Time to Upgrade: Windows XP Expires Next Month, Microsoft Stopping All Support

A remarkable 30% of Canadian Microsoft users still run Windows XP, an operating system that the software giant released all the way back in 2001.

Microsoft is dropping all support for the 12-year-old OS come April 8—and while current users are free to continue using the platform, the company behind the software is not recommending it.

First of all, according to a recent analysis by antivirus firm Avast, Windows XP is already six times more likely to get hacked than any newer Microsoft OS, including Vista and Windows 8. This number, already scary, is apt to skyrocket when Windows XP loses support because Microsoft will never issue another security update to fix bugs that hackers exploit.

The abandonment of support for XP will lead to numerous problems for users who refuse to upgrade, says Microsoft, including higher costs and lower productivity; exposure to security and compliance risks; and no new apps. Not to mention the fact that XP is plain and simply outdated.

“Technology has evolved rapidly over the past several years; hardware is cheaper, operating systems are faster, cellphones are smarter, cloud services are affordable and workforces are mobile,” explains Thomas Hansen, vice president of Worldwide SMB at Microsoft. “Small businesses using old technologies are missing an opportunity—from better protecting their data and reputation, to being able to acquire and serve customers better.”

One thing we’ll miss about XP: its classic default wallpaper of grass and sky.