Replacing Windows XP

Despite the frequent introduction by Microsoft of newer versions of its Windows operating system over the years, some business and home PC users are still using Windows XP, which was replaced back in 2007. However, Microsoft ceased support for XP in 2014 and therefore no longer issues updates, security patches, bug fixes and Microsoft Security Essentials for the operating system. 

The risks

  • As no security updates are issued, your PC running Windows XP is now highly vulnerable to infection by malware, with criminals being well aware of the vulnerability.
  • Such malware could be used by criminals for a number of purposes, including:
    • To steal your personal and financial details in order to commit fraud
    • To infect your computer with ransomware
    • To commit identity theft in order to apply for bank accounts, passports and other facilities in your name.
    • To monitor your email and other communications.
    • To make your PC part of a botnet, commonly used to attack corporate or government websites.
  • You can probably not easily get your XP PC serviced or repaired.
  • An increasing number of devices and software programs will not work with Windows XP.

 Additional risks for businesses

  • In addition to the above, you risk unauthorised entry to your information systems, leading to your data being accessed or stolen, non-compliance with insurers’ and/or customers’ standards and breaching the data protection regulations.
  • A decreasing number of independent hardware and software support vendors who will provide services for Windows XP systems.

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.

Jargon Buster

A Glossary of terms used in this article:

Identity theft

The crime of impersonating someone – by using their private information – for financial gain.