Microsoft (News - Alert) has been at war against its old operating system and those who refuse to switch to a newer product. While the company has been supporting Windows XP for 12 years, it now decided to end support for the operating system on April 8, 2014. This should come as no surprise to users of Windows XP, as Microsoft has been giving warning that this day would come for years.
With the end of support for an operating system, those devices that run on the operating system will find themselves vulnerable to attacks from hackers and viruses. Users will not be receiving security updates that are meant to handle new malware any longer and technical difficulties for users of Windows XP will not be handled anymore by customer support. Using Windows XP after the support deadline will also be the equivalent of sailing into stormy seas with no life boats. While it’s possible nothing wrong can happen, if it does, there will be nothing to save you.
It sounds like a bad idea to keep using the operating system, considering there is only a week left until all support is dropped. Does that mean people are heeding the warnings and switching over? According to data from StatCounter (News - Alert), an independent website analysis group, Windows XP is still being used by many across the world.
StatCounter reports that Windows 7, still being supported by Microsoft, ranks number one in usage across the world, with 54.7 percent of devices. The shocking number is how many still rely upon Windows XP only a week before the cutoff. 18.6 percent, making Windows XP the number 2 operating system, with number 3, MacOSx, being far behind with 8.6 percent.
The research by StatCounter goes into detail regarding the usage of each operating system according to continent and country. The report shows that numbers tend to remain the same across the world. There is some differentiation. In Africa, 30.5 percent use Windows XP, while Oceania has dropped to 8 percent. The United States and United Kingdom are somewhat more progressive, or more fond of Apple (News - Alert) products, being that Windows XP usage is in third place in both countries, with 15 percent usage in the US and 8.4 percent in the UK.
Many companies, and ATMs, are still using Windows XP, causing some concern that the end of support can lead to instability for these businesses and banks. The US government itself is still using Windows XP in many places. Microsoft has agreed to provide some limited support to businesses and the government, although only for a limited time.
Those who want to get their hands on an operating system with support really only have two options. They can switch over to a newer operating system, such as Windows 7/8, or Linux. They can also look into buying a new computer, possibly a better option considering the age of most computers using Windows XP.
Buying a new computer appears to be the route that Microsoft is supporting. Microsoft is offering a $50 gift card to those that buy a new computer from their website, alongside support in transferring data from a Windows XP operating computer to a new Windows 8 supported system.