Microsoft is reminding Windows XP users once again that time for official support is running out, and that now is the best time for businesses to modernize their IT infrastructure by upgrading to the more secure, more "modern" Windows 8.
Starting April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide support for Windows XP users which includes platform security updates and technical support. In other words, you're on your own with an outdated OS – Microsoft is moving on, and so should customers despite how much they love the aging platform.
Erwin Visser, Senior Director within the Windows and Windows Live Division, spent most of his blog update on Tuesday focused on the business aspect, reporting that the migration process from Windows XP to Windows 8 can take some time, and may be costlier the longer companies stay on the latter, older platform. They're putting themselves at risk, as the security landscape is ever-changing and new threats are coming to fruition every day, he said.
"Those that haven’t yet started their migration process need to begin as soon as possible to ensure that they meet the April 8, 2014 deadline," he said. But even if the average enterprise started now, it could take 18 to 32 months from business case through full deployment. The update process should have started the moment Windows 8 hit retail shelves.
Last month, Net Applications reported that 38.73-percent of the OS market was still dominated by Windows XP, dropping from its 38.99-percent share in February and 39.51-percent in January. The platform also had a 44.85-percent market share in May 2012 and a 39.08-percent share in December 2012, showing an overall slight decline in usage.
"In 2001, Windows XP was launched, and went on to become Microsoft’s most popular operating system of its time, aiding consumers and business users to be more productive and secure as high-speed Internet became ubiquitous at work and eventually in our homes," he said. "It’s no question that Windows XP was an outstanding operating system to meet the needs of customers more than a decade ago."
In addition to Windows XP, Microsoft also plans to discontinue support for Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP, Office 2003, Exchange Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 2 and older. Newer service packs of Exchange Server 2010 will still be supported.