Many people don’t realise that Microsoft actually released Windows XP in August of 2001 making it 12 years old now!
Microsoft has a Support Life cycle policy that states that their business software (such as Windows, Office, etc) are supported for a minimum of 10 years. Windows XP support has been extended but it is now coming to an end on the 8th of April 2014.
So what does this mean to you?
It means that after the end date there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, no online technical content updates and no free or paid support options.
The most important of these is the end of security updates. Without these any vulnerabilities discovered in Windows XP will not be fixed as they are at the moment with regular Windows Updates. This would leave those systems very vulnerable to virus and malware attacks.
Another important point to consider is that software vendors are starting to end support for Windows XP for their software; Sage Accounts is a well known example.