Microsoft is officially ending support for Windows XP, after 12 and a half years of service. The operating system has dominated PC market share and is one of Microsoft’s most successful software products.
Windows XP is still, incredibly, the second most used PC operating system, behind Windows 7. Users have been given dates and advice but still seem adamant on keeping the old OS.
Windows XP expiry date
Microsoft actually gave up mainstream support for Windows XP in 2009, four years ago. The company has released statements encouraging users to move to a newer version of Windows.
Currently, Microsoft still offers security patches for Windows XP, this means they still have a team invested in scripting patches. They send these out through Windows updates and Microsoft also offers technical support, both paid and free.
The corporate world is where Windows XP keeps it huge market share, with over 30% of all corporate sectors still on the old OS. Reasons for this could include the company not having expertise to make the move or the dangers of losing their data.
In the consumer market, the market share is a little lower but still beats Vista, Windows 8 and any Macintosh operating system.
Support ending April 8, 2014
Analysts have different numbers, many say up to 500 million users could be dumped by this change, but we cannot see that many people having active Windows XP computers.
Corporate takes up a good chunk of the users and we suspect the number of consumers still running Windows XP is less than 100 million, this still overlaps Windows 8.
On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will completely drop support for Windows XP. There will be no more patches, bug fixes or tech support. Like the operating systems before XP, Microsoft wants to fully move away from the OS.
This does not mean outside support will not come, the user will still be able to download updates from third-party applications, although some developers have moved away from Windows XP compatibility.
Problems for people still running Windows XP
If you are going to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8, the process will take longer and some files may be incompatible when moving from Windows XP.
Developer software has probably not been updated in a while, depending on the publisher. This could mean some systems on Windows XP are corrupt.
When the day of reckoning comes, Windows XP will lose all support, including bug and patches, meaning the operating system will miss out on crucial new updates to stop viruses and problems on the system.
This is not so much a problem for personal users as it is enterprise, who will need security patches to keep their system secure. Many governments have said corporations should move to a newer version of Windows.
We would advise moving to Windows 7 or Windows 8 if you haven’t already. Vista is next for the chop and we doubt Microsoft will give any leeway for the small amount still using the system, as they have with Windows XP