With the release of Windows 8 just around the corner, Microsoft has released the official dates for the end of XP support. Windows XP sales stopped as of October 22, 2010 but users were and are still able to downgrade copies of Windows 7 to similar level copies of XP. XP has been the backbone of home and business computing for nearly 11 years but with the success of Windows 7 Microsoft has put the old warhorse out to pasture. What this means for the average user is not a whole lot. Windows XP will continue to work along with all the applications designed for it. The major change is that there will be no more service packs, updates, or security fixes. For retail Customers this has already happened as of April, 2009 however Commercial customers with extended support are covered until April, 2014. After the end of support it is recommended that users upgrade to a newer version of Windows to continue to receive security patching from Windows Update. It is important that you have a plan in place to keep your systems up to date and running smoothly.