As many PCWorld readers know, support for Windows XP ends April 8, leaving the operating system open to huge security holes that malware writers can exploit. Microsoft has a few contingency plans, but they're not nearly enough to make up for the fact that it's now impossible to run a modern web browser or antivirus tool on XP. So to encourage users to move to a more secure operating system, the company is using a tried-and-true popup.
The desktop is the standard Windows user interface, and is where you can access everything on your computer. It includes the Start button, which opens menus for programs and applications. It also contains the taskbar, which allows you to switch between open windows and applications.
To reduce piracy, the original version of Windows XP required the operating system to be activated by calling Microsoft or visiting a website to verify that it was purchased and activated legally. To do this, the OS kept track of the hardware components on the machine to determine if it could be activated. If the computer changed hardware, XP would fail to activate online and would require a call to Microsoft to reactivate it within a defined time period.
The XP popup notifies users that their version of the operating system will no longer be supported by Microsoft, and urges them to install a more current version of Windows. The message will appear on the screen after the operating system reboots, and it will recur on the eighth of every month until the operating system is no longer supported by Microsoft. The XP notification will also include a link to a page on the Windows XP End of Support site, where people can learn more about moving to a newer operating system.