One of the most beloved operating systems of all time is finally being laid to rest. After 12 years, support for Windows XP will end on April 8, 2014. Microsoft has announced that there will be no more security updates or technical support for the Windows XP operating system and it is very important that customers and partners migrate to a modern operating system such as Windows 8.1.
However, StatCounter found the worldwide market share of Windows XP at 18.6 percent in March and its share in the U.S. at 15 percent. NetMarketShare, using different methods that factor in more computers that rarely go online, found XP on 27.7 percent of computers worldwide.
Windows XP was first released on Oct. 25, 2001, a time when storage costs were calculated in dollars per gigabyte as opposed to pennies per gigabyte today. But the operating system has indeed seen its fair share of widespread security problems that have threatened its existence.
Microsoft implemented Service Pack upgrades but even after a decade of security fixes, XP remains fundamentally insecure. Any one app can override the whole system. It is imperfect, but still remains one of the most popular operating systems of all time.
Some businesses are running into a host of issues migrating to another more modern operating system. Older versions of Intuit's QuickBooks software (compatible with XP) which is widely used to manage home businesses, poses a certain dilemma for users of the software. Going from XP to Windows 7 would mean buying a new release of Quickbooks, even if you didn't need any of its new features. Similarly, some computers' hardware is outdated and newer operating systems would not function well on them. You would need an entirely new computer altogether. And finally, if you choose to upgrade to Windows 7, you have to reload all your apps, settings and data from a backup, which poses a big inconvenience for many people as well as businesses.
In my opinion, I am sad to see support for Windows XP end. It is the operating system I use the most. My home desktop computer still runs it and I use that nearly every day. But at the same time, I understand the importance of upgrading to a new era. Some internet security threats are far too great to risk using XP. Windows XP had a great run, and will probably continue to do so, unsupported, for many years to come.
- Anxhelo Dhimitri