As you know (or should know), Microsoft has given a very real and very public deadline for Windows XP support of April 8, 2014. After that date, no further updates will be provided for the 12 year old operating system version. But, here's the thing, it's been communicated loud and long by Microsoft, its partners, and the various media orgs for months upon months. If you had no idea until now, you just weren't listening.

Apple, on the other hand, has decided to end support for its Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) operating system quietly, delivering its last patch for the 4 year old OS in September 2013. Since September, two patching cycles have come and gone without any nod to Snow Leopard. In Apple's most recent batch of patches, severe vulnerabilities in both iOS and OS X were addressed, with both the mobile and desktop OS's sharing the same scary flaw. And, now a new security issue had arisen where iOS 7 is vulnerable to a keylogging breach.

It's funny to me how many Windows XP users are up-in-arms that Microsoft will end support for a 12 year OS, but Apple sees very little complaint about sweeping Snow Leopard security and support under the rug directly in front of its customers and just looking the other way like it never happened. And, just like Windows XP, without software patches made available from Apple, bugs and security flaws will make OS X 10.6 a high target for hackers.

Snow Leopard users are able to upgrade to the latest version of OS X (Mavericks) for free from the Mac App Store, however, Mavericks will not run on a Mac computer that was purchased before 2007. Apple keeps a premium price on its hardware and customers are becoming less likely to splurge to buy a new, expensive Mac when cheaper, more modern alternatives exist.

Can you imagine if Microsoft did the same? How much longer will Apple be given a pass on security and a lack of a very public lifecycle support policy?