Microsoft says there are only 1,000 days left for Windows XP
Sounds the death knell for its decade old operating system
By Dean Wilson
SOFTWARE VENDOR Microsoft is calling on users of its Windows XP operating system to "move on", and it said there are less than 1,000 days of support left for it.
The news came from a blog post by Stephen Rose, a senior community manager for Windows client stuff at Microsoft, where he urged users to embrace Windows 7 instead.
While at first the 1,000 days of support left doesn't seem like that much, it's actually close to three years, which is more time than Windows 7 has been out. Support will end on 8 April, 2014, by which time Microsoft will have launched Windows 8 and started trying to push Windows 7 out to pasture.
Aside from the obvious desire for people to upgrade to the latest version, which means more money for Microsoft, it's likely that Microsoft is planning ahead to avoid a situation like what happened with Internet Explorer 6, which it has struggled to get people to upgrade from, despite the lack of support and the huge security vulnerabilities of using it.
Since the disaster of Windows Vista people have generally been reluctant to upgrade to Windows 7, despite it being a generally good operating system and a major improvement over Windows Vista.
This could lead to a situation where people are still using Windows XP after 2014, when Microsoft will no longer provide security patches and hotfixes, not to mention third-party support, which Microsoft says will also end, for the most part, within the next few years.
Rose said that Windows XP, which launched ten years ago, has had "an amazing run", but that it is time to move on and "retire" Windows XP. He said it's easy to upgrade to Windows 7 and that it could even result in cutting costs for businesses through its energy saving and automation features. We're not sure he's including the required hardware and software upgrade costs, however.
Rose cited a recent report by the US market research firm Gartner, which said that over half of organisations that don't start upgrading to Windows 7 by early next year will end up still running some Windows XP machines after Microsoft ends support for it.