Despite the operating system reaching end of life exactly two years ago today, statistics show Windows XP still runs on one out of every ten desktops around the world.
According to IT security firm ESET, however, the statistics have lowered significantly since Microsoft pulled support for its once dominant platform.
Compared to April 8, 2014, nearly 28 percent of machines across the globe were operating on Windows XP. Months after the operating system’s end-of-life (EOL), only about 2.4 percent had upgraded to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
ESET researcher Aryeh Goretsky explained that while Windows XP is down to a fraction of its original market share, Windows XP remains in use worldwide at 8-11 percent – and somewhat higher in emerging markets.
March 2016 Desktop Operating System Market Share. Source: NetMarketShare
Without regular updates or patches, the remaining users’ PCs are considerably more vulnerable to malicious code designed to steal or damage data.
“[Computers still running Windows XP] can act as springboards for attacking other systems, as well,” warned Goretsky.
“While it’s critical that users protect these unpatched, unsupported systems, it is even more important for them to migrate to newer versions of Windows, which are more secure.”
Furthermore, in January of this year, Microsoft ended support for several older versions of Internet Explorer. Google Chrome followed suit by announcing it would no longer support Windows XP come April 2016.
“Such older platforms are missing critical security updates and have a greater potential to be infected by viruses and malware,” Google’s Director of Engineering Marc Pawliger also warned.