April 2013 marks the beginning of a major refresh for Microsoft’s product family, as the company is now working to retire several key solutions, including Windows XP, Windows Live Messenger, Internet Explorer 6, and Office 2003.First of all, Windows XP, a very popular operating system that’s still installed on more than 38 percent of the computers connected to Internet worldwide, will go dark on April 8, 2014, as Microsoft plans to stop releasing updates and security patches beyond this date.
Of course, all users are now recommended to make the switch to a newer operating system, such as Windows 7 and Windows 8, with the latter heavily advertised via a new promotional campaign.
While Windows XP users aren’t quite willing to upgrade to a newer Windows version, Windows Live Messenger fans have no other option, as Microsoft will officially discontinue the application this month.
Everyone is required to move to Skype as soon as possible, but the good news is that third-party clients supporting this protocol still work and let you chat with your friends on Messenger.
Together with Windows XP, Microsoft will also kill Office 2003 and Internet Explorer 6, two other very popular products with plenty of users around the world.
Internet Explorer 6 is currently the fifth most popular browser in the entire world, with statistics showing that China is the only country where usage exceeds 25 percent.
Retiring all these products makes sense for Microsoft, especially because the company now has newer, faster, and more stable solutions to replace them, even though millions of users do not agree with this decision.
Many people have already expressed their intention to stick to Windows XP or Internet Explorer 6 beyond their official retirement date, even though the company will no longer provide support and security patches to keep their data on the safe side.