Windows XP Users: It's time to upgrade
Next year, Microsoft will be ending support of arguably its most popular operating system to date: Windows XP.
ComputerWorld reports that hackers who find new exploits in Windows XP may hold on to them to sell them at a permium after the Operating System loses support in April 2014.
Normally when an operating system is within a support cycle, if an exploit is found Microsoft researches it and creates and deploys a patch. If it's a particularly nasty bug, they may even issue an "out-of-cycle" patch to remidy the situation.
When a product's support ends, Microsoft will no longer supply exploit fixes, which leave systems vunerable to attacks. This gives users two options:
- Pay Microsoft a large amount of money to continue providing support to their organization
- Upgrade to a current operating system like Windows 7 or Windows 8
The second option is almost always the only realistic option.
While it's true that some legacy applications may require Windows XP, that's becoming more and more rare. In the circumstance you can't replace the OS, the third option is to run only your legacy software on Windows XP, and not allow internet access to that computer.
In most situations, it's highly recommended to upgrade the operating system.