Microsoft is kindly asking users of Windows XP to upgrade to something a bit less ancient, again. XP has been around for a decade and it is still used on 15 to 20 percent of PCs, depending on who you ask.
Redmond plans to cut off support for the venerable operating system on 8 April 2014, which means users have a year to upgrade, or face more vulnerabilities and security risks. However, XP still remains surprisingly popular, especially among SMBs and some home users. They feel it gets the job done and see no point in upgrading to a new Windows 7 box, but then again Windows XP is older than iOS, Android, Facebook and YouTube.
It is also worth noting that Microsoft sold millions of XP licences for first generation nettops and netbooks, based on Atom processors, years after XP stopped shipping on regular desktops and lappies. Upgrading these systems to Windows 7 probably isn’t an option for most users.
Microsoft insists the only way to stay safe is to upgrade to a new OS, and since the cutoff date is just a year from now, time is slowly running out. Then again, users of ancient XP PCs might very well choose to upgrade to something else, like Linux or in some cases even Chrome and Android.
With millions of XP boxes out there, it is more than likely that quite a few users won’t heed Redmond’s warnings. Microsoft’s decision to ditch XP could also create more opportunities for peddlers of alternative low cost systems based on free operating systems.