XP End of Life and Office 2003, what about Security Essentials?

The hot topic at the moment is Windows XP end of Life.  And related to this is Security Essentials for XP and Office 2003 end of life.  If you have a Windows XP computer will probably have seen notices to this effect popping up on the screen lately that April 8th is the end.  What does this really mean and what do you need to do?

Note: Windows XP was developed in 2000-2001, so it is very old by computer software standards and no longer properly supports modern security.

Did you know that the most important ‘thing’ that keeps viruses out of your computer (all PCs and Macs) is Operating System software updates (also known as Security Patches).  Microsoft does these every month (2nd Wednesday of the…)  Apple does them often as well.  An anti-virus software is the second line of defence only.   What will actually happen is that April 8th is the final date that Microsoft will do its normal monthly security updates for XP.  So, sometime after 8th April hackers will work out a way to compromise XP, Microsoft will do nothing about it and viruses will become prevalent.  How long: well that depends on many factors, including, how often you use the computer,  the Internet, what other antivirus program you have, and what sort you stuff is clicked on. 

If you rely on a PC and use it regularly on the Internet, then you should move off XP as quickly possible, certainly in the next few months.  If the computer is rarely used on the Internet and you don’t really care if it has a problem, then you can probably use it for many more months or even years.   It is worth noting that your old computer will not just stop working as perhaps implied by Microsoft.

Security Essentials for XP; this will be updated until May 2015 apparently, no need to worry about this for another year. (Despite the scary message Microsoft are putting out there now)

Office 2003;  the last update for this will be April 8th as well.   This is much lower risk to continue to use, compared to XP.

Next steps:

If you like Windows 8, you can just go out and buy a new laptop or desktop retail.   Once you have it, we can assist to transfer across your old data, reinstall programs and ensure that it has updated software, patches and security measures.

Or, if you prefer, we can source Windows 7 laptops or supply Windows 7 desktops.  We can supply and install both new and used PCs depending on your budget and purpose.  New ones start at about $600 and go through to about $1500 for a top of the line computer.  We only supply Windows 7 based computers.  The Windows 7 laptop we currently recommend is a Dell for around $650.

If you current machine is less than 5 years old, it may well be possible to replace the XP operating system with a new copy of Windows 7.  Contact us for me details if you want to proceed that way. 

Of course, if you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact us !