By Chuck DeLouis, VP of Product Management
Mark your calendars: April 8 is a date you won’t want to forget.
That’s the day that Microsoft will end all support for Windows XP, the operating system it first released way back in 2001. It’s also what I would call “Christmas in April” for cybercriminals. That’s because, once Microsoft stops releasing hotfixes and providing support, a surprising number of PC users will forever be vulnerable to huge waves of security exploits and infections.
How many consumers and businesses will be affected? As of January 2013, Microsoft reports 29% of all PC users in the world use Windows XP. That number drops every month, but it’s still shockingly high for an operating system that is very old and very susceptible to infection – XP computers are infected at a rate 6 times higher than Windows 8.
Even so, almost 13 years after its release, XP is still the second-most widely used operating system going, ahead of Windows 8 and 8.1, Vista, Linux, even Mac OS X. Shockingly, about 95 percent of the world’s ATMs are powered by Windows XP, according to the ATM supplier NCR.