If you’re still using Windows XP, you’re not only using a vulnerable, twelve year old operating system, you’re using a vulnerable, twelve year old operating system that will no longer be supported after April 2014.

Windows XP wasn’t the greatest operating system in the world when first released but managed to survive thanks to continuous improvements. Security patches, Service Packs 1 and 2 and the sheer number of third-party applications that could help bolster its capabilities all helped maintain the OS for all these years. Well, those third-part developers have moved on and Microsoft will no longer acknowledge Windows XP from April next year.

Two Good Reasons to Upgrade

There are two major reasons why you need to drop Windows XP right now. Firstly, it’s a security nightmare and will no longer benefit from security updates or Patch Tuesdays. Third-party firewalls and antivirus have moved on and zero day updates will soon be a thing of the past. Secondly, firms in the U.S. are already being sued by shareholders for data breaches as a result of sticking with the aged OS. As we all know, what happens over there, ends up over here in time so you need to move before it happens. Even if you don’t have shareholders, you certainly don’t want company confidential information out there in the ether.

Overcome Limitations

In the rare event that you may have an application you simply cannot do business without that only works on Windows XP, you could try virtualisation. If Compatibility Mode doesn’t work, a virtual server running Windows XP might. Running a sandboxed version of Windows XP through VMware or Citrix is the only safe way to maintain XP apps without leaving the rest of your business vulnerable to hacks. It’s also within the Microsoft EULA, which is nice. We already promote virtualisation as a way of gaining efficiency, hosting multiple environments on single physical servers and as a way of businesses getting maximum value from their investment. Now there’s another reason. Virtualising an XP install onto a sandboxed server would allow you to maintain your third-party applications without any of the security holes of a standard install. If you run virtual servers already, it’s easy to implement. Even if you don’t, there isn’t a great deal of work needed to configure it. There are now literally no reasons to stick with Windows XP as your operating system. If you need help, or advice, or want us to arrange everything, you know where we are.

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