Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP less than a year from now, and to that end the company is now asking businesses and home users on the old operating system to upgrade to a more modern platform like Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Starting April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide support for Windows XP users,” the company said on its blog last night. This means customers will no longer receive security and maintenance updates for Windows XP systems nor will Microsoft’s tech support team help in troubleshooting.

The post added, “Moving away from Windows XP to a more modern platform in Windows 7 and Windows 8 will ready your IT infrastructure for future technology solutions and growth of your company.

Windows XP support will end in less than a year

Windows XP support will end a year from now

On the back of this, data from Net Marketshare raises some grave questions. The market research firm's numbers say nearly 40 percent of those accessing the Internet are using a Windows XP system. With 38.73 percent of the market share, XP is only second to Windows 7 in terms of Internet users. With such a high percentage of users still on XP, lack of support one year from now could expose these users to malware threats. There is also the risk of their systems being hijacked for more widespread virus attacks.

Long-time XP users could scoff at the notion of leaving the OS that many still consider the best Windows experience, but Microsoft has never wavered from their intention to end support next year, and with this latest announcement, XP is now destined for a quiet exit next April. Microsoft is even offering a discount for small or medium business to upgrade from Windows XP Professional to Windows 8 Pro and Office Standard 2013 till June-end.

On their part, Microsoft is urging businesses to prioritise shifting to either Windows 7 or 8 as soon as possible. “While end of support for Windows XP is still one year away, the migration process can take some time and may be costlier the longer you stay on Windows XP, ultimately putting your business at risk. The security landscape is ever-changing and new threats are coming to fruition every day, so it is critical that businesses ensure they protect their data and IP against the latest threats by deploying a modern Windows platform.

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