One of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s biggest problems has been stragglers who are still using Windows XP and haven’t upgraded to Windows 8 (or even 7, for that matter). That headache is only going to get worse when Microsoft stops supporting XP.

Windows 9

Many have been hesitant to move to 8 because of all the flak Microsoft got when it launched the completely revamped operating system. After all, if you can’t even figure out how to turn the computer off anymore, then you’ve got a big problem. And then there’s the issue of expensive legacy software which will also have to be replaced because newer versions will be needed in order to work with the new operating system. That could turn out to be quite a sizeable expense for many companies, as Tom’s Hardware notes.

Microsoft to release Windows 8.2

Many are looking forward to the release of Windows 8.2, which should be coming out soon. No huge changes are expected, but Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is expected to again provide some features which further bridge the gap and hopefully cut the learning curve associated with the leap between Windows 7 and 8.

We’ve been hearing that the timeline for the launch of Windows 9 has been sped up because of all the complaints about Windows 8. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) could actually show off the next-generation operating system as early as next month at its annual Build developer conference. However, it isn’t expected to be available for purchase until late this year or maybe even early next year.

What happens when Windows XP support ends

The big problem Windows XP users are facing is the date when Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) stops supporting the old version of the operating system. The end of support means that computers which are still running XP will be vulnerable to malware attacks as Microsoft will no longer be sending out updates to close new security holes.

If Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has indeed sped up the Windows 9 timeline and shows the operating system off next month, it will be interesting to see exactly how the dates line up. Personally, I’d like to see Windows 9 incorporate some of the features which made Windows 8 great while returning the desktop to the front. Windows 8 really is an excellent mobile operating system, but without a touch screen, it makes a little less sense. It would be good to see Windows 9 bridge the gap between mobile and desktop better than 8 does.