Microsoft has announced on April 8th, 2014 they will no longer support Windows XP. Many may not think that ending technical support and security updates for a thirteen year old operating system would be of concern, but a suprising 29% of worldwide computers are still running XP, making it the second most widely used OS behind Windows 7.
The end of support doesn’t mean that PCs running Windows XP will cease to function but there are some very real consequences of continuing to use the operating system. After April 8th, Windows XP computers will be more vulnerable to malware and viruses because Microsoft will no longer develop security updates that provide an essential line of defense against infection. Microsoft has warned that unplugging the workstation from the internet won’t protect XP workstations from malware because of security risks associated with the sharing of files from storage devices like USB drives or CDs. The consequences of this become compounded when you consider that one infected Windows XP unit can put an entire business network at risk.
For users of legacy Windows XP operating systems, the best course of action is to determine if their workstation is young enough to upgrade to a newer OS. If your workstation is older and can’t be upgraded, it may be time to consider investing in a new PC. There are a number of reasonably priced options available and if you are reluctant to take the plunge into the redesigned Windows 8, Windows 7 PCs are still available and will be supported by Microsoft until 2020.
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