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No more Windows XP support: Some say Microsoft change could be bad for businesses

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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.

Click here to visit Megan Dillard's Facebook page

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  • K Schey

    Companies and the government had 5 yrs to update, upgrade, and test new software to run on Windows 7 and on top of it Microsoft announced what 18 months ago about the support being dropped for XP. XP has been around for 12 plus yrs. Companies and the government are foolish for not getting their affairs in order for the switch over to a newer OS.

  • Andrew Watson

    People should get Mac’s. The operating system is always free. They come with a word processor and spreadsheet that are also free forever and the operating system is in many ways more familiar to XP users than windows 8 (which is bound to confuse many users). Now is the time for people to find out that Apple Macs are easier and nicer to user, more powerful, come with great software that people can actually use (iPhoto, iMovie), don’t have viruses and most importantly although the cost a bit more to buy, the run faster and cost less in the long run thanks to cheap Apps on the Apple App store, low power consumption, better resale value, longer product life. Take a trip to the Apple store when you upgrade.

    • Faraday

      While I agree that they are solid products, I don’t know where to begin with the other outright inaccuracies in this statement. Apple appears more secure because of their market share. But it is simply not the case, I work in IT security and there are a lot of issues and some companies simply cannot use it because it does not comply with many simple security standards.

  • Mino

    People and companies should get Linux, contrary to what Microsoft and Apple brainwashes people to believe has a very friendly user interface and free word processor and spreadsheet applications.

  • cac1031

    People and companies should get Chrome OS, anybody still using XP is not the kind of power user that needs sophisticad, bulky software. There are web alternatives for all their needs including good media editing and business tools. Chrome OS is fast, extremely secure and headache-free.

    • Faraday

      I love Chrome. It may be good for individuals, but many large corporations need to run IE for their internal sites. There is no good central security control for Chrome, you can at the very least set policies for IE. It is sad because IE raises my blood pressure. I would prefer to use Chrome or Firefox.

  • jeanne

    Getting a mac next time or getting rid of net all together . , tired of spending the high dollar to upgrade every time they want more money . Keep feeding the beast . Spent almost $200 every time i upgrade .

  • David

    You wipe computer clean, get all the updates now, then back up entire hard drive using free cloning utility like clonezilla, use a firewall between you and other computers (eg cheap router) and Windows XP might still be best choice for many applications.

    • David

      (smaller means less lines of code, less things to go wrong. Even Windows 2000 is better for some jobs. A virus needs a door into your computer, don’t give it one. You can use non-microsoft browsers like chrome, firefox or opera on XP, eg a hacker is very unlikely to make a virus that can target latest opera 12 weakness. – opera 12 is last version where they used own rendering engine.

      If you go linux as main OS another option is to have virtual OS running under it using virtualbox or vmware player and run XP or windows 2000 in that and whatever windows software you need. MS office 97 on windows 2000 is often better for peoples needs than modern office program, there are ways to convert “new” docs so they work in 97.

      Sometimes it is best to use older and simpler stuff that just works rather than new stuff that has more features that you never use. You can make a computer work blinding fast and very bugfree that way and if something goes wrong since entire computer footprint is so small can restore entire OS and software in matter of minutes.

  • Angela Froste

    here’s the thing. It’s the small business owners and personal users that are going to be effected. These people simply can’t afford to change their operating system and well as other systems that work with the old XP. If it’s not broken why fix it? If people want to use XP for the next 20 years why not? I have first hand information on this being a computer tech. I personally like XP but all my systems were upgraded to Windows 7, they will NOT be upgraded to Windows 8 because in my view Windows 7 is far more superior and easier to use.

    • Faraday

      You are better set with Linux or Apple if those are your only concerns. Apple is more expensive so it would negate the $200 upgrades, with both Apple and Microsoft platforms, your OS will still be out dated after 12 years. Either way, you are out about the same amount of money.

  • Ray

    Google the name ‘Steve Gibson’, he is the leading security expert. He thinks all the ‘scare’ stories are greatly overblown. He see’s no problem continuing to use XP (because he is) with following suggestions which are things he has always done. 1) setup 2nd account, make it ‘admin’ and downgrade your normal ‘everyday’ account to ‘user’. 2) Never ever open attachments in emails 3) do not download software, pictures, or PDF — these are leading transports for viruses, worms, rootkits, etc.

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