Microsoft has told customers that it's time to stop using Windows XP, reminding people on its official blog that there is less than 1,000 days of support left for the ageing OS.

With an inevitable focus on migrating people and businesses to Windows 7 – its critically acclaimed latest OS – and with huge amounts of focus on its successor, Windows 8, Microsoft has made it clear that XP reliance should be drawing to a close.

"Wouldn't it be great if the glory days lasted forever?" blogged Microsoft's Stephen Rose. "But reality is trophies get dusty, records are broken, and what it took to be the best ten years ago, just isn't enough for today's standards.

Better, faster

"Things get better, faster. And eventually, it's time to move from good enough to something much better," he added

"Windows XP had an amazing run and millions of PC users are grateful for it. But it's time to move on.

"Two reasons: 1) Extended support for Windows XP is running out in less than 1000 days, and 2) there's an OS out there that's much better than Windows XP."

XP has been a phenomenal success for the company, despite straddling the explosion of internet use and needing a hefty update in the now famous service packs which totally overhauled the OS for the web age.

Successor Vista failed to match XP's popularity, dogged by early criticism of driver support, a bloated footprint and a reliance on lots of RAM which made it unsuitable for netbooks which truly took hold after its arrival.

Windows 7 was, therefore, one of the software giant's most vital releases, but a cunningly early public beta release and a much improved experience gave it a bright start, and public take-up has been good enough to reinvigorate the Windows brand.