Tomorrow a non-profit that specializes in recycling electronics devices is coming to my remote rural community. As part of my recycling effort, I am finally getting rid of a lot of old stuff. Most of it died, some of it just became obsolete and so was put into storage.
In my office is a HP Pavilion desktop that I bought for a few hundred dollars in July of 2003. It runs Windows XP. I just fired it up again; it works fine. It has an old version of Office on it, and it has old versions of some specialty software I used for publishing and to create book indexes.
I understand that as software is improved, or at least changed, it becomes increasingly difficult to make old hardware and operating systems work with the newer, more sophisticated software. And I have not actually used the computer in years; it is a backup to my other backup computer. The backup computer runs Windows Vista; the new computer runs Windows 8.1.
I note that most people don't need a desktop at home, and never did. I need a desktop because of the applications I use for work. I am not a mobile guy. I work from my home office. I commute from my bedroom. But most people can get by with a smartphone or tablet. They don't need to be tied to a desktop, or even a laptop, except perhaps at work.
I do like using my Kindle Fire to read in the living room or in bed.
The HP/Windows XP combination got a lot of use in its day. It enabled me to start two businesses (freelance, no employees but me).
So thank you Microsoft and HP. I have had computers and software that broke down or became obsolete much faster than this particular computer. I complain about corporations quite a bit, but it this particular case I got great products at very fair prices and they directly helped me earn a living.