Windows XP Support Officially Shuts Down
Today, Microsoft officially ends support for Windows XP.
Can you believe it’s been twelve-and-a-half years since Windows XP first went on sale? First launched on August 24, 2001, Windows XP was the most widely used and popular operating system on the market for over a decade. So it’s understandable that there are folks that refuse to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8. Given the product support timeframe that Microsoft affords its products is ten years and Windows XP had an additional two years added to that means that today’s ending of support should be expected, right?
Well, with twenty-seven percent of personal computers in the world today still using it, it doesn’t seem that many are willing to let it go. But they should. With Microsoft killing off support for Windows XP, the amount of attacks on PCs still using this OS is expected to rise dramatically. According to ZDNet, Gartner Research vice-president and research director Michael Silver said that criminals may have been stashing away exploits to use once Microsoft has departed the scene, leaving the OS open to unpublished lines of attack.
What does this mean for you if you’re still running Windows XP? If you live in the UK or Netherlands, you still have another year. The UK Government paid £5.5million ($9.2million) to Microsoft to extend support and the Netherlands paid “millions of euros” to ensure Dutch Civil Servants had continued support until January 2015. For the rest of you, it means you should seriously consider biting-the-bullet and upgrading to a new operating system.
Microsoft’s support page on Windows XP’s end of support has been less than helpful at encouraging users to upgrade, offering little assistance outside of saying “Buy a new PC” or “Buy Windows 8.” Personally, I’m not a fan of either, since I custom built my PC and still use Windows 7. If you’re not one to upgrade your PC often – and let’s face it, if you’re still using XP chances are you’re not – you can find a cheap OEM copy of a Windows operating system of your choice on NewEgg.