Windows XP has long been a thorn in Microsoft’s side. It’s as comfortable as an old show for many people who skipped over Windows Vista due to its awful reputation and the late delivery of that OS. Now it’s over ten years old, was written for the beginning of the Internet revolution and simply can’t cope with the security demands of the modern age. The company has been working very hard in recent years to encourage companies to move away to Windows 7, which is a very compatible and secure OS, but it’s not been entirely successful.
Part of the problem is because many companies are using bespoke software designed for XP or Internet Explorer 6 that simply won’t run in Windows 7 and more modern browsers. These companies have resisted for years any call to re-engineer these software packages. Now though the end is coming fast.
Windows XP is already out of mainstream support where service packs and upgrades are provided to support new standards and technologies. Now there are less than 800 days left until extended support ends also. This deadline has already been extended by Microsoft once because of the Vista debacle, but it won’t be extended again. After April 2014 there will no longer be any updates or patches to maintain security or stability in the operating system. When this happens we can be certain that malware writers and criminals the world over will be targeting XP with new zeal and fervour.
It’s odd that it seems only recently that I was reporting that XP only had 1,000 days of support left. That last 200 days has gone very quickly indeed and it won’t be long before I’ll be reporting only 500 days of support left and then 300 days, less than a year.
I believe it’s only at this point that companies will begin the rush to migrate, but it can take 18 to 24 months to complete such a migration and it’s a huge undertaking for any IT department to manage. It’s becoming clear though that companies need to start taking this issue seriously, and that home users and enthusiasts should begin to think about saving up for a newer computer themselves. Windows XP is now well into its final days, and the clock is ticking.