Windows XP users: what will you do on April 8, 2014?

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 16, 2013
Updated • Nov 6, 2013
Windows, Windows XP

So what is happening on April 8, 2014 that is affecting all Windows XP users? It is the end of support for the operating system. What this means is that Microsoft won't release any more security updates, or other updates for that matter, for the operating system.

There is one exception to that, and that is that companies can pay Microsoft money to get security vulnerabilities patched. But that is not really feasible for most as it would cost a lot of money to patch a single vulnerability.

While that is not really something that you do need to worry about if your computer running Windows XP is not connected to the Internet, you may enter a world of vulnerabilities shortly after that date. Vulnerabilities that get detected after the date won't get fixed anymore, which means that the operating system will remain vulnerable to them.

There may be mitigating factors, like running applications in a sandbox or exploit mitigation tools, but those are usually only run by experienced users and not average ones.

Attackers may come up with new exploit code of their own, or by reverse engineering updates for other versions of Windows to find out if Windows XP is also vulnerable. Since the operating system won't receive any more updates after April 8, 2014, it gives attackers many more opportunities to attack the system.

But it is not only users who will run into issues on that date. Microsoft too is in a precarious situation. If you look at operating system usage stats, you will notice that Windows XP is still placed second in the most used operating system. Only Windows 7 managed to pass it by, while Windows 8 just managed to pass Windows Vista to climb to the third place.

It is obvious that the company does not want to "lose" that user base.  So what can Microsoft do to convince users that it is a good time to update? One approach seems to highlight the dangers of running Windows XP right now and after the end of support date.

windows xp security
Malware infection probabilities

The question is if this is enough to convince users and organizations to switch to another version of Windows that is still supported.

And what will Windows XP users do when doomsday comes?

  • Keep running the system even though it may have known vulnerabilities that are exploited in the wild?
  • Update the operating system to Windows 7 / Windows 8?
  • Switch to a different operating system such as Ubuntu Linux?

Closing Words

What I would do? I would probably update to Windows 8. Not because I think it is the superior operating system, but because it is possible to ignore the Metro / Start Screen interface for the most part, which means that you get an updated Windows 7 operating system with 3 more years of support.

I'd update to Windows 7 as well, if the operating system would be available for less money than Windows 8.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. esme said on March 30, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    I will keep my XP laptop and continue use it on the net, as I have always done. It’s much better than extra laptops I have (running win7 and win8.1).
    I have uninstalled adobe flash (why I at times need the two newer extra computers). Flash is a security problem. HTML5 is the way to watch youtube videos.
    IE was retired years ago by me and never used for anything but reach windowsupdates once a month. Always on manual, will be permanently disabled after the very last update. BITS will also be changed from manual to disabled.
    My browsers are Firefox and SRware Iron, both with security related extensions (FF: noscript, adblock, betterprivacy, disconnect, self-destructing cookies, WOT, youtube flash to HTML5).
    Sometime after XPs last update and when attacks begin, I will also shield my OS and CPU by use of the Firefox addon Masking Agent.
    I have privatefirewall and avast shielding my XP (also on the two newer laptops).
    I do not have any dubious MS software installed, like old and abandoned MS Office (vanLoo’s SSuite does the job).
    Java will be uninstalled once I can do without it. No XP should be running Java (no cars either, for that matter, however, most cars are Java-run these days).

    Microsoft’s problem is that their business idea is based on a new release every 3rd year and 5 years of maintenance of each OS version. That worked well with win95, win98, winNET, win2000 and XP. Customers wanted the new OS! Most people seemed to forget the terrible ME (Millennium Edition) in 1999. Which was a actually good thing for Microsoft, because almost everybody who had a ME computer rushed out to buy the new XP.
    After Vista’s release, MS reputation suffered badly. Naturally, people want to stick with what works. Vista was the reason why XP’s update lifetime had to be extended. Both because Vista’s release was delayed by 2 years and because customers weren’t pleased with it (I replaced Vista first with a XP, then with Linuxmint). But, Vista wasn’t bad for Microsoft: Vista was the reason why Windows 7 sold so well! Vista is the very reason why Windows 7 is now the most common OS.
    Is Microsoft trying the same with windows 8? Make way for Windows 9? Hope for a reception like with windows 7?
    They had to do something, because the majority now surf the net from an android or apple slate or a cell phone. To me, it looks as if Microsoft have had their time.

    I’ll stick with my XP. This oldie is my main computer and I guard it like gold.
    My Nexus slate, my win7 netbook and my win8.1 laptop are just extras. The last mentioned, win8.1, is too unreliable to ever replace my XP (the 8.1 was reinstalled 4 times in 6 months due to system crashes). I may end up feeding it Linux.

  2. Infyrin said on March 23, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    I have 3 computers. A Dell Latitude D600 laptop (2004 Standards), a Dell Optiplex GX280, and lastly a HP Pavilion p7-1414 model desktop. The laptop is back and forth between Windows XP and Ubuntu (granted, CrunchBang Linux is looking to be an answer). The HP Pavilion is my main primary computer where I do everything on and holds my important files while running Win8.

    The Optiplex, on the other hand, that computer’s sole purpose is to remain on XP. Because not only did Windows 8 do such a good job at crippling the hell out of compatibility. Windows 8 felt so dumbed down from previous versions of Windows before it, that I must have the Optiplex around to remind me the good times of XP. Where I can simply run old DOS games at a whim and not have to actually rely on DOSBox 90% of the time.

    Where I don’t feel insulted by Win8 telling me that “this App can’t run on your PC” and by the way, I missed it when Windows called things “programs” and not “Apps”. “Apps” to me, is a term for tablets that explains the mini-programs installed. Windows 8 should not have implemented it’s tablet features on to a desktop environment where it doesn’t belong. It’s nothing but a huge gimmick. The Metro desktop has got to be the ugliest and most disorganized theme I’ve ever seen.

    When you have to make a update that brings back a start menu, you kinda know you did something stupid off-hand.

    So, yeah. One of my machines will obviously stay on XP until the hardware fails. I don’t care about security because most of the time I actually pay attention to what I’m doing and not be idiotic enough to simply give in to false securities. Windows 8 has done a good job at least making people want to go back to 7 in comparison, while very few will stick around for XP. Vista? Psh, no one cares of Vista anymore.

  3. Harry Cat said on February 18, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    What can Windows Vista, 7, and 8 do that windows XP can’t?
    Answer: Nothing.. They are all the same operating system, the only difference is the GUI (Graphic User Interface).
    I get more accomplished with windows xp then I possibly could with windows vista, 7,8…
    When the end of life for XP gets here, I’ll still keep using XP regardless.
    Why? Because all the hackers and practical jokers will have all their attentions on Windows 7, 8 and the upcoming windows 9. Windows XP will be just a distant memory in their corrupt demented little hacker heads.

    1. Dan said on February 18, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      Oh, the lies we tell ourselves~

  4. Anonymous said on December 30, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    a oportunity for linux to work his way up

  5. Forced Change said on December 4, 2013 at 5:01 am

    Aren’t we all using Windoze 9, Firefox 79, Chrome 62, and IE19 by now? I mean isn’t Windoze 8 “old” now?

  6. Tae Wong said on November 6, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    There’s a typo.

    It is obvious that the company does not wan’t to “lose” that user base.
    It’s want, not wan’t.

  7. Maurice said on October 27, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    With XP I thought that blue screens had been banished for ever, but when I moved to Windows 7 they reappeared along with random freezes and a number of other seemingly intractible problems. I can live without DX11 and DXVA2 and the Windows 8 gimmicky desktop, so I intend to stick with XP for as long as possible after 2014 before moving reluctantly to Linux. Untill then I shall compensate for the lack of security fixes by using a host based intrusion detection system like OSSEC.

  8. Nick said on October 19, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I’m another person that will still run Win XP and not move. I use Linux as an alternative and that’s it. It’s highly suspicious that Microsoft was able to completely secure Windows XP version for the US Air Force. Read the story “Air Force now using super-secure version of Windows XP”. If there are any vulnerabilities in Win XP in the future, it will probably be created by Microsoft. Remember what happened to Windows XP Pro 64-bit, it got shutdown. Why? Because it was too good.

  9. JonWT said on October 14, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    The only way Microsoft is ever going to get any money from me ever again is if they continue to support XP for a reasonable cost.

    Lacking that, they can bite me. I run XP because I like it. It’s stable, secure, fast, and low on resources. I have no intention of wandering down the upgrade path towards more NSA friendly OS versions. Microsoft tries to force upgrades in order to push certain technologies onto people. I’m done with that because XP is perfectly stable and I like it.

    I have one machine with updates disabled that I use frequently. That machine is proof positive that you can operate safely without security updates for years without issue. That’s exactly what I will do come April 2014. The decision isn’t even close compared to other options.

  10. PaulT said on October 6, 2013 at 2:38 am

    I’ve never needed to ring support for 95, 98, XP, or 7 as yet, so it’s not an issue

  11. trlkly said on October 5, 2013 at 4:04 am

    I don’t see any reason to change anything. If I’m still running XP on a system, there’s a reason for that, and that reason is almost certainly a lack of hardware compatibility on the later OSes. That can mean no driver support or just that the hardware is too slow. Another reason I might still run XP is cost, which isn’t going to change on this date, either.

    Yes, Microsoft is going to stop support. Did that stop me from using Windows 2000 or Windows 98 on hardware that needed those OSes? No. Why would it stop me from using Windows XP?

    And, no matter what, no computer is ever going to be less secure than it is now. And I’m okay with using it now. Why would I not be okay with using it in the future? So some new exploit is found–it will be patched in all the versions of the OS that matter, so who’s going to bother designing an exploit based around it?

  12. Noldo said on September 28, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    XP has all major vulnerabilities fixed. Its wrong to think that all vulnerabilities are equal. More than that, for stupid users working with admin rights one don’t need to exploit anything to hijack the whole system. Just run your malicious code regardless of whether there are vulnerabilities, or there aren’t. In the opposite, smart corporate sysadmins should restrict the very possibility of running any code outside the standard paths. Completely no autorun, no IE, no unwanted executable code via internet. Needless to say about restricted rights of user accounts on the system. In this environment any attack vector is useless even if we do have some vulnerability. More than that, Microsoft must issue a final roll-up update. One can integrate it into the distro, resulting uttermost patched and fixed Windows, disable (at last!) forever the automatic update service, uninstall WSUS and its SQL server.

    The life after April 8, 2014: XP SP4 at last, no resource hog out of update services, utterly fixed OS, compared to raw Windows 8, with many new undiscovered vulnerabilities, awaiting to be fixed.

  13. clrwtr001 said on September 26, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    What happened to the 100 times faster laser driven motherboard that M$ claimed it was waiting for the Patriot Act to allow them to release ? I read about this in several publications 6 or 7 years ago or more. Is M$ so much fracking this up as well? Or is it the ultra
    right paranoid syndrome again coming back. clrwtr001 (can there be peace on fracking earth?)

  14. Budd B. said on September 24, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    I bought a win 8,totally hate it.Bought it for a gaming computer. I’m not a tech,NO idea how to maneuver on it. Cannot downgrade,HP doesn’t allow it there’s some kind of block on HP machines.So,guess i’m screwed.Am running XP on older machine,cause it plays the “older games”(Star Craft 2,Fallout 3 & New Vegas,etc.).Everyone here are talking bout business apps and such,I’m not in or have a business.My XP is a legal OS.

    1. Boinnng said on October 10, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      I despised Windows 8.0, but really like Windows 8.1. The return of the Start Button acts like a navigation anchor. The Apps Page is customizable and the thing can boot directly to Desktop. You can uninstall or turn off all the Metro apps that communicate with the Internet. I’ve uninstalled every last Metro app I can uninstall (with reason) (and unpinned those I can’t), even the Metro version of Calculator, as there is a Desktop app that can step-up and do as good or better job as anything Metro.

      There are a few oddities in the system in that settings are found both in the Control Panel and in the touch UI, but overall I like it very much. It’s light on its feet, capable, customizable, and runs my old games etc. old software etc. I like Windows 8.1. You should be able to get it as a free upgrade this month (Oct).

      Yes, you have to tweak 8.1 to get it the way you like it .. but that’s half the fun of Windows, tweaking it to your own.

  15. Dano J said on September 20, 2013 at 2:24 am

    I started with win 95 and progressed through the years. I got a laptop with pen support with vista installed which I set to dual boot with XP 2009 then came win 7 which was promised with better pen support, so I installed it with XP but I find myself booting into XP time and time again for trivial things as search or moving a lot of files. Win 7 takes ages to find anything and well.. My point is why couldn’t MS just improve in the leaness of XP and add just improve the support for such things as pen or multimedia and such. Also it isn’t necessary to come out with a new OS when there seems to be no need for it. Windows 8 has come too soon for its usefulness -one day when everything is touch (and voice perhaps) then windows 8 might take the place of XP but till then saddling us with windows 8 on machines that are not touch compatible is like saddling horse riders with spare tires. Selling windows 8 on every new machine is downright unethical-especially when they know that the buyer might in most cases just downgrade and buy a windows 7-these greedos get to sell two items all at once. And do the charts figure in the downgraded windows 8 in their numbers? I really doubt it.

    The real number of win 8 actually being used is the number of touch laptops and tablets a very small number and maybe a fraction more who either have taken to it or have no other choice.

  16. Rob said on September 12, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    While some upgrade their devices as quickly as they change their underwear, some have stuck with XP simply because it works properly and it’s not the computer hog that Windows 7 is. I have computers I can’t even think about putting 7 on as they don’t have the capacity to hold such a huge OS. While yes, XP is 10 years old, sadly it was the best OS they had.
    When I worked in IT for a company that managed 6,000 computers, they refused to stop using XP and upgrade because Micromonster’s newer OS’s have issues with compatibility with equipment, stability and the host of other problems.

    We have a laptop and two desktops still running XP and they cannot hold Win 7. We also have one desktop and two laptops that are running 7. And what a pain 64 bit is if you network all these machines like we did. Some of them cannot see others or only see them sometimes. And driver compatibility seems to be a problem.

    I’m not object to new, but dumping perfectly good working pc’s into the trash because Win 7 or 8 is a bloated monster, doesn’t make sense. It sounds more like a ploy from Microgreedy to make people upgrade or buy new computers.

    Those I know who bought new laptops with Win 8 hate it and have rolled their computers back to Win 7. I don’t think the argument over MS OS’s will ever be won. But I don’t think XP will vanish that quickly.

    1. Dan said on September 13, 2013 at 7:53 pm

      XP is 12 years old. 64bit is not standard, the OS is not capable of the latest Internet Explorer (or three), and Windows 7 or 8 could probably run on the old box. I’m just sayin.

      1. Dan said on October 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm

        That post was poor, I agree.

        I completely misspoke. 64 bit is most definitely standard now. I meant that XP, which is 32 bit, is no longer the standard.

        Version of IE is important, in my opinion. Even if your primary browser is Chrome or Firefox, the code of IE is so deeply ingrained in Windows, I believe you put yourself in security risk by having an old version of IE. Not to mention, there are always cases where IE is needed, certain websites that still use Active-x or just generally different coding. XP can only install up to IE8. Microsoft is just about to release IE11 on October 18th, that’s pretty far behind.

        I understand there are a lot of people with old machines, old software, no budget for upgrading, and no support for older software that they still need to run. By all means, find a way to keep your XP machine running.

        BUT for those who just don’t feel like upgrading or feel like you’re not missing out moving forward in technology, I feel confident you would be pleasantly surprised with even Windows 7 32bit on an old 2gb RAM system. Then try a newer UEFI system with Windows 8 and an SSD… boot time in less than 10 seconds, it’s so much more efficient and wastes less of your time.

      2. trlkly said on October 5, 2013 at 4:22 am

        Don’t end things with “I’m just sayin.” It makes your posts come off snide and unhelpful. This is why the phrase is mostly used by trolls.

        You are right about one thing, however: There is no reason to upgrade to a 64-bit version of Windows from Windows XP. In fact, I’d say that nearly all hardware that originally ran XP should at most upgrade to 32-bit versions of Windows.

        But you are wrong about assuming that all XP-era hardware can run the new OSes, and you are definitely wrong about 64-bit being nonstandard. And who in the world gives a crap about what version of Internet Explorer you might be able to run? That’s about as relevant as not being able to play DX11 games.

  17. Harry Cat said on September 8, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Well, I have no other choice but to keep running windows XP and Linux.. I would like to run 64 bit Vista but thanks to Micro$ofts stupid ideals, they dropped support for NE2000 controllers, Advanced SCSI controllers, etc, Not to mention a lot of software incompatibility which windows 7 can’t possible fix. All my systems have Advanced SCSI and NE2000 controllers in them.. Why would I want to waste money a new controller that does the same thing as my current one does? Why would I want to use a 100baseTX network system when I can only get 200K second on it with 20 to 80 repeats; while my old coaxial system gets 2mb/s to 12mb/s flawlessly..
    I don’t understand what Micro$oft’s ideal of a good operating system is.. Everything they seem to sell is broken and doesn’t work as advertised… Micro$oft hasn’t made a good operating system in the past 10 years.. Windows 2000 and Windows XP where fantastic operating systems… What happened? Why is everything they sell today a dud?

  18. JPCoetzee said on August 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Dan – two reasons (i) the environment (ii) money. I do not believe in sending perfectly serviceable equipment to landfill and nor can I afford to replace it. There are four laptops and two desktops in our household, all running XP.

  19. Dan said on August 20, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    For a tech blog of computer hobbyist and experts… I am very surprised how many people are still on XP by choice or not!

    I’m curious as to why others are not more interested in the latest technology has to offer… it’s incongruent with reading a website like this one.

    Personally, I loved the upgrade to Win7… the only thing I miss about XP is the faster access to TCP/IP settings.

    Win8 so far is Extremely fast and so far very stable. Windows 8 has been out almost a year, can you believe that??

    Thanks Martin, keep up the great work.

  20. WingNut said on August 20, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Well my Hard Drive with XP died today so i have to dust off and install Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit on the new one this version of W7 was a bit expensive but i don’t want W8 it sucks (Like Vista) my friend has it and she hates W8 she has just bought W7 Home premiumto replace 8, I really liked XP I have W7 Home Premium on my laptop so the transition wont be too hard, XP was and still is a solid system but its come to its life cycle end, Hopefully W9 will be better than 8 and have the feel and look of W7 Not all of us have touch screen monitors. RIP XP you will be missed.

  21. b003 said on August 19, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Dunno, I need a better system to get the max from any soft upgrade.

  22. el_espaniol said on August 19, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Until very new hardware stop support for xp drivers I do not see a reason to migrate to 7seven or 8eight…
    In the M$ Window$ NT world, XP is still very capable and solid OS…
    You only need 1-one DvD restore solution with all the drivers and stuff You need …( codecs, drivers, browsers, tools…) and You ready to go…!…IMO.

  23. Yb said on August 18, 2013 at 11:52 am

    This is great news for software industry. Windows XP will be 13 years old by next year and is essentially way past its lifecycle. While the choice is clearly yours if you still want to use it, Microsoft will not be providing anymore security updates for it.

    I believe consumers and businesses alike has had more than enough time to upgrade and or deploy Windows Vista/7 or even 8 or 8.1.

  24. Grantwhy said on August 18, 2013 at 5:19 am

    What will I do?

    Considering this XP (SP3) computer is so old that it wasn’t able to update to Windows 7 when that came out (needed to upgrade a lot of components), I’m going to go continue my ‘once a decade’ tradition of buying a new computer :-)
    [as opposed to getting more RAM/bigger drive/external drive as necessary]

    By that time (post-Christmas sales?)) Windows 8 should be well and truly run in and plenty of tips/tricks/knowledge should be around to help me make the change.

    I am considering keeping this old computer and putting some version of Linux on it though.

    ps: XP has always been updated, never upgraded/bought a newer computer as this one still does all I need.

  25. KRS said on August 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    To JPCoetzee:

    A few years ago, my wife bought a laptop with 2 Gb of RAM and an Atom processor, which ran slowly on XT but was usable. She foolishly upgraded to Win7, which made the thing unusable, particularly over WiFi. We went back to XT.

    Win7 needs more RAM than XT and a CPU with more muscle than an Atom. The best (and cheapest) upgrade is to increase your RAM to 4 GB.

    But really, you need more hardware than you have. There are lots of Intel i3 machines at bargain prices, particularly if you go a generation back to Sandy Bridge architecture. (Sandy Bridge gives a BIG step up in performance over earlier architectures.) Refurbished desktops with the equivalent AMD CPU are available from reputable sellers for around $500.

    1. JPCoetzee said on August 20, 2013 at 7:56 am

      I have a 2006 Dell Optiplex GX280 with 4GB RAM so it should be OK…?

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 20, 2013 at 8:59 am

        It is best to run the upgrade advisor to find out:

  26. stricnin said on August 17, 2013 at 11:52 am

    I think Window 7 will be the one to choose as it is the OS used by U.S. communications and transportation companies. Windows 8 will be the like Vista or ME, completely avoided by most.
    Windows 7 just like XP will be supported by Microsoft far past it’s planned end of support date.

  27. JPCoetzee said on August 17, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Microsoft’s Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant tells me that my hardware is not compatible. What should I do? I’m happy with my XP PC but I’m worried about security. I cannot buy a new PC.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 17, 2013 at 9:49 am

      You could try and see if it is compatible with Windows 7. Or, see which component is listed as not being compatible and see if you can replace it.

      1. JPCoetzee said on August 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm

        Windows 7 *is* more compatible.

        Will my machine run more slowly?

      2. Phu Nguyen said on August 16, 2018 at 8:55 am

        “Norton Gh*st” this PC into Windows 7 with Intel or Nvidia one, and all 128GB drives. You should check for “ghost” file, on a lot of *.gho files in Viet Nam.

        Did you have them?

      3. Martin Brinkmann said on August 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm

        It is probably not noticeable.

  28. Jeanjean said on August 17, 2013 at 9:04 am

    I’ll continue to use XP with updated security programs, Comodo Time Machine and an image.
    I never had a virus, only a few spywares, and do not see why it would change seen my habits on the net.

  29. KRS said on August 17, 2013 at 8:15 am

    My doctor’s office runs a turnkey system built around XP. The practice has several locations, and my records can be pulled up at any of them.

    Another doctor is computerizing all his records using a similar application. Presumably, if I give permission, he will be able to reach my records at the other doctor’s office.

    How worried should I be?

  30. lainiwaku said on August 17, 2013 at 1:53 am

    those who still under windows XP are just stupid and naive …
    Or lambda user

    1. Woolyss said on August 20, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      +1 I completely agree with ilev !

    2. ilev said on August 17, 2013 at 2:47 am

      No, they are pragmatic.
      Windows 7 or 8 are not more secure than XP contrary to what Microsoft’s FUD want you to believe. . 99% of security updates in the last year effect ALL versions of Windows and servers, from Windows NT up to Windows 8.1. The same goes for IE security update effecting ALL versions from IE4 to IE11.

  31. Dan said on August 16, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    I have not used XP for a few years now and would refuse to use one unless there is no alternative. I like Win7, it is stable, more secure than XP, and is generally the best Windows OS in the market today. Since Win7 support will last until the end of the decade, I am in no hurry to migrate to another OS family (but if I had to, I would go with *buntu if they’re still around).

    As for XP, I hear that some bad guys are quietly collecting unpatched exploits for it, and are not going to use it until after April 8. No point in wasting good 0-days if MS will just patch it.

  32. Robert Tipping said on August 16, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    I will keep on using xp till they pry it out of my cold dead hand

    1. Jean-Pierre Lebel said on September 29, 2013 at 3:47 am

      Ha ha ha. That was the best comment yet.

  33. Ben said on August 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Linux Mint is the way to go IMHO. It’s way more secure than Windows in the sense that information isn’t sent to NSA by default. Although I have a Windows 8 Surface Pro tablet, Windows 7 Ultimate Desktop and laptop, I dual boot my desktop to Linux Mint the most as it is my preferred OS. It’s got a few learning curves but once I learned it, I now prefer it.

    I imagine that when Windows XP support stops, many might take on the Linux Mint distro. The more people that adopt Linux Mint, the more it will be developed. The only battle that Linux Mint will be faced with is the lack of support it will get from companies such as Intel.

  34. Nebulus said on August 16, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Basically, I will ignore April 8, 2014. I will continue to run Windows XP, alongside all security tools and measures that I am using now. Given the fact that a while ago I ran Win XP SP2 without a patch for years and I managed to stay secure, I am confident enough that I won’t be infected/attacked, so I try not to worry too much.

  35. joe said on August 16, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Have over 200 computers, 1 xp, 11 linux, 3 2003, all the rest use win 2k, we have not had many problems with these, will be moving to linux has machines are replace, and that my be awhile.

  36. RG said on August 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    This may or may not apply to ghacks comments here, but in general. The OS is over a decade old, most of us change gadgets, gaming devices and other similar tools far more often and often very expensively too. Criticizing MS for wanting to retire an OS after this long is a bit silly, sorry but that’s the truth.

  37. Hella said on August 16, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Well, I will keep one of my machines with the XP installed to be able to run great old programs (in my case music). No more internet with it means no more need for the AV, equals better performance.

  38. SF49er said on August 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Almost all our previous XP pcs,
    are now running either,
    Ubuntu or Mint Linux.

    Linux installed in minutes, is very stable,
    & runs fine 98% of the apps we need
    to operate our small business.

    Those few critical “Windows-only” progs we need,
    also run ok under Linux
    with the Wine emulator.

    I realize that not everybody can switch to Linux,
    so our business is lucky
    – we can and are acting on it!

    After all the growing Windows instability & security problems,
    we’re not going to spend more time, money & effort
    with MS Windows…
    that’s enough!
    We need to get back to real work at our company.

    MS doesn’t supply safe, reliable software, anymore.
    And they act as they couldn’t care less…too bad …
    – good bye MS…hello Linux Ubuntu and Mint!

  39. eClipse said on August 16, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    On April 8th, 2014, I will go to either Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts for coffee, make an egg wrap at home, and check my email.

    I >won’t< be making any OS decisions based on the date, certainly not even considering the Vista-like fail of Windows 8, and since most of my machines, and client machines still using XP have Windows Update disabled, no one will care or notice.

    1. Coyote said on August 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      Amen, most XP users I come across haven’t updated in years anyways. In fact once I install SP3 for those even that far back I stop. There are so many broken things about microsofts updates for the past 10 years it isn’t funny. In all respects XP is more well accepted, and more compatible with older hardware. M$ is really shooting themselves in the foot not looking at older software as a viable product. I know many companies that will kill their M$ rep when they say they MUST upgrade.

  40. GK said on August 16, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Dump Windows before that of course and go to Linux Mint. Microshit Grandmasoft 8 is not where computing should be headed. Doh.

  41. pd said on August 16, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Laugh when everyone realizes they’ve been sucked in yet again by another empty Microsoft threat. There’s no way that after working so hard for so long to develop a security-minded reputation from the bowels of an insecure culture, that MS will risk that by simply allowing even 10% of the computers in the world to become botnets hosts. If they do, they deserve every bit of lambasting they will inevitably get.

    It’s well overdue that media people start to take up the challenge of fighting Microsoft on this point. For years the media blasted Microsoft for their software insecurity and now, what, that’s just gone into the too-hard basket?

    XP is a perfectly legit operating system. There’s very little, if anything, in the more recent Windows versions, that is compelling enough to go through the upgrade pain. What’s more, there’s a reasonable rule of thumb out there that every second version of Windows is bloody awful. So what, we upgrade from XP to 7, leaving us already three versions behind when shortly after that, Windows 9 comes out? Ridiculous! How long before they cut support for Windows 7? Bet they will shorten the support phase for 7 as they increase the release rate for future versions. Then we’ll see some attitudes change. “Roll up, roll up, get your Windows, secure for just two years so you better make the most of it and start planning your upgrade already”.

  42. Tom said on August 16, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Martin: ” the company does not won’t to “lose” that user base. ” want – won’t

  43. ilev said on August 16, 2013 at 11:06 am

    500 million users will continue using XP.

    1. Tom said on August 16, 2013 at 11:28 am

      Yeah, most of them will be Chinese just like now – btw. they don’t really care of patching the OS at the moment, either. Most of those installations are actually pirated XP’s with updates disabled.
      There’s still a speculation floating around that a predicted usage percentage of this large will make MS doing some action, at least to provide a very cheap upgrade path to Win8 for a limited amout of time and for XP users only.

      1. Tom said on August 16, 2013 at 1:44 pm

        I’m not sure the extended support of XP would cost less than an any cheap upgrade offer. Especially because the vast majority of the existing XP installations will be pirated ones by 04.14. so no offer of any kind would attract those users; MS can presumably target only a subset of remaining XP users with an offer – therefore such offer is highly probable to happen.
        Not to say about the damage caused by the fact that MS would need to extend the support period (again) because the newer Windows versions aren’t attractive enough. Nope, they don’t seem to do that again.
        But let’s hope. If MS extends the patch period I’d gladly stay on XP for more time…

      2. ilev said on August 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm

        ” will make MS doing some action, at least to provide a very cheap upgrade path to Win8 for a limited amount of time and for XP users only.”…

        Everybody is talking about Microsoft’s $900M write off on Surface RT, but no one is talking about Microsoft’s $485M write off on Windows 8 cheap upgrade prices, and that for only some 10-20 million users. So, no. Microsoft won’t write off another $1B for cheap upgrade path for XP users, especially as it’s Windows-Office division income has crashed 55% from last year ($2.4B in June 2012 vs only $1B June 2013).
        With XP mainly in corporate/business (Windows 8 has only 0.5% !! corporate market share, 87% of world’s CIOs will die first then let Windows 8 pass the door.
        With Windows PC sales tumbling, and Windows is now insignificant with only 20% !! market share on all devices sold in the last year , Microsoft will be forced to continue XP support at least until Windows 10, providing there will be a direct upgrade from XP and not clean install/new PC.

  44. tPenguinLTG said on August 16, 2013 at 10:51 am

    It was once said that starting on 2014-04-08, everyone but Microsoft would support WinXP. I’m not sure if that applies anymore. That’s not to say I’m still on XP (I’m on Win7 and Linux), but I do have a few installs of XP around. I even still have an install of DOS and Win95 around, for crying out loud.
    If Windows were open-source, one fork would be at WinXP.
    I’d say there’s an equally big question: when will ReactOS come out of alpha?

  45. Oxa said on August 16, 2013 at 10:47 am

    “Windows XP is still placed second in the most used operating system.”

    So what is your bar graph showing?

    1. ilev said on August 16, 2013 at 11:09 am

      The bar graph is showing % of infected machines.

      1. Lindsay said on August 16, 2013 at 6:45 pm

        The other thing it shows is that WinXP accounts for 11.3%, while Win7 accounts for 4.8+3.7+4.5+3.3=16.3%

        I don’t know why earlier versions of XP aren’t shown though, perhaps because they’re already unsupported, but it’s possible they would push it back above 7.

      2. Tom said on August 16, 2013 at 11:23 am

        A title under the graph that actually indicating what’s shown would be nice. Not everyone clicks the MS blog link I guess…

  46. brians said on August 16, 2013 at 10:25 am

    In both my business and personally, I’ve taken multiple simultaneous approaches. Whenever possible, I’ve switched to Linux Mint. This works fine for desktops in most instances. It is relatively hard to use Linux on a laptop… often some piece of hardware isn’t supported, power management especially seems to not work well, reducing battery life. For those we actually do use Windows 8, but we go to great pains to disable “Metro” as much as possible. (This is what we did: Windows 8 boots faster on an ultrabook, than Linux does. Finally, there are a few apps we still have to run under Windows (Quickbooks is one) these are run on Virtual Machines (Under VMWare Fusion on a Mac mini.) The Virtual Machine runs Windows 7, because we already owned a license. We now only have one Windows XP machine left. The credit card function it performs for us will be moved to the web prior to the cut off date. In summary (in order of importance): move to Linux Mint, move to “Metro”-less Windows 8, use VM’s to leverage existing licenses, discontinue usage of Windows by buying cloud services. Long term, we expect to not use Windows at all. Chromebooks and hybrid tablets running Android are slowly replacing the Windows laptops. Really the only place we have a significant remaining issue is Quickbooks and it is already possible to get to its VM from a Chromebook/box. Oh, one note, much of this is possible because we switched to OpenOffice back when Microsoft first introduced the “Ribbon Bar”. We now use a combination of LibreOffice and Google Docs (Google Docs cannot handle large documents). Our freedom from Office made using Linux and MacOS much simpler.

  47. xpfan said on August 16, 2013 at 10:10 am

    What will i do ? i will continue to use xp for as long as possible with all latest updates slipstreamed into my custom setup disc. As far as security goes, if you know what to do and have the right tools, no problems. Plus considering i use a virtual machine with a snapshot for most of my net activities, plus a system backup image, i have not a worry in the world regarding security

  48. Ray said on August 16, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I agree with your stance of upgrading to Win 8. I have dabbled with it and found it better than Win 7 except for the annoying mess of desktop/start screen. It would be ridiculous to continue with Win xp at that point in time with respect to updates and performance.

  49. Dan said on August 16, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Great post, thanks for the reminder. For me, I support many businesses that still have XP computers… it’s not completely unreasonable to expect those computers to be replaced, but it sure would be nice if MS offered a discounted OS upgrade for that huge XP base.

    $49.99 upgrade to 8 for businesses…. then they have a new huge base of Win8 users and customers for the foreseable future. If only….

    1. Mara Frisby said on February 3, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      Hi there. I work for Camara Education – an international charity based in the UK, Ireland and the US. We are currently urging companies that are upgrading their old XP computers to donate their old technology. We provide a secure data wiping service and refurbish the computers installing Linux and Edubuntu. These computers are then given a new life providing digital literacy to children in disadvantaged schools around the World. Any help getting the word out to companies about the service we provide would be welcome. We have an article on our website about the upcoming end of support and the service that Camara provides –
      Please do let me know if you think you can help us in any way to spread the word to companies that are thinking of getting rid of their old XP computers.
      Mara –

    2. blue_bsod said on August 18, 2013 at 9:46 am

      Evidently they did, and those who don’t use or bother reading their Hotmail, MSN or Outlook network mail missed the upgrade discount event which dropped the price as low as $9.99 for some users and even free for others. Sadly the parameters went according to the version of registered Windows you currently own that falls on a certain timeline. If we fell within their parameters we could get a major discount (free to $49 purchase price).

      Those who do not fit the discount profile got a basic discount of only $50-$120 off the total price. I do not recall getting that e-mail they claimed to send out, but I did get the one that said, “Oops you missed it, but if you act now maybe you can still qualify”… I bought this desktop with Windows 7 pre-installed 18m ago, but evidently this model came out the year before that even and that was outside their parameters.

      At that time according to their online version checker, I had to pay full price to upgrade Windows 7 to 8… same as those who were XP users. But its now been a while since 8 was out so now there are OEM versions in stores popping up.

  50. Dan said on August 16, 2013 at 9:53 am

    I will hope that Windows 9 comes out by then.

  51. RG said on August 16, 2013 at 9:44 am

    There are important and required things that are not really ‘ready’ when it comes to Linux on the desktop. Just google “wifi ubuntu” or wifi linux mint” for example. My first preference is use Linux more often – including next April – but it is far from perfect.

    1. Anonymous said on January 14, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      I don’t use Ubuntu, I use Slackware, and I have no problems at all getting wifi working. Ubuntu is linux for the unwashed masses, and really isn’t that great. There are better distros out there. There is one thing that I do, and one thing only, that windows does better than linux, and that is play games. That is the *only* reason I have a windows computer stuck in a corner of my office – gaming. Everything else is linux. And many games work great on linux, I haven’t turned on my XP computer in weeks.

      If you don’t need games, you don’t need Windows.

    2. Gonzo said on August 17, 2013 at 1:39 am

      Google “NDIS Wrapper”. It allows you to use Windows wifi drivers in Linux. The biggest issue with Linux on the desktop is updates breaking things imo.

      I have an old XP laptop that doesn’t get much use. I keep it just in case my main notebook fails. I’ll likely just move to Lubuntu. I hope 14.04 will be LTS.

      1. Anonymous said on January 14, 2014 at 2:46 pm

        NDIS wrapper is totally unnecessary, and is most definitely for the technically faint of heart. I’ve got windows drivers working in linux with ndis wrapper, but it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Linux supports more hardware than Windows does, and my web cams and blue tooth dongles that don’t work with Windows work just fine with Linux.

  52. Lindsay said on August 16, 2013 at 9:30 am

    A nice and cheap source for Windows 7 is to buy a legally unbundled OEM version of whatever edition you desire, being sold on ebay out of Germany (thanks guys!)

    1. blue_bsod said on August 17, 2013 at 9:20 am

      No need to head over to eBay to grab OEM versions of anything. Any retailer you have a repertoire with can sell you an OEM version of anything. Depending on that friendship you may get it for free.

      As for what I am going to do about XP ending.. I already made the switch the Windows 7, but run XP on a second computer I control via a KVM switch. The Windows XP computer has no net access, but the Windows 7 one does. Through my home network I can transfer files to any device as needed.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.