End of life: Microsoft finally terminates support for Windows XP

Today, twelve and a half years after its launch, Microsoft consigned its venerable Windows XP operating system to the great Recycle Bin in the sky. And yet, despite reaching the end of its life, Windows XP will nonetheless continue to live on, in zombie-like fashion, for some time to come.

The OS lived far longer than Microsoft could ever have imagined (and far longer than it hoped). Mainstream support for Windows XP ended five years ago, in April 2009, and since then, the company has been providing ‘extended support’ for the OS.

April 8, 2014 marks the official end of the extended support phase for Windows XP (and also for Office 2003) – from today, Microsoft will no longer offer free security patches, updates or fixes of any kind to users of Windows XP across the globe, including consumers and businesses alike.

Larger organizations that have failed to act in time to meet the deadline do have the option to reach into their deep pockets to pay Microsoft for costly custom support plans. The UK government, for example, is paying £5.5m GBP (around $9.2m USD) to the company to protect its Windows XP systems for another twelve months.

But the majority of users sadly do not have that kind of cash lying around – and given how many PCs are still running Windows XP out there, millions of systems will quickly become vulnerable without Microsoft continuing to update the OS for them. The most recent figures from Net Applications, covering March 2014, indicate that a staggering 28% of all PCs accessing the web worldwide are still running Windows XP.

If you're one of those people still using a Windows XP PC, what are your options now

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61 Comments

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I really don't see the logic and reason for countries and big corporations to pay large sums of money for extended support. They are only delaying the inevitable. And it's not like they didn't see it coming. For that amount of money the could have upgraded some of their systems, wich they will have to do in a year anyway. But instead of spending the money on something necessary, they just basically threw it away. Let's just say it would cost 10 billion to upgrade everything. It will still cost 10 billion a year from now. But by then they will pay Microsoft 5,5 billion, so in the end it will be 15,5. I know goverments like to waste money, and that their cogs turn slowly, but come on. This is just ridiculous.

as long as your only going to clean site and not porn site that are infested, along with other certain sites and use adblockers, firewall on router or windows. you can use windows xp as long as you want.

but here something to note.

even when xp was getting patches and updates. how many people even had there machines updated? not everyone wants to waste there time downloading updates.

"Microsoft will no longer offer free security patches, updates or fixes of any kind to users of Windows XP across the globe, including consumers and businesses alike."
They could release the source (be it based on GNU, BSD...) as they earned too much money already (Bill is the richest person in the world), but hey, they are a corporation, they would never do that....hmm maybe in 2025. If they were a good hearted enterprise, they would allow developers to update it like in Linux. If this restriction in XP soudns like slavery, well, let's go do another O.S, not Win7/8/9.

While I moved to a mac when Vista was out, I loved XP, still like &, and while 8 is "Eh", many of the small tweaks in 8.1 makes it usable to me and not a bad OS at all.

My mom still uses XP on an old laptop for her accounting software for her business. It's a laptop that never went online since XP was installed on it and she said the only way she'll upgrade it is when the accounting software she uses will stop supporting XP (her home computer is a mac and she only uses XP because there's no mac version)

To be fair to her, it does the job and Windows 7 or 8 wouldn't add anything for her so why pay for it?

rfirth said,
As long as it never goes online, and you don't use (potentially) infected usb flash drives.

No network drivers are installed and she wipes the USB stick every time before she puts it in the laptop (she uses it to submit the files from the software to her accountant). The computer does it's job pretty good and keeping it offline was a great idea to keep malware away since she will click on just about everything

Anyone knows how long will Windows Update work ? I know that there will be no new updates. But how long old one will be available ?

Maybe, Vista was rubbish so people didn't move to it. Windows 8 wasn't well receive either, hence 8.1 Update 1, 2, 3 etc

soldier1st said,
These same scare tactics will be said about 7 when the time comes.

Except in 2020 people will still be running XP too. No dentist office will ever leave it.

sinetheo said,

Except in 2020 people will still be running XP too. No dentist office will ever leave it.

Riiiight. Lemme guess, it's because they're old? They can use a state of the art laser to fill a cavity, yet they can master a new computer system?

Dot Matrix said,
What scare tactics?

The one's you've been touting around here.

0day exploits never being patched, it's like armageddon for XP users.
Yet here we are a day later and I still haven't heard of a new 0day taking XP down like the plague it is.

deadonthefloor said,

The one's you've been touting around here.

0day exploits never being patched, it's like armageddon for XP users.
Yet here we are a day later and I still haven't heard of a new 0day taking XP down like the plague it is.


Give it time...

I won't say goodbye XP, as I know I will still see you all over the place for a while longer. But I will consider this to be the end of an era technology-wise.

Edited by Nick H., Apr 8 2014, 9:27am :

Nobody will challenge you on that one. Every other day there's another article titled "[insert country here]'s government paid $[insert million-dollar amount here] for Windows XP updates".

I remember people saying Windows XP is a bad memory eater filled with "shiny things" and will stick with the mighty 98SE wich will never die. Same thing here.
The only way to kill an OS is to EoL it , warnings over warnings.
Hackers from all over the world warm up your machines!

exactly

i remember some gamer magazines of the time (yup, on paper and everything) calling it a resource hog as it produces 10% less frame per sec under idontrememberwhatwastheactualhypedFPS and telling users to turn off the luna theme and other grandiose 'hacks' - and of course "xp is nice and has some good visual effects but win98se will never die" :D

morden said,
exactly

i remember some gamer magazines of the time (yup, on paper and everything) calling it a resource hog as it produces 10% less frame per sec under idontrememberwhatwastheactualhypedFPS and telling users to turn off the luna theme and other grandiose 'hacks' - and of course "xp is nice and has some good visual effects but win98se will never die" :D

They said the same thing with Vista and that you should stick to XP and so on. This argument comes up often though since Windows 7 it's not been an issue seeing as how hardware requirements for 7 later 8 have went down instead of up.

And now I wait a few days before checking for an unofficial SP4 which includes every update for those old machines that might need reinstalling.
You've had a good run XP. Gone, but not forgotten.
Edit: I'm assuming activation will still be enforced, even though there will be no more updates?

Tha Bloo Monkee said,

Edit: I'm assuming activation will still be enforced, even though there will be no more updates?

Absolutely. You still need to activate.

rfirth said,

Absolutely. You still need to activate.


requiring activation past this day for a supposedly unsupported OS is dumb. kill the activation.

soldier1st said,
requiring activation past this day for a supposedly unsupported OS is dumb. kill the activation.
Why, it suddenly didn't become free and a gift for all the pirates out there. Anyway all those who want to pirate XP have done so already years ago.

right, a piece of software cant die, copies will still be made

the torrent trackers will be filled with Windows XP Final 2014 now
many users will install it and feel good on the inside for doing so
i really like Windows XP, but its a thing of the past and i prefer living in the present, with software from today - Windows 8.1, i would go ahead and switch to Linux, but its too much of a bother