Just like you're supposed to do when dealing with the undead, Microsoft aimed for the head when it cut off support for Windows XP last month, the legacy operating system that's proving impossibly difficult to kill. Despite the risk of unpatched vulnerabilities (a pretty big deal) and no more tech support (largely a non-issue for consumers, but important for some businesses), Windows XP is installed on more PCs than Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows Vista combined.
Move over Precise Pangolin and Windows XP, Trusty Tahr is here
The Ubuntu team recently announced the release of what is only the fifth long-term support (LTS) version of the popular Linux distro. In keeping with the current Ubuntu release cycle, this latest LTS release, dubbed Ubuntu 14.04 “Trusty Tahr”, comes two years after the last one.
Make your Windows XP-using friends/family members read this important PSA
Microsoft has officially pulled the plug on support for Windows XP. That’s it. Finite. Done. No more. Don’t expect to see any future patches, services packs, fixes, hotfixes, critical updates, anything — if you’re one of the one-fourth of desktop users or so who are still running the antiquated operating system (yes, there’s that many of you), you’re about to enter the Wild Wild West of computing.
IRS is paying Microsoft to recieve custom XP patches after failing to upgrade in time
Microsoft put the whole world on notice that it intended to end support for Windows XP, and as the deadline came closer into view, Redmond's attempt to get users to upgrade intensified. Unfortunately for taxpayers, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service ignored the warnings and watched the deadline come and go. As a result, the IRS will pay Microsoft hundreds of thousands of dollars to continue receiving out-of-retirement security patches for another year.
Well, that's it folks. Support for Windows XP officially ended on Tuesday, marking the end of a run that lasted nearly 13 years. Some will inevitably cling to the dead operating system, though as PC shipment data shows, many have also chosen to migrate rather than risk running an abandoned OS. As a final reminder to those who have yet to upgrade -- and perhaps as a fitting homage -- Microsoft created "Escape from XP," a fun (and free) time waster that's available to play on modern browsers.
With yet another month's worth of data to digest, it's becoming increasingly clear that Windows 8 might never catch up to Windows 7. How you want to view that is up to you -- it could mean that Microsoft hit it out of the park with Windows 7, making it exceedingly difficult on itself to duplicate that kind of success, or that Windows 8 is a foul ball off of a broken bat. Let's look at some numbers.
Don't be surprised if there's a surge in Chromebook sales
Windows XP is a dead OS walking and it's highly unlikely to get a last second reprieve. Instead, Microsoft is anxious to bury the legacy OS in the backyard in hopes that those still clinging to XP will opt for a newer, more secure version of Windows. Some inevitably will, but one thing that will be interesting to keep an eye on is how many users replace their aging XP machines with a Chromebook.
Support for XP might be ending, but the world is not
Security outfit F-Secure has published its Threat Report for the second half of 2013, which provides a detailed look at the threat landscape as well as trends in malware. It also contains some advice for Windows XP users who aren't planning to upgrade to a newer OS once support ends on April 8, 2014. Whether the decision to stick with XP is based on contractual obligations or other reasons, F-Secure says "all is not lost" for businesses and users who ride it out.
Microsoft is making a mistake to hang XP out to dry, Avast says
Avast COO Ondrej Vlcek doesn't think Microsoft is doing Windows users a solid by discontinuing support for Windows XP next month. Vlcek digitally inked a cautionary blog post warning Microsoft that turning its back on XP is a "big mistake" that will have negative repercussions not only for XP users, but for the "whole ecosystem." As it stands, Microsoft is planning to end support for XP on April 8, 2014.
Windows XP support is entering its final stages. This coming Tuesday will see the release of some of the last security patches for the operating system which, despite its advanced age, still commands a sizable share of the PC market and simply refuses to die.