WinXP's Demise: 1000 Days And Counting

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has reminded Windows XP users that the system will lose security support from the company in under 1,000 days' time. However, some wonder if that will prove practical.

Stephen Rose, who is the community and social media manager for Microsoft, wrote a blog post to mark the system's imposing deadline. He said that "Windows XP had an amazing run and millions of PC users are grateful for it. But it's time to move on. Two reasons: 1) Extended support for Windows XP is running out in less than 1000 days, and 2) there's an OS out there that's much better than Windows XP." (Source:

Extended Support Nears Conclusion

It's important to note that Windows XP will continue to work after the deadline.

The importance of the dates relates to Microsoft's support schedule, which covers two forms: mainstream support and extended support. Mainstream support, which ended in April 2009, included free technical support, along with the system being covered by a technical warranty.

Extended support offers users technical help in return for a fee. More importantly, it means the company continues to offer security updates, both through the monthly "Patch Tuesday" releases and through occasional out-of-cycle "emergency" patches for serious and immediate threats.

However, it all comes to an end on April 8, 2014, when Microsoft drops all support. Once that happens, anyone discovering a security flaw in the system will be able to take advantage, leaving it down to third-party security software to tackle the problem. (Source:

Most Users Still On XP

The big issue is that Windows XP remains remarkably popular, with one recent estimate suggesting it is used on 51 per cent of all computers worldwide. That's an amazing figure for a system first released ten years ago and speaks volumes about the reluctance of users, particularly businesses, to spend cash on upgrades.

How Microsoft deals with that remains to be seen. On paper, it's perfectly reasonable for it to withdraw support after 13 years, by which time there will have been three sequels to Windows XP. In practice, if there are still a substantial number of XP users out there, it may be a public relations disaster to leave them at the mercy of hackers.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet