Microsoft this week ended support for the very last Windows XP-based operating system, essentially marking the end of the platform and an era. Being one of the longest living consumer operating systems ever, Windows XP’s 'official' lifespan totaled 17 years, 7 months, and 16 days.

The software giant on April 9, 2019, ended extended support for its for Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 OS, which was the last OS based on the Windows XP with SP3. Given the name, the operating system was aimed at Point of Service embedded applications and therefore was not intended for client computers. Meanwhile, the continuous support of Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 enabled some users to receive security updates on Windows XP Home and Professional SP3-based machines through the use of a registry hack.

Microsoft’s Windows XP Home and Professional SP3 designed for client PCs reached end-of-life on April 8, 2014. The company then ceased to support its Windows Embedded for Point of Service SP3 and XP Embedded SP3 in 2016. Subsequently, Windows Embedded Standard 2009 reached EOL on January 8, 2019. Finally, it is time for Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 (released in late 2008, two years after Windows Vista) to go.

Even though Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 operating system will no longer be supported by Microsoft, many organizations and individuals will keep using it either to maintain compatibility with software or hardware applications they use (for example, manufacturing equipment made in the 1990s or the 2000s) or for other reasons. Therefore, it is safe to say that Windows XP will still be in limited use after whopping 17.5 years on the market. In fact, it should be pretty safe to use the OS on computers not connected to the Internet and not using USB drives (or other potentially insecure storage devices).

Without any doubts, Windows XP was a legend that in many ways helped to shape the PC market as we know it today and outlived at least one of its successors. Nonetheless, every legend comes to an end.

Related Reading

Source: TechRepublic

Image Source:

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • JanW1 - Thursday, April 11, 2019 - link

    "one of the longest living consumer operating systems"
    Depends on how you select what a consumer operating system is, I guess, and how you determine that it's still living.

    XP for consumers:
    October 25, 2001 - April 8, 2014: < 13 years

    POSReady 2009 OS ("not intended for client computers"):
    late 2008 - today: < 11 years

    June 17, 1996 - forseeable future: > 23 years
  • baka_toroi - Thursday, April 11, 2019 - link

    Debian released many versions since 1996 and most are not supported anymore. What are you smoking?
  • jordanclock - Thursday, April 11, 2019 - link

    If you treat Debian as one monolithic OS, you need to do the same for Windows. Not just XP, but every release. Debian 1.1 is as different from Debian 9 as Windows 3.1 is from Windows 10.

    A more realistic comparison would be to include POSReady 2009 in with XP, meaning that XP went from 25-10-2001 to 9-4-2019, which is a rather insane amount of time to support an OS with such broad platform support and use cases. Debian has much more reasonable 5 year support cycles.
  • GreenReaper - Thursday, April 11, 2019 - link

    On the plus side, you can upgrade for free between Debian versions. Historically that's not been the case for Windows, although they made an exception for Windows 10.
  • JanW1 - Friday, April 12, 2019 - link

    Good point. So when do you need to consider two releases as a different OS? Maybe a question of software compatibility: Does the software that ran on release A also run on release B? How many and which software packages need to break before you consider it a new OS?

    For me as a user, I'd go with @GreenReaper's criterion: Can I continue to use my computer by installing available upgrades (to OS and software)?

    Would be interested to hear which definition @AntonSilhov had in mind in writing the article.
  • jordanclock - Friday, April 12, 2019 - link

    It's whatever the developer deems is a single release and support window. Debian 5 might be able to (painfully) upgrade to Debian 9, but that doesn't mean Debian 5 and Debian 9 are the same. They have very different underlying libraries and programs. One is supported, one isn't.
  • GreenReaper - Friday, April 12, 2019 - link

    Of course, upgrades weren't always easy.
    But first off, a fun fact - you could fit Debain 0.91 on 3 (base)+23 (dist) 1.44MB floppies:
    (Personally, I got my first distribution, S.u.S.E. 4.2, on a CD.)

    Instructions were provided for upgrading from Debian 0.93, which shipped in March 1995, to 1.x versions:

    This probably relied on dpkg, which was publicly introduced in 0.93:
    ...although it existed in 0.91 - this states that manual upgrades from 0.90 would *not* work:

    You could upgrade to bo (1.3, 5 June 1997) but it required some manual file replacements:
    Possibly this process was similar in previous versions - upgrade dpkg, then let it handle it.

    Upgrading from 1.3 to 2.0 also required manual work due to the libc5 -> libc6 transition:

    And APT wasn't included until 2.1 (slink) in 9 March 1999:

    Note however that the Pentium Pro, required by Debian 9, was only released in November 1995. It's unclear whether the kernel in the original distribution would support this CPU.


    As for Windows, you can potentially upgrade from 1.0 (theoretically supported from November 1985 to December 31, 2001) to Windows 10, almost 30 years later. However, reality bites, as you're likely to have to have swapped hardware during that point.

    Why? Well, let's talk video, for starters: EGA had only just been released, but the last EGA driver was for Windows 3.1. You could use that in Win95, and the 8194/A driver was even on the CD-ROM version, but it wouldn't be pleasant. Many at that time would have been using CGA (if not MGA); you can fudge CGA to work with early versions of 95 (Chicago), but it's not worth it:

    Similarly, VGA was only good enough up to the end of Windows NT or ME - Win2000 and XP required SVGA, although you might get them to launch in VGA mode for emergencies.

    More serious issues exist such as lack of necessary CPU instructions - forget the Pentium Pro; the 80386 had barely been released, and would only be required almost five years later with Windows 3.0 (or Windows/386 2.10), bus compatibility and incompatible minimum/maximum storage sizes. So realistically, such a continuous upgrade would never happen on a single system.
  • GreenReaper - Friday, April 12, 2019 - link fact, 3.0 would still work (though probably not ideally) on an 8086:

    3.1 (April 1992) required a 286+; Windows for Workgroups 3.11 (August 1993) required a 386+. You could run Windows 95 with that, too, but you probably wanted a 486.
  • Duckeenie - Thursday, April 11, 2019 - link

    Every time the words operating system are mentioned some head banger shows up to display his confirmation bias.

  • kaidenshi - Thursday, April 11, 2019 - link

    Not only that but he's wrong in two ways. One, Debian started in 1993, not 1996. Two, it's not the oldest surviving Linux OS, that honor goes to Slackware which debuted a few months before Debian and is still actively developed and used. A side note: FreeBSD has also been around since 1993; its first release was a few months after Debian.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now