We’ve reported on the impending shut down of support for those still running Windows XP. The end date is near. April 8, 2014 will be the day Microsoft flips the switch and ceases to support the 12-year old operating system that is still clinging to life on some computers for a variety of reasons. Well, if you’re one of those businesses or consumers who are still running Windows XP, get ready for some not-so-subtle reminders from Microsoft in the form of pop-up warnings that it is time to upgrade.
There are many reasons why some users are still running Windows XP. Some businesses are running in-house software that won’t work with more recent operating system updates from Microsoft. Some home users don’t want to spend the time or cash to update a computer that seems to be working just fine for them. Most of those reasons revolve around an investment in time and money.
But the ending of support brings with it an increased security risk. When Microsoft pulls the plug it will not only stop offering technical assistance, but it will discontinue updating and patching Microsoft Security Essentials, although signature updates will continue until July 14, 2015. This means your XP computers are increasingly subject to attack by malware. Keep in mind that Windows XP runs on a number of different types of systems that include being embedded in some business machines like ATMs. Some fear that malefactors are just waiting for April 8 to launch a series of malware attacks.
The pop-ups begin on March 8, one month prior to the cut off date, and will show up on the 8th of each month as long as you’re living in XP land. If you need to find out more about upgrading to Windows 7 or Windows 8 you can check out Microsoft’s Windows XP End of Life support site.
Microsoft is also making a free tool available to add in the transition. PCMover Express for Windows XP will copy files and settings from an XP machine to a new computer running Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1. The free tool will be available later this week at this link.
Image and info via Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet.