It’s probably the most ignored deadline in the world.
Microsoft Corp. officially stops issuing updates to its 13-year-old Windows XP operating system today, April 8. However, hundreds of millions of computers are believed to still be running the teenaged OS and it seems they’ll be on it for years to come.
If you haven’t migrated to any of Microsoft’s later operating systems such as Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8, you are not alone.
Web analytics firm Net Applications estimates that 37.2 per cent of the world’s personal computers or 570 million machines are still running on Windows XP.
Some organizations are paying dearly to not ditching XP early. Take the example of the government of the United Kingdom which is paying Microsoft roughly $10 million to provide XP support and security updates for up to 12 months after the April 8 deadline for some 200,000 public sector computers still running the OS.
In China, and estimated 72.1 per cent of all the computers in the country are believed to still be running on XP. Microsoft has partnered with Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo to keep XP alive in that country.
Yes, losing the ability to obtain security update for this much-loved OS opens up your business to potential cyber-attacks but while Microsoft will no longer be supporting XP after April 8, the company said it will continue to provide its anti-malware signatures and engine for XP users through July 12, 2015.
Andreas Marx, CEO of AV-Test, an independent IT security and antivirus research services firm based in Germany.
Among the AV firms support XP for up to two years or more are: AVG, Avast, Avira BitDefender, EISET, Fortinet, F-Secure, Kaspersky Labs, McAfee, Sophos, Trend Micro and Webroot.
For a complete list go to the AV Test Web site
“Some companies have even promised to keep providing updates for two years and others have yet to plan any deadline whatsoever for the end of support,” said Marx who includes a list of companies that are willing to support XP on his Web site.