Support for Windows XP may have ended in April this year, but some users are still hanging on firmly to the Microsoft operating system.

Kaspersky Lab conducted its “Windows Usage and Vulnerabilities Research” in June, and surveyed volunteers using Windows-based products around the world .

When the findings were filtered down to numbers by country, Vietnam recorded the highest number of users with 38.79% saying they still preferred Windows XP. China came in second with 27.35%, India in third with 26.88% and Algeria in fourth with 24.25%. No figures for South Africa were provided on the research’s report.

According to Kaspersky Lab, one in five computers protected by a Kaspersky Lab product still runs under Windows XP in Italy (20.31%) and Spain (19.26%). A smaller proportion of users (4.52%) continues to use Windows XP in the USA.

This apparently makes users more vulnerable to malware attacks.

“The Kaspersky Security Network statistics show that the XP epoch is finally coming to its end. However, a sizeable proportion of users still run this aging operating system. Its maintenance has been discontinued by Microsoft, which means that the manufacturer will no longer release security updates or patch vulnerabilities which may still exist in the system. Should virus writers find such a vulnerability, XP users will come under threat,” said Vyacheslav Zakorzhevsky, head of vulnerability research team at Kaspersky Lab.

Kaspersky Lab also revealed that Windows 8.1 was installed on the PCs of 7.2% Kaspersky Lab users by June 2014, compared to 6.2% of users installing Windows 8 by June 2013.

“The improved take-up rate for Windows 8.1 may be partly related to the fact that Windows 8 was the first Microsoft operating system which supports upgrades to new versions with an embedded upgrade client via the official Windows app store,” Kaspersky Lab says.

To avoid potential information security incidents caused by the non-updated Microsoft software and their negative effect, Kaspersky Lab experts recommend using the latest Windows version and monitor notifications about the appearance of security updates for it and other Microsoft products.

[Source – Information Week, Kaspersky Lab, Image – Windows]