Fifteen per cent of XP users risk security blackout

As July 13 approaches, when Microsoft will end support for Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and users will no longer receive critical security updates, a PC Advisor poll has found that 15.1 per cent of XP users are still using SP2 or earlier.

Microsoft states that after July 13, Windows XP SP2 users “will no longer receive software updates from Windows Update. These include security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.”

After that date, PCs running XP SP2 will not be offered any further critical security updates, Automatic Updates will not work, and the Windows Update Web site will not be accessible until SP3 is installed.

Windows XP SP2 users will stop receiving security updates for Internet Explorer (IE) after July 13. Users still relying on Windows XP SP2 will be at risk of exploits of any IE vulnerability that Microsoft patches after that date.

Asked ‘Which operating systems do you use?’, 37 per cent of respondents to our poll said they use Windows XP; 15.1 per cent of these, or 5.6 per cent of the overall sample, use SP2 or earlier. Microsoft has confirmed that it will cease actively supporting SP2 in mid-July.

Windows 7 received a 30.6 per cent share in the poll, while Windows Vista was named by just 16.4 per cent of respondents.

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