It’s official, as of Tuesday April 8, 2014, Microsoft has ended support for Windows XP. While the date has been known for quite some time, it is nonetheless a somber occasion. For those of us that are die-hard Windows users, Windows XP represents the golden age, a better time, or some such nostalgia. Not only does the end of life for Windows XP bring back memories, but it has some very serious implications.
Depending on which source you reference, Windows XP runs anywhere from 25-30% of all PCs. That is a crazy high number for a 12 year old operating system. Further, CNNMoney is reporting, “An estimated 95% of American bank ATMs run on Windows XP.”1 Windows XP still powers a huge amount of industrial, medical, and point-of-sale computer systems across the U.S. In a different CNNMoney article, the news outlet interviewed Ryan Permeh the chief scientist of Cylance – a major cyber-security provider to various industries. Permeh noted:
It’s [Windows XP] literally everywhere still…Every point that’s running XP is ripe for worms. They haven’t been much of a common occurrence in modern times, but any new vulnerability could result in mass infection with very little remediation.2
Although this date has been know for nearly a decade, it is still a gloomy day for Windows fans. XP was one of the best operating systems that Microsoft ever released. For what its worth, I installed XP on a Windows 7 laptop I bought way back in 2011.