The end is near for Windows XP.
Starting tomorrow, April 8, Microsoft Corp. will no longer provide upgrades or support for its Windows XP operating system that came out in October 2001.
“Windows XP has been extended beyond the normal 10- year life cycle and Microsoft is ready to move on and start putting its resources elsewhere,” says Devi Mazumdar, president and owner of CMIT Solutions in San Antonio.
Windows XP came out during the shock of the 9-11 terrorist attacks and stuck around for a generation, Mazumdar says. A lot of technology companies like Google and Yahoo! evolved with it. But now it is time to let it go.
“Microsoft has to move on,” she says. “They have been bugging people about this for four years.”
But nearly one-third of all the personal computers in the world are still runnings XP as are many automatic teller machines and that could be a problem over time.
“Windows XP will still work on old systems, but without the security patches and anti- virus updates they will become vulnerable to hackers and other forms of cyber attack,” Mazumdar says. “We can’t predict what will happen, but business owners in particular should not be willing to risk their data. The cost of continuing to support an outdated system is more than the one-time cost to upgrade.”
And if those businesses are in the healthcare or finance fields, they will be out of compliance with the law if they are still using Windows XP after April 8.
Upgrading to a new system will run anywhere from $500 to $2,000, but it will be worth it in the long run, Mazumdar says.
Mike W. Thomas covers technology/telecom, military, finance, regulatory issues as well as nonprofits/education.