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April 10, 2014

XP to Get Continued Support in China from Lenovo, Tencent, and Others

Even though Microsoft (News - Alert) gave organizations using XP ample warning, when the April 8 deadline reached, many public and private organizations around the world were looking to pay extra to extend support for this popular 13 year old operating system. According to reports, the British government paid Microsoft's £5.5M or $9.2M to ensure the hundreds of thousands of personal computers using XP will be protected, while the Dutch government entered a similar deal costing multimillion euros. The numbers in China are going to be much larger due to its massive population and the number of XP users in the country.

Reuters (News - Alert) has reported 200 million people use XP in China, giving the operating system a 70 percent market share. If all these computers are not adequately protected, the economic impact in the country can be substantial. That is why Microsoft has entered into an agreement with Lenovo (News - Alert) group Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd, Qihoo 360 Technology Co. and others to ensure Chinese users will have certified support until they transition to the newest operating systems.

These organizations will offer information protection, post-virus repairs as well as upgrades to new operating systems, including Windows 7 and 8.

In a statement to Reuters, Tencent said it is going to provide permanent XP support free of charge as well as offering 24-hour hotlines.

Qihoo 360 Technology's CTO made a similar commitment by saying "his company will continue to provide windows XP support to Chinese users as long as there are XP users in China."

For a product that has basically been discontinued, XP still enjoys a 27 plus percent  market share around the world, and what is more amazing is, it is expected to grow by .55 percent in 2014, this according to Attachmate.

The survey Attachmate conducted also revealed the five top reasons IT is still holding on to XP.  They are: The inability to afford an upgrade, it suits the need of applications, still running 16-bit apps, hardware cannot run news OS, and management is not ready to deal with the hassle of upgrading yet.

The question is how long will XP be secure, and the answer of course depends on how many people continue to use this operating system. As long as there's a market for this product it still has some life in front of it but, will face more security risks as time goes on because there will be less incentive to support it.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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