Microsoft announced a couple of days ago that it would stick to its April 8, 2014 deadline for Windows XP, so as of this date, the company will no longer release updates and security patches for this particular operating system.
While campaigns to move users from Windows XP have been around for a while, Microsoft now seems fully prepared to retire the soon-to-be 12-year-old operating system and focus on Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Dustin Childs, group manager, Response Communications, Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, emphasized in a new statement that sticking to Windows XP after the April 2014 deadline is a very risky decision, especially because hackers will most likely try to exploit the lack of security patches for this platform.
“Windows XP leaving support doesn’t mean bad guys will stop trying to exploit it; however, the absence of new security updates will make it easier for attacks to succeed. We talk a lot about mitigating risks through our security updates, and with Windows XP retiring, the best mitigation will be to upgrade to a modern Windows operating system,” he said.
Childs admitted that Windows XP is indeed a surprisingly popular operating system, but he explained that its domination should come to an end as soon as possible, preferably in the next 12 months.
“Windows XP keeps chugging along. With its longevity and wide user base, Windows XP has served its customers faithfully over the years, but all good things must come to an end, and Windows XP is no exception,” he continued.
At this point, Windows XP is installed on more than 38 percent of computers worldwide, while Windows 8, the company’s latest bet on the OS market, has barely exceeded 3 percent.
As a result, Microsoft wants not only to retire Windows XP, but also to bring more users to Windows 8, especially because we’re nearing the public debut of Windows 8.1, the first major upgrade for the current Microsoft operating system.