April 8, 2014 is the final day of support for Microsoft Windows XP putting the aging operating system on the decommissioned list. What this means for those who still have XP boxes running is that there will be no more updates, patches, fixes, drivers or any kind of support from Microsoft.
Ultimately this also means that XP will become more and more vulnerable to security issues as time progresses. Not only will you not be able to activate copies of XP that you may try to use, but even if you could, there would be no updates or service packs available for download any longer.
For business owners, this is truly the hard deadline to upgrade and change operating systems before they are put in a situation of desperation if a system crashes or needs a reinstall.
Further, Microsoft announced that their free antivirus package called Microsoft Security Essentials would also be discontinued and no longer available for download. Shortly after this declaration, they updated their site to say that if you already have it installed, then you will still receive updates for a period of time but that time was not specified.
Here is the quote directly from Microsoft. ”
As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive anti-malware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to protect your PC.)
If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.”
You can find more information about this End of Life support at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-CA/windows/end-support-help.
Lastly, we are encouraging all of our clients to review their windows systems and evaluate the next stage in transitioning to the newer operating systems.
In some cases, this may be a complex operation especially if involved with a 3rd party software package and/or hardware. Many medical devices and manufacturing interfaces may be affected and you should speak to your provider as soon as possible to create an upgrade path prior to the April 8th, 2014 deadline.
You should also note that Windows Vista has already ended mainstream support and is scheduled for decommissioning on April 11, 2017.