20-30% of Internet Users Still Use XP

XP MigrationIt’s pretty well publicized and known now that Microsoft will be ending support for Windows XP on 4/8/14.  However, an article by Tom’s Guide / Elizabeth Palermo found here yesterday on Yahoo News reports that Microsoft will end support for their Windows XP Anti-virus application as well on April 8th.

Initially, this was received with shock, as this means that anyone continuing to use XP and this free AV software would be completely vulnerable to attacks.  And with 20-30% of internet users using XP, and 50% of user in China still on XP, this could cause some serious fun-time for hackers:

The end is near for Microsoft’s widely used operating system, Windows XP. April 8 the longawaited end-of-support date for the 12-year-old OS — shouldn’t take most users by surprise.

However, another Microsoft decision regarding XP may startle those die-hard XP users who refuse to upgrade. This week, the company announced that on April 8, it will also end support for the Windows XP version of Microsoft Security Essentials, the company’s free security and anti-virus application.

Not only will users of Windows XP receive no more security patches after April 8, but their installations of Microsoft Security Essentials will get no more virus updates, leaving their machines doubly unprotected.

Between 20 and 30 percent of Internet users worldwide still use Windows XP, according to recent data, including more than 50 percent of users in China. Businesses are scrambling to avoid the coming “XPocalypse,” but millions of individuals will also need to update their systems to avoid unrestricted malware attacks.”

Read the full article

Microsoft to the Rescue – AV Updates Extended

In a separate release from Microsoft in the same week, however, they have heard the rumblings and have agreed to extend the deadline for end-of-life on the data security product.  According to slashdot.org:

“Microsoft today announced it will continue to provide updates to its security products for Windows XP users through July 14, 2015. Previously, the company said it would halt all updates on the end of support date for Windows XP: April 8, 2014. For consumers, this means Microsoft Security Essentials will continue to get updates after support ends for Windows XP. For enterprise customers, the same goes for System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection, and Windows Intune running on Windows XP.”

Extension or Not – It’s Time to Migrate

Experts agree, that extensions withstanding, it is time for enterprises and individual users to begin, or at least plan to begin, the migration off of Windows XP.  No simple task for SMB’s with older laptops and employees (and applications) used to the platform.  Great Lakes Computer is here to help.  Contact us today to set up a consultation with one of our IT Support experts, who are ready to assist with consultation and migration.

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