Software maker, Microsoft plans to end its support for users of its XP software After April 8th 2014.
This would mean computers currently running Windows XP will no longer receive critical security patches and updates, leaving them increasingly vulnerable to harmful viruses, spyware, and the growing risk of cyber-attacks that can steal or damage personal information and business data.
New research by Microsoft has shown that Windows XP is five times as susceptible to viruses and attacks as Windows 8.1 because older operating systems were not designed to be protected against the fast evolving exploitation techniques and threats of today.
“End of Service doesn’t mean XP will stop running, but over time security and performance will be severely affected,” says Rotimi Olumide, Windows Group Lead for West, East, Central Africa and Indian Ocean Islands. “The latest International Data Corporation (IDC) data shows that businesses are prone to spend three times more on dealing with security issues in the next year if they don’t plan to migrate from Windows XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8.”
With Microsoft studies showing that PCs running XP are estimated to double productivity costs within two to five years, operating systems like Windows 8, coupled with a productivity suite like Office 365, not only offer complete protection against modern threats, but ensure enhanced business efficiency.
Chege Thumbi, the Director of Technology & Operations at Kenya’s NIC Bank says, “Moving off Windows XP was a critical and necessary decision for the Bank. With Windows 8 we know that our systems are secure with the latest security hotfixes, giving us peace of mind and everything operates more smoothly and efficiently. The startup time has been reduced from several minutes to seconds and the range of business applications means we can continue to innovate and remain industry leaders.
“With small businesses contributing up to 50% of GDP and up to 90% of employment in many sub-Saharan African economies, it is vital that they embrace newer technologies to remain competitive and thrive in the modern-era,” says Olumide.
From consumers and smaller businesses, to large corporations, Windows 8 and Window 8.1 offer increased speed, reliability, security, a range of productivity-boosting apps, and lower-cost of ownership. They also provide a modern platform designed for a new generation of hardware experiences — from tablets and innovative touch devices to traditional desktops and laptops to ensure the modern workforce has the tools that allow them to stay productive and connected virtually anytime, anywhere.
For tech-savvy and non-tech-savvy businesses alike, upgrading is easy — provided they know where to turn for help.
“With Windows 8, we remain true to the Bank’s new strategy ‘Move to NOW’ that underpins our commitment to deliver solutions to our ‘NOW’ customer who is demanding services on the go, anytime, anywhere,” says Chege.
Here are two ways to upgrade:
Find a local technology partner: A partner can offer a tremendous amount of support to small businesses that need help deciding which device and software combination will best meet their needs. In many cases, a partner will also help businesses set up their new technologies and even train employees on the software tools. Visit Microsoft’s Get2Modern website for more details now.
Do-it-yourself: Tech-savvy small businesses can also upgrade their current PCs if they are compatible with the newer operating system and productivity tools. To find out if current PCs will work with modern operating systems such as Windows 8.1, visit the Windows 8.1 website.
Users won’t be able to keep any files, settings, or programs when they upgrade from Windows XP, and it is recommended to first back up all files before migration. Microsoft has also partnered with Laplink to provide XP users with a free data migration tool called PCmover Express for Windows XP, which copies all the files and settings from a Windows XP PC to a new computer running Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1. Access it here: WindowsXP.com