Windows XP support is at an end today as Microsoft is pulling the plug on one of the most trusted operating systems in their history. However, the UK government (among others) is pouring money into attempting to keep it alive for just a little bit longer.
Now that we’re up to Windows 8.1, it seems Microsoft had to cut something off eventually. Support for so many versions of the same software were beginning to hurt business, with Windows XP allegedly costing them several times as much to support as newer ones. If you want an older operating system that Microsoft will still support, you’ll have to settle for Vista or the much preferred and user friendly Windows 7.
What this all means for current Windows XP users is that there will no longer be any security updates or bug fixes. What is out there for the operating system right now is all you can safely install without a potential crash. This also means that antivirus software will become more and more useless as the basic programming will not support any new technology. You probably won’t even be able to download Windows XP from Microsoft’s online store or receive service packs if you try to reinstall.
If the new lack of Windows XP support is a problem for you, you’re not alone. According to official statistics, a large number of people are still using the now obsolete OS. Windows 7 holds the top spot as Windows 8.1 is gaining almost no momentum, meaning that Windows XP is still the second most used Microsoft OS in the world. Microsoft appears to be trying to force Windows 8.1 out there, even using it as a basic template for the Xbox Live dashboard as Windows XP support ends.
— PCMag (@PCMag) April 8, 2014
This fact that XP is still the second most used version of Windows is reflected by the disturbing news that the UK government’s recently created Crown Commercial Service has paid Microsoft about $9.1 million to extend its deadline. The Dutch government has done likewise. Around 10 percent of all government PC operating systems are now vulnerable, and it’s no easy task to switch over computer systems when national security is at risk.
It remains to be seen whether or not Microsoft will extend its deadline for Windows XP support in order to give the rest of the world more time to switch over. For now, you might want to consider taking up Microsoft’s offer to upgrade to Windows 8.1 for a $100 gift card.