UPDATE: Microsoft has issued a patch for Internet Explorer which extends to Windows XP users (05/01/14, TechCrunch)
According to Microsoft, the operating system (OS) Windows XP is at “end of life” as of Tuesday, April 8, 2014. An operating system (OS) is software that helps to run your computer. An OS is supposed to provide a stable, secure environment in which to integrate networking activities such as internet access, peripherals such as printers and external drives, and creative production such as building web sites and writing documents.
According to a recent PC World article, as of March 2014 nearly 30% of the world’s PCs are still running Windows XP, and a surprisingly large number of business machines (including Automated Teller Machines, or ATMs) still utilize this technology! Also, vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer noted by the Department of Homeland Security months ago, make this OS especially vulnerable.
If you are running Windows XP, what does this “end of life” mean for you? When software is no longer supported, it means that its developers will no longer create updates for it.
- Providing ongoing compatibility upgrades to keep pace with current technologies
- Ensuring that vulnerabilities that may leave the software application open to attacks by viruses, trojans and other malware are addressed
- Giving users the opportunity to submit bug reports and request assistance for any problems they may encounter while using the software
Microsoft has created a guide with more information on life cycles; please view the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ). See also What does it mean if my version of Windows is no longer Supported?
If you would like to get started, begin here:
- Upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows Vista or Windows XP
- More information on Windows XP end of support
- Enterprise help for migrating from Windows XP