Microsoft’s support policy ensures support for most prominent Microsoft products for ten years after their release. This means that, as of April 8, 2014, Microsoft will end support for Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003. The loss of support for Windows XP, which is still used by one in six computer users, will mean that new security updates from Microsoft will no longer be produced for XP users, creating security vulnerabilities. Also importantly, many software developers and computer hardware designers may no longer consider Windows XP compatibility to be a design requirement. This will make it less likely that the operating system will run on newly produced computers, or that new programs will work properly, or at all, in XP.
On the same date, Microsoft will be removing support of Internet Explorer 8 from Office 365. Because IE8 is the last version of Internet Explorer that is compatible with Windows XP, users of Office 365 in XP will no longer be able to access Office 365’s Outlook Web App through Internet Explorer. This poses a problem mainly for people in business environments, where other Internet browsers may be blocked from use for security reasons. As a side note, Outlook Web App Light, meant for users with poor vision, will remain accessible.
If you or your business is due to be affected by any of these changes, I suggest that you begin planning ahead.