Many consumers using computers generally hate the idea of changing platforms or upgrading to a new system if what they are using is perfectly fine. That might explain why there are still close to 30 percent Windows XP users around the world even though Microsoft (News - Alert) has made it clear as of April 8 2014, it will discontinue support for the platform. With a history of more than 12 years, XP enjoys a large number of users, and although it is functioning properly at the moment, when the company stops the support users will face considerable risks. It should also be noted support for Office 2003 ends on April 8 2014.
Microsoft has been pushing XP users to migrate to its new Windows 8.1 operating system so they can take advantage of new technologies and improved security with regular updates to protect computers and other devices from attacks.
By using an unsupported operating system these systems will introduce vulnerabilities such as viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that can be used to steal valuable information or be used to initiate DDoS attacks. Microsoft wants users to know even if the system has antivirus software it will not be able to provide 100 percent protection because XP is not supported.
Another reason for upgrading to the new operating system is compliance regulations stipulate organizations that are governed by medical and financial laws must have the latest platforms along with certified security protocols. Organizations that violate these compliance rules can be fined and/or imprisoned depending on the severity of a security breach.
Support termination for XP will also extend to independent software vendors as well as most PC hardware manufacturers. What this means for XP users is, the hardware and software will not be receiving the necessary support to ensure reliable operations, especially if the computer is used online.
The company also wants users to know XP can still be installed and activated after the end of support, but it still won't receive any Microsoft updates or access to technical support. However, the company is going to be extending its Malicious Software Removal Tool after the April 8 2014 deadline. The removal tool will be available through July 14 2015.
Microsoft says it will send notifications to users of Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional who have elected to receive updates via Windows Update. Users in organizations using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), System Center Configuration Manager, or Windows Intune will not receive the Windows XP end of support notification.