KINGMAN - Microsoft stopped supporting the Windows XP operating system April 8, meaning that users will no longer receive updates for their computers, making them "five times more vulnerable to security risks and viruses," according to Microsoft's website.
Windows XP was released to the public in Oct. 2001. Since that time, Microsoft has released three updates to their Windows OS, with Windows 8 as their latest update.
As of March, Windows XP had a Worldwide OS market share of 27.69 percent. That is second only to Windows 7, which has a market share of 48.77 percent.
"Windows XP is 12 years old," the company's website states. "It's typical to end service for software as it gets older and technology evolves. Most of us have replaced cell phones and even our cars over the last 12 years - now it's time to replace your Windows XP computer with a new PC."
There are a couple of options for Windows users. The first would be to upgrade their current PC to Windows 7 or 8. This is not recommended for some XP users, as many computers currently running XP do not meet the system requirements for Windows 7 or 8.
The second option Microsoft offers is to upgrade a PC altogether. PCs on their website start at $249 and go up from there. Microsoft is also currently offering $100 in-store credit for XP users who upgrade to a PC that costs more than $600. Microsoft will also help people migrate their data from their old computer to a new one. Most programs and files used on Windows XP will be compatible with Windows 7 or 8.
Upgrading is highly suggested, but not required. Windows XP computers will still operate, just without Microsoft's security patches and support.