Microsoft has released a succession of newer versions of its Windows operating system over the years, yet some business (and home) PC users are still using Windows XP, which was replaced back in 2007. Microsoft ceased support for XP in 2014 – meaning that no updates, security patches, bug fixes or Microsoft Security Essentials are issued for the operating system version.
- PCs running Windows XP are highly vulnerable to infection by malware, with criminals being acutely aware of the vulnerability.
- Such malware could be used by criminals for a number of purposes, including:
- To steal your organisation’s confidential details in order to commit fraud, espionage and other crimes.
- To infect your computers and/or network with ransomware.
- To commit identity theft in order to apply for bank accounts, passports and other facilities in your name.
- To monitor email and other communications.
- To make your PCs part of a botnet, commonly used to attack corporate or government websites.
- Increasing difficulty in getting PCs running Windows XP serviced or repaired, or the software running on them supported.
- An increasing number of devices and software programs will not work with Windows XP.
- Unauthorised entry to your information systems, leading to your data being accessed or stolen, non-compliance with insurers’ and/or customers’ standards and breaching data protection regulations.
Replacing Windows XP
Before you do any of the following, it is very important that you back up the data on your PC and ensure that it can be accessed and recovered on another machine.
Update your computers
The first, obvious resolution is to install a newer version of Windows … ideally Windows 10 owing to its features and functionality. However, very few older computers will be able to run Windows 10, and there are many options for you if you are considering moving to modern PCs with the latest productivity and collaboration tools. You should talk to a Microsoft Certified Partner to understand the best options to meet your needs.
For larger organisations and enterprises, Microsoft offers in-depth technical resources, tools, and expert guidance to ease the deployment and management of Windows, Office and Internet Explorer products and technologies. To learn more about migration and deployment programs, contact your Microsoft sales representative or Certified Microsoft Partner. You can also learn how to pilot and deploy a modern desktop yourself, from the free Microsoft Deployment Toolkit.