There was widespread speculation that it would only be a matter of time until some enterprising individual would find some way to allow XP systems to be updated without Microsoft support. A recent update by German website Winfuture describes a way in which 32-bit versions of Windows XP can be configured to act as Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 systems by using a simple registry hack.
There is no guarantee that this workaround will last for a long time, especially when there is a chance that Microsoft can counteract the hack at any time. The registry tweak so far only works for 32-bit versions of XP however there is also another, albeit complicated, workaround for 64-bit editions.
Latest market share statistics by Netmarketshare.com show Windows XP global usage at 26%, mostly still in use by established enterprises, who will take advantage of the fact that XP can technically still be updated for another 5 years (without paying the required support fees) and most probably prompting direct action from Microsoft to bring an end to the workaround as word spreads on how to implement it.