Microsoft's Windows XP is still kickin' -- do you use it?

Think Windows XP is dead and buried? Think again.

Windows XP: Apparently, XP use is still high.
Windows XP: Apparently, XP use is still high. CNET

Microsoft's XP operating system is still used on more than a third of the installations out there, according to figures from Net Applications. Is it really still that popular?

XP was released in August of 2001, more than a decade ago. It got a new lease on life when its successor, Vista, was declared -- at least initially -- a disaster back in 2006.

On Friday, figures from Net Applications (see graph at bottom) showed XP with a robust 37.74 percent of all Windows and Mac OS installations worldwide, down only slightly from 38.31 percent in April.

Need more proof of its enduring popularity? Dell provided some visibility on how many of its customers are still using older Windows operating systems in its earnings conference call last month.

Brian T. Gladden, Dell's chief financial officer for Dell said that its customers are just beginning to upgrade to Windows 7 from OSes like XP and Vista.

Then added: "Windows 8 has been from our standpoint, not necessarily the catalyst to drive accelerated growth that we had hoped it would be."

It's probably a safe bet that more than a few of Dell's millions of customers are still using XP.

The continued dependence on XP is potentially a problem for a segment of users because support for XP will end on April 8, 2014.

Here's what Microsoft says. "Support for Windows XP is ending on April 8, 2014. If you're running this version after support ends, you won't get security updates for Windows."

Windows XP D-Day will be here before you know it.

Windows XP is still used on over one-third of installations.
Windows XP is still used on over one-third of installations. Net Applications
About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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