Death has come to a technology that has been loved by many for more than 12 years.
Microsoft announced earlier that its support for Windows XP ends April 8. It has decided to invest its resources toward assisting and developing the latest technologies to bring about new experiences to users.
“As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date,” the company said.
Those who have Microsoft Security Essentials installed will continue to receive anti-malware signature updates until July 2015 only; however, that doesn’t completely secure the PC from other threats.
Windows XP will continue to run for those who have it on their PCS, but security threats are most likely to happen since support is no longer there. Besides, developing apps and devices soon may no longer be compatible with Windows XP.
"It's an old operating system. Think of the cell phone you were using in the late '90s compared to what you see today. XP doesn't do the things we expect from our PCs or devices today,” said director of communications for Windows Tom Murphy.
Microsoft had released non-support warnings as early as September 2007. Research says the death of Custom Support will take a heavy toll on businesses that have acted slowly, noting that costs could reach up to $5 million every year, or as high as $200 per PC every year, based on a Gartner report.
An estimated 40 percent of establishments of all sizes are still on Windows XP, based on data from Softchoice, a provider of information technology to businesses. Of those, 7 percent have XP on more than 80 percent of their devices.
Regulators warned credit unions and banks in October, so they could plan ahead for the cutoff. Apparently, many ATMs are still on the XP operating system, although some are on a specialized type of XP that varies from the software for desktops.
Doug Johnson, vice president of the American Bankers Association, said that Microsoft intends to continue support to the specialized XP types. He likewise said banks have been making some changes to boost ATM security; otherwise, they will continue to pay Microsoft for sustained support till a change in software comes up.
“To help those customers, we offer Custom Support for Windows XP as a temporary, last resort to help bridge the gap during a migration process to a modern OS, as the newest technologies provide the optimal chance to be and stay secure. We are sure that our customers are taking the necessary steps to protect their customers,” a spokeswoman of Microsoft also said in a statement.
It takes a lot of work, however, to continue the Custom Support. For one, it requires an active Premier Support agreement. Consumers should work with their Microsoft Account Representative regarding this. The company clarified that the extended support is for customers who need more time before the migration and not a strategy to extend support to an expired product.
Based on data from NetApplications, about 27.7 percent of all PCs tracked were still on Windows XP, even a month before the deadline. Microsoft has a simple suggestion for this: install a newer version of Windows or purchase a new computer. It further advises that users running XP should copy their sensitive files to another storage device, then remove them from the XP device so they do not become accessible to possible hackers. Meanwhile, security professionals suggest disabling the Internet connection of said XP devices.
Microsoft has been offering a $100 gift card to XP users to purchase a new device powered by Windows 8.1. For Windows 8 users, the 8.1 system update is free from the Windows Store. Windows users can expect the new operating system to go live anytime the morning of April 8, so expect heavy traffic during the download time as well.
Good news is, the point-one update takes back some interface features that users enjoyed in Windows 7, plus new tweaks to make the system more convenient for desktop users. Tablet users can also expect tweaks for their device. Search has become more intuitive as well for desktop users. Expect more organization features in Start Menu of Windows 8, as well as new search and shutdown controls that are also more convenient. The update also lets users pin modern apps to the taskbar of their desktop, allowing users to both run classic and modern applications in their device.