Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
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by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Apr 5 2014 08:38:21

Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

By: Ina Steiner

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Do you know which operating system is running on your computers and laptops? For a threat that sounds as potentially dangerous as Y2K, there's relatively little awareness of the "Windows XP problem." On Tuesday, April 8, 2014, Microsoft will stop supporting the Windows XP Operating System, leaving many computers vulnerable to virus and malware. And it's sure to effect a lot of online sellers, both large and small, not to mention online shoppers.

Articles about the topic project 10% of computers will still be using Windows XP after the April 8 deadline. And that includes ATM machines and computers in healthcare settings - and the federal government.

Microsoft has created pages on its website to help consumers and businesses learn more. What does the end of support for XP mean? "Without Microsoft support, you will no longer receive security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that can steal your personal information." The company has no shame in using the pages to push people into buying new computers running its Windows 8 operating system - though some experts advise moving to Windows 7, which is more popular than the newer version.

In an article on Friday, BusinessWeek said XP is the second-most-used OS in the world, behind Windows 7, and its customers account for more than 18 percent of Internet users, according to StatCounter.

MakeUseOf was on top of the problem last year. In this August article, it offers practical tips for those with XP systems. The best advice appears to be taking the computers offline altogether and use USB flash drives to transfer data if needed. You can use the programs (like Word and Excel), but don't use it for browsing the Internet or checking email. (Of course, that still leaves you needing a computer you can use to go online.) MakeUseOf offers advice on how to minimize the risk these computers present to their owners.

Here's how to learn if this problem affects you: when you turn on your computer, watch the screen - it will tell you what kind of operating system your computer is running. You can also go to Start - All Programs - Accessories folder - Systems Tool folder - when you click on System Information, the first line reads "OS Name" - that will tell you if you are running Microsoft Windows XP. (If you use Microsoft Windows 7 or 8, this problem won't apply to you.)

Once you've checked your own business and home computers, be sure to check with family members, friends and neighbors.

One can only hope Microsoft will extend the deadline til the end of the year to give people more time to become aware of the problem and deal with it. But don't count on it!

We're surveying readers about how this affects them, please visit the survey on Survey Monkey.




Comments (26) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sat Apr 5 09:40:35 2014

Having recently observed the death of my old laptop that was running Win 7, my new one came with Win 8. Since I did not want touch screen on a laptop, I was a bit worried from what I had read about 8 and 8.1.

We actually have Windows 7 that could have been installed, but my service guy is a beta tester for Windows OS and urged me to stick with 8 as he feels it is inevitable that everyone will need to move on from 7.


He  had a software program that makes windows 8 start screen look and act like Windows 7. It was not expensive and well worth it if you need to set aside time for the learning curve of Windows 8, while still keeping your business running in the mean time.

If you are a non-techie like me and find you have to give up XP and go to a Windows 8 version, you might want to consider something like that to ease the transition.

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

by: andanotherthing This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 5 09:59:35 2014

Hi there - am based in the UK and my system is WindowsXP. I spoke to my techie about it - it WILL be a problem in a few years time and without MS support from 8th April 2014 onwards, there will be gradual minimising of capability/compatability. Make sure that you have adequate anti virus and security programmes to protect your computer. My techie advises that I shouldn't encounter MAJOR problems for a few years but might eventually find that my printer drive won't work, etc. He also advises that I buy a new computer at roughly the time that my XP incompatability becomes a real problem as obviously over time, new upgrades (possibly to Windows8) will mean that whatever system I bought NOW might well be obsolete/out of date at least in a few years time anyway.

I am prepared to go with this advice and go with the flow, but have started operating with the view to replacing my PC in between this year and 2016. It helps to be prepared!

Others might have different views, so please don't bother arguing with what I have posted above. It is just my own viewpoint and decision, and the advice of my (rather good) techie. Please DO take your own technical advice to make sure.

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sat Apr 5 11:09:58 2014

Apparently every OTHER Microsoft OS is flawed in some way.

WIN-98 relatively stable, consistent.
WIN-ME awful.
WIN-XP great.
VISTA awful.
WIN-7 great.
WIN-8 awful.
WIN-9 ???

I think I'll wait until 7 reaches its end of life before even THINKING about upgrading to 9 or 11 (but not 10)

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sat Apr 5 12:16:42 2014

Like Annie, we've used each of Windows versions & I totally agree with her assessment.


While my laptop with Win 8 mostly acts like Win 7 thanks to the added software, the Win 8 bursts forth at times - like my laptop has Dissociative Identity Disorder - also called Multiple Personality Disorder (that mental disorder WOULD have multiple names!!!)

So far it has not been too hard to put the Win 8 personality back in its cage - it is like playing a video game that you don't have the instructions to. The ''OK, what happens if I press HERE'' bit comes up now & then.

And, I've got to admit, some features and programs that had been acting a bit weird work better now with Win 8 behind the scenes.

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 5 16:14:38 2014

I wish they'd stop monkeying around with new operating systems.  For every good one they come out with two simply awful ones.  I liked XP, I love Windows 7.  If I want a touch screen I don't need Windows 8, I'll just pick up my iPad.  This is all wasted money.  Come out with an operating system and charge us for updates rather then coming out with new operating systems full of glitches and bugs.

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sat Apr 5 20:36:07 2014

Windows 7 Professional has an XP shell so you can run all your favorite old programs in the shell that otherwise are incompatible with some versions of Vista, Windows 7 standard edition, and Windows 8.

Like anything else corporate American, Microsoft is losing supporting Windows XP and wants everyone to buy a newer version which, in at least some cases, requires buying a new computer with greater capabilities.

Software and hardware manufacturers  have always been members of the industry's mutual back scratching society.

A company that makes anti virus software could make a lot of money with enhanced malware and anti virus protection for XP.

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Sat Apr 5 22:58:38 2014

I found out a long time ago that every other MS OS is a good system. I had the original Windows type OS back in '92 or '93 and did not get the '95 since I did not need it and found out that '95 had problems. I got '98 on a newer computer when it came out and 2000 came out and had problems. Got XP on a new unit in '02 and then again in '05 I got an XP3 unit. Then Vista came out and that was garbage from what I was told so I waited and then in '10 I bought a new unit with 7 pro so I could get the updates for my office '03 which is now called office'07.
Well I finally thought that I would break down and buy a laptop so I went and bought one earlier this year with Win 8. The first one (an HP) would not work when I upgraded to 8.1. I returned it and tried a Dell and that did not work at all. I returned that and tried another faster HP and the same thing happened when trying to upgrade to 8.1.
At least the HP support was helpful but Dell was clueless. So I returned the last laptop and bought a tablet and that works fine using Android. It was also a lot cheaper then the laptops.
Eventually the hard drive on my XP desktop will go out (its been almost 9 years now and still going strong) and hopefully MS will come out with a good OS soon and if not my next desktop set up will be either a Chrome or a Unix based OS.
Anyone that is using XP are getting the shaft by MS but they can still use Firefox for a browser and keep up to date with various virus programs and all of them said they will support XP until at least '18 if not longer. This is the same scare tactic that MS used back with the Y2K scare so they could sell the 2000NT OS.
Anyone who has Google Analytics can see what kind of systems and browsers people are using who come to their sites and will probably be surprised by how old some of the systems are. Last time I looked there was still some people using WIN98.

Bill

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

by: ConnecticutGal This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 5 23:44:01 2014

Hmmm... I might be sounding a bit paranoid here, but as of one week ago, my HP printer no longer will scan anything and just yesterday, my Norton anti-virus will no longer complete the daily scan.  I am using XP on my 3 year old computer (and Google Chrome).  With this news about Microsoft no longer supporting XP, I wonder if the Nortons and HPs of the world are already updating programs/drivers and sending automatic updates for Win7 or Win8, which are being rejected by my poor computer.  Anyone else having issues like this?  Fortunately, I have a laptop with Win7 and a brand new desktop with Win7 that I never got around to setting up.  Guess I'll migrate the info this week.  Was hoping to do it after tax season.

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 6 01:00:08 2014

Win 2000 was awesome, especially SP4. I was using it long after XP came out. I still need XP to run some hardware since it doesn't work on 7. And what about all these 2nd hand laptops that I sell people for $75 that still run XP, its not economical to put 7 on them.

Those laptops do what they need and they can't afford $200 for something with 7 on it.

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Sun Apr 6 04:59:58 2014

Meh. The biggest issue will be compatibility of new software and memory issues if you're running 32-bit. Newer software tends to demand more memory and hard drive space, not to mention higher capacity video hardware. But just because Microsoft isn't issuing updates, doesn't mean you're suddenly going to be overrun with problems. I think Microsoft is sounding the doom and gloom warning to inspire people to upgrade.

I'm running XP on a 9-year-old computer as my main workstation, but will be upgrading to Windows 7 soon, once I can afford to buy a few more hard drives and memory for the new box. XP has been great, but I'm starting to have issues with memory and performance, especially since I'm something of a power user who runs many things simultaneously, so it's time for some new hardware. Worst case for me is having to use my Linux servers and a Vista (blech!) backup computer, which are much newer hardware, if my XP box bites the dust.

I'm a geek and build my own, but there are plenty of good quality computers out there if you're looking to upgrade. I'm avoiding Windows 8 because I don't need the tablet-style interface or the "features" it offers. I like my OS to pretty much stay out of the way and let me get on with things.  

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 6 05:16:54 2014

How is it that the world's 2nd-most popular operating system is no longer getting support from its vendor?

Hmmm, this couldn't have anything to do with MS wanting to milk its only remaining cash cow for as long as possible, as the company continues its long slide into tech irrelevance.  Could it?

I seem to recall an anti-trust suit against MS meant to stop it from behaving in this monopolistic manner.  Oh wait - that was before Gates started to donate billions to all the right liberal causes.  

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

by: Maureen This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 6 06:57:46 2014

This is the first I am hearing about Fire Fox taking the responsibility for protecting your computer till 2018. Does anyone else know about this?

I am also wondering whether Truster Rapport program that the banking industry uses, will also help eliminate invasions into XP?

 

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

by: unknown This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 6 06:59:35 2014

Buy a mac or go with linux.  

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

by: frustrated This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 6 09:00:54 2014

Agree with above.

Go to linux or buy a MAC.

Don't let the BILLIONAIRE tell you he's out of money.

Tough CRA*.

If you fall for this, in another year, it will be a NEW OS.

Told by someone who is half a CENTURY OLD, SEEN IT ALL BEFORE.

If you don't like this kind of stuff STOP GIVING THEM YOUR MONEY.

Isn't it funny, my brother has Linux, and he has NEVER had a virus. Not even once.
'

He said it took him about 2 weeks to get used to it, and he'll NEVER go back.  

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 6 09:38:24 2014

@Anonymous Annie & Tula

Agree with both wholeheartedly.

I run Unix/Linux online and the Windows machine is offline and not connected in any way to the net.

If you are running XP now with business processes -- AND, you keep it off line you can go for as long as connected compatible printers and such last and if the installed software accomplishes your tasks to your satisfaction; why buy new?  

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

by: RichieC This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 6 22:04:13 2014

I got a set of 3.1 disks around here somewhere!

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

by: RichieC This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 6 23:24:10 2014

I was thinking of going with either a really nice tablet, or a ok laptop. Keeping my desktop computer on my network with private remote access.
I'll be able to bow properly to the master, well I'd like 7, but my go 8.1 ?? it is a phone!!  lol

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

by: RichieC This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 6 23:25:07 2014

oh,

Finishing, I would be able to keep all my XP program running on the desktop.

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Apr 7 00:11:40 2014

I too am a  non-techie. while Bill was developing the PC I was taking classes generally deemed sufficient for girls, even those heading to college. So he did that and made his millions, and I am able to sell on line to supplement my SS check because of MS. Thankfully my husband is younger than me and keeps track of this stuff for us. I do know that I had to switch to Google chrome recently as the other network we used wouldn't work anymore on my laptop. Recently Hotmail/outlook changed things and I don't know who decides these things so now to move something in my email I have to click twice and open two drop down boxes. This is an improvement over clicking once? Why don't these guys get a real job that benefits society???

Perminate Link for Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System   Warning to Online Merchants Using Windows XP Operating System

by: E. Tomchin This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 7 00:55:22 2014

I'll continue with XP Pro SP 3 on my machine for now, but eventually I'll upgrade to Windows 7, which is a better bet than 8, and it will be supported by Microsoft with security updates until 2020 -- six more years.  Windows 8 is still too unstable and squirrely for me.  

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