We are about 3 weeks away from end of life for Windows XP, April 8th Windows XP will officially be retired. Microsoft will stop supporting it, and no further patches will be available. I’ve had several clients ask me if this is really a big deal, or just a marketing ploy for Microsoft to get people to upgrade their computers. My response is “YES”. Windows XP is 12 and a half years old. You might not think that is very old, but in the computer world it’s generations.
On 25 August 2001, it was a different time. The twin towers were still standing, and it was months before we knew what Hogwarts was, or that a young Harry Potter could ride a broom. Frodo and Gandalf hadn’t even started their great journey to Mount Doom yet in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Beyoncé was still chart topping with Destiny’s Child. Intel just released its Pentium® 4 Processor 1.80 GHz, and Microsoft released its new Flagship OS Windows XP. That kind of puts things in perspective. Some of these things I can’t believe were so long ago. If you follow technology at all, you know things change constantly, always improving. Microsoft has released 3 service packs to try and keep XP, current and relevant. The truth of the matter is XP was designed in a simpler time, when you heard about viruses, but they were more annoying, than destructive. Fast forward to present day. You can’t go anywhere online without just swimming in a pool of infestation. I doubt there is a single person that has not had to have their system cleaned or formatted all together due to some malware/spyware, virus that totally corrupted their system. The days of just buying some Anti-virus software off of the shelf, and being safe are long gone. A big part of keeping our system “clean” is doing windows updates. After April 8th, Microsoft is not going to be releasing any more patches, or updates for Windows XP. Many of the newsgroups, and blogs that I follow, are all confident that any vulnerabilities that may have been discovered by anyone wishing to do harm, may be stockpiling these, and not releasing them until they know Microsoft won’t be fixing them. So come April 9th, expect a flood of new bugs to be released exploiting the now vulnerable retired Operating System. If you have any compliance regulations concerning customers/clients sensitive information, and are using an outdated Operating System, you could definitely have some liability issues going forward due to having an unsupported OS on your network.
Even if you don’t get infected, and are very careful with where you go, and what you do another downside is going forward, Software, and hardware manufacturers are not going to be including Windows XP as an option for new hardware/software going forward. So when you buy new software, it may not be able to be installed, or work properly on Windows XP, and this will include Anti-Virus software.
So back to my original question, is Windows XP End of Life really a big deal?
Yeah it really is, and if you are still using XP in your work environment, you really should consider getting it swapped out as soon as possible. I think the initial pain of upgrading will be far less painful than the potential problems that could arise by not upgrading.
If you would like any further information feel free to contact us: