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Windows XP, we hardly knew ye! Yet by this time next year, the adolescent operating system will be headed for the big Recycle Bin in the sky, thanks to Microsoft's planned obsolescence policy and the inevitable march of progress.Introduced in 2001, XP was a big hit. But Microsoft will end support for XP on April 7th, 2014. That won't be the very end, however, as analyst firm Gartner says if you're happy to pay between $US200,000 and $500,000 a year for custom support Redmond will ensure XP has a pulse. Gartner does warn, however, that custom support “can as much as double [in price] from year to year as the product moves further away from the end of support.”Which sounds like death for all but the deepest-pocketed and locked-in users, leaving the rest of us to move on from an operating system that was, at the time of its release was, fast and stable thanks to its roots in Windows NT, rather than the Windows 95 code base.As we noted in a XP's two-years-until-deathday piece last year, the OS now seems comically under-powered. “Processors with clock speeds of 233Mhz were supported, but you really needed 300Mhz to make XP sing,” we wrote. “Disk drives greater than 137GB were frowned upon. USB 2.0 support only arrived with Service Pack 1 a year after launch.”