If Windows XP were my child, it would almost be in high school by now. And just like this is the time when children can really get into trouble, so too can an operating system that loses it's parental guidance.
But Microsoft has said that it will discontinue support for it's most popular OS on April 8th, 2014. So what does this mean for both the home and business user?
We'll start off with the home user by saying that the internet will become a very dangerous place should you choose to continue using XP. As most home users will do everything from e-mail to banking on their computers, it will be open season on these machines. So this will mean more compromised machines, and staying compromised longer. Not a pretty picture.
On the business front, it's a mixed bag. For the most part, there are better security procedures in place; more consistency on internet usage, which should keep those older machines at less risk. But the only machines that we can feel comfortable about leaving behind are ones that are not internet facing. Ones that are completely cut-off from e-mail, web access, and even possibly other computers in the office.
There is speculation that the hacker community has been shelving away exploits that it already knows, in anticipation of the final security update Tuesday that Microsoft has planned. Then it can push out wave upon wave of spyware that will have no way of being patched. Yikes!
So it is time to move on, but time is running out.