00.00.00. The countdown clock has stopped. Microsoft ends Windows XP support today, having already pushed the last bunch of Updates. If you have not yet updated your computer yet, you might want to update your Windows XP one last time!
Windows XP End of Support
So what does Windows XP End of Support mean? It will definitely not be the end of the world – it could even remind many of the Y2K bug issue. Nothing drastic will be happening! But what will remain a fact is that there will be no security patches being issued for it by Microsoft, and the operating system will be for all practical purposes dead in the water!
Microsoft has however confirmed that its activation servers will continue to be online and you will always be able to activate Windows XP again in future. You will also always be able to download the released updates for Windows XP in future too.
Malware writers and hackers have already stocked up for the offensive, if reports are to be believed, and are expected to unleash their weapons or malware, as Windows XP will now carry a Zero-day vulnerability in perpetuity. Windows XP End of Life risks may be far too much to handle!
Windows XP End of Life recommendations
Although Microsoft has stated that it will not be releasing and more security patches for this outdated operating system, what if there was a major outbreak? Would public opinion force Microsoft release a free security patch? One can never tell! Bowing to necessity and public pressure Microsoft may still issue some patch in case of an outbreak. Although this possibility is rare it cannot be ruled out. Nevertheless, given things as they stand today, here are your options!
If you plan to stick around with Windows XP for a while:
1] If you plan to stick around with Windows XP for a while, we suggest you update your Windows XP completely, use Disk Cleanup Tool to remove junk files, run a full antivirus scan and then backup or clone your XP installation. You could use this image in future to restore back to a good state, should the need ever arise.
2] Lock down your Windows XP machine. Use a software like TimeFreeze, which returns your OS to a prior state every time you reboot. Whitelisting software, taking away admin rights of other users, looking at desktop virtualisation are some other temporary solutions you may want to consider. Our post on securing Windows XP after End Of Support April 2014 is sure to give you a lot of tips about this.
3] If your company can afford it, go in for paid support from Microsoft. Microsoft’s Premium Support Services represents an option which Enterprises may want to consider.
If you are open to the idea of upgrading from Windows XP:
1] Windows XP was not built to face todays scenario as it exists on the Internet. It was released a decade ago and its been patched and patched to make it what it is today. So if you can, then upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8. Or consider moving to Linux or a Mac. What is important is that you use a modern up-to-date operating system.
2] Buy a new laptop or computer which comes with pre-installed Windows 8. Microsoft has listened to feedback and made Windows 8.1 very user-friendly now. It will soon get the Start Menu too!
3] Use PCmover Express for Windows XP released by Microsoft to migrate your data to the new operating system.
Microsoft has launched a website to help you migrate from Windows XP. You may want to check it out for more details.