Security Companies Start Urging Windows XP Users To Upgrade

The urge to upgrade is a funny one. Back in the good old days (yes, the all-or-nothing days) of computing in the 90s and 2000s, home and business consumers were all too eager to update and upgrade.

But times have changed — and same can be said for the technology landscape.

The shift to mobility is one thing, but there is also the fact that computer hardware and software has matured, grown so powerful and feature rich over the years that a fair few are okay with sticking to what they have.

Something similar is at play here as far as Windows XP is concerned.

Microsoft has been all too eager to convince users and businesses to dump the 11-year-old operating system and move to a newer, more secure platform — the keyboard here being secure. The software titan is all set to stop releasing patches and updates for the old OS.

And now security companies are joining in the fray. Take security vendor Sophos for instance, which recently said in a blog post that hackers may try to exploit unpatched systems soon after Microsoft officially retires Windows XP. Joshua Long offers the lowdown:

“There’s certainly the potential for a lot of havoc, for instance new internet-propagating worms that target Windows XP systems, or even just an increase in Internet Explorer 8 browser exploits that could open the doors wide for all manner of malware infections.”

Sophos also offers a helpful recommendation:

“If you don’t think you can afford it, skip the Starbucks for a few months and set aside that money for a Windows upgrade.”

Yeah, I can live with that. No Starbucks until spring next year.

Windows XP, obviously, has deep roots within the technology world. But the fact that hackers and cybercriminals may be waiting for a chance to pounce on unsuspecting users sounds scary, if not overly unforeseen. For this reason alone, Microsoft’s urgency makes total sense.