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Windows XP support will be available after April 8--just not for you

Mark Hachman | April 8, 2014
On Tuesday night, the United Kingdom's Prime Minister, David Cameron, will go to sleep secure in the knowledge that his government's Windows XP PCs won't be hacked the next day. That doesn't mean you will.

Should consumers get the same break?

To date, Microsoft has given no indication that it will extend consumer support for Windows XP after the April 8 deadline, even though it has extended anti-malware support through July, 2015. After that date, any and all vulnerabilities found for Windows XP will live on forever, even though there are some avenues to keep your PC safe and protected after the deadline expires.

In some ways, the migration from Windows XP to a modern OS like Windows 8 could be considered painless: As the number of digital photos taken grows, for example, some users have moved to external hard drives and cloud storage to store data, solutions that transcend a specific operating system. Applications written specifically for Windows XP, however, will require tinkering and compatibility modes.

For some, there's the cost aspect: To run any Windows OS after Windows XP (ideally, Windows 7 or Windows 8), users will basically need to invest in a new PC, minus the monitor and printer. Given the relatively low cost of PCs, however, users can buy a new PC for a few hundred dollars.

A more interesting question would be this: If Microsoft instituted a pricey, last-minute, pay-to-delay solution, what would consumers be willing to pay? $20? $50? $100? $200?

If you run Windows XP, let us know what you'd be willing to pay in the comments below. Chances are you're out of luck, but if Microsoft is willing to maintain a database of patches for big business, maybe they'll throw a bone to the consumer procrastinators, too.


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