Microsoft announced this month that they would extend malware protection for the thirteen year-old operating system. Support for Windows XP officially ends on April 8th 2014, which had a lot of businesses worried. This news gives you another year before having to upgrade. Microsoft Security Essentials will still receive signature updates until 15th July 2015. That gives you another eighteen months of some level of support if you still run XP machines. From Microsoft TechNet: “To help organizations complete their migrations, Microsoft will continue to provide updates to our antimalware signatures and engine for Windows XP users through July 14, 2015.” “For enterprise customers, this applies to System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection and Windows Intune running on Windows XP. For consumers, this applies to Microsoft Security Essentials.”

Microsoft Security Essentials

As always, there is a caveat to this. Microsoft Security Essentials isn’t an antivirus tool, it’s merely a malware removal program. It won’t protect your systems from harm. It will only help you remove identified threats. While better than nothing, it’s hardly robust security on its own.

Not a Stay of Execution

While this extension may cause many businesses to breathe a sigh of relief, it isn’t a stay of execution for Windows XP. From April this year, there will be no more security updates, no more patches and no more support. Any business still running XP machines needs to upgrade and soon. Not only is XP less secure than newer operating systems, it’s also less efficient, more prone to crashes and has few of the advanced features of Windows 7 or 8. While we appreciate that an upgrade program can be quite an investment, it is a necessary one. With the vast majority of business being run from, or at least organised from a computer, there really is no excuse not to invest. Excalibur is running an initiative to aid business wanting to upgrade. We can take care of the entire upgrade project from beginning to end, meaning there is no excuse to keep running such an old and inadequate operating system! It’s important to note though that support is still ending for Windows XP in April. The operating system itself will no longer receive patches or other security updates. It is only Microsoft Security Essentials that will continue to receive regular signature updates. You should also know that after April 8th, you will no longer be able to download an XP version of Microsoft Security Essentials, so it’s best to upgrade before then! Speak to Excalibur and we’ll be more than happy to help you plan your migration and protect your business. CALL 01793 744286 TO SPEAK TO OUR TECHNICAL SUPPORT TEAM

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