In December, we talked about the "damned if we do, damned if we don't" situation Microsoft was finding itself in with Windows XP. At this point, the OS could be considered ancient - at least in software years - yet, it still has a massive following. The OS has been out for nearly 13 years, and since its release, we've seen three other major variants of Windows released, with the latest of course being 8.
The fact that Windows XP isn't dead at this very moment is thanks to Microsoft's move to extend the support deadline a couple of years ago. With this looming April 8th "final" deadline, many XP fans had hoped that the company would once again prolong the OS' support cycle - but that isn't the case. Microsoft is serious about this one, and it's apparently prepared to deal with the repurcussions that could come with it.
The final nail in the coffin was made known last month, when Microsoft issued a plea to those who would be willing to explain the death of XP to friends and family, and help them get into a position (read: upgrade their PC) so that they can be on a more modern version of Windows. A side-effect XP's death could have, though, wouldn't work out to the favor of Microsoft: People could simply not care about the lack of support, or they could move to a competing OS, such as Linux.
There's another potentially major issue here: XP sits on the majority of ATMs out there, still. As of December, at least 400,000 ATMs around the United States still had XP on them. In some ways, it's a little foolish to believe that so many banks have been slack in upgrading, because while Windows 8 isn't everyone's cup of tea, the death of XP has been known-about for quite some time. It's worth bearing in mind, though, that if an ATM is running Windows XP CE, a slimmed-down version of XP, Microsoft is still supporting that until 2016.
One interesting factoid to note is that while XP is clearly and definitively on its deathbed, we learned last month that in some cases, XP usage was growing. When you think about it, this really is an odd situation, but it's one I'm sure Microsoft will be thrilled to have off of its back sooner than later (which I'm sure will extend far beyond XP's burial date).