On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will officially retire Windows XP, the company’s most popular version of Windows ever, first launched about 12 years ago.
That doesn’t mean if you have XP running on some old computer that it will stop working. It does mean that Microsoft will no longer be issuing security patches and updates for XP. So, if hackers find news ways to break into XP, Microsoft won’t stop them.
Microsoft’s Erwin Visser made a plea on the Windows blog about it. He told businesses that they don’t even have to upgrade their PCs to Windows 8, they can just upgrade to Windows 7 if they want.
There are still a lot of XP machines out there and not all of them are a decade old. Microsoft allows businesses to downgrade their operating system to any version they want, as long as it’s a version that’s still supported by Microsoft.
Even today a business can buy a new Windows machine and put XP on it. They do that because they have critical apps that work well with XP, but not great with Windows 7 or 8.
Some 39 per cent of the PCs using the Internet these days are using XP, according to Net Marketshare. That compares to about 45 per cent using Windows 7 and about 3% using Windows 8. (More PCs actually use Windows Vista at about 5%.)
Many of these XP machines are being used by small businesses, so Microsoft is trying to convince them to upgrade by offering them a 15 per cent discount on Windows 8 and Office Standard 2013, if both products are purchased together by June 30, Microsoft says.