Hi, new forums user here - I'm a semi-techie UX/product/platform kinda person, with a question for the community:
An enormous chunk of home users still have XP. (A third, maybe?) And huge numbers of those - plumbers, hairdressers etc etc - do little more than browse. (Some of them do simple MS-Office use too, say.) On standalone PCs. Many millions, with tragically simple PC use.
XP support dies in April (after which All Your Bank Accounts Are Belong To Us). At some point, then or over the next few years, most of those XP users will upgrade.
The shops will tell them "new hardware, plus Windows8" - expensive, foreign to learn, plus the major hassles of data transfer.
Perhaps a more appealing alternative would be an "XP-upgrade" Linux distro, specifically designed for these simple XP users, that just works, out of the box -
- partitions your drive (Gparted?) and makes it dual-boot (grub?) so your XP is still there if you need it, and you don't need new hardware
- installs a lightweight Linux with XP-like UI (so it's pretty familiar to use, secure, and in all probability faster) - with an "XP users Readme" on the desktop
- brings your bookmarks over, and sets LibreOffice to point to your old XP drive/docs by default
- fails gracefully, leaving the PC as before, if for any reason it can't do a complete job.
It would then just do the absolute minimum in software updates to keep a version that's working, secure, and supported (LTS-based). So, hopefully, that'd be 5 years (say) before the issue of a potential reinstall even occurred.
Let's take it as read that learning an XP-like Linux is no more difficult for them than having to learn Win8. Probably far less difficult. (Sure, *we* can quickly hack Win8 to use more old-fashioned menus and desktop, but normal users overwhelmingly can't or won't.)
So - couldn't someone put together a Linux distro that tries to do the above for these novice XP users?
If so, this might be a unique chance for a few million non-techie people to become users of yours, over the next couple of years. (Not just users - evangelists too, many of them.)