In case you haven’t heard, the official date that Microsoft will cease to offer support for Windows XP was April 8, 2014, otherwise known as “end of life” for Windows XP. While you can still use your Windows XP, Microsoft wants its users to move from the 12 year old to another OS.
Although April 8th has been the official “end of life” date, Windows has just announced that it will continue to provide updates to its security products for Windows XP users through July 15, 2015. Support will still end on April 8, 2014. The company will be providing updates, only, for an additional 15 months, which means that they will be, at least, partially protected.
The two main reasons for moving from Windows XP are:
- There will be NO support from Microsoft.
- No patches or updates will be provided to the OS, so those using XP mode are open to security risks.
There are other risks to staying with XP:
- Not only will Microsoft not be supporting Windows XP, but companies that made software for XP will do the same.
- Software companies will have no reason to develop or support their applications on XP. In addition, most third party software vendors will no longer test their software against XP, so there will be no guarantees that they will work with Windows XP.
- Security software vendors are likely to stop updating, patching and supporting their software.
- If you are regulated by HIPAA or PCI, you will likely be Non-Compliant. A big concern for healthcare is that an end-of-life OS could be interpreted as not being HIPAA compliant. Banks and credit unions still on XP will also be considered Non-Compliant with payment card industry guidelines.
- Windows XP should no longer be used for email due to the security threats.
Microsoft stresses that the effectiveness of antimalware on the out-of-support OS is limited. While the extended date for updates to its security products for Windows XP is helpful to users, the bottom line is that using the old OS is still putting yourself at risk.
We recommend updating to Windows 7. (There are still issues with Windows 8 and it is more geared to tablet use.) Please contact us with questions. We are happy to offer support with your transition.