If you’re among the 30 percent of Canadians using Windows XP, you might want to consider an upgrade. The Microsoft operating system that came out in 2001 expires today, Apr. 8. Those who don’t switch to a different system will be leaving themselves vulnerable to malicious hacking.
Once the tech giant pulls the plug on the system, users will no longer be able to download security updates, and won’t be able to contact Microsoft if they have technical support questions.
Small businesses and home users could switch to an open-source Linux-based operating system, such as Ubuntu, Red Hat or Suse, but they have a very different look and feel to Windows and would take a deal of getting used to. Or, businesses that will make a slower transition over to a new operating system can sign up for a custom support option from Microsoft.
Unsurprisingly, Microsoft maintains companies will be better off without XP - they get to sell millions of dollars worth of new software after all.
According to Microsoft's David Rodger "Few could have dreamed of the technological wonders we see today…we are living at a time when the potential to innovate and create has never been greater, and with the right technology, small businesses are well positioned to benefit."
That may well be true, but transferring to a new operating system, upgrading software and hardware, and safely transferring valuable customer data to new systems, is still a hassle many in our current economy could do without.