Time to Upgrade
Software, (like anything else) has a finite life span. Unlike the overblown predicted Y2K armageddon or the more recent Mayan apocalypse this one has real consequences – at least in the world of information technology. As of April 8th 2014 Microsoft will no longer be support Windows XP in any form. This means that users of Windows XP will not receive patches, security updates or support moving forward. It is the Xpocalypse or end of days for Windows XP. This effectively makes running XP an impossibly risky and dangerous proposition for any organization wanting stability & security of their infrastructures. The takeaway is simple: XP should be replaced with all due swiftness.
The Microsoft Security Blog states:
“There is a sense of urgency because after April 8, Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) customers will no longer receive new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates. This means that any new vulnerabilities discovered in Windows XP after its “end of life” will not be addressed by new security updates from Microsoft.” See the full post at the MS Security Blog…
Why the XPocalypse?
Software and hardware are created by manufacturers with a planned life span. Most of this planning mirrors the demands of the customers and the desire of the manufacturers for profits. In our system of free market capitalism manufacturers create and support solutions only as long as they can be profitable. More modern Microsoft releases of Window Windows 7 and Windows 8 are the flagship products that are currently support for many years to come.
What are the Risks?
The risks are downtime, data loss and cyber security nightmares. This is not an exercise in theory but a certainty. As with any End of Life/End of Support hardware or software it becomes excessively risky to run and a danger to the lifeblood of your business. When your software supplier drops support is a key indication to make a change or suffer real tangible financial risks to your business.
There is Hope – Just Upgrade
Thankfully 99% of my customers are a mix of modern supported OS’s such as Apple OSX, Windows Vista/7/8 and Linux/Unix/BSD so I don’t have a true worry about the coming Xpocalypse. The reason for my post it to bring it once again to the fore of those non-customer and friends who have yet to upgrade. After a life span of nearly 12 years it is time to send XP to pasture for evermore. Even a slide rule or an abacus would be a distinct improvement over XP at this time. Kidding aside, today is the day to plan to move toward a newer and supported operating system. Seriously, just upgrade already! =)