Microsoft is urging Windows XP users to jump ship as the ancient operating system nears the end of its days - in terms of extended support at least.

Speaking via the Windows Team blog, Microsoft's Stephen Rose said it was time that XP became a relic of the past, and stated that users should take the Windows 7 plunge. After all the company has sold over 400 million Windows 7 licences globally.

"Wouldn’t it be great if the glory days lasted forever?" he asked ."But reality is trophies get dusty, records are broken, and what it took to be the best ten years ago, just isn’t enough for today’s standards. Things get better, faster. And eventually, it’s time to move from good enough to something much better.

"Windows XP had an amazing run and millions of PC users are grateful for it. But it’s time to move on. Two reasons: 1) Extended support for Windows XP is running out in less than 1000 days, and 2) there’s an OS out there that’s much better than Windows XP."

Windows XP was released almost 10 years ago. Yet still (as of May 2011, at least) it is still the most widely used operating system in the world with a 40 per cent share - mainly due to the large business community that still employs the platform. Windows 7 comes in 2nd with just under 30 per cent, Vista in 3rd with around 13 per cent and Mac OS X 4th with around 7 per cent.

Rose urged those businesses in particular to upgrade soon though. "Act quickly because time is limited, and organisations that have not started deployment or in the early phases of the project need to accelerate," he said.

"According to a recent Garter report more than 50 per cent of organisations that do not start deploying Windows 7 by early 2012 will not complete their deployments before Windows XP support ends, and will incur increased support costs."

You still on XP? C'mon man - move with the times, or at least tell us why you haven't upgraded yet....