Monday, March 24, 2014

Windows XP – 4/8/14 RIP

I hope you aren't running XP but my guess is some of you still have a Windows XP system somewhere on your network or in your home. If so, take advantage of the $100 rebate Microsoft is offering and get a new machine before April 8th.  This link gives you the $100 off and free data transfer. Quite a good deal!

For those still running Windows XP, starting April 8th, you will no longer receive patches from Microsoft and you’ll be subject to exploits (virus, Trojans, malware) that will cause you problems.  Do not think relying on your malware software will protect you. Even with malware/virus protection, patched and unpatched computers alike are infected every week but the majority of infections are prevented by good virus protection and patched computers.  

If you work for a company that has not upgraded yet, you have issues to be concerned about since this represents a significant threat to security and PCI compliance.  Equally important for businesses, providing users the right technology is critical to efficiency and customer satisfaction. XP was great when released but Windows 7 is significantly better.

Windows 8 is even better from a stability and speed standpoint, but involves a learning curve that is not easily justified by the improvements. If you are are on Windows 8 and still struggling, check out this software to make it feel like Windows 7 (thanks to Geiger help desk guru Mike St Germain for the tip).  It takes time (and budget) to smoothly transition hundreds of computers and users to a new operating system so if you are still on XP, your company has a big challenge ahead.

You need to get rid of any XP computers now.  XP machines will be targets for hackers and if your system gets infected it is easier to infect your clients or the rest of your home/office network.  Shut those machines down now and if you can’t, ensure your IT leader immediately gives you a clear plan showing of the number of XP machines and when they will be shut down.  There is no excuse for any business (including banks which still run them on ATM's!) to be running XP at this point.

Dale Denham, MAS+, is considered the industry's top technologist and is the chief information officer at Geiger . Read Dale's thoughts on technology, business, and the promotional products world ever other Tuesday. Follow Dale on Twitter @GeigerCIO.

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