Windows XP - End of Life After April 8, 2014 – home and small business users still running computers with the Windows XP operating system will face serious issues, including a complete lapse in security protection for those computers. On that date, Microsoft will stop sending security updates, non-security hotfixes, assisted support options and online technical content updates.
Third parties may provide ongoing support, but it’s important to recognize that support will not address fixes and security patches in the core Windows kernel. This is outlined with Microsoft’s existing Support Lifecycle policy that has been in place since 2002.
It is predicated come April 8, a lot of hackers will be targeting that XP system exclusively – and with Windows XP, it could take as little as 10 minutes to get infected without all of the security patches. A lot of the security issues that make small businesses vulnerable usually go undetected. Client and account information may be stolen or accessed -even if your password has not been compromised, they might still be able to get into the system.
Windows XP was released in 2001 and doesn’t support new business trends such as mobility and touch, and can’t match the features, reliability, security and speed of a modern operating system like Windows 7/8. If you’re running Windows XP, it will have a hard time supporting new applications, and XP may not be able to deal with new add-on devices, such as printers or scanners.
Running Windows XP in your environment after the product’s end of support date may expose your data and information to potential risks, such as:
Potential Security Risks
Unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks
Company Compliance Risks
If you are a company still using Windows XP, this may result in an officially recognized security control failure by an external vendor or auditor, leading to suspension of certifications or other vendor software relationships
Higher Total Cost of Ownership
Businesses can incur a higher cost of purchasing custom support solutions for unsupported software
Should you buy new or upgrade? Well, it’s a lot cheaper to buy a new computer now than to upgrade the existing hardware. Using existing hardware will be slow, even after trying to add RAM or other upgrades – and won’t give you the performance you need. It could end up costing more trying to upgrade your existing XP computers.
If you have more than one or two computers, it is recommended contacting a local service provider to come in and look at the network and your existing workstations - and get a proposal of what might be needed.
As far as moving your files to the new computer, this can be a relatively easy process to grab the old files and settings onto a flash or external drive and then transfer them into the new system. It is recommended to make sure any existing applications running under XP are compatible with Windows 7/8 – and if not, work with your software vendor to acquire the most recent version that is compatible with the newer operating systems.