Microsoft to end support for Windows XP and Office 2003 from April 8

Businesses face increased security risks following withdrawal of IT support

As of April 8, tech giant Microsoft will no longer be supporting the Windows XP operating system or Office 2003 meaning businesses using these platforms will no longer have security fixes, software updates or technical support.

Firms who continue to run Windows XP or Office 2003 on their computers will be at an increased risk of security breaches and malware viruses.

Microsoft has advised business owners using the XP operating systems and Outlook 2003 email server to upgrade to newer versions of the software, such as Windows 8 and Outlook 365, to protect company data from hackers and viruses.

James Morrish, chief technologist for HP UK & Ireland, urges businesses to upgrade: “With just seven days until Microsoft ceases support for Windows XP, it’s surprising that there are still so many UK businesses that haven’t yet started upgrading to a newer operating system.

“From a security point of view these organisations either face major risks to their systems, or alternatively will experience mounting costs from mitigating against these risks through custom support programs or taking measures such as isolating XP platforms from the rest of the network.

“Businesses are also missing out on all the benefits that a newer operating system offers – many don’t realise the positive impact that Windows 7 or Windows 8 can have on their bottom line.

“Upgrading can have a huge impact on cutting lost productivity per PC, and vast reductions in technical support needs and costs. For those that haven’t yet started this process, I cannot stress enough the importance of getting in touch with a Microsoft Certified Partner as soon as possible.”

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