Fans of science fiction may be aware of After Doomsday, a novel written by famed writer Poul Anderson. Published in 1962, it explores the events after the destruction of Earth.

Windows XP users do not have such a doomsday on the horizon, not unless cybercriminals start running amok with the old operating system after Microsoft ceases support and stops releasing patches for it, but the day of reckoning for the fan favorite OS is fast approaching.

While Microsoft continues convincing users to upgrade to a new version of Windows by April 8, 2014, some 28 percent of computers the world over are estimated to be running the old platform.

Sure, many are moving to (or have plans set in place for) a new version, be it Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, there are many a factors that are hold a lot of these users back. This side of budget concerns, the biggest problem is software and application compatibility.

Your App Is My App

Mi casa es su casa? Yeah, something like that. A Redmond spokesperson has confirmed that software compatibility should not be a problem for Windows XP users if they pick Windows 7 as their next operating system of choice.

Talking to ZDNet, the Microsoft official said that the Windows XP Mode that is available on Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate editions will continue to be offered to users.

Sure without patches, and security fixes computers that run this mode could still become vulnerable to attacks, but application compatibility also ranks highly for businesses and organizations, near or around security. The Windows XP Mode at least eases some of these concerns.

Windows XP, On

So what about activation after retirement? Will anything change after April 8, 2014 for users that want to deploy Windows XP? Not much, as a matter of pure fact. So if anyone was thinking that they can use the system free of charge post retirement, they can lay that thought to rest.

According to the company spokesperson, Windows XP will still require activation as standard:

“Windows XP can still be installed and activated after end of support on April 8. Computers running Windows XP will still work, they just won’t receive any new security updates. Support of Windows XP ends on April 8, 2014, regardless of when you install the OS.”

So those that purchase a license and want to deploy the old operating system will be required to purchase and activate their copy of Windows XP as is normally the case.

Regardless, Microsoft still recommends people to plan their move to current and supported versions of the operating system as soon as they can.

Granted, moving a thousand (or five thousand) installations to a new version of Windows is easier said than done — more so with the retirement date looming so close. But while it is obvious that not all users will complete the migration to a new platform by April 8, details like these should provide guidance.

Until these users finally say goodbye to the classic operating system.

Once and for all, whenever that time comes.

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