Still using a computer running Windows XP? Now may be a good time to save for that software upgrade, as a countdown for the popular operating system has begun.
April 8, 2014 is the date Microsoft finally pulls the updates plug on the otherwise popular and durable version of Windows, security firm Sophos said.
“That means no more security updates … Regardless of the reasons you’re still using Windows XP, if you haven’t yet made plans to ditch it, you’ll want to start making those plans now,” researcher Joshua Long said in a post on Sophos’ blog.
But Long admitted this could mean big problems since XP continues to enjoy wide usage.
He cited data from Net Applications indicating Windows XP still has a 39-percent share of the desktop operating system market, second only to Windows 7’s 45 percent.
Other desktop OSes, including Windows Vista, Windows 8 and Mac OS X Mountain Lion, have a share of five percent or less.
Long said that should XP users hang on to their OS after Microsoft stops issuing security updates, cybercriminals can potentially wreak havoc.
Windows XP debuted in October 2001, and would be more than 12 years old by the time Microsoft pulls the plug on it next year.
“Rarely does any operating system continue to receive security patches for so many years. Numerous security improvements have been introduced in every subsequent version of Windows,” Long said.
He advised XP users to save up for a Windows upgrade.
On the other hand, Long said Microsoft is also due to end support for Microsoft Office 2003, Exchange Server 2003, Project Server 2003, Virtual PC 2004, and Content Management Server 2002 by next year.
“But just to be safe, it’s probably wise for everyone to upgrade as many PCs as possible before April 8th arrives next year,” he said. — ELR, GMA News
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- Firms not ready for Windows XP end-of-life could face compliance risks (computerweekly.com)
- Staying with Windows XP Is Three Times More Expensive than Buying Windows 8 (news.softpedia.com)