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Facing the Windows XP apocalypse?

Are you ready for the "XP Apocalypse" on April 8? Thats when Microsoft Corp. plans to stop issuing security updates for the aging, but still-popular XP version of its flagship Windows operating system, which by some estimates is still running on nearly one in three personal computers in homes and offices around the world, along with some bank ATMs and other commercial systems. Security experts say those machines will become significantly more vulnerable to viruses, spyware and other malicious hacks once Microsoft withdraws its support. No ones predicting a Mayan-style cataclysm, but if youre still using XP, here are some things to consider. Microsoft started selling XP back in 2001 - long before the much-maligned Vista and two subsequent versions known as Windows 7 and Windows 8. The company says its already overextended the natural life cycle of XP, while newer versions of Windows offer better security and performance, especially when it comes to newer Web services and touch-enabled programs. Even so, many consumers, businesses and government agencies have seen no reason to replace XP on their desktop and laptop computers, according to research firm NetMarketShare, which says XP powers nearly 30 percent of all personal computers worldwide. Others estimate 200 million or more XP users. via PHYS.org.

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