Apple has decided not to support Windows XP for its iCloud synchronization service, revealed earlier this week. Given that iCloud's predecessor, MobileMe, supported XP just fine, this is a minor shock, though it makes sense.
The information comes from the fine print on the apple.com/icloud/features webpage. Here is the relevant excerpt: "Requires iOS 5 on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), iPad, or iPad 2, or a Mac computer with OS X Lion or a PC with Windows Vista or Windows 7 (Outlook 2007 or 2010 recommended)."
Apple iCloud is a service designed to work with apps on iOS, Mac, or PC to automatically store your content online and push it back to all your devices when requested. When anything changes on one of your devices, all of your devices are wirelessly updated as soon as possible.
Although Windows Vista and Windows 7 are used by 35 percent of users around the world, Windows XP still trumps them both with over 50 percent market share. This is very unfortunate given that XP is a decade-old operating system.
Microsoft knows this and is making its own attempts to woo users off the platform. The software giant still supports those using XP, despite its hate for the ancient OS.
On April 14, 2009, Microsoft retired Mainstream Support for XP, and with it, support for IE6. The company is not planning to retire Extended Support for the operating system until April 8, 2014. If the company ends up releasing XP SP4 (highly unlikely), it will retire support for SP3 (released in April 2008) two years later, or in April 2014, whichever comes first. In short, Windows XP will continue to be officially supported by Microsoft for about three more years. Despite the support options, Redmond still wants XP and IE6 to die.