Tag Archives: OS

Windows XP: End of Life

Tuesday 8th April 2014 marked the end of life for Windows XP. The archaic OS, which has been one of the most popular of the Windows operating systems released in the last 13 years, finally reached EOL (end of life) yesterday and was put to eternal rest. The software giant will still release “virus warnings” related to the OS, however no fixes will be offered as part of update packages.

Microsoft will no longer be releasing any Operating System updates after the last batch were rolled out yesterday. Therefore, the highly popular OS will no longer be supported.

Many readers will be thinking, “this makes no difference to me, I upgraded to a newer Windows OS many moons ago”, well hold on there sister, because you may well find yourself caught short by this momentous clocking off of one of the world’s biggest support teams.

Millions of devices still use Windows XP, it’s thought that roughly 25% of all desktops are still running on it. Some of these devices are the backend to important services we use everyday, such as ATMs.

The cessation of further security updates leaves these devices open to security vulnerabilities as hackers develop ways to bypass any remaining security flaws in the OS itself. If such a vulnerability were targeted towards an everyday service like ATMs, the knock on effects would be huge, affecting millions of people across the globe.

ATM machines are just one example, but if something so common as this can be affected it is reasonable to assume that other everyday services will be affected.

XP itself was released in 2001 originally with a 10-year support life. However, after realizing its popularity in 2007 Microsoft decided to extend this support life to accommodate the many users. But, all good things must come to an end, and Windows XP is no different. The extent of its expiry as yet remains to be seen, but it seems only a matter of time before we read the latest story about exploitation of a security flaw. 

Windows 9 set for April 2015 Release

Stories being released over the last few days are citing Microsoft’s planned announcement for the next incarnation of its flagship Windows OS.

At this years BUILD conference, to be held at the start of April in San Francisco, it is expected Microsoft will discuss its future vision of Windows. During this conference it is also expected that more information about the next release, codenamed by Microsoft as “Threshold”, will be announced.

Writing on his blog last week, Paul Thurrott, states that Microsoft are likely to move away from the codename and name the OS Windows 9, in an attempt to move away from the flunked Windows 8 brand. As Thurrott himself states hereWindows 8 is tanking harder than Microsoft is comfortable discussing in public, and the latest release, Windows 8.1, which is a substantial and free upgrade with major improvements over the original release, is in use on less than 25 million PCs at the moment. That’s a disaster…” 

Writing on his blog for UK research firm Tech Market View, Richard Holway states the consumers he has spoken to about Windows 8 are “appalled” by it, also stating that manufacturers are seeing client still purchasing Windows 7 as their preference. The end of his article sums up “Let’s be honest, the Windows 8 debacle was totally predictable. Indeed, WE predicted it would be a disaster right from the start! W8 only served to accelerate the move to tablets and away from Microsoft. Balmer (MS CEO) truly has a lot to answer for”. The full article can be read here. This argument is supported by the fact that Microsoft’s stock share value went up significantly upon the news of Ballmer’s resignation.

So it will be interesting to see the plans for the future of one of the world’s biggest household names hit hard by its flagging operating system. Data published on the computerworld.com website quotes Net Applications research showing Windows 8 and 8.1 accounting for just 10.5% of OS’s currently used on computers. This accounted for 11.6% of computers running any form of Windows.

The real question is; who will be looking forward to Windows 9 more? Microsoft themselves, hit by dismal sales and a damaged reputation, or loyal Windows customers, hit by a dismal OS and frustration.

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