With most of its major product releases out of the way, Microsoft is shifting attention to another important upcoming event. The retirement of Windows XP is now a vital focus for Redmond.

And the company is doing its best to convince the user base of the aging operating system to upgrade to a newer version of Windows like Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Now, in order to emphasize the risks of sticking with the old OS beyond retirement, Redmond is considering a bit of a sweeping measure.

Microsoft may stop releasing virus definitions for Security Essentials on Windows XP after retirement.

Since this is a popular (and highly used) piece of security software, Windows XP users that stick with the old operating system will not get any new updates after April 8, 2014 — this will surely make the ancient platform even more vulnerable.

A company spokesperson said in an interview with ZDNet that:

“Microsoft will not guarantee updates of our antimalware signature and engine after the XP end of support date of April 8, 2014. Running antivirus on out of support operating systems is not an adequate solution to help protect against threats.

Running a well-protected solution starts with using modern software and hardware designed to help protect against today’s threat landscape.”

This is not confirmed yet, by the way — a final decision is yet to be taken.

But this much is clear that the software giant is ready to switch to a more aggressive strategy, a forceful campaign to move users away from Windows XP. Current estimates peg the estimated Windows XP user base at around the 30 percent mark, worldwide.

We should have the newest statistics on this tomorrow, at the start of a new month.

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  • Rodney Longoria

    I recently installed Windows 7 on my roomie’s old computer, and she’s likes it way better than Windows XP. She wasn’t thrilled at first but I convinced her once I explained what was going to happen if she didn’t upgrade.

    I think most (like her) just aren’t aware of the facts and loathe changing anything if they feel they don’t have to. Since she doesn’t read ANY tech articles/blogs, so she’s not “in the know”, so to speak. Microsoft needs to run an ad campaign to address this for a month BEFORE the holiday buying season, in my opinion. It would be a win-win for everyone.