Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP after April 8th 2014. What does this mean exactly you might ask? Systems on your network running Windows XP after April 8th 2014 will no longer receive security updates or technical support from Microsoft. Security updates are released to patch vulnerabilities found in the operating system that allow malicious users and applications pathways to access the data on your computer. Computers in your environment running Windows XP will continue to function as they have for years, however after April 8th 2014 computers running Windows XP should not be considered protected. The more time that goes by after April 8th, the more vulnerabilities there will be that are unpatched. It is recommended that you upgrade your operating system to Windows 7, or Windows 8.1 to continue to receive security updates from Microsoft.
Reasons to migrate away from Windows XP (directly taken from Microsoft’s Website https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/endofsupport.aspx )
Without critical Windows XP security updates, your PC may become vulnerable to harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal or damage your business data and information. Anti-virus software will also not be able to fully protect you once Windows XP itself is unsupported.
Businesses that are governed by regulatory obligations such as HIPAA may find that they are no longer able to satisfy compliance requirements. More information on HHS’s view on the security requirements for information systems that contain electronic protected health information (e-PHI) can be found here (HHS HIPAA FAQ – Security Rule).
Lack of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Support:
Many software vendors will no longer support their products running on Windows XP as they are unable to receive Windows XP updates. For example, the new Office takes advantage of the modern Windows and will not run on Windows XP.
Hardware Manufacturer support:
Most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on existing and new hardware. This will also mean that drivers required to run Windows XP on new hardware may not be available.
By: Nate Martin