End of life for Windows XP & Office 2003. Does it affect you?
D Day April 8th 2014
As of April 8th 2014 Microsoft are discontinuing support for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Exchange Server 2003, Small Business Server 2003 and Office 2003. This article will address what this means for you.
Microsoft Support Policy
Twelve years ago Microsoft introduced the Support Lifecycle Policy. They did this so that its customers would be aware about the extent of the support that they would receive for their Microsoft products. All Microsoft products are guaranteed to have a minimum of 5 years Mainstream Support and an additional 5 years Extended Support meaning that Microsoft users get at least 10 years of support.
There are a few difference between Mainstream and Extended Support; the biggest being that during Extended Support it is only security bugs that will be dealt with. Post Extended Support, Microsoft do not assure to offer any form of support, therefore this also includes a lack of Online Self-Help Support. Consequently, as of early April, users of Windows XP and 2003 Microsoft products will be left to fend for themselves. Some may not think that this is much of a problem but the biggest concern is that no security patches will be released from this time, exposing you or your business to security risks.
In this day and age, so much of what we do is computer based especially within a business and so knowingly leaving your company or yourself vulnerable to attack is counter-productive. A virus can cripple your computer and if it starts sending spam or virus emails from your machine, your legitimate emails risk being refused by the recipients’ email servers because you’ve been blacklisted as a spammer. All these things can hamper or cripple your business for days or weeks.
Microsoft outlines a significant reason as to why XP will be particularly vulnerable post 8th April 2014:
The very first month that Microsoft releases security updates for supported versions of Windows [After April 8, 2014], attackers will reverse engineer those updates, find the vulnerabilities and test Windows XP to see if it shares those vulnerabilities. If it does, attackers will attempt to develop exploit code that can take advantage of those vulnerabilities on Windows XP. Since a security update will never become available for Windows XP to address these vulnerabilities, Windows XP will essentially have a “zero day” vulnerability forever. How often could this scenario occur? Between July 2012 and July 2013 Windows XP was an affected product in 45 Microsoft security bulletins, of which 30 also affected Windows 7 and Windows 8.
So what should you do?
We understand the financial and practical implications of this move and so we are here to support you along the way.We can help you decide which operating system is the best for you and help your transition and migration to a new machine. In fact, we have an offer for quality, straight forward data transfer from you old machine to new, if you order a new machine with us before 10th March 2014. Call ITC today to talk to us about upgrading 02380 249 820.