Windows XP currently powers nearly 95% of ATMs around the world. On April 8, Microsoft plans to end support for the operating system, affecting an estimated three million cash machines worldwide.
With the approaching end of Microsoft support for Window XP, there are still notable holdouts, including in-service ATM equipment managed by IT departments that have not migrated past XP. Many organizations did not upgrade from XP due to the poor reception of Windows Vista, and corporate deployments of new versions of Windows require a large amount of planning, which includes testing and adapting internal applications for compatibility (such as those that are dependent on Internet Explorer 6, which is not compatible with newer versions of Windows).
In January 2014, it was estimated that more than 95% of the 3 million automated teller machines (ATMs) in the world were still running Windows XP. ATMs have an average lifecycle of between seven to ten years, but some have had lifecycles as long as 15 years. Plans were being made by several ATM vendors and their customers to migrate to Windows 7-based systems over the course of 2014, while vendors have also considered the possibility of using Linux-based platforms in the future to give them more flexibility for support lifecyles.
What is end of support?
After 12 years, support for Windows XP will end on April 8, 2014. There will be no more security updates or technical support for the Windows XP operating system. It is very important that customers and partners migrate to a modern operating system such as Windows 8.1. Customers moving to a modern operating system will benefit from dramatically enhanced security, broad device choice for a mobile workforce, higher user productivity, and a lower total cost of ownership through improved management capabilities.
What does this mean?
It means you should take action. After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for Windows XP. Security updates patch vulnerabilities that may be exploited by malware and help keep users and their data safer. PCs running Windows XP after April 8, 2014, should not be considered to be protected, and it is important that you migrate to a current supported operating system – such as Windows 8.1 – so you can receive regular security updates to protect their computer from malicious attacks.
Potential risks of staying with Windows XP
Running Windows XP SP3 in your environment after April 8, 2104 may expose you to potential risks, such as:
Without critical Windows XP security updates, your PC may become vulnerable to harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal or damage your business data and information. Anti-virus software will also not be able to fully protect you once Windows XP itself is unsupported.
Businesses that are governed by regulatory obligations such as HIPAA may find that they are no longer able to satisfy compliance requirements. More information on HHS’s view on the security requirements for information systems that contain electronic protected health information (e-PHI) can be found here (HHS HIPAA FAQ – Security Rule).
Lack of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Support:
Many software vendors will no longer support their products running on Windows XP as they are unable to receive Windows XP updates. For example, the new Office takes advantage of the modern Windows and will not run on Windows XP.
Hardware Manufacturer support:
Most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on existing and new hardware. This will also mean that drivers required to run Windows XP on new hardware may not be available.
Many home users still use Window XP, too. See the video from WSJ Digital Network at the bottom of this article, which offers a game plan for moving beyond Windows XP.
Frequently Asked Questions (from Microsoft)
Can Windows XP still be activated after April 8, 2014?
Windows XP can still be installed and activated after end of support. Computers running Windows XP will still work but they won’t receive any Microsoft Updates or be able to leverage technical support. Activations will still be required for retail installations of Windows XP after this date as well.
Can Windows XP Mode in Windows 7 still be used in Windows XP?
Windows XP Mode follows the same support lifecycle as Windows XP, extended support will end April 8, 2014.
Will MED-V be supported after April 8, 2014?
Windows XP used with MED-V follows the same support cycle as Windows XP, support ends April 8th, 2014.
Will Microsoft Security Essentials be supported after April 8, 2014?
Microsoft Security Essentials will not be available for download on Windows XP after April 8, 2014. If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive anti-malware signature updates through July 14, 2015. However, please note that PCs running Windows XP after April 8, 2014 should not be considered protected.
Will Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool be supported after April 8, 2014?
Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool is aligned with the company’s anti-malware engines and signatures, and as such the removal tool will continue to be provided for Windows XP through July 14, 2015. However, any PC running Windows XP after April 8, 2014 should not be considered protected as there will be no security updates for the Windows XP operating system.
Will System Center, Windows Intune, and Microsoft Deployment Toolkit still support Windows XP?
While customers may continue to use System Center, Windows Intune, and the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit to manage and deploy Windows XP past April 8, 2014, those products will no longer support Windows XP, and any technical issues which may arise will not be addressed.
What about Windows XP Embedded?
See the Windows Embedded product lifecycle page and Microsoft Support for more information on Windows XP Embedded lifecycles.
Will existing updates still be available via Windows Update after April 8, 2014?
Yes, all existing Windows XP updates and fixes will still be available via Windows Update and WSUS.
Will Internet Explorer 8 still be supported on Windows XP?
As a component of Windows, Internet Explorer follows the support lifecycle of the Windows operating system on which it is installed on. More information is available at Microsoft Support.
Which machines will receive the Windows XP End of Support notification?
The notification will be sent to users of Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional who have elected to receive updates via Windows Update. Users in organizations using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), System Center Configuration Manager, or Windows Intune will not receive the Windows XP end of support notification.
On April 8 Microsoft will cut off support and security updates for Windows XP. WSJ Personal Technology columnist Joanna Stern guides you through the storm.
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