Microsoft Issues Another Warning of XP's Demise

Microsoft is reminding customers once again that Windows XP has less than a year to live until life support is switched off. The warning arrives as the Redmond company is gearing up to launch a preview of Windows 8.1 next month during the BUILD 2013 developers conference. The current warning is aimed primarily at small businesses reluctant to upgrade, but it also applies to all users still clinging to the ancient OS.

"Small businesses, we know you love Windows XP. It’s been good to you. But it’s 12 years old, and the time has come to start bidding it a fond farewell," said Microsoft's Jennifer Chen. "The unfortunate fact is that it’s out of date and support for it will end on April 8, 2014 – less than a year from now. Are you ready?"

Many may not be. In fact, many businesses and consumers may still think Windows XP will be supported by Microsoft despite the warnings. While speaking with one local retailer, the manager swore up and down that Microsoft will keep supporting the platform beyond May 2014 given that this particular chain has stores spread out across the country. After arguing back and forth with us over the subject, he still didn't get the message, and said that HP would keep Windows XP supported indefinitely.

The scary aspect of this reluctance is that this chain holds the personal records of millions of customers. Another local business we spoke to was just as reluctant about upgrading, but a quick glance at the screen showed that even security updates issued by Microsoft weren't installed. Again, like the former chain, this company holds personal records of all its customers. Imagine what will happen after April 2014.

"What does end of support mean? It means no security updates," Chen added. "No free or paid assisted support options, and no updates to online content. Using new hardware and software will become increasingly difficult and incompatible."

In 1Q13, Windows XP's market share of the OS market was 38.31 percent, following Windows 7 which commanded 44.72 percent. The usage of Windows XP has dropped to some degree over the past year, but not as much as Microsoft would probably like. In June 2012, the platform owned 43.61 percent of the market, and by December it still retained 39.08 percent. That said, Microsoft has a long way to go before Windows XP is completely out of the picture.

  • anxiousinfusion
    Trust me, Microsoft, I want to see XP die as badly as you do. So many people understand too little to know why they need to move on.
  • nevilence
    Solid OS in my opinion, but nothing lives forever...
  • vmem
    there must be a way for MS to send a warning message directly to every XP computer via a small "update" as the time approaches... this is a serious matter, ancient OSes need to die, and customer information needs to be properly protected, it's simple as that...
  • Anomalyx
    I'd love as much as anybody to move on to bigger and better things... but it's very discouraging when your alternative is Windows 8. Not sure if MS got the memo, but my office still uses the good old mouse and keyboard, not a touchscreen. If not for the corporate need for very specific versions of IE, we might as well just hook a keyboard up to an Android tablet. It's pretty close to what Win8 offers, being a touch-oriented interface and all...
  • softplacetoland
    Trendfollowers. OS is there to serve. Not to whip your backs in some imaginary race. XP would be as good as it is if someone didn't decide to artificialy withhold support for new technologies, software or hardware, and milk some cash from voluntary milk donors. Sparkles and sparkle hunters.
  • killerclick
    I don't see what's the big deal. Businesses don't want to upgrade? Fine, use an outdated OS, and if it proves to be a security nightmare, those businesses will fail and disappear. If fears of using an outdated OS prove to be unfounded. then these businesses will save money and have a better bottom line.
    Same with people using outdated web browsers, it's your computer, you use it any way you like.
  • computernerdforlife
    I know the date April 2014 is meaningless for most, I work for a company which relies on Microsoft support of our enterprise for 100000+ computers. Our conversion to Windows 7 is going slowly too - 2000 computers/month rollouts. Will we be punished for our slow rollouts? Not cool!
  • shikamaru31789
    If you really want people to upgrade put a discount on Vista, 7, and 8. I know I'd upgrade to Windows 7 or 8 if I could get it for like $30 from a legitimate website (you'd have to pay me to get Vista though). I don't have money to upgrade, so I'm sticking with Windows XP for now. It's a solid OS, I know my way around it, and it doesn't cost me anything unlike upgrading.
  • Super_Nova
    Hmmm, why wob't M$ release the sourcecode (for a small fee, if needed) when support stops and let people write their own updates?
  • JamesSneed
    10819049 said:
    I know the date April 2014 is meaningless for most, I work for a company which relies on Microsoft support of our enterprise for 100000+ computers. Our conversion to Windows 7 is going slowly too - 2000 computers/month rollouts. Will we be punished for our slow rollouts? Not cool!

    I think the blame is firmly on your company for not upgrading or switching to another OS before now. XP went into extended support in April of 2009 and Windows 7 came out October 2009. MS has been saying since 2009 it was going to end the extended support. You would think 5 years heads up prior to the EOS in 2014 is more than enough. You will be punished because of a lack of planning. As the old saying goes "A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part".