Microsoft ends Windows XP support one year from today; is the world ready?

The official end of Microsoft's support for Windows XP is coming in a year, an event that Microsoft has been reminding the world is coming for some time, especially businesses. The OS launched on October 25, 2001, over 11 years ago, but Microsoft has insisted that one year from now, on April 8, 2014, Windows XP will get no software updates or bug fixes.

Yet, even with this deadline looming, there are still a lot of PCs out there that are running this OS, long after Microsoft launched three major Windows updates (Windows Vista in 2007, Windows 7 in 2009 and Windows 8 in 2012). The latest numbers from Net Applications from March 2013 show that Windows XP is still installed on 38.73 percent of all PCs worldwide.

While it's true that Windows XP has been in decline in terms of its worldwide market share for some time, it's looking like that when April 8, 2014 arrives, many large businesses won't have updated their PCs to Windows 7 or Windows 8. The Telegraph reports that, according to a survey from software management company Camwood, less than half of all large businesses have even started the upgrade process from Windows XP to at least Windows 7.

Camwood suggests that these large organizations don't want to spend a lot of money to update their PCs under the current economic conditions. Those same businesses also feel that Windows XP still works well for them. Yet, if Microsoft sticks to its current deadline for ending support, that will leave those businesses open to security risks because of the lack of software updates for Windows XP.

It will be interesting to see if Microsoft continues to stick to its guns and cut off Windows XP support one year from now or if it might add a few more months to the life of Windows XP to help those businesses to make the transition to Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Source: Telegraph | 365 Image via Shutterstock

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XP is still very useful for running older games natively (no workaround BS that we have to do on Vista+).

I had an old dual boot setup with Vista/XP and a CRT for playing old games, but ended that when I really needed the space on my desk and couldn't really stand looking at CRT screens anymore.

But on support for XP; it's well past its traditional lifecycle, but Vista has it worse. 'Mainstream' support ended last year. LAST YEAR. There is no SP3. Instead of releasing SP3 they went and pushed 7 out; a minor upgrade to Vista just as SE was an upgrade to 98.

Unlike 98SE, they completely ****ed with the UI and ruined people's transitions from Vista to 7. me being the old dog I am can't get used to the changes, so I've been stuck on Vista ever since.

But oh well, no use ranting here. If there's one thing I want to point out is that we don't get the new Windows 8 features despite the strong similarity between the platforms; which means no IE10 either, though not that I gave a damn about it in the first place.

Sava, sad to say... that wont happen. XP is so in the past and dead, even now that past is creeping up on Vista and now Win7... 8 is "the" future. I am curious if IE11 will be released for Win7. Wouldn't surprise me if it is not.

sava700 said,
There needs to be one final SP4 push once it ends - period!

Though that would be nice, I doubt it'll happen.
Although I expect that there will be unofficial "SP4s" which will install ALL updates ever released for XP.

I understand for various reasons that business is still using XP. For personal use, you should not in today's Internet world.

I've seen that allot of TV/Radio stations still use Windows XP. People seem to like it because it's very stable, reliable OS and don't want to spend allot of money to upgrade to Windows 7 when their computers work just fine. Even at work, we still use Windows XP

warwagon said,
That's the problem. It just works.

It just works? Huh? Install XP on a modern computer, and tell me if it "just works"...

Davin Peterson said,
I've seen that allot of TV/Radio stations still use Windows XP. People seem to like it because it's very stable, reliable OS and don't want to spend allot of money to upgrade to Windows 7 when their computers work just fine. Even at work, we still use Windows XP

XP is only stable if you're using a ten year old definition of stable...

I work for a council, IT support we are still on XP, but have in the pipeline windows 7. Takes time and money to upgrade 9 thousand machines. We really need to upgrade as some of the websites our users got o need a browser update.

I would wager that anyone still using XP really doesn't care if it is supported or not. This will change nothing.

Microsoft should release an update that causes any remaining XP machines to spontaneously combust. That'll get people to upgrade.

Personally, I stopped supporting XP a year or so ago. Anyone coming to me with an XP machine has been greeted with, "Would you be interested in exploring and upgrading to Windows 8?"

*Face Palm*

At this point in time any computer that has XP on it, with the cost of having someone install Windows 8 and the cost of buying windows 8 and given the age and possible ram upgrade needed, most people would be better off buying new machines.

Edited by warwagon, Apr 8 2013, 1:31pm :

It'll be a shame to see it go; it served me well for many, many years. My current frustrations with Windows 7 aren't exactly putting it in a good light, but it's something I'm just learning to accept.

Quite. I think Windows XP was really a turning point for Microsoft. Absolutely great OS. I'll never go back now - happy with Windows 7, but XP was really, really good I wish Windows XP 64bit got a bit more traction as I really liked that too.

Intrinsica said,
It'll be a shame to see it go; it served me well for many, many years. My current frustrations with Windows 7 aren't exactly putting it in a good light, but it's something I'm just learning to accept.

What frustrations? I was under the impression that the opinion that Windows 7 is superior to Windows XP in every way was consensual.

I honestly can't remember anything I miss in XP. But then again, I'm in 8 and don't miss anything about Windows 7.

Seketh said,
What frustrations?

Application compatibility in the workplace, mostly. Aside from that, all of the extra security in place which makes it more difficult to support the end-user than previously. I understand that the security is supposed to be there for a reason, but there are some silly things like needing administrator credentials to disable and enable network connections on a machine.

Intrinsica said,

I understand that the security is supposed to be there for a reason, but there are some silly things like needing administrator credentials to disable and enable network connections on a machine.

Yeah, that's one of many things that should require administrator credentials. In fact, there's almost no reason to even need to toggle this at all anyway*.

Put it this way, in Windows 7 you get a prompt to elevate out of context under a limited user's account, in XP you simply can't do it.

We found UAC makes supporting users easier, especially when odd things like out of context elevation is necessary for example. It sure beats logging out, logging in as an administrator, doing the quick job, then logging the user back in. That is stupid!

*On a half-decent and well managed network anyway.

Can you explain where the security issue is with a user that wants to disable their own network connection? Or are we just continuing with the idea of restricting all options from regular users because they will end up breaking it?

As for logging out, logging in as an Admin, then logging back in as the user, I've just used the "run as..." command while logged on with the user's account in XP. The only time I've logged in with a different account (almost always being my standard account, not my admin account) is if there has been the possibility that the profile had become corrupted. And yes, I understand that this is pretty much the same thing as the UAC, but my issue is not with the UAC, it's with the number of simple tasks that now always demand administrator credentials. This is especially annoying if you are sharing the desktop via Lync, as the moment the UAC pops up I lose control of the mouse and keyboard and so cannot enter my credentials.

And if IE9 crashes my ticket system one more time today...but again, that's a program compatibility issue and isn't directly the result of Windows 7.

Intrinsica said,
Can you explain where the security issue is with a user that wants to disable their own network connection?

It'll affect other users/services as well, undesirable in a non-home environment. There is a group policy setting to override this restriction though.. off the top of my head, User Config/Admin Templates/Network/Network Connections/Ability to enable/disable LAN connection, or something to that effect, regular users can then enable/disable without being a member of the Network Configuration Operators group or needing admin elevation.

Try "XP Mode". Unless you're running apps from also a decade + ago...everything runs in Windows 7. Hello it is 2013, not 1989

Just maybe some companies do not have funds to do a company wide upgrade, maybe some companies or just barely keeping their heads above water. It is their right and who are we to tell them what to do.

Can't wait. Maybe developers will finally start supporting features that were introduced in Vista. XP has been holding back progress for years, it really needs to go.
And people/companies who haven't upgraded yet - well, they only have themselves to blame...

I bet many grandpas are still running XP. It's tough to explain it to these people since these are the kind of people who usually stick to 20 year old cars.

That is true. Take the typical example of my mom. she has a 11 year old Dell on XP. All she does is email and little web. There is no way I can convince her to dump $500 on a new tower when her's still works and does her basic email. Plus darn 11 year old pc won't die :-)

Companies that haven't bothered to upgrade from XP by now aren't going to get much sympathy from Neowin readers - or me. The end of support has been clearly spelt out and very generously timed; on their own heads be it.

Windows 7 will become the next XP, which is good. I'm happy with that.

IMO, if it's not Windows 7 capable then it's probably not capable for most business applications today and if it is then it's probably in a specialized environment where the risks are known/calculated (eg - not in an office environment)

Other than schools I can't think of many places that still intend to run XP as their Base OS. I know a lot still run it, but every one that I know has made the backend shift to W7 and are busy upgrading machines as they die/get problems to newer ones.

Auzeras said,
Windows 7 will become the next XP, which is good. I'm happy with that.

IMO, if it's not Windows 7 capable then it's probably not capable for most business applications today and if it is then it's probably in a specialized environment where the risks are known/calculated (eg - not in an office environment)

Other than schools I can't think of many places that still intend to run XP as their Base OS. I know a lot still run it, but every one that I know has made the backend shift to W7 and are busy upgrading machines as they die/get problems to newer ones.


Back when XP was released, people wouldn't mind using it for a decade too...
Then a decade later, look at it.

Windows XP is even today still a good basic OS. It was top of the line advanced when it was released. Windows 7 appears still a very good OS, but not in 10 years anymore. It already looks dated compared to Windows 8.

Windows 7 looks dated? Maybe if you're only using metro. If you're using the desktop only and you took someone who knows very little about computers and just showed them the desktop I'd think they choose Windows 7 looks like the newer OS just by the glass and orb alone.

Raa said,
... Said no one ever.

Stay with 7 and in 15 years we're having an identical post to this except replace XP with 7.

Thank you all blind idiotic Win8 haters for giving us ANOTHER 15 years with the same freaking OS.

You sir know nothing. You can still do updates on pirated copies. Just have to disable WGA.

And China is going on the open source route so its more like India and Russia.

Something tells me windows update in china either doesn't work/is blocked or is a fake system that actually gives you malware...
Personally? I don't want to find out.

ShareShiz said,
You sir know nothing. You can still do updates on pirated copies. Just have to disable WGA.

Thank you, captain obvious!

ShareShiz said,
And China is going on the open source route so its more like India and Russia.

Just FYI:

http://gs.statcounter.com/#os-CN-monthly-201203-201303

XP is used on 61% of all comps in China (compared to 23% worldwide, 27% Russia, 37% India). So would you please point me to that open source Windows XP used in China? Thanks in advance!

Lamp Post said,

It's a different OS - it's not an upgrade or downgrade.
It's Linux, it is a downgrade. Otherwise, you shouldn't start a search for new software for everything you are doing.

Shadowzz said,

. But for a desktop it is stepping back 10 years.

Linux is fine, problem is the software available on that platform.
Also when you have been using for years software such like photoshop on windows, it's hard to switch.
There's the reverse problem with android, that is based on linux.
People are not attracted by windows rt at all.

bigmehdi said,

Linux is fine, problem is the software available on that platform.
Also when you have been using for years software such like photoshop on windows, it's hard to switch.
There's the reverse problem with android, that is based on linux.
People are not attracted by windows rt at all.


Fair enough. It is indeed mainly the things on top of the kernel being an issue now.
Altho I do think they can solve some of the issues Linux has by improving the kernel. But Linux has a different view to what a kernel should be

Microsoft can't keep extending XP support forever. I'm already making a conscious effort to weed out all the non Windows 7 capable PCs in the charity I'm deputy managing, and it's time for business to start preparing for the change. XP served the industry well but it's very dated. Time to move on.

Javik said
Microsoft can't keep extending XP support forever. I'm already making a conscious effort to weed out all the non Windows 7 capable PCs in the charity I'm deputy managing, and it's time for business to start preparing for the change. XP served the industry well but it's very dated. Time to move on.
I wish there were more people like you. I don't hate XP at all, but it's had one hell of a good run. Now it's time to let it R.I.P.