Microsoft has ended its support towards Windows XP on 8 April 2014. Users saw it coming since Microsoft stopped providing mainstream support way back in 2009. Till recently, it was only providing extended support. Windows XP is probably the most loved OS developed by Microsoft. Normally Microsoft supports its products for 10 years. However, Windows XP could enjoy the benefits for 2 extra years. However, this does not mean that the OS would stop working.
Users can still work on their computer but due to lack of support from the company, the computer would be exposed to viruses and security threats. Moreover, many applications to be developed in the future would not be compatible with the OS. As far as Microsoft Security Essential for Windows XP is concerned, it cannot be downloaded now. If you have it installed in your computer then you would continue receiving virus definitions and Malicious Software Removal Tool (to be downloaded manually) updates until 14 July 2015.
Soon after Microsoft announced that it would stop supporting Windows XP, it urged users to migrate to Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. The company has also offered instructions on its official website to transfer data to the new OS from the old one. Microsoft has also decided to stop offering security updates to another of its popular product, Microsoft Office 2003, along with Windows XP.
A blog posted in the Premier Field Engineering Platforms section of http://blogs.technet.com revealed that Microsoft made it clear that all Windows 8.1 users will have to install the new update released yesterday to continue receiving security patches and other updates. These are extremely important to keep computers safe from viruses and security threats.
Updating Windows 8.1 should not be a matter of concern since the update is available through the regular Windows Update method. Thus, the update would download and install automatically unless you have turned off automatic updates for some reason. It is better to enable automatic update and allow Microsoft to update your OS. There is no way to skip this process and still hope to receive security patches.
To see whether you are using Windows 8 or 8.1, you need to go to PC Settings> PC and devices> PC info and check the “Windows” section. At any point of time, if you want to update Windows 8 to 8.1, you need to visit the Store app and click on the update option noticeable on the home page itself.
Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista users need not worry about any kind of update since Microsoft would continue to send patches as usual. As far as Windows XP users are concerned, they should upgrade their OS to a newer version as Microsoft has ended its support towards XP yesterday.