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Windows XP Deathwatch, Part 2

A year ago, Microsoft put Windows XP on a deathwatch. This year, company officials warned there would be no reprieve for the popular but aging operating system.

"XP end of life is not that far off -- a thousand days to be exact," said Tami Reller, corporate vice president and CFO for Windows and Windows Live, during a Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference keynote a year ago.

COO Kevin Turner followed up on the theme at this year's WPC last week: "Now, on April 8th of 2014, we're going to have a huge birthday party. We're going to celebrate the 15th anniversary -- one-five -- of Windows XP. And then we're going to put it to sleep. May it rest in peace."

"We are not going to extend the end-of-life for Windows XP. This is it. No more security updates. You won't be secure if you're running it. We have to move people off the platform. It costs us and them way too much money to continue to support it this far into the ecosystem," Turner said.

He then pivoted to urge partners to upgrade Windows XP users to Windows 7 and Windows 8.

"Get them on 7. That's the fastest way to Windows 8. Get the browser updated. Get the new release of Office updated so that they can take advantage of all of the solutions and technology and investments that we're making across the portfolio," Turner said.

By Oct. 26 of this year when Windows 8 is scheduled to ship, Windows XP will have been succeeded by three newer versions of the Windows client operating system. Windows XP became generally available Oct. 25, 2001 and new sales of the OS wound down from various channels between mid-2008 and early 2009. It was succeeded by the much-criticized Windows Vista in January 2007 and Windows 7 in October 2009.

The Web analytics research firm Net Applications predicted earlier in July that Windows 7 would pass Windows XP in usage share sometime this month. According to Net Applications, Windows XP fell below 50 percent usage share in September 2011 and in June led Windows 7 by only 43.61 percent to 41.59 percent.

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 19, 2012