Still clinging on to Windows XP after 12 years, and hasn’t yet switched to Windows 8.1? Perhaps you should re-evaluate this decision. According to Microsoft in its latest Security Intelligence Report, while both OSes have roughly similar malware encounter rate (16.3% for XP, 12.4% for 8), Windows XP is about 5.5x more likely to be infected than Windows 8.
While this may sound like the Redmond company trying to scare Windows XP users into upgrading to its latest and greatest OS, consider this too: come April 8 next year, Windows XP support (the latest and last supported version being SP3) will come to an end. This basically means that it’ll no longer receive security updates and non-security hotfixes, as well as free/paid assisted support options and online technical content updates. If history is any indication, we should see Windows XP’s malware infection rate to spike after April 8, 2014. Microsoft said that in the two years after Windows XP SP2 ended its support, its malware infection rate was 66% higher than SP3.
Microsoft hopes to cut Windows XP’s share to below 13% worldwide, down from the current 21%.