Microsoft has announced that support for their once-heroic desktop operating system, Windows XP, and ubiquitous Office 2003, will end on 8 April 2014. After that day they will no longer issue security updates or hotfixes for either product. Windows XP was released in 2001 and remained by far the most commonly installed operating system during the entire shelf-life of its supposed successor, Windows Vista.
Compared to XP, Vista was slow and unpopular. Microsoft released Windows 7 in 2009 which eventually replaced XP as the most common operating system in use. Windows 8 is due for release in October, allowing legacy users on Windows XP to plan their move onto a newly release operating system.