Originally launched in 2001, Windows XP is Microsoft’s most successful operating system. However, after April 8, 2014, business IT support and technical assistance for Windows XP and Office 2003 will no longer be available.
There will be no automatic updates released for these products. If a business continues to use Windows XP or Office 2003, these computers will be vulnerable to security risks and viruses.
Why no more support?
In 2002 Microsoft introduced its Support Lifecycle policy. As per this policy, Microsoft Business products, including Windows and Office products, receive a minimum of 10 years of support (5 years Mainstream Support and 5 years Extended Support), at the supported service pack level.
Therefore, Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 will go out of business it support on April 8, 2014. If an organisation has not started the migration to a modern desktop, it is highly recommended this be performed within the next 6 months.
Security specialists report Windows XP as a ticking time bomb, and that the business it support deadline date will act as a starting block for hackers to exploit security vulnerabilities.
It’s thought hackers will regularly review the security updates for later operating systems such as Windows 7 and 8, and then reverse engineer these updates. This will allow them to find the vulnerabilities and test Windows XP to see if it shares them. Thus finding weaknesses and attacking them on a massive scale.
Companies that fail to migrate their XP computers are not only at significant risk of virus infections and data theft, they could also be found liable by banking and insurance organisations for not taking responsible preventative action.
Companies that do not migrate to the latest software may also get left behind in their industry, modern software allows competitors to be more competitive than those running slower, older systems.
Organisations running Windows XP or Office 2003 should consider getting current with their Windows and Office, and there are many options for small and medium businesses who need to upgrade to a modern PC.
If your PC does not meet system requirements, consider purchasing a new business PC with Windows 8 Pro.