Windows XP is being killed off for good, 17 years after launch

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Windows Embedded POSReady 2009, which is designed for point-of-sale devices and runs the Windows XP kernel, saw its extended support end on Tuesday, bringing an end to the Windows NT 5.1 product line after 17 years, 7 months, and 16 days, making Windows XP the longest-running version of the OS to date.

As noted by TechRepublic, other enterprise-related versions of Windows XP reached their end-of-life dates recently, while support for the Windows XP Home and Professional desktop variants came to an end way back in 2014.

Despite all versions of Windows XP no longer being supported, some people refuse to let go of the OS, which was many people’s favorite incarnation of Windows. According to NetMarketShare, it still has a 3.72 percent share of the desktop operating system market. That puts it above Windows 8 and Linux.

While Windows XP is currently the longest-running version of Microsoft's OS, Windows 10 could eventually break the record, though we’ll have to wait until 2033 to be sure.

In January next year, it will be Windows 7’s turn to see its extended support phase come to an end, which could explain the decrease in user numbers and Windows 10’s uptick. Business and enterprise customers can still receive extended security updates after January 14, but it won’t be cheap.

Image credit: g0d4ather via Shutterstock

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rrwards

TS Enthusiast
I see so many legacy XP systems in small businesses and industrial companies, especially as conduits for specialized experimentation equipment (like chromatography or spectroscopy) that I can't see XP losing market share for a long time. In smaller, less funded research labs, frequently the equipment will only run on XP or earlier, as the manufacturer has stopped providing updates for that dated model. I know MS (and the individuals at these companies) would prefer to use newer and more secure software, but when a "free" upgrade to W10 also means replacing a $10,000 piece of machinery, that just won't happen. I'm rambling here, sorry, just my area of expertise and the unfortunate state of affairs for many researchers (myself included).

TLDR: I doubt XP will lose much market share in the next few years, even if it's considered "dead" by MS
 

Theinsanegamer

TS Evangelist
XP is a long way from being dead. So much embedded equipment uses it, and said equipment can cost an eye-watering amount to upgrade.

That being said, I havent seen it in use for an end user system in quite some time. It seems to be mostly dead in that regard, although I still have a copy for use on my retro machine.

It'd be cool if MS made these OSes free to download again for those of us that support legacy hardware or just like to screw around with old OSes.
 

lazer

TS Addict
Micro$lop had two winners: XP and win7. Vista, 2000, win8 were ugly losers and 95 was so/so. win10 I am not even going to rate.

I have XP on my back up Dell and have win7 as a replacement to win8 on my Toshiba. I do NOT update them, never have, never will. "If it works, don't fix it" is my slogan.....
 

sdsdv10

TS Rookie
RIP. Was my favorite Windows. It being "officially" dead doesn't mean much, it was pretty much dead years ago and people who still use it don't care for Microsoft support otherwise they would switch by now.
Agree completely. We have several pieces of electronic equipment at my work that are run by computers running XP. They aren't connected to the net, simply dedicated to running just that instrument. The suppliers aren't going to update the software for 20-year-old machines that run perfectly fine. This "dead" moniker is just kind of funny. The work as well today as they did 10+ years ago.
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
Micro$lop had two winners: XP and win7. Vista, 2000, win8 were ugly losers and 95 was so/so. win10 I am not even going to rate.

I have XP on my back up Dell and have win7 as a replacement to win8 on my Toshiba. I do NOT update them, never have, never will. "If it works, don't fix it" is my slogan.....
Hackers LOVE people like you.... if it works, don't fix it... yep... and if it's got lots of security holes, don't patch them because no one has hacked you... yet...
 

Godel

TS Addict
Equipment manufacturers should be required by law to put the source code of their embedded programs into escrow and for it to be available for release as soon as the company ceases to support the particular equipment.
 

Markoni35

TS Addict
Lots of military equipment is using XP for their GUI. Does that mean some of the rocket, artillery and situational awareness systems will lose tech support? Oh man. Not good. Really not good. It could actually reduce the rate of killing of innocent civilians.
 

pcnthuziast

TS Evangelist
Lots of military equipment is using XP for their GUI. Does that mean some of the rocket, artillery and situational awareness systems will lose tech support? Oh man. Not good. Really not good. It could actually reduce the rate of killing of innocent civilians.
I remember reading somewhere they worked out something with Microsoft and have support specifically for them only. Like military, scientific, etc, are still using it with special exclusive licensing.
 

Bullwinkle M

TS Booster
Project Nehalem:
Finished converting my oldest XP machine (Nehalem) to Windows 10 - 1809 Today

The single PCI slot is still unused
Converted onboard 20-bit Audio to 192Khz/24-bit and added an optical SPDIF output
Converted the DVI video output to HDMI
Windows 10 does not have driver support for Nehalem and limits the Video output to 1024X768 Maximum, so I added driver support to get 1920X1080 Native Resolution on my monitor and tweaked the boot times on the slowest, yet still usable thumb drive I have to measure the progress before switching to an SSD

Win 10 - 1809 now boots in 48 - 50 seconds from a cheap thumb drive on a USB 2.0 port

Parts List
Win2USB
Samsung FIT Plus USB 3.1 Flash Drive
Micca Origen G2 Audio DAC (No Drivers needed in Win 10)
Coboc DVI to HDMI adapter from NewEgg
and Windows 7 drivers were installed on Windows 10 to get Native 1080p Resolution and a SystemWide Realtek 10-Band Digital Audio Equalizer

I already had the Origen DAC, thumb drive, Windows 7 drivers and Win2USB so all I had to buy was the DVI to HDMI adapter at Newegg for $2.49

Tomorrow, I'll test the max resolution on a 4K TV and see what the boot time is from a Samsung 850 Pro SSD

Fully loaded Windows XP with all drivers and software boots to this machine in 17 - 19 seconds from the 850 Pro
 

gamerk2

TS Maniac
XP is a long way from being dead. So much embedded equipment uses it, and said equipment can cost an eye-watering amount to upgrade.

That being said, I havent seen it in use for an end user system in quite some time. It seems to be mostly dead in that regard, although I still have a copy for use on my retro machine.

It'd be cool if MS made these OSes free to download again for those of us that support legacy hardware or just like to screw around with old OSes.
Case in point: I still support a program that requires a PC running Windows 3.11 because the hardware vendor never provided drivers that works on Win95, and has since gone out of business. The company isn't willing to spend thousands to upgrade the hardware and re-engineer the software (which of course, isn't documented at all).

Ironically, said PC is by default the most secure we have, since it's impossible to network, and as it's floppy drive is dead there's no physical way to get anything on or off it.
 

gamerk2

TS Maniac
Micro$lop had two winners: XP and win7. Vista, 2000, win8 were ugly losers and 95 was so/so. win10 I am not even going to rate..
3.11 was fine for it's time.
95 was a mess due to only half-implementing a working 32-bit API layer.
98/98SE were solid.
2000 was a mess, due to being an unplanned OS release due to customer demand.
XP was fine, especially as of SP2.
Vista was OK if you got past the naggy UAC and had the necessary HW specs to run it properly.
7 was great.
8/8.1 was a poor desktop OS due to poor GUI design.
10 is fine, if you get past the telemetry.

Every other release of Windows tends to be solid; it's the in-between ones that tend to be poor.
 
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asmilon

TS Rookie
XP is a long way from being dead. So much embedded equipment uses it, and said equipment can cost an eye-watering amount to upgrade.

That being said, I havent seen it in use for an end user system in quite some time. It seems to be mostly dead in that regard, although I still have a copy for use on my retro machine.

It'd be cool if MS made these OSes free to download again for those of us that support legacy hardware or just like to screw around with old OSes.
Case in point: I still support a program that requires a PC running Windows 3.11 because the hardware vendor never provided drivers that works on Win95, and has since gone out of business. The company isn't willing to spend thousands to upgrade the hardware and re-engineer the software (which of course, isn't documented at all).

Ironically, said PC is by default the most secure we have, since it's impossible to network, and as it's floppy drive is dead there's no physical way to get anything on or off it.
Sounds to me like a disaster waiting to happen... I am not sure if P2V is possible with such old O/S.

Also, for me surely they are losing $$ for not using a modern and fast solution, that could give them additional value they can't even imagine on a software 30 years old...
 
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Catweazle

TS Booster
Micro$lop had two winners: XP and win7. Vista, 2000, win8 were ugly losers and 95 was so/so. win10 I am not even going to rate..
3.11 was fine for it's time.
95 was a mess due to only half-implementing a working 32-bit API layer.
98/98SE were solid.
2000 was a mess, due to being an unplanned OS release due to customer demand.
XP was fine, especially as of SP2.
Vista was OK if you got past the naggy UAC and had the necessary HW specs to run it properly.
7 was great.
8/8.1 was a poor desktop OS due to poor GUI design.
10 is fine, if you get past the telemetry.

Every other release of Windows tends to be solid; it's the in-between ones that tend to be poor.
Windows 2000 was great; I think you may be confusing it with Windows Me.
 

Knot Schure

TS Addict
I see so many legacy XP systems in small businesses and industrial companies, especially as conduits for specialized experimentation equipment (like chromatography or spectroscopy) that I can't see XP losing market share for a long time. In smaller, less funded research labs, frequently the equipment will only run on XP or earlier, as the manufacturer has stopped providing updates for that dated model. I know MS (and the individuals at these companies) would prefer to use newer and more secure software, but when a "free" upgrade to W10 also means replacing a $10,000 piece of machinery, that just won't happen. I'm rambling here, sorry, just my area of expertise and the unfortunate state of affairs for many researchers (myself included).

TLDR: I doubt XP will lose much market share in the next few years, even if it's considered "dead" by MS
My last company - lots of XP machines lived in the labs. They did their jobs just fine, and the applications they ran needed nothing more.

I suspect there will be MANY more 'offline' XP machines for many years to come.

Though statistics-grabbers won't 'know' it, as they won't be 'seen' generating web traffic...
 
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Drew Valadez

TS Booster
Micro$lop had two winners: XP and win7. Vista, 2000, win8 were ugly losers and 95 was so/so. win10 I am not even going to rate..
3.11 was fine for it's time.
95 was a mess due to only half-implementing a working 32-bit API layer.
98/98SE were solid.
2000 was a mess, due to being an unplanned OS release due to customer demand.
XP was fine, especially as of SP2.
Vista was OK if you got past the naggy UAC and had the necessary HW specs to run it properly.
7 was great.
8/8.1 was a poor desktop OS due to poor GUI design.
10 is fine, if you get past the telemetry.

Every other release of Windows tends to be solid; it's the in-between ones that tend to be poor.
Windows 2000 was great; I think you may be confusing it with Windows Me.
ME was amazing for me, it is what started my interest in computers because I was always trying to figure out how to fix the stupid thing.
 

gamerk2

TS Maniac
Sounds to me like a disaster waiting to happen... I am not sure if P2V is possible with such old O/S.

Also, for me surely they are losing $$ for not using a modern and fast solution, that could give them additional value they can't even imagine on a software 30 years old...
Meh, its driving a custom HW solution that's one of a kind (early 1980s tech); as long as it keeps working there's no "value" lost. Point being, it's not worth the time and effort to bother porting the software to something modern.
 

ShagnWagn

TS Guru
Micro$lop had two winners: XP and win7. Vista, 2000, win8 were ugly losers and 95 was so/so. win10 I am not even going to rate..
3.11 was fine for it's time.
95 was a mess due to only half-implementing a working 32-bit API layer.
98/98SE were solid.
2000 was a mess, due to being an unplanned OS release due to customer demand.
XP was fine, especially as of SP2.
Vista was OK if you got past the naggy UAC and had the necessary HW specs to run it properly.
7 was great.
8/8.1 was a poor desktop OS due to poor GUI design.
10 is fine, if you get past the telemetry.

Every other release of Windows tends to be solid; it's the in-between ones that tend to be poor.
My sentiments exactly! I would be running 10 on my farm at home if it weren't for the blatant privacy issues and telemetry. I am forced to use it on my workstation at work. It took SEVERAL hours to trim out most of the bullcrap, but there is still junk running that shouldn't be there. There is no way in the OS to take it out. I tried to speak with them about the privacy issues, but they didn't care so I guess it is the company's problem when our company data is thrown out on the internet for anyone to hack. Exactly what MS wants.
 
I had Windows 98 and had to upgrade to Windows XP using a CD RIP. I upgraded all my computers. Loved using it, but it did have a lot of bugs.

Windows 10 is the best windows EVER. I appreciate the free upgrade from that disgusting 8 and 8.1.
 

Bullwinkle M

TS Booster
After more than 10 years of use without a single Bluescreen of Death, Windows XP is Bug Free (Mine, not Your's)

After more than 5 years of Online use without a single persistent threat, and without ANY Microsoft Security Updates, Windows XP-SP2 is the most secure version of Windows ever made (again, mine, not your's)

REAL Security "Experts" know that XP-SP2 can be locked down and prevent Microsoft from sneaking in through the back doors you find in Windows 7, 8.1 and Privacy Nightmare 10

Sure, I'm running Windows 10, but I keep it offline for security

Anyone who thinks XP is a security fail or that Spyware Platform 10 is the most secure Windows Ever, is not a Windows security expert

You're just using it wrong!

You just don't get what it is that you just don't get
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
After more than 10 years of use without a single Bluescreen of Death, Windows XP is Bug Free (Mine, not Your's)

After more than 5 years of Online use without a single persistent threat, and without ANY Microsoft Security Updates, Windows XP-SP2 is the most secure version of Windows ever made (again, mine, not your's)

REAL Security "Experts" know that XP-SP2 can be locked down and prevent Microsoft from sneaking in through the back doors you find in Windows 7, 8.1 and Privacy Nightmare 10

Sure, I'm running Windows 10, but I keep it offline for security

Anyone who thinks XP is a security fail or that Spyware Platform 10 is the most secure Windows Ever, is not a Windows security expert

You're just using it wrong!

You just don't get what it is that you just don't get
lol... wish I had some of what you're smoking...