Microsoft on Monday made its most aggressive move yet to convince customers to drop Windows XP and adopt Windows 7, telling them that there were only 1,000 days of support life left in the older operating system.
Stephen Rose, the IT community manager for the Windows commercial team, noted the 1,000 days remaining for Windows XP support in a post to a Microsoft blog .
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"Windows XP had an amazing run and millions of PC users are grateful for it. But it's time to move on," Rose said, adding that the operating system exits security support in "less than 1,000 days."
The 10-year-old XP actually has a little longer to live than that: Microsoft has promised to patch XP through April 8, 2014, 1,002 days from Monday.
"Bottom line, PCs running Windows XP will be vulnerable to security threats" after that date, said Rose. "Furthermore, many third-party software providers are not planning to extend support for their applications running on Windows XP, which translates to even more complexity, security risks, and ultimately, added management costs for your IT department."
According to usage statistics and research firm surveys, Microsoft has its work cut out in moving users off XP.
Web metrics firm Net Applications now has Windows 7's usage share at 27 percent, for example, but XP still powers 51 percent of the world's personal computers. If the trends of each over the last three months continue, Windows 7 won't pass XP in the race for share until the second quarter of 2012.
Businesses are even more reliant on Windows XP, said Forrester Research when it recently estimated the aged OS's share at 60 percent of enterprise PCs.
Monday wasn't the first time Microsoft portrayed XP as yesterday's OS. Earlier this year, executives on the Internet Explorer (IE) team called XP the "lowest common denominator" as they explained why the OS wouldn't run IE9 or any future browsers.
And the company has taken firm steps to kill off other products it considers obsolete. Since mid-2009, Microsoft has urged users to give up IE6, the browser that shipped shortly before XP. Four months ago it upped the ante by launching a deathwatch website that highlights IE6's dwindling usage share.