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It’s time to finally let go of Windows XP

As of yesterday, Microsoft permanently stopped providing support for their long-standing XP operation system. Users will still be able to use XP, but bug fixes and security updates will no longer be available, leaving computers vulnerable. Seen by many as the ‘old faithful’ of the OS world, XP has essentially given up the ghost to make way for 8.1.1, the newest incarnation of Windows 8 which launched on the same day.

Approximately 20 to 25% of users have stuck with XP despite the release of three alternatives over the years. Now, according to BBC tech correspondent Mark Ward, “Some of those existing XP users have struck deals to get security fixes from Microsoft while they complete their migration away from the ageing code.”

“XP was first developed 13 years ago,” says technology marketing executive Chloë Wright. “Tech has moved on somewhat since then. It’s easy to see why some people consider this a Y2K PR stunt in order to sell the new version of Windows 8, but in actual fact, newer technology isn’t optimised for XP anymore, so therefore doesn’t work in conjunction with it.”

“We see this every few years when Microsoft stops supporting an old OS,” says tech writer Tim Bowers, “although I didn’t expect them to shut down XP considering a lot of companies have never moved on to Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8.”

When it comes to the much-feted Windows 8, 8.1, and 8.1.1, “the shock alone is enough to put some people off,” adds Bowers. “Windows 8 is an OS designed for touch screens, meant to do battle with iOS… but as with Vista, it’s been a bit of a PR disaster for Microsoft.”

While the entire tech world is driven by constant innovation, there will always be those who don’t like change. The usability of Windows 8.1.1 will no doubt become the next bugbear for many consumers, but they may not have much of a choice but to upgrade. Kaspersky analyst David Emm believes that after April 8th, machines using XP will be seen as “low hanging fruit” for hackers, and he predicts that attacks on XP will skyrocket in the coming weeks.

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