Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The HMS Windows XP Is Being Retired

What's Happening: Windows XP support ending April 2014
Action Needed: Replacement/upgrade of all Windows XP computers to Windows 7
When: By March 31, 2014; preferably sooner

Do you remember what happened on August 24, 2001? If you were working on a personal computer, do you remember what your computer was running? Probably Windows 2000 or Windows Me.

Windows XP was that hope for a better tomorrow. Many of us wanted something better than the Windows crashes and bugs we had to live with every day, and we wondered what XP, or the new "eXPerience" would be like.

In April of 2014, Microsoft is discontinuing support of Windows XP.

What does this mean for LETU? 

Our Director of User Support and Experience, Michael Davis, puts it so well, let me just let you read his story.

Imagine you're on a warm, Caribbean cruise, lounging in your ocean view stateroom and relaxing to the gentle rocking of your magnificent cruise liner as it pierces through the waves, unabated by the tranquil yet powerful vastness of the ocean on all sides. You're blissfully unaware of all the people involved behind the scenes in making yours a successful voyage. Captains, navigators, engineers, mechanics, cooks, waiters; all of whom are serving unnoticed to ensure the smooth operation of the vessel. That's not completely unlike the world of technology in which we live. As for your ship - let's call her the HMS Windows XP - she's aged. In nautical years, she's past retirement age, but she's dutifully trudged on despite having been at sea too long and undergone many refittings at various dry docks.

At this point, the ship's crew and all her mates know it's time to let her peacefully slip away on her final excursion. The more modern, sleeker upgrade - HMS Windows 7 - has pulled up alongside Windows XP and is ushering all souls still aboard the aged vessel to disembark and board this new flagship model.

You're back in your stateroom, euphorically entranced when you feel the mechanistic breathing of the hull come to a stop. The ship's momentum carries her only so far against the friction of the vast ocean pushing back against her bow. You peer out the window in your stateroom, nothing but endless blue on the starboard side. You cautiously exit your stateroom and find the hall outside deserted, empty. To and fro through the decks of the ship you find no one. No food is served, no music played, no conversations take place anywhere. You eventually find yourself top-side where you can see that all around you is nothing but ocean. No land nor soul in sight. The ship, let alone the ocean, is an overwhelming landscape without the company of operators or fellow vacationers. Suddenly, a craft. A small vessel deftly approaches, skimming across the surface of the water. A rescue? As they get closer, you discern the outline of several figures, darkly clad, wielding something across their arms. This is no rescue. Left to her own defenses without support of her crew, pirates seize upon the opportunity to lay waste to the abandoned XP, searching for any poor soul who missed the opportunity to transition at sea with the rest of the sailors. It would have been too dangerous for the pirates before, too futile.  Now, though, what's to stop them? Who's to stop them? They will board, they will destroy the craft searching for any remnant they find valuable, and they will leave it in desolation. And if there is nothing of value? Years of savagery and making do on the high seas has changed them. It's no longer about survival. There's fun - fun in the mere destruction of something because it's possible. The ship is lost.

Microsoft outlines just such risk of running Windows XP after the company ends support for the product in April of 2014:


Inside sources from Microsoft suggest that Windows XP infection rate may increase up to 66% after support (and therefore security patches) ends in April:


Please help by budgeting for and reporting any computers in your area that you find are still on Windows XP. LETU IT will also be reaching out to leaders in your area to schedule the replacement of any such computers that appear on our reports. How do you tell Windows XP from 7? A quick glance at the main screen before you logon can help you identify your version of Windows:

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