Internet Windows

What The Windows XPocalypse Means For You

Matthew Hughes 18-11-2013

If there is one thing that Microsoft has an aptitude for, it’s pomp. Windows 95 launched to a soundtrack scored by none other than The Rolling Stones and Weezer. For Vista, Redmond made sure that those who turned up to the launch party were given enough worthless tat to fill a landfill. However, nothing quite topped the vainglorious fanfare of the launch of XP, which saw New York turned into a literal, honest-to-god fairground, which was scored with a performance by Geordie crooner, Sting.


Few technology products are quite as well loved as Windows XP was. In the first three years of its existence, it shifted around 400 million copies. It took ten years and three iterations of the Microsoft Windows operating system for it to be knocked off from the top spot, and even to this day it has a firm toe-hold in most businesses.

Yet, all good things come to an end, and Windows XP is no different. In April of 2014, Microsoft will stop offering security and performance updates for its elderly operating system. After almost thirteen years, this should come as a surprise to nobody. However, there are hundreds of millions of people who are still using an outdated Windows XP 4 Ways To Bulletproof Windows XP Forever Windows XP is slated to be exterminated for good by Microsoft in April of 2014. It is the last stage of a multi-year effort to kill off the operating system. Windows XP is one of... Read More for their computing needs. What does this mean for them?

Consequences For Consumers

As a consumer, your biggest concern is likely whether your computer will continue to operate as normal as Windows XP transitions from a product that is supported by Microsoft to one that isn’t. The answer to this is an unambiguous ‘yes’. You’ll be able to carry on as normal, although you might notice that some your third party applications will stop getting updates. An example of this is Google: the company  has said they will discontinue support for Windows XP by 2015, including updates for their flagship web browser, Chrome.

Windows Laptop

Ultimately, it’s entirely possible for you to continue using Windows XP How to Get a Windows XP Download Free From Microsoft, Legally Microsoft gives away Windows XP downloads for free, provided you use a virtual machine. Here's how to do it! Read More for your general purpose computing needs, however you will almost certainly find yourself left behind when it comes to the software available to you. You’ll also have to contend with a number of more persistent security threats, as a result of no longer receiving security patches.


Security Concerns

Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP happen to have a lot in common. They all share a lineage that stretches back to the 90s, with Windows NT. For better or for worse, each version of Windows has built upon earlier ones.

Another unifying attribute of each version of Windows is that they are all astonishingly big, comprising of billions of lines of code reflecting millions of hours of man work. As a result, it’s absolutely impossible to ensure that each copy of Microsoft Windows is 100% secure. New vulnerabilities are being discovered daily.

It’s quite certain that after April, security researchers will find vulnerabilities in newer versions of Windows that will also be applicable to Windows XP. Whilst Microsoft will almost certainly provide security updates for supported versions of Windows, users of Windows XP will be completely unprotected.



The Cost Of Doing Business

Businesses have had a hard time moving from Windows XP in recent years. The reasons for this are huge, including bespoke applications that only play nice with Redmond’s geriatric operating system and the immediate cost of upgrading thousands of users to a newer version of Windows, which may or may not include replacing hardware.

Windows XP is still almost ubiquitous in organizations which have to adhere to strict privacy and security standards, including the banking, finance, security and healthcare industry. Britain’s primary healthcare provider, the NHS, has XP running on almost 85% of all boxes. In addition, Windows XP is seen as the go-to operating system for ATMs, with almost 75% of all ATM machines in the US running Microsoft’s relic of an operating system.

Small deployments in the financial services industry will have no choice but to upgrade. Large companies who are determined to cling onto XP no matter the cost, however, have the ability to enroll in Microsoft’s ‘Custom Support’ packages, which will provide access to software and security updates. This of course isn’t cheap. Support is charged per computer basis, with the cost increasing each year for the first three years, before being discontinued entirely. It’s important to stress that this option is only available to large companies, who have huge amounts of computers running Windows XP. Think of the likes of IBM, and you’re close.



Finally, companies still using Windows XP can expect to run into all sorts of problems when it comes to complying to security standards. What does that mean? So, let’s think about when you use your credit card.

You probably know that any site that accepts credit cards has to have SSL encryption What Is HTTPS & How To Enable Secure Connections Per Default Security concerns are spreading far and wide and have reached the forefront of most everybody's mind. Terms like antivirus or firewall are no longer strange vocabulary and are not only understood, but also used by... Read More . You also might know that they are routinely subjected to security testing, to ensure the website itself is free of security vulnerabilities. Well, this is part of a larger package called PCI-DSS, which sets up a bunch of prescriptive rules that companies have to adhere to. Using an operating system that no longer receives security updates is a big no-no.

Should a non-compliant company find themselves the victim of a security breach, they can be guaranteed of a hefty fine by the Payment Card Industry.

However you look at it, Microsoft’s decision to no longer support XP has ensured that companies are guaranteed to incur significant costs; be they the cost of purchasing custom support; the cost of fines incurred from industry bodies; or just the cost of upgrading to the latest-and-greatest version of Microsoft Windows. This can never be good for consumers, who can see costs passed on to themselves.



Despite Microsoft’s eagerness to wash their hands of Windows XP, it remains wildly popular. Will you be ditching it before April? If not, why not? Let me know in the comments below.

Photo Credits: Alastair McMillan Paul Wells AudioReservioir brianwc

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. august pete
    November 2, 2016 at 2:03 am

    Good post ! I was fascinated by the info - Does anyone know if my business could possibly acquire a blank AL MVT 32-13B form to use ?

  2. Mark H
    March 25, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    XP's #1. I will not be changing over before support ends.
    I like XP, never had problems with it and I can't really be bothered to pay for upgrading for practically no reason.
    I've been using XP for 12 years, 6 of them on this very computer that still runs modern games decently. I've never had much trouble with malware, even without anti-virus/malware software.
    When support ends, I might consider getting anti-virus and malware programs.
    But I say, bring it on. I don't have much worth hacking anyway, so I say bring it on. If anyone's that desperate for porn, I don't mind sharing my harddrive >:-).

    • A41202813GMAIL
      January 18, 2015 at 8:29 am

      Very Nicely Put.


  3. fred
    December 19, 2013 at 12:30 am

    i keep xp for older games and virus testing. and most importantly microsoft sam.

    i still use 3.11 on one of my boxes for old dos games. its huge 175MB hard disk, 4MB ram and blazingly fast i486SX. i also customized xp to run on 32mb of ram and take only 256 mb hard disk space. works well for gaming!

  4. wwallace
    December 17, 2013 at 1:51 am

    I wish I still had XP, though 7 seems very stable. The biggest problem is my flight sim joystick is not supported by 7! Can't fly an f-16 with half the controls not working!!! Planned Obsolescence! I refuse to go to Win 8!!

  5. Daniel Fitzgerald
    December 16, 2013 at 12:31 am

    As a Tech Repair bloke, i am finding that more and more of my users are having issues (Usually caused by User Error, or installing crapware that comes packed with all sorts of shit) and often i am forced to format these machines.

    Most of these machines are too slow to run Win7 or newer, most barley have 512MB ram. and most of the users don't want to be forced to buy a new machine just because Microsoft are pulling the plug on the OS they can use.

  6. Lou Bowman
    December 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    I have 3 Sony Vaio's with XP. Sony put all the rca jacks and firewire in for converting old vhs and cassettes and any other analog. I have converted 100's of analog to digital with them and the XP os just keeps on tickin'. Wouldn't give them up for anything.

  7. Jean-Francois Messier
    December 11, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    I solved my problem long time ago. I use Linux, and it works great !!!! Now at work, this is a different issue.

  8. Nerdly McNerdly
    December 10, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Is there any possibility that another supplier might buy XP?

  9. drew petri
    December 8, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    XP WILL BE MISSED!!! BON VOYAGE LITTLE PUPPY!!XP was on my 1st PC (of my own). They still use it at my job w/ a large (global) company. I came a long w/ XP still in my life. I still run it on some older hardware, b/c it still works! W/o patches I will still run my older hardware in all likelihood, I just will have to run a less hardware intensive version of Linux that still has security updates like puppy or ubuntu if the video card allows...

  10. Mike Houlden
    December 6, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I May run linux and winodows 7 but feel that windows XP home runs less resources then windows 8.Just as win98SE runs less then win 7.

  11. Mike Houlden
    December 6, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    I Wont be ditching Windows XP Entirely,Because a few of my favorite machines will only run XP. Even though I run Win7 and Linux,It is still always good to revisit an old friend.

  12. Jeff Johns
    December 6, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    This article reads like an advertisement from Microsoft. It entirely neglects to mention the endless complaints end-users have against Windows 7.

    The second-half of the article reads as a cheerful warning that the human race spending trillions of dollars to replace XP Pro with Windows 7 is a no-brainer, because criminals will steal your bank account if you don't. This is no justification for reducing the efficiency of the end-users' productivity with Windows 7's crappy, kindergarten-like system.

    Many of us have unsuccessfully struggled to make efficient use of Window 7 from the time we participated in the beta program, to the most up-to-date commercial releases.

    From day-one of the beta program to today (Dec 2013), the only responses from MS have been to proclaim that the moronic menu is wonderful, and that the blinding white backgrounds are not not blinding white. No reasonable responses have been made by anyone at MS to address people's complaints, only denials.

    Do millions of users now jump ship to Linux? No, not as long as Linux distributions remain a bad joke.

    The replacement of XP Pro with Win 7 and Win 8 leave many end-users to choose between useless MS OS and a useless Linux OS. These end-users are not going to convert to products from Apple's toy-factory. And so, where is the good part of this situation?

    Whereas the posting rules here state "respect the opinions of others", it appears that this rule does not apply to the columnists.

  13. Kathryn
    December 5, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    I have an Asus EeePC900 with Intel Atom and Win XP. It is now my primary computer since my laptop running Win 7 was overcome by the evil forces of 'The Black Screen of Death'. (I am trying to decide what to or purchase?)
    My Web PC with XP is more reliable. Go figure!
    Is there a dastardly plan afoot to stimulate the economy by forcing the business community to purchase new hardware and software? It won't work.
    In a world of limited resources, other purchases, many of them more necessary, will be forgone in place of 'urgent' computing upgrades or support.
    I forbid Microsoft to abandon XP!

  14. Ian K
    November 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    I thought MS has tried to terminate Win XP many times but somehow it always manages to keep bouncing back. Yay!

  15. android underground
    November 25, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    M$ will have to keep their activation servers and phone #s alive to avoid of legal trouble. That XP license you bought thirteen years ago never ever expires, so M$ will have to support activation of XP until the end of times.
    Or they need to release a patch that does away with activation, but then the market share of XP will skyrocket.

    When were the last PCs with legit copies of XP sold? Three years ago or so? It's a sad case of throwaway culture if a 2010 computer is consired landfill material as soon as 2014.

  16. Dustin S
    November 25, 2013 at 4:32 am

    I am an IT manager and just finished updating about 28 computers to windows 7. Didn't want to risk it. I figured it would cause many problem down the road if I didn't.

  17. anon lurker
    November 24, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Really, dont you think you are doing a disservice to all the computer users out there that don't like to send everything they do on a computer to the NSA ?

    Arne't you a bit worried you have been socially engineered on this?
    It seems like just the type of thing that NSA is known to do.
    Xp systems didn't have sys identifiers except the Win version.

    There is absolutely no reason to update any hardware PC until they start shipping the new PCIe bus memory systems that outperform SSDs by 300%.
    Remember also that ALL the new graphics cards have been designed by lawyers, to protect the pipeline from easy access by people trying to peel off digital feeds to bypass DRM. Thats right - we have pipelining because of the RIAA and predecessors wanted to protect from parallel procesesing graphic engines. Otherwise we would have massivly parallel GPU's running at possibly a 100k times faster than we have right now.

    XP, with the SP2 update, and the top 10 list of firewall patches, is safer than almost any other Win product. There are very few required services, and it is easy to turn off most of the services you don't need. There is very little network sharing going on in the background too.

    Would seem to me that if you would instead try and teach people what ports are, and how to change most of the default ones, and close all the rest, that folks would be much safer than trying to defend all the new socks and api's in the rest of the Win products.

    Antivirus, really? Win bit defender is prob the worst one out there, and almost none of the antivirus products will do anything to protect you from any of the exploits released in the last decade anyway.

    You need NoScript, AntimalwareBytes, Privacy Mantra, and prob Sandboxie.

    I also recommend disabling ALL autoruns, and pick up AutoRun Eater.

    Want to switch to Linux, try PClinuxOS.
    It is close to XP, and self configures nearly as well as XBMC.

  18. Charles
    November 23, 2013 at 1:10 am

    Good advice from all. With a good firewall, you can run almost all of the older OSs, if you use common sense and don't fall for the obvious scams. Personally, I use all of the MS OSs back to Win 2000 to
    Win 7 Ultimate. I do like the Linux versions, like Debian, Centos, Ubuntu flavors, etc. Right now Ubuntu LTS is my choice for personal use. Use what you want and use care. Good luck.

  19. Boynton
    November 22, 2013 at 4:46 am

    Don't bother to read this if you do not consider yourself to be a knowledgeable and disciplined online user.

    If you're concerned about security on your WinXP-SP3 OS *plus* subsequent updates (note the specificity here) and you are an individual user with a trusted ISP, install a proven personal firewall - Comodo (free) or Zone Alarm (free). Configure them specifically to fit your needs. Comodo is especially adaptable to custom configurations.

    Don't flinch when I say "drop the antivirus protection" *completely*. No known antivirus product today is sufficiently capable of defending against zero day attacks and even the best antivirus products are now horrendously bloated. Rely on common sense and don't fall victim to social engineering. The human element is nearly always the weakest link in preventing malware intrusion.

    > re-install your WinXP-SP3 *plus* later updates. You can slipstream SP3 et al quite easily onto your re-formatted hard drive. (You DO have a legal copy of the OS with licensed approval for installation on your specific computer, don't you?)

    > configure your OS to suit your computer's hardware and your personal "look"

    > install the latest version of Firefox, including chosen extensions

    > go to and get a copy of XP lite. This is a wonderful product that strips out the extraneous junk that MSFT loads onto your computer. It will eliminate most malware prone, dubious features attached to the OS, including Internet Explorer. Better yet, YOU can decide precisely what you wish to keep or eliminate.

    > clone your hard drive using one of many techniques and/or versions of cloning freeware now available

    > load your personal software

    > once again, clone your hard drive, in the event that you need to start out fresh if malware strikes or an unfortunate error or new software disables your machine

    > backup regularly using serial clones or your favorite hardware/software method

    Needless to say, this method can also be adapted to a small business or a not-for-profit organization.

  20. Gordon
    November 21, 2013 at 2:36 am

    The lack of XP updates doesn't concern me either. Like many here, I've been using linux already - Suse Linux and Linux Mint for a few years as a business and home PC. Libre Office and Evolution does everything for me that MS Office/Outlook used to. Still have a virtual XP machine for the odd software that I don't have running in Wine on linux, like MYOB for book keeping, and a couple of games, but STEAM is offering a lot for linux gaming now, so it may soon just be MYOB running on Windows.

    I don't have a Mac, but everyone I know who has one, ALWAYS says, "I wish I bought one years ago!" - almost makes me want to buy one just to see what they are on about!

    So in the end, when XP goes the way of the dinosaurs, I can't see anyone being worried unless they are a large organisation who hasn't started migrating off it yet.

  21. tim salyer
    November 20, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    I still use XP, I do have a windows 7 and have no plans to ever use windows 8. XP I used for work, cost to up grade is just to expensive in the climate of business today. The windows 7 unit is my personal laptop and it works well no complaints their. Have looked into and used some windows 8 units and those well lets say I would buy a Mac first. Never thought I would ever consider a Mac unit as they are just no fun to use at all. Yes, I have used them a bit also.
    I come from the days of long ago of DOS 3.1, 5.0, and yes 6.0 versions. I still have and use a windows 98 version computer and yes I do fall back to that when needed.
    It is really sad that Microsoft is dis-servicing its customers today with windows 8. I dont want a touch screen computer unless it is for games, then I will go to Android.
    Microsoft I really hope you get it together before it is to late and Mac and Android takes over completely.

  22. Clara Harsh
    November 20, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I have XP on an old desktop computer hooked up to a G55 printer. When the first change after XP came along, I switched to Apple and use an Apple laptop for most computing. The XP serves for some lengthy things I write, uses the G55 which the Laptop cannot, and I use its functions. A small cheap printer for the laptop serves well. I found it easy to move to Apple's operating system and any secure computing is done there. When the XP dies, I'll buy a better printer combo for my Apple. The move prevented my being jerked around to upgrade and then need to pay for different versions of software.

  23. Blanchard Marchand
    November 20, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I think XP is the one that Microsoft got right. I've got on every computer I run and have recommended it to everyone who would listen to me. I am concerned about the lack of support in the future and have been looking at different releases of Linux to find something to replace all the programs I use regulary. I may continue to use XP past the support date if I can't find something comparable.

    • Matthew H
      November 21, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      I've heard similar things. With that said, it's a really bad idea to use XP after the support date. You'll be opening yourself up for a world of hurt.

      What Linux distros have you been looking at?

    • Blanchard Marchand
      November 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      The only reason I might keep XP on a computer after the support is gone would be to run the apps I use that I need. I have looked at nearly all of the Linux distros out there and I came up with a distro called Mepis. Another one I like is Dream Studio because I do a lot of audio and video editing in my studio. I already have Mepis as a dual boot on two of my computers so I can learn how to use it as efficiently as I can use XP. I will go to Mepis except for the XP computer which I will not connect to the internet. I figure if I keep it away from the 'net it will be safe from trouble. I would recommend trying Mepis and see if you like it. It comes as a live CD.

    • Col_Panek
      November 23, 2013 at 1:49 am

      Mint and Zorin ought to appeal to the XP lovers. I just tried the new openSUSE and was impressed, but it needs as much memory as Win7. On your oldies machines Bodhi is light and fast. For the ten year olds, Puppy works fine.

  24. Mike
    November 20, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    What a laugh. People actually buy this crap.

    Make sure your AVG or what ever you use to protect your system is updated and use a good 3rd party fire wall and you can use XP until you die, if you wish.
    Tech with 28 years of experience

    • Matthew H
      November 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      This is bad advice.

      Security patches exist for a reason. If you're not getting regular security updates, no amount of AVG is going to save you.

  25. PrasM
    November 20, 2013 at 9:59 am

    The ATM machines run Window XP embedded OS. its end date is Dec 2016

    • Matthew H
      November 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      But individual workstations do not. For financial institutions, this is a huge no-no. PCI-DSS violations ALL over the place.

  26. A41202813GMAIL
    November 20, 2013 at 3:39 am

    After The SUMMER Of 2009, I Stopped Installing New M$ Updates.
    4 Years Without Major Problems, And Counting.
    What Is Going To Change After APRIL 2014 ?

    • Matthew H
      November 21, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      From a security point of view, that's probably not a good idea! Why did you stop installing updates?

    • A41202813GMAIL
      November 22, 2013 at 3:37 am

      @Matthew H
      In The SUMMER Of 2009, M$ Issued Some Update(s) That Converted My Machine Into A Snail.
      After Weeks, Without Knowing Why It Was Happening, I Decided To Uninstall All M$ Updates I Could Live Without.
      Problem Solved - The Machine Went Back To The Usual Good Speed I Was Familiar With.
      I Have Never Installed Newer M$ Updates Since.
      As I Said, After 4 Years Without Major Problems, I Do Not Expect The Future Following APRIL 2014 To Be Any Different.
      Thank You For Responding.

  27. Kirill
    November 20, 2013 at 1:57 am

    And who the well would run a website accepting credit card payments on a DESKTOP operating system ? The whole para on PCI-DSS is mostly irrelevant here, I suppose

    • Matthew H
      November 21, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      As I understand it, PCI-DSS applies to all machines operating on the same network. Correct me if I'm wrong!

    • Josue
      November 22, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      Well here I paste for what is the live win7 CD and there is the link is somebody needs to have one. As I said I use live CD for repair computers when the system have been damage for infections " By using a Live CD, you can easily access these files and transfer them to another storage device. You can also use a Live CD to clean severe malware infections. In some cases, the malware blocks all executable programs—which prevents your antivirus software from running. By using a Live CD, the malware’s defense will be completely obsolete!"
      This link is the best that I could find with easy to follow instructions about how to make a live Win7 CD. It can be installed in a pen drive. I did it and works well. Is not as good as Winxp live CD, for to use as operative system it have few things that fails.
      I have use different OS due to my work and WinXP is the one that I like best. Win7 is ok but is bigger. It takes more hard drive space, more memory and the updates are big compare with XP. Haven't had problems with drives in my personal computer. The old one was IBM now call Lenovo, a very old laptop G51 1 mb ram 32 I installed win7 in a virtual machine and is working fine. My desktop computer is 64 and came with win7 Installed. No complains all is working as it have to.

  28. Josue
    November 20, 2013 at 1:47 am

    Thank you very much for the article. Like the fact that this article is clear and not commercial type.
    I have my old lap top with winxp. And I have live WinXP in a pen drive. I use this one for repair computers and work very good. Win xp became the technicians operative system. All tools for cleaning, system reparation, hard drive check, etc., are compatible with winxp. So haven't try yet life W7. Hope it works the same. If not Linux gonna be one of my options in my List of live CDs.

    • Matthew H
      November 21, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      I've not tried Live Windows 7. If you try it, let me know how it is!

  29. ahorn
    November 20, 2013 at 1:18 am

    My only comment is that I am LOL over "man work".

    • Matthew H
      November 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      Yeah, that is a bit unfortunate. I must have missed that in the edit process!

  30. Denise
    November 20, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Ummm, what OS is being used on the gov computer system that tried to launch the new US health care act?

    • Matthew H
      November 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      As I understand it, is a Rails app running on Linux.

  31. C.A.
    November 19, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    We've been using Ubuntu almost exclusively since it's 1) Free and 2) Relatively hassle-free to use. The biggest obstacles are when we can't get things like our web cam to work with Skype while using Ubuntu, but we hope to eventually solve this problem.

    My laptop is 8 years old and works fine on XP. I've tried Vista and didn't care for it. Windows 7 doesn't look any better and I've heard nothing but complaints about Windows 8. Linux is where is at for those of us who can't afford to buy more software packages and are comfortable with what we have already.

    • Matthew H
      November 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      Hey, if it works for you, that's awesome! When did you start using Ubuntu?

  32. CAS
    November 19, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    I will use XP until the last supported day. After that I shall have very little to do with Microsoft as I am switching to Linux. The main client system I am currently using has already switched to Mac. It is sad, but nothing lasts forever, not even Microsoft.

    • Matthew H
      November 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      True. And XP really is really long in the tooth. It's almost 13 years old! Amazing, right?

  33. Doug D
    November 19, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Since Redmond has never proposed opening up the code on any Windows product there is no chance that a 3rd party or even amateur hobbists could contribute to continued servicing/security. In the Linux community, there is always someone helpful who can offer a workaround

    • Matthew H
      November 21, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      No. That said, there are some open source Windows alternatives that have compatibility with the official version. Have you heard of ReactOS?

  34. Steve
    November 19, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Personally,I think XP was the best thing Microsoft ever had.Or ever will. tho I run Win-8 now because this is a new PC,I still prefer good old workhorse XP. I think Microsoft is doing a great disservice to those who still like XP,but then,Microsoft has never cared about consumer concerns(try contacting them).Its all about Bill Gates getting rich. And rich people hate everybody else!
    Far as updates,I find the automatic updater to be a majour headache,so every computer of mine has ot turned off. About once a month,I check to see whats there,load what I want,trash the rest. I've found 97% of them are garbage that accomplishes nothing.

    • Matthew H
      November 21, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      Huh, interesting. What constitutes the 97% of updates you think are garbage?

  35. Steve
    November 19, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Personally,I think XP was the best thing Microsoft ever had.Or ever will. tho I run Win-8 now because this is a new PC,I still prefer good old workhorse XP. I think Microsoft is doing a great disservice to those who still like XP,but then,Microsoft has never cared about consumer concerns(try contacting them).Its all about Bill Gates getting rich. And rich people hate everybody else!

  36. John
    November 19, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I can see a class action lawsuit coming with fines that will be big enough to cripple Microsoft. Even in the States there are millions of boxes needing secure OS. Once the big corporations and governments realise the implications of allowing Redmond just to switch off support they will force MS to continue security updates for years.
    It's an OS, for heavens sake. It should be almost invisible underneath the programs that people actually do their work on.
    They released this virus called Windows XP SP3 on the world. Made gazillions of dollars selling licensed copies for a hundred dollars each when the disc copies cost less than a dollar to make.
    Someone in Anti-Trust or the FDA, FBI, CIA, maybe even the NRA or the Ku Klux Klan will be telling MS to keep XP safe - or else!
    They made a monster. Global core technology software that sits beneath well over 50 percent of the world's systems. Turning it of after "only" 13 years so they can sell a new OS that is not thoroughly back compatible will not be allowed to happen. /rant.

  37. bwa
    November 19, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Heck, we still have clients running Win 3.1 AND considering a port to Win XP! No amount of convincing has them thinking about Win 7 or 8. They're happy with what they're using...

  38. Kalin
    November 19, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    I have no interest in Windows 8 and would never consider Vista. If I encounter any serious problems running XP after April 2014, I'll probably switch to Linux. Admittedly, part of my reason for that is that I can't afford to throw a couple hundred dollars at a new Windows.

    • jelabarre
      November 19, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      Forget the cost of a new copy of MSWindows, a LOT of people will have to buy all new hardware! Consider my brother's two machines; these are quite capable and still very usable machines, but due to processor limitations they cannot run Win8. "OK, fine" I figure, I'll just get him a couple copies of Win7... ****BZZZTTTTTT!!!!!**** Nope, no longer sold. Sure, there's some grossly overpriced copies of Win7 Super-Ultra-Megt-Premium-Pro floating around, but who needs all that extra bloated s**t those versions want to force on you? I am seriously opposed to being severely ripped off for features I don't even want or need. And forget about anything for sale on eBay; put on your eye patch and hoist the Jolly Roger, folks; it's pirate time on eBay.

      So the simple solution is going to be that once XP becomes unsupported (by the AV and firewall companies more so than by MS) then he's just going to have to move to Linux.

    • Robert B
      November 20, 2013 at 1:32 am

      I do not know where you live but here in the US NewEgg dot com is still selling Windows 7 Home Premium for $99, Pro for $139 and Ultimate for $189. These prices are about what they were when Win 7 was released. These prices are for OEM versions and not retail versions. Retail versions are more expensive, $199, $269, currently retail Ultimate on NewEgg is discontinued. I also just checked with the US Amazon site and they still are selling Windows 7 with similar prices.

  39. Nisse
    November 19, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Been on Linux Xubuntu for a while now, and I don't really miss Windows at all, let alone XP.

  40. Zoran N
    November 19, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    I am responsible for PCs in our (small) company. At this point, all our PCs run Win XP (Home and Pro) and we will NOT change that until some of those PCs "dies"! I don't see any reason to upgrade our computers (both in hardware and software).

    All those PCs works fine, with latest browsers (not IE, I said browsers! ;) ).

    Regarding security - we have firewall in routers and using Win built-in firewall; also MS Security Essentials as anti-virus (it is free for small offices).

    At home, I use Win 7 64-bit on 2 computers and I can't say there is any important advantage of Win 7 over Win XP. But, I guess that depends on software someone is using...

  41. JDG
    November 19, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Sheesh - Come on people, get a grip. XP is old, obsolete and you really should just move on. Some of the above comments are just, wow...

    "Why does Microsoft try their best to upset and aggravate their customers. Users spend a lot of time and effort in learning their way round an operating system only to find they have to start again when a new version is released. Why can’t the new version boot up and look EXACTLY like the old version and let the users have the option of turning on the bells and whistles?"

    It's called an upgrade or new release. Of course it's going to be different. The basics are there but it's a new system. Learn how the underlying code works, get familiar with the Command prompt and don't sweat it.

    Man, you guys should look at what Apple does to its faithful - how many times has Apple completely obsoleted their software and hardware (Apple ][ series, Lisa, original MAC, PowerPC chips...)? It's part of the process of moving forward.

    "I use a lot of software packages installed on my XP machine. It just not feasible to learn if them all will work on win8, reinstall, configure, move all the data, etc.
    I will live with XP until it will die, or computer, or myself – whatever first."

    Really? Not feasible? You're kidding, right? You still own your Pinto? I suspect, that unless you have some sort of custom application that was written to write directly to the hardware (a bad coding practice since Intel first released their APIs back in the early 80s) that there is plenty of information on every program you are running to tell you if it is compatible with Win8, and if it isn't, there is probably a newer version that is.

    "Why fix it if it ain’t broke?"

    That's the point - it IS broke and the cost to continue to put band aids on it when there are much better, more secure, and more capable options available outweighs the costs of maintenance. XP has had a great life. It's time to retire it.

    Look, I built my first PC around 1978 running CP/M on a Z-80 with a whole 64K of RAM and two single sided single density floppy drives. My current machine is running Windows 7 (going to install 8.1 on a new hard drive to see how that works for me) on an 8-core processor with 16Gb of RAM with a SSDD and a 1TB discs attached to my local network with 16TB NAS device. My current machine costs less than my first one did! Times change. Needs change. Opportunities abound. I do things now that I could not conceive of being able to do in '78. The changes have not always been smooth (remember the CE/ME/NT years?) but overall, the progress has been astounding. I helped build systems that did mobilization asset cross leveling for the Military on hardware with less RAM than I have on my video card. Hard drives for home use used to be $100 per Megabyte. That's $1000 per Gig!

    I also run both Linux and Windows servers on virtualized hardware. Sure glad I'm not stuck with the attitude that WordStar running under CP/M was good enough and that I've spend so much time memorizing the dot commands that I shouldn't have to learn something new. How sad would that be?

    Run Linux if your hardware can't run the newer OS or you can't afford to purchase updated hardware. Oh, I forgot, you'd have to learn new software and your favorite game probably won't work.

    The move to 64-bit hardware allows some pretty neat things to happen with the OS, even with backwards compatibility. I can still run some old favorite DOS programs under Win7 as well as the latest and greatest.

    If you're going to continue to run software that has been abandoned, then have at, but don't bitch when your browser gets error messages saying it is unsupported; the latest game or version of your favorite program doesn't work; and when you finally take your machine to the shop for work they tell you they no longer work on XP. As we used to say "When user supported software breaks , you get to keep both pieces." That's XP after April.

    Times change. Adapt people, it isn't that difficult. Hell, I've done it and can still do it, and I suspect I've got socks older than many of you as well as my t-shirt from the Windows XP launch.

    In this I'm with Joe G - get off my lawn.


    • Bert
      November 28, 2013 at 11:59 am

      $100 a megabyte would be $100,000 a gigabyte.

    • JDG
      November 29, 2013 at 6:42 am

      You're right of course - bad proof reading on my part. One of the guys in our Heathkit user group had a pair of 5 Meg hard drives in an external drive case for a total of $1000 wraped up in 10 Megs of hard disc storage - not counting the couple of hundred for the case.


  42. Reva
    November 19, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    I'm going to a MAC product when I give up XP. I'll have to replace software that I depend on to go to Windows 8 as well as learn a new system. If I'm going to do that, I might as well move to a MAC. Everyone I know who has one loves it and there's no virus issue.

    I hate leaving XP because it works so well. It does everything I need. I have my software customized and I'm doing fine. If Microsoft is going to force me to change every few years with no benefit to me, I'll just make the big switch.

  43. David Wyland
    November 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Odd. The easiest thing would be for Microsoft to charge say, $50/year to support XP. This converts it to SAAS, software as a service. A nice revenue stream.

    I have Windows 7 and 8 on different machines. Compared to XP, they seem to follow the definition of a software upgrade: "New features replace old benefits." Keeping XP on paid maintenance would be good for all concerned.

  44. Dan
    November 19, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    I have some apps that are installed on XP machines that I have no way to reinstall - anywhere. They rely on a bunch of components from long-dead vendors that are ensconsed in the registry of the XP machines. They are stuck there - to those specific machines - forever.

    The best solution that I have come up with is to convert the XP physical machine to a VMware virtual machine and run it on Some other platform like Mac, Linux or Win 7/8.

    The apps in the VM either need no network access or only connections on the local LAN. Imposing this restriction coupled with running on a platform that does receive regular patches comes as close, for me, to ideal as I think you can get.

  45. Budgieboy
    November 19, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    I had a soft spot for XP for a number of years. Most software and drivers worked pretty well. No so for some of Redmond's later Windows OS's. I did, however, change 7 years ago to Linux and settled on Ubuntu and I've never looked back (or missed the previous MS OS).

  46. Bud
    November 19, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    I DUMPED Windows nearly 3-1/2 years ago and haven't looked back ! Why so? As the article stated well, billions of lines of code that CREATED a bloat of monthly security updates.

    I switched over to Apple's OS X , and other than an occasionally glitch, an occasional security
    update, and it's like going from a 1941 Plymouth, 2-dr. sedan to a powerful 2014 Ford Mustang GT !!!

    Only major and most recent complaint was the FREE Apple OS X Mavericks download! A MAJOR screw-up by Apple and without warnings that this new upgrade would and could WIPE-OUT favorite previous features, which it did !!! Just check out blogs posted online.

    • dragonmouth
      December 6, 2013 at 1:29 am

      " it’s like going from a 1941 Plymouth, 2-dr. sedan to a powerful 2014 Ford Mustang GT !!!"
      But not as good as going to a 1969 GT-500 Shelby. :-)

  47. Kamil K
    November 19, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    I'm migrating a desktop to Mint 13 LTS before 2014 so I don't have to do any more Windows updates and Linux has a much smaller chance of catching a virus.

  48. Ray M
    November 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    When MS updates Windows, it takes them and the software companies, a number of years to work out the kinks. That is the reason most versions are hated in the beginning. I've used nearly every version of Windows from 3.0 to Win 8. Some were good, some were bad. Vista64 drove me to Linux. I use Lubuntu as my main OS, soon to be replaced by Xubuntu, with XP and 8 running in virtual machines. The XP vm is used to run old sw that won't run on anything else and 8 for the newer stuff. I use them about once a week.

  49. Eric KB
    November 19, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Yes it costs money to upgrade to a newer OS version. Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a world where this was not necessary. I've got Windows, Mac and Linux machines at home and at work. I spend a lot of time keeping them all up to date. Applying patches is a nuisance and it is a lot of work to schedule a maintenance window on a production server. However, the consequences of being hacked through the exploitation of known vulnerabilities is far more expensive than the upgrade costs. I just wish we could upgrade our users so they would stop falling for phishing emails.

  50. Bill Hill
    November 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    It me several months to get XP to obey me and do what I wanted. A few months ago I tried 7 and did not care for it. Figured as long as this old fart (80 yo) was going to have to learn a new system why not deny Microsoft any more of my money. Tried Linux Mint, love it and have not looked back.

  51. ChrisF
    November 19, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I agree with JoeG, it was reluctance but also with excitement from a user POV. However from a technical perspective, once I had a few months with 3.1, 95, 98, 2000, xp, me and vista (both no good for me), then Win7 and now Win8 --- I had rough times with all the OS' when they first came out.
    Funny, the poster that said XP always sucked. I don't think that bad of it and it definitely improved over the years with service packs although SPs brought their own source of issues if you weren't familiar with them. Firewall changes, security, policies, some things disabled or enabled just due to a service pack...frustrating.
    One last great thing though. DOS command line has always been my fallback for getting some things done and at least that has always been available. Even when they said, there is no DOS in ME (If I have that right), there has always been DOS in windows.
    I salute the option to use command line to avoid GUI slowness and virus/trojans when the slowness happens.

  52. Michael Heavener
    November 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I cannot imagine that the combined weight of major companies running XP is being ignored by Microsoft. For example, EPIC, the big electronic health records system, only runs on XP workstations. Losing XP would cripple two-thirds of all hospitals. That's enough of a disturbance to cause a class-action lawsuit the likes that Microsoft has never seen before. My suspicion is that XP may be a dead issue for consumers but very much a lively undertaking for Microsoft -- it will keep writing safety patches for the big companies until it can convince those companies to move their programs to Windows 8.x

    • dragonmouth
      December 6, 2013 at 1:24 am

      The support period for XP has already been extended by MS at least once already because of the hue and cry. The problem for MS is that those that insist on running XP (or Vista) are not buying new versions of Windows depriving MS of continuing revenue stream. MS is licking its chops at the money they will make when all those XP users have to buy Win 8.x

    • bananna hammock
      December 8, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      I work in medical supply distributions and I can tell you one of the largest hospital networks in the country recently overhauled their entire purchasing system. Bet dollars to donuts that it is compatible with newer versions of windows. Companies need the push though, I had to chew out tech support for them to even update internet explorer on my workstation to something from this decade.

  53. Jenny Tauber
    November 19, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Asus Laptop Windose 7 PRO for online; my CPU for two 900 GIG drives using XP. A network connection between the Asus and my CPU for some file transfer like downloaded photos.

    Working with the two at this time before deadline. I love being online with my large Viewsonic monitor on XP with Chrome, but am going to have to adjust. I had to spend money getting the laptop and getting it set up.

    MS stopping some other aids like SyncToy which echoed my new files on my C Drive to my second E drive, but I have the executable file on my CPU and should not have any problems.

    On the watch and open to suggestions, especially considering setup described.

  54. Nicolas L
    November 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    I have upgraded to Windows 8 from the launch day and then updated to 8.1. I didn't regret leaving XP behind and seriously don't miss that nightmare called 'Windows Vista' at all.

  55. Tony M
    November 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Here's Microsoft's problem: They treat the design of each new Windows release like the roll-out of a new model car. With some flash, a little added chrome, some trim line changes, and many interface re-designs, Windows users are expected to be impressed. Here's the problem, though: When you climb into a re-designed vehicle, all the driver controls remain in the same familiar places, more or less. With a new Windows release, however, seasoned users become instant novices as they get behind "the wheel" of their new Windows version, only to discover they need to go back to driving school just to figure out how to "drive" it.

    Why do you do that, Microsoft?!?!? It's absolutely maddening!

  56. Bob R
    November 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Good article Matt. Around 25 years ago IBM issued last release of MVT, their flagship operating system at the time for mainframe computers. I installed the last release at the company where I was working at the time, release 21.8F. The company ran that release until 1986, almost 9 years. XP might be selectively running until the hardware changes.......

  57. Eldad
    November 19, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    I will keep XP, took me a long time to get pretty familiar with its guts and under-the-hood workings, it works great with the many hundreds of applications I have installed over the years, and with some 25 always running background applications. Why fix it if it ain't broke?
    I do hope that some existing or future techi user forums or organizations will come up with needed security updates - if needed, to maintain WinXP security for the millions who'll likely stay with it.

    • MP Flinn
      November 26, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      There's a market for this. Someone(s) could make a lot of money providing syste!wide security solutions for XP users with major expensive transition problems facing them.

  58. Joe G
    November 19, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I reluctantly moved to Windows 7 (and 8 at home) and have been pleasantly surprised. Of course I reluctantly moved to Windows 3.1, Windows 95 and Windows XP with pleasant surprise also, skillfully avoiding Vista and, get off of my lawn!!

  59. Serge V
    November 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I use a lot of software packages installed on my XP machine. It just not feasible to learn if them all will work on win8, reinstall, configure, move all the data, etc.
    I will live with XP until it will die, or computer, or myself - whatever first.

  60. Exzackly2025
    November 19, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    If you liked Windows XP, wait until you try Windows 10. I'll try to bring a copy back with me. Linux? It's a shame it doesn't exist in my time.

    • jelabarre
      November 19, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      Ah, you must live in that sucky alternate universe where The Daleks rule the earth...

    • jim
      November 23, 2013 at 1:45 am

      What does everyone smoke on your planet?

  61. Brian Williams
    November 19, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Yes, your right. In fact most Windows applications will run in WINE but I would prefer a native versions. It has been rumoured that Blizzard do have a native Linux WOW client but it has not been released.

  62. RCole
    November 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    There is a whole other sector that has even higher costs for upgrading. Think about computers used in manufacturing and testing. If working in a regulated industry (like say - medical), the system has been tested by the manufacturer, signed off on by the company something is manufactured for and by the appropriate government agency (like the FDA). To change the operating system will take weeks (at least - more likely more than a month) of re-testing, re-signing and re-auditing. Not to mention the paperwork and the fact that the manufacturing is DOWN for the whole time. The manufacturing industry has a LOT of XP machines in use. Sure, newer built systems are running Windows 7 (8 and 8.1 have some serious problems with instrument communications), but how long will that be supported?

  63. Ed Aymami
    November 19, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I am a developer with one of those "line of Business" programs. My clients run my VB6 app on Windows XP (about 95%) and Windows 7 machines, and Windows 2003 Application Servers. the problem with Windows7 machines is mostly down to paranoid system administrators.

    I expect my clients using XP will continue to do so until their machines die. I wholeheartedly agree with Brian Williams question "Why can’t the new version boot up and look EXACTLY like the old version and let the users have the option of turning on the bells and whistles?"

    I am currently rewriting my system in .Net windows forms. I am leaving the gui completely the same and refactoring the code behind 100%. This means my clients will not have to retrain their employees. If a small operation like me can figure that out you'd think Microsoft could.

    Their problem is they hire nothing but engineers who have no clue about what the customers want, and who all think they can build a better mousetrap....

    • John
      November 19, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      Yes, a corporation's first responsibility should be back compatibility. Why is that such a big ask?

    • MP Flinn
      November 26, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      Amen! Absolutely agree.

  64. Brian Williams
    November 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Why does Microsoft try their best to upset and aggravate their customers. Users spend a lot of time and effort in learning their way round an operating system only to find they have to start again when a new version is released. Why can’t the new version boot up and look EXACTLY like the old version and let the users have the option of turning on the bells and whistles?
    Worse still, the new version is not always compatible with the previous one. Take Windows Vista for example, I think Microsoft had a cheek to call it Windows as it was incompatible with XP; application that worked fine on XP failed to run on Vista. I worked in IT for 15 years and when we deployed new PCs all Vista machines were ‘upgraded’ to XP to avoid these issues. This may be one of the main reasons why companies hang on to XP; they don’t trust Windows 7 or 8.
    I currently use XP and have no intension of upgrading to a newer version of Windows. When I’m forced to abandoned XP, as I’m sure I will, I will move to Ubuntu. If I have to learn a new operating system it might as well be one that’s free. Nearly all the applications I use are now available on Linux with the exception of 2; the World of Warcraft client and Solidworks. I’m sure these will soon be available.

    • Alex Atkin UK
      November 19, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      Last I checked World of Warcraft ran very well in WINE on Linux, although there have been several expansions since then.

    • Olivier Butler
      November 27, 2013 at 9:38 pm

      Regarding your first paragraph, the answer is that the user-base wouldn't move on if they weren't forced. Other comments here remind everyone that people hated the changes that were made from 2000 -> XP, yet the fact people didn't have the option to essentially run 2000 meant that the OS progressed. The pattern is the same all over the tech world, every Facebook change elicits contempt and anger, but extraordinarily few would want to go back to the facebook we had two years ago (apart from all the adverts).

      Apple generally follow the same pattern, but one example where they allowed users to hold on to the previous OS was when Mountain Lion came out- it reversed the scrolling direction, a decision that brought desktop scrolling in-line with the mechanics touch-device scrolling (making things more holistic and future proofed). The inverted scroll can be thought of as actually dragging the content in the direction you push so has a lot of common sense going for it. Anyway I bring this up because even though the option to revert the scroll direction was tucked away, and even though it took all of an afternoon to adapt to the new scroll mechanics, many of my friends have chosen to reject that change because they're used to the old direction.

      You might say, in the case of scrolling, it's a good thing have the choice, but that principle applied to larger changes, or even allowed to generally apply to small changes, means that users on the same OS split into incompatible user groups and progress is hella-slow. Whereas, the system of forcing users to get used to it generally doesn't cause major discontent a few months down the line. Win8 has been a bit of an exception, but that seems to be because people have the choice of not upgrading at all, and of just hiding in the desktop view of the new OS even if they do. Anyway, I thought I better reply because the policy of 'optional bells and whistles' is just not a good one, but if you think you can defend it please try.

  65. Pete Whittet
    November 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I've gone down the dual-boot route. I use Linux for most things (definitely for everything online). On the odd occasion that I need to use an XP program which won't run under WINE, I unplug the beast from the router, and reboot into XP (and have a coffee while it's firing up). Shame, because I actually like Windows (sorry - not cool, I know). If & when my ship comes in, perhaps I'll upgrade to Win 7 ... but for how long will that be supported ?

    • FrankAbbing
      November 19, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      I follow the same road: Xubuntu for everything including web access, XP for the few things that do not work 100% in Xubuntu, but absolutely NO web access! In this way XP will run forever.

  66. JB
    November 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I have a Windows 8.1 laptop for work (I am a software developer) and an XP PC for my older DirectX 9 games.

    No need to upgrade the gaming PC from Windows XP. It is fast and stable.
    My four year old daughter has now started playing Dora the Explorer on the XP PC with no problems.
    In fact, she'll probably inherit my XP PC and I am sure it will be many more years before she realises she needs or wants to upgrade Windows!

  67. Richard Steven Hack
    November 19, 2013 at 1:49 am

    The real problem is going to be what happens when hackers come up with a WORM that uses a Windows XP zero-day vulnerability to propagate. Making malware for XP is trivial - but a WORM that infects the remaining fifty million PC's within a couple days will be a game-changer. Microsoft and the AV companies will have a fix for it, of course, regardless of expiration of security updates. But since many people never apply ANY fixes, that will still leave some millions of Windows XP machines as the largest bot-net ever created... Hopefully Microsoft will be able to take down the botnet command and control servers, but still...

    Not to mention that Windows XP was always the most unreliable, buggy piece of crap ever released to wide acceptance. As someone who does PC tech support, I dread working on Windows XP. The only advantage it had was that after over ten years of existence, it had a huge community of people who knew how to fix it and tons of utilities were developed to make it easier to fix it. After the Linux community invented the "live CD", Windows hackers developed tools like Ultimate Boot CD For Windows, which was a godsend to support personnel. - and which still works for the most part for later Windows versions.

    Really, people, get rid of XP - it sucked, sucks and will suck more as time goes on.

  68. Jack Alexander
    November 18, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    XP crashes. I don't want to spend 2-3 days re-installing and a week for necessary programs. This time I said screw it and put Linux Mint on the machine. Benefit is I get to learn another system.
    In a couple of hours my Window 8-64 bit laptop will be here. When are they going to stop supporting that?

    • BurgersBytes
      November 19, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      Unless you upgrade to 8.1, you will lose Windows 8 support in 2 years!

  69. Martin G
    November 18, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    The simple reason? I can't afford to upgrade, but I do have a Laptop that runs Vista, so I can still use that if all else fails (which I don't expect).

  70. CD
    November 18, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Linux is an in expensive, viable alternative and from a security stand- point, far superior. Just saying...

    • CD
      November 18, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      Should have read: Linux is an inexpensive, viable alternative and from a security stand- point, far superior. Just saying…

  71. Robert Carrick
    November 18, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    I'm wondering if it will still be possible to re-install XP on licensed machines after things like HDD replacement? What will happen with the activation servers?

    • Mike Riley
      November 19, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      That is a very good question. If you can't activate it then you won't be able to get all the security updates, which also begs the question, will the existing update servers still exist for XP?

      XP would still run, it would just annoy the heck out of you saying it needs to be activated.

    • Jeff C
      November 20, 2013 at 2:04 am

      Now I'm going to have to make backup XP system drives for all my XP machines before the deadline, dammit. Could I get around the activation hassle by running an install and immediately restoring to a recent restore point or backup?

  72. Melinda
    November 18, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    We are a small elementary school with quite a few XP machines. We can't afford to replace them as long as they are still running OK. The XPs are great for student classroom computers and teacher desktops, and they run really great when you take everything off and reinstall XP.

    • jim
      November 23, 2013 at 1:42 am

      The answer is Edubuntu. Try it.

  73. Mark M
    November 18, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    My very first PC had XP...back then it was just unveiled so I was on the cutting edge of technology, I've always been partial to my XP operating system, helped me to grow my teeth on better understanding computer but the "ole lady" is in storage now to be tinkered with no longer, in short, I've already ditched it...but still kinda sad to see it go...but I'll quote someone who posted this...(thank you for giving me hope that XP will live on much longer that 2014 "Like-Fun-B")
    There’s so much XP out in the world to this day that software developers would be insane to give up on what is assuredly a far bigger slice of the their installed base than Vista and Windows 8.x put together.
    End Quote:

  74. Like Fun B
    November 18, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    For the most part, organizations that need to stick with XP for whatever reason are already aware of the matter and are well aware of the consequences of doing so. They're either so enormous that regardless of Microsoft's stated support status, they're going to get help if they need it, or they're small enough that they can live on grey market copies of software and haven't needed any support from Microsoft in the last 10 years anyway.

    Businesses still using XP may be doing so because the cost of upgrading a common operating environment are too high to consider a transition; because they have a line-of-business application that doesn't run on anything newer and does not virtualize well; or perhaps because their existing hardware isn't sufficiently new to run anything else well (I am reminded of an IRS Agent I know. He's a GS13 and his IRS-issued laptop was made in 2002).

    The biggest problem for small organizations and individuals is that we're reaching a point where new software is increasingly unlikely to have full compatibility with older versions of Windows. The biggest area of concern here is actually web browsers; the last version of Internet Explorer compatible with XP is IE8, which does not support Tracking Protection Lists (ad blocking) and which is being deprecated for support on some major web sites. At some point, Firefox and Chrome will likewise stop functioning on XP and at that point it will be safe to say that XP is functionally useless. Likewise, security software will eventually stop working, and that will be another nail in the coffin.

    It's possible that a major hardware provider would do something silly like drop XP support, but since I can still get Windows 95 to run on an i7 if I really, really want it to I don't think that's going to be an issue any time soon. The biggest immediate problem will come from ATI and nVidia dropping it from new GPU support, but for the most part people who want new GPUs don't want them for dozen-year-old operating systems.

    Oddly enough, I still don't think any of this is going to happen any time soon. There's so much XP out in the world to this day that software developers would be insane to give up on what is assuredly a far bigger slice of the their installed base than Vista and Windows 8.x put together.

  75. WorknMan
    November 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    When you talk about how well-loved XP was, it's funny how we look at things with rose-tinted glasses. When it first came out, people accused it of essentially being Windows 2000 with a Fisher Price interface on top. And because of WPA, legions of geeks were threatening to switch to Linux, although I think only 3 or 4 of them actually did so :P

    When Windows 7 came out, a lot of people hated its new Start menu, which is why Classic Shell was invented in the first place. And then, of course, when Windows 8 came out, everybody wanted the Win7 start menu back :)

    • hard
      November 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      WorknMan, you nailed it. I can recall the distaste for Windows XP for the first two years of its existence, and it came from the same set of PC users that now rake Windows 8 over the coals. "I can't use this Xp interface to get work done!", "XP - the teletubbies desktop", "Where are my #&$&&@ applications in XP?!?!", "I can't get my printer to work in XP!", "they moved all my utilities and favorite tools in XP!", and on and on and on until around the release of XP Sp2.
      replace "XP" with "8" and you get the same tune. PC users, generally speaking, fear change. Microsoft has it tough pleasing the general masses while at the same time bringing in forward thinking concepts.

    • jelabarre
      November 19, 2013 at 8:27 pm

      But at least with WindowsXP you could **shut off** the dorky-looking themes (I usually go straight to the source and disable the themes service itself) and switch off all special effects. With Win8, even after you load ClassicShell to tget the menu back, load Explorer++ to get a usable file manager, disabling the themes service still leaves you with a butt-ugly, flat pastel look which you simply can't get rid of. And that's not even getting into the technical and UI failures of the OS ingeneral.

  76. Igor R
    November 18, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Its a big shame, to do this to xp..Do you have any advice,if someone sticks to xp,what security measures to take.What about firefox or other branded software companyes ..whats their viewpoint on xp support?

    • h11nj
      November 18, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      "Do you have any advice,if someone sticks to xp,what security measures to take."
      Best option is to disconnect it from the net of course. However, some apps I would recommend:
      - Decent firewall - like ZoneAlarm or Privatefirewall. Windows firewall pre 7 or Vista was useless.
      - Something like Shadow Defender is always useful
      - Some kind of antivirus, but I guess thats common sense

      I recommend switching to Linux though, in my opinion distros like Mint or Zorin are more friendly towards XP users than Win 8 lol. Depends on the software you need to use, but a lot of XP stuff works with WINE.

    • CD
      November 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      I saw the writing on the wall two years ago and did not like the new MS offerings. I would suggest looking into Linux. For example, Ubuntu, it has a familiar feel and very user friendly.

    • Glen Ellis
      November 20, 2013 at 2:38 am

      I switched to Linux years back.
      Keep the XP computer to run legacy apps in Engineering.
      Use Linux for Open Office and Internet.
      This Linux OS is based on Read-Only SQF files,
      reLoaded from ISO fresh on each boot.
      All session changes are passed into a SaveFile,
      which can be saved or not, or dumped and replaced.
      Nothing gets written into the ISO.
      Oh, almost forgot, upgrade pricing is really low down.

    • rtechie
      December 12, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      Don't believe the hype. Desktop Linux is mostly for computer professionals.

      If you're not comfortable using the command line or configuring your OS through text files (i.e. you have experience with VAX, CP/M, DOS, or Unix) do not consider Linux for your desktop OS. Even now, in 2013, you still have to do significant command-line config.

      Switching to Linux from XP will be a much bigger adjustment than switching to Windows 8.1. Remember, virtually none of your existing apps (really only Firefox and Chrome) will run on Linux. WINE is an emulator for Windows apps on Linux and it's slow and buggy, you should not plan to run a lot of software on it. WINE does not support games at all.

      The only major change in Windows 8.1 is that the Start Menu is replaced with the Start Screen, which is sort of like having all your apps as icons on the Desktop. This can be annoying, but it's an incredibly small change compared to having to learn a completely different OS that operates dramatically differently (Linux).

      I only recommend desktop Linux to aspiring computer professionals that want to learn Linux.

      The one exception to this is Plex/XBMC used on a media center PC. This solution is so good it's worth the hassle, and especially with Plex a lot of the Linux complexity is hidden by web interfaces. This is not a cheap media solution however, especially when compared to something like a Roku. It's really for someone that wants a serious home server.

    • Ben
      December 14, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      I have used Ubuntu Linux for the past 2 years and I have NEVER needed to do anything with editing text files or command lines. I have no idea what version of Linux your using but Ubuntu and especially Mint are extremely easy to use.

      I am a IT Professional and I taught my 50 year old mother to use Mint and she has had no problems what-so-ever. It worked for her on install and she has never had any questions or needed any help after I installed it and spent 30 minutes showing her how to use it. My girlfriend who is blind absolutely loves Ubuntu now.

      So lets stop saying common users can't use Linux and its only for computer professionals enough people have been scared away from Linux by M$ smear campaigns.

    • Igor R
      December 14, 2013 at 11:03 pm

      The main problem when someone tells me to "go to linux" is the distribution.Iv tryed mint,iv tryed elementary OS,i always hated ubuntu (dont know why).But i always reformat and go back to windows.I think the main problem for me is to find the proper linux build for me,and sticking to it.

  77. Tom W
    November 18, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    A great article, I'll be sharing it to facebook as I like to regularly remind my friends that XP LTS is ending, just in case any of them is still using it. I can see why so many people still have XP installed - it's fast, stable, and upgrading costs money - but when it stops getting patched there's only so much an anti-virus can do to protect users.

    I switched from XP to W7 while the latter was still in beta. The decision wasn't hard, since the beta was free and my laptop at the time had a rare BSOD that never occurred in W7. That computer died just before the beta license expired, and the replacement came with W7 pre-installed.

    • Carol
      December 7, 2013 at 1:35 am

      I have XP. When it comes to computers, I don't like change at all. I am not a techie. When I get used to something and learn how it works, that's it. I'm not interested in bigger, better, faster, stronger. I changed from to gmail from hotmail because it went to outlook which I hated. I also switched to Google Chrome. Now I find out XP and Chrome will not longer play well together? What next? People like me just get left in the dust. :(

    • Tom W
      December 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Current versions of Chrome will still work, it just won't get updated. This could be bad, because it won't receive security patches, but the same thing will be true for XP itself.

      From the looks of it, Microsoft is offering extended support on Windows 7 until the year 2020. I know it can be a big hassle to upgrade and get used to a new system, but Windows 7 is very easy to use and you then won't need to think of upgrading for a while.

    • del
      December 14, 2013 at 1:53 am

      Windows XP works, not fancy bells and whistles, so why replace wot ain't broke, but in view of security i been trialing a number of OS, and Linux Mint is most like XP, so I,m going Linux, if M$ can not make a simple version of windows like XP for common users , we will have to go linux, I been try it for a year now, and have a duel boot system for 6 mths so far so good, so come April i will migrate fully to Linux, it is so easy with the import for firefox and thunderbird, linux mint is like xp was when new really, not having some thing similar to XP i think is a big error for MS, i have found so many people going to mint as its like XP, all lost M$ customers

    • Tom W
      December 14, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      @del: Windows 7 provided some valuable changes in terms of speed, compatibility, usability, and behind-the-scenes work to make it compatible with many more devices. Microsoft has to provide for a very large user base as well as competing with other commercial operating systems. Unfortunately, this means that sometimes they have to change some things that will alienate some customers.

      Personally, I believe that Windows 7 is a better operating system than XP was, and it provides some features that make me more productive, but everyone is different and a single company can't cater to every single person.