Microsoft has announced that extended support for Windows XP is ending on April 8, 2014 (mainstream support of XP ended in April 2009). Does this mean that as the calendar turns from April 7th into April 8th of this year, that your Windows XP computer will just suddenly stop working? Yes, yes it does.
Okay, just kidding.
Windows XP will continue to work after April 8th, but no additional security patches will be released. What this basically means is that running Windows XP in your organization on anything other than a desktop with no network connection, floppy drive, USB ports, or CD drive is an outright liability, bordering on irresponsible.
Why the harsh words?
So what does this all mean? Well, no security patches means that if your business needs to be PCI-DSS, HIPPA, or Sarbanes-Oxley compliant (or many others), you won’t be able to be compliant.
If you are still running XP, there’s no need to be embarrassed. You are not alone. According to Net Applications, a Web analytics firm, about 31% of the world uses Windows XP, while about 47% of the world has upgraded to using Windows 7. Hopefully, by April 8, 2014, the percentage of users who have upgraded will include you!