Alas, Microsoft has announced its cease of support for Windows XP and Office 2003. Windows XP was launched in 2001 as Microsoft's first consumer-oriented operated system. A year after XP's launch, Microsoft introduced it's Support Lifecycle policy, which includes 10 years of support (5 years mainstream and 5 years extended) of their product. With this policy in place, it is time that Microsoft retires support for Windows XP. Windows XP has been one wild ride in the OS world. With all operating systems, there seems to be the typical list of issues. However, XP's list was almost never ending with a large focus in compatibility and performance issues. XP had a rocky beginning with a rough competition (Windows 2000 and the still much used, Windows 98),so much that Microsoft had to work to convince users to update. Driver support and performance did not match the previous Windows 95, and gamers in particular, were not making the switch. Regardless of its rocky start, Windows XP has lasted, becoming the first and only PC operating system that has lasted ten years. Over time, Microsoft made continual improvements, and at its peak, XP was used by more than 80% of desktop users. Nevertheless, all things must come to an end. XP has not kept up with modern developments, the technology is dated, and it is slowly killing developers. With support ending on April 8, 2014, it is time for users of XP to move on and upgrade to Windows 7. The migration process can be a long and grueling one, so we suggest if you and/or your business runs on XP, to start 8 months ago.. (but really, start now!). Microsofts announcement claims, ""¦the average enterprise deployment can take 18 to 32 months from business case through full deployment. To ensure you remain on supported versions of Windows and Office, you should begin your planning and application testing immediately to ensure you deploy before end of support." What happens if you don't make the switch? You run the risk of being exposed to security issues, as there will be no new security updates after April 8, 2014. Support will cease; if you do run into a problem, there will be no assistance. Also, new hardware will stop supporting XP and if forced to get new hardware, you will be forced to use the latest Windows OS and Office. It may seem daunting now, but if you wait"¦you will be sorry. Here's to Windows XP"¦you were around long enough!