Microsoft has finally ended support for Windows XP, which means you'll no longer have access to technical support or security patches if your machine is running the 13-year-old operating system.
The company cut off Windows XP users and partners in the hopes that they would upgrade to a newer operating system like Windows 8.1. Not only would a newer system be better in terms of security, but Microsoft also said it would improve your productivity and management capabilities. Despite all of the positives, there were (are) many people dreading the 8 April switch-over. Even governments were (are) concerned.
In fact, according to the BBC and The Register, the UK government paid Microsoft £5.5 million to extend support for thousands of departmental computers using Windows XP, Office 2003, and Exhhange 2003. Specifically, the extension would grant another 12 months of access to Windows XP support. The BBC article also profiled many small business owners who complained about being forced to upgrade operating systems or else.
But keep in mind that Microsoft's decision seemed like a long-time coming for other users. After all, Microsoft's Custom Support team began implementing a heavy toll on businesses that refused to adopt newer versions of Windows, and in March, Microsoft began a promotion where it gave Windows XP users $100 toward a Surface or Windows 8.1 machine. The company was willing to hand out cash, in other words, to end support for the older software.
If you'd like to learn more about the security risks behind Windows XP, like that the list price for one year’s custom Windows XP support is $200 per desktop, check out Microsoft's dedicated page on the subject. There are additional resources for users learning how to migrate, as well.