SIR v15: Five good reasons to leave Windows XP behind

Published: 2013-10-30
Last Updated: 2013-10-30 05:22:54 UTC
by Russ McRee (Version: 1)
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No, it's not because I work for MSFT and want you to upgrade for selfish reasons. :-) It's because it really is time.

If you need a strong supporting argument and five good reasons to upgrade, look no further than the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report v15 released today. All you need to do is CTRL+F this doc and search for Windows XP to see what I'm talking about. Here, I'll help, as ripped directy from the SIR v15:

  1. 9.1 computers cleaned per 1000 scanned by the Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) were Windows XP SP3 32-bit, more than any other system cleaned.
  2. Windows XP SP3 holds the top spot for infection rate (9.1 CCM)  even though it actually has a lower encounter rate (percent of reporting computers) than Windows 7 SP1.
  3. The disparity between the two metrics above highlights the importance of moving away from older operating system versions to newer, more secure ones. Computers running Windows XP in the first half of 2013 encountered about 31 percent more malware worldwide than computers running Windows 8, but their infection rate was more than 5 times as high.
  4. #1 threat family affecting Windows XP SP3? INF/Autorun. Yes, that autorun, used by worms when spreading to local, network, or removable drives. Doesn't work on modern versions of Windows in their default configuration.
  5. Windows XP extended support ends April 8, 2014. That means no more patches, people.

As I sat in the dentist chair today for my cleaning and viewed my X-rays on a Windows XP machine I thought about a comment from Tim Rains of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing organization: "XP has been a beloved operating system for millions and millions of people around the world, but after 12 years of service it simply can't mitigate the threats we're seeing modern-day attackers use." Survival rate for systems running Windows XP after support ends? Non-existent. Don't believe me? Also per Tim: "In the two years after Windows XP Service Pack 2 went out of support, its malware infection rate was 66 percent higher than Windows XP Service Pack 3 - the last supported version of Windows XP."

It's time, folks. It's going to be hard for doctors and dentists to be certain :-), but migration is in order. What would Patton say (thanks TJ)? "A violent executed plan today is better than a perfect plan expected next week." That should be your plan to migrate off Windows XP.



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