On Monday, July 11, US time, Microsoft announced that Windows XP, launched in 2001, would begin a 1000-day countdown that day to its end of official support. This means that April 6, 2014, will the be the last day that XP will be officially supported.
On Monday, Erwin Visser, the Windows commercial marketing team's senior director, wrote in his blog: "One way we can help our partners and our customers get the most from their Windows experience is to help them move off of Windows XP.
"As of today, customers have 1000 days until support for Windows XP ends. Windows XP served us well, but in the ten years since it launched, the world has changed. It's time to retire Windows XP and move to Windows 7 to take advantage of the last decade of innovation in areas such as security, performance and more natural, intuitive interface."
Like all its predecessors, XP has required service packs aplenty - the first, issued in August 2011, had some 800-odd fixes. But as the years went by, XP began to acquire some semblance of stability.
After a few years, it became a case of the devil that everyone knew being better than one which was unknown. The disaster known as Windows Vista helped to consolidate the position that XP held in people's minds and workplaces.
Since Windows 7 was released, Microsoft has worked long and hard to get people to switch in order to keep the stream of income that the operating system provides coming in. But the battle has been very hard and all the cajoling done by Microsoft has fallen mostly on deaf ears.
Along with the announcement, Microsoft has released a small gadget to help XP users count down to the end of support. But true to its tradition of screwing up, this gadget runs only on Windows 7. Exactly why a user of Windows 7 would be interested in counting down to the end of support for XP is a question only Redmond can answer.