On April 8th 2014 support for Microsoft Windows XP will no longer be available. This means that Windows XP operating systems will not receive any new updates from Microsoft.
Advice from Microsoft
Microsoft have compiled the this web page relating to the end of support for Windows XP.
Is it safe to continue without the product support?
Continuing with an unsupported product is not the best way forward for any user. For Windows XP, we have seen there are already a great deal of articles on the internet where hackers are preparing for this date so they can exploit any new vulnerabilities found that Microsoft will not be fixing.
Below are just a few links to articles that a quick Google search has found on Windows XP hacker related subjects.
After April 8, 2014 Windows XP computers will be more susceptible to viruses and vulnerabilities than Windows 7 or Windows 8.
An underlying issue that is not immediately obvious is that hackers are going to start concentrating on developing more viruses and vulnerabilities specifically targeting Windows XP now. There are 2 main reasons for this:
- Hackers know that a lot of users (more so home users) will not be able to necessarily afford to upgrade their computer right away
- Hackers know that Microsoft will not be releasing further updates making Windows XP an easy target for them permanently now.
The best way forward for Windows XP Users
- 1. Ensure everyone does a Windows Update on ALL Windows XP Computers –
- Using Microsoft Internet Explorer browser go to http://update.microsoft.com/MicrosoftUpdate ( please do this using web browser Internet Explorer - NOT Google Chrome)
- - install ALL Updates including optional updates EXCLUDING Bing and Windows Search. Do not install these two software items as they can slow computer performance dramatically
- 2. Ensure where possible that all users are using Google Chrome Web Browser - it is much safer than Internet Explorer when it comes to internet browsing.
- 3. Avoid Adobe Flash as it is a high profile hacker target. Again, the use of Chrome browser is safer as it has a non-adobe flash player built in.
- 4. Avoid Adobe PDF Reader as it is a high profile hacker target. Use PDFXChange or Sumatra readers. Both packages use less memory and CPU and are faster.
- 5. Ensure all Windows XP Computers have AntiVirus installed and that the AntiVirus pattern file is up-to-date.
- 6. Ensure Java is kept up to date. This is also a high profile hacker target but is really needed for a lot of different applications
Moving on with next options
Over time, Windows XP computers will need to be replaced with Windows 8.1 computers or Wyse Winterms*.
*Applies only to to clients using RDP/Terminal Services. This choice will need to be decided based on the user requirements and most likely will need reviewing on a case-by-case basis.
Windows 8.1 Update 1 is due for release around the time that Windows XP support stops. Windows 8.1 Update 1 addresses a couple of fundamental things however one of the key items is that Windows 8.1 Update 1 now allows Windows 8.1 to perform well in under 1GB RAM. From the outside, it looks like Microsoft are trying to encourage users to install Windows 8.1 on older hardware. We have not tested Windows 8.1U1 yet on older hardware, so this comment is based on technical information we have to hand at the time of writing this post.
Check if you are running Microsoft Windows XP
To complete a fast, easy check on what version of Windows a pc is running, from the desktop of the pc -
- Right click "My Computer", choose "Properties".
- A screen will appear showing you details of what version the pc is running.