Microsoft’s direct support for Windows XP ends on April 8, 2014. All home & corporate users should prepare in advance and migrate to Windows 7 or 8 well ahead of this event.
QUOTE: It has been twelve years since the release of Windows XP and the world has changed so much since then. Internet usage has grown from ~361 million to more than 2.4 billion users. We have witnessed the rise of the internet citizen with members of society connected through email, instant messaging, video-calling, social networking and a host of web-based and device-centric applications. As the internet becomes more and more woven into the fabric of society, it has also become an increasingly popular destination for malicious activity (as evidenced in the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report.) Given the rapid evolution, software security has had to evolve to stay ahead of cybercrime. To help protect users from rapid changes in the threat landscape, Microsoft typically provides support for business and developer products for 10 years after product release, and most consumer, hardware, and multimedia products for five years after product release.
Per our long established product support lifecycle, after April 8, 2014, Windows XP SP3 users will no longer receive new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates. This means that any new vulnerabilities discovered in Windows XP after its end of life will not be addressed by new security updates by Microsoft. Moving forward, this will likely make it easier for attackers to successfully compromise Windows XP-based systems using exploits for unpatched vulnerabilities. In this scenario, antimalware software and other security mitigations are severely disadvantaged and over time and will become increasingly unable to protect the Windows XP platform.