Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows XP has long been regarded as one of the highest-rated and most-stable computer operating systems. As of March 2013, after nearly 11 years on the market, about 38 percent of all computers still run the system, giving testament to its vitality and reliability.
Sadly, or perhaps finally, Microsoft has announced that as of April 8th of 2014, the company will be pulling its support for XP, effectively ending its software updates or other patches available for download. In the words of the company, Windows XP will be in an operate “at your own risk” scenario.
As Microsoft’s blog explains, Microsoft Business and Developer products, which include Windows and Office products, receive a minimum of 10 years of support — five years Mainstream Support (or ‘full’ support, if you will), and five years Extended Support. While Extended Support is only available to commercial grade customers, security updates are still available to everyone running the system — that is, until one year for now, when the company pulls all its support — commercial or otherwise — from XP.
Microsoft has provided resources to help users upgrade their machines, but for commercial clients, the upgrade should have started taking place six months ago.
“If your organization has not started the migration to a modern desktop, you are late,” the company blog said. “Based on historical customer deployment data, the average enterprise deployment can take 18 to 32 months from business case through full deployment.”
Joining XP in its one-way trip will be Internet Explorer 6, Microsoft Office 2003, Exchange Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 2 (though it is noted that later service packs of 2010 will maintain support).
If you’re not taken with Microsoft’s Vista, 7, or 8, Linux has always been a reliable runner up for former Windows users.