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In April, 2014, Windows XP as we know it will be forever changed.
Microsoft is officially removing support for Windows XP in April 2014, at which point the operating system will begin being attacked by hackers and malicious forces from all over the world.
April 8, 2014, is the date on which support officially ends. It’s also the date that can accurately be called D-Day for Windows XP. The D could stand for Death or anything you want, but the point is this: after 12 years of popular usage, Windows XP will finally be put to rest on this date.
Microsoft wanted all its remaining XP users to switch to Windows 8 before this deadline passed. Unfortunately for them, this won’t be anywhere close to coming true. Instead, as of January 2014, over 25% of the world’s PC users are still using Windows XP.
That’s millions of people. How low will that number get by April 8, 2014? I doubt it will sink below 20% – no matter how much Microsoft urges users to switch. Tell somebody who’s happily used an XP machine for 12 years to pay $130 for a new OS – that’s not gonna happen.
Windows XP has been losing market share to Windows 7 and Windows 8 lately. But it hasn’t been losing it at a fast rate. Windows 8 just crossed into double digit territory.
By the time April 8 rolls around, I expect Windows XP to still have a higher market share than Windows 8. That’s bad for Microsoft’s image and very bad for oblivious XP users.
What does ‘D-Day’ mean?
The last Microsoft update for Windows XP will roll out on or before April 8, 2014. After that date, there will be no more Microsoft Security Essentials upgrades and no more official Microsoft updates of any sort.
In other words, any “zero day exploits” for Windows XP will become “permanent exploits.” Those who still use Windows XP will not be able to browse the internet safely. Every malicious website will perform a check for Windows XP, and, if XP is found, that website will execute an exploit known to work on XP machines.
So these exploits will never be fixed, websites like this will continue working for years into the future.
Scary? Yes. And the scariest part is the fact that so many users are unaware how dangerous this date will be. With no more security updates to protect them, Windows XP users in 2014 can expect to lose their identity, passwords, social media accounts, and other important online data for as long as they use the aging OS.