Microsoft stops its support of the Windows XP operating system today, leaving around 260,000 New Zealand PCs still running the 12-year old software vulnerable to complications.
According to Frazer Scott, director of marketing and operations at Microsoft NZ those customers still running Windows XP need to act now.
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"While PCs running Windows XP will continue to work, no more security updates or technical support means that consumers and companies still running XP are now vulnerable to harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal or damage valuable information."
"The adverse consequences of malware infections can range from the annoying, to potentially catastrophic, so those still running the old operating system really need to act immediately," said Scott.
"Windows XP was a great operating system for its time, but it was not designed to handle the modern-day challenges of increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks, or support functionality we now see as standard such as ubiquitous internet access, the use of tablet PCs and touch screens.
"Retiring a product is a normal part of the product lifecycle. Windows XP was released in October 2001, and while most Microsoft software is supported for 10 years, Windows XP has been supported for more than 12 years, longer than any other Windows version."
Scott says for customers who are unsure of what version of Windows they are using, Microsoft has developed a website that can automatically tell if a PC runs Windows XP or a newer version of Windows like Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1. If the site detects Windows XP, it provides guidance on how to upgrade.
Microsoft has also developed a free data migration tool, which helps people to copy files, music, videos, email and user profiles and settings from an old PC to a new device, allowing Windows XP users to easily customise exactly what they want to bring over to a new device.