How Windows XP End-of-Support Affects You

With only one week to go until Microsoft ends support of Windows XP an estimated 30% of PCs worldwide still operate on the 12-year-old system.

After the April 8 cutoff, there will be no more security updates or technical support for the Windows XP operating system. This proves a serious threat to any individual or business running the OS. These machines will be largely unprotected against viruses and cyber-attacks.

“The risk can’t be overstated,” said Thomas Hansen, vice president of small and medium business at Microsoft in an interview with CNN.

Windows XP is now three full generations behind Microsoft’s current product cycle. The legacy OS has been susceptible to security lapses and compliance issues in the last few years. Microsoft’s own research has shown that Windows XP is five times more susceptible to viruses and cyber-attacks than Windows 8.1, its newest operating system.

Along with the ever-present risk of viruses, experts predict a drastic increase in the number of cyber-attacks and hacks specifically targeting the soon-to-be-unsupported operating system.

“There are security risks. It has been widely reported that some attacks are being stockpiled to the lead up to XP going out,” said Joe Sweeney, an Advisor with IBRS.

What Does This Mean for You?

The end of support does not mean that Windows XP machines will stop working. However, because they will continue to operate many users are choosing to stay with the OS and hope for the best. While postponing an upgrade will save upfront costs of purchasing new hardware, the long-term costs of operating an at-risk system could be much higher. This includes the price of stolen and lost information, and last-minute replacement expenses for corrupted machines.

Along with the increased risk of cyber-attacks, many new applications and software will not be compatible with Windows XP. This could affect personal or business operations that require unsupported software. Along with Windows XP, support for Office 2003 will also end on April 8, 2014.

What Do You Need to Do?

It is very important to stop using Windows XP and migrate to a modern operating system, such as Windows 8.1, as soon as possible. By moving to a supported operating system, you will benefit from dramatically enhanced security, broad device choice for mobile users and higher user productivity.

If your current PC meets the hardware requirements, it is possible to download and install Windows 8.1 over the top of XP. However, if your PC is operating Windows XP it is most likely an outdated machine. If that is the case, replacing the entire device is a better long-term option.

Upgrading your hardware and migrating your organization to a newer OS can be a time-consuming process. Network Outsource can provide assistance in upgrading your system and ensuring your organization receives the most reliable protection. For more information about the end of life support for Windows XP contact Network Outsource at http://networkoutsource.com/contact-us.


 

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