Microsoft Pulls Plug on Windows XP Support - The New Indian Express

Microsoft Pulls Plug on Windows XP Support

Published: 08th April 2014 08:04 AM

Last Updated: 08th April 2014 08:05 AM

On Tuesday, Microsoft will officially end support for the Windows XP operating system (OS), thus stopping security updates, paid and free support as well as hotfixes for the popular OS which was introduced in August 2001.

The company has been aggressively advising customers to shift to newer operating systems in order to avoid security issues - an advice which is backed even by the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT.in) which is a part of the IT Department.

In February this year, Microsoft had said around 80 per cent of personal computers in large enterprises had successfully moved away from XP.

Managing Director (India) Karan Bajwa had then said, not upgrading to other operating systems posed a ‘genuine threat’ to Indian businesses. He held the banking sector as an example of an industry which was lagging behind in upgradation.

End of support also means that companies which decide to stick to the OS will see an increase in their IT maintenance costs. Microsoft had estimated that the waiting time for metro and other urban bank branches would rise to around 30 minutes for an average transaction.

Research firm Gartner supports this view and estimates that 20-25 per cent of enterprise systems still run XP even after the support ends. Michael Silver, vice-president, Gartner, said in a statement, “We estimate that one-third of the enterprises will have more than 10 per cent of their systems remaining on XP.” He advised companies to formulate a plan to get rid of XP immediately, reduce user rights on the remaining machines to ensure they run only good applications and minimise web browsing and email use on such machines.

“Companies should move critical applications and users to server-based computing. If this cannot be done, have the applications installed for server access in case of emergency,” he said.

Silver said a single machine running on an unpatched version of XP could introduce problems for an entire network. He also advised companies to undertake application testing before migrating their applications to a newer OS. “A migration to Windows 7 will be faster, but the one to Windows 8 will have more longevity,” he said. Microsoft is scheduled to end support for Windows 7 in 2020.

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