Monday, March 10, 2014

Alert (TA14-069A) Microsoft Ending Support for Windows XP and Office 2003

Systems Affected

Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3) Operating System
Microsoft Office 2003 Products
Overview

Microsoft is ending support for the Windows XP operating system and Office 2003 product line on April 8, 2014. [1] After this date, these products will no longer receive:
Security patches which help protect PCs from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software
Assisted technical support from Microsoft
Software and content updates
Description

All software products have a lifecycle. End of support refers to the date when Microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance. [2] As of February 2014, nearly 30 percent of Internet-connected PCs still run Windows XP. [3]

Microsoft will send “End of Support” notifications to users of Windows XP who have elected to receive updates via Windows Update. Users in organizations using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), System Center Configuration manager, or Windows Intune will not receive the notification. [4]
Impact

Computer systems running unsupported software are exposed to an elevated risk to cybersecurity dangers, such as malicious attacks or electronic data loss.

Users may also encounter problems with software and hardware compatibility since new software applications and hardware devices may not be built for Windows XP or Office 2003.

Organizations that are governed by regulatory obligations may find they are no longer able to satisfy compliance requirements. [4]
Solution

Computers operating Windows XP with SP3 or running Office 2003 products will continue to work after support ends. However, using unsupported software may increase the risk of viruses and other security threats.

Users have the option to upgrade to a currently supported operating system or office productivity suite. The Microsoft “End of Support” pages for Windows XP andOffice 2003 offer additional details.


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