Unlike its MobileMe service and recent versions of iTunes, which have somewhat surprisingly supported Windows XP all this time, use of Apple’s iCloud service on a PC will require either Windows Vista or Windows 7. Of course, XP users shouldn’t feel too badabout being left behind — as TUAW notes, Apple’s only extended support for the Mac version of iTunes 10.3 back to OS X 10.5, which was just released in 2007 (when Windows XP was already starting to tell other upstart operating systems to get off its lawn).
It’s a subtle change but an important one: Apple’s published Windows system requirements for iCloud are a bit different than they are for MobileMe and the current version of iTunes. Per the company’s press release:
Using iCloud with a PC requires Windows Vista or Windows 7; Outlook 2010 or 2007 is recommended for accessing contacts and calendars.
Emphasis mine. What’s missing? Only the world’s most popular operating system (still!), Windows XP. While iTunes 10.3 and MobileMe both include XP SP 2 in the support list, it looks like the next stop on the road to the cloud is a no-go for the older OS.
Considering that Apple’s backwards-compatibility on iTunes 10.3 only goes back four years for its own operating system, it’s kind of surprising that the ten-year-old XP has stayed on the short list for as long as it has. This shift, however, may mean that some PC users will search for alternatives to Apple’s tools for iOS support (assuming that iTunes itself will move up to match the iCloud specification).
Are you running Windows XP on any machines you currently use with iTunes or MobileMe? If so, is the prospect of iCloud requiring Vista or Win7 keeping you up at night?
- Windows XP users will finally need to upgrade to enter the iCloud (engadget.com)
- Want iCloud With Windows? Ditch the XP (apple.slashdot.org)
- How long should we support old Windows versions? (ghacks.net)
- How to speed-up routine renaming, cutting and pasting in Windows XP? (ask.metafilter.com)
- How To Backup Steam Games (ghacks.net)
- Windows XP users will be lost in the iCloud (tuaw.com)
- Windows XP users won’t be getting the iCloud treatment (edibleapple.com)
- Windows XP users left out of Apple’s iCloud (winrumors.com)
- Apple bars WinXP users from iCloud (go.theregister.com)
- Netbooks – Change from Windows 7 to XP, deploy via FOG. What about partitions? (edugeek.net)