Windows XP Phaseout Puts 13 Million Japanese PCs at Risk

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Windows XP Phaseout Puts 13 Million Japanese PCs at Risk

windows xp screenshot

And you thought your company was using out of date tech...

Experts warn that more than 13 million personal computers in Japan will be exposed to higher risk of virus and other attacks starting in mid-April, when Microsoft will cease to support the decade-old operating system. Of that 13 million, 7.23 million Windows XP-based PCs are still in use by Japanese businesses, making up around 20% of all PCs in use in the country.

Migration to Windows 7, or the recently released 8.1 is very slow, especially at small and midsize firms, because managers are either unaware of the problem or want to avoid the cost of updating.

But it's the town, city and prefecture governments that are the biggest offenders according to a survey by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry last October. Around 2 million computers are in use at these offices, 722,166 (or 36%) of which are running XP. Governments blame the software used to handle of residential and taxation data, which is incompatible with newer operating systems.

As for personal use, an estimated 5.97 million PCs (14% of all PCs in Japan) owned by individuals are running Windows XP.

Both PC manufactures and Microsoft have made many attempts to persuade Japanese PC users to upgrade, such as allowing deferred payment on new PCs. Japan, which many see as a futuristic nation on the cutting edge of technology, ironically clings to office technology that the western world has long-since abandoned, such as the fax machine and Internet Explorer.

The end of Windows XP support will also reportedly leave nearly all of Japan's ATMs vulnerable. Japanese banks have lost 760 million to Internet hackers as of Oct. 15, 2013.

Source: The Japan Times

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Japan, which many see as a futuristic nation on the cutting edge of technology, ironically clings to office technology that the western world has long-since abandoned, such as the fax machine and Internet Explorer.

Ouch.

Oh, and I believe I'm also inclined to cry "FIRST!"

OT: Wait, ATM's will be vulnerable? Seriously? Japan better sort that shit out NOW.

Well I hope Microsoft sends me a copy of windows 7, otherwise I'm kinda boned. If only they'd extend it another year.
Also wow, Japan, never would've thought they'd still be using it. I expected it from like China, not the home of Sony.

Infernal Lawyer:

Ouch.

Oh, and I believe I'm also inclined to cry "FIRST!"

OT: Wait, ATM's will be vulnerable? Seriously? Japan better sort that shit out NOW.

The amount of devices that run on Windows XP is staggering, I wouldn't be surprised if most of America's ATM's, PoS (Point of Sale) terminals and other financial stuff was also running on XP. It's a mixture of cost and as stated above, the software needed is literally not compatible and has not been updated. Heck the corporation I work at, Australia has 99% conversion to Win 7 from XP and we're the highest ranking country, there are some that are way lower and probably wont be completed for a few years. We're talking about thousands if not millions of computers being recalled, replaced or refurbished and then the users taught how to use the new systems etc (the hardest part is the user, they are often completely against change).

I'm surprised smaller companies aren't upgraded though, surely they would have bought new PC's within the last 4 years (as computers have a 3-4 year lifespan in business). Sounds like places that are neglecting their systems, probably even family run ones that are completely in the dark about this.

I still have a PC running XP, and my other is running 7.

Win8/8.1 won't be touching my computers any time soon.

Pfft, thats nothing.

The NHS in the UK still predominantly uses Windows 98.

Windows XP is very nice and reliable. Not everyone needs the latest OS. As for protection against hacking - not every computer needs Internet access.

Those ATMs will probably require upgrades though.

my comptuer at work still run XP. i am writing this from Xp computer. The reason i moved to 7 at home was because they simply dont make XP drivers for the hardware i used, but also later the whole "no longer support directx 9" thing came.

I still stand by my saying that Windows XP was the best windows microsoft ever made, and they should have upgraded on that instead of working on whole new system, but 7 isnt that bad and they do have some things fixed there. Office 2010 is a godsend though, the Word program is hardly improved but Excel and the rest shoots over 2003 version with a thunderous strike.

Also looks like here at work an update will be forced. Sigh, i wonder how they will go about it.

I left a job at a GlaxoSmithKline in December and they still had many PC's running windows 95, 98, 2000 and ME so it would not surprise me if there were still XP machines out there 10 years from now.

I just love that completely asinine assessment "the moment MS doesn't support you we are all doomed", completely ignoring the fact you were at even higher risk for as long as it took MS to patch their OS to this very point, i.e. the last 13 years.

If you actually use your brain for a second and manage security of your own system you will be just fine, and anyone relying on MS for security was never going to be fine in the first place.

I get the impression that a lot of companies, including many other governments, miiiight also be guilty of this. Is Japan just especially bad?

Many British Government Departments still use XP. Like the Japanese guy said in the article, it's an issue of the cost of upgrading the huge number of comps and the fact that new custom software would have to be ordered and built for the new OS. A large cost during a time of cuts.

Better start donating to ReactOS, then. That's got its kernel compatibility targeted at Windows NT 5.2 (Server 2003 and XP x64 Edition).

On the other hand, now would be a good opportunity for the stick-in-the-mud businesses to switch to Linux. If they're going to need new software anyway, might as well use an OS where open source is the default and the source code will be available.

Roxor:
Better start donating to ReactOS, then. That's got its kernel compatibility targeted at Windows NT 5.2 (Server 2003 and XP x64 Edition).

On the other hand, now would be a good opportunity for the stick-in-the-mud businesses to switch to Linux. If they're going to need new software anyway, might as well use an OS where open source is the default and the source code will be available.

Open source Government program? Anonymous and its ilk would certainly like that.

There are legal ramifications for even looking at the wrong stuff, I can't imagine they'd be overly happy with giving the keys away to their systems to anyone with a will to use them.

I still use Windows XP at home. While it is partly cost, it's mostly a matter of personal taste and familiarity.

I've seen and experienced Windows Vista, it was horrible and I hated every time I had to use that computer. I've seen and experienced Windows 8, it looks ridiculous and I can't stand that type of interface for something like a computer. Windows 7, maybe, I've heard good things but I have no experience.

Windows XP is just.. like one guy said, stable and reliable. I've had almost no problems with it in the last 12 or so years since it came out. The few problems that did arise weren't even really related to the OS, more to hardware or related software (like drivers).

I do not look forwards to the day I have to ultimately upgrade. On the other hand, I know people who haven't used Windows Update in years and it hasn't hurt them a bit.

I work in a supermarket and all the computers there run on XP, except maybe the checkouts which are ancient. But self service, home shopping collection, customer service, reception and all the offices run XP.

I can't see it being too much of a problem. As long as the company keeps up an anti-virus subscription I doubt it would have an effect at all.

Roxor:
Better start donating to ReactOS, then. That's got its kernel compatibility targeted at Windows NT 5.2 (Server 2003 and XP x64 Edition).

On the other hand, now would be a good opportunity for the stick-in-the-mud businesses to switch to Linux. If they're going to need new software anyway, might as well use an OS where open source is the default and the source code will be available.

The fact that React still exists is hilarious. I remember trying it out years ago. They were... Not exactly on target with their mission statement. Furthermore, with MS back in the "Let's update the OS" stage, React's gonna fall behind. We have newer libraries that we'd like to have, and if they stick on the XP bandwagon, they're going to lag behind into obscurity. Well, more into obscurity...

On topic though, I'm sorry, but it's about fuckin' time that people got with the times. I know there's the cost of upgrading, and some companies can't upgrade, but we all knew this was comin'. If you're held back, we should have been aiming for an upgrade by now. Welcome to the world of technology. Ever changing, ever growing, and hanging back with the old, well... It's more than just undesirable, it's inefficient.

kurupt87:
Many British Government Departments still use XP. Like the Japanese guy said in the article, it's an issue of the cost of upgrading the huge number of comps and the fact that new custom software would have to be ordered and built for the new OS. A large cost during a time of cuts.

Both cost and compatibility. Some programs used by governments do not run well if at all on newer versions of windows. why? lack of foresight? I don't know the reason, I just know its the case.

I'm surprised XP is still suopported in Japan at all, wasn't the support in western world ceased years ago?

Infernal Lawyer:
ATM's will be vulnerable? Seriously? Japan better sort that shit out NOW.

Only a few years ago my card got stuck in an ATM in the UK i called the emergency number on the unit immediately and let them know and canceled my cards. A few moments later i see the windows 95 boot screen ( and this was less than 4 years ago).

Any pc with a gig of ram and P4 or later can run 7 just fine so i dont see a huge problem they can upgrade to 7 or move to a linux distro.

Galen Marek:

Both cost and compatibility. Some programs used by governments do not run well if at all on newer versions of windows. why? lack of foresight? I don't know the reason, I just know its the case.

Its still no excuse, this exactly why governments should exclusively use free software (as in GNU-Linux not as in open source). Then they are free to update and fix whatever they like.

kurupt87:

There are legal ramifications for even looking at the wrong stuff, I can't imagine they'd be overly happy with giving the keys away to their systems to anyone with a will to use them.

I am sorry but you don't understand how an open system works. Just because the source is available does not mean that anyone can get in, that's like saying i know how to make a lock so i can open any lock without the key for example http://www.openbsd.org/ is considered my most security experts as one of the most secure system arround.

In fact most open systems are more secure than closed simply because there are more eyes on the code in a closed system the bugs and exploits can be hidden from you.

There's companies in the US that still use XP, and I've been trying to get on a migration team for one of the companies that are upgrading to 7 lately. The reason they don't upgrade is that the combined cost of buying the program, compatibility testing, and training is just way too much for even multimillion companies to afford.

However, they never seem to have little problem getting the latest (or next-to-latest) Windows Server version. Probably because it's costs are significantly less?

Lol....... The fact that people here in the US are dogging on another country's businesses because they are still using XP is so hypocritical it isn't even funny. Boeing ONLY JUST upgraded from XP to 7 LAST YEAR. Staples STILL uses the OS. I guarantee plenty of other BIG US companies use XP. So get off your high horse there folks.

XP is compatible with a ton of software, and where I do IT work there's some computers that I can't justify upgrading to 7 or 8. The cost, plus the headaches of ensuring that older, specialized software runs on 8 is more of a pain then just keeping the XP on there if it isn't slow.

Also, Microsoft is doing some fear-mongering here, and I don't much care for it. One is not "Unsafe" because Microsoft decides not to release updates for the OS anymore. I'm pretty sure that the AVG, Superantispyware, MalwareBytes, and Spybot on my XP machines aren't going to quit getting updates, and the firewall in my router isn't going to disable itself.

Not to mention that many of these machines aren't even connected to the Internet in the fist place (I'm assuming). That's where your threats come from.

>ATMs
>using Windows XP
>not using a custom OS, even if it's Linux-based

Aaarglbwaargarbl.

Other than that... this is just sad. It's bizarre how far ahead Japan is in some areas and how so very far behind they are in others.

MorganL4:
Lol....... The fact that people here in the US are dogging on another country's businesses because they are still using XP is so hypocritical it isn't even funny. Boeing ONLY JUST upgraded from XP to 7 LAST YEAR. Staples STILL uses the OS. I guarantee plenty of other BIG US companies use XP. So get off your high horse there folks.

And the company I work for runs on Windows ME. What of it? I still think that any company that hasn't migrated to 7 is a legendary slowpoke, Japanese or other.

And I'm just sitting here still using windows ME.

Who goes and cries directly to microsoft for help when their computer gets a virus, anyway? You don't fix it that way. Who cares if they no longer support it. You fix viruses with 3rd party programs, system restore, or formatting your hard drive... all of which can still be done on XP.

Yeah any company should be migrating away from XP at this point Japanese or Western. Software has advanced an incredible amount since XPs days, the company I work for are in progress of migrating to 7 this month.

It has been planned for a long time as more and more we have found that the software and tools we need to do our jobs in todays world just will not function properly on XP.

Steven Bogos:
Japan, which many see as a futuristic nation on the cutting edge of technology, ironically clings to office technology that the western world has long-since abandoned, such as the fax machine and Internet Explorer.

I understand there is still no practical substitute for the fax machine when it comes to secure document transmission, strange as it may sound.

Kumagawa Misogi:
I left a job at a GlaxoSmithKline in December and they still had many PC's running windows 95, 98, 2000 and ME so it would not surprise me if there were still XP machines out there 10 years from now.

I reckon they have a lot of expensive scientific equipment which is incompatible with newer operating systems and which the manufacturers do not care to keep supporting.

My school still uses XP and I don't see why they should change it, it's still a fine OS, so long as you don't do anything too demanding. The security part is just bullshit, if you rely on Microsoft's Swiss cheese firewall + Defender you were pretty much screwed anyway. There are a ton of free third party firewalls and virus scanners that will sort that out.

There's a lot of companies still using XP, some of them just recently changed over to it. A major reason is that they have a number of custom programs or configurations that cost a considerable amount to modify for optimal use with a new OS. The reason they do this is because it's still cheaper than the vast amounts of service calls that would be required by simply installing it on the new OS.

That said, it's the accounting departments who control when to these changeovers and they want to see the changeover investment as worthwhile so they hold off on doing the change (which can just as frequently mean a hardware replacement in addition to the software one) for as long as possible. Of course, they never consider the logistics when they decide to green light it so their best estimate for completion is several months out of date.

I swear, most of the machines I've replaced have at least 7 years worth of dust in them.

The ATMs definitely need an uprade at least to Vista(which isn't the best choice since it will loose support in short time too), get third party updates if it's possible or get the extended embedded support if M$ allows it. At least going to Win 8 on a machine with a custom front end like an ATM would only have the possibility of driver issues. You don't need someone to learn the Trainwreck UI if your going to paste your own over it. Maybe, if M$ gave businesses a discount on XP to Win 7/8 uprades it would be as much of a financial problem, but were talking about Mr. "Charge 'em $100 just for the ugrade from Vista to 7 home edition" here. They won't do that until they get the financial hurt put on them which is hopefully soon.

lacktheknack:

MorganL4:
Lol....... The fact that people here in the US are dogging on another country's businesses because they are still using XP is so hypocritical it isn't even funny. Boeing ONLY JUST upgraded from XP to 7 LAST YEAR. Staples STILL uses the OS. I guarantee plenty of other BIG US companies use XP. So get off your high horse there folks.

And the company I work for runs on Windows ME. What of it? I still think that any company that hasn't migrated to 7 is a legendary slowpoke, Japanese or other.

MASTACHIEFPWN:
And I'm just sitting here still using windows ME.

Wow, there are people and even businesses still using ME? It might work better after some update in it's late support life, but I remember as a kid trying to get my sister's emachine with Windows Mistake Edition to even run right on a weekly basis. Burning incense and praying to the machine god was to most consistent way to get it running for a month at a time without a complete reinstall. You guys are true heros with the patience of a saint.

lacktheknack:
>ATMs
>using Windows XP
>not using a custom OS, even if it's Linux-based

Aaarglbwaargarbl.

Other than that... this is just sad. It's bizarre how far ahead Japan is in some areas and how so very far behind they are in others.

It's not just Japan, I mean hell I work for the state of California and we barely upgraded our OS to Windows 7 last year. A lot of businesses in the US still use Windows XP because it's both cheap and has great compatibility. So the fact that most of Japan still uses XP doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

Hairless Mammoth:

MASTACHIEFPWN:
And I'm just sitting here still using windows ME.

Wow, there are people and even businesses still using ME? It might work better after some update in it's late support life, but I remember as a kid trying to get my sister's emachine with Windows Mistake Edition to even run right on a weekly basis. Burning incense and praying to the machine god was to most consistent way to get it running for a month at a time without a complete reinstall. You guys are true heros with the patience of a saint.

I was just joking when I said that.
Can windows ME even access the internet? My grandma had it on her computer, and I was just at loss for words at how bad it was with... well, everything.

The place I work at only switched to XP in the last couple of years so I very much doubt we'd pick up 7 any time soon. We are a charity though so it's not like we have money to just throw around.

We also very recently got Office 2010. I wish we could go back to Office 2003. I hate that ribbon and all the confusion it brings.

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