Logically, Windows XP should have gone out of style long ago. Yet, despite being over a decade old and seeing the release of three other incarnations, the operating system has, for a number of reasons, stayed surprisingly in vogue. Enough so, in fact, that the looming cutoff date for official support from Microsoft – bug fixes, patch update, etc. – has millions of people all over the world in a panic.
On April 8, Windows XP will officially no longer be a part of the Microsoft ecosystem. In spite of this, the OS is still being used in countless places, from private residences to major corporate institutions, and there are many experts who believe that people still working on XP will be increasingly vulnerable to attacks after the cutoff.
Yet, this all should not come as a surprise to anyone. The tech titan has been attempting to shuttle its fan base off of the aging OS for quite some time.
“Microsoft has been warning about this kind of security crisis for at least a year, and that’s one reason the company is trying to encourage XP users to move to a newer, more secure OS,” wrote CBS MoneyWatch contributor Dave Johnson.
Migrating away from XP not so simple
But what is the hardest thing about this whole situation is that it is often not a matter of stubbornness, but of resources. Many of those still operating XP have found themselves caught in a vicious cycle. At the time Windows Vista was released, a strong majority of Microsoft users were more satisfied using XP than upgrading. Vista received some seriously negative reviews, and rather than move to something that would cause problems, lots of people were more content staying with what they knew.
But as the machines became more advanced, those still on the XP train soon found themselves unable to upgrade without buying an entirely new machine to run a more recent OS. With the release of the designed-for-touch Windows 8, Microsoft may have had the future in mind, but it succeeded in alienating a majority of its customers who were not keen on upgrading in the first place.
Using Windows XP after April 8 possible
While there is a significantly elevated risk that hackers will be easily able to break into XP-enabled devices, the world is not going to end on April 9. This is good news for those who are unable to switch in time before the cutoff date, but there will have to be steps taken to ensure continued security.
Such help comes in the form of Faronics Deep Freeze restore software. With assistance from Microsoft coming to an end, the chance of being hit with criminal activity or a deadly virus does increase. But by using programs that preserve functioning versions of users profiles and information, computers running XP can be effortlessly rebooted and brought back up to speed.
Those still using Windows XP need to develop an exit strategy sooner rather than later. But for the foreseeable future, Faronics will be around in case of an emergency.