Published 5 November 2013
What happens when Microsoft stops supporting XP?
An unsupported version of Windows is exactly that – unsupported, so what do we do?
When Microsoft stops supporting Windows XP on April 8th 2014, they will no longer issue what has been considered to be important security updates, product updates and technical support. Security Updates are delivered direct to your PC to help stop harmful viruses, spyware and other malicious software which can compromise your PC by stealing your personal information stored on your computer. Product updates are released to try and improve the reliability of your PC as well as provide support for the latest hardware you may purchase, i.e. a new monitor, graphics card, printer, scanner etc.
We who are technical always advocate keeping up to date with the latest security and product updates, as well as installing 3rd party Antivirus and Spyware tools, however, once Microsoft pull the plug, the lights could go out anytime on your computer system.
If you use Windows XP and your system does not connect to the Internet, then you probably do not have the latest updates installed, and you probably do not suffer with any issues with the machine. This is largely because nothing has changed since the day it was installed. It still runs as quickly or slowly as it did the day you started using it, and you probably notice nothing in terms of issues. In this scenario, you are the lucky one. Your Operating System (Windows XP) is just there to serve a purpose and there is no way for malware to attack your machine because it cannot get to your machine.
Plug it into the internet and the story changes dramatically. As soon as you do this it becomes a node on the worldwide network of interlinked internet based computers, and before you know it, someone in Nigeria is also using your computer.
So, if you still continue to use Windows XP after April 8th 2014. You may need to unplug it from the internet as well as not buy any new hardware for it, or you could update it to a version of Windows that is still receiving support, i.e. Windows 7, Windows 8 or move to a Linux based Operating System. It will only be a matter of time before it’s compromised and we can all imagine what headache that will cause.