Microsoft Pulls Plug on Windows XP, Workarounds Abound

The end is here -- Microsoft has officially ended support for Windows XP -- and software companies large and small are tapping into the opportunity. Indeed, it seems that tech firms are seeing a lucrative opportunity in RedmondEUs moves to stop updating one of the most popular versions of its operating system.

First, letEUs look at stats on the remaining usage. In 2013, more than 70 percent of MicrosoftEUs security patches affected Windows XP. After April 8, this trend will continue even though Microsoft will not explicitly state this, according to cloud security firm Qualys. XP use is dropping quickly, the firm reports, but according to BrowserCheck XP data from March, 14 percent of enterprises are still using the software.

EUThereEUs clearly a large install base relying upon XP right now, and for these organizations I have two pieces of advice: Upgrade your software or decommission it,EU said Qualys CTO Wolfgang Kandek. EUWhile some uses of XP canEUt simply be upgraded, examine if it is a critical component to your system. Isolate XP as much as possible, and limit dangerous activity on these devices -- including surfing the web and using e-mail.EU

XP Workarounds Emerging

Or, you can use one of the workarounds emerging. We caught up with Darren Leroux, senior director of product marketing at WinMagic, maker of SecureDoc encryption software, to get a contrary view on the doom and gloom many are spreading about the end of Windows XP support. He told us a lot of security organizations in the industry are paying attention to end of support for XP.

EUAs an encryption provider, it means that change is being forced on customers to move to a more current version of Windows, versions that include features for enabling encryption of data at rest,EU said Leroux. EUThis is a good thing, as encryption...

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