XPDeadlineFour months from now, Windows XP will no longer be supported by Microsoft.  Despite the impending cutoff date, XP had still managed to maintain the majority share of users around the world throughout 2013.  However, new numbers released on January 2nd show that that has finally started to change and Windows XP has now fallen below 29 percent.

The latest NetMarketShare numbers on worldwide operating-system usage show that Windows XP’s share has dropped 10 percent since the start of 2013, which suggests that consumers and businesses have finally made the move to put the nearly 13 year old operating system to rest. For any stragglers who are not aware of what the end of support date is, April 8th will mark the date after which no further security updates, patches or user support will be offered for Windows XP.  At that point, users will be left to their own means to deal with problems, which should worry any business owner who still runs his company on the security and accident prone operating system.

The NetMarketShare report shows that Windows 7 has taken up the slack left by Windows XP, with 47.5% of the market.  The newer Windows 8 has been on a steady incline as well but occupies a much more meager 5.10% of the market.  What is perhaps most surprising is that the much maligned Windows Vista still holds onto 3.6% of the market.

While the steady drop in XP usage is a good sign, one final and important thing to take away from this is that roughly 1 in 3 users still haven’t made the upgrade. For most businesses, the choice to upgrade from Windows XP is a no-brainer.  Microsoft has had over a decade to make improvements over Windows XP and the new operating systems offer better security, support, compatibility, performance and productivity.  It’s safe to say that if you choose to keep Windows XP beyond the end of service date, your IT services costs will increase as systems break and there is no easy fix in sight.  If you are part of the 30%, it is time to consider your options and plan accordingly.

– Richard Keene
IT Computer Support of New York
Webmaster and Lead Designer