welllllll, though it's true that Ford and Toyota issue frequently new versions of their cars, they don't "innovate" about the position of the gas and brake pedals; they haven't yet tried seating the driver backward or in the backseat... If they did, they would be soon out of business unless they were about the only car manufacturers on the market.
While it's tru that XP is a reasonably stable piece of software, we will be "forced" to abandon it because Microsoft will not recompile XP to comly with new hardware architecture, and under pressure from MS, peripherals manufacturers will no longer supply Xp drivers for their devices. Anyone who tried recently to retrofit a W7 laptop to Xp will know what I'm writing about.
If we lived in an open source software universe, we could hire third-party developers to overcome this problem; in the real world, the only way to do this is retro-engineering, which is uselessly resources-consuming (time and money). moreover, in our proprietary, closed-source, software constellation, we would then fall under patent infringement complaints.
And this is why a considerable amount of costly resources is diverted from production processes to be funneled into financing product evolutions that bring (in the best cases) negligeable productivity increases, when not (in the worst but most frequent cases) productivity losses from unavailability of employees while in training (or while trying to figure out new ways to do what they've done successfully for years).
Yet another scheduled obsolescence story... http://www.storyofstuff.org/
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