Microsoft Pulls Plug On XP Support; What Users Need to Know - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Microsoft Pulls Plug On XP Support; What Users Need to Know

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     Protecting your PC and your information. Tuesday is the day Microsoft will end support of the Windows XP operating system. 

     It means no security updates or patches to the system. It doesn't mean your machine will stop working, but you may run into certain road blocks when dealing with the Internet in particular and it will be more vulnerable to viruses. Computer experts say there's even a scam targeting XP users.

     Windows XP is a more than a decade old system. After April 8th, Microsoft is pulling the plug on support for it even though millions still use it. In fact, more than a quarter of the nation's desktops, according to analytics firm Net Applications.

     "We're seeing a huge increase of people coming in upgrading to a new system either Windows 7 or Windows 8 and also the Apple line of computers," said Gabriel Moore, Service Department Manager at Computer Evolution in Davenport. The sales department at the store has seen an increase of about 25 to 40 percent in the last month.

     Moore says many customers are opting to buy a new because computers that carry XP are so dated and simply replacing the operating system can cost half as much as a new machine.

     "The last viable computers that came out with Windows XP were sold within 5 plus years," he added.

      XP users who continue without change could run into things like websites demanding newer versions of web browsers, when the updates have stopped. Computers will be more vulnerable to attacks on an anti-viral front, like fake programs or phishing.

  XP users should also watch out for a phony phone calls claiming to be Microsoft offering to do upgrades. "Microsoft does not cold call customers, they get your name off of lists from shopping lists or websites you may have signed up for," said Moore.

     He says it's a scam going around offering additional time or to log into your computer to help move to a new operating system. "It's not true, don't allow them into the computer. It's best to hang up on them and let it go."

     The majority of U.S. ATM's run on Windows XP. An expected 15 percent of them were to be upgraded by today. Microsoft is also selling custom support to companies to allow them to continue to get security patches.


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