When sales of PCs (Personal Computers) took a 6% dip at the end of 2012, many said it must be because people were switching to tablets or smartphones. But the real reason behind declining sales could be that that people are keeping their old computers longer.
The web -tracking company Net Applications reported that around 45% of Internet traffic from Windows systems came from systems Windows 7, a little over 5% from Windows Vista and 42% from Windows XP. That matches up with figures that say Windows 8 only has about 2% of the Windows operating system market.
It used to be the case that you needed to upgrade your computer every couple of years to keep up with changes in software and hardware requirements, but better processors inside computers and the switch to more web-based activity has changed that. For most casual users, what they have works just fine for everyday tasks.
There is a dark cloud on the horizon for happy XP users, though. Microsoft is discontinuing support of XP in April of 2014. What that means is that there will be no new security updates, free or paid online support options, or patches for non-security bugs.
That doesn’t mean XP will stop working, of course. But it is something to keep in mind if you’ve thought about upgrading to a new operating system.