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The Windows XP Deadline Cometh

Now that it's April 2013, that means there are approximately 365 shopping days until the official end of support for Windows XP.

All of Microsoft's many customers for Windows XP, which was on sale between 2001 and 2010, must be off the OS by April 8, 2014. To paraphrase what they say in the bar at closing time: "You don't have to go to Windows 8, but you can't stay here."

The doorway could get crowded in the rush for the exits. As of March, data from Net Applications still put Windows XP market share at 39 percent of all PCs worldwide.

In technical terms, Microsoft is ending extended support for Windows XP. That means no more public, paid support per incident, per hour or otherwise; no more security updates; and no more guarantees that there will be Windows XP information in the Microsoft Knowledge Base or in other online resources. Some large customers had hoped for an out in something called custom support contracts. Analysts at Gartner Inc. have discouraged customers from going that route, arguing that the contracts cost more than customers commonly anticipate and that an upgrade to Windows 7 (Gartner's recommended post-Windows XP path) may actually cost less.

In any case, partners can anticipate another reminder in a few months at the annual Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC). Each of the last two years, Microsoft executives have told partners how many days remain until Windows XP support ends. When the WPC starts July 8, there will be 275 days left.

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 03, 2013


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