Sunday, January 19, 2014

Windows XP end of life on April 2014

Microsoft has once again announced that they will terminate the technical support for Windows XP, with a firmed date on 8 April 2014.

This means that they will no longer release new bug fixes and security patches for Windows XP after the deadline. Technical assistances for Windows XP will also be ceased. They will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on that date.

Anyhow, Microsoft will continue to provide updates to anti-malware signatures and engine for existing Microsoft Security Essentials running on Windows XP until 14 July 2015. This security support deadline also applies to System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection and Windows Intune running on Windows XP for enterprise users.

On 13 July 2010, Microsoft ended their support to Windows 2000, which was once widely used in enterprise as well as in banks' ATM machines, retailers' Point-of-Sale (POS) systems, etc. Since then, Windows XP has replaced Windows 2000 to become the de-facto standard for embedded operating system of those ATM machines, POS systems, etc.

The ATM machines, POS systems, etc. that use the stripped-down version of Windows XP known as Windows XP Embedded will still get support from Microsoft until 12 January 2016, two more years to go before the embedded OS reaches its end of life.

According to NetMarketShare website, Windows XP is still the world's 2nd mostly used desktop operation system in the world to date, commanding a market share of more than 28%. The top desktop operation system is Windows 7 with more than 47% market share.

If you still have any computer running on Windows XP, you can still continue to use it after 8 April 2014, but any new security vulnerability would not be fixed by Microsoft. There will still be 3rd party security and antivirus software continue to provide protection to your Windows XP computer.

If you plan for an upgrade, the most popular Windows 7 is a good choice and its end of life date is set to 14 January 2020, 6 more years to go. Of course, you can also consider the latest Windows 8 which received a lot of criticisms.

Alternatively, you might want to switch over to the Apple's world using Mac OS X as operating system. Apple iMac and MacBook has regained popularity upon the success of iPhone and iPad over the past few years.

For PC users, you can also switch over to Linux operating system. Ubuntu Desktop is a famous one and it is free. Ubuntu has a shorter end of life than Windows, whereby its Long Term Support (LTS) versions receive support from Canonical for 5 years only. However, you can always upgrade your PC to the latest version of Ubuntu for free.

For manufacturers and vendors of ATM machines, POS systems, they are most likely switching over to Linux or Android operating system, and say bye-bye to Microsoft. Android has gained its popularity as embedded system, particularly in TV boxes, car navigation systems, etc.


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