Microsoft’s decision to halt support for XP means that the company will no longer provide updates, which often includes security patches to cover up any recently discovered gaps. This means that a company’s sensitive security data could be much easier to breech.
The death of Windows XP also means that XP-specific drivers and software will slowly disappear. And if users look for support outside of Microsoft, they likely won’t find it.
But the most troublesome side effect could cause companies to lose total functionality of their hardware. If there’s a hardware failure on an XP system, you might not be able to restore everything back to its original state.
On April 8, 2014, Microsoft also discontinued support for Microsoft Office 2003 and Exchange Server 2003. In addition to migrating to Windows 7 or Windows 8, companies will also have to update these two services.
Many small business owners are taking a “wait and see” approach on upgrading their systems to Windows 7. Even worse, some are simply not planning to upgrade at all. This “head in the sand” approach simply won’t work — at least not for long.
Many security experts are predicting a storm of attacks and security issues once the operating system is no longer supported. You may also find that the applications you use to run your business are no longer supported as software developers abandon this outdated system.
Windows XP itself will keep working now that support has ended, but the main problem is that bug fixes, security patches, vulnerability fixes, etc. will no longer be made available.
This is similar to what happened with Windows 98 and Windows Vista. If you have a computer running one of those operating systems, it still works. It won’t support newer software, but it still works.
The same is now true for Windows XP. Now that the April 8th deadline has passed Windows XP will keep plugging away…You will just no longer receive any security updates.
So what’s the big deal?
For most users, running an old operating system is an unwise security risk, but that’s about it. You can save on the cost of an upgrade now, but you’ll most likely spend that — and more — to clear up an infection and then upgrade your PCs at a later date.
What does it mean if my version of Windows is no longer supported?
An unsupported version of Windows will no longer receive software and security updates from Microsoft. These include security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, which can steal your personal information.
Windows will continue to run. Even if you have an unsupported version of Windows XP or Windows Vista without any service packs, Windows will continue to start and run. But you will be at risk.