Windows XP LogoOn 8th April 2014 Microsoft will officially cease support for Windows XP. After twelve and a half years has XP finally come to and end?

 Lunched to the public in October 2001 it is arguably one of the most popular operating systems delivered in the Windows brand.

Microsoft have churned out a number of service packs for XP, with version 3 arriving April 2008 and billed as the last major update to XP. Each month we see small security updates however these will cease in a years time. Microsoft probably never imaged  XP would have such a strong user-base in 2013, especially with businesses. Statistics for March show that just under 39% of PCs accessing the internet run XP; just over 44% are Windows 7.

In their latest attempt to convince 'corporate' to upgrade, Microsoft are using the security argument to coax business users to spend some cash!

In reality the argument is much more difficult to sell to the Boardroom. Upgrading XP usually involves replacing the PC hardware too, which dramatically increases the cost of any project. Not content with new hardware, there is also compatibility issues with legacy software and hardware.

There's no tangible benefit with an operating system upgrade.  The user actually has very little contact with the o/s and spends most time using applications. Clicking File, Save or Print and being shown a standard dialog box may be the extent of their exposure to Windows. Of course we should not belittle the operating system as it is the glue that holds everything together on the PC.

So what are the 'real' benefits of moving from Windows XP to Windows 7 (or 8)?  Truly, very little. Benefits come from the Apps running on it and most users will be driven to an operating system upgrade purely to gain the latest version of Office or Internet Explorer. The security argument may have little impact.  Everyone accepts that Windows is generally a less secure o/s compared to Linux or Mac, however a whole industry has risen around these flaws and the large Corporates have the tools in place to protect their networks and PCs.

It seems unlikely that XP will disappear off the radar any time soon, even if MS cease support.

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