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Windows XP is being retired. What should you know and what to do if you still use it?

Few other things in today's fast paced technology world had remained as dominant and popular as the good-old Windows XP had. It had been a stretch of 12 years in which this reliable OS had served many of us well and maybe even still remains a choice for many. A recent study by Flexera Software finds that even among organizations nearly 30% have not migrated to newer OS like Windows 7, 8 and the likes. But that is about to change and change fast.

As of April 8 of 2014 Microsoft officialy ends the support for XP. While that does not mean that you cannot use it, it does mean that technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. You can continue to use Windows XP, but your computer might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.

In the newly released Volume 15 of the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIRv15), one of the key findings to surface relates to virus and malware susceptibility of the former. It shows a nearly double the infection rate in Windows XP compared with Windows 7 and even larger difference with Windows 8.

A few possible reasons for the higher infection rate on Windows XP are:

  • Antimalware protection may not be active or up to date - developers and antivirus companies focus on the current mainstream OS's where the largest part of their target audience is.

  • Older technology lacks the protective measures built into more recently introduced operating systems, and therefore is challenged to defend against some attacks.

One way or another - using an outdated Operating System clearly implies risks and vulnerabilities better addressed in newer versions.

And then there are the issues with driver and hardware support. No new hardware is being built and shipped with XP support and drivers. So if you decide to buy a new video card or a gadget for your aging PC, chances are you might not be able to run it at all.

After all, there is no real need to stay with a 12 year OS - even for program compatibility. There are plenty of solutions for moving your old windows software onto a newer OS. You do not have to part with that old accounting software or a DOS Inventory program. Virtualization and cloud computing are maturing fast and provide multiple ways you can keep what you have but still move to a modern platform.

Need help? Have questions? We can help transition your home or office to one of the newer offerings from Microsoft seamlessly and with the least amount of effort. Just ask.

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