April 8, 2014 was the final day of life for Windows XP. From that date forward, the operating system will be exceptionally vulnerable to attacks and viruses.
If you’re still reading this on a Windows XP machine after April 8, 2014, then you need to upgrade your OS as soon as possible. Not next week, not in a few days – now! You’re putting yourself at risk of identity theft and other major PC security concerns.
If you absolutely do need to continue using your Windows XP for the near future, then you’ll want to avoid using shopping websites, PayPal, banking sites, etc. where you enter personal information.
However, April 8, 2014 wasn’t the Windows XP death date for everyone. A number of countries have struck deals with Microsoft that lets them continue downloading support packages for Windows XP. This innovative guarantee has cost countries millions of dollars.
So far, the United Kingdom has paid 5.5 million pounds to extend the Windows XP service for all government computers. The Netherlands is the only other major country to also sign up for the premium support agreement. The specific amount paid by the Dutch wasn’t disclosed but it’s estimated to have cost “millions” of Euros.
That agreement will cover Windows XP support until April 2015, at which point the Netherlands and the United Kingdom will have to decide whether or not to switch to Windows XP or another Microsoft operating system (my fingers are crossed for Windows 9).
How to join the exclusive Windows XP-update club
You too can join the Windows XP update club. Unfortunately, it will cost you $5 million per year. Companies and countries that wish to avoid upgrading to newer versions of Windows can pay that amount to continue receiving vital security updates from Microsoft.
At some companies and government agencies, that’s a price tag of about $200 per year per Windows XP PC. That’s a lot of money to pay to continue using a 12+ year old operating system.
This is a ridiculous cash grab by Microsoft designed to punish computer users who don’t want to upgrade to Windows 8 – which is an inferior operating system on non-touch PCs. Charging users $200 per Windows XP PC is outrageous, but kudos to Microsoft for finding another way to make money.