8th April: The Windows XPacalypse

Posted by Robert Dodds

Deadline day is finally here. Microsoft support for Windows XP, the operating system that came out in 2001, is officially ending today.

The fact that support has lasted this long is amazing, considering that when the operating system came out, the latest mobile phones were the first to feature colour displays - but only one colour at once!

Operating systems today are built with mobile technology in mind, with the intention of crossover between devices being as seamless as possible. The lines between the devices are blurring, with some people preferring tablet PCs to desktops and laptops - and there are even hybrid models available that are both tablet and laptop/desktop.

lenovo yoga

The Lenovo Yoga on Windows 8.1 - Tablet and Laptop in one

When you consider how much the internet scene has exploded since 2001, it further boggles the mind to think people are still running an operating system that was not built around it. When XP came out, only 7% of the world's population were online - and the majority of those were only using a dial up connection. These days, the internet is at the centre of everything we do on our computers - and much of what we do in our daily lives.

What the end of XP support means

  • No software updates from Windows Update
  • No security updates
  • No security hotfixes
  • No free support options
  • No online technical content updates

Microsoft is effectively retiring the operating system. It is now a relic in technology history. If you are still running it, it would be very wise to upgrade now.

Let the cyber crime begin

Think how much cyber crime has grown, and the methods of cyber criminals have become more advanced, since 2001. Do you still want to be running an operating system that is 13 years old and no longer has security updates and hotfixes?

Cyber criminals will also be able to reverse engineer the security patches for the newer, still supported, versions of windows to discover flaws that exist in XP. This will make any PCs running XP extremely vulnerable to new cyber threats. Hackers could potentially completely take over a computer, or stay hidden, accessing any files they like and intercepting any information sent or received. For home users this is a security threat that compromises privacy, and potentially finances. For businesses, a security breach of this kind could very easily be catastrophic.

This only underlines the how crucial it is for businesses and home users to get off Windows XP.

And if you're still not convinced? What forward thinking business is not embracing the future and still uses a 13 year old piece of software anyway?

Topics: IT Security, Newsletters

    

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