The End Is Near for Windows XP
by Terri Eyden on
By David H. Ringstrom
Despite three subsequent Windows releases, Windows XP remains the second most popular operating system version. This cycle started when users eschewed Windows Vista, even though Microsoft redeemed itself with Windows 7. In turn, Microsoft again alienated its customers with major user interface changes in Windows 8. Regardless, the 38 percent of computer users currently relying on Windows XP will soon need to move to a modern operating system, or risk exposure to malware.
Many users are holding on to Windows XP due to the incomprehensible changes Microsoft made in Windows 8. The technology rumor mills abound with chatter that the next version of Windows, apparently code named "Windows Blue," will appear later this year and possibly resurrect the start button and traditional desktop that users hold dear. The latest word on the street is that this will be a free upgrade for existing Windows 8 users.
Further, personal computer sales have fallen by 14 percent as of late, which could be attributed to market push back on Windows 8. Many technology writers are making hay with this, proclaiming that we're entering a post-PC world. Others observe that PCs are becoming like microwave ovens. Most of us have a microwave oven in our house, which we only replace when it eventually wears out. While many tasks and information consumption is migrating to mobile platforms, there will always be a significant set of tasks that are best performed on a PC, particularly for accountants.
Regardless, Microsoft will end all support for Windows XP as of April 2014. This means that no technical support or new software patches will be available. A cadre of motivated individuals continuously seeks out vulnerabilities in Windows, which Microsoft subsequently closes with software patches. However, no Windows XP patches will be forthcoming after April 2014, which could mean open season for malware purveyors. But, even if Microsoft keeps its word and drops support for Windows XP, third-party antivirus and anti-malware sellers will continue to offer some level of protection for Windows XP users.
Although there are practical reasons to end support for Windows XP, Microsoft has a revenue incentive as well. Just like any other business, software companies need an ongoing stream of revenue. Accounting software vendors such as Intuit and Sage typically support their three most recent versions, which ensures periodic upgrades from their user interface. Indeed, Sage recently narrowed the cycle further by in effect requiring annual software upgrades from payroll service users. Operating systems are a bit different, though, as evidenced by so many computer users still booting up Windows XP computers. Personally, I'm still coaxing an aging Windows XP computer along on one of my desks, but waning support for XP offers yet another reminder that it's time to pasture my old workhorse.
Read more articles by David Ringstrom.
About the author:
David H. Ringstrom, CPA heads up Accounting Advisors, Inc., an Atlanta-based software and database consulting firm providing training and consulting services nationwide. Contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter. David speaks at conferences about Microsoft Excel, and presents webcasts for several CPE providers, including AccountingWEB partner CPE Link.
You may like these other stories...
In the old days, we used to tape down receipts from our travels and submit them to accounts payable. But that was before remote employees who may live in a different city from the home office. And of course, there's all...
In 2011, electrical services and technology provider Parsons Electric in Minneapolis, Minn., decided to take its accounting to the cloud. Monica Ross, the company's director of strategic projects, talked with AWEB about...
Event Date: July 24, 2014, 2 pm ET In this presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA revisits the Excel feature you should be using, but probably aren't. The Table feature offers the ability to both boost the...
Upcoming CPE Webinars
Hand off work to others with finesse and success. Kristen Rampe, CPA will share how to ensure delegated work is properly handled from start to finish in this content-rich one hour webinar.
FRF for SMEs Series--Statement of Cash Flows, Subsequent Events, Related Party Issues, Accounting for Investments including Consolidations, Part 4A
This webcast will cover the preparation of the statement of cash flows and focus on accounting and disclosure policies for other important issues described below.
We can’t deny a great divide exists between the expectations and workplace needs of Baby Boomers and Millennials. To create thriving organizational performance, we need to shift the way in which we groom future leaders.
In this presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA revisits the Excel feature you should be using, but probably aren't. The Table feature offers the ability to both boost the integrity of your spreadsheets, but reduce maintenance as well.