It’s crunch time for Microsoft as support for Windows XP will finally wind down for good on April 8th. In order to convince the stragglers to convert to its latest operating system, Microsoft is offering $100 of instant savings upon the purchase of select Windows 8 PCs over $599 when upgrading from Windows XP. If you’re in the market for a cheap netbook or an affordable desktop, you’re probably out of luck, but anyone with a slightly larger budget that wants to upgrade to Windows 8 should take this opportunity to shop around.
People, what is it going to take for you to finally ditch Windows XP? Microsoft has already sent out plenty of warnings to XP users letting them know support for the platform will end on April 8th. However, if the threat of getting nailed by countless new strains of malware isn’t enough to get you to upgrade from XP, Microsoft is now sweetening the offer with $50 worth of free stuff… but the catch is you’ll have to buy a new computer with Windows 8.1. More →
Microsoft has a problem: It desperately wants any remaining Windows XP users to upgrade to a newer version of the operating system but a huge chunk of them still haven’t budged. The latest numbers from NetMarketShare show that Windows XP still accounts for around 29.5% of all desktops in use even though Microsoft is due to end support for the 13-year-old platform on April 8th. ZDNet reports that Microsoft plans to pester remaining XP holdovers starting next week by sending them pop-up notifications reminding them — again — that it will end XP support within a month. More →
With Microsoft dropping support for Windows XP in April, you would think people would start moving on to Windows 7 or Windows 8. Apparently they aren’t and instead, Windows XP’s market share is increasing. According to the latest report from Net Market Share, XP’s market share increased from 28.98% in December to 29.23% in January. More →
As we’ve mentioned multiple times, now is really the time to upgrade from Windows XP if you haven’t done so already. Even though Microsoft will extend support for its Windows XP security products through July 2015, the company has warned that “the effectiveness of antimalware solutions on out-of-support operating systems is limited.” Bloomberg Businessweek reports that some of the most important machines that desperately need to upgrade from Windows XP are ATMs, of which an estimated 95% still run on Microsoft’s older operating system. More →
If you’re still running a machine that runs Windows XP… well, you should really, really, really think about upgrading to Windows 7 or Windows 8 soon. However, if you’re determined to gut it out with Windows XP through at least 2014, Microsoft has thrown you a tiny little piece of a lifeline. Per The Next Web, Microsoft is extending its support for its Windows XP security products through July 14th of 2015, which gives you around a year-and-a-half to dump Windows XP before getting completely swamped with malware. That said, Microsoft is still warning that “the effectiveness of antimalware solutions on out-of-support operating systems is limited,” so now is definitely the time to either upgrade your Windows XP machines or buy new computers all together.
Windows XP is now more than 12 years old but according to data from Net Applications, it is still used on more than 31% of desktop and laptop computers around the world. Those tens of millions of PC users could be in for a very rude awakening next year once Microsoft cuts off support for the aged operating system. Microsoft itself even warned users of the imminent tsunami of viruses and other malware that will inevitably wash over XP stragglers once it stops issuing updates and fixes for the OS. Now, a recently discovered critical zero-day flaw has been acknowledged in a Microsoft support document that could cause serious problems for XP users. More →
It’s been a good run, but stragglers might consider finally making the jump to a more recent Windows operating system after reading this report. Tim Rains, Director of Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft, reminded Windows users last week on a TechNet blog post that Microsoft will no longer provide support for Windows XP after April 8th, 2014, effectively ending any security updates to the dying OS. Microsoft has already stopped supporting Windows XP Service Pack 2, and within two years “its malware infection rate was 66 percent higher than Windows XP Service Pack 3.” More →
Now might be a good time to become accustomed with Windows 8 if you’re still a holdover Windows XP user. Computerworld reports that hackers have started storing up any fresh Windows XP exploits they find and are preparing to unleash them on unsuspecting XP users as soon as Microsoft stops supporting the operating system next year. Microsoft security expert Jason Fossen tells Computerworld that hackers who discover new exploits over the next few months may be able to charge twice what they’re charging now if they sell them after Windows XP support ends. More →
Windows 7 for the first time ever has captured more than half of the global operating system market, according to data compiled by Web analytics firm StatCounter. The desktop OS had a 50.2% market share in June, leading the nearly 11-year old Windows XP OS, which controlled 29.9% of the market. Windows 7 was launched almost three years ago in October 2009, and while it received rave reviews, the operating system has seen a slower adoption rate than Windows XP, only surpassing the older version last fall. Windows 7’s milestone was achieved only months before Microsoft is set to release its latest operating system, Windows 8. More →
Microsoft products fit into two different life cycle stages — mainstream support and extended support. With mainstream support, users receive free security updates, stability improvements, bug fixes and occasional new features. In the extended support phase, security updates are available for free but other fixes require paid support. Microsoft reminded Windows XP users earlier this week that XP is now in the extended phase, and it said support for the operating system and Office 2003 will be officially discontinued by April 2014. Mainstream support for Windows Vista has also officially ended as of Tuesday, along with support for Office 2007. Both Windows Vista and Office 2007 will be in the extended support phase from now until April 2017. Microsoft recommends that users with PCs running Windows XP and Office 2003 should migrate to Windows 7 and Office 2010 before support is completely cut off and systems are left vulnerable to new forms of malware. More →
Android users who are looking to sell their old devices should be wary of the possible consequences. McAfee identity theft researcher Robert Siciliano warned that personal data from Android devices is not completely removed after a user activates the built-in wipe option, The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday. “What’s really scary is even if you follow protocol, the data is still there,” Siciliano said. If you have a BlackBerry or Apple device, Siciliano said your data can be fully deleted by following the manufacturer’s directions. As for smartphones running the Android operating system and computers running Windows XP, Siciliano recommends that people don’t bother with selling them at all. “Put it in the back of a closet, or put it in a vise and drill holes in the hard drive, or if you live in Texas take it out into a field and shoot it,” he said. “You don’t want to sell your identity for 50 bucks.” To test the security of various platforms, Siciliano purchased 30 smartphones and computers from Craigslist. The researcher was able to access personal data from 15 of the 30 devices through his own hacking efforts and the help of a forensic expert. The data obtained included bank account information, Social Security numbers, child support documents and credit card account log-ins. More →