KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Microsoft has announced it will soon pull the plug on its technical support and security updates for Windows XP.
Many people and businesses still use the 12-year-old operating system, and the change could have an effect on system security.
Technology is constantly changing, and it can be a lot to keep up with. There are so many platform choices out there: Windows, Macintosh, Androids. Because the tech world offers so many variations, many people often stick with what’s known and safe. For some, that’s Microsoft Windows XP.
ATMs are one place that could feel Microsoft’s change. Bloomberg Businessweek claims 95% of the 420,000 automated teller machines in the country run Windows XP.
This means, starting April 8, “ATMs running that software will no longer receive security patches and won’t be in compliance with industry standards.”
“Some companies get a bit of a reprieve: For ATMs using a stripped-down version of XP known as Windows XP Embedded, which is less susceptible to viruses, Microsoft support lasts until early 2016,” continued the Bloomberg Businessweek’s article.
Here in our area, many shoppers filled Micro Center in Overland Park Sunday afternoon. Some people were on the hunt for new computers, prompted by Microsoft’s upcoming nix of XP technical support and security updates.
Adam Vogels is a sales associate at Micro Center. He says the store has seen a 30-40% increase in customers over the past month.
“With the discontinuation of support from Microsoft for XP, everyone is coming in as quickly as they can to get a new machine: Windows 7, Windows 8,” said Vogels.
Vogels said not everyone is excited about the change.
“Some do it begrudgingly in fact. However, they do feel that it’s time, especially if your machine is XP, it’s incredibly old and it’s incredibly slow so they’re excited to get a new machine,” he said. “They use XP because it’s safe and it’s comfortable. It’s what they’ve used for ten, 15 years or more. And that is why. They’re stubborn.”
Shawn Mitchell used to work for Microsoft. He said Microsoft’s newest operating system, Windows 8.1, is more streamlined and geared toward people with social media needs.
“There’s some social media stuff that not a lot of people are going to use, but then there’s the tradition desktop, which you’re probably going to be in the majority of the time,” said Mitchell.
He also said, at the core of Windows 8, is Windows 7, which shares some similarities with Windows XP.
“Everything that you need to get to is right there at the beginning. You just click that and it launches you into whatever you need," Mitchell said. "It’s really easy to use and that’s what I think Microsoft is trying to do, just make it easy for the user, but it is different and a lot of people aren't going to like that.”
Juanmiguel Serrano says Microsoft’s move is not a good one. He works for a medium-sized company in Kansas City Missouri.
“We do handle a lot of sensitive material and so that’s something they have to take into account. There are actually hackers lined up, ready to use it,” said Serrano. “It’s going to hurt a lot of people. I know a lot of businesses need to upgrade or else they’re going to lose the security updates.”
He has used XP in the past but is less than impressed with Microsoft’s newest offering.
“I preferred Windows compared to some of the other systems in the past just because it was very easy to use, laptop desktop, but the Windows 8 just doesn’t make sense to me,” said Serrano.
Windows XP will not disappear on April 8. Click here to visit Microsoft’s website to learn more about the change.