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End of Windows XP support to be a security nightmare?

Posted on Thursday, April 12 2012 @ 13:52:07 CEST by

NetworkWorld reports that security experts fear that the end of support for Windows XP in 2014 may be the beginning of a security nightmare because it will leave millions of PCs vulnerable to attack.

Despite being over a decade old, Windows XP still had a marketshare of 43.09 percent in March 2012 according to NetMarketShare.com. The usage of Windows XP is in steady decline, but the expectation is that many households and even enterprises will continue to run Windows XP until well after 2014.
Several trends account for this. First, and foremost, is cost. At-home computer users who are still content with XP are unlikely to purchase a new operating system without any financial incentive, especially considering that many of the features for Windows 7 require hardware upgrades. Try telling someone who uses their home computer to just check their email and read the latest Yahoo News headlines that they need to spend $500 for a new one.

Then there’s the awareness issue. How many at-home consumer users will even know that Microsoft will be cutting off XP support? How many will know what “the end of support” means for them at the user level, and how many will actually care? Microsoft is of course doing what it can to help spread the word, providing a deployment toolkit and its "Springboard Series" to hold its users hands through the process. Microsoft can only lead these XP-running horses to water, though. It can’t make them drink it.

Finally, the burgeoning tablet market could present a roadblock to PC software upgrades. Amol Sarwate, director of Vulnerability Labs for Qualys, says that many entertainment-minded users who purchase a tablet may still have XP-based PCs still kicking around their homes.



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