Microsoft's end-of-life support deadline for Windows XP has now passed and it appears to be causing a few people to board the train to panic station central.

In the UK, the recently-formed Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has paid Microsoft £5.5 million (around $9.1 million/AUS$9.8 million) to extend support for its geriatric operating system beyond the original April 8 deadline.

According to Dutch technology news website WebWereld, the Dutch government has followed suit by inking a "multi-million" Euro deal that will see up to 40,000 of public sector PCs upgraded by early 2015 at the latest.

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Whether you're working in the public sector or drawing cats on Paint in your spare time at home, failing to upgrade from XP is risky business as Microsoft will provide no further security or bug fixes for the 13-year-old operating system.

Despite this, Net Market Share estimates that XP is still running on over 27 per cent of computers worldwide. It was reported in January that thousands of UK public sector computers would still be running XP after support for the platform had lapsed.

But don't fear: whether you're at work, or working from home, there are options available to you. Linux is free and comes in a variety of different flavours and can run many of your existing apps.

Alternatively, click here to find out a whole heap of things you can do with your old Windows XP computer.

Via The Guardian