It had to happen sooner or later – Windows XP is no more as support was pulled on 8th April.
There will be no more updates making it a potential security risk for your PC. That’s rather worrying considering it’s estimated that it is still running on about 30% of PCs worldwide, with many of those being in a business setting.
If you’re one of them and have concerns about what the future will hold, here are answers to some of the most common questions asked.
Will it stop working?
No, the OS itself will still function, you just won’t get any patched or security updates.
Is it still safe to use?
The main thing to remember is that without any updates your machine could be at greater risk from hackers and viruses, so its a risk you’ll have to assess.
Will my antivirus software protect me?
Only to a certain extent. It is possible for hackers to get round your antivirus as vulnerabilities appear in your unpatched OS.
What should I do?
In an ideal world you should stop using Windows XP and upgrade to a more recent platform. You can either buy a new PC or Mac or download and install Windows 8.1 over the top of XP. But whichever course of action you take, you’ll have to reinstall all your applications.
Do I have to use Windows 8?
No, you can still get Windows 7 or switch to a Mac. The main thing is to make sure you no longer rely on Windows XP.
Window’s XP retirement may not mean the end for users (immediately)
Like most consumables, Microsoft’s operating systems have a shelf life, beyond which time the IT giant withdraws support and automatic security updates leaving users vulnerable to malicious attacks.
For all XP users that date is April 8th 2014.
The problem is, according to StatCounter, Windows XP makes up about 20% of all operating systems in use (as at September 2013), which means an awful lot of people and companies are going to be playing Russian roulette every time they use their PC or laptop.
But before you panic, your knight in shining armour is on the way, in the form of Google. They announced in a recent blog post that they will be extending support for Chrome on XP until 2015.
Some might say it’s a canny move on Google’s part to convince Internet Explorer users to switch to Chrome. But then again, with so many unsupported XP users out there, it also offers malware authors an irresistible opportunity to wreak havoc. So really Google come out as the good guys, whatever their motives.
Although the best advice is to consider upgrading your OS, at least this move from Google gives you a bit more time to get the finances in place to do so.