winxpMicrosoft is trying to convince business owners that it’s time to retire their Windows XP installations, and start using a more modern operating system.

The company is ending support for the venerable edition of Windows on April 8, which means after that point, XP won’t be getting any more updates, including security protection. While that may not seem significant for an operating system that’s more than a decade old, 21 percent of computers worldwide are still running XP, according to a survey by Stat Counter.

That’s why Microsoft is trying to warn business owners that they could face “serious problems” if they continue to use XP after the April deadline. The company said in a press release (PDF) that app developers won’t continue releasing updates for the platform, so any applications that users have installed are what they’ll be stuck with, even as more updates come out.

In addition, the release emphasized that XP won’t get any further security updates, and mentioned that a recent report by Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Team said that XP was more than five times as vulnerable to viruses and other attacks compared to Windows 8.1.

However, Microsoft is facing an uphill battle with budget-conscious business owners who aren’t looking to undertake the cost of upgrading their computer systems. Especially since Windows 8.1 hasn’t received the glowing reception Microsoft hoped for, getting people to upgrade could be a tough sell. While the release outlines a number of potential benefits for people who upgrade their computers, major user interface changes with Windows and Office could be a source of friction for some people who are used to XP. Still, for businesses that want to make sure that they’re still protected from security threats, there isn’t really another choice but to upgrade.

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  • RollingEyes

    Wow, didn’t expect FUD from Microsoft! /s

    • frederigoxcz305

      my Aunty Amelia got a new blue Land Rover LR4 only from
      working part time off a home computer… helpful hints J­u­m­p­9­9­9­.­ℂ­o­m

  • guest

    “Serious problems”? Sounds like a threat from the mob.

  • Christopher Budd

    The Windows XP situation is a very, very serious one. I just did some analysis to come up with a ballpark for what a system with Windows XP and Java 6 can expect in terms of unpatched vulnerabilities in a year. 160.

    Over here in the security world, many of us are very worried. We’ve never faced a situation where a version of Windows went out of support and was as widely used as Windows XP is. This is unprecedented territory in a very bad way.

    • Mike_Acker

      sadly there will be business reason why XP has to be continued,– particularly special application software that was written for XP. the best option is to make sure XP machines are on an intra-net with no public-facing access.

      • scott marzigliano

        Acker to you work for a company with 3 letters?

  • Guest

    Kudos to Microsoft. They’ve done yeoman’s work to support this operating system for nearly 13 years, but now it’s time for businesses to move on. I’ve found that Windows 7 and 8 offer much better features, hardware support, and security than XP did, and there are even options to turn off the visually distinctive features if customers don’t want them.

    Again, I support this move and I apologise that it had to come to this. Upgrade, people. You wouldn’t use a 2001-era mobile phone or drive a 2001-era automobile, so why would you continue to rely on a 2001-era operating system?

    • MK25

      What is wrong with my 2001 car? It has air bags, anti lock brakes, still gets 25-30 mpg and doesn’t leak oil.

      • Guest

        Me: Hello, Siri?

        Siri: Yes, controller. Your command, please.

        Me: Would you kindly bing “security flaws in 2001 cars”? Please post the results to the thread.

        Siri: OK I will do that.

      • Christopher Budd

        A car isn’t a good analogy. A better analogy is a tank or armored personnel carrier. And I wouldn’t think of it as a 2001 model of those but instead a 1945 version.

        What’s wrong and why that’s a better analogy is you’ve got people shooting at you all the time. Windows XP is as well suited to today’s threats on the Internet as a WWII-era tank would be in Iraq or Afghanistan.

  • clibou

    End of the road for XP, can mean end of the road for CEOs, if something bad happens like Target.

  • edtrem

    you can buy a brand new azus or lenovo laptop with win 8 from best buy for $220, so cost is not a big barrier to get rid of an XP device

    • GetReal

      Because a car mechanic will replace his old & dirty inventory pc with a weak little tablet, or a hospital will throw out their hundreds of patient look-up stations to replace them with fancy tiles on mobile devices? Yeah, right.

    • Mike_Acker

      the problem is not replacing XP but updating the software running on it.

  • Mike_Acker

    should just read “users who stick with windows”

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