Windows XP still runs on 30 per cent of computers as its death bell tolls

Nearly a third of computer users are still running Windows XP.

In fact, 29.5 per cent of PCs are running Windows XP, Ars Technica reports. That’s a worryingly high percentage given that Microsoft is discontinuing support for the old OS in a month’s time (8 April to be precise).

That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to use XP any more, but there won’t be any system updates or patches forthcoming from Redmond. So any vulnerabilities which are prised open post-April will remain gaping wounds for malware miscreants to ply their trade on Windows XP users.

Microsoft is keen to get users to shift away from XP, and bolster Windows 8 numbers of course – so it has released a free migration tool to help the OS switch run more smoothly (to Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1).

And speaking of Windows 8, what’s the market share for Microsoft’s latest desktop OS? It stands at 6.4 per cent on pure Windows 8, with 4.3 per cent on Windows 8.1, for a grand total of 10.7 per cent – barely more than a third of the XP user base, and only up a tiny amount (0.1 per cent) on the previous month.

Windows 7 holds the lion’s share, of course, with 47.3 per cent of the market. OS X is on 7.7 per cent, Vista represents 3.1 per cent, and other alternative operating systems make up the remaining 1.7 per cent.

Incidentally, quite a number of business PCs are still on XP, and if your company is one such outfit, you should read our feature on the top four ways small businesses can protect themselves against the end of Windows XP.