According to NetMarketShare, nearly 40 percent of all desktop computers are running Windows XP… an operating system that was first released 12 years ago. That’s despite the fact that Microsoft has released three major OS updates since then, and despite the fact that Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows XP in 2009.

Now the clock is ticking on another deadline: In April, 2014 Microsoft will end extended support for Windows XP.

Windows XP

That means the company won’t offer a single security fix or performance update after that date, whether you’re a casual user or a company that’s paying a premium for extended support.

It’s hardly surprising that Microsoft plans to end support for an operating system released over a decade ago — the company typically offers 5 years of mainstream support and 5 more of extended support.

But Windows XP has had remarkable staying power. It’s stable enough to run for days, weeks, or even months on end without crashing. And not only do many users continue to run it, but most Windows apps can still run on Windows XP in addition to Winodws Vista, 7, or 8.

There are plenty of good reasons to upgrade. Microsoft’s more recent operating systems offer better security, improved graphics, built-in search capabilities, and more improvements. But apparently those haven’t been good enough reasons for many users to upgrade.

Of course, Windows isn’t the only option. Folks who aren’t interested in moving to a newer version of Microsoft’s software could always migrate to Ubuntu or another Linux-based operating system such as Fedora, OpenSUSE, or Mint. But I doubt that’s what Microsoft means when the company suggests its time to upgrade to a “modern operating system.”

In fact, according to the Windows Blog, “A modern OS refers to Windows 7 and Windows 8 as well as a modern browser like IE 8, 9 and 10. These are hardened, secure operating systems built to support users’ needs around security, mobility and overall flexibility.”

Anyway, if you care about protecting your PC from vulnerabilities, you’ve probably got about a year to find an alternative to Windows XP, whatever that may be.




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8 replies on “Windows XP extended support ends next year, Microsoft really wants you to upgrade”

  1. with less than 1gb (the tipycal amount of ram in the netbook) windows 7 go slower (and the hard disk swap everytimes), xp is the best chois for this machine…

    1. I have a netbook with Win 7 starter. It is really slow. I think it is the wrong operating system for some computers. If I can find a way to install Win XP onto it again without it stopping to work without registration, I would. I think Win XP is excellent for netbooks. Perhaps I am dreaming but if Microsoft could update date Win XP (not make it bloated but improved) and it call it Win NB (netbook), it would be great for netbooks and other similar computers; IMO (somehow I don’t think that would happen).

      1. today i’ve replaced the hard disk of an old asus eeepc 1015px with atom n455, i’ve installed windows xp (nlite version with sata drivers) + kubuntu 12.04 in dual boot (instead of original windows 7 starter).

        they work very well, but xp works better 😉

        1. I have a couple of older netbooks that I want to replace the SSD and hard drives on and try different operating systems. 🙂

  2. I say stick with XP just to spite ’em.
    -And THEN I’d make ’em up me to 7.

    1. If one could find a way without having to activate it (like using it to replace a newer Windows on a netbook computer), one could use it till ones computer no longer works. That is when I usually upgrade and what happened to my Win XP netbook that caused me to upgrade to a newer netbook with Win 7 starter.

  3. And this is why you should insist on source code to anything mission critical. I can promise ya, if 40% of the world’s corporate desktops were running a system with source available SOMEBODY would step up and take your money for security updates. And by somebody I mean so many that competition would drive pricing way down.

    It doesn’t even have to be open source, just demand source along with binaries. I’d even assert that copyright law should not cover unaccompanied binaries, only binaries delivered as derived works from the source.

    If copyrights and patents are to ‘promote progress in science and the useful arts’ it is hard to see how opaque binaries serve that interest since nobody can really see it. Copyright isn’t about rent seeking or protecting a business model.

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