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RIP Windows XP: Why now is the time to say goodbye

There are lots of reasons to keep using Windows XP, but none of them are worth the security risks

Without wanting to wish harm on anyone, the likelihood is, businesses and consumers are unlikely to heed the Windows XP security warnings until a company suffers a high-profile and devastating security breach as a result of sticking with it.

This is a message Microsoft, along with various security experts, have been trying to hammer home to Windows XP users since the realisation that, with end of support not far away, millions of consumers and businesses were still running it.

Even so, users aren't exactly moving off the platform in their droves, according to data from Netmarketshare. In April 2013, XP's share of the desktop market stood at 38.31 per cent, making it the second most popular operating system behind Windows 7 at 44.72 per cent.

Fast forward to March 2014, the month before XP support was due to end, and it's still in second place, making up 27.7 per cent of the market.

Until then, they'll probably assure themselves Microsoft are just scaremongering to sell more copies of Windows 7 or 8, or that they're not the type of firm to fall victim to cyber attackers.

However, with numerous cyber security surveys and research reporting an uptick in attacks on smaller firms, this seems like a foolhardy attitude.

One can only hope their cynicism and complacency won't come back to bite them on the bum at a later date.

As for my own XP machine, I still intend to use it because I've got a hospital to manage and a city to oversee the running of. My patients and citizens need me.

What I won't be doing any more is connecting it to the internet to do online banking, shopping or any other task that requires typing my bank details into an Internet Explorer 6 browser window.

Even a cursory web search could land you in trouble, if you end up on a site with the potential to infect your system with malware or some other computer nasty.

No, XP's days as my OS of choice are long gone, and the business community needs to dump it like it ruthlessly did away with floppy disks, fax machines and filing cabinets yonks ago.

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