Windows XP retires after 12 years

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

MS Windows
Microsoft ends customer service and security updates for Windows XP.

Microsoft’s Windows XP has lived well past its predicted lifespan, but now, the software company has decided to lay the operating system down to rest. Since about one third of PCs in the world still use the system, though, many people are going to have their information vulnerable to hackers on the prowl.

Windows XP was released to the public on October 25, 2001. The user friendly interface made it very popular, and even after 12 years, it is still the number two operating system in the world. However, Microsoft wants to stop pouring resources into the outdated system and focus on bigger and better things, so they decided to pull the plug on XP.

Individuals who own the system will still be able to use it, but Microsoft will no longer patch up holes that hackers can get through. Additionally, there will be no more customer service representatives at the ready when things aren’t running smoothly.

The bad news is that millions of people across the world still use the operating system on their personal computers. Additionally, about 95% of bank ATMs run on XP. According to experts, the attacks won’t happen immediately because they want consumers to get a false sense of security, but they are almost guaranteed to come. Microsoft points out that getting a new computer with the more secure Windows 8 is well worth the investment.

So, what kind of projects are worth abandoning a world-famous operating system for? The most recent news is that the company is working on a special version of Windows for automobiles. The software will connect with smart gadgets and inform drivers about their surroundings, like the locations of school zones, weather, and the climate inside the vehicle. The project will compete with a similar product from Microsoft’s longtime rivals, Apple  Inc. The Macbook-makers recently announced CarPlay, which is essentially a safer way to use a phone while driving.

Images courtesy of Microsoft.