Development on Windows XP officially started on February 5, 1999, and finished in August 2001. The NT based operating system was then released on October 25, 2001.

Through these years, the old operating system has remained incredibly popular.

In fact, according to web statistics from Net Applications, XP was the most used OS in the world until August 2012. It was only then when Windows 7 overtook it to lay claim to the throne. Fast forward to August 2013, and Windows XP still had a commanding market share of 33.66 percent worldwide.

Anyway, these dates, and numbers, and statistics mean two things.

One, Microsoft has its job cut out to move most of these users (that amount to hundreds of million) to a newer platform by April 8, 2014. And two, since the company will not release security updates beyond this date, Windows XP potentially poses a security nightmare to a lot of organizations.

And this is exactly what Clive Longbottom, service director at market research firm Quocirca, believes. In an interview with IT Pro, the expert said:

β€œThe platform is essentially 15 years old – and the world was a far different place back then. Attack vectors for Black Hats have changed, and whereas Windows 7 and Windows 8 have adapted to provide better built-in security, Windows XP is a security nightmare.”

Essentially fifteen years old, yeah, or it should be by time of retirement.

This is an eternity in life, let alone computing technology and operating systems. Importantly, however, it is not that Windows XP is old that it is not secure, it just was not as secure an operating system back then because of the underlying architecture.

Microsoft really picked up its game with Windows Vista, improved it with Windows 7 and then mastered it with the release of Windows 8. In any case, anyone (or an organization) that is running Windows XP now has around six months to pick a new operating system.

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