365 DAYS have passed since Windows XP, the stalwart operating system beloved and hated in equal measure by computer users from Bali to Broadstairs, popped its clogs after Microsoft elected to pull the final plug.
The operating system moved from the 'extended support' to 'end of life' phase on 8 April 2014, meaning that Microsoft would no longer offer any sort of protection or security updates for the software.
But Windows XP hasn't gone quietly. A user-created Service Pack 4 was produced to increase the lifespan of the operating system for consumers, while many organisations that had failed to heed the warnings ended up paying large sums of money to Microsoft for continuing bespoke support.
Among these customers was the UK government which paid Microsoft around £5.5m to delay a migration to other systems.
Unfortunately, many organisations were unable, unwilling or complacent about the change, and look set to fail to meet the agreed one-year extension and are likely to be stung for significantly more to support a second year.
A report last autumn suggested that 35 percent of NHS trusts were still running XP and that 14 percent of these had no plans to upgrade. Five said that they simply planned to use virtualised machines to get around the problem.
Several anti-malware firms, including Malwarebytes, offered an XP protection solution for consumers.
However, the number of XP users has started to dwindle in the past few months. This month's Net Applications figures show that 16.94 percent of users worldwide with an internet connection are still using XP, and that Windows 8 is still trailing behind.
Windows XP remains, therefore, (by a whisker) the second most popular operating system in the world, after Windows 7 which is continuing to gain traction despite having been superseded twice, first by Windows 8.x then by the forthcoming Windows 10. Nevertheless, at this stage it still carries a whopping 58.04 percent of the market. µ
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