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Windows XP: It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take

08 Nov 2013

So you're cruising along State Highway 1, all suited and booted listening to some feel-good tunes.

But before Alanis Morissette yells out the chorus you hear a squeak, then a crank, and then a grind.

That's right, your beaten up old Ford Escort has choked when you needed it most - in the middle of nowhere two hours before your daughter's wedding.

Out of warranty, out of new parts and damn out of luck. Isn't it ironic… don't you think?

While Dean Edwards, Windows Business Group Manager for Microsoft New Zealand, isn't saying failure to upgrade from Windows XP will mean you miss your daughter's wedding, he is in fact alluding to Murphy's Law, which states; anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

For those of you who don't know, as of April 8 2014, support will end for Microsoft's Windows XP operating system.

From that date onwards there will be no security updates, no support lines or malware protection - essentially speaking, you're on your own folks.

"Upgrading from Windows XP needs to be done immediately," says Edwards, alluding to the 377,000 Kiwi devices still running the soon to be expired software.

"We're urging businesses especially to make the move now because it can take time, depending on the complexity and the number of applications.

As reported by yesterday, Kiwi businesses and consumers with PCs still running old Windows XP software have less than six months to upgrade their operating system, or risk exposing their device to an outside attack.

"Most of the larger organisations are very aware of the expiry date and have upgraded," Edwards adds. "But when it comes to the smaller end of the spectrum it seems to be a case of tomorrow's problem.

"There is certainly an element of 'we will worry about that later' but unfortunately businesses don't have the luxury of time.

"We're not saying as of April 8 2014 your PC will suddenly stop working, but the reality is it won't receive any additional security patches or updates which leaves the device at risk.

"If a problem arises next year it will be a lot harder to fix than now because if you get infected, you frankly don't have a lot of options.

"As a result businesses need to move away from XP as quickly as possible and onto a newer operating system."

While Microsoft would of course like this to be Windows 8.1, Edwards advises that for any company in the middle of a Windows 7 upgrade, keep going, as it is still a step in the right direction.

A recent Microsoft survey showed that Windows 8 is 21 times safer than XP, and a further six times safer than Windows 7 - so if you're going to make the move, you may as well go big right?

Echoing the comments of Tim Rains, director of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, Edwards concludes that the importance of upgrading from Windows XP "cannot be overstated."

Because after all, going back to the side of the road on State Highway 1, don't make it a case of the good advice that you just didn't take.

Customers can visit the Windows Upgrade Centre website, which features insights from analysts and customers on their XP OS migration journey, and the latest special offers from Microsoft’s partners.