Microsoft's XP operating system has been around since 2001, but 29 percent of the world's computers still use it. Among those are about 95 percent of the ATMs in the United States.
The time has come for Windows XP to die, according to Microsoft, so it will be pulling the tech support plug on April 8. While many users will not be affected since they have converted to Windows 7 or Windows 8, it turns out that roughly 29 percent of computers across the world still use the aging OS.
What this means is that, even though the OS will continue working, the lack of security updates and support of Microsoft will leave users more vulnerable to hacking. It will also mean even fewer companies will be making any software that would support XP.
Apparently, the biggest source of concern is that 95 percent of the ATMs in the United States use XP, and only a small number of those -- perhaps 15 percent -- will be able to upgrade by the time Microsoft drops the OS hammer, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek report. Of course, ATM companies have had fair warning, as Microsoft originally wanted to end support for XP back in 2010, but decided to delay its demise.
While upgrading to Windows 7 or 8 is a viable option, not all the machines that currently run XP will be compatible, given their aging hardware. Also, many businesses still running XP (about 6 percent) may not be able to upgrade because of budget constraints, said Scott Dowling, a Microsoft software consultant for En Pointe Technologies. If you are affected, Microsoft has a tool that will help you figure out what your next OS could be. But don't be surprised if a new computer is necessary.
Microsoft may offer custom support for XP that would provide additional security patches, but at a cost. Dowling said early reports say the expense may be cost prohibitive.
Source: CNN Money