Users Could Safely Stick to Windows XP After Its Retirement – Analyst

Microsoft urges everyone to upgrade because an unpatched system would expose their data

While Microsoft continues its efforts to move all users from Windows XP, an analyst recommends everyone to consider their options, explaining that a fully-patched system won’t be quite vulnerable to attacks. Not on the short term, at least.

Richard Edwards, an analyst for Ovum, said in a statement released to that dumping Windows XP could be a very costly decision, so sticking to this operating system after its retirement date might not be such a bad idea.

“Organizations should consider how their IT budgets might be invested in more innovative projects. First of all, if we assume that Windows XP systems have the latest patches, fixes and up-to-date security software installed (and that Internet Explorer 6 has been replaced with a more modern web browser), then there is no reason to believe that life after 8th April 2014 will be any different than before it,” he said.

Microsoft, on the other hand, says that staying with XP after April 8, 2014 is a very risky decision, mostly because attackers could very well attempt to exploit the unpatched systems.

As of this date, the company will no longer release security patches and updates for Windows XP, so users would basically have no other option than to migrate to a newer and more secure operating system.

“Windows XP leaving support doesn’t mean bad guys will stop trying to exploit it; however, the absence of new security updates will make it easier for attacks to succeed. We talk a lot about mitigating risks through our security updates, and with Windows XP retiring, the best mitigation will be to upgrade to a modern Windows operating system,” Dustin Childs, group manager, Response Communications, Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, said.

At this point, Windows XP is the second most popular operating system in the world, with a market share of more than 38 percent, but very close to almighty leader Windows 7.

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