While Microsoft has been actively campaigning for users to upgrade from Windows XP to a newer version of Windows, its partners are not far behind in encouraging the same.

Redmond will stop releasing updates for Windows XP on April 8, 2014.

And it continues to remind just how critical it is to move to a newer version of Windows, either Windows 7 or preferably Windows 8. Luckily, the astonishingly large user base of Windows XP is finally paying heed, as its market share seems to be slowly on the decline.

This time, however, it is Wolfgang Kandek, the CTO of Qualys that commented on Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday event for September — which actually includes five different security bulletins this month.

In a blog post, the security expert explained that Windows XP will most likely become the number one target of attackers and cybercriminals in just a few months. In other words, a switch to either Windows 7 or Windows 8 is critical:

“You should be phasing those out by now since they lose support for security patches in April of next year, similar to Office 2003 which will also lose support in April.

Those operating systems and the Office suite will then start to accumulate unfixed vulnerabilities and become a magnet for attackers who will have access to easy-to-use and surefire tools to exploit setups that run on XP/2003 or that have Office 2003.”

As of this writing, Windows XP is installed on nearly 33 percent of the connected computers the world over. And while this is a figure on a downwards trend, there still is no guarantee that a significant portion of the user base will transition to a newer platform before April 8, 2014.

Microsoft, internally, hopes to see this figure down to less than 10 percent by the retirement date.

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