Microsoft is finally ending all extended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014, five years after it ended mainstream support. After that, the 12-year-old operating system will not receive any new security updates and its users will be left to fend for themselves. As Google announced today, however, it will provide support for Chrome users on XP until at least a year after Microsoft’s own support ends.
Browser bugs, Google argues, are often an easy way for malware to infect computers and with XP not getting any security updates anymore after next April, chances are it will become an even larger playground for hackers who want to exploit its vulnerabilities.
Millions of Chrome users and plenty of large organizations, Google says, are still using XP today “and may have trouble migrating.” That number continues to slowly shrink, but there is no reason to believe that XP’s 31% global market share is going to start dropping rapidly after next April.
Microsoft itself, it’s worth noting, decided to cut support for Internet Explorer on Windows XP after the launch of IE8. None of the more modern versions of IE run on XP (and there are a variety of technical reasons for this) and because of this, IE8 remains one of the most popular browsers on the market today.