If there's one thing we've learned from the end of Windows XP support, it's that nobody listens to Microsoft.

Microsoft has issued more dire warnings about the end of XP than we can count and yet, it is still the second most popular desktop OS after Windows 7.

Although Windows 7 does hold 55 percent of Windows users, XP remains in second with 18.6 percent of all OS desktop installations. Windows 8 doesn't even have half that number, coming in at just 7.9 percent. Even Apple's Mac OS X has been downloaded more than Windows 8 at 8.6 percent. 

The numbers come from Statcounter, a firm that analyzes OS and other statistics periodically. Statcounter's report comes just days before Microsoft plans to cut support for Windows XP - forever. Not only does this make look Microsoft ridiculous, it puts millions of users' PCs at risk of malware and virus attacks yet XP users don't seem too concerned.

XP users have weathered the storm of Windows 7 and they are clearly determined to ignore Windows 8 for as long as possible. Microsoft has tried everything: scare tactics, bribes (remember those $100 gift cards?), jokes about tech support and outright begging - all to no avail.

"Despite the stark warnings and publicity surrounding the end of support in six days' time, it appears that significant numbers of people are still using XP and sleep walking into a potential minefield of security and virus risks," writes Aodhan Cullen, the CEO of StatCounter.

Microsoft apparently intends to get XP users on to Windows 8 one way or another and is continuing try to wean them off of their beloved OS.

"[Y]ou should take action," Microsoft says on its website. "After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for Windows XP. Security updates patch vulnerabilities that may be exploited by malware and help keep users and their data safer. PCs running Windows XP after April 8, 2014, should not be considered to be protected." 

So far, no one seems to be listening and the few that are seem to be eyeing Chrome, Linux and yes, even Mac OS X, as an alternative, in hopes of avoiding the dreaded Windows 8 and its tiles.

It will be interesting to see who wins this battle of wills, though it seems that siding with Microsoft is a sucker's bet.

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