Windows XP’s days are numbered.
On April 8, Microsoft will no longer provide support to Windows XP operating system. That will mean that there will be more security patches, software updates or bug fixes programs.
It’s a death foretold: Microsoft will take months warning them about this to users and businesses. And hackers are waiting crouched behind their keyboards protections begin to decrease.
In an attempt to get users to move to a more modern version of Windows, Microsoft has created a website that tells people whether or not using that software and March 8 to all who are employed will A popup window will appear warning that he must leave the dying system.
Microsoft is also working with other software companies to help users to find ways to update and upgrade your operating system, and developed tools to transfer the data and settings to a new version of Windows, with the idea of making the transition as painless as possible.
The Windows XP (XP for “experience”) was released in October 2001 and has proved very resilient.
According to statistics from market research firm Net Applications, was Microsoft’s operating system used until August 2012, when it was superseded by Windows 7.
“We estimate that on April 9, 20-25% of all enterprise PCs is still using XP,” predicts Michael Silver of Gartner.
The software is still popular among many governments, and some studies suggest that most ATMs in the world still use it.
What makes it so longevity? “Longevity is not for anything special that has the XP” Silver says, “is actually part of the life cycle support that Microsoft introduced in 2004.”
By virtue of that life cycle, Microsoft is committed to give different levels of support for its software products based on their age and the products that happen.
Delays in versions of Windows XP that came later extended the support life of the operating system. If we add all the work involved in businesses to get the applications to use the new versions of Windows, it’s no surprise that companies have remained stagnant in Windows XP.
However, Silver says, people and companies should go ahead and make the leap to something newer.
“If they are just acting now, it’s quite late,” he warns.
One of the reasons why Microsoft wants to prevent people from continuing to use XP is because it is feared that once the security updates stop, which still use XP will be a tempting target for hackers.
In parallel, Microsoft took steps to make people more resistant to attack most recent versions of Windows, emphasizes James Lyne, director of technology strategy at security firm Sophos.
“Bad boys were asked more difficult to attack the most modern Windows platforms,” he explains.
Windows 7 and 8 now employ several different techniques to hide those cybercriminals the inner workings of the operating system. Hackers steal data or interested in invading machines often take advantage of a problem in applications such as web browsers. Then access the PC memory to make its way into the depths of the computer.
These invasions have much less fertile ground for new versions of Windows, because the data moves differently by different points of memory.
As a result, anyone who follows using XP could be at risk because it is easier to attack than Windows 7 or 8.
Unfortunately, said Jason Steer, of security firm Fire Eye, the biggest security threats to XP can escape it control of Microsoft.
“About 90% of the vulnerabilities of Windows XP programs are in third” he says.
This is because errors in programs cybercriminals use Adobe and Oracle Java to reach Windows users instead of looking for vulnerability in the operating system itself, he adds.
Undoubtedly, the end of support means that security weaknesses in other programs become more at risk to users.
The good news is that many companies want to continue to update their antivirus products to detect malware aimed at XP. Most continue to keep an eye on XP for at least a year and some will continue to provide updates for much longer, according to a list compiled by the independent safety monitoring AV Test.
“All of our clients ask us about the problem of XP,” says Steer, Fire Eye, and adds that companies that have not taken action so far cannot cope with the transition in the next 30 days.
“These upgrade projects can take 12 to 18 months,” says Steer. “They will have to mitigate that risk by other means.”
Delayed entails other problems, adds Silver. Some software companies that produce programs that run on XP and not tested on that operating system.
Some abandoned their XP versions for a couple of years ago, so I keep using these programs can cause damage.
And then there is the problem of China. Windows XP is still very popular in mainland China, but Microsoft has far less control over these machines because many of them are running pirated versions of software.
It is known that the Chinese authorities have had meetings with asking Microsoft to extend support for XP users are not left at risk. Microsoft refused to give special treatment to the country. Now some of the security companies are joining China to help provide updates and security patches on their own.
Windows XP apparently Microsoft will continue to haunt long.