You might say a change in the way we operate is underway.
As of April of this year, the Windows XP operating system and its Security Essentials will no longer be supported by Microsoft. The change is expected to impact about 30 percent of web users!
To help everyone get a handle on the changes, we'd like to provide you some basic information in the form of some common frequently asked questions we've been hearing since the announcement.
Why has Microsoft set a cutoff date on extended support for Windows XP?
Windows XP and Office 2003 were released over 10 years ago. Microsoft is now focused on two more recent releases of its primary operating system: Windows 7 and Windows 8.
What is the cutover date for the change?
Microsoft ended extended support for Windows XP and Office 2003 on April 8, 2014.
What does the cutoff mean for Windows XP users?
Windows no longer ships free security fixes for Windows XP after April 8, 2014. The company’s anti-malware support app Microsoft Security Essentials will also stop receiving signature updates and will be removed for download. You can read the most recent release from Microsoft on anti-malware support for Windows XP here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help
. Microsoft will provide some updates through July 14, 2015, mainly to help larger enterprise organizations complete the transition to updated software and operating systems. These updates are misnamed. They do not fix any newly identified issues in the operating system.
Will the change impact me?
Yes, the change has the potential to have a huge impact on all of us. Why? Because users of Windows XP machines who do not migrate to a new system or upgrade the operating system, will be running an insecure, easily exploitable machine. Windows XP users will stop getting updates and users won’t be able to install even a partial remedy for new security issues.
Can I use outside antivirus software as a remedy?
NO! That’d be like using a vaccine to protect against sunburn. Anti-virus software does not fix operating system or software flaws. Anti-virus software blocks known pieces of software code (malware) that arrive in email or via web browsing sessions. Updates to the core Windows XP software maintain the walls around the castle (your computer). Everyday malicious programmers attempt to find a way over the moat and through the walls. Microsoft is no longer stopping these programmers from laying logs, bridges, or whatever across the moat. Nor do they repair the walls. XpExtend will now do that for you.
What if you’re running a Windows XP version of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox?
Both Google and Mozilla will provide updates for the Windows XP versions of their browsers for one more year beyond the official end of Microsoft’s support – through April 2015. You can safely use those browsers. Microsoft is not supporting its older or prior versions of Internet Explorer browsers. If you continue to use Internet Explorer, we suggest you use the secure version called MyPOQ from Quarri
Are there other risks associated with the end of Windows XP?
Yes! Not only will tech support end for the operating system, but if your system picks up a virus, has a data breach or other issue that causes a shutdown you risk a systems failure and downtime that could disrupt your business. Business users or employees of businesses are negligent by breaching their PCI compliance duty if they don’t attempt to gain support. Finally, consider this direct message for users from Microsoft: “If you are running Windows XP after April 8, 2014, you are putting your business at risk.”
What does "End of Support" actually mean?
Microsoft continually "patches" and "updates" its software for security vulnerabilities discovered and bug fixes needed. We call that "Update Tuesday" since they start rolling new updates out the 2nd Tuesday of every month. End of support for Windows XP means that there will no longer be any of these updates or patches for the Windows XP operating system.
Will my computer just quit operating?
No, as is stated above by Microsoft, your computer will still work, but will become more vulnerable to security risk and viruses. You may, however, have issues since browser updates and support for Internet Explorer will be stopped. Some websites require updates versions of browsers for access.
What will happen with my browser?
Traditionally, older versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer have run under XP (Internet Explorer versions 6, 7, and 8). Over time Microsoft dropped support for earlier versions under XP and now has dropped support for Internet Explorer 8 under XP as of April 8, 2014. If continue to use Internet Explorer, you should consider using a secure, upgraded version called MyPOQ from Quarri
. The browser is a primary point of entry for malware onto your computer. MyPOQ provides a protected version of Internet Explorer that prohibits malware from entering. Another approach would be to use alternate browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. The browsers continue to be updated and supported by their creators.
Will my old computer upgrade to Windows 7 or 8?
One solution for users whose computers now run Windows XP would be to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8. This is Microsoft’s recommended and only supported solution. While it may be that your old computer will in fact run the newer operating system, it may not run it very well. More so, the old hardware in your computer may not even have software drivers available that will allow things like your sound card, video card, or something else to work properly in the newer operating system. Some computers won't allow for enough of a hardware upgrade to run the newer operating system efficiently (for instance, 4 GB of RAM is a minimum we would recommend for running windows 7 or 8. A number of the older computers may only be capable of handling up to 2 GB).
What does it mean for my business?
If your business operates in an industry that requires regulatory compliance with computer security or privacy standards (for example, HIPAA for the medical industry or PCI for credit card processing), a single Windows XP computer on your network could render you non-compliant. Check with your industries trade organization or possibly your attorney for legal or regulatory compliance concerns around Windows XP.
For the technically minded and computer consultants, below are a set frequent technical questions. If you have additional questions or cannot resolve an issue, don' hesitate to contact our customer support. Contact information is found in the upper right side of this page.
What if the user receives the message: "Unable to save the driver to disk"?
Our program does not have write permission to "C:\Program Files\XpExtend\" directory.
Solutions: Give current user permission to write to "C:\Program Files\XpExtend\". User can right-click on the desktop shortcut, Start menu shortcut, or "C:\ProgramFiles\XpExtend\XpExtend.exe" and select "Run as..." and choose the Administrator account.
What if the user receives the message: "Privileges are insufficient for interacting with the service control manager database?
Our program does not have the privileges necessary to create/delete a Windows service
Solutions:User can right-click on the desktop shortcut, Start menu shortcut, or "C:\Program Files\XpExtend\XpExtend.exe" and select "Run as..." and choose the Administrator account.
What if the user receives the message: "Unable to install driver: <number>"?
While our software does have privileges necessary to create/delete a Windows service, an error occurred during service creation. <number> represents a Windows system error code.
Solutions:Due to the generic nature of this error, the answer to resolution requires investigation into what <number> means. Please visit MSDN's "System Error Codes" website to gather more information.
What if the user receives the message: "Driver not found on disk"?
Somehow "C:\Program Files\XpExtend\XpExtend.sys" was deleted.
Solutions:User must reinstall program or replace XpExtend.sys with a working copy.
What if the user receives the message: "Unable to prompt user to reboot their machine after updating"?
User has installed the latest XpExtend updates but has not yet rebooted the machine OR they rebooted the machine but the driver was not loaded at boot.
Solutions: Rebooting the machine manually will likely resolve this. If rebooting does not work, ensure the service still exists (cmd.exe "sc query XpExtend") and "C:\Program Files\XpExtend\XpExtend.sys" still exists.