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XPocalypse now: XP stragglers are now wide open to hackers

Published Apr 8th, 2014 9:54AM EDT
Windows XP Support Ends

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If you’re still using Windows XP and you’re not doling out extra cash to Microsoft to maintain support, then congratulations: You’re now vulnerable to all kinds of fun malware that hackers have been saving up for just this occasion. It’s April 8th, which means that it’s also the last day that Microsoft will give technical support for Windows XP.

This means your XP machine won’t get anymore automatic updates you won’t be able to download Microsoft Security Essentials for your PC anymore. Microsoft does say that it will provide Security Essentials updates for XP users who already have the software downloaded onto their machines for a limited time but the company cautions that “this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to help protect your PC.”

Microsoft has been warning users about XP’s impending demise for years now but NetMarketShare estimates that just under 28% of PCs being used today still run the antiquated operating system. Microsoft has been making a big push to get XP users to get new PCs that run on Windows 8.1 but that’s proven to be a tough sell and NetMarketShare’s most recent numbers show that Windows 7 is growing at a significantly faster pace than assorted versions of Windows 8. What’s more, the vast majority of ATMs around the world still run on Windows XP, although that’s not as scary as it sounds since most banks are paying Microsoft for extended support.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.