SOFTWARE CHURN FACTORY Microsoft has announced another nail in the coffin of its ageing Windows XP PC operating system.
On the End of Life webpages of the Microsoft website, the company explained that it will withdraw support for its free security product Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) in 90 days.
"After April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date," the firm advises.
The 8 April date coincides with the end of life date for Windows XP, after which Microsoft will no longer release Windows XP security patches and updates.
Security Essentials is a free anti-malware package designed to rival similar free offerings from companies including AVG and Avast.
Since its launch in 2009, it has become the most widely used antivirus package in the US and is in second place worldwide. Microsoft has incorporated the functionality of Security Essentials as standard into Windows Defender, starting with Windows 8, but it is still available to download for previous Windows editions.
The impending end of life for Windows XP has been a long time coming. The company has stalled plans to drop support before, as at the time Windows Vista was seen not only as an unacceptable alternative but an out and out disaster area. However, after 12 years it seems that we are now into the last 90 days of Windows XP.
Fear not, however, if you're a Windows Vista or Windows 7 user. The end of life dates for these versions are 2017 and 2020 respectively, so you still have plenty of time if you're holding out for the next sale at your local retailer. µ