The unthinkable has happened.

We are now living in the post Windows XP age. It really is the time of the modern variant of the operating system, Windows 8, technically, but the biggest news byte of the week is that Windows XP has reached end of line. Microsoft have stopped providing support for the vintage OS.

Or have they?

Redmond obviously still has a number of engineers keeping an eye on Windows XP. It is much too risky not to. Government organizations still rely on the ancient operating system, the same can be said of the industries, factories, banks, financial institutions; basically everyone that is anyone.

Meaning, those that can afford it, can get it.

Sure it costs anywhere from $5 million to $100 million a year, depending on the size and stature of the organization in question. And the amount of PCs that are still powered by the operating system, beyond support cutoff date.

But it does raise the question could Microsoft have been a bit smarter about ending support for the second most popular OS on the planet?

How about a paid support phase for end users that still cannot upgrade for one reason or another. Software compatibility? The cost of buying new (read compatible) hardware for tens or hundreds of PCs in the office? Why not sell it to anyone that wants to buy it. Even if for a couple of years?

Because it just seems to be opportunity lost. Others are chipping in to fill the void.

Sure only provide support for those owning legitimate licenses. Installations that have solid security software (antivirus) running. And only fix serious problems, every once in a while.

If the big guys can get it, why not the end users that are stuck with the OS?

These are still early days, and no serious vulnerabilities have made their way to public (even though there is every chance that hardcore cybercriminals are keeping the exploits to themselves for now), but then again inviting trouble or bad publicity isn’t the smartest of strategies.

The market has changed, Microsoft knows this all too well.

Could they have too?

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  • Ray C

    I’m starting to question anyone who proposes any ideas that have anything to do with extending the life of XP. I just find it hard to believe that it is impossible for so many to get off it

    • Jake

      Dead on, Ray. It doesn’t make sense to me why they’d make this much effort to get rid of it, and other people and businesses cannot upgrade. Embrace the change, people.

      • Ray C

        I just don’t believe that 30% of all PC users have to stick with XP, Even the ones who have a valid reason to stick with it because of hardware and applications, don’t really require it on 100% of their inventory. For business, government, and education; many times only a handful of all systems used are running an application or connected to hardware that requires XP. Many just figure if they’re not going to upgrade all of them, why upgrade any of them. Most applications that require it are probably web based. The Enterprise Mode in 8.1 should resolve that. .

        • WillyThePooh

          Besides, there is XP mode in win7/8 to handle XP compatibility issue. There’s totally no reason not to upgrade except they don’t want to spend the money.

  • Sally Black

    Chances are, if you’re not a big business still using XP cause of all the files, you’re just someone who doesn’t like change and doesn’t use your computer much anyway. My advice: stop complaining and upgrade.

    • Emily W

      100% behind this sentiment. It’s just so simple and people are somehow resistant, but they shouldn’t be. There are better alternatives out there.

  • Lee Keels

    No, no, no….just no. Consumers do not need to be using Windows XP. It has been extended multiple times. Let the OS go, let the topic go.

  • Atticus Finch

    Why not end users? Because ending support for said end users will not result in the type of mass chaos that would exist if a large organization *cough* the US Government *cough* didn’t have support. If the end user doesn’t have support, there isn’t much security risk. If a large company/organization doesn’t have support for this aging operating system, then expect many many stories about how “company was hacked” and more complications that would result.

    Honestly a really stupid question.

  • WillyThePooh

    If so, then MS has to provide support for Me, 2000, 98, 95 as long as the users want to pay a small amount of money every year?