The end of XP support: The complete guide for stayers and switchers

The end of XP support: The complete guide for stayers and switchers

Summary: After months and years of warnings, Microsoft has finally pulled the plug on XP. Here's ZDNet's round-up of what happens next and why you should care.

Time to wave goodbye to 'Bliss', the photo on millions of XP desktops. Image: Microsoft

It's finally here — the XP support cut-off date has arrived.

Trailed by Microsoft for months, support for the venerable operating system came to an end on 8 April, after more than a decade.

Despite its near-pensionable age, many users remain on the OS — according to Net Applications, around 44 percent of desktop Windows machines are still powered by XP.

So whether you're a recent switcher or an XP stalwart, here's our complete guide to the end of XP support.

Still on XP?

Ready to migrate?

Thinking of extending support?

Wondering what all the fuss is about?

What are the security implications for businesses?

Contemplating moving to Linux Mint?

What about ATMs and embedded systems?

Topics: Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Try Linux on a DVD or USB

    Are all these 'doomsday' articles on XP bordering on FUD? Have no fear Linux is here.

    Why waste that old Hardware, its bad for Planet Earth.
    Get the most worth out of your PC as long as it works well.

    How to Break free from the cycle of Planned Obsolesce?!!??
    Stay safe with Linux.
    There is a very good chance Linux OS will run well with older hardware with lower specs
    Switch to the free, safe, secure & awesome OS:
    Its the worlds most popular free OS. It has free upgrades & security updates. It has a free office suite, LibreOffice that comes standard along with other great apps/programs.
    For those who like the Windows look, I would recommend: & for older computer with lower specs or
    Or try Linux Mint:
    Because the Linux option is free & now so easy (user friendly) one must give it a try. You have so much to gain.
    Lots of people give their time, effort & money to make these great products that they just give the world for free. So they may not have the huge ad budgets & would need users like us to spread the word. Although its free, you are welcome to donate if you like the software.

    For those worried about Office 2003 support ending try LibreOffice or OpenOffice.
    Time to check out the free, safe, secure & feature-packed LibreOffice. Its truly multi-platform & takes just a few minutes & clicks to install.

    Try it now you have so much to gain:

    Thunderbird is excellent as well.

    I feel most people should find it great. All they need to do is try it out 1st in a LiveDVD or LiveUSB.
    • I see the cut and paste salesman is here

      I feel most people found it lacking, IMHO.
      • Apt Description of Windows 8 William?

        Have to agree with you Will, I find my fresh install of Mint even does a far better job at immediately locating & connecting to my MSHome network than W7 or W8 ever did.

        Having recently replaced the existing W8 installation with Mint as a dual-boot OS alongside my familliar old XP, I feel I have a far more pleasant, less confusing desktop navigation experience in both than previously.
        • I agree. I found that Mint does a fair job of filling some needs of XP

          And I also agree that as good as it is, it just doesn't connect to an MS home networks as well as Windows 7 or 8, or fill all the needs of XP

          For some it will, though for those with specific software, they would be better upgrading to Windows 7 or 8.

          And yes, he has cut and paste that same post to all other XP related articles.
    • sorry, but..

      all most people see you saying is..
      try Linux mnmnmnmnmnmnmnmn dvd mnmnmnmnmnmn computer mnmnmnmnmnmnmn

      when the local store will do it for you, it will be a start, but how do you think that will help the people who do not even call it a 'computer' but 'my internet' ?? (I have many good friends like this, who I have to ASK them how do they start it - usual reply is 'that blue thing' or similar... :/
    • Come one

      Do you realize, that your holly war against MS is so stupid, that it is infact funny at times. Less than 1.8% market share and greatest softwares to work with - Firefox, Libre Office and Gimp?!

      Trolling will not help linux community, where more than 100 distros exist, with different specs and tricks.

      From ubuntu promise a phone from 2 years, and yet there is nothing beyond the hype. All things operate a similar way in the linux world.

      People create with a single click on a button with windows, and have all the software they need.
      Win 8.1.1 is the fastest OS I've seen lately - and it is stable as rock.
  • The end of XP support: The complete guide for stayers and switchers

    Microsoft Windows XP had quite the run but it is time to upgrade to a more current version of Microsoft Windows. I would suggest Microsoft Windows 8.1 because its the latest and great from Microsoft and will be supported for many years to come. Its fast, secure, and runs your current Microsoft Windows based applications.
    • The "latest and greatest" won't necessarily work.

      A number of people are getting "your system won't run 8.1"... Even though the listed hardware specs are sufficient.
      • Sure it will

        I haven't run into any instances of that message.
        • And since you haven't run into them,

          they obviously can't exist.
    • hmph

      yes, and you buy the latest car, just because it has a new reg plate... blind rich fool..
  • The End is Near, SCRATCH THAT, The End is Here

    We have not seen these guys since December 31st, 1999 when the world did NOT come crashing down at midnight like they predicted.
    Looks like they have unpacked their belongings and "They Are Back!!!"
    • he end is here...

      Nothing happened on Dec 31st 1999 - because we were prepared. I was involved with fixing software for the millennium 2 years before that date. Had we NOT done that - It would have been the disaster that everyone predicted.

      Even though Microsoft has properly warned everybody that support is coming to and end - doing nothing is being considered a valid option.

      Well - go ahead and do nothing. I am sure there are a bunch of hackers sitting there right now saying - "Do you feel lucky punk? Go ahead and make my day."
      Jim Swarr
      • Microsoft cried wolf before...

        Then brought XP back once to fight against Linux netbooks...

        Then brought XP back because Vista was so bad...

        Who is to say they won't bring it back again because Windows 8 is so bad?
        • Not true, jesse

  • Linux is here to stay

    Microsoft isn't.
    Trusty Tahr
    • well I do'nt see linux everywhere....

      chromebook, apple, and guess who else..
    • Please, we're dicussing reality here

      not fiction.
  • get your copy now... does w7 for 66, xp for 57, better versions cost more... :)
  • It's NOT the END of XP Support ... Here Comes Arkoon !

    Yes, Arkoon ... They will help Windows XP survive the Post XP era of Windows installations. Realize that 44% of the Worlds PC's still run on Windows XP.

    ZDNet has been REMISS about reporting on the Arkoon Support for XP. Shame on them.