An ugly Windows XP sweater is all I want for Christmas

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Last year, Microsoft got in the festive spirit and the weird tradition of ugly holiday sweaters by sending out a relatively small number of tacky-looking Windows 95 pullovers. It was the perfect holiday homage to one of the most important OSes Microsoft ever released. This year, Microsoft is upping its garment game with an ugly Windows XP sweater.

It's ugly by design, and oh-so-awesome, as was the actual OS (awesome, that is, not ugly). Anyone who has been playing with PCs for a couple of decades probably has fond memories of Windows XP. It's enjoyed an almost cult-like following and can still be found on some PCs even still today, more than a decade after its final release (Service Pack 3). Remarkably, Windows XP still clings to a 2.29 percent share of the overall OS market, according to Net Marketshare. And at its peak in 2018, it sat at just above 5 percent.

Part of the reason why it was so beloved for so long is because it was relatively lean (especially compared to later versions of Windows) and offered fast performance, particularly in relation to Windows Me. Yes, Windows XP had its share of issues, but the subsequent Service Packs did a good job of addressing bugs and bolstering its overall security.

Windows XP really shined for Microsoft, and now Microsoft is honoring it in kind. It's not just the sweater that's nifty, but the packaging as well. Yes, the packaging! Tom Warren, a senior editor at The Verge, received one and posted some images of the box the sweater arrived in.

The "soft-wear" (ba-dum tish!) arrives in Windows XP's iconic retail box, labeled as Windows XP Pro-ho-ho-fessional. It offers "easy-on installation" and is backwards compatible, though for best results, Microsoft recommends wearing it forward.

Sadly, Microsoft is not selling them to the public, at least not that I can tell. If it ever does, though, I'll happily tell Microsoft to shut up and take my money.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).