Still running Windows XP?

Tick, tick, tick.

That’s the sound of the clock counting down to April 8, 2014. This date marks the end of Microsoft support for the Windows XP platform. Mike Halsey, Windows expert, author, trainer, and Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP), is worried that not enough small businesses are paying attention to this date and its bottom-line implications. “I’m afraid that people are putting ongoing productivity and the safety of their business data at risk,” Halsey says.

How will this transition affect your business?

Without Microsoft support, devices running Windows XP will no longer receive automatic software updates, including security updates that help protect against harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. Halsey worries that malware writers, hackers, and others will be poised and waiting to exploit the change. This could lead to the loss of customer databases, merchandise inventory, and email history, making it difficult for companies to operate. “Worse yet, if personal customer information is stolen due to a security breach, you could be libel for substantial fines from government authorities,” Halsey says. “And these fines, in some cases, could be enough to close a small company down.”

Take the time to safeguard your data

While there is still time to transition smoothly to a new computer system, without causing significant downtime or risking the safety of your data, that time is waning. Read Halsey’s article, Five steps to update to Windows 8.1, to get started today. Halsey urges you to give these steps a try, but adds that you may save time and money by buying new devices, especially if your computers or devices are five years or older. “Once you’ve upgraded to Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 you’ll be fine,” he says, “That’s because operating system updates will continue for these versions for years to come.”


Article ID: 2928640 - Last Review: 28 Mar 2014 - Revision: 1