It's The End of the Road for Windows XP, Office 2003, IE8

On Tuesday Microsoft released the last of its updates for Windows XP and Office 2003. From here on out, customers still clinging to the decrepit software will have to rely on third-party products to keep them somewhat safe from hackers. Security experts are already warning that customers should upgrade to a newer platform within the next month.

"Microsoft provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years. But the time came for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences," Microsoft warns.

Microsoft's warning reports that the company has also stopped providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP. However, for those who already have this solution installed, Microsoft will continue to provide updated antimalware signature updates for a limited time. Still, that doesn't mean the PC will be secured against everything.

"If you continue to use Windows XP now that support has ended, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses," reads the warning. "Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter more apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP."

In addition to Windows XP and Office 2003, Microsoft is also pulling the plug on Internet Explorer 8. The company warns that Internet Explorer 8 users could expose their PC to additional threats if they continue to use the outdated browser.

Meanwhile, the next Patch Tuesday will be May 13. Security analysts are already sending up flares, warning consumers that hackers will likely reverse engineer the patches to find additional ways to infiltrate the outdated platforms. Right now Microsoft is insisting that customers update their current PC, or get a new one altogether.

"Very few older computers are able to run Windows 8.1, which is the latest version of Windows," the company's warning states. "We recommend that you download and run the Windows Upgrade Assistant to check if your PC meets the system requirements for Windows 8 and then follow the steps in the tutorial to upgrade if your PC is able."

According to Netmarketshare, Windows XP accounts for 28.73 percent of the operating system market, following Windows 7, which claims 47.93 percent of the market. Windows 8 ranks third with a 6.47 percent share followed by Windows 8.1 with 4.42 percent of the OS market.

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  • gopher1369
    "On Tuesday Microsoft released the last of its updates for Windows XP and Office 2003. From here on out, customers still clinging to the decrepit software will have to rely on third-party products to keep them somewhat safe from hackers."

    Not true. FREE support has ended. Several organisations are continuing to get updates from Microsoft, we just have to pay for them (mine included - NHS in Britain. I understand the Dutch government has done similar).
  • s997863
    "but I really doubt that anyone NEEDS XP"
    nobody "needs" anything. I can get by without computers once they've become inconvenient/annoying enough. It's just that XP still has the least of what I really don't need. I don't need UAC, slow USB transfer speeds, insane memory usage just for opening an image in photo-viewer, unproductive touch-screen type explorer (win7). I don't need frozen ribbons, nor false formatting warnings trying to scare me not to save older file types that'll open for all users who have office-97 onwards (office 2007+). I don't need an internet file download dialog that takes 3-steps to save-as, instead of 1-step (IE-9). I don't need fake graphics "features" that are so insignificant that it's hard to compare side-by-side comparison screenshots on die-hard forums (Dx10+).
    I guess I'm too old and ignorant on todays systems. I can't stand seeing 600MB of memory being hogged on and idle Win7 desktop vs 80MB for the same on XP, and not knowing where it's all going even after disabling similar services & background processes. I guess I'm too used to the old days when machines behaved like machines. I just hate it when I try to do some file delete/copy/cut/paste/rename work, and often win7 explorer denies access to some file, until I leave it idle for many minutes, as if it's doing a lot scanning or some such garbage in the background, even though I have no indexing, virus-scanning ... etc. or anything. It's a been a sad dark age for computers ever since you can repeat the same steps twice and not see the exact same results every time.
  • ferooxidan
    "The company warns that Internet Explorer 8 users could expose their PC to additional threats if they continue to use the outdated browser." lol MS, all of your IE version is a threat to PC and slower than the competitor.

    @holyknight1121:
    "Gotta buy a new laptop just to switch out of XP kind of sucks. My laptop is over 6 years old with old with Core 2 Duo @ 2.53 ghz and 2 Gb ram really can't handle vista nor 7 because the increased ram and cpu usage." Wrong, my colleague at work has old lenovo exactly the same spec as yours and running win 7 nicely.
  • Other Comments
  • memadmax
    What's all the hate on XP for? Just because they are not doing trivial "security" updates anymore doesn't necessarily mean it's less safe. And im sure most hackers have moved on to 8 or 7 as well too...
  • dark_wizzie
    XP was nice but comon guys, it's time to move on. It has had its run.
  • ocilfa
    IE8 is old? My highschool currently is using ie6 on xp.