Rarely a week passes with either Microsoft or one of its many partners warning users of the hazards of staying on Windows XP beyond the retirement date of April 8, 2014.

The reason is simple — the ancient operating system will become a hotbed of flaws, and the favorite target of hackers and cybercriminals after Redmond stops providing patches and security updates to resolve these vulnerabilities.

In simpler terms, it would be an open invitation to attack.

And now security company Fortinet has fired off a warning that cybercriminals around the globe will fancy attacking high-value companies, business and individuals. Meaning it is essential for them to make the move to a newer, more secure platform.

The security firm talked about this in its new report that predicts the top 10 technology threats for 2014:

“Next year, we predict hackers, already in possession of zero day exploits, will wait until the 8th in order to sell them to the highest bidder. Because of their expected high price tag, these zero days will likely be used to launch targeted attacks against high-value businesses and individuals rather than deployed by common cybercriminals in order to propagate mass infections.”

As of right now there is a clear enough indication that the Windows XP user base is finally starting to take action — the worldwide market share of the old OS regularly drops by a few points every week.

Still, Microsoft’s major challenge is to move as many users away from the old operating system to a newer version of Windows, be it Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

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