The year was 2001 when Microsoft released Windows XP to the world. Windows XP has been a part of our lives for almost 13 years. The original release of Windows XP was by no means perfect, and it required 3 Service Packs and 5 years before Microsoft built what will most likely go down in history as one of it’s most popular operating systems.
Over the past decade PC’s have moved from high-end equipment to be more comparable to an appliance; you need it, but once you’ve decided which one to purchase, you expect to use it until it breaks. Because of this, they are still millions of people still using Windows XP with no major issues. Now, Microsoft has decided that it’s time for users to move on and they have officially announced that as of April 8, 2014 that Windows XP will be considered ‘end of life’, will no longer be supported and they will no longer release security updates/patches for it.
Why Should You Care?
Both home and business users should pay special attention to Microsoft discontinuing security updates for Windows XP. No more security updates or patches means that any new vulnerabilities in Windows XP will not be fixed. To put this in perspective, Microsoft releases patches for Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8) on the second Tuesday of every month and these updates almost always include security fixes for newly discovered issues. This means that there’s a very high chance that by the second Tuesday in May of this year all of your Windows XP machine will be vulnerable to exploitation. This will likely result in your PCs being infected and placing your entire network at risk. Due to the nature of these vulnerabilities its highly unlikely that anti-virus or anti-malware software will offer any protection.
What Can You Do?
Unfortunately there’s no way around it, the Windows XP machines must go, they will pose a significant and serious security threat to your network if they remain in use. If your organization currently has machines running Windows XP you should start purchasing new machines or plan a desktop infrastructure upgrade project with your IT department or provider. This should include replacing all Windows XP machines with newer systems OR upgrading them to at least Windows Vista (although you’d be much better off with Windows 7 or Windows 8). You may also take this as a chance to evaluate your entire IT infrastructure to ensure all of your equipment is current with the latest, updates and current support subscriptions.
If you need assistance in procuring and migrating to new desktops/laptops in your organization, Invizio provides IT support and desktop infrastructure roll-out services. Give us a call today.