Windows XP, the operating system that launched in 2001 and just refuses to die, will still be getting security updates and hot fixes until April 8, 2014. With “just” two more years to go, though, Microsoft today reminded these users that it’s about time to upgrade their PCs. Microsoft stopped selling retail copies of XP in 2008. Just like XP, support for Office 2003 will also end in April 2014, so Microsoft is also using this occasion to remind these users that Office 2010 is indeed a viable alternative to an office suite that was released more than eight and a half years ago.
There are still millions of XP machines out there, however. According to StatCounter, just over a third of PCs in use today still run it and it was only last in October that Windows 7 overtook XP in global usage. Many of these users are in developing countries, but quite a few small businesses and even large enterprises in the developed world still use XP today. Even in the U.S., for example about 22% of all PCs currently still run this legacy operating system.
As Microsoft’s Stella Chernyak notes, “Windows XP and Office 2003 were great software releases for their time, but the technology environment has shifted. Technology continues to evolve and so do people’s needs and expectations. Modern users demand technologies that fit their personal work style and allow them to stay productive anywhere anytime, while businesses have an ever-increasing need to protect data and ensure security, compliance and manageability. It is in a company’s – and its employees’ – best interest to take advantage of the modern Windows and Office software that is designed with these needs in mind.”