With official support for Windows XP set to end on April 8th, what are the biggest security fears and what should users do about it?
JM: One of my colleagues told me a technique by which you can make any headline sound interesting. You simply add the words, “surprise surprise” to the beginning and I feel like this warrants one of these.
“Official support for Windows XP set to end”
doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as
“Surprise Surprise! Official support for Windows XP set to end”
TL: Well, that’s hardly a surprise is it? Ring or otherwise to it, this is an operating system that replaced Windows Me, and is over a decade old. It’s like when your plumber comes round to look at your 10 year old boiler and says “Surprise surprise, they don’t make this model any more and I can’t get the parts for it anyway. It’s going to cost you six grand for a new one”.
AA: I actually have a boiler which is over 15 years old! Its age is not a problem. I’ve had it serviced regularly ever since I inherited it with the house. I understand its quirks (like the fact the timer doesn’t work) but I also know when it doesn’t sound right so I call an expert to look at it. There is a lot of apocalyptic commentary around Microsoft support ending as if every XP machine will be automatically more vulnerable at 0:01 on April 9th. XP has been a stable OS and received the appropriate TLC it has needed over the years. With XP machines still in use by Corporates and Banks (who are paying for premium support), it will be functional for a while. Assuming they have regularly applied security patches in the past, the average home user just needs to know to look out for the “quirks” with their system and they can continue to run OK until software they use stops being compatible or the hardware it’s running on fails!
JM: I think that sums it up perfectly. XP is like an old boiler – due to liability large corporations should upgrade as soon as MS stops sending the plumbers – everyone else can keep on running it and in all likelihood it’ll be fine. Until it leaks carbon monoxide and kills you in your sleep.
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