Warning, warning: 30 days to WinXP, Office 2003 expiry

  • Consumers and companies still on Windows XP at risk, says company
  • Microsoft launches two free tools to help users migrate from Windows XP

Warning, warning: 30 days to WinXP, Office 2003 expiryMICROSOFT Malaysia has reminded consumers and companies that support for the Windows XP operating system (OS) and Office 2003 will end on April 8, 2014, just about 30 days away.
Microsoft also announced two new free tools to help migrate from Windows XP: PCmover Express for Windows XP, as well AmIrunningXP.com, an automatic detection website to help users determine what version of the OS they may be using.
Additionally, as part of its on-going awareness effort, on March 8 at 3pm local time, customers using Windows XP (Home and Professional editions) will receive a notification via Windows Update informing them of the support deadline and encouraging them to visit Windows.com to find out more about what end of support means for them.
Millions of PCs in Malaysia exposed
With support ending for Windows XP and Office 2003 in about 30 days, consumers and companies actively using these software versions will be left without security patches and customer support, Microsoft Malaysia said.
Based on an estimation using data from StatCounter, a free public tracker, and IDC Worldwide PC Tracker, Windows XP makes up about 14.4% of PCs in Malaysia. Although this represents a decline of 6.68% over the last one year, this still means that there are 2,553,952 PCs on Windows XP.
This means that millions of businesses and individuals in Malaysia still using the 12-year-old OS and 10-year-old productivity suite risk falling prey to harmful viruses, spyware, increasingly sophisticated security threats and other malware, the company said.
“When Windows XP was launched in October 2001, notebooks were brick-like with short battery life, as well as very expensive. About 8% of the world was using the Internet in 2001 compared with 39% today,” said Amrita Sapre, Windows Business Group lead for Microsoft Malaysia.
“… while Internet access brings lots of goodness, it’s also a hotbed for cyber criminals who go where the people go.
“So it’s really critical that consumers who still own Windows XP devices recognise that it’s not just about upgrading to something new. This is about protecting your home devices from security threats, especially if you are using the Internet.
“Windows XP wasn’t designed for today’s mobile, always-connected lives, or for protecting businesses and individuals from the millions of new online security threats that have emerged,” she added.
Microsoft’s latest Security Intelligence Report (Vol. 15) found Windows XP SP3 to be 5.68 times more vulnerable than Windows 8 RTM, along with a staggering 82.4% higher malware infection rate. The odds of one getting compromised and losing valuable personal information on a Windows XP machine is far higher than on Windows 8 devices.
Furthermore, the average cost of a severe security breach for SMEs (small and medium enterprises) is US$54,000 to US$100,000, Microsoft Malaysia said.
Related Stories:
One-year countdown begins for 11yr-old WinXP
Old malware still threaten in Malaysia, thanks to legacy systems and pirated OSes
FortiGuard Labs’ five security predictions for 2014
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