Almost 15 years ago, the world was informed that it was heading towards the ultimate apocalypse. Planes were going to fall from the skies, nuclear missiles would launch themselves and the Amstrad e-Mailer would gain conscious thought.

The cause?

The Y2k BUG….dum dum dum….

What was the Y2K Bug?

Essentially, it was all down to the understanding that most computers used a 2 digit system for years. Instead of 1976, they understood it to be 76. All well and good until the Millennium arrives and then,  all of a sudden, computers will think they are in 00 and  ‘say NO!’.

What actually happened?

Not a lot! Companies made a fortune from, and spent a fortune on becoming Y2K compliant. Some Slot Machines stopped working (but disappointingly didn’t spew winnings everywhere), and the odd bus ticket machine stopped issuing tickets. Other than that, nothing happened. That could have been because of the remedial work or equally it could have been nonsense to start with.

Well now we have a real and present threat. In a little under a year, Microsoft Windows XP will be officially dead. There will be no more updates, no more fixes and no more support from it’s parents Microsoft.

20% of UK businesses say they are planning to continue using Windows XP after this date.

So whats the problem?

Whilst Windows XP is an excellent operating system and, to a lot of people, has only recently been overtaken by Windows 7. However, like all operating systems there are security flaws and vulnerabilities inherent in the software. Microsoft regularly issues updates to fix all manner of holes, bugs and incompatibilities in their software, but only whilst that software is in it’s lifecycle. Once it’s dead to Microsoft, you are on your own.

There are no doubt organisations and individuals who are looking to exploit this opportunity and gain access to systems they know will not be patched are sitting and waiting to strike. Virus’, Malware and SPAM problems are all likely to increase as vulnerable machines become drones for BOT nets and SPAM farms by the bucket load.

The solution? For all but a select few companies, there should be no real excuse to not, at least, seriously consider Windows 7 or maybe even Windows 8.  There aren’t that many pieces of software or hardware that don’t work with Windows 7+ (you even have the built in Windows XP virtual machine functionality if you need it) anymore and those that don’t generally have a suitable, and reasonably priced, alternative that does.

If you are still using  XP and considering getting out before you become part of the XP Bug, give us a call today.