Lightroom 4 dropping support for Windows XP has generated a lot of sound and fury from those who are going to need to upgrade their operating system or computers if they want to run the new version.

I don’t think any of us – not even Apple fans – like being forced to upgrade our computer systems any sooner than we want, but this doesn’t strike me as an evil decision by Adobe.

For Adobe it is a simple business decision and of course they look at what LR users are running. XP has been around for how long? And I dare say that it’s only because of Vista’s woes that so many photographers are still holding on to it. Features such as burning DVDs and other optical drives are built into more modern operating systems, and improvements to video handling also reflect developments which XP was never envisaged to handle. The costs of maintaining support for XP simply don’t add up over the lifetime of LR4.

Lightroom isn’t Photoshop, and Photoshop CS6 does support XP for the simple reason that “Photoshop’s user base is much different than Lightroom’s and many more of our customers are still on Windows XP”.  See the explanation here.

And it’s not as if Adobe are not being unfair to PC users, which is something I occasionally fear. Nor is it a case of “I’m all right, Jack” because LR4 won’t work on non 64 bit Macs, just like my Core Duo based Mac Book Pro and I’ve had to fork out for an Air.

No doubt someone reading this will be annoyed at the move, but I thought that this site’s visitor breakdown by OS would be a pretty good approximation to Lightroom users in general. 12% of the 45% using Windows, and how much by the end of the year? Reasonable decision?