You might not be following the latest news from Microsoft, but this recent announcement could be very important to you: Microsoft has declared that the “End Of Support” for Windows XP will arrive on April 8th, 2014. They’re so serious about this that they’ve even added a doomsday countdown clock to their website.
This is a big deal. Earning a reputation as a reliable platform, Windows XP is still doing its duty on a third of all computers. Because of this success, there’s a very good chance that XP is still working away somewhere near you. But all things must come to end, and Microsoft has stated that XP was never designed to stand up to today’s threats and demands.
In fact, Windows XP has been in service much longer than Microsoft ever intended, recently marking its 12th birthday. That’s a lifetime in dog years. As the lifespan of computer gear is better measured in goldfish years, 12 years is nearly a miracle.
Now, “End Of Support” doesn’t mean that your computer will start spewing smoke or refuse to boot up on April 8th. What it does mean is that Microsoft will no longer be sending out updates for your system: critical security patches to keep you safe from hackers, viruses, and malware.
Running properly updated software is key to minimizing risk – it’s the smart thing to do. Failing to keep up can also mean a serious cut in productivity: You’ll find that your system will no longer be able to run the latest browsers, apps, and Office products as they are released. The result is frustration and time consuming work-arounds. Keeping staff busy with such things is a lot more expensive than a new computer.
And if you think you’ve got problems, consider this: Most ATMs are running XP under the hood as the “brain” of each stand-alone machine. I can’t imagine the spiderwebs of financial liability, government regulation, and the chance for negative publicity that this sticky situation is about to create. On the bright side, fixing that is going to be a heckuva business opportunity for the right guy.