Despite copious warnings about the official end of MS support for Windows XP, millions of small businesses are not prepared to migrate to Windows 7 or 8.
A new organization is matching up small businesses with IT professionals who can help with the transition.
Many SMBs still sticking to the tried and true
As has been widely reported, April 8, 2014, marks the official end of Windows XP. This means that Microsoft will no longer provide critical updates for the venerable operating system. And that means businesses still relying on Windows XP are putting themselves at greater risk with each passing day.
Whether out of operational expediency or fiscal austerity, many small/medium businesses (SMBs) continue to depend on Windows XP as their primary desktop operating system. For most SMBs, Windows XP has proven to be an exceptionally capable and reliable — or at least reliable-ish — OS. It’s the old “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra.
Why reliable-ish? Although Windows XP still works nicely for many business applications and still runs the software that businesses need, the OS is in fact broken — just not in ways that are obvious.
When Microsoft discovers vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system, those flaws often affect all supported versions of Windows. However, it’s almost always true that flaws are more serious — and more easily exploited — on Windows XP (as reported in a PCWorld story). Obviously, an OS that was developed over a decade ago lacks many of the security features and controls now built into its successors.
PCs running a fully patched Windows XP today are at greater risk of compromise than those running newer versions of Windows. Fast-forward eight months to the end of MS support, and consider how vulnerable those XP systems will be when security patches for the OS cease.