It's been 16 months since Microsoft stopped rolling out security updates for the 14-year-old Windows XP and left it to the mercy of hackers and other online threats. We knew that was going to happen well in advance, which is why we at Komando.com spent an entire year warning you to upgrade to a more secure system.
Most of you listened, but I know there are still a few holdouts; Google claims 17% of its users still have XP. You might know a relative or two yourself who refuses to upgrade. Now you can add this news to the already long list of reasons not to use XP anymore.
Even though Microsoft stopped releasing security fixes for Windows XP, it was still updating its Microsoft Security Essentials anti-virus program and Windows' built-in malicious software removal tool with new virus signatures. That at least gave XP some level of protection, even though Microsoft admitted it wouldn't be enough to stop a serious hack.
This week, however, Microsoft stopped pushing out those updates. That means XP won't detect or stop any new virus created from now on, and there are hundreds of new viruses created every day.
On the plus side, Google is still updating its products for XP until the end of 2015, but it's one of the last companies to do so. That's one reason it's costing the U.S. Navy $9 million a year to keep XP on its computers.
If you're still using Windows XP as anything other than a standalone computer completely disconnected from the Internet and any networks, it's time to upgrade. Windows 10 is coming out at the end of the month, and it's much faster and more secure.
At this point, just about any option is better than sticking with Windows XP.