Windows XP still alive and kicking
Though no longer supported by Microsoft, XP commanded a quarter of all desktop OS traffic seen by Net Applications last month.
Microsoft's Windows XP operating system is proving tough to kill.
Peeking at global desktop operating system traffic for June, Web tracker Net Applications pegged XP with a 25.31 percent share. That number was actually slightly higher than the 25.27 percent share recorded in May.
To be sure, XP's presence among desktop users has dwindled over time. A year ago, it held more than 37 percent of all desktop OS traffic recorded by Net Applications. The 13-year-old OS is proving more resilient than Microsoft may have anticipated when it announced its impending end of support almost seven years ago.
XP's continued grip on the market presents a thorny problem. In April, Microsoft cut off support for XP, meaning no more bug fixes, security patches, or other updates. That leaves people who have yet to upgrade more vulnerable to security threats. The onus is now on users to decide whether to remain with XP in spite of the potential threats or go through the time, labor, and expense of upgrading their OS and possibly their PCs to Windows 7 or Windows 8. The continued affection for XP combined with the lackluster appeal of Windows 8 may have convinced many users to stay put as long as possible.
Indeed, many XP desktop diehards may even wait for Windows "Threshold," the next major version of Windows due out in the spring of 2015. Threshold may or may not be branded as Windows 9, according to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley. The new OS will offer a Start menu and other features aimed at desktop users to convince them to upgrade, whether they're running Windows 7 -- which currently accounts for half of all desktop OS traffic -- or still stuck on XP.