Windows XP Support Ending Soon

Dennis Faas's picture

There are just 500 days left until Microsoft officially terminates all support for the incredibly popular Windows XP operating system (OS).

When it happens, the event will mark a major transition for the software giant, and could present big problems for the half billion computers still running the aging OS.

Once these 500 days come to an end, Windows XP will no longer be updated or have any security vulnerabilities patched by the Microsoft development team. Over time, that will tend to make the operating system highly vulnerable to hacker attack.

You can think of this 'end to upgrades' much the same as your home security company announcing to the world that it was disabling your alarm.

One Million Upgrades Per Day Required

If current XP users are to remain under the umbrella of Microsoft upgrades and security patches, approximately one million of them will need to upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8 each and every day for the next 500 days.

Many experts see that as unlikely to happen, and worry that so many computers being left unsupported could result in the biggest security scare in a generation or more. (Source:

The biggest threat is posed to the enterprise crowd, including private businesses and public agencies that have refused to move ahead from Windows XP.

They will need to sign up for Microsoft's 'Software Assurance for Volume Licensing' program soon, or risk putting their users' information at risk.

Upgrades to Boost Microsoft Business

The countdown to the end of XP support should prove beneficial to Microsoft, which can assume that at least a large portion of the 500 million Windows XP users will pay to upgrade to Windows 7 or the brand new Windows 8.

Observers expect that most enterprise users will go for Windows 7, and that many home consumers will opt for Windows 8. (Source:

So, why have these users waited so long to upgrade?

Many users remain attached to Windows XP. For the enterprise crowd, upgrading is an incredibly expensive process. Not only do organizations need to purchase new Windows licenses, but they must also train employees to use the new OS.

That takes lots of time and can become a major drain on productivity.

Microsoft has played into these decisions to put off operating system upgrades by repeatedly delaying its termination of support for Windows XP. But this time observers believe the extended lifeline will finally reach its limit.

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