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Microsoft Grants Windows XP a Stay of Execution

Microsoft still recommends that users retire Windows XP based on what they say on their website, where Windows XP and Office 2003 support ends on April 8, 2014.  What does end of support mean to customers?  No more “Patch Tuesday“?

Microsoft’s End-of-life statement (reference):

It means you should take action because after April 8, 2014, because there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates.

Be aware that running Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 in your environment after their end of support date may expose your company to potential security risks, such as:

  • Security & Compliance Risks: Unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks. This may result in an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information
  • Lack of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) & Hardware Manufacturers support: A recent industry report from Gartner Research suggests “many independent software vendors (ISVs) are unlikely to support new versions of applications on Windows XP in 2011; in 2012, it will become common.” And it may stifle access to hardware innovation: Gartner Research further notes that in 2012, most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on the majority of their new PC models.

Get current with Windows and Office. This option has upside well beyond keeping you supported. It offers more flexibility to empower employees to be more productive, while increasing operational efficiency through improved PC security and management. It also enables your organization to take advantage of latest technology trends such as virtualization and the cloud.

For all that tough talk – on 1/15/14 Microsoft just posted this updateMicrosoft to extend anti-malware protection for Windows XP users

Microsoft is extending anti-malware protection for Windows XP users beyond its April 8 deadline for supporting the operating system to July 14, 2015.

“For enterprise customers, this applies to System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection and Windows Intune running on Windows XP. For consumers, this applies to Microsoft Security Essentials,” explains the Microsoft Malware Protection Center.

At the same time, Microsoft warns that using outdated operating systems, even with anti-malware protection, is still risky.

According to the most recent Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, Windows 8 encountered a similar amount of malware as Windows XP, but end users running Windows XP were six times more likely to be infected by malware.

The top three security threats to Windows XP users were Sality, a worm family that can steal personal information and lower PC security settings; Ramnit, a worm that infects Windows executable files, Microsoft Office files and HTML files; and Vobfus, a family of worms that can download other malware onto a PC and can be downloaded by other malware or spread via removable drives.

Redmond recommends that PC users employ best security practices, such as “using modern software that has advanced security technologies and is supported with regular security updates, regularly applying security updates for all software installed [and] running up-to-date anti-virus software.” 

Microsoft still recommends best practices to protect your PC such as:

  • Using modern software that has advanced security technologies and is supported with regular security updates
  • Regularly applying security updates for all software installed
  • Running up-to-date anti-virus software

Looking for an example on how to make the move from Windows XP to Windows 7?  Read this article on how the city of Norwich, Conn., successfully upgraded its 230 PCs from Windows XP to Windows 7.

So you may now have more time to make the move, but the move still needs to be made and you need to develop a plan to make this migration as painless as possible. EarthLink can provide guidance on how best to make that happen.

About Kevin Courteau

Kevin Courteau
Kevin serves as Senior Product Marketing Manager for EarthLink, supporting IT Services, MPLS, and Voice Services. Kevin is responsible for launching new services and developing campaigns and offers promoting them. Kevin manages the Industry Insights campaigns delivering whitepapers and webinar on topics of interest to customers and prospects. He brings nearly 30 years of marketing experience including 13 in telecommunications B2B product marketing. At Global Crossing Kevin served in multiple marketing positions and launched the world’s first global MPLS and VoIP services. He has an MBA in Marketing from the University of Iowa, and a BS in Industrial Engineering from Purdue.