Even the floppy disk would have to be impressed with how long Windows XP has been able to hold onto relevance. Sure, most of the world has moved on, but there are still a lot of Windows XP machines out there, especially in various enterprise sectors. Rather than upgrade, businesses can ink custom support agreements (CSAs) with Microsoft to continue receiving support. However, it's being reported that the cost of those Windows XP CSAs are about to double.
Looking back at another wild year in the tech sector
Two years ago, the world was supposed to end, based on the Mayan calendar. And last year, we heard about the death of the PC ad nauseam. Of course, neither of those things happened, setting up yet another event-filled 12 months of technology news that ran the gamut from a major security flaw affecting nearly every website on the Internet, to Blizzard announcing its first new PC game franchise in 17 years, plus a whole lot more.
With so many people clinging to Windows XP despite Microsoft's repeated attempts to bury the legacy OS and the lukewarm (at best) response to Windows 8, it didn't seem like the latter would ever overtake the former in market share. Never say never, right? For the first time ever, the combined share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is higher than that of Windows XP, based on the latest data provided by Net Applications.
With each new passing day, more Windows XP users are pulling the plug on the legacy operating system and upgrading to either Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1. We can see evidence of this in the market share trend dating back to April, which is when Microsoft stopped supporting XP. Since then, XP's share of the desktop market has dropped from 26.29 percent to 23.89 percent, while both Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 continue to make gains.
Diehard Windows XP fans are having a hard time bidding the legacy operating system farewll -- by the numbers, it's estimated that some 15 percent (StatCounter) to just under 25 percent (Net Applications) of desktops are still running Windows XP. Save for businesses that pay a fee, Microsoft killed off support for Windows XP back in April, though one developer is determined to keep it alive with a new (and unofficial) Service Pack.
Not much has happened in the Windows space this summer, though what little movement there's been indicates that users are still trending more towards Windows 7 than Windows 8/8.1. The combined share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 in July was 12.48 percent, down a sliver from 12.54 percent in June and 12.64 percent in May. All of those figures are up slightly from the 12.24 percent share Window 8/8.1 held in April when support for XP ended, but nothing to brag about.
"[Microsoft] should try and kill this beast!" - F-Secure on Windows XP
It's not cockroaches that would survive a nuclear war, but Windows XP, the legacy operating system that simply refuses to give up the ghost. Officially, Microsoft ended support for XP back in April, but companies still have the option of paying for continued security updates. Security firm F-Secure isn't real pleased with Microsoft's handling of XP or the fact that so many businesses and users are still running the OS.
Registry hack for Windows XP catches Microsoft's attention
Microsoft finally and officially ended support for Windows XP back in April, though not without throwing XP users a bone in the form of one last out-of-cycle security patch for a pretty serious vulnerability affecting most versions of Internet Explorer. However, that was a one-time thing, and now XP users are left out in the cold. Or are they? A registry hack that allows Windows XP to continue to receive security updates is making the rounds, and it's caught the attention of Microsoft.
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.