 18, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 2:26pm

Top 5 Windows XP #fails

Love it or loathe it, XP sure had some quirks.

By Ben Sullivan

The end is nigh for the legendary operating system. As we all know by now, April 8 is the day official Microsoft support for Windows XP will end, opening up the ground to all kinds of security apocalypse scenarios envisioned by tech experts and consumers alike.

With no official security updates, machines running XP will become more vulnerable to hacking, and it’s got all the world’s tech press debating whether or not Microsoft can recover from pulling the plug on its most lucrative software export. It’s been good, XP, and in honour of your imminent abandonment, we hereby list your five most embarassing, but endearing, failures.

Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)

Ah, the dreaded blue screen. What does it mean? How do you fix it? Have you destroyed your computer? It surely must be one of the most searched for terms on Google ever. The blue screen of death is actually the bug that displays after a fatal error occurs, and although found in some variant across all operating systems, Windows XP’s long service has made it most synonymous with the operating system.


Here’s a great list of BSODs found out and about in the public.

Windows XP tablet

It may be hard to believe, as you’ve probably never heard of it, but before the iPad tablet revolutionised the world, there was in fact a tablet that ran on Windows XP.

The Windows XP Tablet PC Edition was introduced in 2002, with an upgrade coming in 2005 and a touch system coming with Windows 7 in 2009. But back to the original ‘tablet’, the main problem was that back in the early noughties, hardware was not nearly as advanced enough as it is now to make a portable, lightweight, powerful tablet machine actually viable for anything. It looked ugly, clumsy, and couldn’t do anything particularly useful. In fact, Apple had sold more iPads in its first few months of release than Windows XP tablets had sold in the entire eight previous years.

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All of the Windows XP errors!

Watch this amazing, clever video of music composed from all of the Windows XP error notifications. It’s really fun, and highlights my point well of the sheer amount of error messages and notifications that exist in Windows XP.




Blaster Worm

The Blaster Worm was a worm-style virus that spread on Windows XP computers in August 2003, before Microsoft had really stepped up its security game.

The worm was first noticed on August 11 2003, and two days later, infections had peaked worldwide. An 18-year-old was arrested in Minnesota on August 29 for creating the Blaster Worm, and was sentenced to an 18-month prison term in January 2005.

The fatal error on Microsoft’s behalf was, even though XP included a firewall, that it shipped turned off. This led to computers shutting down worldwide on August 11, and then displaying an endless reboot loop.


Animated search assistants

Some users loved them, others loathed them. Yes, they were endearing and quirky – but the animated search assistants on XP were utterly futile. They couldn’t really help you out all that much as Merlin the Wizard and Rover the Dog would much rather spend their time doing tricks or being sarcastic.




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