Windows XP officially turned 16 this week, as Microsoft announced general availability of its most successful desktop operating system on October 25, 2001.
And even though it no longer receives updates and security patches since April 8, 2014, Windows XP is still around these days, with a market share that Microsoft certainly didn’t expect 16 years ago when it launched the OS.
According to third-party data from NetMarketShare, Windows XP still has a market share of 5.69 percent right now, obviously on a declining trend, but still impressive after 16 years on the market. For comparison, Windows 8.1, which launched in 2013 (one year after the original Windows 8 version) is now running on 5.89 percent of systems worldwide.
Without a doubt, Windows XP will continue to be around for a little longer, despite the obvious security risks of running unsupported Windows. The last release in the Windows XP family took place on April 21, 2008, so 9 years ago, when Microsoft shipped Service Pack 3. Mainstream support came to an end on April 14, 2009, while extended support was pulled in April 2014.
But despite all of these, the world is still leaving Windows XP behind at a very slow pace, with lots of organizations and companies still considering their options and keeping the 16-year-old operating system running on their devices.
Staying with Windows XP right now is a decision that could backfire at any given moment, and the WannaCry ransomware attacks that took place earlier this year were living proof. Fortunately for those who are yet to upgrade, Windows 7 and not Windows XP was the main victim of WannaCry, despite Microsoft reacting quickly and releasing emergency updates to keep everyone secure.
In the meantime, Windows XP continues to be one very popular operating system among PC users worldwide, and there’s a chance it’ll soon have a newer sibling, as Windows 7 is approaching end of support, again with no fast death in sight.