Windows XP reaches end-of-life – are you ready?

Posted on April 8th, 2014 by Stacy Gianakura


xp-end-of-life-windows-xpToday, after 12 years of support, the life of Windows XP is coming to an end.  Microsoft will cease to support this aging operating system, meaning that current users will be left vulnerable to security breaches, malware and viruses.   Security experts are saying that hackers might already know of new ways to break into XP-powered computers but be waiting until after Tuesday to attack because Microsoft will no longer step in to thwart them.

Windows XP still powers 20 to 30 percent of Windows machines around the world.  By ending support, Microsoft means that it will no longer be providing technical assistance or releasing security updates for Windows XP.  No more security updates means that Microsoft will no longer address security holes in the operating system software, which will open it up to malicious attacks from malware or viruses.  Microsoft Security Essentials will also no longer be available for download after April 8th.  If you currently have Microsoft Security Essentials, you will receive anti-malware updates for a limited time but this doesn’t ensure that your PC is secure.

Experts are saying that small businesses could be among the most effected by the end of support, because they don’t have the same kinds of firewalls and in-house IT departments that larger companies possess. And if they don’t upgrade and something bad happens, they could face lawsuits from customers, among other dangers.

How to Stay Protected

1) Upgrade Your PCs.

Upgrading your PCs to a newer operating system helps you avoid the cost of purchasing newer devices.  The problem with this approach, however, is that many older computers running Windows XP will not be able to run Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.  To see if your computers can run Windows 8.1, you can download the Microsoft Upgrade Assistant here.

If you aren’t ready to make the full jump to Windows 8.1, Windows 7 will be supported until 2020.  Windows 7 might be a better option if you are more accustomed to the Windows XP format, but upgrading to Windows 8.1 will ensure that you are implementing the most current operating system available – meaning increased support duration and greater software compatibility.

2) Purchase New PCs.

If Microsoft’s Upgrade Assistant (mentioned above) has notified you that your businesses computers are not compatible with Windows 8.1, you will most likely have to purchase new PCs preloaded with Windows 8.1 and then migrate the data from your old PC to the new one.

Contact Pyramid for Support
Pyramid Technology Services is a leading provider of managed IT services for small and medium sized businesses. We can help with your Windows XP operating system upgrades for one or many servers and computers.  Pyramid is a certified Microsoft Partner and can make your transition from Windows XP as seamless as possible.  Contact us today. 978-823-0700.

 

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