MICROSOFT'S MOST beloved operating system has suffered a final indignity in what has been a death by a thousand cuts.
The final version of Windows XP that was still being supported has now reached end of life, marking the final, final end of a love story with consumers that has lasted 17 years.
Windows Embedded POSReady 2009, which was being used to power tills and other point-of-sale equipment (hence the name), has now been axed too, putting the venerable operating system fully out to seed.
It's bad news for the happy few who are still using Windows XP on other devices because it marks the end of a nice little workaround that had been allowing users to keep their machines up to date by hacking on the updates from Windows Embedded.
It is understood that users will have until 19 July 2019 to apply the last updates, before the whole update system is switched off, not least of all because it doesn't meet modern Windows Update security criteria.
For anyone still determined to keep running a machine currently running XP going that bit longer, it's bad news. Windows 7 and Windows 8.x are both off sale now, meaning that you'll have to completely reflash your machine with Windows 10 - after paying for a copy of course.
Windows XP was the longest 'serving' version of the operating system, arriving in late 2001 as a replacement for Windows 2000. It remained hugely popular and at the time the desktop edition was retired in 2014, it was still one of the most popular versions of Windows - seeing off Vista (not hard) and even the incumbent (at the time) Windows 8.x.
The continuing use of XP led to a number of security issues, not least of all the Wannacry ransomware attack which brought down much local and national government and the NHS, which still had XP in wide use at the time.
A similar problem awaits in January 2020 when Windows 7, which still commands nearly 40 per cent of the Windows market, reaches end-of-life itself. μ
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