Microsoft announced a long time ago that it would be turning off support for its most successful operating system (if by successful you mean actually worked), Windows XP. The OS will no longer be supported as of April 8th.
XP came out on October 25th, 2001 and over 400 million copies were in use in January 2006 before Microsoft stopped selling it in on June 30th, 2008.
On April 10th, 2012, Microsoft reaffirmed that extended support for Windows XP and Office 2003 would end on April 8th, 2014, so for those of you still using XP you have had plenty of warning. Microsoft will however continue MSE support until early 2015 but after that you are on your own and open to security threats. On the plus side you can follow Microsoft’s suggestions and upgrade to Windows 8 today, unless your PC is really old in which case they suggest buying a new one… thanks, Microsoft!
April is also the time we’re expecting the Windows 8.1 update to arrive for the general public. That date was also suggested earlier this month in a tweet from Supersite for Windows. April 8th is also a Tuesday, also known in the Microsoft world as “Patch Tuesday”, where it releases updates and fixes for various Windows products.
The Windows 8.1 update aims to make the OS more mouse friendly as Microsoft may have realised that most of us still use a mouse and many of us think that touchscreens are a gimmick and overpriced. Personally I have stuck with Windows 7 as 8 was designed with tablets and touchscreen laptops in mind, and so far has only ever felt clunky and unintuitive on a PC where a mouse and keyboard are necessary.
Microsoft’s Vice President of Windows Phone Joe Belfiore said at Mobile World Congress this week that the company wants to “make things better” for users without touchscreens. I personally hope they follow through on this as I’m sure eventually they will turn off support for Windows 7 too, forcing me to upgrade.
Those changes may include new right-clickable context-sensitive menus, the ability to pin Metro apps to the desktop task bar and adding dedicated search and power buttons to the Start screen, as described earlier this month by ZDNet.
Meanwhile, the countdown to the end of support for XP continues. There will be no more security updates or technical support for the Windows XP operating system as of April 8th.