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Microsoft XPS/Metro Appears to be Dead

Posted in Microsoft, XPS at 6:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Computing by night

Summary: All signs indicate that Metro is just history, so XPS is no PS (PostScript) or PDF

A FEW years ago people started worrying about XPS, which was supposed to be Microsoft’s proprietary ‘PDF killer’. We opened a whole new category for XPS, only to be accommodated with 8 items as time went on, the last one going over a year back. What’s happening with XPS/Metro then? Despite looking closely at Microsoft news over the past year (close to 1,000 headlines/week) we found nothing about it. Google News currently yields nothing. It’s quite likely that it died faster than Silver Lie, but Microsoft never arranged a funeral or declared the death officially, e.g. with an announcement or a quick blog post.

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  1. TemporalBeing said,

    November 12, 2010 at 1:57 pm


    Sadly, XPS is the default print driver installed on all Windows computer right now. There are people that do use it, though what they read it with is a mystery.

    twitter Reply:

    This annoys people. Excellent PDF print and reading support is one of those areas where GNU/Linux remains far ahead of Windows. Respect for user choice is something non free software will never have. Windows users can download a pdf printer and set it as a default for each user, but that’s a chore.

  2. twitter said,

    November 12, 2010 at 11:01 pm


    Here’s a measure of how many people are using XPS, a Google search for common terms using the “filetype:” term, as in “filetype:xps christmas”. The results are amusing, to say the least and run about 1 million to one against XPS.

    Christmas. 2.3 million pdf documents vrs 1 Polish language xps document. That is 1 as in singular, not 1 million, 1 hundred 1 dozen or one pair, just one lonely result. “June” 55 million pdf, 9 xps. “Cats”. 11 million pdf, 2 xps.

    Just in case readers are tempted to say that Google hates Microsoft and is burying evidence of widespread xps use, I tried the “cats” search with Bing’s “decision engine” and others without luck. Bing, clueless thing that it is, offers me shopping results in my town and an advertisement for software to “open xps” by scanning and repairing Windows, just in case Windows is broken – that never happens and friendly malware authors are so helpful when it does. Yahoo, “powered by Bong! is the same but with more advertisement links and zero results. Lycos, zero for xps, 610,000 for pdf. Ask.com turns up some xps results that are mostly senseless. Doing things their way does a little better but ask.com does not count the results. Looking for pdf files on ask.com turns up a handy page about how to use search engines for this purpose. It seems as though no one but Google bothers to index XPS, though Yahoo does return an impressive 250,000 results about Dell XPS computers, bbq grills and arctic trolling motor batties. That should be compared to the 24 million pdf documents about cats that Yahoo actually indexed.

    I’d say that’s dead as dead can be. Not even Microsoft’s search engine can find xps documents with common words published online. The almighty Google search bots managed to turn up a few dozen, perhaps in their deep web searches. Not even accidently shared files are xps documents.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Excellent survey. Thanks for defending the point about XPS being a dying breed.

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