Say Good-bye to Windows XP

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There seems to be some confusion regarding Microsoft’s announcement that, effective April 8, 2014,  it will suspend support for Windows XP, in spite of the fact it is one of the most popular operating systems in the history of the PC. This also means a simultaneous end to support for Office 2003, another popular workhorse still in widespread use. Some people aren’t sure exactly what this news means, or how it will affect them.

The good news is that your system won’t suddenly crash on April 9th. It will actually continue to function just fine, at least for a while. However, without Microsoft’s support, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates. That means you’ll be vulnerable to security breaches and viruses. Small businesses using Windows XP will be particularly at risk, as they are the hacking world’s favorite target.

If you choose to continue running Windows XP on your PC, Microsoft says you’ll be on your own. You can probably keep XP going quite some time if you have a high-performance anti-virus package, but that will only protect you from known threats.

From the Windows website: “Every Windows product has a lifecycle. The lifecycle begins when a product is released and ends when it’s no longer supported or sold. Knowing key dates in this lifecycle helps you make informed decisions about when to upgrade or make other changes to your software.”

The computer industry as a whole recommends you make plans now to migrate to a new Operating System, especially if you handle and store sensitive data. Based on historical customer records, the average enterprise can take several months to accomplish full deployment, so time is of the essence if you wish to avoid security risks.

If you have questions or concerns about which new Operating System to install, or how to make the transition, call us. We’re here to help.

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