So, it’s finally happened… One PC manufacturer has officially stated that it will no-longer be offering computers with Windows XP installed.

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Windows XP

Windows XP booting in VirtualBox

A blog post by Dell says “Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system has had a heck of a run.” and they will be “no longer be able to ship systems with XP Professional and XP Home after October 22, 2010.” and “customers who order new machines with Windows 7 Professional or higher can run XP applications in Windows XP Mode.”

The October 22nd date they refer to, is the date Microsoft has stated OEMs are no-longer allowed to ship computers running Windows XP. Microsoft have said that they will still offer the Windows XP downgrade option to users during the lifespan of Windows 7.

What does this mean to the regular computer user? Not a lot really, as most Windows home users will be using either Windows Vista, or Windows 7. Whereas businesses and colleges will have a site licence and can install XP on any machine they want. The cut off date doesn’t magically mean that PCs will no-longer be able to run XP, there just won’t be an option to buy a new computer with it preinstalled.

As for users currently using the 9 year old operating system, they needn’t worry either, as long as they have Service Pack 3 installed, Microsoft will continue to provide extended support until April 8th 2014

In my opinion, I think any home users still using Windows XP should really consider upgrading to Windows 7, as, like I said earlier, Windows XP is 9 years old! I personally remember Windows XP when it was brand new in 2001. 9 Years before then, Windows 3.1 was the latest version (or some users were still using DOS), and I’d be quite safe in saying that the market share in 2001 would have rated Windows 3.1 quite low down the list! But what is really interesting, is that as of August 2010, Windows XP still has a hold of 53.1% of the market share!

My question is, how many people will still be using Windows XP on April 8th 2014? Will Microsoft cutting support encourage these users to move on?