Microsoft will stop releasing patches and security updates for Windows XP soon, and the software titan has been urging users and businesses to move their data and applications to a newer version of Windows as soon as possible.

So imperative is the Windows XP situation that Redmond even talked about the ancient OS multiple times during its annual Worldwide Partner Conference.

The company believes that Windows 8.1 could prove to be the perfect catalyst for the Windows XP user base to make the move to a newer version of the operating system. But the thing is that moving away from an operating system as old as Windows XP takes time β€” lots and lots of time.

Take the industrial instruments provider Ansac Technology, for example. It is one of several companies that had discarded Windows XP in favor of Windows 7.

Steve Yeap, the general manager, explained in a statement that it took the company around 9 months to completely dump XP for a newer OS, even though the decision to upgrade was made much sooner:

β€œAt that time, we made a conscious decision to migrate to Windows 7 when we bought new desktops and laptops.”

So the transition to move away from Windows XP actually started two years ago, but the fact that each and every user had to first test the compatibility of software on the new platform meant that a significant investment of time was required.

Microsoft has already made it clear that it will be sticking to its retirement date for Windows XP, and regularly warns that sticking to the classic OS is extremely risk for users.

The reasons being that not only will no patches be released after April 8, 2014, but hackers and cybercriminals will most likely increase their efforts to try and exploit the old operating system much more than before.

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