It has been six years since Microsoft informed its customers that it would no longer support the Windows XP operating system, thus giving its users plenty of time to install a newer operating system, such as Windows 7. Without continuing technical support, the Windows XP operating system will be dramatically vulnerable to hackers exposing flaws in the program to the detriment of stubborn people still using this program. This is not a matter of Microsoft being greedy. It is merely a reflection of the fact that Windows XP is too old in terms of computer software and just like after a while it becomes advisable to buy a new car instead of pouring money into repairs for an old car, it is prudent to move to another and better operating system. It is unfortunate that many banks in the world that use Windows XP to operate ATMs and many government agencies that also use Windows XP failed to act before the April 8, 2014 deadline for Microsoft no longer providing updates. What many of these companies and the IRS (yes, the IRS) are now doing is paying for short term support of Windows XP until they make the change over to a newer operating system. The failure to act in a timely manner is needlessly costing these companies and government agencies large amounts of money. If they had merely acted in a timely manner, they would not have to be paying for these emergency services. In a Congressional hearing last week numbers between $500,000 and $30 million dollars were tossed about as the additional cost incurred by the IRS due to their lateness in acting. This is inexcusable. Hackers have already been taking advantage of vulnerabilities in Windows XP to steal from ATMs and there is concern in some circles that government agencies such as the IRS may find problems due to their delay in updating their operating systems.
Here is a warning to banks and government agencies including the IRS: Microsoft has indicated that it will no longer do security updates for Windows 7 in January of 2020. Don’t make the same mistake twice.
What do you think will happen?