What Should You Expect When Microsoft Stops Supporting Windows XP 

Wayne Harvey

There is a change coming for computer users that could impact you at home, and businesses too.

Support for Microsoft Windows XP is being discontinued.

That means that version will no longer receive software updates, which include security updates.

It’s a system that has been around for 12 years.

“Microsoft is basically pulling the plug and saying we’re not going to support it any more because it’s old and we have new systems that are better and we just need to move forward,” said Dr. Nory Jones a Professor of Management Information Systems at the University of Maine School of Business.

That means there will be no more updates from Microsoft for the program, and that includes security updates, so your home or business computer will be unprotected for those using Windows XP.

“There’s a very active cyber criminal world out there that is just looking for all sorts of opportunities,” said Dr. George Markowsky a Professor of Computer Science at UMaine. “And you just don’t want to be the one to give them an opportunity.”

Many businesses have already made the changeover by purchasing the upgrades, or buying new computers.

“The downside to this is of course the cost because they have to pay for the upgrade to 8.1 or they have to buy new computers” said Jones. “But on the other hand it does kind of force businesses to upgrade and become more effective and more efficient and become compatible with all the new emerging technologies and applications.”

“You know a security break these days can cost your business an awful lot as we found out with Target and other places, Millions of dollars,” said Markowsky. “So if you want to risk that versus maybe spending $300 to upgrade per machine I mean yeah it’s a significant cost but what would it cost if people steal your data?”

Will April 8th, 2014 be much like Y2K?

“That whole world’s gonna crash when it turns January First, 2000 because the transition from the 90’s to the 2000’s and it didn’t happen, the same thing here” said Jones. “People are aware of it. People within technology they know it’s going to happen they’re planning for it, so I don’t think anybody has anything to be worried about.”

But Markowsky believes this has been an impetus for change for businesses every where, and forced them to keep up with the latest consumer trends, “the other disadvantage of hanging out with the old operating systems aside from security is just functionality, there are many new applications and things just won’t work with the old operating systems, so if you want to stay up with the latest and greatest you sort of have to upgrade.”

Jones agreed “as businesses move to more mobile applications this old system doesn’t have that capability to work with the new mobile system that so many businesses are relying on so it’s just going to become obsolete.”