Microsoft urges businesses to upgrade as it prepares to cut support for its 11-year-old OS within a year. Time is running out.
On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will end support for its venerable Windows XP desktop operating system, along with Office 2003. In a year, users will face the choice of upgrading to more recent versions or risk running software that will no longer be patched to counter newly unearthed vulnerabilities and the security threats that inevitably follow.In a post in The Official Microsoft Blog, editor Jeff Meisner detailed what the impending support cut-off date means for XP and Office 2003 users."Starting April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide support for Windows XP users. This means that customers and partners will no longer receive security updates to the operating system or be able to leverage tech support from Microsoft after this time," wrote Meisner.The solution, he said, is an upgrade away. "Moving away from Windows XP to a more modern platform in Windows 7 and Windows 8 will ready your IT infrastructure for future technology solutions and growth of your company," added Meisner.
But this is easier said than done. Recent data from Web traffic analytics firm Net Applications indicates that despite its age, XP remains a popular OS.
In March 2013, Windows XP was second only to Windows 7 in Net Applications' OS rankings. XP maintained its grip on 38.73 percent of the OS market in March, shedding just 0.26 percentage points from the previous month. By comparison, Windows 7 holds 44.73 percent of the OS market while Windows 8 makes up just 3.31 percent (including Windows RT).