windows in post imageMicrosoft support for Windows XP will end today, April 8, 2014.

After 12 years, an estimated 30 percent of computers being used by businesses and consumers are still using this operating system. Microsoft says it is very important that customers and partners migrate to a modern operating system such as Windows 8.1.

Although users can still run XP after today, there will be no more security updates or technical support for the Windows XP operating system. After today, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for Windows XP. Security updates patch vulnerabilities that may be exploited by malware and help keep users and their data safer. PCs running Windows XP after April 8, 2014, should not be considered to be protected.

Running Windows XP SP3 after today may expose the user to potential security risks, compliance risks, lack of ISV (Independent Software Vendor) Support and most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on existing and new hardware.

Some governments like the UK government and the Dutch government have negotiated extended support for the operating system in order to keep users protected while they complete their migration away from the ageing code.

However, according to Dave Emm, a senior research analyst at security firm Kaspersky, anyone currently running Windows XP already faced disproportionate risk of falling victim to malware.

“Our data indicates that less than one fifth of our customers run Windows XP but more than a quarter of infections are Windows XP-based”

He said that exposure ratio is only going to get worse after April 8, once the last security patch for windows XP has been released.

Maik Morgenstern and Andreas Marx from the German AV-Test group, which rates and ranks security software said Windows XP users topped the list of victims cyber-thieves targeted.

“Malware writers go for the low hanging fruits because it’s a lot easier to infect systems running on an old Windows XP operating system compared to brand-new Windows 8.1, with all its built-in security features”

Sorce: BBC